No excuse! UN chastises Vatican for child abuse cases
Pope Francis says Chruch should be ashamed of its handling of cases.
Earlier this week, the United Nations issued a report on the Vatican's management of child sex abuse cases. According to the UN, the Vatican has taken some meaningful steps, but its efforts remain largely symbolic. The report says that the Vatican's traditional lack of transparency contributes much to the problem.
The report serves as a literal rap on the knuckles for the Vatican, by the UN, for the sins of its recent past.
Please pray for all those involved in cases of abuse. Pray for justice, pray for peace.
For its part, the Catholic Church, particularly under Benedict and Francis, has accepted its culpability in these cases, and continues to take steps to prevent the abuse of more children by unfit clergy.
Benedict made public apologies for the acts committed by members of the clergy in decades past and defrocked hundreds of offenders during the last two years of his pontificate. Pope Francis doesn't appear to be letting up either. Pope Francis has said that Catholics should be ashamed of these incidents, and that everything possible to protect children must be done.
In the past, bishops notoriously discouraged victims from going public with her accusations, and generally handled the problems internally. In some cases, that meant discreetly moving priests to monasteries, or into treatment programs. In other cases priests were simply moved to neighboring parishes, and in most cases those priests continued to repeat their crimes.
Only in rare cases were priests reported to the authorities and prosecuted for abusing children.
This began to change the 1980s as the issue of child abuse came to the forefront of American and worldwide consciousness. In the decades since, hundreds of priests around the globe have been accused, and most of the cases have been substantiated. Many of those priests have finally faced justice, although some after decades of preying upon children and getting away with it, often with the help of the church itself.
It must now be understood, it must be absolutely clear, that the clergy is no place to hide criminals. The Catholic Church must do all it can to lift the veil of secrecy on child abuse cases, and to come to resolution with the victims.
More importantly, the Church must take bigger steps to ensure that those who are unfit for the priesthood, and those who demonstrate any kind of inappropriate behavior reports children, are shown to the exit door, or handed over to authorities where appropriate.
The Catholic Church is the world's leading spiritual institution, and has an incredible mission from God Himself, to lead all the people of the world to his glory and their salvation. It cannot fulfill this mission if it is distracted by the evildoings of its clergy. The clergy must be sanitized.
Despite the harshness of the Vatican report, as well as broad public condemnation, it should of course be noted that abuse in the church is no more frequent than abuse in other organizations, or by men in general. Modern psychological studies have proven that Catholic priests are no more likely to abuse children than men in any other segment of the population. However, this is still no excuse. The Catholic Church is held to the absolute highest standard of moral integrity, and one case of abuse is one case too many, no matter what the rest of the world, or psychological studies say.
Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...
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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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