Ending the abuse and betrayal of religious child maltreatment

Ending the abuse and betrayal of religious child maltreatment

Religious institutions continue to perpetuate child sexual abuse. Ongoing abuse further undermines any claims to moral authority by religious leaders. Now that religious groups are being forced to disclose this collusion, we must do our part to end religious child maltreatment, abuse and betrayal.

Stories of clergy sexual abuse are all too familiar to those of us whose lives have been devastated by such crimes. And we feel further betrayed by the institutional leaders and their followers who continue to protect abusers and turned their backs on victims.

Here are just a few examples:

  • It has been a decade since the Archdiocese of Los Angeles settled a class action lawsuit, avoiding court proceedings wherein graphic details of clergy sexual abuse and cover up would be public.
  • This June, the findings of a Pennsylvania grand jury related to child abuse allegations in 6 Catholic dioceses will be released.
  • In Chile, a court has determined that “a series of absolutely reprehensible acts” have occurred in the Catholic church that involved “unacceptable abuses of power, of conscience and sexual abuse.”

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Looking Forward: A Message from CFFP President Jaime Romo

Looking Forward: A Message from CFFP President Jaime Romo

It’s about time we begin to turn the world around
It’s about time we start to make it the dream we’ve always known
It’s about time we start to live the family of man
It’s about time, it’s about changes and it’s about time
It’s about peace and it’s about plenty and it’s about time
It’s about you and me together and it’s about time

 

As we look forward to 2018 and our continued efforts to fulfill our mission, these lyrics from a 1983 John Denver song ring true today. It’s about time to not only name abuses that happen when people misuse religious authority, but to gather our voices, our vision, and our shared strengths to transform the practices of maltreatment of vulnerable individuals, particularly children.

The Child-Friendly Faith Project began with a clear vision to educate and raise awareness of religious child maltreatment or RCM. Over the years, we have organized conferences, developed educational resources, and have been called on to support survivors. As we have grown, we have lent support to change legislation in Idaho that protected child medical neglect under the guise of “religious freedom.” And we have had the privilege of supporting those who grew up in, and were abused at, Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch in Amarillo, Texas. Read More »