While it’s a dubious honor, welcome to the 100th Religious Horror Show story I’ve done since I restarted the feature back in 2012. It’s entirely fitting that this dishonor goes to the Catholics and their pedophilic ways. Honestly, I ought to have an entirely separate category for Catholic priest sex abuse stories, they come up so often. I remain shocked that so many Christians will try desperately to shift the blame away from Catholicism and Christianity in general and try to explain how it’s just a few evil people who just so happen to be within the Catholic clergical hierarchy, but it’s not the offenders that are the biggest problem, it’s the response to the offenders by the people in charge of the Church that take the cake.
Here’s yet another story.
In Minnesota, lawyers for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona are desperately trying to block the depositions of Archbishop John Nienstedt and two other priests and halt the ordered release of the names of priests accused of child sexual abuse since 2004. The Archdiocese filed a memorandum with the court arguing that releasing the names of pedophile priests would “constitute irreparable and irreversible prejudice” toward the Church. You know something? Good!
This came about when accusations against Reverend Thomas Adamson, a priest charged with sexually molesting a boy between 1976 and 1977. As the court case progressed, there were more accusations of sexual abuse, including against Reverend John Brown, but they found that knowledge of this abuse went right up the chain of command, as high, at least as of this writing, as Archbishop John Nienstedt. So, instead of coming clean and taking responsibility, they did what Catholicism has become infamous for, they tried to hide it.
This is hardly the only time that a Catholic Archdiocese has tried this. In the ruling against the Los Angeles Archdiocese, church officials initially refused to release the papers ordered in the court case, then they went through with black markers and “redacted” all of the names of the guilty. That led to more legal wrangling and the church even claimed that they had redacted the names on the original documents so there were no more that they could release. This turned out to be a lie and eventually, they were forced to release more than 20,000 pages of documents relating to Catholic priest sex abuse. The same kind of maneuvering was done when the Archdiocese of Chicago went through a similar trial. The Catholic Church acts like it’s above the law and, luckily, we’re finding in case after case that this is just not true.
Priestly sex abuse isn’t just one crime, it’s crime piled on crime piled on crime. It’s bad enough when a priest uses his position in the church to molest children, that’s horrific on its own. Then, the church, when it finds out about it, either moves to hide the priest, transferring them to another parish where they can continue their abusing ways, or if things come to light, trying desperately to protect the priest from prosecution. If that doesn’t work, they refuse court orders, arguing that the image of the Church is more important than justice and finally, as far too many American Archdiocese have done, they declare bankruptcy to avoid having to pay out compensation to the victims and their families.
And there are actually Christians out there who defend the Catholic Church’s actions. Maybe those people need to be featured on Horror Show Sunday too.