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Were you sexually abused as a child by a priest, deacon or any other member of the Catholic Church? You are not alone. We are here to help abuse victims. Stand up against your abuser and help prevent this from happening to someone else. Please fill out our confidential online contact form or call Toll Free 1-866-777-2557 and a Georgia Sex Abuse Lawyer will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your possible case. This is a free consultation. There is no cost to investigate and there are no legal fees unless you receive financial compensation at the end of the case. Making the call is sometimes the hardest step, but it is often a necessary step on the road to healing. Church Sex Abuse Lawyer Georgia
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What would you do if you were a bishop and you found out one of your priests had been accused of sexually assault a child? Most reasonable people would call the police and start an investigation. Unfortunately, this was not always the response. Many priests who had been charged with sexual abuse ended up being shifted from parish to parish or required to enter psychological therapy. Yes, you read that correctly. Many priests who had been accused of molesting kids underwent therapy and were moved to another parish with more kids. In a small number of cases, the accused priests were stripped of their right to perform clerical duties (this is called laicization).
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Fortunately, several bishops who covered up for offending priests have been forced to resign. Hopefully this will serve as a deterrent. Often times you must threaten an organization’s bottom line to get results. Some dioceses declared bankruptcy due to the financial load of the settlement pay outs. This should start to get people’s attention.
After groundbreaking reporting from the Boston Globe, which broke the sex abuse scandal wide open, the church starting taking coordinated action to fix the mess. One such measure took involved the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops calling for increased punishment for priests who committed sexual abuse. In June of 2002, the conference authorized the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and pledged to establish a safe space for all children in church activities. Why this took so long, nobody knows.
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They produced common sense techniques for handling accusations of sexual abuse against priests and other church staff. Reforms were put in place to demand criminal background checks for all church employees, and dioceses were forced to report allegations to the police. They also commissioned a study into the abuse problem.
The Vatican response has been even more highly criticized. There was no initial reaction by the Vatican to the Boston Globe story in 2002. The next year, a secret document was exposed that gave instructions on how to cover up circumstances of sexual abuse. That same year, Pope John Paul II finally decreed that those who harmed the young had no place in the priesthood. The Vatican commenced demanding background checks for church employees and released rules against allowing ordination for homosexuals. Pope Francis instituted the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors in 2014 to focus efforts to handle the sexual abuse scandal.
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