Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Very Sad Development in the Sexual Abuse Cases In the Church Issue.

The Washington Post has an extensive article on some new documentation that has come forward on the issue of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. It does not look too good. The 1997 material is a letter that shows the Vatican may have given instructions to Bishops in Ireland not to report abusers to the police. Vatican says the letter was misunderstood. Here are my thoughts on this.

Did sexual abuse go on? Yes.
Is there now a concerted effort by the media and others to make heads roll? Yes. (Of course there would be -- the Church is Christian-based, isn't it? -- that's reason enough for pursuit by the mainline press.)
Is the whole situation doing the body of Christ any good, Catholics and Protestants? No.
The Catholic Church continues to lose in the process as more and more get fed up with at least what they're hearing in the press.
Protestant churches lose too because at times many people out there consider the Church to be the Church -- and do not differentiate. (That may be okay and as it should be.)

The question is, what can we do now? We do now on a large scale what we tell people to do on a personal scale.
1. Start with confession
2. Stop any further efforts to cover-up in any way whatsoever or to protect anyone who is guilty in any way
3. Let the chips fall where they may (sin has its consequences)
4. But support the abusers spiritually as you would anyone else, but don't try to get them out of the consequences.
5. Put into place measures that make future abuse almost impossible, no matter what it takes.

Here's a part I am having trouble with:

The Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy at the time (according to the article) "was led by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, who has routinely defended the church's practice of not reporting abuse to police in favor of guarding the rights of accused priests. At the height of the Vatican's sex abuse scandal last year, Castrillon Hoyos told a Colombian radio station that no one should be forced to report abuse. "The law in nations with a well-developed judiciary does not force anyone to testify against a child, a father, against other people close to the suspect," Castrillon told RCN radio. "Why would they ask that of the church? That's the injustice.""

That is wrong, wrong, wrong. It is thinking like that, calling for special privileges to the church as an institution (it is not my father, or child, so his analogy doesn't work) that allows some religions to do things in the name of their religion that would not be allowed normally. (Need I name the one I have in mind.)

When Jesus was on earth, He never asked for special privileges and certainly didn't get any.  In fact He told to fully obey the government except where it contradicts God's Word.  End of statement.

Vatican: 1997 Irish abuse letter 'misunderstood'

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