Lost Faith, the Case of Church Abuse in New York, New Jersey and California
Current allegations on the New York churches have resulted in the aforementioned shattering.
Religion from the very beginning of humankind has played a fundamental role in the lives of people. Religion tends to affect the way things are interpreted and the way people relate to one another. It is closely associated with other social institutions such as marriage norms, family, etc. just like the current allegations on the New York churches.
For the longest time, religion has been the foundation of society. It has served as the guiding light to humankind. People place their faith in the hands of priests, preachers, fathers, and other religious teachers.
The plight of people whose faith has been shattered is inexpressible. Church officials accused many and convicted after decades of persecution by .
Throughout history, religious institutions were seen as places that provided safety to believers in need. During times of spiritual, economic, and bodily distress, people reach out to the churches for help.
However, after the recent revelations, many realized, churches were not places of love. No more comfort for children who had suffered sexual abuse during the past several decades. These children, who were seeking refuge and comfort in churches, experienced sexual abuse. It was perpetrated by clergy and other highly regarded members of their faith communities.
Horrors of clergy Sexual Abuse.
During the summer of 2018, the Pennsylvania grand jury brought to light the horrors of clergy sexual abuse. Hundreds of priests who were accused of abusing over a thousand children over several decades were identified in this report.
Speaking of the number of these cases, 162 allegations of abuse were made, where victims claimed to not only have been abused in churches but also in daycares and hospitals by the end of the mid-1990s.
Over 5,000 cases emerged against the clergy members after the statute-of-limitations was revised from 26 years to 40 years. A statute-of-limitations refers to the timeframe from the occurrence of the crime within which one can file a lawsuit.
The Democratic Legislature in Albany last year passed the Child Victims Act, after years of opposition from private schools and religious organizations, among others.
It created a so-called look-back window of one year which extends till August 14, 2020, allowing old claims that had passed the statute-of-limitations to be revived.
More than five hundred thousand dollars were shed in settlements, legal fees, and jury awards in allegations on churches.
Megabucks have been spent over 20 years by the Catholic churches who had been denying and lobbying so that cases of abuse never come to light. The money spent by Roman Catholics on sex abuse cases increased to about one billion dollars by the year 2002 and a hundred fifteen million dollars by 2007.
In September, Diocese of Rochester filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection. This happened a month after the Child Victims Law came into effect. The Buffalo diocese has been rocked by a series of crises in recent years under the leadership of Bishop Richard J. Malone, whose mishandling of abuse claims led to an investigation by the Vatican, and consequently, his resignation in December.
The sheer volume of claims led to speculation that one or more of the eight dioceses in New York could declare bankruptcy.
Innocence of children
An estimated 217,000 Catholics of the Diocese of Syracuse live in seven counties of South Central and Central regions of New York State. The seven aforementioned counties are- Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, and Oswego. Within these seven counties, the Diocese has 119 parishes.
Children, along with their faith, are placed in the hands of these religious organizations. To embody teachings and morals that make this world a better place to live. However, it is inhuman and unfair for the children whose faith and trust is shattered by the members of these religious organizations because of their heinous acts.
Members took advantage of the innocence of these children. This should not happen especially when the advantage is taken when hiding behind the veil of religion. When the faith, which drives children to the churches, fails, their faith in law is all they have.