U.N. faults U.S. for failure to prosecute abusive clerics

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WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. is failing to pursue and prosecute clergy guilty of child sexual abuse, according to a recent United Nations committee report.

The U.N.’s Committee on the Rights of the Child, in a little-noticed Jan. 25 report, urged the U.S. to “take all necessary measures to investigate all cases of sexual abuse of children whether single or on a massive and long-term scale, committed by clerics.”

David Clohessy, the director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, described national efforts to deal with child-molesting clergy as “woefully inadequate.”

“There has been and continues to be too cozy a relationship between religious and governmental figures,” Clohessy said. “Other than a handful of local prosecutors, there’s been almost no action at the state or federal level.”

The U.S. Department of Justice did not return requests for comment, and the National Association of Attorneys General declined to comment. Abuse cases are typically handled by local and state prosecutors, not the federal government.

Child abuse scandals have rocked various Christian and Jewish institutions throughout the U.S. in recent years, with the Catholic Church’s clergy abuse scandal that erupted in 2002 the most visible.

Earlier this month, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles stripped retired Cardinal Robert Mahony of his public duties after a court-ordered release of church documents showed that Mahony and others tried to shelter abusive priests from prosecution.

Clohessy said his group believes that if prosecutors were to target church leaders rather than individual priests, the problem would be solved much faster.

“If even a handful of bishops went to jail for enabling child sex crimes, we believe that that would introduce massive reform,” Clohessy said. “Predator priests would be caught after their third victim, not 33rd victim.”

Last year, Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, Mo., was convicted of failing to report an abusive priest, and a leading churchman in Philadelphia received three to six years in prison for shuffling known abusers across the archdiocese.

Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said that the hierarchy does a “huge amount” in order to prevent sex abuse within the church — much of it learned after the abuse scandal came to light.

“Every diocese is audited every year to see that every year that parishes have safe environment programs,” Walsh said, “which include educating children so that they are aware of inappropriate contact by an adult, and are encouraged to report anything that makes them uncomfortable to a trusted adult.”

Some victims’ advocates have criticized Pope Benedict XVI’s handling of sex abuse scandals during his reign, as well as before his election when he headed the Vatican department responsible for processing abuse cases.

The pope, for health reasons, will resign on Feb. 28, and some are now urging Mahony—who is eligible to vote for the next pope—to stay in the U.S. and not vote for his role in trying to shield known abusers from criminal prosecution.

  • This time –it is not only the Pope, but the present day leaders of the whole Christianity and the religions that came from it-will have to resign as the authority about God. May you read the following link:http://beforeitsnews.com/religion/2013/02/the-biblical-evidence-that-the-apostles-of-jesus-had-deceived-humanity-2448612.html

  • Electra

    The situation is much worse in Mexico where the complicity of authorities and ranking hierachy of the Church has caused numerous complaints by victims of sexual abuse and progressie Catholics. It is can of worms which, sooner or later, will hit the international media.

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  • kiki day

    Don’t let the pope walk away. Prosecute. This is our opportunity to right the systemic sin in our church. Don’t walk away from your duty as Catholics. If you believe, you have a responsibility to do what God calls us to do: act justly.

  • You really smashed it once again my good friend continue the great work I always get excitement from your own blogposts!

    ? !

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  • The WARNER Un-Censored 1St editions of All The Presidents Men reported that we had inserted a Black Operational Government into our Government that was derived from Electronic and Psychological Warfare Experiments conducted in Vietnam and that they had inserted a System To Delete The Need For War.
    Their has to be some concernment about the way our religious institutions and government have been compromised as and re classified as programs known for having a high association with having sex with under age children.
    it’s no wonder America has lost all public trust.
    Spy Sat Agency Let Child Molesters in Its Ranks Go Free
    By Robert Beckhusen
    Ted Gunderson may of not held up to the political attacks as well in his older age but he gave a good fight for America and was highly supported by the Media in the fact that child sex has a very expansive and powerful influence in America. . he died a great American trying to do the right thing.
    AIM Report: Bay State Teens Taught Queer Sex
    U.N. faults U.S. for failure to prosecute abusive clerics – Caleb Bell – 2013
    WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. is failing to pursue and prosecute clergy guilty of child sexual abuse, according to a recent United Nations committee report.
    Project 16 as signed in by the Bush Sr administration — Educational Experiment in NY and LA that lead to …………………………………..
    Theirs just so much to much to post here but it’s really a sad state of leadership that needs to be addressed by the public through confrontation !!!