Many members of this forum speculate that the lawsuits faced by the Watchtower Society are leading to its demise or at least putting incredible pressure on its ability to function as it has in the past. The reports from WT and Awake articles regarding the Catholic Church give credence to these members arguments.
Note: Comments by the Society often have them taking the moral 'high ground'. Examination of the Australian Royal Commission testimony and findings would leave any 'thinking person' shaking their head in disbelief. ['Thinking person' is a term the Society used to like using a lot]
Watchtower - July 15 - 2001
'terrible damage is done when religious authorities tolerate abusive priests who persistently molest boys and girls. “Treating the children as occasions of sin,” commented one reporter in Ireland, “the church authorities merely moved on the offending priest [to another location].”
Is just transferring such a man an example of proper tolerance? Hardly! Suppose a medical body allowed an irresponsible surgeon to continue operating, transferring him from one hospital to another, even though he was killing or maiming his patients. A mistaken sense of professional loyalty might produce such “tolerance.” But what about the victims whose lives were lost or adversely affected because of negligent or even criminal practices?
Awake 2004 Nov 22
Studies on Sex Abuse by Priests
“Two long-awaited studies have found that the [U.S.] Roman Catholic Church suffered an epidemic of child sexual abuse that involved at least 4 percent of priests over 52 years and peaked with the ordination class of 1970, in which one of every 10 priests was eventually accused of abuse,” reports The New York Times. “The human toll amounted to 10,667 children allegedly victimized by 4,392 priests from 1950 to 2002, but the studies caution that even these numbers represent an undercount,” as many cases have not been reported. One study, conducted at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, disclosed that “priests were accused of abuse in more than 95 percent of dioceses and about 60 percent of religious orders.” The other study, by a Catholic national review board, pointed to a culture in Catholic seminaries that “tolerated moral laxity.”
Awake Dec8, 2005 Watching the World
Catholic Dioceses Bankrupt
'...By the end of 2004, three Catholic dioceses in the United States had filed for bankruptcy. All three were forced to take this step because of the financial costs of clergy sexual abuse scandals. A number of dioceses have talked about the possibility of having to file for bankruptcy, but the first to do so was the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, in July 2004. That action halted two lawsuits in which plaintiffs were seeking a total of $155 million in compensation for molestation. According to the National Catholic Reporter, “the archdiocese and its insurers already have paid more than $53 million to settle more than 130 claims by people who say they were abused by priests.” In September 2004, the diocese of Tucson, Arizona, became the second diocese to seek bankruptcy protection from multimillion dollar claims being brought against it. The diocese of Spokane, Washington, became the third, in December 2004...'
Awake Jan 8 - 2005 Watching the World
Church Doors Closing
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, U.S.A., has announced that it will close 65 of its 357 parishes—almost one fifth of the total. Some 60 churches and 120 related buildings will be sold. According to The New York Times, this restructuring is “caused partly by declining attendance and increased financial problems that were worsened by the sexual abuse crisis among clergy members.” The newspaper quotes R. Scott Appleby, director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at Notre Dame University, as saying that “the scandal has put a drain on the financial resources of the archdiocese” to such an extent that it cannot “keep parishes afloat.”
Awake March - 2011 Watching the World
The “credibility gap” caused by the Catholic Church’s “mismanagement of the clergy sex abuse crisis” has resulted in its “largest institutional crisis in centuries, possibly in church history.”—NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER, U.S.A.