Catholic Church Amidst New Allegations

Catholic Church Amidst New Allegations

Lily Drury, News Editor

New sexual abuse cases have arisen against the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania from over a thousand children according to an investigative report issued by a grand jury. This report shows that leaders of the Church knew about the abuse and consistently covered it up. Ever since the groundbreaking allegations from Boston in 2002, sexual abuse in the church as been a prevelant issue.

      The report goes into detail of the thousand cases that did come out, which do not account for the full number, as some victims may be too scared or emotionally scarred to come forward. This new round of allegations adds to the multiple accounts of abuse that have stained the reputation of the church in the past 20 years, and affected all of its members. While talking to the Church of St. Mary’s in Lake Forest, I was able to get a glance of the communities response to the recent news.

    Deacon Bob Thomas reported that there has not been a drop of attendance during the breaking of the new abuse cases.

    “This is a positive sign and shows the power and strength we can all receive from the Eucharist and being unified with our Lord,” wrote Deacon Thomas.

     When asked how he and the community of St. Mary’s has been affected by the recent allegations in Pennsylvania, Thomas wrote that he was personally affected more during these recent allegations than the past ones in 2002 due to him not being a deacon at the time of The Boston Globe report.

     “I am filled with prayerful reflection and prayers for those who are abused, as their pain is so deep. I pray to our Lord for healing and to the Holy Spirit to help guide us as we help those abused and promote healing throughout the world…. These are very difficult times for our world and our Church. We all want answers and to help those suffering from abuse. There seems to be no quick solution,” the Deacon wrote.

     St. Mary’s has given their community many forms of dialogue to discuss these issues and have taken actions to handle this in the best way. They have been praying for the victims at mass, and have taken to posting letters from the cardinal on their bulletin board.

     St. Mary’s has planned a prayer event and shared a prayer with all of their parishioners. By addressing the issue head on, the parish hopes to diminish any questions or fears their community may have.