The Catholic Church, year after year, has found itself in hot water after allegations of sexual assault continue to come out. The most recent report of this abuse comes out of Pennsylvania, where more than 1,000 identifiable victims had been molested by Catholic Priests in six of the state’s eight diocese. This report is the largest examination of sexual assault in the Catholic Church by a US government agency to date, and found that for 70 years, Bishops and other leaders in the Roman Catholic church in Pennsylvania have been covering up the abuse by more than 300 priests.
The individual reports of the investigation are shocking, recounting gruesome and unbelievable accounts of sexual abuse. For decades, these cases of abuse were swept under the rug. Victims were silenced, and abusers were kept in positions of authority, given the platform and power to continue to abuse other victims.
Now, Catholics nationwide are considering withholding their donations and offerings from the church, in hopes to convey their disdain and disappointment with the Catholic church’s handlings of the cases. Giving to the church is a holy practice, encouraged by the Bible, and the church itself, as a way to submit your earthly possessions to God and support the church. However, with a report like this once again rocking the church’s core, followers are taking matters into their own hands.
By withholding their donations, members of the Catholic church would be keeping their monetary support from the Church and standing with the victims of the abuse. A setback for many considering this is the idea of keeping their money from places which need it. The Catholic church being such a large organization, there’s not telling where donated money is going. That is a point of conflict for most.
The idea of their funds going to help cover up abusive priest is enough for some Catholics to stop giving all together. For others, they fear the action may punish those in the church who use the funds for good.
It’s a thin line to walk, but where those member’s money goes makes quite a statement. In our last issue, we discussed how to be intentional with your waste and ways to better the environment. On the same note of intentionality, members of the Catholic church are demonstrating the power of their dollar.
Where you put your money matters. How you show your support makes more of a difference than you know. Whether it be a dollar or 50 cents, your money acts as a form of speech. Boycotts, for lack of a better word, have the power to shift public opinion. As people, we have the power to bind together and make a statement with our spending.
Taking the action to withhold donations may seem morally conflicting to some, heretical even, calling into question their responsibility to the church, and its beneficiaries. However, it is apparent that despite years of crises like the one currently unfolding in Pennsylvania, no effectual changes have been made. A dollar really can make a change. Members of the Catholic church have the opportunity to come together and demonstrate their disapproval on these cases of abuse.
The Carrier’s editorial opinion represents the views of the senior members of the Campus Carrier and Viking Fusion news staff.