An article published in the Washington Post explores reasons why the Catholic Church has thus far been slow to take any meaningful action against sexual abuse, even as more and more people have come forward with stories of abuse.
Though Pope Francis was heralded by many Catholics as "a figure who could modernize the church and help it regain its credibility," he has had a mixed record in handling allegations of abuse. Some people have attributed this to his learning curve, while others say the Catholic Church itself is the problem, with its notorious aversion to rapid change.
The Church has a long way to go in reforming its policies - it has not yet made its investigations and disciplinary procedures more transparent and does not release data on inquiries it has carried out. When church leaders are found to have committed abuse, they are generally allowed to resign without explanation, rather than being fired and publicly admonished.
We hope to see the Catholic Church do more in the years to come to improve accountability within the Church and clarify the ways in which those who suffer abuse can report their experiences. In turn, those who are found guilty of committing abuse should be publicly denounced, so that they are unable to move to a new community and continue abusing others.