This is not a new revelation. Abuse within the Catholic church has been taking place for decades, almost 20 years ago the public, as well as victims, were led to believe that, that abuse had been held to justice, two decades after the Boston Globe’s reporting, beurocracy within the church has resulted in the reinstatement of bishops accused of sexual abuse.
The Last month has redefined the Catholic church forever. For the first time in history, the Pennsylvania grand jury released a report in August, accusing 300 Catholic priests of abusing over 1,000 minors, not across the world, or even in the US, but in that single state.
The report alleged that DC Archbishop Donald Wuerl at that time the bishop of Pittsburgh, knowingly allowed several paedophile priests to return to active ministry after accusations of child sex abuse.
The New York Times reported that a group of about 50 Catholic schoolteachers picketed the Archdiocese of Washington’s traditional Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Making it one of the only times The Archdiocese of any state has been challenged, let alone by members of its own religion.
Whilst this is not the first time members of the Catholic church have received allegations of sexual abuse, the work of the press in the last decade has seen Spotlight teams, Netflix original documentaries, as well as independent investigative journalists, hold those in power to respond. It is the work of these entities that has led to the release of the grand jury report, as well as the cooperation of its victims in a time where sexual abuse discussions are becoming more viable channels of conversation in mainstream society.
Now for the most recent revelation. In an incendiary open letter, former Vatican official, ex-papal nuncio Carlo Maria Viganò called for Pope Francis to resign for willfully turning a blind eye to ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s decades of sexual abuse and harassment against ‘junior seminarians’.
The letter progresses to imply that Pope Francis’s acceptance of homosexuality, cultivated a premise for sexual abuse within the Vatican.
In a separate open letter, Cardinal Raymond Burke, one of Francis’s main critics said: “The corruption and filth which have entered into the life of the Church must be purified at their roots,” and then called for a full investigation of the allegations.
The first time that both Vatican officials and Catholic conservative intellectuals, groups that have historically been secretive of the Church, are now openly using protective of the church’s secrecy, are harnessing the most recent accusations as a premise to oppose Pope Francis’s position.