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The news that an adult has betrayed the trust of anyone, especially young children, is both heartbreaking and infuriating. When that individual is a member of the clergy, and when sexual abuse is involved, the claim takes on a new, devastating significance.

On Tuesday, a lengthy grand jury report was released identifying more than 300 priests who preyed on more than 1,000 victims in six dioceses around the state of Pennsylvania. The depth of criminality is unfathomable. That the abuse was covered up for decades is unconscionable. Then again, the Catholic Church has been dealing with claims of sexual misconduct against its children for many years.

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More: Cardinal Donald Wuerl 'has no plans to resign' amid Catholic church sex abuse scandal]

I am not of the Catholic faith but have always appreciated the presence of the Church in these increasingly dark times. Long has it been a place of rest, reflection, and spiritual security for a fair number of individuals in my life, as well as millions around the world. The presence of Catholicism throughout history should neither be taken lightly nor should it be disregarded.

While the Church has certainly been a force for good, this week's report, and other, well-known cases of sexual abuse of minors, have done much to tarnish a well-respected faith. In some instances, the lazy approach to accountability and correction is pushing once loyal parishioners away. Take, for instance, the reaction from actress Patricia Heaton.

Watched another interview with @Cardinal_Wuerl. Bottom line - the Catholic Church will have zero moral authority until everyone who abused or abetted is gone. No excuses. Until then, no more money to this corrupt syndicate. @Pontifex @CardinalDolan

— Patricia Heaton (@PatriciaHeaton) August 16, 2018

Other sentiments have been made, most notably here on the pages of Washington Examiner. At the very least, Cardinal Wuerl, who is named 200 times in the grand jury report, must go. Unless leadership that has been directly involved in covering up the horrific abuse is no longer in charge, will change ever come?

As an outsider, one of the things I have valued most is the Catholic Church's very solid stance on the worth of life. Unlike many other denominations that have been swayed by the changing cultural and political tides, the Catholic position has always been a pro-life one. Despite the frustration from more left-leaning church members, this consistency has remained. Sadly, assigning an inherent value to unborn life is becoming a minority-held view. The Church's position, however, has remained solid, and for good reason.

In principle, Catholic Christians believe that all life is sacred from conception until natural death, and the taking of innocent human life, whether born or unborn, is morally wrong. The Church teaches, 'Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being.' (Donum vitae, 5).

If the Catholic Church truly desires to bring change, looking to their teaching on unborn life would be a logical start.

While sexual abuse is not the act of physically taking a life, it is still a form of violence meant to strip the innocence of the intended victim. In many ways, it is possible to destroy a human being by way of emotional and mental ruination. Abortion is a permanent act. Sexual crime lingers long after the deed is done. For some, the inner pain is so acute that they believe their only relief is to end the suffering by way of suicide. If not, perhaps years of therapy and reaffirmation of their worth as an individual is necessary to achieve a bruised sense of wholeness.

In short, sexual abuse, like abortion, is an abomination against a member of God's creation.

Pro-life individuals, in the Catholic Church and elsewhere, strengthen their message by applying a consistency to it. That constancy can only be achieved by recognizing the value of the individual within the womb as no different from their value outside of it. The reverse is true, too. We view unborn life as precious and worthy of protection. It then makes no sense to view it as cheap and easily discardable once outside of the safe confines of its uterine home.

Unfortunately, it seems this very hypocrisy has run rampant in the Catholic Church at large over the past several decades. Until that very evil is purged, it will be business as usual.

Kimberly Ross (@SouthernKeeks) is contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog and a senior contributor at RedState.com.

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