Comments by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News
In the years we have covered the topic of “medical kidnapping” and child abductions through child social services, we have exposed the corruption behind these “legal” kidnappings, and the reasons why they happen.
Most of these foundational articles are found on our About Us page.
One of the reasons, tragically, that children are kidnapped and taken from their families is for child sex trafficking, which some have reported brings in more money than the illegal drugs and illegal gun trade, combined.
Sadly, religious institutions, many of which have their own child social services, can be among the worst offenders when it comes to trafficking and kidnapping children.
Health Impact News investigative reporter John Thomas takes an in-depth look into the child sex scandals of the Roman Catholic Church in this article, the first one of a three-part series on this topic.
The Truth About Pedophile Priests and Child Molestation in the Roman Catholic Church
by John P. Thomas
Health Impact News
The Roman Catholic Church is on the verge of an internal civil war.
The battleground is between those who would liberalize the traditional definition of immoral sexual behavior for its clergy, and those who want to restore the conservative values of the Catholic faith as it has been known for more than a thousand years.
The scandal involving pedophile priests and the cover-up of their crimes against children and young men is bringing the liberal/conservative clash into sharp focus. 
It is still a crime in the United States for an adult to have sexual encounters with boys and girls. Such crimes are called sexual assault or child molestation.  Those who commit such crimes are called pedophiles.  There are no exceptions granted by these laws for members of the clergy.
By focusing on the pedophile crimes committed by clergy of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) in this article, I am not overlooking the crimes other pedophile groups commit against children — Those acts are equally immoral and illegal!
The focus of this article is on the types of criminal charges levied by the Pennsylvania grand jury investigation against predator priests and the cover-up of those crimes by the Roman Catholic hierarchy of bishops and cardinals.
Clearly, Protestant churches also have clergy and staff that who have committed sex crimes , but the focus today is on the Roman Catholic Church (RCC).
This is the first of three articles on pedophilia in the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). This article goes much deeper than one on one sex crimes against children. It also looks at the systematic cover-up of those crimes by the Catholic hierarchy.
A future article will look at the trafficking of children for use as sex slaves and the use of children for ritualistic sacrifices. Another article will highlight the heroic Catholic priests and bishops who are risking their lives to tell the truth about what is happening in their church.
Some of these whistleblowers are now in hiding in fear for their lives, while others have been killed or blackballed from parish work.
The Consequences of Having been Sexually Molested as a Child are Devastating
The lives of thousands of children have been destroyed by the network of pedophile priests. It often breaks the capacity to trust other people and cripples the ability to have healthy adult relationships with spouses and their own children.
Some victims of child molestation find it impossible to hold down meaningful employment, because of their inability to interact with authority figures in the workplace.
Perhaps worst of all, for many, the victims of child sexual assault have lost their ability to have a positive relationship with God.
Sadly, many will never face the difficulty of marriage and employment, because the resulting shame, anxiety, and depression drove them to suicide.
Underneath the sexual abuse of children, whether homosexual or heterosexual, there is a fundamental devaluing of human life. Perpetrators arrogantly see children as expendable beings to be used for their pleasure regardless of the consequences to the child.
As a society, we have been learning to value our children and move beyond the notion that children are our expendable possessions. [8, 9]
Sadly, as we see in the scandal that is rocking the Catholic Church today, there are apparently many who do not agree with the principle that children should be protected and defended from harm as a first priority.
The long history of Catholic orders of priests and nuns taking care of widows and orphans — those who are sick, poor, disabled, or prisoners, and feeding the hungry — which goes back beyond the 14th century , is being marred by evil acts of child abuse.
The disclosure of rampant sexual molestation, torture, and neglect of children by priests and nuns has become commonplace in the Catholic institutions that were intended to serve children. [22, 24]
The widespread molestation of children by priests in local parishes throughout the United States [5, 11] has further broken the trust people once had in Catholic institutions.
Child Sexual Molestation Must be Reported to Police as a Crime
Most states require that incidences of child sexual abuse or molestation are to be reported to the police as a crime regardless of who commits the crime. 
The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect defines child sexual assault as:
“Contacts or interactions between a child and an adult when the child is being used for sexual stimulation of the perpetrator or another person when the perpetrator or another person is in a position of power or control over the victim.”
