Child Sexual Abuse by Priests: Revelations of Shocking Crimes and Sinful Cover-Ups

Abuse by Priests, PDF format

“…giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry…” (1 Tim.4:2,3).

“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife” (1 Tim.3:2).

“…having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices” (2 Pet.2:14).

“But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn” (1 Cor.7:9).

“Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird” (Rev.18:2).

The Roman Catholic institution has weathered many great storms over the centuries.  Regrettably, it will weather this one.  But even so, not for a very long time has it been buffeted by so severe a storm as this.  The ongoing scandals swirling around the heads of hundreds of Roman Catholic priests, bishops, archbishops and cardinals have rocked the Roman religion to its foundations, shaken or destroyed the faith of many Roman Catholics in their “church”, and revealed once again, but this time on an international scale, the filthiness of this Great Whore which masquerades as the Bride of Christ.

The great tragedy in this whole sordid and disgusting business is the suffering inflicted on multitudes of children molested by priests.  Roman Catholic parents innocently entrusted their children to the care of these men, and they were molested by them.  Our hearts go out to these poor, deceived people.  O may the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, shine unto many of them!  May many come to know the blessed and all-glorious Son of God as Lord and Saviour!

In our magazine, over the years, we have often reported on the sexual sins of the priests and bishops of Rome.  We have done so in order to show that, for all its claims, Roman Catholicism is a religion of immense wickedness, its priests hiding behind a mask of piety but all the while committing abominations of all types, even with children.  This is because, in the first place, its priests are unregenerated, blinded souls, spiritually dead in trespasses and sins, so that they act according to their depraved natures: “having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices” (2 Pet.2:14).

In the second place, the doctrine of enforced celibacy, which the Bible calls a demonic doctrine (1 Tim.4:1-3), actually feeds the depraved lusts of these men.  For one purpose for which the Lord ordained marriage is so that men may avoid fornication (1 Cor.7:2,9).  But Rome’s priests are forbidden to marry, and their sinful natures give vent to acts of fornication, sodomy, etc.  As we wrote in Issue No.94: “When, many centuries ago, Rome introduced this doctrine [enforced celibacy], it unleashed a tide of immoral filth upon the world. The priests, monks, and nuns of Rome are forbidden to marry, and because of the depravity of men, this unnatural law has resulted in terrible crimes being committed.  Celibacy is a gift given to some of Christ’s true followers (Matt.19:12); but Romanists are not true Christians, and thus while multiplied thousands have this rule imposed on them by their so-called “Church”, they do not have the divine grace to keep it.  ‘It is better to marry than to burn’ with lust (1 Cor.7:9)” (Shaun Willcock, The Bible Based Ministries Magazine, Issue No.94, July-October 2001.  Bible Based Ministries, South Africa).

And then in the third place, the doctrine of auricular confession, whereby the priest hears, in detail, the sins of all his parishioners whispered into his ear, serves only to inflame his lust and morally defile him.  The confessional-box has been the downfall of countless numbers of priests.  For there, in that little, secret enclosure, Papists confide in the priest, telling him in detail about their sins (including their sexual sins).  He is able to penetrate the deepest, darkest corners of their souls with his questions, and to get them to tell him things which it would be better he never heard.  Lust is stirred up within him, and he burns with it as a result of hearing such things; but after he leaves the confessional-box, he returns, not to a loving wife, but to his lonely house, where his depraved nature feeds upon the things he has heard through the lonely hours of the night.  Is it any wonder that so many priests give in to their sinful natures, and commit all kinds of sexual abominations?  No mortal man can hear the things the priest hears, day after day, and not be morally corrupted by them.

As converted ex-priest Charles Chiniquy wrote in the 19th century, in his excellent book, The Priest, the Woman, and the Confessional: “I have heard the confessions of more than 200 priests, and to say the truth, as God knows it, I must declare that only twenty-one had not to weep over the secret or public sins committed through the irresistibly corrupting influences of auricular confession!  I am now more than seventy-seven years old, and in a short time I shall be in my grave.  I shall have to give an account of what I now say.  Well, it is in the presence of my great Judge, with my tomb before my eyes, that I declare to the world that very few – yes, very few – priests escape from falling into the pit of the most horrible moral depravity the world has ever known, through the confession of females….

“The cause of the supreme – I dare say incredible, though unsuspected – immorality of the priests of Rome is a very evident and logical one.  By the diabolical power of the Pope, the priest is put out of the ways which God has offered to the generality of men to be honest, upright and holy (“to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband,” 1 Cor.7:2).  And after the Pope has deprived them of the grand, holy, and Divine (in this sense that it comes directly from God) remedy which God has given to man against his own concupiscence – holy marriage, they are placed unprotected and unguarded in the most perilous, difficult, and irresistible moral dangers which human ingenuity or depravity can conceive.  Those unmarried men are forced, from morning to night, to be in the midst of beautiful girls, and tempting, charming women, who have to tell them things which would melt the hardest steel.  How can you expect that they will cease to be men, and become stronger than angels?” (The Priest, the Woman, and the Confessional, by Charles Chiniquy, pgs.33,34.  Chick Publications, Chino, California, USA).

And in addition to the sin of fornication, there are many priests who give in to the sin of sodomy! A huge percentage, probably as high as 40%, of all priests are homosexuals, and no wonder: the priesthood provides them with a near-perfect cover behind which they can indulge this unnatural lust.  The lifestyle of the priest of Rome is such that only a homosexual could ever be even remotely happy in it.  Priests are forbidden to have a wife and children; they are thrown together with other young men in their seminaries, unregenerate men filled with lusts and passions; they are dressed in effeminate clothes (they want to be called “Father”, but they dress like mother!); they are forced to deny everything masculine from the seminary to the cemetery.  There are of course many priests who are not sodomites, but they can never be truly happy.  The testimonies of so many whom the Lord has delivered from Rome’s clutches attest to that.  Their loneliness is acute, the natural, God-given longing to marry is very real and yet has to be suppressed, etc.  But a homosexual, who has no desire to marry a woman, will find many outlets for his sodomy in the priesthood of Rome.  In the seminary, then later in the confessional-box, etc., he is provided with ample opportunities to satisfy his abominable lust.

