Click & Learn
AW Richard Sipe
September 1, 2005

It is important, even vital to say that we are not anti Catholic, anti clergy, or anti celibacy.  There are thousands of good priests and we support them. Through the centuries the church has done great works… hospitals, orphanages, schools… Ministering to the poor.  There are countless numbers of great Catholic men and women who have been moral and spiritual inspirations to us all. 

But in this horrific event of sexual abuse the hierarchy of the Church was overtaken by a perfect moral storm.  Sex, money, and moral authority collided with hurricane force. Instead of treating this crisis with openness and compassion for the victims, getting the proper medical treatment for offending priests, and cooperating with civil authorities, the powers of the church opted for a version of what I call the SCARLET BOND.  When a man is created a cardinal he kneels before the Pope and promises fidelity to Christ and the gospel.  He vows obedience to the pope and unfailing communion with the Roman Catholic Church. And “…NEVER TO REVEAL TO ANYONE WHATSOEVER HAS BEEN CONFIDED IN ME TO KEEP SECRET AND THE REVELATION OF WHICH COULD CAUSE DAMAGE OR DISHONOR TO THE HOLY CHURCH.”  This is a code of secrecy.  As we have seen, the criterion for secrecy is not charity. It is not justice.  It covers what it does.  It teaches what it does not believe. It affects the lives of everyone, not just the abused. 

For centuries the hierarchy felt that sexual abuse in the Church was such a heinous event they did everything to keep it secret… Yet, when confronted with the problem, they claimed they were unaware.