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Pedophile priests should be in jail

Child abuse committed by priests is a huge problem all over the world; in Mexico, Marcial Maciel was one of the most known rapists and was even covered up by Pope John Paul II
Pedophile priests should be in jail
Marcial Maciel is blessed by Pope John Paul II – Photo: Tony Gentile/REUTERS
21/08/2018
09:07
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader
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All over the world, hundreds of Catholic priests have committed child abuse, which is a tragedy for the victims, their families, and society. The perversity of the abusers disrupted the lives of innocent children. In the face of all these abuses, the Catholic church, the world's oldest religious institution, is facing a reality where it must apply more efficient measures to put a stop to these terrible events from happening.

A few days ago, it was made public that over 300 Catholic priests abused girls and boys during the last 70 years in Pennsylvania, US. The investigation proved that the abuse took place and was perpetuated thanks to the cover-up provided by the church's local officials, and from the Vatican itself. Over 1000 children suffered sexual abuse during 70 years.

Sexual abuse cases committed by Catholic priests have been registered in several countries all over the world, not just in the US. It's known that it has happened in Europe, Latin-America, including Mexico, and Oceania. Thousands of stories about abuse echo in the consciousness of an institution, that despite their efforts during the last years, has seen how their credibility is destroyed by the lack of a strong disposition to stop abuse from happening.

It's true that most of the reported cases by the investigation carried out in the US are from the past, nevertheless, the victims and their families' lives were fatally disrupted, and the consequences of the abuse will endure time. Without the pursuit of the lawsuits and the victims' persistence to receive justice, it wouldn't have been possible to face the censorship attempts, collusion, and the church's bureaucracy omissions in the face of abuse.

Pope Francis has recognized the priests and the Catholic church's responsibility in the rape and abuse committed by their representatives; he has condemned the abuse and has expressed that the institution proceeding wrongly in most cases. Nevertheless, we need to insist on the need to go beyond. The sexual abuse committed against children, as said by Pope Francis, has legal implications that should be resolved.

A bigger joint effort between the Catholic church and the civil authorities is necessary, wherever they're present so that this tragedy doesn't repeat itself. Although sexual abuse is not exclusive of the church, it's necessary to apply 0 tolerance policies, as it was ordered by the Pope, so that priests that abuse children won't only face canonical justice, but civil too.

Children abusers should be punished, no matter where they come from.

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