Many of those priests who are not homosexual also find ways to get around the Papal requirement of being forbidden to marry: a huge percentage of them have secret mistresses, many even beget children secretly.  But it is predominantly the homosexual priests who end up committing sexual abuses against children, especially boys.  It is a very small step from “men with men working that which is unseemly” (Rom.1:27), to those same men committing abominations with children.  Children, in fact, are far easier prey.  And this fact has even been admitted by the Vatican!  Many within the Vatican know well enough that there is a direct connection between child sexual abuse, and homosexuality.  The Roman Catholic newspaper for southern Africa, The Southern Cross, stated: “Most publicised cases of sex abuse by clergy against minors have involved homosexual acts” (The Southern Cross, March 20 to March 26, 2002).

This connection worries certain Vatican officials.  According to some Vatican sources, leaders within the hierarchy are trying to find ways to prevent homosexuals from entering the priesthood.  Cardinal Joaquin Navarro-Valls, the Vatican’s spokesman, told the New York Times that “people with [homosexual] inclinations just cannot be ordained.”

This may sound good; but probe a little deeper.  Yes, some Vatican officials, not being sodomites themselves, may wish to prevent sodomites from entering the priesthood.  But will they be able to succeed?  No.  There are too many other Vatican officials who are sodomites!  Perhaps some document will again emanate from Rome stating that homosexuals may not be ordained (such a document was issued in 1961); but this will simply be ignored, just as Rome’s insistence on celibacy is ignored by so many priests, and always has been.


It is vitally important for the saints of God to see and understand the true nature of Romanism, and how it fulfils God’s prophetic Word.  This is why we have so often reported on the sexual sins of priests, when they have come to light.  It gives us no joy to do so.  In fact, our hearts go out to these poor, deceived slaves of the pope.  But reveal these things we must, that both believers in Christ, and the Roman Catholic people themselves, may see this abominable institution for what it really is.

Although priestly sexual scandals have always occurred, and although from time to time they have come to the attention of the general public, causing great embarrassment to the Vatican, and confirming the truth of God’s prophetic Word that this institution is indeed a habitation of devils, a monstrous and iniquitous system; yet never, ever before has Rome been rocked by such scandals on such an international scale.  In all its centuries of existence, never before has the truth about the cesspool of iniquity that is the Roman Catholic priesthood been known to so many people, worldwide, as it is now.

The damage done to the institution of the Papacy has been great.  Yes, Rome will survive.  An institution that has survived so many scandals through so many centuries will not be destroyed by this one.  But it has taken a severe beating.  In fact, it is likely that it will continue to take a severe beating, over these revelations, for some years to come.  It has lost an unknown number of its adherents, and will lose an unknown number more, as disgusted and disgruntled followers leave it.  The vast majority of them will not be converted to the true Christ of God, but they will leave simply because they can no longer stomach the stench emanating from this religious system.  But even so, an institution that has over a thousand million members can afford to lose even a few million of them.  It will not suffer any permanent damage thereby.  Eventually, the Harlot will shrug her massive shoulders, and go on.

As we reported in Issue No.94 of The Bible Based Ministries Magazine, in 2001 the Vatican was rocked by another international scandal: the rape of nuns by priests.  It damaged the Papal system at the time.  But do we hear anything about this anymore?  No.  It happened, it always has, it is happening still, and every so often some further revelation will make the headlines.  But Rome will weather the storm.

Still, with the priestly child-abuse scandal there has been damage.  A lot of it.  The rape of nuns by priests is a terrible tragedy for the poor women involved, but the rape of an adult woman does not stir the hearts of the general public as much as the sexual abuse of children.  This is why, in the eyes of the world, the scandal of the abuse of children by priests is far greater than the scandal of the rape of nuns by priests.  And now is an excellent time for Christians to boldly proclaim the Gospel of Christ to the Roman Catholic people, showing them from Scripture that their “church” is a false religion, and that the Lord Jesus Christ is not present in it.  At this time, when so many Roman Catholics are in great confusion and shock because of these revelations, Christians need to hold out the blessed Gospel of the grace of God to them.  Show them the difference between Christ and Antichrist, between the ministry of the Word and the priesthood of Rome, between the true Church and the false, between salvation by grace and salvation by works!


The problem for Rome has been the media.  We are not living in the Middle Ages.  This is the age of the mass media, and of the information technology revolution.  Crimes which in times past could be swept under the carpet, hidden from public view for the most part, are now splashed across the world’s newspapers and beamed into the living rooms of billions of people.  And this is a major problem for the Vatican.  This was admitted by Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of the “Congregation for Doctrine” (which used to be called the Inquisition!).  He said in an interview with Vatican Radio that the Vatican was concerned about the scandal caused by these revelations of sexual abuse.  He said, “We know these cases are given emphasis and highlighted by the media and the press, and, therefore, in a sense provoke more scandal than in the past, when information about this kind of behaviour was considered confidential.  Therefore, the problem of scandal is a problem that worries the Church” (The Southern Cross, Jan. 23 to 29, 2002).

Oh, one can almost hear the longing in the archbishop’s voice for the “good old days” before the mass media, when the Vatican could get away with all kinds of crimes because there was no media coverage and thus no exposure!  Rome is deeply concerned about the damage the scandal has done, and is doing, to the “Church” – far more so than it is about the terrible harm done to the children who have been abused by these predator-priests!

