By 2004, 4392 Catholic priests had been found guilty of sexually abusing children. CHILDREN. The Jesuits paid 50 million dollars to over 100 Inuit children who had been sexually abused over a period of 14 years by a Jesuit. In Chile, Father Karadima was found guilty by the Vatican of sexual abuse of children, and then sentenced Karadima to a life of prayer and penitence, to a man who has never acknowledged any wrongdoing. This sentence is still being served in an old people’s home in Chile.
Nor have his victims ever had their day in court, where this tormenter would have to face his victims. The Chilean courts did hear the testimony of the victims and found Karadima guilty, but the statute of limitations had run out by then, leaving Karadima to his life of prayer and penitence.
Watching the young women who had been sexually abused by Larry Nasser when they were young gymnasts was a powerful experience for me, for I will also never have my day in court with the monster who sexually assaulted me. He got away with it, as do so many. However, watching these women speak from their prepared statements loudly and clearly and proudly so that everyone could hear in a court of law where the truth was finally brought to light gave me an experience as close to my own day in court I will ever get.
It was sublime. I cheered each one of them. I cried when they were overwhelmed with emotion. My skin pebbled as I watched them embrace each other in tears at the day’s end. A victim of sexual assault is left with some scars that never fade. One of those scars is the driving charge that what happened to you not happen to any one else. This was alluded to time and time again in these women’s remarks….”I am here today so no other woman will have to say Me, Too.”
Simultaneously to this news event, the Pope was visiting Chile. The story emerged about Karadima, a priest who was found guilty by the Vatican. of sexually abusing boys and sentenced to a life of prayer and penitence in an old people’s home in Chile. When Karadima’s trial was finally heard in the Chilean court, he was also found guilty, but the statute of limitations had run out. Those victims never had their day in court with their monster. The victims also named Madrid, a priest who was mentored by Karadima, as witnessing the abuse but did nothing. When the Pope promoted Madrid to Bishop, the Chilean people were outraged . Attendance at weekly Mass fell by 50%. The Pope’s insistence that Madrid be by his side at Masses during the Pope’s visit to Chile further enraged the people. The Pope’s response to this outrage…there was no evidence against Madrid…made headlines around the world.
The Catholic Church allowed a statute of limitations to stand between a priest’s victims and their day in court, a day critical to healing. The Pope himself dismisses the testimony of victims. It is no wonder the two survivors assigned to the committee under this Pope to address the issue of sexual abuse of minors have resigned due to lack of progress by this Pope’s administration.
I am done with the lot of them. I am leaving the Catholic Church. If you have read Shestories elsewhere, you know that I have often had arguments with the Catholic Church, as well as extended absences from weekly Mass while trying to sort things out. In the past, I have eventually returned. But no more. No More.
And my faith in my creator has never felt stronger.