Over the last few weeks, news outlets have been chronicling the lies and predation of the Catholic Church after a 800+ page report was published on the problem, which spans seven decades of (known) cases and involves 300+ priests and 1000+ victims.
This is only in one state: there are fifty states, plus hundreds of other countries where the Catholic Church has much more of a presence than in the U.S. and its clergy is frequently treated as if it’s above reproach, with media reluctant to criticize it in many countries. No matter how we do the math, it’s obvious that this religious institution is corrupt to the core. This is compounded by the fact that it has a sovereign state of its own–Vatican City–where they can send their clergy members in order to avoid seizure and arrest in other countries. The confusing international legal frameworks and stratagems of this church, plus its army of Machiavellian lawyers, make it an even more dangerous institution than most people realize–as was made evident in the documentary The Keepers.
According to the report released in Pennsylvania, some of the priests used ritual and faith symbols in their predatory activities. One priest tied his victim in the confessional and used a crucifix in his act of sexual aggression (no clear details are given, but we can imagine that he used it as a dildo), and another one beat his victim with a crucifix. Another scene involves four priests who forced a boy to get naked and pose as Jesus on the cross while they took pictures. (I suppose sadistic rituals are okay as a kink as long as they’re consensual, but these acts were clearly not!)
In Patheos (the most widely read interfaith webpage) there have even been calls to categorize the Catholic Church as a dangerous, predatory cult, and Satanist columnist Jack Matirko wrote a public letter of defection in response to the scandal. I hope thousands more follow suit. In Argentina and Chile–where sexual abuse scandals have been their “daily bread” of news media for months now–similar movements of mass public apostasy have also taken place recently, sometimes triggered by Church influence on public policy concerning forced motherhood.
As a person who grew up subjected to Catholic indoctrination in a Hispanic culture, all I can say is it’s been a long time coming.