Knowing the vast power of the mass media, the Vatican long ago went all out to take control of the world’s media – and to a large extent succeeded.  Space forbids a detailed examination of this fact at this time, and the following two quotations will have to suffice for now.  A Romish archbishop named Vaughan said: “Our media…has its hand on the Associated Press, the largest dailies of Boston, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and many other cities are under its spell, and so secret, subtle and clandestine is the work that many are unaware of it” (The Protestant Challenge, Vol.XXII, No.4, July/August 1992).  And historian Albert Close wrote: “There can be no shadow of doubt that the Jesuits and the Anglo-Romanist party in Britain have gained great influence over the Cable Services, Press Agencies, B.B.C., and chief newspapers of Great Britain”; and, “In the course of nearly a hundred years, Rome has saturated the whole British Press with hundreds of these Roman Catholic Reporters and sub-Editors” (Jesuit Plots from Elizabethan to Modern Times, by Albert Close, pgs.169,170.  The Protestant Truth Society, London).  And this is true of much of the rest of the world as well.

And this is very significant.  For usually, because of such powerful Papist control over the media, scandals are hushed up, at least to a large extent.  Rome’s “damage control” experts swing into action, and the crimes and scandals are suppressed.  But not this time.  And why is this?

It appears that the sheer scale of the crimes is such, that there was simply no way the international media could avoid it entirely!  As one shocking revelation after another came out, the public demanded explanations and answers – and justice – and the “damage control” experts could not keep up.  The media simply had to report on it.  Even so, however, it must be noted that the media, for the most part, have still treated this scandal with kid gloves.  Yes, it has been exposed; but this vast, worldwide scandal should be front-page headlines!  Literally hundreds of priests, on all continents, are being found guilty of sexually molesting children entrusted to their care!  The Vatican is paying out millions and millions of dollars in lawsuits!  These shocking revelations, if exposed properly by the media, should bring the Roman Catholic institution to its knees.  They should deal a blow to it from which it will never recover.  But is this happening?  No.  Is it going to happen?  No.


To give some idea of the sheer scale of the scandal: in Ireland, several hundred people who suffered physical and sexual abuse in Roman Catholic schools and orphanages since the 1950s, came forward (The Natal Witness, April 24, 2002).  In Australia, some 90 priests and “Church” employees were convicted of sexual abuse over a 10 year period (The Natal Witness, June 4, 2002).  Not merely accused – convicted!  And in the United States, 218 priests were removed from their positions in 2002 alone, because of allegations of child sexual abuse.  At least 850 priests in the US were accused of sexual misconduct with minors since the early 1960s up until 2002 (The Washington Post, June 9, 2002).  This was the evidence gathered by just one daily newspaper in a survey.  It must be borne in mind that the actual number of priestly offenders will be far higher, for many would not have been discovered, and even of those who were, there would have been many cover-ups.  In fact, the Post itself revealed that “at least” 34 known offenders remained in “church” jobs!  This number was obviously far too low, and represented only those known offenders whom the Post learned about.  There would have been many, many victims of priestly sexual abuse who did not come forward to testify.

And yet Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of the “Congregation for Doctrine”, said on Vatican Radio that this international scandal involved just “a few ministers, when almost the totality of ministers behaves in an exemplary manner” (The Southern Cross, Jan.23 to 29, 2002).  The facts tell us a very different story!


Space prevents us from going into details regarding even a small percentage of the priests exposed in recent times.  Suffice it to say that the scandal has involved not only hundreds of priests all over the world, but also bishops, archbishops, and even cardinals, causing many to resign in disgrace.  But let us examine exactly what the Vatican is doing about it.  This can be summed up very curtly: very little of any real substance.  Let us look at just a few places: England, Wales, Ireland, South Africa, and the United States.

We will begin with England and Wales.  Back in September 2000, Roman Catholic Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor admitted that “inadequate procedures” regarding priestly sex offenders had led to errors in the past.  That was putting it mildly!  But mild responses to this vile abomination have been the usual response from Vatican officials.  This cardinal launched a committee to review child protection procedures; and in April 2001 this committee (known as the Nolan Committee) issued a report which urged Roman Catholic leaders in England and Wales to implement new guidelines in a bid to protect children from child-abusing priests.  The report made 50 recommendations, including that police checks be carried out on all potential priests, and that a national database of information on all candidates for the priesthood be set up.  It said that convicted child abusers should not hold any position that could put children at risk, and that priests should be dismissed in the most serious cases (here we have a question for the committee: when is child abuse not a serious case?).  And it urged bishops and religious superiors not to overrule selection boards where reservations are expressed about the suitability of a candidate for ordination on the grounds of a possible risk to children and young people.  It added that in future, all allegations of abuse must be responded to swiftly, with police involvement (The Southern Cross, April 18, 2001; and May 2 to 8, 2001).

Murphy-O’Connor said that the report would form a major item for discussion by the bishops.  “We are committed to ensuring that the Catholic Church becomes the safest of places for children,” he said.  To him we say: Sir, your “Church” has never been a safe place – not for children and not for adults either.  It matters not whether you are a child, a nun, a priest, or just an average Roman Catholic man or woman, Rome is “a cage of every unclean and hateful bird” (Rev.18:2).  It is a place of murders, sorceries, fornication, and thefts (Rev.9:21).  It is a refuge for unrepentant child abusers, woman abusers, sodomites, killers, and all kinds of other criminals.  It always has been.

It was a great pity that Lord Nolan, the chairman of the committee, stated: “We would not be inclined to accept that this problem, which is nationwide, but also worldwide, is particularly prevalent in the Catholic Church.”  Oh, yes, it is, Your Lordship!  Beyond all shadow of doubt.  Your words were a smokescreen.

