Catholic Homes and Orphanages

Australia’s Royal Commission on child abuse had a telling anecdote from a victim:

After each time I was sexually abused, I had to go to confession to him and confess ‘my’ sin of impurity. He would say, ‘Are you sorry for your sin, my child?’ and I would reply, ‘Yes, Father.’ He then said, ‘Ask Almighty God and his blessed mother to help you sin no more. For your penance say three Hail Marys. Now make a perfect act of contrition. Go and sin no more.’ (Executive Summary, p. 43)

Making a child confess his sin after you’ve raped him requires a special kind of depravity. Yet the Catholic Church was far more protective of that priest and his “rights” than it was of the (formerly) innocent child. This pattern of behavior has been documented by numerous authorities for over 30 years. The Catholic Church still refuses to turn over pederasts to civil authorities unless it is legally required to.

Residential institutions for children are plagued by child abuse. The worst offenders by far are those run by Catholics. Not only are children sexually abused, they are abused in almost every other way: “Almost three-quarters of survivors of abuse in historical residential institutions (72.9 per cent) described experiencing other forms of abuse, including being beaten, flogged, caned, belted, thrown about and knocked unconscious” (Executive Summary, p. 38). A victim’s testimony:

What really gets me is how respected the staff … were in the community and how they used us for fund raising and to promote themselves as doing good works, when all the time we were treated as slaves, beaten and abused, used for their perverted desires. These were terrible years. No love or kindness, no safety or warmth. Always hungry and always frightened.

Yet they call themselves Good Shepherds, and not only collect billions from the faithful, they also collect many billions more from state and federal governments for providing child services. Authorities rarely question these pious shepherds.

Catholic authorities will no doubt claim that is ancient history, like witch burnings and Inquisitions - only God’s enemies would resurrect such charges. The Royal Commission states:

It would be a mistake to regard child sexual abuse in religious institutions as being historical; as something we no longer need to be concerned about. While much of the abuse we heard about did take place before 1990, more than 200 survivors told us they had experienced child sexual abuse in a religious institution since 1990. Long delays in victims disclosing abuse mean that an accurate contemporary understanding of the problem is not possible (Executive Summary, p. 44).

This is true of child sexual abuse outside of institutions as well.


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