Why do Catholic priests abuse children

The Catholic Church is once again at the center of a major abuse scandal. More than 300 Catholic clergy, including numerous bishops, are said to have sexually abused more than 1000 children in the past few decades. This was the result of a comprehensive investigation in the US state of Pennsylvania.

However, the extent of the abuse could be much greater, said investigating authorities, which released their report on Tuesday. Numerous files have disappeared, and many alleged victims did not want to testify. "We suspect that the actual number of victims is in the thousands," said the investigators.

The 1,400-page long investigation report is based on dozen testimonies and half a million pages of internal church documents. Recent incidents include two priests who have molested children over the past decade. Almost all other cases are now statute-barred.

Made compliant with alcohol and pornography

The report is likely to plunge the Catholic Church in the US into another crisis. As early as 2002, the daily newspaper The Boston Globe uncovered a major clergy abuse scandal. These operations were titled in 2015 Spotlight Filmed for the cinema.

Most of the victims in Pennsylvania were found to be boys, many of them not even through puberty. The perpetrators often made the minors docile with alcohol. They were also shown pornography. Children were touched or raped.

In one case, a priest raped a young girl in a hospital after her tonsils were removed. Another clergyman impregnated a 17-year-old girl, then forced her to sign a marriage certificate and then initiated the divorce again. Nevertheless, he was allowed to remain in church service, it says in the report.