In September 2001, Britain’s National Board of Catholic Women  (NBCW) called for all jailed priestly child abusers to be defrocked (i.e. no longer permitted to practice as priests), saying that the recommendations from the Nolan Committee did not go far enough in calling for only those priests  imprisoned for more than 12 months to be “laicized” (i.e. defrocked).  The NBCW spokeswoman said, “Most of our members are mothers and naturally there is a degree of disquiet that a cleric who has been given a sentence of less than 12 months may be allowed to stay in a parish” (The Southern Cross, Sept.5 to 11, 2001).  Christian reader: your heart should go out to the poor, deluded Roman Catholic mothers, whose children are in such danger at the hands of these predator-priests and yet who remain convinced that the Roman Catholic religion is the true Church of Christ!  They hope that their bishops will do what is right, but it is a vain hope.  They hope that their beloved “Church” can be cleaned up, reformed, but it will never happen.  Not according to Bible prophecy.


Let us look next at the Republic of Ireland.  There, Roman Catholic leaders said they were committed to establishing an internal probe into their mishandling of sexual abuse by priests.  The “Church” formed a Child Protection Office which began running seminars with priests, aimed at coaching them on how to behave with children!  They also promised to co-operate fully with a government-ordered investigation, and to hand over the “Church’s” internal records on how it responded to complaints against child-abusing priests (The Natal Witness, April 24, 2002).

This was in light of the fact that several hundred (note that! – not a few dozen, not even a hundred, but several hundred) victims of sexual and physical abuse in Irish Roman Catholic schools and orphanages since the 1950s came forward and testified.  They were offered financial compensation under terms of a landmark deal reached in January 2002 between the Roman Catholic institution’s “teaching orders” and the government.  These orders pledged to provide about $110 million to a government compensation fund which was likely to pay out four times as much to victims!  The leader of a group called Irish Survivors of Child Abuse said he was determined to see the “Church” publicly identify and disqualify any religious officials who were identified as abusers in private settlements.  He said, “They can’t be let off the hook.”  He was critical of the compensation deal because, to receive money, victims had to drop other legal action against the government, the Roman Catholic institution, religious orders or individual priests (The Natal Witness, April 24, 2002).

In extremely Papist Ireland, clearly the Romish hierarchy was very, very worried.  If several hundred victims came forward, then this was a massive scandal indeed.  The Romish “Church’s” own “internal probe” means nothing and could easily become nothing more than a clever cover-up; and as for its “Child Protection Office”, giving seminars to priests on how to behave with children, this is just further evidence that this so-called “Church” is filled with unregenerate people.  If these men were true Christians, they would know how to behave with children without having to sit through seminars on the subject!  It would be a joke if it wasn’t so tragic.

As for the promise to co-operate with the government investigation, well, promises can easily be made by such men, without them having any intention of revealing all the facts.  And also, once again we see Rome doing its best to keep things quiet: offering to settle privately wherever possible, and insisting that in order to receive financial compensation, victims must first drop all legal action against priests, religious orders, or the Romish institution in general!  Always trying to cover up its sins and crimes.  Always hiding the truth.  Rome never changes.  It never will.


And now let us consider what has happened in South Africa.  In April 2001, a draft protocol for dealing with cases of sexual abuse or misconduct by priests and nuns was accepted by bishops and nuns in the Durban archdiocese, with Romish Cardinal Wilfred Napier decrying what he called a “culture of silence” surrounding sexual abuse.  The document was to be referred to the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (The Southern Cross, April 25 to May 1, 2001).

This protocol was in fact the last in a series of three documents produced by the Roman Catholic institution in southern Africa that dealt with sexual abuse.  The first was the Protocol on Sexual Abuse of Children by “Church” personnel, and the second was called “Integrity in Ministry” and was a Code of Conduct “setting out what the Church expects and demands of those it accepts into the priesthood, religious life and pastoral ministry.”  The idea for this Code of Conduct grew out of the adoption, a few years before, of procedures to be followed in response to accusations of child abuse by “Church” personnel.  Other regions of the world already had such a code.

Review bodies, new guidelines, draft protocols, codes of conduct: are we sceptical?  Oh, we most certainly are.  The Roman Catholic religion has been in existence for many long centuries, and they are only getting round to supposedly doing something about priestly sexual abuse now?  Please.  Sexual abuse by priests, monks and nuns has gone on for hundreds and hundreds of years.  If Rome had really wanted to do something about it, it would have been done long, long ago.  But only now – only because of the exposure given to this abominable sin – they are making noises which sound like they are doing something.  All these “measures” and “steps” supposedly being taken are designed merely to make it appear as if “something is being done”.  But for the guilty priests and for the Vatican in general, it will be business as usual.  The priesthood will continue to be infested with such men, and as long as they are not caught, the crimes will go on, as they always have.


Now before we examine the situation in the United States, the country which has been at the forefront of the international scandal, let us see what the pope of Rome, himself, said about the revelations towards the end of 2001; and also examine a sinister development in the Vatican.

In November 2001, the pope of Rome, John Paul II, apologised to victims of sexual abuse by priests.  He said, “Sexual abuse by some clergy… has caused great suffering and spiritual harm to the victims.  It has been very damaging in the life of the Church and has become an obstacle to the proclamation of the Gospel” (The Natal Witness, November 23, 2001).

An “apology” like this (and the pope has issued a number of “apologies” in recent years, for various crimes committed by Rome in the past) makes the pope look good, but what does it actually achieve?  Absolutely nothing.  Just saying “I’m sorry” is of no value whatsoever.  Biblically, repentance means a change of heart, a turning away from sin, a forsaking of it.  It is much more than just “saying sorry.”  When a man truly repents, he changes course, and he makes amends as far as possible.  But is this what the pope did?  Certainly not.  He continues to insist that priestly celibacy is essential for every priest, even though this is at the very root of much of the sexual abuse that has plagued the Roman Catholic institution ever since celibacy was made compulsory for its priests.  And furthermore, Rome continues to waffle about “taking action” and “rooting out the problem”, whereas in reality it does little or nothing, as this article makes clear.  In fact, far from firmly dealing with this great crime, its leaders continue to transfer guilty priests from one locality to another, to cover up the facts, to hinder police investigations, etc., etc.  This is not true repentance!  Over the centuries, whenever it became known that a priest was involved in some sexual sin or another, it has always been Rome’s policy to simply transfer that priest to another parish, where he continued his sinful lifestyle!  And this fact was actually admitted by SA priest Albert Nolan in early 2001! (The Southern Cross, May 16 to 22, 2001).

