Report: More than 4K Children Abused By Portugal's Catholic Church

Image copyright: AP [via Al Jazeera]

The Facts

  • A panel of experts on Monday announced that their investigation had found that more than 4.8K individuals may have been sexually abused as children by the Portuguese Catholic Church. Though Senior church officials claimed there were only a handful of cases, at least 512 victims have come forward.

  • The investigating panel identified that, in 77% of reports, the offender was a priest. They also revealed that a majority of the victims were identified as male.

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

The Vatican, specifically Pope Francis, has failed the Catholic Church and its members. Despite being lauded for his plans to take the church in a different direction, the Pope has neglected to address the child sex abuse scandal that has rocked the church for decades, even relieving one of his top officials from duty to excuse him answering allegations of exploitation in Australia. His failure to act might not condone the behavior, but it does provide fodder for the critics who say he is willingly helping cover up the systemic sexual criminality of the church.

Pro-establishment narrative

Pope Francis understands the enormity of the challenge faced by the church amid these child sex abuse allegations. He has taken it upon himself to bring the institution to account and ensure that any exploitation does not continue. He has taken the first major step of acknowledging that the abuse has occurred, now he will personally work to rid the church of the scandal that has undermined trust in religious leaders and discouraged people from engaging with the Christian church.

Metaculus Prediction

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