| Indulgences Return:
Throughout history, the church’s most severe problems stem from its lack of transparency and ability to conceal scandals and the ulterior motives of the church hierarchy.
One of the most notorious wrongdoings of the church was its sale of indulgences. Indulgences were marketed as the complete forgiveness for a person’s sins even if the recipient of God’s grace was deceased. Although indulgences fell out of favor hundreds of years ago, the Church has yet again begun handing out similar pardons for sins in the form of leniency towards child molesters.
In one case, Father Murphy, a Priest of the Catholic Church, sexually abused several deaf children. The Church ignored the issue when it threatened to become public. The children, at the time of the events, reported the abuse to three archbishops, two police departments, and the district attorney, who all overlooked the scandal. However, after Murphy’s death in 1998, the public was finally informed about the abuse. Unfortunately for the children, Father Murphy never suffered capital punishment for his sickening actions.
The most egregious case of the Church bureaucracy hiding child molestation was when the archbishop emeritus of L.A., Roger Mahony, was accused of covering up these cases of cruelty. Numerous clerics under Mahony were allowed to continue abusing countless children due to Mahony’s criminal behavior. This came to light in January, with the Church being forced to release dozens of documents confirming that Mahony took no action to prevent priests from sexually abusing children. The Church only stripped Mahony of his duties but not of his title of a priest. Unfortunately, not many cases were presented to the court before the legal amount of time a person can be prosecuted for a molestation cases had expired.