Seeking Redress for Abuses Made by Clergy Members

The recent resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, who is the first pope to do so in nearly 600 years, has sparked some rumors on what’s the real truth behind it. And the haste by which he made the decision has even added more fuel to the fire of speculations around his sudden abdication of the papacy. Joseph Ratzinger said that health reasons and his age are the reasons for him vacating the highest post in the Catholic Church. However, there are those that cite other reasons for Benedict XVI’s historic decision to give up his papal title.


One of the issues to which many are attributing the Pope’s resignation is clerical sensual abuse of minors. The Catholic Church has always been hounded by sensual abuse crimes committed by its priests. The children who are the victims of such abuses can be as young as 3 years old and with most of them between the ages of 11 and 14.  Many of these cases extend over several decades and are usually brought to the fore years after the acts are committed. Such cases involved not only sensual acts but also physical abuse and humiliation.


Despite the efforts of the Catholic Church to keep these abuses under wraps, the controversial nature of these cases makes them a huge media fodder. And in this internet and mobile technology age, a story can spread like wildfire and reach a huge number of people in seconds. It is widely believed that these cases had been a big factor in the former pope’s resignation, although he cited health reasons and old age for his sudden relinquishment of the post he had held for almost 8 years.


Victims of these despicable acts used to be mum about what had happened to them for various reasons. One of these reasons is that the priest involved was usually looked up to by the family of the victim. Because of this, the victims found it hard to speak out, which added to the psychological injury. Today, however, many victims are now coming out to share their horrible stories.


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