The Roman Catholic Church claims to be able to trace its roots directly back to the Last Supper. At the moment that Jesus broke the Bread of His Body and distributed it to His Apostles, He was setting the stage for how to celebrate Mass. However, throughout the following centuries, the church has had several attacks launched against its credibility by outside forces. This time, though, the attack is coming from its own members.
Since the early 2000’s, the media has broken stories concerning the child sex abuse crisis that has been rocking the church from within. When the first reports started pouring in, there seemed to be no diocese that was untouched by at least one account of a child being harmed by a priest or other church member. At that time, church membership declined alarmingly and the church lost much of the respect and credibility it had earned.
After several years, many people seemed to forgive and forget and the church worked on regaining the trust and faith of its flock. Pope Benedict returned the church to its former stance and reiterated that it was the only sure way for the laity to get to Heaven. Many within the church seemed to draw comfort from this approach and resumed practicing their faith as they did before the scandal first broke.
Over the years, there continued to be stories that broke from time to time about predator priests, but the only real change that was enacted was to make the process for the laity to volunteer with youth much more difficult – even though the biggest threat was posed by the clergy, not the laity.
Once Pope Francis was selected as the new Shepherd of the Roman Catholic Church, he worked to breathe new life of the Spirit into the church. He drew criticism from the more traditional members as he worked to make the church more relevant to the youth of today. Sadly, the scandal had yet to be addressed. Recently, news broke about a high-ranking cardinal who had allegedly been involved in harming both a child and coercing seminarians to engage in sinful relationships.
Pope Francis relieved this cardinal of his duties and sent him to live a life of penance and prayer. Sadly, this does little to undo the harm that has been inflicted. Along with this cardinal, a report from Pennsylvania indicted more than 300 priests who abused children while the church covered it up. There are even new allegations that the Pope was aware of the cardinal’s behavior several years ago.
This cancer of abuse is not limited to the US, as it has been occurring throughout the world. All of the bishops in Chile are being asked to resign over the crisis. It is unlikely that the church will be destroyed, however, there needs to be major reform in order to bring the church back to what Jesus intended when he said “Let the children come unto Me.”
Writer Bio: Angela Mose
I am a mom of 7 who has successfully homeschooled for 20 years. I was married for more than 25 years and have recently started my life over. I have a passion for writing and music and when the two can be combined, it is utopia. A Maryland native, I am planning to relocate north in the near future and will continue to strive to learn and experience new things on a regular basis. I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home while exploring new ways to increase my knowledge and skills and help improve the lives of those around me.