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Paul Kiesel
Paul Kiesel
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Witnesses in Priest Abuse Cases are Encouraged to Come Forward

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Much debate has taken place over the past couple of years regarding just how many pedophiles have hidden among the Catholic clergy. Because so many victims will never come forward, we will never really know the the complete numbers. What has become evident though, is that what really distinguishes the sexual abuse in the church is the silence in the response. Over the years, teachers, employees, and parishioners, as well as the non-offending priests, brothers, and nuns have not done enough to protect children. Perhaps it was disbelief, driven by a deep sense of respect that caused so many people to ignore the red flags. Perhaps it was an inability to reconcile the strength of their faith with a disturbing reality. Regardless, it is not too late for witnesses to come forward. Hundreds of these molestation cases are currently pending in Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Bernardino. Our honesty can change lives, restore hope, and truly begin to repair what has been broken. The children of the Catholic Church need us now more than ever.

“Priests abused innocent little kids. Hold superiors responsible. But who else saw? Whose voices — still able to halt abuse — are silent? What does silence earn? False peace and security? Insured social status in parishes resembling the whitened tombs Christ condemned? Where are righteous parishioners, Catholic secular press reporters and editors who claim to do just work and fail to hear witnesses’ voices?” -The National Catholic Reporter 8/25/06