Suppose the Catholic Church made amends for the scandals. What would you like see them do?

Suppose the CC really regretted any or all of the major scandals and wanted to make amends/reorganize/solve problems. How, exactly, could they do that?

Usually, churches in disregard have a more viable branch split off and everybody just moves to the new branch, or other branches that split off longer ago. A few people stay in the old branch, fanatically defending it untill they die.

But suppose that the Catholic churc, or affiliated believers for that matter, wanted to do something. What could they do, short of leaving the church?

Demand the spending of thites be subject to democratic vote on Sundays? Voting in general on important issues, and a bishop who has to carry the majority viewpoint back to his superiors as if he were running a restaurant and reporting on the oputcome of a client/member survey?

Sale of the Vatican and use of the money raised to ensure that every man, woman and child on the planet had access to potable water, sanitation and vaccination for all vaccine-preventable diseases would be a start.

They could run the Vatican’s functions from a couple of modestly sized buildings in any of the world’s major cities and they don’t need the massive art collections or historic buildings.

It would be pretty much impossible to dislodge almost 2000 years of dug in Church Hierarchy to replace with a more modern form.

Maybe become Anglican/Episcopalian? Short of eliminating the Catholic Church entirely I really can’t think of a damned thing.

I’m assuming the OP is talking about the sex/abuse scandals, but frankly, the way the OP is worded, it could be anything from giving a stomachache to a lion to accepting a released murderer into a convent. Individual work makes no sense: how is any individual other than Father V going to make amends for Father V trying to grab my ass when I was 12 and he was my class’ homeroom teacher* (and getting rotundly elbowed for it)? Individuals work every day trying to make this a better world, but that’s not in penance for other people’s sins, generally… it’s because that’s what you’re supposed to do.
That said,

the “retribution/compensation” part should be handled via civil and criminal courts, but I’d be a lot more interested in what would the hierarchy do to avoid future problems.

Opening the priesthood to women, re-authorizing the marriage of priests, implementing mechanisms to give appropriate counseling to hierarchy members who need it (while a well-done Confession is basically the old version of counseling, it has mechanisms which do not make it appropriate for long-term care in a world in which people move a lot), denying both major and minor Orders to those who shouldn’t by their character ever be in a position of authority, etc.

  • trying to translate the Spanish tutor to American terms. I have no idea what those would be called in other places or what would be a good general-English term.

If the Vatican was for sale, who would buy it?

Need not be one big sale, you could parcel off bits and pieces for apartments, offices, hotels, museums and galleries.

I’m sure there are plenty of tax exiles, Russian oligarchs and Gulf princes who would like a Vatican adjacent apartment.

The way anybody else would make amends. Prison sentences for pedophiles and the people who covered up the crimes. Yes, some people will be unpunished because they are dead. Just like with non church criminals.

It has to go further than just punishing the people responsible though. People have to be sure that anyone who commits the same crimes in the future won’t be protected by church leadership. I don’t see any way for Catholics to keep the secret society style hierarchy in place, where the priests and bishops watch out for each other and refuse to talk to the police during investigations. That crap can’t happen anymore. The church can’t promise that priests will stop abusing kids, but they can absolutely promise not to protect those priests from the law anymore.

Okay, the covering the crimes up part is interesting.

How much punishment for a bishop who sent a “fishy” priest to another parish? How much if he sent him to a place with children, say a school?
How much prison time for the cardinal above that who knew of/signed off those moves, or the practice in general ?
How much prison time for the church officials in the seventies/nineties who heard of these then decade-old crimes, made sure they couldn’t happen again anymore, but felt that widely publishing these crimes would just be “opening old wounds and damaging the Church”?

This is really more of a topic for Great Debates, so I’m moving it there.

The first step for that is eliminating the ridiculous statehood of the Vatican, because whilst they can hide behind their own legal wall they cannot be held accountable for anything.

So eliminate the Vatican as is, and bring it under the jurisdiction of another, preferably non-Catholic state (the church has far too much influence in Italian politics for it to be left to Italy). The US would be a good choice IMO.

What are the tariffs for aiding and abetting the various offences?

What are the tariffs for criminal conspiracy?


As for “opening old wounds”, do we allow other criminal organisations off the hook for fear of opening up old wounds?


What do the victims of those scandals (e.g. those who were molested by priests) want to see the Church do?

Exactly. Followed by mass seppuku.

Pay them money.

Because the Church failed them. And their parents failed them, by avoiding the secular authorities out of shame. If a crime has been committed, go to the police.

That’s about half of it, yes. Turn over any evidence so that anyone who molested children or covered for a child abuser can be prosecuted, adopt stringent policies to prevent these kinds of crimes and identify them when they do happen, and stop asserting that they don’t have to cooperate with mere mortal law enforcement and will handle these matters on their own.

Make the contents of the libraries available in full to the world. Donate the art to galleries across the world where they have a significant presence and pay for the construction of a gallery where they are not available yet. Sell the vatican and all the properties and move to a smaller, modern building for administration. All additional monies from the sale should be used to pay for modern schools, textbooks, and legitimate sex-ed in poor countries.

DO that and I’ll be willing to forget everything they did in the past and reset the relationship.

In addition to the pedophile crimes, there’s their refusal to let women into the preisthood and their war on contraception. These are not crimes per se, but they are things that are WRONG.

So I like the disbanding thing. The Catholic Church has become all bath water, no baby. We can safely throw it out.

Surely there are already penalties for people who cover up crimes, including pedophilia? I don’t see why we have to figure out different penalties when it’s a bishop or cardinal.

What happens if a manager at a paper company knows an employee is molesting kids, and instead of reporting it to the police, transfers the employee to another branch? Whatever penalty that guy gets, the bishops and cardinals should get.