Sexual abuse has been defined to include:
“…inappropriate physical contact, making a child view sexual acts or pornography, using a child in making pornography, or exposing an adult’s genitals to a child.” 
Adults who commit repeated acts of child molestation are called pedophiles.
Pedophiles are sexually attracted to children and want to use their sexual power to dominate and control someone who is smaller and weaker. 
It’s about using children for sexual gratification and about the building up of self-esteem. All pedophile acts are illegal. 
Is Pedophilia a Crime or a Mental Illness?
From a mental health perspective, pedophilia is considered to be a mental illness.
An opinion article published in The New York Times reports there is a movement in the Unites States asking for a softer response to pedophiles and to treat them as unfortunate victims of an illness.
Some would even suggest that we consider pedophiles to have a disability that should provide them with protection by disability laws – since they can’t help being who they are. 
It may be true that some pedophiles experience sexual attraction to children and don’t act on their attraction (attraction is not a crime). However, for those who do act upon their impulses, pedophile acts still remain a heinous crime against innocent victims.
The Hierarchy of the RCC Treats Child Molestation as a Personnel Matter
Apparently, the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) has not considered child molestation of boys and girls by priests to be criminal activity.
Rather, officials of the RCC consider child molestation and child rape by priests to be confidential personnel matters. The hierarchy treats perpetrators more like victims of an illness rather than as perpetrators of crimes. [4, 5]
As we learned from the Pennsylvania grand jury report on sex crimes committed by priests in that state, priests were rarely disciplined for what is euphemistically called “inappropriate behavior” and were systematically moved from one church to another after being counseled and told to pray more when their sex crimes began to become public. [4, 5]
Statistics show that 82% of pedophile sex crimes identified in the Pennsylvania grand jury report were against boys and 18% were against girls. 
$4 Billion Payment of Damages for Sex Crimes didn’t Make the Problem Go Away
Sex crimes against children by RCC priests were sometimes resolved privately throughout the United States with large payouts of money in exchange for silence.
Over 4 billion dollars was paid out to victims between 1950 and 2015 for crimes committed by priests. 
Reports from records kept by bishops of the RCC indicate that priests committed crimes against an estimated 15,000 children in these cities: Boston, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Bernardino CA, Oakland, San Francisco, San Diego, Lafayette LA, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Camden NJ, Bridgeport CT, Oklahoma City, Louisville KY, Chicago, Tucson, Seattle, Spokane, Fort Worth , Dallas, Omaha , Jackson MS, Milwaukee, Toledo, Davenport IA, Denver, Portland OR, Charleston SC, St. Petersburg FL, Miami, Orlando, St. Augustine, St. Louis, Fairbanks AK, Wilmington DE, Hartford CT, Burlington VT, Altoona-Johnstown PA , Manchester NH, Washington D.C., and in many other cities.
It is estimated that only one third of these victims have come forward to file for damages. 
The Problem is Actually Much Larger than the RCC Bishops Report
Priests actually accused of sex crimes against children total 5,700 to 10,000. Because of the statute of limitations, only a few hundred of these pedophile priests have been tried, convicted, and sentenced for their crimes. 
Criminal indictments in Pennsylvania for sex crimes against children have rocked the Catholic World including the Vatican. 
“More than 300 predator priests in Pennsylvania are accused of abusing over 1,000 children across seven decades,” a Pennsylvania Grand Jury reported in August of 2018.
Their report decried a systematic cover-up of these crimes by the hierarchy of the RCC.
“More than 1,000 child victims were identifiable, but the real number was ‘in the thousands,’ the grand jury estimated, given those children whose records were lost or who were afraid to ever come forward.” 
State Attorneys General in 10 states, including Missouri and Illinois, are investigating sex crimes committed by Catholic clergy in their states. In Nebraska, the state Attorney General is inviting people to come forward to tell him their stories of sex abuse in preparation for a possible investigation. [12, 14]
In Michigan, Attorney General Bill Schuette ordered simultaneous surprise raids on the offices for each of the seven Catholic Church dioceses. 
Archbishop Claims that he didn’t know that Sex with Children was a Crime
During a deposition about sex crimes against children, Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis, Missouri, claimed that he couldn’t remember when he realized that a priest having sex with a child was a crime.
He now knows, but can’t remember when he had this realization. 
