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The Roman Catholic Church

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The Roman Catholic Church is a global religious institution that traces its origins back to the time of Jesus Christ and the apostles. Sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church in America has been an ongoing problem for decades, with numerous cases coming to light in recent years. These cases have revealed a disturbing pattern of abuse by clergy members, often followed by cover-ups and a lack of accountability from Church officials. [1]

A case that has garnered significant attention involves the Diocese of Buffalo, which has been the subject of multiple investigations and lawsuits related to allegations of sexual abuse by clergy members. In addition to the actual acts of sexual abuse, institutions have tried to cover up incidents of abuse and protect those clergy members who committed such heinous crimes. For example, in a November 2020 lawsuit, an investigation found that the Diocese of Buffalo and its two former leaders, Bishop Richard J. Malone and Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Grosz, covered for more than two dozen priests accused of sexual abuse against children. The lawsuit stated that they both classified the priests as “unassignable,” which allowed the priests to take leave rather than referring them to a Vatican investigation, likely resulting in their removal from the priesthood. The diocese has faced criticism for its handling of the crisis, and in 2020, Bishop Richard Malone resigned following widespread calls for his removal. [2]

Furthermore, in 2018, a Pennsylvania grand jury report identified over 300 Catholic priests who had abused more than 1,000 children over the course of 70 years. The report accused church officials of covering up the abuse and failing to report it to law enforcement. The grand jury identified over 300 Catholic priests who had sexually abused more than 1,000 children, although they noted that the actual number of victims was likely much higher. The abuse ranged from fondling and masturbation to rape, and many of the victims were young boys. [3]

The report accused church officials of covering up the abuse and failing to report it to law enforcement. It described a “culture of secrecy” within the Catholic Church that allowed abusers to continue their crimes for years, often moving from parish to parish without punishment. The report also criticized the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania, which prevented many victims from seeking justice through the courts. [3]

This past January, the findings of a four-year inquiry into abuse in Kansas’ Catholic churches were made public by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. They performed 125 criminal investigations, discovered cover-ups, and identified structural issues with church leadership. It was discovered that all four dioceses in Kansas had clergy that not only assaulted children between 1950 and the 2000s, but also assisted in their cover-up. [4]

When leaders were given with proof that a Priest was abusing children, the report claims the Church would conduct its own, biased investigations, purposefully downplay complaints through euphemisms, and not follow its own processes. These priests were frequently permitted to continue serving in another parish.

Here at the Michael Brady Lynch Firm, we handle Clergy Sexual abuse cases. If you or a loved one has been sexually abused, please give us a call at 888-585-5970.

Date: March 15, 2023

Author: Brandon Salter

[1] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-44209971

[2] https://buffalonews.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/5-years-after-buffalo-diocese-sex-abuse-scandal-erupted-victims-still-waiting-for-compensation/article_0dc2e806-b1eb-11ed-9001f3d2d623a1b4.html#:~:text=Within%20two%20years%2C%20the%20Vatican,on%20Feb.%2028%2C%202020

[3] https://www.ncronline.org/news/accountability/grand-jury-over-300-priests-accused-sexual-assault-covered-bishops

[4] https://fox4kc.com/news/kbi-releases-report-on-child-abuse-in-catholic-church/

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