Survivors of clergy sex abuse and their families, have suffered in shame and silence for many years. Finally, the public outcry was heard and attorneys representing victims are seeking justice through the court systems. The Church now publicly defames this guaranteed right to seek justice -- when will the Church learn?
California led the nation in legislation that allowed clergy sex abuse victims to file civil lawsuits for past crimes. If it weren't for the courage of survivors, a select few journalists and the attorneys representing victims of abuse, the sex abuse crimes of Church employees would still be hidden in secret files, free from accountability.
There is no way to sugar coat the reality of facts that have been revealed since the sex abuse scandals erupted. One of our country's greatest gifts is the court process and it is this process that has allowed victims of clergy abuse crimes to seek justice, with public disclosure.
We can only pray that victims of sex abuse, still suffering in shame and silence, do not fear coming forward and reporting sex abuse crimes because of the Church's recent bold public relations campaign.
Does the Church truly believe that survivors of clergy sex abuse should fight Goalith alone, without attorneys?
As a parent, I am struggling with the example of Church leaders and unfortunately, there is no way to sugar coat the truth. If we do, the integrity and moral direction of our country is at serious risk.
Freedom of religion never did and never will allow for sex abuse crimes, failures to report violations of the law or obstructions of justice.
It is obvious that the Church will continue to launch public relation campaigns, hire lobbyists to defeat legislation allowing victims to seek justice and Bishops will continue to preach from the pulpit that the Church seeks justice and healing for past sex abuses. Actions speak much louder than words - when will the Church learn?
As a society, we must never forget that freedom of religion does not allow sex abuse crimes. In addition, government and law enforcement officials must also be accountable for failures to investigate or prosecute crimes relating to sex abuse crimes committed by employees of rich and powerful religious institutions.
Thank God survivors of clergy sex abuses have attorneys with enough guts and courage to fight Goliath. It is interesting that you you never hear the Church question the attorneys hired to obstruct justice or legally stonewall our country's court systems.
Debby Bodkin, Founder, www.catholics4justice.com