The catholic church has proven over the millenia again and again that it is not an altruistic institution. The altruism, moral and ethical high ground is just the con game they have been playing pretty much since their immaculate inception. It's to hide their true ambition: wealth and power over people.
Under this guise the church has committed atrocities, eradicated whole cultures, tortured, raped, murdered, all the while being immune from punishment by governments and, because it's their shtick of self-absolution, from their own god. And because of that immunity the beat goes on, badabamm, badabamm.
Even now, in modern age, the church has not evolved... improved... bettered itself. Why should it? Nobody is going to to take it to task. That opportunity is long gone, it's too rich and powerful by now. What it did do is become more sophisticated in dealing with a more complicated world, become more eloquent in its rhetoric, become more skilled in obfuscation and deflecting - in other words it adapted like any successful parasite does. Sure, they "reform", they "promise", they "self-reflect" and all this works exactly as intended: it's designed to take the edge off the attention, diffuse the scrutiny. And this works for any government, corporation, powerful institution.
Just look at this story: prayer is considered a part of "severe punishment"... oh, jeeez! Let's just turn another cheek towards the church to do with as it will.