You know, I don’t think anyone in the Church’s power structure disagrees that sexual abuse by members of the clergy is a bad thing. The controversy has been over the Church’s refusal to subject those priests to secular authorities for punishment rather than dealing with it internally, a policy which literally has a thousand years or more of history on their part.
Aren’t they? The Pope is de facto the monarch of a sovereign state. He is the “legal authorities” so far as the Vatican goes. Even in the US, the 1st Amendment recognizes the sanctity of the confessional, so it would in fact be unlawful for the church to “turn in” an abusive priest on the basis of something he admitted to privately.
I seem to recall Jesus had some choice words about letting he without sin cast the first stone, and loving thy enemy, and going forth and sinning no more and such.
Jesus ALSO said that anyone who harms a child should be cast to the sea with a millstone around his neck, IIRC. By your logic, the church would be against any sort of prison, wouldn’t it? As someone who WAS raised Catholic, that’s not true. The church doesn’t teach that you’re not supposed to obey the law, or that you shouldn’t be punished when you break it. (Yes, even priests). By that logic, the church would be against ANY kind of laws.
They didn’t transfer them on the basis of things learned in confession – it was based on accusations from victims. Instead of going to the police, the priests were moved to other parishes. Forgiveness is one thing – but that doesn’t mean you allow someone to harm another person. No one’s saying you can’t forgive them. But you shouldn’t just sweep it under the rug and allow a person to go on and HURT OTHER PEOPLE. It’s about protecting the innocent. And the church wasn’t moving these priests because they believed in forgiveness – they were doing it to avoid any type of a scandal or negative attention.
Now, HAS Pope Francis said anything about how the church has dealt with child abuse by priests, and what should be done in the future? (I’m interested to know, I’m liking this guy a lot)
And within the walls of his own “state” he can set his own laws. Crimes within that state should be liable to Vatican laws (and the world should judge them on the openness of their judicial system and their willingness to tackle wrongdoing). Outside of his massively opulent palace it means nothing, You live by the law of the land you are in. Church doctrine is not, and should never be a substitute for the rule of law.
In the UK thankfully there is no such legal protection for the confessional and quite rightly we would look dimly on anyone holding back information on child rape in favour of “dealing with it internally”
Would you consider it appropriate for any other organisation to deal with heinous crimes in anything other than open court?
Anyone who seeks to defend the church’s stance in manner shown above is engaging in sickening apologist bullshit.
And yet…and yet…and yet…the church seems happy to pass judgement on all and sundry, even those who have committed no crime, all the time remaining silent on those in it’s ranks who have raped children.
It would be the natural conclusion, but the amount of molesters among Catholic priests & among clergy of other faiths, including married clergy, has been shown to be about the same - 4%. And other professions which involve close contact with children hardly fare any better. A public school teacher who is a molester can have a ongoing supply of fresh meat that some priests could only dream of. Of course, the fact that the church is a huge bureaucratized institution with a sense of Diving mission has let to the coverups & shuffling. But even that can partly be attributed to what many psychiatrists were saying in the 1960s-70s- get the abusers away from the victims, put them in treatment where they can be fixed, & then rehabilitate them. So throw in the ideas that psychiatric treatments & confession/repentance would actually take hold & fix “good men who had done bad things” and you have a perfect storm for an ever-building scandal.