The following clip from his testimony speaks volumes about how high-level Catholic clergy are trying to protect themselves and criminal priests who have sex with children.
See: Testimony of Archbishop Robert Carlson from 2014. Most pertinent information begins at 3:45:
It’s more than Individual Crimes – It is Interstate Conspiracy
Evidence is mounting that high-level church officials, including many US bishops, archbishops, cardinals, and even Pope Francis, were aware of pedophile acts against young boys by priests, and they condoned these crimes by covering them up.
They protected offending priests and shifted them between church parishes in different states when their criminal child molestation began to be exposed. 
The transfer of known pedophile priests between parishes in different states has triggered the possible application of federal racketeering laws known as RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations). 
Knowingly covering up criminal activity of pedophile priests and promoting the continuation of their crimes by sending them to other states could be seen as racketeering. Conviction under federal RICO laws could lead to the confiscating of Catholic Church assets throughout the United States. 
Fake News from Catholic News Organizations is Hiding the Full Story
Many longtime Roman Catholics may be finding the preceding information hard to believe and may find the information in the remainder of this article beyond belief.
Many have been getting their news about the RCC from tightly controlled and officially sanctioned media outlets of the RCC. They have been fed a steady diet of fake news from these news outlets saying that all is well with the church.
However, a group of conservative Roman Catholics, historically faithful to the traditional values of the RCC, has established an alternative news organization to present the truth about the criminal and moral failings of priests and leaders in their church.
They are revealing the truth that not all is well. Their goal is to cleanse the church of moral and criminal corruption, which they see as closely related to the existence of a self-protecting network of priests and bishops who have a history of molesting children and sexually assaulting young male seminarians.
This news service is called “Church Militant.” They recently published a commentary about fake news that is being distributed by many RCC news services, which are controlled by Catholic Bishops or Catholic institutions.
One of their investigative journalists is Michael Voris. Mr. Voris is the author of Militant: Resurrecting Authentic Catholicism published in 2016. 
Mr. Voris is one of the key spokespersons for the alternative RCC news service – Church Militant. 
He explains that most mainstream Catholic news organizations report the “news” that the establishment of the church wants reported. They function more like press release readers than journalists. 
Mr. Voris stated:
There is something sort of floating around in the Catholic ether that needs to be addressed head-on. It is the credibility of Catholic “news” outfits that have close association with the church establishment – and those associations can be either direct or indirect financial relationships.
Some of them are directly dependent on the bishops such as CNS (Catholic News Service), which is the bishop’s news outfit.
And then there are others, many others in fact, that are closely related financially and are dependent on keeping good relations with bishops like CNA (Catholic News Agency), EWTN, Relevant Radio, even Bill Donohue at the Catholic League to a degree because he needs the approval of the establishment to keep appearing that everything he says is trustworthy – like all of them – so he can keep getting paid.
These outfits cannot afford to fall out of favor with the bishops because they will suffer tremendously in the area of advertising or exposure or having the seal of approval taken away or getting access to various church events and personalities for interviews and all of that.
In short, they are beholden to the establishment and therefore cannot take too great of a chance of running afoul of them.
This is also true of multiple Catholic radio outfits that are essentially EWTN affiliates. They are allowed to air EWTN programming for free, but they must tow the party line because if they don’t then the programming will be taken away and now they are high and dry without very much to broadcast. …
At the end of the day there is this sort of monolithic structure of Catholic news outfits that in the end aren’t really news.
Here is the rule of thumb, if they are on good terms with the establishment – WATCH OUT. They report to you only so much.
There is a line that they will not cross because since they are to varying degrees dependent on bishops that would be professional suicide and well everyone likes a paycheck. …
They cannot be relied upon to bring you the entire truth in complete context. I’m sorry, having spent my entire professional career over three decades in secular media as a professional – truth and context are everything.
Right now, many of these outfits are more PR outfits for the bishops rather than news outlets.
Where were these Catholic journalists for all these years, those who had the inside track on such knowledge when children and seminarians were being raped by homosexual clergy?
Again, this has gone on for decades.
Where were they when the faith life of the church was being completely gutted by malevolent men in bishop’s robes?
They were nowhere to be found.
They were off collecting their paychecks, reading and printing diocesan press releases telling you everything is good in the church. 
