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"The problem of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy is systemic. Sexual activity occurs on every level of the clerical system. Sexual activity with minors is but one manifestation of the range of sexual behavior in the ranks of Catholic bishops and priests. A major reason for attention of this particular clerical behavior is because it is criminal. It has been recorded prominently since 1049. Public concern and outrage in the U.S. has followed the revelation of its existence and the ongoing conspiracy of silence to keep abuse hidden and the collusion of superiors to keep it as secret as possible; all duly recorded in court and Grand Jury documents. " -- Richard Sipe
This is an article by canon lawyer, priest and survivors advocate Thomas Doyle. It deals with a topic that is often overshadowed by the outrages perpetrated on a faithful church and world by the exclusivist, men-only club of priests.
But as Doyle points out in this piece, in spite of the attention on the male perpetrators, and in spite of the well-deserved sympathy being given the communities of catholic women currently targeted by the pope's Inquisition in America, we cannot and should not forget that some of the worst kind of abuse has been perpetrated by nuns.
This is the tale of two attorneys: One retained by victims to protect their interests in the face of the powerful Roman Catholic hierarchy, intent upon protecting the perpetrators; and the other retained to protect the interests of the hierarchy.
Both stories were posted very recently, one in the NY Times, which the Vatican considers its arch-enemy, and the other in the Boston Globe, which broke the story of the US bishops' complicity in covering up sexual abuse in the American branch of the Roman church.