This story annoys me

So, tell me, why is the Holy See being singled out for the sexual abuse of children?  I haven’t looked at the countries on this particular UN Committee, but wanna bet some of them have much more egregious treatment of children close to home than the Catholic Church ever has?  Why not take a look at the public school systems in any UN country for as high or a higher rate of sexual abuse against children.  From La Stampa’s Vatican Insider

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child recognises the steps forward made in the fight against paedophilia but says it’s not enough. A report just published in Geneva says the Vatican must “immediately remove” all known or suspected child abusers in the clergy. It asks for any such individuals to be reported to the civil authorities.

 

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child said the Holy See should hand over its dossier on child sex abuse so that the guilty parties and those responsible for covering up their crimes can be brought to justice. “The committee is gravely concerned that the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by, and the impunity of, the perpetrators,” the report says.

 

According to the report which has just been published, the Committee created last December by Pope Francis to oversee the protection of children in the ongoing fight against the abuse of minors in the Church, should “investigate all cases of child sexual abuse as well as the conduct of the Catholic hierarchy in dealing with them.” The report also says that “due to a code of silence imposed on all members of the clergy under penalty of excommunication, cases of child sexual abuse have hardly ever been reported to the law enforcement authorities in the countries where such crimes occurred.” It criticises the transferral of “those responsible from parish to parish or to other countries in an attempt to cover-up such crimes.”

 

-snip-

The Vatican reacted diplomatically to the comments made in the report.

-snip-

 

“The Holy See does, however, regret to see in some points of the Concluding Observations an attempt to interfere with Catholic Church teaching on the dignity of human person and in the exercise of religious freedom,” the statement goes on to say in reference to the explicit requests for changes to the Canon Law of the Catholic Church and its moral teachings regarding abortion, family and homosexuality.

 

“The Holy See reiterates its commitment to defending and protecting the rights of the child, in line with the principles promoted by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and according to the moral and religious values offered by Catholic doctrine,” the Holy See statement ends by saying.

 

The UN  has lost its credibility and moral authority.   Lost it long ago.  And it is sad to see how people still treat it as if it lives up to the ideals of its founders.

Sex abuse?  Look to yourselves United Nations.

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23 Responses to This story annoys me

  1. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    You wrote: So, tell me, why is the Holy See being singled out for the sexual abuse of children? I haven’t looked at the countries on this particular UN Committee…

    Consider the source!

    This committee obviously is dominated by leftists seeking to promote a political agenda that embraces homosexual acts, abortion, euthanasia, and other forms of abject evil. The Catholic Church is a powerful voice against that agenda, so they seek to silence it. In reality, the allegations in the report regarding the handling of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy are at best outdated and, more likely, totally disingenuous. Pope Benedict XVI implemented procedures to streamline the processing of these cases and new norms to ensure immediate reporting thereof to civil authorities, and Pope Francis is strengthening these reforms.

    Norm.

  2. Benedict Marshall says:

    Surely, the United Nations is the foundations of a latter-day Tower of Babel. Get ready for divine punishment. (Or The Final Judgment)

  3. Pingback: This story annoys me | Catholic Canada

  4. EPMS says:

    Shooting the messenger, flawed and disingenuous though he be, is a waste of time here. When an Ontario teacher is proved to have had sex with a student, he or she loses his or her teaching certificate and the details are published in the quarterly journal of the Ontario College of Teachers. The teacher is not transferred to another school; the student is not offered money in exchange for a confidentiality agreement. But the Church went a different route, and revealed itself as just another corporation more concerned with its image and potential financial exposure than with the victims of its employees. This is what exposed it to these attacks; pointless to question the attacker’s motivation.

    • Foolishness says:

      You are talking about stuff that happened 20 years ago. The instances the report cites happened 20 years ago, as if the Catholic Church has done nothing in 24 years to address the problem. I cover this kind of thing and here in Canada the Church has made huge strides in facing this problem, dealing with it transparently and putting protocols in place to ensure it does not happen again. And the report makes no mention of things Pope Benedict did as early as 2006 to publicly and transparently deal with this problem for the whole Church.

