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Express & Star comment: Hiding evil is not the will of God

By Star Comment | Opinions | Published:

There are people who are keen that you do not know about child sexual abuse.

The panel found the church had “repeatedly failed” to alert police to allegations

At the top of the tree are those who are committing these evil deeds, grooming and exploiting children, and free to continue so long as word does not get out.

Unfortunately one reason they get away with it is because of their psychological control of their victims, reinforced by terror and blackmail. For that reason victims themselves can be manipulated into feeling that they must keep the secret.

Breaking their chains so they feel free to speak out against their abusers is key to ensuring justice is done.

And then there is another constituency which is complicit in keeping the secret and, in so doing, giving abusers a level of protection and cover which some would say helps support and sustain their activities.

This constituency comprises decent people who do the wrong thing. They run or are involved in respectable organisations and bodies and are fully aware that if the news of child abuse within those organisations or bodies “gets out,” then the reputation of them will be damaged.

So they treat the matter as an internal thing, as nobody else’s business, something they can deal with themselves, and cover up any unpleasantness and fallout. Such an attitude is especially reprehensible when it is exhibited by the church.

A new report reveals that in the Midlands this approach meant that children who could have been saved and protected from abuse, were let down.

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The independent inquiry looked at the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham. The panel found the church had “repeatedly failed” to alert police to allegations, and said the consequences of those failings “cannot be overstated.”

So we have a situation in which the upholders of good more or less abandoned young innocents to evil, leaving them in the clutches of their abusers through a form of group think in which the thinking of the group is to do, or not do, whatever is needed to protect the good name of the group.

The church is by no means alone in culpability for past failures to protect children. But on the basis of this report, it faces particular shame. It is not God’s will to accommodate evil.

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