According to the Netherlands’ NRC daily paper, over half the senior clerics in the Dutch Catholic Church have been implicated in covering up sexual assaults against children between 1945 and 2010.
The paper’s investigation found that 20 out of 39 Dutch cardinals, bishops and auxiliary bishops were involved in covering up abuse.
16 of these officials were informed of their priests engaging in sexual abuse, and rather than alerting the authorities, simply moved the priests to new parishes – where they went on to abuse more children.
The other four were abusers themselves.
This fits the pattern of abuse that has been revealed within the Catholic church on a global level.
For example last month the church in Pennsylvania was revealed to have been involved in covering up for an estimated 300 priests who molested over 1000 children.
According to the UK’s Independent that coverup went all the way up to the Vatican, though whether the current pontiff knew is unknown.
The accused in that case includes the current archbishop of Washington, DC.
The Atlantic reports that a study found that 3,600 were sexually abused by 1,670 clergy members over seven decades in Germany.
The Telegraph reported that Australian Catholic leaders vowed not to repeat the church’s history of covering abuse, but rejected the royal commission’s call for them to report abuse uncovered in confession.
This isn’t even getting into the horrors uncovered in Ireland.
According to the Catholic Herald the Pope has stated that he sees the hand of Satan in these revelations.
“In these times, it seems like the Great Accuser has been unchained and is attacking bishops,” Pope Francis said on Tuesday.
“A bishop’s strength against the Great Accuser is prayer, that of Jesus and his own, and the humility of being chosen and remaining close to the people of God, without seeking an aristocratic life that removes this unction.
“Let us pray, today, for our bishops: for me, for those who are here, and for all the bishops throughout the world.”
He also stated that elites criticise the church while the common people love it.
I don’t like Smiley Frank, what I call the Catholic Pope, and his statement on Tuesday exemplifies why.
Think about this – so long as these accusations were kept quiet and the image of the church left pristine, children, some as young as six or seven, were getting abused.
And the clerics who abused them, were just moved to new parishes when the parents found out and in these new parishes they found new victims.
Revealing all of this, according to Smiley Frank, was the devil’s work. He called on people to pray to God to defend the bishops from the devil who was revealing the abuse and how the church covered it up.
His prayer was not to stop priests abusing kids.
If the devil was involved in revealing the extent of the abuse in the church, a man who cared about the abused would welcome the revelations. You cannot solve a problem if you do not know about it.
In other words, Satan would be the hero of this story, the one doing what needs to be done to protect children.
That isn’t exactly what most people would view as a traditional view of the devil now is it?
Of course there is no supernatural agent required to explain any of this. We are responsible for our own actions, and those actions spawn consequences.
If you do bad things then you risk those bad things being discovered over time. It is not the devil that revealed the abuse, it was the victims, news reporters and other investigators working very hard and very heroically to bring this to light.
And it was not the devil who abused those kids, it was the clerics who did that, and they did it for the same reason that any abuser does it, because they thought they could get away with it, and because they wanted to do it.