Nor was the pope being truthful when he spoke of “sexual abuse by some clergy”.  The Vatican is desperately trying to convince the world that this “problem” merely involves a very small percentage of priests; that the vast majority are godly, good, faithful to their vow of celibacy, holy human beings.  Nothing could be further from the truth!  While it is of course impossible to know the exact figures, the evidence overwhelmingly reveals that a huge number of Romish priests are guilty of sexual sins – as in fact they always have been!  Indeed, we can be certain that a major reason for the Vatican’s hesitation to take firm action against the ones that have been caught, is that so many are involved in the very same sins that they cannot clamp down too hard on the ones that have been discovered, for fear that eventually they will be discovered as well!

We are hearing all kinds of “right” things from the pope, cardinals, archbishops, etc.  We are hearing them “deplore” these sexual sins.  But what we are seeing are crocodile tears, nothing more.  It is not really the crimes committed that they are sorry for, but the fact that the crimes have been exposed.

And in a sinister development, it was publicly announced in December 2001 that the office of the Inquisition would be taking juridical control over cases of child sexual abuse by priests.  This was a Vatican effort to centralise procedure and oversight of these cases.

The new set of norms was outlined in a letter, written in Latin by Joseph Ratzinger, the cardinal who heads the Inquisition (it is not called the Inquisition today, but the “Congregation for Doctrine”; but it is the Inquisition under a new, more innocent-sounding name), and dated as far back as May 18, 2001, and sent to the world’s Roman Catholic bishops in June of that year.  But this letter was not made public until December 2001.

Next, the Vatican published a letter from the pope, in which he announced the new norms, in the Vatican’s official bulletin of record  (The Southern Cross, Jan. 23 to 29, 2002).

However, what is extremely significant here is that, although the Vatican made these two letters public, the new norms themselves were not published!  Ratzinger’s letter merely outlined the new norms.  Vatican sources said the norms would only be sent to local bishops on a case-by-case basis, because of the “sensitivity” of the issue!

According to Ratzinger’s letter, the new set of norms requires bishops to report probable cases of priestly sexual abuse of children to the Inquisition.  The Inquisition could then either allow a local diocesan tribunal to handle the case, or intervene and take up the case immediately in its own tribunal (The Southern Cross, Dec. 19 to 25, 2001).

The Inquisition, tribunals: when one hears words like these, the blood runs cold, knowing the past history of Rome.  But it gets worse.  Just in case anyone is tempted to think that this is all a step in the right direction, take note of this: the new norms imposed “pontifical secrecy” on such cases, meaning they would be handled in strict confidentiality.  In addition, they would be tried by an “all-clerical court”!

A priest, accused of child sexual abuse, being tried by his fellow priests?  Men who stand to lose so much every time a priest is convicted of sexual abuse; men who are forbidden to marry just as the accused is; men, so many of whom are sodomites and child-abusers just like the accused; men who have a vested interest in finding the accused “innocent”, even if he is not!  These are the men who will sit in judgement over a priest accused of this sin?  And to top it all, the entire case is to be handled secretly!  And we’re to believe that these trials are going to be impartial and objective?  Controlled by the Inquisition (an organisation that has spent centuries doing all in its power to stamp out all opposition to Roman Catholicism), held in secret, and the judges themselves all being priests with everything to lose and nothing to gain in finding the accused guilty!  Impartial and objective.  Uh-huh.

Even Roman Catholic leaders could see through this.  A well-informed bishop, who did not want to give his name, said the secrecy demanded by the new norms gives the appearance of a cover-up by the “Church.”  It certainly does, and that’s because a cover-up is precisely what it is.  He also questioned whether victims would find an all-priest tribunal an acceptable forum (The Southern Cross, Dec. 19 to  25, 2001).  They certainly would not!

Why was this bishop unwilling to be named?  What was he afraid of?  Evidently he knew what the institution he served was capable of doing, and he feared it.  The Inquisition is still at work!

Of course, “those close to the Vatican” came to the defence of secrecy in such cases, saying it was needed to protect the accuser and the accused!  Nonsense.  The only one an all-priest tribunal would want to protect would be one of their own – the accused priest.

Another fact: the Vatican’s new norms set the statute of limitations for sexual abuse of minors at ten years, a period that begins after an alleged victim has reached his 18th birthday.  Although this is double what the statute of limitations used to be, and therefore sounds like an improvement, the truth is that until now offences reserved to the Inquisition had no expiration time at all!  Why, then, set up such a limit?  The reason is obvious: to reduce the number of people coming forward with allegations of abuse!

And one last thing: the new norms made no mention of informing civil authorities if a priest is actually found guilty (The Natal Witness, January 9, 2002)!


Now let us examine events in the United States in 2002.  In January of that year, the Boston archdiocese became the focus of national attention for two reasons: there was the first of possibly several criminal trials of a “defrocked” priest  who allegedly molested at least 130 children in over 30 years; and also, there was an investigative series by the daily Boston Globe, aided by a court-ordered release of previously-sealed archdiocesan documents in abuse cases, which highlighted questionable past practices of the archdiocese in its handling of priests accused of sexual abuse of children.   The archbishop of the diocese, Cardinal Bernard Law, coming under huge pressure over his past handling of priests known to have abused children, announced his “zero tolerance” policy in January: “Any priest known to have sexually abused a minor simply will not function as a priest in any way in this archdiocese” (The Southern Cross, March 6 to 12, 2002).

