The stated policies of the Catholic Church punish child molestation and categorize it as sinful. However, the Church has unfortunately fallen into a cycle of ignoring its founding doctrines, thereby allowing for corrupt officials to seize power and abuse it. For further information on recent cases regarding child molestation, please visit our Historical Information page.
The Bible, the sacred book of the Christian religion, specifically states that “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6). Jesus cherished children and did not wish for adults to abuse and misguide them. Moreover, the Bible argues that followers of Christ are obliged to take action before the child is mentally or emotionally scarred: “And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Since the Church was created to carry out Christ’s mission on Earth, it is its duty to help these children cope with abuse and discipline officials who use their position in the Church hierarchy to falsely gain the trust of children.
Furthermore, the Catechism of the Catholic Church describes the Church’s doctrine regarding child molestation, acknowledging that everything “Connected to incest is any sexual abuse perpetrated by adults on children or adolescents entrusted to their care. The offense is compounded by the scandalous harm done to the physical and moral integrity of the young who will remain scarred by it all their lives.” The Church needs to enforce its written policies instead of ignoring them in order to preserve its image. If the Church genuinely acted according to its own statements, several cases of inappropriate conduct by these warped clergy members would have been avoided. Additionally, the Church has publicly affirmed that “Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others.” The Church must do more than simply recognize that child molestation is disgusting and sickening, it must act upon its own statements and attempt to solve this problem.