With the Spotlight movie, Barbara Blaine‘s passing, Pope Francis’ belated admission of the Church’s failure to act, and most importantly, with the world moving on to other issues, like the countless victims of non-clerical sexual abuse and harassment, the Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivor’s Movement as we have known it is over.
Though sexual abuse by clerics is as old as the Church, the modern crisis in America began in the 1980s when a case was brought to the Vatican’s attention. The crisis first achieved national attention in the 1990s, with the crisis in New Mexico, Massachusetts, and elsewhere. Only in 2002 did the situation explode in the media. Since then, it went global. Abuse revelations have come from all across Europe, particularly Ireland, plus Canada, Australia, Latin America, and the Third World.
During it all, the Roman Catholic Church has sought to conceal the truth with pontifical secrecy. It strove to keep news isolated to local areas, moving priests around, and in particular, paying out large settlements to victims for their silence when successfully legally challenged. If that sounds familiar, it is because the same pattern is seen in every industry where sex abusers hide.
The clergy abuse crisis left a few victims who could prove their case well off, but not so the vast majority of us. Most of us will never be the same, never fully healed. We must struggle all our lives with intimacy and sexual issues, the inability to trust authority figures, and for the vast majority, no faith in God. Not only has the Church failed to protect us, its response further victimized us, leaving us as scapegoats, abandoned and rejected. Though we are still in pain, it’s up to us now to remind the world.
The purpose of this site
Clergy Victims Memorial has two goals: to serve as an online memorial with the latest related news, and to actually build a physical monument in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
You might also enjoy:
The news was startling. Barbara Blaine, the founder and longtime leader/spo...
Pope Francis is currently hosting a world synod of bishops to discuss vital...
UPDATE: Could this be the beginning of the end of the clergy crisis? The b...