MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Thursday, August 30th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from member-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher.
Next up, Cal Thomas on the heinous behavior shaking the Catholic Church.
CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: Sexual scandals and inappropriate behavior are as old as the Bible. In 1 Corinthians 5:1, Paul writes: “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife.”
In more modern times, there have been sex scandals involving TV evangelists from Aimee Semple McPherson in the ’20s to Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart in the ’80s. More recent examples include Ted Haggard and Bill Hybels.
But at least those scandals involved adults; what has happened within the Roman Catholic Church involves children, a much greater sin.
The Pittsburgh grand jury report that found 301 “predator priests” who were, quote—”raping little boys and girls” isn’t the first to make such accusations. But it may be the first time the allegations have been so exhaustively detailed, including the naming of priests and their alleged victims.
In Ireland, Pope Francis visited last week and issued another apology—but took no responsibility for un-priestly behavior. And more stories surfaced detailing what happened to unwed mothers and their babies seven decades ago in church-run homes. They suffered abuse, and their babies were either buried in the home’s yard or forcibly taken from them to be adopted. All this from a church that claims to be “pro-life.”
According to the Irish Examiner newspaper, the number of atheists and agnostics in the country jumped four-fold between 1991 and 2001, including among school-aged children.
Is it any wonder?
Last Sunday, the former top Vatican diplomat in the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, a frequent critic of Pope Francis, released an 11-page letter claiming the Vatican hierarchy has been complicit in covering up for some abusers and their protectors. The pope said he would not “dignify” those allegations with a response.
In an interview with NBC5 Chicago, Cardinal Blase Cupich insisted the pope has a “bigger agenda” to worry about. The church won’t—quote—“go down a rabbit hole” addressing Vigano’s claims, he said. In a similar vein, the pope’s defenders have said much of this behavior took place years ago and is only now coming out.
But there should be no statute of limitations when it comes to sins within any church, including attempts to cover them up.
Surely Catholic Church leaders are familiar with James 3:1: “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” Then there is this command from God Himself in Deuteronomy: “you must purge the evil from among you.”
If that isn’t enough for the Catholic Church to purge these evil priests and those who covered for them, they might consider the words of Jesus in Matthew 18: “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
For WORLD Radio, I’m Cal Thomas.