In June 2015, Pope Francis instituted a tribunal for child abuse-cover up accusations within the Catholic Church After decades of alleged abuse, some are left wondering why it took the Vatican so long to organize this kind of response
So, how widespread is the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal? The first time we really heard about these abuses was back in the 1980s More recently, the Vatican revealed that since 2004, it has defrocked more than 800 priests accused of rape or molestation The church has also sanctioned some 2,500 with lesser penalties Since the 1950s, there have been roughly 17,000 reported victims of church sex abuse in the US alone And these are just the ones that have been reported
An estimated 15% to 5% of the clergy is thought to have been involved in cases from countries all around the world The media coverage of the scandal has been especially large in the United States and Europe But Latin America, Canada and Australia have also experience massive scandals In the U
S, since 1950, almost 7,000 priests were accused of abuse And it’s reported that the Catholic Church has spent over $25 Billion dollars nationally on lawsuits In Ireland during the 2000s, the government launched official investigations into the charges
Subsequent reports estimated that possibly tens of thousands of Irish children were abused – sexually and otherwise from the 1930s to the 1990s In the Netherlands, a recent report alleged that, over a span of 40 years, about 1 in 5 vulnerable children was molested by Catholic clergy However, some point to politics as the reason for our seeming media obsession with the church Cynics point out that several studies suggest that Catholic priests are no more likely to sexually abuse children than other religious authorities And some point to reports of similar coverups by the Boy Scouts of America for child sex abuse
But, perhaps unlike these others, the Catholic Church has been infamously known for turning a blind eye Some offending priests were simply relocated to another diocese [DY-uh-sis], where abuse could often continue However, this seems to be starting to change In an attempt to make amends, the Vatican has instructed bishops and superiors to report credible cases of abuse to local police in 2010
Furthermore, Pope Francis has “begged for forgiveness” from victims, and called the abuse a “leprosy in the church” The Vatican’s recent actions are certainly a step in the right direction, but the damages to the institution’s integrity as well as the damages suffered by the victims will likely have a lasting impact If you enjoy the videos we make, be sure you check out our brand new show TestTube 101 Julia, yup, you know her… and I are going to be exploring some interesting fun scientific topics together Click here to subscribe now, and we’ll see you over on that new channel! Thanks for watching!