In addition, it was reported in the Boston Herald that, despite the fact that the new norms do not insist on it, the Boston archdiocese would inform police about all priests who have been accused of molesting children (The Southern Cross, Feb.6 to 12, 2002).

Cardinal Law stated that he was backing a bill before the legislature that would make priests mandatory reporters of child sex abuse allegations.  And he publicly removed nine priests from their work, and turned over to county district attorneys over 80 names of priests with an allegation of child sex abuse in their past – some going back as far as 40 years or more.  And that was in the Boston archdiocese alone! In fact, more than 400 complaints were filed against this one archdiocese! (The Natal Witness, April 24, 2002).

And as a result of the events in the Boston archdiocese, across America bishops had to decide whether they should publicly name all priests who had been credibly accused, whether old case files should be turned over to prosecutors, and whether every priest who ever abused a minor should be automatically barred from “ministry” for life.

As the media pressure increased, bishops of neighbouring dioceses began to respond.  John McCormack, bishop of Manchester, New Hampshire, stated that no priest who had sexually abused a child would be returned to ministry in his diocese.  And he publicly named 14 priests who admitted to being child sex abusers, or who had “credible allegations” against them.  Their names were given to the state’s attorney general (The Southern Cross, March 6 to 12, 2002).

In Portland, Maine, Bishop Joseph Gerry said that only (?!) two active priests in his diocese had been accused of child sex abuse.  Diocesan officials said they would give a district attorney relevant personnel files of any other living priest or ex-priest of the diocese who had been accused of child sex abuse any time in the past.

And in Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger Mahoney stated that any priest or deacon found guilty of child sex abuse would not be reassigned, and should seek to be “laicized” because he would never be allowed to return to active ministry.

Now all of this sounds very good; but a few comments are in order here.  First, these high-ranking Roman Catholic leaders only took this action after the media had made it impossible for them to do nothing any longer.  They did not act until they simply had no choice, with such an intense spotlight focussed on them.  In fact, it is clear that up until 2002, many of these bishops and cardinals were well aware of what was going on, yet did nothing.  And they never would have done anything if they could have got away with doing nothing!  Second, the reader could not have failed to note the huge numbers of priests involved!  This was not (as Rome would like the world to believe) “a few rotten apples” in an otherwise wonderful “Church”!  Beyond any shadow of doubt, the Roman Catholic priesthood is a cesspool of sexual iniquity.

Third, it must be kept in mind that bishops and cardinals will say whatever needs to be said, in order to calm the public.  These statements sound fine; but once the whole matter dies down, what is to stop these men from returning to the commission of the very same crimes as before?  Nothing.  These statements were made for public consumption; but will they actually be enforced?  No.  There is no reason to believe they will.  The history of Rome leaves us in no doubt.  They may have to be even more careful in future, certainly; but child sexual abuse will continue as long as the Roman Catholic institution lasts.  And we know from Bible prophecy that it will last until the end of the world.

The major newspapers in the United States are controlled by Roman Catholics; but newspapers also have to cater to their readership.  And as this scandal spread across the US, public pressure, the demand to have the facts, forced newspapers to expose many of these terrible crimes even though in doing so they hurt the Roman Catholic institution.  But as soon as bishops and cardinals appear to be “doing something”, the media pressure will be relaxed.


As a result of the revelations of priestly child-abuse in the United States, the pope of Rome met with US cardinals in the Vatican in April 2002, for emergency talks.  The pope called child sexual abuse a crime and an appalling sin, stated that the scandal had plummeted the “Church” into a state of crisis, and added that he had been “deeply grieved” by it.  He also said: “People need to know that there is no place in the priesthood and religious life for those who would harm the young” (The Natal Witness, April 24, 2002).  Once again: sounds good.  But

He added that “a generalised lack of knowledge of the nature of the problem led bishops to make decisions that subsequent events showed to be wrong.”  Here again is the cover-up.  A “lack of knowledge about the nature of the problem”?  What nonsense!  These bishops had all been seminarians themselves, they had all been priests before becoming bishops, and as bishops they were not ignorant of things that went on in their dioceses!  They knew – which is precisely why so many priests guilty of sex abuse have always been merely transferred to other parishes, where they continue with their sins!

At the meeting with the pope, one US cardinal, Theodore McCarrick of Washington, D.C., said, “We’ve got to make sure that people can trust their priests.  We are here to find out what we can do, in concert with the Holy See, to create an environment that is safe for children” (The Natal Witness, April 24, 2002).  Well, Sir, there is nothing you can do to make your so-called “Church” a safe place for children!  It never has been, and never will be.  That doctrine of devils, the prohibition on marriage, sees to that, in addition to the fact that the Romish priesthood is made up of sinful, unregenerate men, who are able to prey on children at will, through the abominable confessional-box.  Tragically, the Roman Catholic people, for the most part, will continue to trust their priests, despite these shocking, worldwide revelations.  Such is the demonic hold this religion has on their hearts and minds.

During the meeting, the pope and the cardinals discussed what should happen to child-abusing priests – whether they should be defrocked and turned over to the police, or whether, if they “repent”, the door should be left open to them.  Well, the decision was made: the worst sex offenders – “serial, predatory” offenders according to the document released after the meeting – would be removed, but a “zero tolerance” policy for predator-priests in general was not adopted.  The pope spoke to the cardinals of “the power of Christian conversion, that radical decision to turn away from sin”, which in effect offered leeway for abusers who “repented” (The Natal Witness, April 26, 2002).

The Bible certainly teaches that, when a man is truly converted to Christ, his sins are forgiven, he is a new creature in Christ, all things have become new.  There is a wonderful passage in 1 Cor.6:9-11 which says, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?  Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind… shall inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”  In this passage Paul acknowledged that at one time, some of the Christians in Corinth had been fornicators, adulterers, sodomites, etc.  But then the Lord had saved them!  And they were now washed by His blood, sanctified, justified by grace through faith!  They were no longer fornicators, adulterers, sodomites!  They were now Christians!  And this shows us that those who are truly converted to Christ do not continue in their old way of life, committing the terrible sins they used to commit.

