March 5, 2013, USA Today
In Rome, where 115 cardinals are gathering to elect a new pope, the conclave will include these luminaries: Cardinal Roger Mahony, former archbishop of Los Angeles, who in the 1980s plotted with an adviser to conceal child molesting priests from law enforcement. Cardinal Sean Brady, the leader of Ireland’s church, who failed in the 1970s to follow up on incriminating evidence against a priest, who went on to become a notorious serial molester. Cardinal Godfried Danneels, the former head of the Belgian church, who once advised an adult victim of 13 years of childhood abuse against making “a lot of noise” about it because his molester, a bishop, was about to retire.The full list of cardinals who abetted the child abuse scandal that has dogged the church for more than a decade is longer. Under church law, no one can force these cardinals to forgo voting, but they should. It is impossible to overstate the breadth and depth of the child molestation scandal, or the damage done to both the children and the credibility of the church. In the U.S. alone, more than 16,000 victims have reported abuse. Similar scandals have roiled Australia, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium and Benedict XVI’s own Germany, each revealing thousands more victims. The details in each country are as horrifying as they are familiar. Hundreds of priests abused and raped children. Reports of abuse were ignored. Victims were sometimes muzzled. Predator priests were shuffled off to other parishes to molest again. And the highest church leaders often fought to keep the details secret.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on sexual abuse scandals, including involvement of several Catholic Cardinals directly implicated in the sex abuse scandals, click here. To learn how child sex-abuse rings lead to top levels of leadership around the world, watch the powerful Discovery Channel documentary “Conspiracy of Silence” at this link.