The act of reconciliation, which is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, states that believers of the faith must confess their grave sins and ask for absolution from a priest. The priest then assigns a “penance,” which is basically something you need to do to make up for the sin. Well if as a child I was required to sit through an hour-long lecture by a priest about my apparent path to hell, pray 10 rosaries, and attend mass to repent for not making my bed when my mom told me to, imagine what kind of hell the catholic church should have to pay for a report like this.
OKLAHOMA CITY – A long-awaited report regarding allegations of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in Oklahoma City has now been released to the public.
In August of 2018, the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City received a letter from a former resident of Oklahoma, who reported being abused by a priest in the 1980s. After receiving the letter, the archdiocese ordered a full review of the priest’s history…
The 77-page report identifies 11 priests who the firm says faced substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of minors between 1960 and 2018.
The full report, which can be read here, found that the Archdiocese seems to have done a terrible job actually investigating allegations of abuse and in many ways appears to have failed to protect children. It also states that faulty record keeping in the Archdiocese, “resulted in the intentional or accidental deletion of records documenting or relating to allegation of sexual abuse of minors.” Growing up in the church I always heard that if you don’t confess your sins, eventually they will come to light whether you like it or not. I guess the church should’ve headed its own warnings.
So what did church leaders have to say about the findings?
Archbishop Paul Coakley sent News 4 the following letter:
“My heart breaks to have to write this letter. Events of this past year, beginning with revelations of the scandal surrounding then-Cardinal McCarrick followed by the release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report, have sent shock waves throughout the Catholic Church in America. We are challenged to face again the crisis of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults at the hands of clergy, and examine how we have dealt or failed to deal with this societal scourge within our Church.
Though it’s a step in the right direction for the church to order this investigation of itself, it is not enough. It is time the church makes up for its own sins. Archbishop Coakley’s letter goes on to “urge” those who may know victims of clergy abuse to call the Archdiocesan Pastoral Response Hotline. But especially after this report of the church’s record keeping snafus, if you know of any other child who has been a victim of clergy abuse it’s probably better to call the cops. Because after all, penitentiary is derived from the word “penance.”
Hayley is a credentialed craigslist minister. Follow her on twitter @squirrellygeek