From roughly the 1950's to the 1980's, child sexual abuse by clergy occurred across the country virtually unchecked. Churches, including but not limited to the Catholic Church, hid allegations of sexual abuse. The Church clearly put its reputation ahead of innocent victims for many years by hiding abuse committed by its employees.
As reported in Reuters today, the pattern continues.
A priest accused of producing child pornography was welcomed into a young victim's home and included in numerous children's activities because a bishop kept evidence related to the priest a secret, according to a lawsuit filed on Wednesday.
The suit is one in a string of lawsuits and legal actions against Father Shawn Ratigan and Bishop Robert Finn, the leader of the 134,000-member Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, alleging that Ratigan took advantage of his position as a priest to create pornographic photos of children in his parish.
The suits allege the bishop knew about the photos, and had received numerous warnings about Ratigan's behavior, but hid the information from police and families in the Diocese.
Obviously, the Catholic Church has learned nothing from its past mistakes. Unfortunately, the victims still must force the Church to reveal the truth regarding sexual abuse perpetrated by priests, Brothers and teachers. If you are a victim of sexual abuse or are inquiring on behalf of a friend or family member who has suffered a sexual assault, contact experienced trial lawyers immediately to confidentially discuss your claims.