    • Benedict Marshall says:

      Please. In the United States, during middle school and high school (Grades 7-12) I’ve known 5 different teachers who’ve had sexual relations with different aged students, and all they’ve got was gossip, and paid leave of absence. No news, no UN hoopla, and certainly no “Please change your principles and how you run things.” to Teacher’s unions.

      More reason for homeschooling and smaller colleges, but that’s another issue.

      I say all leftist be shipped to Antarctica and left at the mercy of penguins. It’s so clear that these people are just anti-Catholic bigots looking for some flimsy excuse to hide their unsurprising hate for the Catholic Church. Not a SINGLE mention of actual steps the Church has done to combat this. None, whatsoever. Instead, we have the same drivel I can hear and read from people like Stephen Fry, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Bill Maher, and 90% of drunken, weed-smoking college-aged American university students.

      The United Nations should be razed to the ground, I tell you what. They’re a waste of oxygen, a waste of time, a waste of money, and a waste of space.

  5. matt says:

    If the Church does not dismiss priests guilty of pedophelia, and turn them over for prosecution, then the Church greatly diminishes it’s moral authority.

    Notice also the Church’s reply acknowledges “the rights of the child, in line with the principles promoted by the Convention on the Rights of the Child ” (That is, it sounds like the Chruch acknowledges the moral authority of the “UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’ – so who are you to reject it?)

    Pedophelia should be prosecuted everywhere, and I am sure that is the UN position. That does not mean the Church should be let off the hook – even if pedophelia happens in other countries – it means that pedophelia should be prosecuted EVERWHERE – including within the Church!

    • Foolishness says:

      Why do you assume the Church, especially here in Canada and in the United States, is not doing everything it can to ensure people are prosecuted? Sounds like you are living in the same time warp as the UN Committee as if the Church has done nothing on this.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      Matt,

      You wrote: If the Church does not dismiss priests guilty of pedophelia, and turn them over for prosecution, then the Church greatly diminishes it’s moral authority.

      I agree completely with your just. Those who lack the maturity not to abuse their sexual faculty should do not belong in the ranks of the clergy. The scriptural standard of sexual morality is very clear.

      It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.

      Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

      I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people — not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

      What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.” (I Corinthians 5:1-13)

      If this is the standard, the offenders should simply be removed from the ranks of the clergy, but also expelled completely from the church.

      Picking nits, though, there were very few instances of pedophilia among the cases of sexual abuse of minors. Rather, nearly all of the cases involved either hebephilia or ephebophilia.

      Norm.

      • david oxley says:

        I agree with you entirely. Jesus was clear and precise on this issue,St Paul echoed these teachings. Downright evil has to be purged from the church.

  6. Benedict Marshall says:

    My outrage goes on about the United Nations regarding other issues.

    This is the most single useless organization humanity has ever come up with. Where were they when the Rwanda Genocide happened? They sat and watched. They were merely rubber-stamping the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and when they want to be relevant, they attack the least likely to bomb the living hell out of their headquarters in New York- the Roman Catholic Church.

    The hypocrisy is so thick, you could make a sandwich out of it.

  7. matt says:

    Foolishness,

    Are you serious? It’s not me who is living in a time warp! Rather you who are living in denial!

    I suppose this time warp also applies to the comments Pope Francis made 10 months ago? I suppose his goal that ‘this will end the practice of sheltering clergy’ is an indication that the Church had already done ‘all it could’? No, that would be denial. The Pope is saying the practice of sheltering abuse priests continues, and must now be stopped.

    (4-5-2013): “Pope Francis has made a powerful and decisive move to crack down on pedophile priests and to heal the wounds of victims. Saying the Church must act “with determination” Francis has told the bishops of the Church that they are to take specific steps…Since there are no specific rules and regulations announced at this time, it is difficult to say what impact these moves will have over the long run, however it is reasonable to expect this will help end, on a global scale, the practice of sheltering abusive clergy and make children safer by providing them with improved protections..” – https://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=50401

