Evil, crime, and madness
The scale of the hierarchy's complicity is staggering. A three- month investigation by the Dallas Morning News in 2002 found that of the 178 Catholic bishops and archbishops in the United States, 111 had allowed accused or even admitted molesters to continue working, or otherwise protected them (see the bishop database). Cardinal Brady, the Church's top man in Ireland, was involved in swearing victims to silence and has said that he would still not report abuse today; the Church in Ireland is imploding from years of scandal. Before Joseph Ratzinger became Pope, he participated in protecting abusers in Germany and later issued a worldwide directive that the Church's investigations of priestly molestation be kept secret from secular authorities.
Such stories could be multiplied indefinitely. The point is that this same pattern of systematic protection of child-molesting priests, allowing the abuse to continue, has been found in the Catholic Church in many different countries all over the world, and that it reaches to the highest levels of the institution, and that this has been the case for decades. This is not just an issue of a few, or even many, bad apples. It is clearly policy.
There is such a thing as evil. Raping children is evil, and protecting child-rapers from prosecution so that they can continue to rape children is evil, and the Catholic Church is an evil organization. Don't tell me about the good the Church does. When an institution has committed evil of such profundity, on such a scale, it doesn't matter what else it has done. We would not have commuted John Wayne Gacy's sentence if it turned out he had often donated to charity. The Catholic Church is an evil organization, period.
Besides being an evil organization, the Catholic Church is also a criminal organization. By shielding child-rapers and allowing their activities to continue, it has been an accomplice to hideous crime on a vast scale, all over the Earth. In a just world, the Catholic Church worldwide would be treated like the organized-crime ring that it in fact is; its operations would be shut down, its leaders would be prosecuted for their actions, and its assets, up to the Vatican itself, would be seized and liquidated to pay compensation to the victims.
But we do not live in a just world. We live in a world in which the madness of religion still infects the brains of billions of humans, making it seem acceptable to minimize or make excuses for the most horrific crimes, if they are committed in a religious context. And so that evil man will continue to squat on his throne in the Vatican, and that evil organization will continue to decay and putrefy and collapse, year after year, revelation after revelation, exuding its rancid miasma of horror and corruption from its every rotting tentacle in every land, until the curse of religion itself finally passes from our species.