But here’s the problem: Roman Catholic priests who “repent” are not converted to Christ, and their “repentance” is not biblical repentance!  They merely “repent” as Judas did: it is a human sorrow at best, but not godly sorrow, which would lead them to hate their sin, forsake it with detestation, and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour!  These men remain as priests of Rome, as lost and dead in their sins as they were before.  And therefore, unlike a man who is truly converted to Christ, these men cannot be trusted around children!  Their hearts remain the same!  Their sinful natures still control them!  And there is nothing to prevent them returning to their sin the moment they have the opportunity!


And once again, in the document issued after the meeting between the pope and the cardinals there was the attempt to make it appear as if only a very small percentage of priests were actually guilty of child sex abuse, even though there is such overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  The document stated that the cases of “true paedophilia are few”, adding, “almost all the cases involved adolescents and therefore were not cases of true paedophilia.”


After the Vatican meeting between the pope and US cardinals, South Africa’s Romish Cardinal Wilfred Napier, head of the Roman Catholic institution in this country, said that the “Church” is not dealing with a family situation with child victims and it is the victims’ or parents’ responsibility to report abuse (i.e. the “Church” would not report cases of abuse to the authorities).  He added that the “Church” would counsel victims about their options, including reporting to the police.  He said that most victims do not want to report abuse by priests, in which case it would be investigated by a “Church” committee, after which an offending priest might have to work under supervision (The Natal Witness, May 2, 2002).

This provoked an outcry.  The director of Childline said that churches and religious structures need to be seen as upholding the law and should report all allegations of abuse made against their officials.  “Why should someone from a church who commits a crime be protected?” she asked.  The Rape Action Group spokeswoman said, “The stance taken by the Roman Catholic Church in SA is precisely that which has in recent months led to unprecedented scandal, controversy and criticism of the Catholic Church in the U.S. and Ireland” (The Natal Witness, May 14, 2002).

Yet again we see evidence of how Rome attempts to hide her crimes.  And we find a cardinal of that institution stating that a priestly sex-offender would simply be required to work under supervision!  There is no true repentance, no change of heart and life, no turning from the sin.  The priest will simply go on as before.

South Africa’s Justice Department issued a strong warning to religious leaders, stating that they would face criminal charges if they deliberately failed to report sexual offences, including child molestation.  However, priest Richard Menatsi, secretary-general of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, said that the media report of the cardinal’s statement was inaccurate and sensational.  He stated that the Roman Catholic hierarchy in South Africa would indeed report priests against whom there is prima facie evidence of child abuse – but (he added) not in every case.  He said the “Church” would conduct an internal investigation first, to test the veracity of the accusations; and that it could not report allegations on hearsay (The Southern Cross, May 22 to 28, 2002).

He also added that there was one condition under which alleged child-abusing priests would not be reported to the police: “If an allegation of child abuse is made in the confessional, under no circumstances will a priest hearing confession break the sacred seal of secrecy attached to the sacrament of confession.”

Here again, utter hypocrisy.  When it suits them, the priests of Rome have piously claimed that nothing will induce them to break the seal of secrecy and reveal what was said to them in the confessional-box.  But the fact is that the confessional is the greatest system of espionage in the world, with information gathered in the supposed “secrecy” of the confessional flowing to the Vatican from hundreds of thousands of priests around the world!  In this way Rome has been able to bribe, and control, kings, politicians, and many others worldwide.

In a letter to all priests and deacons in the archdiocese of Cape Town, Romish Archbishop Lawrence Henry and his auxiliary, Romish Bishop Reginald Cawcutt, addressed the issue of child sexual abuse by priests, saying that the local “Church” “cannot and will not admit  [candidates to the priesthood] who have failed to reach the mature chastity that is essential.”  They admitted that it was an enormous source of scandal that some bishops had attempted to hide these cases from the public by simply transferring the priests to another part of the diocese.  Yet again, sounds good.  But words on paper mean nothing.  And the letter went on to add the by now well-known refrain, heard around the world from the lips and pens of bishops, that the number of priests involved in child sexual abuse “is very small.”  The letter also repeated the declaration in the document released after the meeting between the pope and US cardinals, that most reported cases worldwide are “almost never against children” and therefore “wrongly termed paedophilia” (The Southern Cross, May 8 to14, 2002).

As stated above, this letter was written by Romish Archbishop Lawrence Henry of Cape Town and his auxiliary, Romish Bishop Reginald Cawcutt.  It spoke of not admitting to the priesthood those who “failed to reach the mature chastity that is essential” – but it didn’t exactly  inspire confidence in informed Roman Catholics, who knew that just two years ago, Cawcutt himself was embroiled in a scandal concerning his alleged participation in a website for homosexual priests!  He subsequently resigned (The Natal Witness, July 18, 2002).


In a statement issued by the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the bishops asked victims to report their cases to the appointed diocesan contact person, and if the allegation appeared to be credible, it would be referred to a Provincial Committee comprised of priests, “religious” (monks and nuns), and ordinary Roman Catholics.  The bishops’ statement, however, said nothing about reporting such cases to the police (The Southern Cross, May 8 to 14, 2002).

The bishops also stressed that “the vast majority” of priests are celibate, but that “a few [in southern Africa] have been accused of sexually abusing children.”  Tell a lie, tell it often enough, and the people will believe it.  It may be true that only a few priests in southern Africa have been accused, but the number actually accused will always be far less than the number actually guilty.  The lie in the above statement is that the vast majority of priests lead a celibate life!  They do not, and never have.  A 25-year study by former Roman Catholic priest, Richard Sipe, showed that up to half of all US priests break their vow of celibacy (The Rock, Vol.45, No.9, October 1990.  Protestant Publications, Australia).  We can be certain that this is true of priests all over the world, and it is higher than 50% in some places.  In Peru, 50 – 80% of the priests are living with women, and even have children; in Brazil, 60 – 70% of native priests have liaisons with women (The Rock, Vol.47, No.3, June-July 1992; The Natal Witness, December 24, 1999).

