America was shocked to learn of the extensive scope of sexual abuse within the Catholic church. In the state of Pennsylvania alone, over 300 priests were have found to have sexually abused minors.
In a nearly 900 page investigative report resulting from a grand jury investigation, around 1,000 cases of sexual abuse by priests documented. Due to the nature of the crimes and the shame involved, it is highly likely that there are thousands more cases that were not documented.
The rampant abuse by the clergy is appalling, but equally disturbing is the silence from church officials. According to NPR, the rampant and widespread abuse was being hidden by the upper echelons of the church.
"Despite some institutional reform, individual leaders of the church have largely escaped public accountability," the report mentions. "Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all."
The horrendous acts committed towards children by people in institutions of faith have caught the eye of Franklin Graham, who calls on the church to stand up for the children and stamp out this abomination once and for all in a heartfelt statement.
Read Franklin's full statement below:
"Everyone has been shocked and saddened by the disclosures that have surfaced about “predator priests” in the Roman Catholic Church. The magnitude of the abuse over the years is nearly incomprehensible—what happened to these children should grieve us all.
In 2012, the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said, “Many psychologists and many psychiatrists...have shown, and they told me recently, that there is a relationship between homosexuality and pedophilia.” Well, it’s clear the Catholic priesthood has a problem with both. Some people are speculating whether or not these priests would be subject to punishment in Hell for what they have done. The answer is that no one is exempt from the wages of sin, not even a priest.
Being religious—whether Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal, or any other label—is not what delivers us from the guilt and punishment of our sins. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can save us. But His salvation requires us to repent—to forsake our sins and accept by faith that what Jesus did on the cross, through His death, burial, and resurrection.
It’s time for church leaders to deal decisively and openly with this crisis. They have been covering it up for years, which allowed the abuse to perpetuate and grow in the darkness. Even one child is too many to have experienced this horror, and there are thousands."
Those are incredibly powerful words. Do you agree with Franklin?