Clergy abuse has been going on for decades, maybe even centuries. In fact, the FBI has launched an investigation to dig deeper into this scandalous epidemic in Louisiana. Clergymen take vows of celibacy. So, it is crucial to understand why they have been able to abuse people for so long with no accountability.
Institutional protection and secrecy
Instead of removing and defrocking priests guilty of sexual abuse, the Catholic Church prioritizes protecting their image by keeping the stories private. Church officials attempt to cover up the sexual abuse and transfer the priests to different parishes instead. The reputation of the church takes precedence over the people. Therefore, the abuse becomes a vicious and continuous cycle.
Churchgoers listen to the words of the priests as the Catholic Church bestows upon them the power and authority to preach the Word of God. Parishioners put priests on a pedestal or, in this case, the altar. They hang on to every word the priest says and teach their children to do the same. Priests can influence people positively and negatively because of their position. It makes it much easier for priests to sexually abuse innocent Catholic believers who trust in them for guidance and morality.
Innocence of children
Clergymen take advantage of children who cannot yet recognize what sexual abuse is and that it is happening to them. How can a child report something they do not know is wrong? Their parents encourage them to approach the priest, to confess to and confide in the priest. The priest again can use their position to manipulate the child to do things the child might believe will get them into heaven.
It is no longer a question of morality but criminality. Clergymen perpetuating sexual abuse and those who look the other way should not be in positions of authority. Victims of clergy abuse should hold their abusers accountable.