Should bishops be obliged to report all accusations against priests to the civil authorities?  Not according to a top Vatican official and lawyer.  Romish Archbishop Julian Herranz, one of the Vatican’s top legal officials and a participant in the Vatican-US meetings on the subject, said that the “Church” has all the trial and punishment tools necessary to deal with priestly sex abuse.  He criticised attempts to require Roman Catholic leaders to report all accusations to the civil authorities and to hand over all relevant documents, saying these proposals come “on an emotional wave of public clamour” (The Southern Cross, May 15 to 21, 2002).

He added, “In extreme cases, certain crimes committed by [priests]… can be punished with a perpetual sentence of dismissal from the clerical state.”  But because of the seriousness of the penalty, “Church” law “requires necessary guarantees with a regular prior investigation, ascertainment of the facts and proof of guilt, ensuring at the same time the right of defence both of the accused and of the victim.”

Impressive-sounding words.  The problem, however, is that, despite his claim that Rome has all the trial and punishment tools necessary to deal with priestly sexual abuse, the fact is that it does not do so! – its bishops simply transfer the priest to another parish, where he is free to continue his sinful activities!  And note that it is only “in extreme cases” that a priest can be punished with perpetual sentence of dismissal.  One has to wonder what this Vatican apologist considers an extreme case, when priests guilty of sexually abusing children, sometimes dozens of children, are still permitted to continue with their priestly duties!

And it was not only this particular Vatican official who held this position.  Another Vatican official, a Jesuit priest (!) named Gianfranco Ghirlanda, who is a Vatican City appeals court judge and a leading consulter on “Church” law to several Vatican agencies, said the same thing.  In an article published in the Jesuit magazine La Civilta Cattolica, which reflects official Vatican policy, he said that bishops are generally not morally or legally responsible for the actions of their priests, unless clearly negligent in investigating and correcting abuse situations.  He also said that, if re-assigning a past abuser to active ministry, a bishop should not tell parishioners of the past abuse (The Southern Cross, May 29 to June 4, 2002).

Note how this Jesuit defended the age-old practice of Rome, of merely “re-assigning” a priest guilty of abuse to another parish.

According to another Jesuit priest, this one the editor of America magazine, “most US bishops” were “already doing the opposite” of what Jesuit Ghirlanda was saying: they were notifying the police, and they were telling parishes of a priest’s history of abuse.  But he added that “the US bishops are going to have to present some strong arguments to convince the Vatican of their position.”

Indeed, in a draft policy report, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops declared that it wanted to ask the pope to defrock every priest who sexually abuses a minor in the future, and any priest who has abused more than one minor in the past.  In the report, it was stated that the bishops would also suggest that every diocese in the USA report all accusations of abuse of minors to police (The Boston Globe, June 4, 2002).

However, we have no doubt that all this is merely for public consumption.  And even if the US bishops agree to do as suggested in this draft policy report, behind the scenes things will continue as they always have.  The US bishops, as indeed bishops everywhere, desperately want the media attention to go away, and they will say anything to satisfy the public and make it appear as if they are doing something.  But nothing will really change.  Once the storm dies down, life for priestly sex abusers will return to “normal”, and they will continue to be protected by their superiors – who, after all, were priests themselves before becoming bishops, and many of whom were involved in the same sins, and still are!


In late April, Pope John Paul II “deplored” the scandalous behaviour of priests who commit sexual sins, calling on bishops to diligently investigate accusations and take firm steps to correct it; but then he immediately went on to defend priestly celibacy and said it should be maintained by the “Church”! (The Southern Cross, May 1 to 7, 2002).

The Bible is so clear.  While stating that some of the Lord’s true servants (not priests!) are given a divine gift to remain single (Matt.19:10-12; 1 Cor.7:7-9), it emphasizes that this is not the general rule, and states: “to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband” (1 Cor.7:2).  Why is it that fornication is so rife within the priesthood of Rome?  One of the most important reasons is that priests are forbidden to marry!  True, there are married men who commit sexual sins as well; but marriage is the God-ordained means for preventing sexual sin from being committed on the vast scale that we see occurring within the Romish priesthood.  Not being true Christian men, and not being given by God the gift to remain single, the priests of Rome “burn” with lust, and “cannot contain” (1 Cor.7:9).  And not being permitted to marry, their unrestrained desires break forth, and they commit all kinds of abominations: fornication, sodomy, etc.  Enforced celibacy is unnatural and it is cruel, and this “doctrine of devils” (1 Tim.4:1-3) has been at the heart of the sexual abominations of the Roman Catholic priesthood for centuries.  But the pope insists it must continue.


An unfolding tragedy of immense proportions.  Roman Catholicism is a religion of darkness.  The Lord Jesus Christ, the light of the world, is not present within it.  It is not the true Church of Christ, as it loves to tell the world – it is not even a church of Christ.  It is a false religion, a devilish religion.  Its pope, its priests, its nuns, and its people are all lost souls, ignorant of the truth of the Gospel of grace. May it be the earnest, heartfelt, zealous and continuing prayer of every true Christian, that many blinded Papists would hear the blessed Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God!  And if this article should fall into the hands of any Roman Catholic: dear friend, search the Scriptures!  Compare your religion with the teaching of the Bible!  And forsake darkness for light!  Call upon the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation!  Repent of your sins, receive Christ by faith, and forsake that religion of Satan!

October 2004

(This article first appeared in The Bible Based Ministries Magazine, June-September 2002, No.97.  It has been slightly edited.)


Shaun Willcock is a minister of the Gospel, and lives in South Africa.  He runs Bible Based Ministries.


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