Should the Roman Catholic Church be disbanded? If you believe children should be protected from sexual predators sustained by their knowledge that church leaders will cover up their criminal self-gratification, you must take such a recommendation seriously.

By remaining largely silent, the pope has tacitly approved cover-ups of sexual predation by priests. Despite an unending barrage of exposés, their crimes often go unpunished by both the law and the church.

On Jan. 31, Texas identified nearly 300 priests accused of child sex abuse over eight decades. How can a caring parent allow a child to enter into such a dangerous situation? We have no good explanation for the extent of perversion and crime that priests are responsible for, and, of course, not all of them are. But statistics make trusting a priest a risky proposition.

In August 2018, Pennsylvania revealed that more than 1,000 child sex abuse cases had been covered up by the church over 70 years. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the Archbishop of Washington, resigned from the College of Cardinals in July 2018 after a series of sexual misconduct allegations. McCarrick was elevated to cardinal despite credible rumors of sex crimes.

In December, the attorney general of Illinois named 690 priests in another extensive cover-up. As of October, 13 states were investigating on-going sexual abuse by priests. They have since been joined by the attorneys general of the District of Columbia and Virginia. Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada as well as countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia have lived the same nightmare. When will it end?

To feel the victims’ pain, watch the Netflix documentary, “The Keepers.”

Terry Munson

Greenbriar Avenue

Pawleys Island