What is gained by cover-ups of sexual abuse?
1. Protect the “good family” name of the perpetrator and the reputation of the LDS Church.
2. Downplay the concern that that choice of the perpetrator for that leadership position was not inspired after all.
3. Limit legal and civil liabilities that would come about if the perpetrator confessed.
4. Allow the perpetrator to privately repent so that he can be given future leadership callings.
5. Because the victim needs to prayerfully consider whether he or she is partially responsible for the abuse, according to Elder Richard G. Scott
6. The responsibility of the victim to forgive the perpetrator is greater than that of the perpetrator to repent.
7. It’s wrong to criticize leaders of the Church, even if the criticism is true. – President Dallin H. Oaks
8. Because the LDS Church’s main law firm, Kirton McConkie, recommended covering-up.
9. Some things that are true are not very useful. – President Boyd K. Packer
10. Shaming the victim or accusing him or her of “false memory syndrome” is often an effective strategy.
11. The Lord chastens those whom he loves even if that chastisement comes in the form of unrighteous dominion by his anointed servants.
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Here are some statements from Von G. Keetch, who at one time was the chief outside legal counsel for the Church and is now a Seventy. Elder Keetch has represented the Church in several cases about child and sexual abuse.
- “No religious organization has done more” to prevent and respond to abuse.
- “The Church’s approach is the gold standard.”
- “While clergy-abuse cases continue to grab headlines, the Church has had almost no child abuse problems with its clergy.”
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– Tom Irvine