Pope Been-a-dick XVI has summoned Cardinals from all around the globe to meet next week to discuss the clerical sex abuse scandal, among other things. The meeting comes as awareness of the scandal has peaked over the past few years, with abuse survivors marching and protesting at the Vatican last week. When the Pope was previously Cardinal Ratzinger, he had numerous opportunities to act on abusive clergy, which he time and again failed to do citing "what's best for the church," but he now promises action.
He took no action on a priest who molested over 200 deaf boys over 20+ year span, even though Cardinals wrote directly to him requesting action. Ratzinger failed to act on their request, but did grant the aging offending priest his request when he asked to be allowed to "live out the time that I have left in the dignity of my priesthood."
He also failed to defrock an Oakland priest in the 1980s, even though the Oakland diocese recommended that the man be defrocked. Oakland's Bishop even warned that a scandal would certainly arise out of inaction, while acting quickly to defrock the priest would certainly avoid a scandal.
Nothing new, and there are more where those came from. For decades these priests have committed sexual abuse on kids, and I can't imagine how a good parent could take their children to these people any longer. Some argue that abuse rates aren't any higher among priests than they are among other men, but this argument misses the point (and isn't even right). Let's say there's a scenario where a boy is violated by a teacher at a public school. Imagine now that the school board knows of this transgression and does ABSOLUTELY nothing about it. Not only that, but they tell the boy and his parents that if they want the boy to continue getting an education, they'll have to go on as if nothing happened. Or, if the boy is lucky, the board removes the offending teacher and places him at a new school, with no more supervision, and with no warning to the new school about this teacher's past. This has been the enabling environment of the Catholic Church forever, and an environment like this cannot help but produce more offenders.
Altarboys.net claims that there is a lopsided percentage of catholic priests molesting young boys, compared to the rest of the population. It cites a study which claims that "94% of abuses by religious authorities were sexual in nature. Over half of these cases (54%) involved perpetrators and victims who were Catholic, even though Roman Catholics comprise only 25% of the United States population. The minor victims of priest abuse are overwhelmingly boys and teenagers, which is
contrary to the pattern of abuse in the general population."