The Vatican has advised bishops around the world of the importance of co-operating with police if complaints have been laid about specific priests raping and molesting children. Bishops were asked to develop guidelines for preventing sex abuse by May 2012.
How can Bishops prevent sex abuse by following ‘guidelines’ unless the priest under suspicion is reported to police immediately and is barred from performing official duties while under investigation? Neither of these necessary actions have been insisted on by the Vatican.
The communique from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly Office of the Holy Inquisition) made no provision to ensure the bishops actually follow any guidelines, and victims groups immediately denounced the recommendations as “dangerously flawed” because they stress the exclusive authority of bishops to determine the credibility of abuse allegations. And we all know where that has led. It seems that this is another release from the Pope to lull the faithful into a false sense of security regarding their children in the hands of priests, while nothing has changed!
“There’s nothing that will make a child safer today or tomorrow or next month or next year,” said Barbara Dorris, outreach director for the main U.S. victims group Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests.
The sexual abuse of children continues:
The communique is being issued at a time when the sex abuse guidelines of the U.S. bishops have been put into question after a Philadelphia grand jury earlier this year indicted a high-ranking church official on child endangerment charges for allegedly transferring predator priests. Four co-defendants — two priests, an ex-priest and a former Catholic school teacher — are charged with raping children.
The grand jury found “substantial evidence of abuse” committed by at least 37 other priests who remained in active ministry at the time of the report. Philadelphia’s archbishop, Cardinal Justin Rigali, initially insisted that no archdiocesan priests in ministry had an “admitted or established allegation” against them. But he later suspended two dozen of the 37 priests. The archdiocese says many of the 37 were accused not of actual molestation but of so-called “boundary issues,” including inappropriate touching or sharing porn with minors — the latter a canonical crime in and of itself. These are mere “boundary issues”??
How about this for a pathetic excuse: It was explained by a spokesman that the Vatican didn’t make reporting abuse cases to police mandatory because different countries have different laws which bishops must abide by. The Vatican states such a binding rule would be problematic for priests working in countries with repressive regimes. Who would the leaders of repressive regimes be more harmful to, the abusive priests or the abused children?
If this is the Vatican’s idea of a ‘transparency drive’, perhaps the Vatican hierarchy needs to look up the meaning of transparency in the dictionary, that’s if they possess one. The newly published guidelines also outline the different ways that abusive priests can be disciplined by the church’s internal courts [my emphasis]. In “very grave cases”, (aren’t they all grave?) the pope may issue a decree dismissing a priest from the clerical state. You mean the ‘E’ word? But this has never yet happened, has it?
The following statement has to be the most idiotic the Vatican has ever released in relation to paedophile priests:
The pope’s secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone risked new controversy by claiming that paedophilia was linked to homosexuality. “Many psychologists and psychiatrists have shown that there is no link between celibacy and paedophilia but many others have shown, I have recently been told, that there is a relationship between homosexuality and paedophilia,” he told a news conference in Santiago. Can we please have the names of these many psychiatric experts, and are they all Catholic? What about the thousands of ‘celibate’ priests who have raped hundreds of thousands of girls and boys? Still more questions than answers.
Perhaps The Church’s fantastical teachings has made it easy for priests to delude themselves into believing that they weren’t really having sex with their victims. It was women, those evil temptresses they had to avoid, as I write in Catholic Dichotomy of Females. I cannot believe that the problem is solely down to paedophilia or homosexuality. It is much more psychologically complicated than that.