Deep reforms needed to restore church
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Many articles over the past year have shocked me to my core. One issue, however, is by far the most impactful. In August, over 300 priests were accused of adolescent sexual abuse by more than 1,000 victims throughout Pennsylvania. The astonishing number of cases is a concern that needs to be addressed immediately.
The church, a sacred sanctuary to so many, has transformed into a place of fear and terror for these victims. Currently, no background checks are needed to become a Catholic priest and no mentor system exists during their employment. This gap in security allows the priest to take advantage of the people who trust him most.
Priests sought out vulnerable children, ones who would certainly keep an abuse silent. The church acts to cover up the abuses by implementing twisted ideas to make the children believe they are the ones that sinned. These children can only pray for their situation to improve while the priests can only pray not to get caught.
This news story hits close to home as my stepdad was raised through Catholicism in the city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. As he shares stories of his childhood, it is apparent that he is wildly ashamed of the religion’s misconduct.
I propose that the modifications start with priesthood. As a priest is admitted into the Catholic church, background checks and follow-ups by a mentor should be implemented to ensure the priest values the safety of all individuals. Through these changes, the millennial generation may be more inclined to support the religion and see it flourish once again.
The writer is a member of the ECU Honors College