    If the Church had done everything it could have to ensure prosecution of priests, this problem would have been resolved by now, and Pope Francis would not be establishing a new commission, at the suggestion of eight cardinals (not at the suggestion of the U.N., and even befor the U.N. report came out) in March 2013, to hopefully, finally, come up with answers to resolve the problem! – The suggestion to establish a commission came from the group of eight cardinals brought together by the pope a month after his election in March, 2013 to advise him on reforming the Vatican’s labyrinthine bureaucracy. – http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/06/world/europe/pope-setting-up-commission-on-clerical-child-abuse.html

    If this problem, and I, were in a time warp – then the Vatican is in the same time warp – as they are still be defrocking priests at a rate of 100 per year as this article from catholic.org, on 1/26/2014, confirms -“In spite of his humble and merciful nature, Pope Francis will not show leniency towards pedophile priests. The number of clerics defrocked by the Vatican was likely to have fallen to about 100 in 2013 from about 125 in 2012, Monsignor Charles Scicluna; the most authoritative Catholic official on the Church’s abuse crisis says that truth and justice are more important than protecting the Church.” – http://www.catholic.org/hf/faith/story.php?id=54000 – Note also that Monsignor Scicluna still feels compelled to reiterate that justice trumps protecting the Church. Why the need to reiterate that truth in 2014, to explain current year actions – if this problem was from such a long time ago? Because this problem is still unresolved in 2012, 2013, 2014 – current times – not some long ago time warp!

    You should also pay a visit to the website BishopAccountability.org, mentioned in that same NYTimes article. – “BishopAccountability.org, an organization that has amassed an enormous collection of documents on the abuse problem in the church, gave a cautious welcome to the announcement, but also expressed skepticism.
    And regarding your assertion that the Church has done everything it can to prosecute pedophile priests, an organization called SNAP disagrees with that position – “ Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP,(is) the leading United States-based support group for clergy abuse victims. David Clohessy, executive director of the group, said the announcement suggested that the Vatican remained strongly resistant to making sexually abusive members of the clergy and their church protectors accountable to external criminal prosecution.- http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/06/world/europe/pope-setting-up-commission-on-clerical-child-abuse.html
    And the data compiled by BishopAccountability.org strongly supports the fact that the Church, and the state, still have not completed dealing with perhaps as many as three thousand accused priests – http://www.bishop-accountability.org/AtAGlance/data.htm:
    · 1.How many priests have been accused? The U.S. bishops have reported receiving allegations of abuse by 6,275 priests in 1950-2011, or 5.7% of the 109,694 U.S. priests active since 1950.
    · 2. How many children have been victimized by priests? The U.S. bishops report receiving allegations from 16,324 victims or 2.7 victims per priest.
    · 7. How many cases have been filed? Over 3,000 civil lawsuits have been filed in the United States between 1984 and 2009. (6,725 – 3,000 leaves 3,725 clergy who were, as of 2009, not subject to civil lawsuits.

    · 11. How many priests have been laicized for sexual abuse? In 2001- 2010, the Vatican states that 600 priests accused of sexual abuse have been laicized worldwide, half at their own request and half by papal decree. We have identified 325 accused U.S. priests who have been laicized. So about 1% (600/6,725) were defrocked. Do you consider that

    Note also more findings, in a paper written by Father Thomas Doyle called “Catholic Clergy Sexual Abuse Meets the Civil Law”. (Thomas Doyle is a Catholic priest with a Doctorate in Canon Law and Masters’ degrees in Philosophy, Theology, Political Science, Administration and Canon Law. He is also a certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor. He has been an expert witness and consultant for approximately 500 clergy sex abuse cases in the U.S., Ireland, U.K., Canada, Israel, Australia and New Zealand). The paper states that, as of 2004 – “It is estimated that perhaps 250-300 Catholic clerics have received sentences through the criminal justice system” –

    Click to access 2004_01_01_Doyle_CatholicClergy.pdf

    So as of 2004 only about 300 clergy faced criminal prosecution. That would be only 10% of the priest subjected to civil prosecution. The 300 priests criminally prosecuted would represent 0.5% of the 6,275 priests that the Bishops received allegations of abuse on! One half percent were criminally prosecuted! How can that even remotely be considered active prosecution by the Church or the government for that matter!

