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Dark Side of the Catholic Church

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The Catholic Church has been corrupted since it has been established, but more recently has the secrets of the church surfaced. They have been faced with sexual assault allegations, corrupted leaders and hierarchy, and many other disturbing things that should not go on inside a church. The authority inside the church do not help the reputation of it either. They hire and do things that a person of that title should not do.

The leaders in the church do not care about the church and the people in it. For example, a priest with a history of child molestation was hired on a board that assisted the church decide what to do when handed rape allegations (Lee). The Pope himself has been a part of the scandal. He dismissed sexual abuse accusations about a Chilean Bishop named Juan Barros. He also knew about the abuse of nuns and did nothing to help (Horowitz). Another example is that the Vatican did not talk about the abuse of their nuns for some time before finally speaking out, but even then, they were not much help to the nuns (Max).

The sexual abusers of the nuns do more harm than good after they abuse the women. They think that they are helping the women by making them repent, or in other cases, paying for their abortions after they rape them. Abused nuns are emotionally and physically traumatized by the men’s actions. One nun stopped going to confession unless it was her spiritual father because she was assaulted by two priests (Max). Another woman said that the bishop’s actions became more inappropriate until the day he raped her (Pope). Often times nuns are told that they have to pay for the men’s help with ‘sexual favors’ (Max). The church has been no help to these women at all. They are often paid to be quiet, others are thrown onto the street alone once they speak out (Horowitz). On another occasion, an entire congregation of abused nuns was shut down. Instead of punishing the men, they threw the women out and shut the entire thing down. The men also make excuses for their actions. They convince the women that they cannot help it and that they have no control (Pope). They also blame their actions on the fact that they were abused as children themselves. These men need to own up to their actions and face the consequences instead of brainwashing the women and fooling them into thinking that what they are doing is right.

But not all of the nuns are the victims. There are cases of nuns abusing children, and since the church is so focused on the priests, abusing children and women, they have not said much of anything about this problem. One young girl was raped by a nun for years (McKay). Some nuns are known for beating children based on the way they make their beds, read their prayers, and what they wear. One woman stated that while she was in a Catholic home, a nun ripped her clothes off in front of all the other children due to the nun being able to see her under garments. The same nun also sexually assaulted and violated the girl in a boiler room with a maintenance man (Nadi). The church has been so focused on the priest scandals that they do not do much to help the children or punish the nuns, just like the priests that are accused of abuse.

Some of the cases of abuse are highly disturbing. “Another boy was repeatedly raped from ages thirteen to fifteen by a priest who bore down so hard on the boy’s back that it caused severe spine injuries. He became addicted to painkillers and later died of an overdose” (Michelle). Priests also made a boy pose naked, as Jesus Christ on a cross, while they photographed him with a polaroid. They then gave him and others gold cross necklaces to mark them as being ‘groomed’ for abuse (Michelle). The most disturbing cases are when the priests attack during the practice of the religion or when they make the victim feel as if it’s their fault. One seven-year-old boy was sexually assaulted by a priest who then told the boy he should confess his sins to the same priest (Michelle). In Italy, a priest forced himself onto a nun while she was confessing her sins to him (Max). A priest forced a nine-year-old boy to perform oral sex on him, then ‘purified’ the boy’s mouth with holy water (More). These children are assaulted and then told they should repent and ask for forgiveness for their ‘sins’.

Most of the victims are young boys, and this mostly has to do with the hidden sexuality of the priests. Homosexuality is against the Catholic religion, yet one in every five priests are homosexuals. These priests will preach on Sundays and lead a double life every other day of the week (Snyder). Many Catholics have identified the abuse as being homosexual pederasty. Gay priests have even made their way into authority figures, most of the prelates and clerics are gay and are in great authority (Snyder). The homosexual priests are primarily the ones who are the abusers, yet they are still apart of the church and are looked up to by the rest of the Catholics.

