Is the Hierarchy Really Serious About the Abuse Crisis?, by William Kilpatrick

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By William Kilpatrick, Crisis Magazine, February 1, 2019

According to a June 2017 Gallup survey, nearly half of U.S. Catholics (49 percent) had a “high” or “very high” opinion of the honesty and ethical standards of clergy. By early December 2018, the number had fallen to 31 percent.

Most of the difference is likely attributable to the new reports of earlier cases of sex abuse (most, though not all, involving adults) that began to surface in the summer of 2018. Since new scandals are being revealed on a weekly basis, it’s probable that confidence in Church leaders will continue to drop. One can assume, moreover, that the credibility of Catholic leaders has dropped even further among non-Catholics.

In short, the Church’s public witness has been badly damaged and is likely to suffer further damage. The scandals will certainly affect the credibility of Catholic teachers and clergy when they teach about sexual ethics. But because the scandals also involve lying, cover-ups, cowardice, financial fraud, cronyism, abuse of power, and possible blackmail, they will result in a general loss of confidence in the Church’s authority to speak on any moral matter…..Read entire article…