    Foolishness, are you still going to deny that prosecution and defrocking is complete? Still denying that this is a current and ongoing problem, as indicated by the Pope’s and Bishop’s current actions in March 2013, to resolve the issue with a new commission? This is no time warp! This problem is still in the throes of being resolved, as many as perhaps 50% of accused priests have not been civilly tried. As many as perhaps 90% of them have not been defrocked, or tried by the criminal justice system! Why are so many still not criminally tried, or dismissed from the Church? If that is considered resolved, then I think you have a very lenient view of what resolution and conclusion amounts to.

    Ask yourself, if this abuse had occurred in a business organization, say a charity such as the Child Care Worldwide, or a corporate child care company such as Kinder Care, or Bright Horizons Family Solutions, or a Hospital such as St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital – where the public entrusts the care of their children – do you think those institutions would still be in business if it took those companies decades to first acknowledge the scope of the problem, and then dragged their feet with regards to firing, and prosecuting, their employees in the manner the Church has done with their priests?

    Seriously, those companies would have suspended those employees immediately, with even a suspicion that an employee might be abusing their customer’s children. And upon reasonable evidence, those companies would have immediately fired those employees and fully cooperated with authorities with regards to handling criminal, or civil, prosecution. The problem would have been ‘handled’ in a matter of months, or years – not decades – as it has taken with the Church. If private companies did not act swiftly, those companies would have lost their clients, been prosecuted in the media, been sued by civil and government organizations, decried in the news and media, and eventually gone out of business.

    The Church has to be held to at least the minimal standards that private companies would have been – but truly the Church should have surpassed them in handling this tragedy with speed and diligence, and in retrospect it has not.

    Or you could keep your blinders on, and dismiss all these facts, and fall back to the fallacious argument that the U.N. is just bullying the Church, picking on her, and there is no ongoing problem, and all the responsible clergy have been dismissed and prosecuted, and this is happily all behind us in some neatly contained ‘time warp’ – which would of course simply be denial.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      Matt,

      Whoa, slow down! You are taking much out of context and conflating things into something that they are not.

      You quoted: (4-5-2013): “Pope Francis has made a powerful and decisive move to crack down on pedophile priests and to heal the wounds of victims. Saying the Church must act “with determination” Francis has told the bishops of the Church that they are to take specific steps…Since there are no specific rules and regulations announced at this time, it is difficult to say what impact these moves will have over the long run, however it is reasonable to expect this will help end, on a global scale, the practice of sheltering abusive clergy and make children safer by providing them with improved protections..” –

      The author of this quotation misunderstands the context of the present pope’s remarks. Pope Francis is simply reinforcing the policies that Pope Benedict XVI enacted to deal with the issue of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy effectively.

      You also quoted: If the Church had done everything it could have to ensure prosecution of priests, this problem would have been resolved by now, and Pope Francis would not be establishing a new commission, at the suggestion of eight cardinals (not at the suggestion of the U.N., and even befor the U.N. report came out) in March 2013, to hopefully, finally, come up with answers to resolve the problem! – The suggestion to establish a commission came from the group of eight cardinals brought together by the pope a month after his election in March, 2013 to advise him on reforming the Vatican’s labyrinthine bureaucracy. –

      The charter for the commission of eight cardinals is a general reorganization of the Roman curia. It is not specific to the issue of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy.

      You wrote: Note also that Monsignor Scicluna still feels compelled to reiterate that justice trumps protecting the Church. Why the need to reiterate that truth in 2014, to explain current year actions – if this problem was from such a long time ago? Because this problem is still unresolved in 2012, 2013, 2014 – current times – not some long ago time warp!

      In cases of sexual abuse, it often takes a couple decades for victims to start to come forward and then it takes another couple years to collect evidence before cases can be submitted. Also, the dicasteries that deal with these cases got slammed with a very large number of cases, and thus developed a huge backlog, when Pope Benedict XVI promulgated the current policies.

      You wrote: So as of 2004 only about 300 clergy faced criminal prosecution. That would be only 10% of the priest subjected to civil prosecution. The 300 priests criminally prosecuted would represent 0.5% of the 6,275 priests that the Bishops received allegations of abuse on! One half percent were criminally prosecuted! How can that even remotely be considered active prosecution by the Church or the government for that matter!

