Friday, March 19, 2010

The child abuse by Catholic priests was sickening. The fact they acted without shame is terrifying

From The London Guardian-

There are two distinct aspects to the sex abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic church. First, there is the abuse itself, inflicted by priests, monks and nuns on children in their care; and second, there are the cover-ups of which church authorities have subsequently been accused. It may well be true, as Andrew Brown has argued in his Guardian blog, that there is more child abuse outside the Catholic church than within it. But given the trust that the Catholic faithful traditionally place in their pastors, and the church's insistence on the need to protect the innocence of children, it seems particularly shocking when priests are involved in it.

For that reason, one might expect a bishop to act decisively against the evil of child abuse when it is discovered among the priests in his diocese; and while the occurrence of the abuse itself is obviously the greater abomination, the failure of many bishops to do this may be even more damaging in the long run to the authority of the church. To cover up what Pope John Paul II called "a grave sin", and to ignore his assertion that "there is no place in the priesthood or religious life for those who would harm the young", seems a serious dereliction of episcopal duty.

It also makes the church look more interested in its own reputation than in the welfare of its flock. And that, indeed, was what the Murphy commission, set up by the Irish government to investigate abuse in the Dublin archdiocese, concluded last year when it said that the church authorities had engaged in "the maintenance of secrecy, the avoidance of scandal, the protection of the reputation of the church, and the preservations of its assets". This was a terrible verdict, but the reluctance of the church to admit fault or to hang out its dirty washing in public is, however reprehensible, not difficult to understand. A hierarchical institution claiming to have the sole right to interpret the Word of God does not lightly jeopardise its authority in such ways.

More here-

1 comment:

Jon said...

I find it funny that the episcopal church will speak of the sickening abuse of a very small percentage of the Catholic clergy but no mention of their own clergy sex abuse, which makes one wonder; when it happens in the Catholic Church it's sickening, which it is, but when it happens in the episcopal church, it's divine?