Marylanders head to D.C. for papal Mass
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#1 Apr 18, 2008
Like Catholics across the United States I welcome Pope Benedict XVI as he visits Washington, D.C. and New York City later in the week. Benedict had a beautiful day in Washington to celebrate his 81st birthday as well.
The pain that so many victims of sexual abuse continue to endure throughout their lives is the pain that our Catholic Church should be considering first and foremost before the "enormous pain that your communities have suffered when clerics have betrayed their priestly obligations and duties by such gravely immoral behavior," as the pope spoke of in his words to the American bishops on Wednesday when he met with them at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
The continuing sex scandal was not just "sometimes very badly handled," it was very often and repeatedly handled very badly.
I consider it misleading to say that, "Now that the scale and gravity of the problem is more clearly understood you have been able to adopt more focused remedial and disciplinary measures and to promote a safe environment that gives greater protection to young people."
While the scale and gravity of the sexual abuse problem has been understood for years, the bishops formally or informally were part of a conspiracy that colluded in covering up the transgressions of rogue sexually abusive priests, including those abusing minors, moving them around their own dioceses, moving them to other dioceses and, in some cases, shipping them abroad to avoid arrest and prosecution. This is fact not opinion and is supported by a number of Grand Jury Reports.
In actuality, the bishops on the whole did not even obey the Catholic Church's Canon Law regarding sexual transgressions let alone obey the individual state's law in whose jurisdictions their dioceses resided.
And while bishops, "have been able to adopt more focused remedial and disciplinary measures and to promote a safe environment that gives greater protection to young people," this does not provide justice for those who were abused in the past.
The fact remains that removing Statutes of Limitation in regard to the sexual abuse of children, along with the inclusion of a Legislative Window of at least two years for bringing forward previously time barred cases of childhood sexual abuse, remains the single most effective means of holding sexual predators and any enabling individuals or institutions accountable.
In the State of Delaware we have accomplished this by the passage of the new Child Victims Law which includes a Window that is open until July 10, 2009 for bringing forward cases in the pursuit of justice.
If you or anyone you know was ever sexually abused as a child by anyone in the State of Delaware you have until July 19, 2009 to make that known. Visit www.childvictimsvoice.com and/or www.survivorsnetwork.org
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