The Dallas Morning News: Catholic Church needs to make protecting children its top priority

August 30, 2018

The Catholic Church’s most recent — and perhaps most depraved — sexual-abuse scandal is stunning and has hit our community and our state hard. According to the most recent U.S. Religion Census, at least 56 percent of Texans are adherents to a religion; of those, nearly 20 percent are Catholics. But one need not be a Catholic nor an adherent to any faith to be sickened by the Pennsylvania grand jury report that identified 301 “predator priests” throughout the state who abused more than 1,000 children — some as young as 2 years old — over seven decades.

No prison sentence, fine or award of damages can ever make up for the abuse of a child. Such crimes, as Pope Francis wrote, “inflict deep wounds of pain and powerlessness, primarily among the victims, but also in their family members and in the larger community of believers and nonbelievers alike.”

We must hope — and yes, pray — that the Catholic Church can reform itself. It remains an important institution and must take every measure to continue to be so. But we must be vigilant and hold all individuals who abuse a child, or fail to report abuse, accountable for what are nothing less than crimes against humanity.

— The Dallas Morning News

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