      Criminal laws of civil society usually provide deadlines (called “statutes of limitations”) for prosecution of crimes — and there is very good reason for this: physical evidence deteriorates and witnesses’ memories lapse, making it impossible to conduct a fair trial. There’s some room to debate whether these deadlines should be five years after the crime or ten, but even a ten year deadline would not permit prosecution of crimes that go unreported until the victims “go public” a couple decades later. The result is that over 90% of the cases of sexual abuse can’t be prosecuted simply because the statutes of limitations expired before the victims reported the crimes to anybody.

      In fact, several of the cases prosecuted here in Massachusetts are problematic at best due to a wrinkle of Massachusetts law. The law in question set a statute of limitations, but caused it to toll only while the perpetrator was present in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This is dubious under our federal constitution, which requires each state to grant the same immunities to citizens of other states that it grants to its own citizens: evidence and testimony don’t become reliable simply because the perpetrator of a crime was not present in the jurisdiction.

      Here, I should also note that many states have modified their laws since the scandal here in the States erupted over a decade ago. In some cases, the statute of limitations now begins when the victim reports the crime — a dubious practice at best. In other cases, the statute of limitations was simply lengthened to exceed the normal delay in the reporting of the crime, with no scientific analysis to show that physical evidence and testimony remain reliable. In reality, these changes were typically enacted in a rush to tighten the laws to permit prosecution of similar cases in the future — which is bad legislative policy at best. The better course of action would have been to wait for the hubbub to die down, then to study the issue of reliability of both physical evidence and testimony of witnesses and enact laws based on the conclusions of such studies. And in any case, the changes to the law cannot apply retroactively to crimes committed before their enactment because due process requires that criminals have prior notice of the terms of potential prosecution and punishment.

      You wrote: Seriously, those companies would have suspended those employees immediately, with even a suspicion that an employee might be abusing their customer’s children. And upon reasonable evidence, those companies would have immediately fired those employees and fully cooperated with authorities with regards to handling criminal, or civil, prosecution. The problem would have been ‘handled’ in a matter of months, or years – not decades – as it has taken with the Church. If private companies did not act swiftly, those companies would have lost their clients, been prosecuted in the media, been sued by civil and government organizations, decried in the news and media, and eventually gone out of business.

      The Church has to be held to at least the minimal standards that private companies would have been – but truly the Church should have surpassed them in handling this tragedy with speed and diligence, and in retrospect it has not.

      What was done three or four decade ago is water over the dam now. The Catholic Church has admitted that the previous policies were derelict and put new policies into place to deal with the situation effectively. So long as you continue to grind the axe of the deficiencies of the old policy, you are the one who is not living in the present.

      Norm.

      • matt says:

        Norm,

        I appreciate your response, however, seeking to keep this whole awful episode -which is ongoing in the Church’s current affairs, as well as those who were abused – by minimalizing current, and past, history is wrong. Trying to keep ongoing responses under a veil of other problems, or sealing them up as if in a time capsule, to be relegated to ‘old news’ or ‘living in a vacuum’ or ‘water over the bridge’ is simply to be living in denial.

        You wrote “The author of this quotation misunderstands the context of the present pope’s remarks. Pope Francis is simply reinforcing the policies that Pope Benedict XVI enacted to deal with the issue of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy effectively.”

        Norm, what do you mean this author misunderstands? What is there to be misunderstood? The reaction and investigation of solutions to child abuse continues, as it has for the last 40 –50 years. This is ongoing. It is not over.

        Yes, Pope Francis is reinforcing the work of Pope Benedcit XVI , who was handed the problem by Pope John Paul II(1978-2005). Continuing policies of former Pope’s does not mean the issues are resolved. Not for the Church. Not for the victims of abuse, who are entering, or have entered, adulthood.

        The timeline itself speaks to the long, drawn out, process – and this commission has as one of it’s current tasks, (although not the only task), the ongoing investigation, and management, of the problem.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_sex_abuse_cases#cite_note-Guardian-July2010-34

        My point is, Pope Francis is now the THIRD Pope, since 1978, still trying to ‘deal’ with this problem of sexual abuse of minors by priests. It is now 2014, and commissions are still dealing with the issue (even if they are multi tasking on other issues) – this does not diminish the fact that issues remain unresolved, even after 36 YEARS!

