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Sexual Abuse by Priests and the Pope's Letter of Apology

Milton Lee Norris

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When the Pope writes a letter apologizing for certain Priests who have been accused of sexually abusing children; what kind of message is this sending to the world? These priests in the Catholic Church have been caught with their pants down, or rather their robes in disarray, and a letter of apology doesn't seem to be appropriate for such scandals; these scandals are crimes.

One would think that the Catholic Church would be extremely hard-lined on such crimes; after all they use their strong voice when it comes to their views on homosexuality, or is that a massive cover up of some kind? Sexual abuse is a crime, so let's call it exactly what it is; crimes aren't usually punished by a Pastoral Letter of apology from the Pope, or at least they shouldn't be. When women, men or children are raped, that's sexual abuse; when the abuse is by a brother, uncle, father, mother, sister, a cousin or even a Priest, it's still sexual abuse and it's still a crime. Sexual abuse is even more deplorable when it happens in the Church; this is supposed to be in a sanctuary of safety. These so-called Priests should be in the business of caring, loving and teaching; they are there to absolve parishioners and others from their sins, not commit heinous crimes. Unfortunately it looks as if they're in the business of committing sexual abuse, and someone seems to be giving them absolutions for their sins; this isn't helping. Is it possible that some of the Priests have been absolving the sins for other Priests that are committing these sexual abuses; and are these Priests in question hiding behind their vows? Penance without incarceration and or some kind of strict punishment is not a lesson that anyone will ever learn from; it doesn't begin to address or solve the problem of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. If the Church is just absolving the sexual abuse sins of their fathers, then something must be done to stop this proliferation of sexual abuse. If there isn't any rehabilitation, and if there is no deterrent to prevent these abusive actions, then they will continue for another hundred years.

When allegations have been brought against certain Priests because of their alleged sexual abuse, is the Pope saying that a letter of apology from him is all that is needed for these Priests? Is the Pope saying that because they are part of the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church, that the Church will protect them because they are in the Church? Does the Roman Catholic Church use its Stole, Collar or other part of their Priestly Vestments or Sacred Vows to keep the truth from being told? The New York Police Officer's have an unspoken Blue Wall of Silence; what does the Roman Catholic Church have? If a Church is not going to divulge the entire truth, then where can we find truth and what can we believe in?

If a letter of apology is the mind set of this Pope, then I don't believe that this position is one of which he is capable of rendering decisions for the Roman Catholic Church or any other Church. If this is the best that he can provide, do people of the world consider him worthy to continue being the leader of the Roman Catholic Church?

It seems as if the Roman Catholic Church has allowed some of their Priests to hide behind the Church; in the instances of sexual abuse, I find this is unconscionable. One has to wonder that with the thousands of sexual abuse cases, which have been going on for a very long time; could this possibly be one of the real reasons that the Roman Catholic Church remains so homophobic? If they have known about the behavior of their own Priests, who have been indulging in what one would call lewd and ungodly behavior with children, then what are we left to think? Could that be one of the scenarios of which the Roman Catholic Church has been abiding?

Could the real reason for their homophobic attitude hidden behind their Priestly Vestments and the Vows of the Roman Catholic Church? Let's be real; these same Priests are the ones who have been celebrating the Eucharistic as they have been sexually abusing children, yet they have denied that same Eucharist to Gay Men and Women in the Roman Catholic Churches.

When someone gets slapped on the wrist with an apology letter for sexual misconduct, it makes me wonder if this could be a possible scenario. With all of the cases in the United States, no one can tell me that the Roman Catholic Church didn't know that they had a problem, but refused to address years ago.

The Pastoral Letter from the Pope only speaks of Ireland's sexual abuses; it does not address the sexual abuse of other countries or the thousands here in the United States of America. In my book, "Born In The Wrong Country," I speak of the sexual abuses in the Catholic Church in the United States. ".. "Raping little boys in Church, sodomizing children, and you're now just beginning to uncover those sins of the fathers, no pun intended, but yes fathers yours not mine. 10,667 cases of sexual abuse from 1950 through 2002 in the Catholic Church alone, and over $840,000,000.00 have been paid out since the 1950s."".

Today it is said "Ireland is one of the hardest hit Catholic countries, with some 13,000 known victims of clerical abuse."

Where does it stop; how many more findings of sexual abuse will be uncovered in the Catholic Church worldwide?

We are in the 21 century and before the Roman Catholic Church or any Church can teach about God or love, they must first clean out their own closets before they can speak of truth of anything else. Far too many lives have already been destroyed. To condone the crimes of these priests makes them just as guilty as the Priests that have committed those crimes.

Author's Bio: One might say that writing has become my fondest passion; it is a love that always gives, and one that I feel comfortable sharing. I write because writing has become the voice in which I can speak to many people, share experiences, stories and truths. I have written a non-fiction book called "Born In The Wrong Country," which I recently published through, and can be purchased through,, and others. I have lived and worked in New York City for just almost 37 years. I write because it is a very powerful way of spreading ideas, news and touching the human spirit. Writing can make one laugh, cry, smile, or it can enrage others when it presents truths, as it begins to enlighten people. Writing is like a photograph from the author's mind put into words.

April 1, 2010