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Communal response to scandals among Catholic Church

Photo by Victor Beck ’20 | The statue of Jesus Christ, located in the Brophy Chapel.

By Juan Sanchez ’20 and Victor Beck ’20 THE ROUNDUP



On August 14, the first stories broke about the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania covering up child sexual abuse by more than 300 priests over a 70 year period.

This statement opened up old wounds and triggered past memories for the Catholic Church. Going back to the first allegations that emerged out of Boston in 2002, almost 16 years ago.

Still, the impact of these events reverberate shock waves throughout our community.

Mr. Quentin Orem is a religion teacher at Brophy and acknowledges the importance of hearing the voices of the victims.

“We haven’t heard from enough from the victims within the sex abuse crisis, and I think that it’s a really important part of the healing process. The church needs to support those voices,” said Mr. Orem.

Orem calls on many of the students and people questioning their faith to confront and experience God lovingly.

“It’s important for us to, as a community, continue to discover all the reasons why belonging to this ancient community and being followers of Jesus enriches our lives and makes life really worthwhile,” said Orem.

Orem said that we as a community should grapple with the injustice and learn to face it head-on.

“We are called to authentically confront and wrestle with the evil that has happened, and not shy away from it, I think that is really important,” said Orem.

Joseph Olakkengil ’20 says that the scandals have not affected his faith whatsoever.

Instead, the scandals have made Olakkengil more vocal over these issues as he feels the need to advise others that they need not be ashamed of their faith.

People may not want to be affiliated with Catholicism due to these scandals, but Olakkengil says that shouldn’t be the case. He will not leave his religion based on the actions of the few.

Joseph Mulkern ’20 additionally voices his disappointment and condemns the church’s actions of covering up the scandal.

“[I am] just disappointed. My prayers go out to all the families who were affected by it, and it was really disgusting that church leaders were covering that up,” said Mulkern.

Mulkern says that change starts with the leaders. When heads of the Church are willing to support the victims.

“It’s up to the leaders because they were the ones who covered it up for seventy years, and what they did was disgusting and horrifying. It’s with bishops, the leadership that needs to crack down on this,” said Mulkern.

Mulkern said the actions by the Church are un-Catholic and change needs to be implemented.

“We need to stop this. This is not Catholic. This is not what the church teaches, and it needs to stop,” said Mulkern.

“It was something that was kinda hard to honestly reconcile with,” said Manfred Komlan ’21.

“God made flawed people. Since God made flawed people, there has to be flawed institutions,” Komlan said.

“I don’t think God made us to be perfect. I think he, in a way, wanted us to be flawed,” Komlan said.

“It is very complicated issue”, says Komlan. “It’s something, honestly, that I’m struggling with.”

Gregory Judge ’20 says that, “The church, for Catholics like myself, has always been kinda see like a safe place. It’s a place where you can confess what you have done.”

“Now that this scandal has come out, it kinda makes you second guess what’s going on,” Judge said.

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