Posted by: coastcontact | February 24, 2013

Did the Pope Resign as the Result of Child Abuse/Sex Abuse Cases?

Pope BenedictThere are suspicions about the reason for Pope Benedict’s resignation.  After all, no pope has resigned in about 600 years.  The others all died in office.  I am sure that many of them were in poor health but continued as best they could. So why did the current pope believe he could no longer perform the duties required of the position?

CNN posted this on the bottom of their screen during “Reliable Sources” today.  “Italian media are buzzing with reports that the pope’s resignation was tied to a secret report on gay priests.  The Vatican strongly condemns the allegations, calling them ‘deplorable.’  The allegations may be deplorable (synonym for unforgivable) but are they accurate?

Here are the cardinals involved in sex abuse case cover-up:

  • Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston
  • Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York
  • Cardinal Roger Mahoney of Los Angeles

Instances of abuse listed on Wikipedia.  Even if these cases are exaggerated the extent of abuse is overwhelming.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas paid $30.9 million in 1998 to twelve victims of one priest.[21] In July 2003 the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville paid $25.7 million to “settle child sexual-abuse allegations made in 240 lawsuits naming 34 priests and other church workers.”[21]

In 2003 the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston also settled a large case for $85 million with 552 alleged victims.[87]

In 2004, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange settled nearly 90 cases for $100 million.[88]

In April 2007 the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon agreed to a $75 million settlement with 177 claimants and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle agreed to a $48 million settlement with more than 160 victims.[89]

In July 2007 the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles reached a $660 million agreement with more than 500 alleged victims, in December 2006, the archdiocese had a settlement of 45 lawsuits for $60 million.[23][90]

In September 2007 the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego reached a $198.1 million “agreement with 144 childhood sexual abuse victims.”[91]

In July 2008 the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver agreed “to pay $5.5 million to settle 18 claims of childhood sexual abuse.”[92] The Associated Press estimated the total from settlements of sex abuse cases from 1950-2007 to be more than $2 billion.[23] According to BishopAccountability reports that figure reached more than $3 billion in 2012.[6][20]

In the late 1980s allegations were made of physical and sexual abuse committed by members of the Christian Brothers, who operated the Mount Cashel Orphanage in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

In June 2010, Belgian police raided the Belgian Catholic Church headquarters in Brussels, seizing a computer and records of a Church commission investigating allegations of child abuse.

In April 2010 it was reported that former bishop of the Norwegian Catholic Church, Georg Müller, had confessed to the Norwegian Police in early January 2010 that he had sexually abused an underaged altar boy 20 years earlier.

In November 2010, an independent group in Austria [82] that operates a hotline to help people exit the Catholic Church released a report documenting physical, sexual, and emotional abuse perpetrated by Austrian priests, nuns, and other religious officials.

In 2012 an Australian police report in the Victoria state jurisdiction detailed 40 suicide deaths by people who had been abused by Catholic clergy.

Perhaps Pope Benedict is so dismayed that he can’t bring himself to lead the church any longer.  Perhaps he too is guilty of some of the crimes.  We will never really know.  It is sad that one of the world’s greatest religions has this horrible mark on its history.  What other marks does it have?


  1. Since its inception as a religion, the Catholic Religion has been one of the most ‘violent’ and controlling of all religions. Remember the ‘inquisition”? As to the this pope, it really is an indicator of how totally ‘full of flaws’ the Catholic church has become. Since I do not believe in religion, it might have a part of my reasoning.

  2. Yes, the Inquisition. I had completely forgotten about that horrifying event. The church was also silent during WWII.

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