        Norm, you wrote “You also quoted: If the Church had done everything it could have to ensure prosecution of priests, this problem would have been resolved by now, and Pope Francis would not be establishing a new commission, at the suggestion of eight cardinals (not at the suggestion of the U.N., and even befor the U.N. report came out) in March 2013, to hopefully, finally, come up with answers to resolve the problem! – The suggestion to establish a commission came from the group of eight cardinals brought together by the pope a month after his election in March, 2013 to advise him on reforming the Vatican’s labyrinthine bureaucracy. – ”

        And you wrote “The charter for the commission of eight cardinals is a general reorganization of the Roman curia. It is not specific to the issue of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy.”

        Yes, the eight cardinals charter includes general reorginaization of the Roman curia – BUT IT ALSO IS TASKED WITH THE ISSUE OF HANDLING CHILD ABUSE WITHIN THE CHURCH by Catholic Clergy – as stated below in CATHOLIC ONLINE.com:

        “VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) – Pope Francis met with the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Bishop Ludwig Mueller and recommended that the Church continue to pursue the course set by Pope Benedict to crack down on pedophile and sexually abusive clergy. He asked the Bishop “to act with determination.”

        Additionally, Pope Francis cited several measures that would help to protect minors and victims. Most importantly, he asked all bishop’s conferences around the world to draft and implement directives to handle child abuse within the Church, saying it was important to the credibility of the Church that this be done swiftly.

        The conferences will need to meet individually to determine the various approaches they will take. The approaches will be different because laws vary greatly around the world when it comes to child abuse. However, Pope Francis has made it clear that such abuse will not be tolerated within the Church, no matter what local law says.

        This is not to suggest that prior popes have tolerated it. However, they have been less aware of the problem because some regional authorities kept quiet about the issues.

        Pope Francis has also called for the bishops to take more steps to serve the victims of abuse.

        Since there are no specific rules and regulations announced at this time, it is difficult to say what impact these moves will have over the long run, however it is reasonable to expect this it will help end, on a global scale, the practice of sheltering abusive clergy and make children safer by providing them with improved protections.

        In 2002, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops adopted a zero tolerance policy for abusive clergy requiring their immediate removal from ministry and mandated reporting to the authorities. It is also expected that ongoing high-level, civil and criminal prosecution of Church officials who have sheltered abusive clergy will also change attitudes in the United State

        https://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=50401

        And here is another article, from another author, writing in vaticaninsider.com stating basically the same as above:

        Pope Francis, accepting the recommendation of his Council of Cardinal Advisors, has decided to establish a Commission to advise him on the protection of children, the prevention of abuse, and the pastoral care of victims of abuse in the Catholic Church
        Moving decisively to prevent and combat child abuse, Pope Francis has decided to set up a Special Commission for the protection of minors. It will advise him on the Holy See’s commitment to the protection of children and the pastoral care for the victims of abuse and their families.

        Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, broke the news at a press briefing in the Vatican, December 5. He said that Pope Francis, “continuing decisively along the lines undertaken by Pope Benedict XVI accepted a proposal from the Council of Cardinals” to set up this commission. The cardinal, one of the eight members of the Council of Cardinals set up by the Pope last April to advise him on the government of the worldwide Catholic Church and the reform of the Roman Curia, revealed that they had discussed the proposal yesterday in their plenary session with the Pope, and he accepted it.

        The American Cardinal, who has been a leader in the field in the fight against sex abuse of minors by priests in the Catholic Church, outlined three specific tasks of the Commission.

        First, it will study and report on “the programs that are currently in place for the protection of children”. Second, it will “formulate suggestions for new initiatives on the part of the Curia, in collaboration with bishops, Episcopal conferences, religious superiors and conferences of religious superiors”, and thirdly, it will “indicate the names of persons suited to the systematic implementation of these new initiatives, including lay persons, religious and priests with responsibilities for the safety of children, in relations with the victims, in mental health, in the application of the law, etc.”