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Sexually abusive priests have allegations all across the world. In India, a bishop was arrested after being accused of raping a nun thirteen times (Pope). There are also accusations that Pope Francis knew of sexual misconduct by certain people in the church, such as Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick. A Vatican official even quit after being accused of sexually abusing a former nun (Horowitz). One priest was accused of having thirty different lovers (Snyder).

Although most of the accusations made against the church are about sexual misconduct, not all of them are. For example, the chairman of the Vatican’s children’s hospital was accused of using around half a million euros on renovating a penthouse, when the money was meant for the children (Nadeau). That is not the only example of the misuse of money. Bishop Michael Bransfield spent over $4.6 million renovating his residence, giving gifts to clergy, liquor, and flowers (Lavish). In Chicago, the church used money for schools to deal with other problems, such as the sexual abuse allegations. That is where a lot of the Church’s money goes. They use it to pay for silence from the victims or to protect themselves from the allegations. The dioceses in Tuscan, Arizona, Spokane, Washington, Portland, Oregon, Davenport, Iowa, and San Diego all got bankruptcy protection while the sexual abuse cases started to surface. Churches have been paying the victims over a course of several years. All the way back in 1998, the church paid $30.9 million to 12 sexually abused victims of one priest. In 2004, one church settled ninety cases for $100 million. The L.A. church had a $660 million agreement with five-hundred victims in 2007. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver paid $5.5 million to settle eighteen cases of childhood abuse in 2008. The most disturbing thing they do with their money is that they pay pedophile priests to buy their silence and to ease them out of priesthood. Instead of using their money to help the poor or properly punishing the priests that have committed crimes, they pay those priests and their victims to keep them quiet. Their goal is to keep their reputation clean, but paying those people is actually doing the opposite.

Pennsylvania has become a hot topic for the sexual assault cases in America. Over one-thousand children were molested, while there were more than three-hundred abusive clergy. Of the abused, twenty-two percent were under eleven-years-old, fifty-one percent were between eleven and fourteen, and twenty-seven percent were between fifteen and seventeen. The Catholic children have known nothing but trauma when they are supposed to be going to church to learn about the Word of God, not be sexually abused by their priests. But over two-thousand priests had single allegations made against, and over a hundred had ten or more made against them. These cases have gone all the way back to the early/mid-nineties. They spiked in the sixties and kept increasing until they stopped being reported in the eighties.

Sexual abuse cases are not the only disturbing things found within the Catholic Church. In Ireland, there were fetus remains found in the sewers of a home for unwed mothers ran by the church (Snyder). They have kidnapped tens of thousands of babies from catholic-run hospitals all over the world and forced them into adoption. In the Netherlands, a few boys were castrated in church run hospitals after complaining about being sexually abused by priests. A nine-year-old girl was raped by her stepfather and had and abortion, the church then excommunicated the doctors whose performed the procedure, but not the step dad. The church has also shut down adoption centers rather than letting homosexual couples adopt the children. In America, they got onto nuns for helping the poor too much, rather than them not protesting gay rights (Lee). Some preachers were preaching publicly that Jesus was the only way to God (Snyder). Probably the most disturbing of all is that the church officials follow a ruler book for hiding the truth, such as sexual misconduct or misuse of money.

The Roman Catholic Church has many more secrets that have yet to have been discovered. But with what is known, it is safe to say that the entire system needs to be reevaluated and reinstituted. They go against a lot of what they stand for and try to hide the fact that they do. The officials have manipulated many people that look up to them and it seems that they do not care. They have caused harm to many children and instead of punishing the people that have done this, they pay the victims and the abusers to buy their silence. All for their reputation.

“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts- no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff. For the worker is worth his keep” (Bible).

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Dark Side of the Catholic Church. (2023, September 08). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 10, 2023, from
“Dark Side of the Catholic Church.” Edubirdie, 08 Sept. 2023,
Dark Side of the Catholic Church. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 10 Dec. 2023].
Dark Side of the Catholic Church [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Sept 08 [cited 2023 Dec 10]. Available from:
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