Christian Faith Combats Clerical Child Abuse


Christians should be at the forefront of defending child rights and campaigning for stronger laws to protect children. Church leaders and laypeople must denounce the evil of child abuse by the clergy.




While all good Christians oppose crimes against children, they may feel helpless as to how they should respond and find the correct action to bring an end to the abuse and find healing for the child victims. This is where Christian communities must stand together and find a strong united voice.

They must take to social media, radio, television, and print media above all to explain what is happening in the world, and how abuse is spreading on the internet through sex tourism. Laypeople and church leaders must voice their intolerance and their Christian denunciation of inaction against the evil of child abuse by church authorities and bishops.

Laypeople must be prophets of prevention. They must speak against the corruption in government and the hypocrisy in the institutional Church as did Jesus who spoke against the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. They can support all that Pope Francis is trying to do to stop clerical child abuse and bring abusers to accountability.

They must also challenge law enforcers to break away from their inaction and make a call for the support and meaningful healing and empowerment of the abused children so they have the self-confidence to pursue legal action against the abusers and bring them to justice. They can support the call for a children’s court and write letters to congressional representatives to pass laws to achieve this.



The healing residential live-in center of Preda Foundation does this through the powerful healing and empowerment of Emotional Release Therapy. Here, therapists enable the child victims, in a sound-proof therapy room, to voice out, shout, scream, howl, and punch the cushions while releasing the hurt and pain of the abuse they suffered.

It is a harrowing experience for the child victim, the experienced therapists, and anyone hearing such a therapy session for the first time. This is where the screams of anger and hatred pour out of the child.

Many live in silence with memory of the rape. Victims fear the retaliation or disbelief that would result if they spoke about being raped by their father, brother, relative, or neighbor. Most victims keep silent when they are raped and sexually abused by a priest, teacher, or a powerful person in the community. They are left feeling totally powerless.

In the Emotional Release Therapy developed for Filipinos at Preda Foundation, the victims can pour out and get rid of their evil experience. The child becomes stronger in mind and heart. She or he finds the determination to bring the abuser to justice. Many do succeed and children in the homes of Preda Foundation based in Olongapo City, Philippines, win an average of 18 court convictions of their abusers every year. They win justice and get closure when the Philippine jail gates slam shut, locking the rapist inside for up to 30 years.



True Christians and many non-Christians of goodwill have this belief driven by compassion and care for the abused, for the exploited that suffer injustice. They are the real followers of Jesus of Nazareth and they form the committed People of God.

As St. James wrote, “Faith without action is dead.” That is, if we just wallow in the mud of apathy surrounded by oppression and crimes against the poor children, we allow evil to thrive by doing nothing. If so, then we are far from being true disciples of Jesus of Nazareth.

There are hundreds of thousands of true Christians including good, spiritual, and action-oriented priests and bishops and consecrated people that are striving for justice and truth and helping the needy in many different ways. They are truly dedicated and have a heart to serve and not count the cost. They work for the Gospel values and seek no reward.

We are blessed that we can be worthy to work with them and be members of the Christian community, working for justice to bring about a New Community that lives with compassion and service to the poor and those that help the victims of child abuse.

There are some who are not so dedicated to social justice and defending children’s rights. They are clergy that protect pedophile priests, not the children. The children that suffer most are those abused by priests and consecrated persons. The pain, suffering, and psychological damage done to these child victims is life-long.

The pain caused by the betrayal of trust by these so-called trusted people is enduring unless therapy can heal it. The majority of sexually abused children get no help or therapy or healing but endure the memory of the sexual assault or rape all their lives.

Pope Francis has said of them in his letter to The People of God: “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26).  These words of Saint Paul forcefully echo in my heart as I acknowledge once more the suffering endured by many minors due to sexual abuse, the abuse of power and the abuse of conscience perpetrated by a significant number of clerics and consecrated persons.

There have been many investigations into clerical child abuse in the institutional Church. Serious crimes have been uncovered to the shame and disgrace of the hierarchy who are accused of knowing about them, protecting the pedophile priests for years and covering up the child abuse by not calling the police to investigate. Child victims are abandoned and their parents are intimidated by clergy and the parishioners, and some are paid to drop their complaints.

That is abandoning the suffering and pain-filled child who will endure and suffer the betrayal by the people she/he trusted most all his/her life caused by the priest, bishop, and parents. The parents decide private settlement in many cases without consulting the child and they agree to remain silent about the abuse and withdraw any complaint from the prosecutor.

The clerical child abuser goes free to continue abusing more children and is usually assigned to another parish. This has gone on for years and many incidents have been discovered by law enforcers investigating the cover-up and hiding of the clerical sex abuse crimes against children.

In this situation silence is consent. Bishops and clergy that do it have to answer to the authorities. Many do not and the hierarchy, by using intimidation, pressure, and offers of out-of-court settlements, stop investigations.

In Illinois, USA, an investigation by the Attorney General in 2018, found that six Catholic dioceses in Illinois, including Chicago, reported only 103 confirmed clerical sex abusers. The investigative report published this May 23 2023 revealed an additional 348 priest child abusers that were not reported to the authorities. Some of these clerical abusers were allowed to continue in their ministry for years. Many more children were abused by them, the investigation revealed.



There is a growing movement in the church encouraged by Pope Francis who said in July 2013: “The church will never seek to hush up or not take seriously any case”. In his June 2021 letter Moto Propio, Pope Francis called for greater transparency and openness and said there has to be strict accountability for clerical child abusers.

The letter called for the accountability of priest abusers in civil courts. He also instructed all dioceses worldwide to set up investigative and reporting systems for priests that are accused with strong evidence of abuse.

However many bishops, especially in the United States, are angry at Pope Francis for his insistence to have bishops report clerical abuses and be held accountable themselves for not reporting.

More good true Catholics are speaking out demanding justice and an end to the crimes committed by priests and some bishops.  Every Catholic, Christian, and non-Christian is challenged by this horrific situation. Not only are children abused in the home and in parishes, but also increasingly online through the Internet.

All must work to use the media to campaign, speak out, and demand justice, healing, and protection for the victims of clerical child abuse. The abusers must be held accountable and be brought to justice and encouraged to repent and accept the penance of a jail sentence.

The rights, welfare, and healing of the child have to be the center of our concern, the focus of our efforts, and the heart of service and attention. They are the most important, “Whoever will accept one child as this is to accept me,” (Matthew 18: 5-6) Jesus said. What more encouragement do we need to stand for the victims?

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