        He said Pope Francis will soon issue a decree outlining in greater detail “the composition and competences of the Commission”.

        http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/the-vatican/detail/articolo/pedofilia-paedophily-pederastia-30415/

        It is obvious that the ongoing problem of dealing with sexual abuse of minors by catholic priests is an ongoing issue, and that the Pope and the Cardinals are looking for more ways to cope with the problem. This is a good thing. It’s better late than never – but please let’s not try to sweep the ongoing crises, and search for resolutions, under the carpet!

        Norm. you wrote “You wrote: So as of 2004 only about 300 clergy faced criminal prosecution. That would be only 10% of the priest subjected to civil prosecution. The 300 priests criminally prosecuted would represent 0.5% of the 6,275 priests that the Bishops received allegations of abuse on! One half percent were criminally prosecuted! How can that even remotely be considered active prosecution by the Church or the government for that matter! ”

        And you wrote “Criminal laws of civil society usually provide deadlines (called “statutes of limitations”) for prosecution of crimes — and there is very good reason for this: physical evidence deteriorates and witnesses’ memories lapse, making it impossible to conduct a fair trial. There’s some room to debate whether these deadlines should be five years after the crime or ten, but even a ten year deadline would not permit prosecution of crimes that go unreported until the victims “go public” a couple decades later. The result is that over 90% of the cases of sexual abuse can’t be prosecuted simply because the statutes of limitations expired before the victims reported the crimes to anybody.”

        We all understand that collecting evidence, and trying cases takes time. What is not acceptable is that there were cover ups, as well as attempts to make the abused fear coming forward. Thwarting justice, cover-ups, and scaring victims from coming forward is illegal and immoral, and also has caused this issue to be dragged out over decades. If statutes of limitation must be changed in order to bring child molesters to justice, then so be it. Let the jury decide the veracity of the victim’s memories, and let a judge determine punishment. I believe there is no statute of limitations on certain crimes

        Statutes of limitations may not be in the best interest of the victims. How do you address the fact that these victims were so completely ashamed of what had been done to them, that many did not want to even admit the terror they endured at the hands of priests. Who for most of us were second only to our parents as authority figures, and also represented God himself here on earth. Should the statues apply when victims can’t even gather the courage to come forward and discuss what happened? That seems to me to work in favor of the criminal and against the victim. These victims were children, who did not even have a adult mind in many cases for 5 to 10 years after they were assaulted, that would enable them to think clearly that something very wrong was done to them, and that they were not to blame, and that the priests were in fact just men in robes who were ‘supposed to act as representatives of Christ – but did not’.

        The state allows certain crimes to be tried, without statutes of limitations: “ Crimes that are considered exceptionally heinous by society have no statute of limitations. As a rule, there is no statute of limitations for murder, especially capital or first-degree murder. However, judges have been known to throw out murder charges for cold cases if they feel the delay violates the defendant’s right to a speedy trial.”.
        The abuse at the hands of priests, would be in many people’s opinions, be considered an heinous crime. Let’s let the judges decide, on a case by case basis, what is reasonable to try, or not.

        I would think that the Church, and her followers, would be anxious to see perpetrators brought to justice, and for victims receive some measure of closure that could bring. Completing punishments, caring for the victims, and measures to prevent this in the future, or to at least guarantee a speedy resolution of accusations – is what will put allow this whole problem to be considered ‘water over the dam’.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statute_of_limitations

        Norm, you wrote “What was done three or four decade ago is water over the dam now. The Catholic Church has admitted that the previous policies were derelict and put new policies into place to deal with the situation effectively. So long as you continue to grind the axe of the deficiencies of the old policy, you are the one who is not living in the present.”

        No! I am living in the present. I am pointing out the current, ongoing, and still unresolved issues that even Pope Francis and his commission are still studying. Are they also grinding an axe? No! Is Pope Francis living in a vacuum? No! Are the Cardinals grinding an axe and not living in the present? No!

        You cannot say that old policies were derelict, and now we have new policies to deal with this issue effectively. If the current policies were effective – why is a commission of Cardinals under the request of Pope Francis: “Most importantly, [Pope Francis] asked all bishop’s conferences around the world to draft and implement directives to handle child abuse within the Church, saying it was important to the credibility of the Church that this be done swiftly …. Pope Francis has decided to set up a Special Commission for the protection of minors… First, it will study and report on “the programs that are currently in place for the protection of children”.