Watch the full commentary from Michael Voris:
The Problem of Sex Crime Cover-up has Risen to the Vatican
It is now believed that Pope Benedict’s resignation in 2013 may have been triggered by a 300-page Dossier that he received reporting the immoral behavior and sex crimes of priests in the RCC. 
Allegations are now being raised against Pope Francis which suggest that he is part of the cover-up of criminal activity by priests.
He continues to be silent on recent allegations being made against him and pedophile clergy by faithful Catholics who are demanding that he take the lead in addressing the sexual scandals in the RCC. 
Watch the Vortex commentary for the full details about the silence of Pope Frances:
Pope Francis Blocks Investigation into Sex Crime Cover-up by a Cardinal
Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the Vatican’s former doctrine chief, revealed that just months into the papacy of Pope Francis, the Pope blocked an investigation into sex abuse allegations against Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor.
A member of the “St. Gallen Mafia,” Murphy-O’Connor played a key role in electing Francis to the papacy. 
The St. Gallen Mafia was a group of cardinals and bishops that worked for years to elect Jorge Bergoglio (now known as Francis) as Pope.
The group wanted a drastic reform of the Church to make it much more modern and current. 
Did Pope Francis Know about the Rape of Deaf Students by Priests?
CBS News reported on the sex abuse scandal at the Antonio Provolo Institute with locations in Italy and Argentina.
Hundreds of deaf children at both institutes were serially raped by Catholic priests over several decades.
When the abuse was exposed in Italy, the priests were transferred to a location in Argentina where under Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, they continued their crimes against children at the Argentinian school. 
Conclusion: Time to Speak Out Against Sexual Molestation by Catholic Priests
This is clearly a time for Roman Catholics to voice their opinions about the crimes going on in their church. The practice of being silent about sexual molestation and letting the hierarchy take care of the matter is coming to an end, because the criminal justice system is starting to do what the church hierarchy failed to do during the last 70 years.
When I read excerpts from the 1,400 page Pennsylvania Grand Jury report on sex crimes committed by priests, I was deeply saddened to read reports such as the following:
By a man testifying before the Grand Jury on October 18, 2016:
The man came forward in 1994 and reported he had been sexually molested by Father Guy Marsico while at St. Leo the Great (in Rohrerstown).
Marsico asked the boy’s parents for permission for the boy to spend the night at the rectory. The boy’s parents knew he wanted to be a priest and granted permission for the boy to stay overnight.
The boy went to the rectory to stay overnight. Marsico had boxes on a spare bed. Marsico told the victim he could not remove the boxes and that he had to sleep in the same bed with Marsico. Marsico made the boy undress. Marsico gave the boy full body massages and touched the boy’s penis. Marsico put his mouth on the boy’s penis. The boy stated that Marsico and he slept together in the same bed overnight. The boy also blacked out for a period of time due to fear. The boy was 13 years old at the time.
The boy disclosed that he told his mother about the abuse when he was 14 years old. His mother did not tell anyone. The boy told his father about the abuse when he was 16 years old. His father did not tell anyone.
The boy felt strong enough to report the abuse to the Diocese of Harrisburg. Diocesan officials confronted Marsico. Marsico admitted to sleeping in the same bed with the boy and giving him massages. Marsico stated that he “brushed his penis aside” when massaging the boy’s stomach and pelvic area. Marsico sent the boy a letter of apology.
The Diocese of Harrisburg agreed to pay for prescription medications and counseling for the boy. The boy later found out that his counselor reported what occurred during his counseling to the Diocese. The boy disclosed that he attempted suicide in 1986. 
Apparently, it is common for Catholic parents to learn about sexual molestation of their children and to do nothing about it.
I was raised Roman Catholic in the 1960s and was somehow indoctrinated to believe that priests and nuns were special people who shouldn’t be questioned. It appears that kind of training was common, and these parents and many other Catholic parents just weren’t willing to stand up for their children when confrontation of a priest and his crimes was needed. See:
If there was ever a time to speak out about cases of sexual molestation, now is the time.
Regardless of the state where you live, if you have been molested by a priest or nun, or you are the parent of a child who has been molested, then you may wish to file a report with your local law enforcement agency.
You also may wish to contact the attorney general’s office in your state and provide the office with your testimony about what happened.
About the Author
John P. Thomas is a health writer for Health Impact News. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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