        Also, the fact remains that the 300 priests criminally prosecuted represent 0.5% of the 6,275 priests that the Bishops received allegations of abuse on! One half percent were criminally prosecuted! Perhaps statutes of limitations will prevent many, but not all, of these criminals from going to trial – but they shouldn’t. Statutes of limitations do not apply to heinous crimes, or capital crimes such as murder. Also, nothing is preventing the Church from defrocking abusers?

        There are some here who seem to think ‘all is well’ and to speak up on this issue relegates one to some kind of ‘time vacuum’. If acting all holy and happy that this problem has been resolved is not living in DENIAL, then what is?

        You say that what was done three, or four, decades ago is ‘water over the dam now’, Seriously? This didn’t just happen 40 years ago, or even 30 years ago. This was hitting the world’s media in around 2002. (That was just 12 years ago). And it is an ongoing issue as I have already pointed out.

        Don’t forget that even if the victims were abused decades ago, and many were abused much more recently, all that means is that these victims have carried this cross for decades.

        Many victims are still struggling with resolution, and some are incapable of emotionally dealing with the abuse they received. For example- “In Australia, according to Broken Rites, a support and advocacy group for church-related sex abuse victims, as of 2011 there have been over one hundred cases where Catholic priests have been charged for child sex offences.

        A 2012 police report detailed 40 suicide deaths directly related to abuse by Catholic clergy in the state of Victoria”. What happened decades earlier was not ‘water over the dam’ to these poor souls – was it!.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_sex_abuse_cases#cite_note-Guardian-July2010-34

        Some of the suicide victims were 22 years old, some 24 years old, some 46 years old when they committed suicide. So, you see, the pain continues, the water is still running over the dam for the victims, their families, and the social and legal agencies dealing with these crimes. Yes, – even today!

        http://www.canberratimes.com.au/victoria/churchs-suicide-victims-20120412-1wwox.html

        Norm, You seem an intelligent, thoughtful, and a caring person – but if you cannot see the ongoing struggle within the Church, the ongoing pain of the victims, the ongoing lack of justice for the perpetrators, all these unresolved issues, still going on TODAY – you are in denial .

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Matt,

        You wrote: I appreciate your response, however, seeking to keep this whole awful episode -which is ongoing in the Church’s current affairs, as well as those who were abused – by minimalizing current, and past, history is wrong. Trying to keep ongoing responses under a veil of other problems, or sealing them up as if in a time capsule, to be relegated to ‘old news’ or ‘living in a vacuum’ or ‘water over the bridge’ is simply to be living in denial.

        Back up a step. There are two parts to solving this problem.

        >> First, one must stop the flow of miscreants into the ranks of the clergy and religious life. Here in the States, it appears that reforms in the screening process for candidates for ordination that took effect in the late 1970’s effectively achieved this, as nearly all of the incidents involve clergy ordained before 1980.

        >> Second, one must expel miscreants who slipped through the screening process from the ranks of the clergy. Again, the streamlined process instituted by Pope Benedict XVI shortly after assuming the papal office has been effective in doing this.

        Thus, the author of the article is largely beating a dead horse.

        Now, there’s also a need for extensive pastoral, psychological, and even physical care for the victims of abuse, aimed at healing its effects — and this undoubtedly is ongoing. Some victims undoubtedly more quickly than others, and there may be some — perhaps even a majority — who never heal completely. That sort of healing, however, is impossible so long as the abusers still pose a menacing presence.

        You wrote: The reaction and investigation of solutions to child abuse continues, as it has for the last 40 –50 years.

        No, that’s not accurate. When these cases arise within the ranks of the clergy, the magisterium now handles them in a manner that differs radically from the manner of handling them even fifteen years ago. We don’t have 40 to 50 years of continuity in this.

        You wrote: Yes, the eight cardinals charter includes general reorginaization of the Roman curia – BUT IT ALSO IS TASKED WITH THE ISSUE OF HANDLING CHILD ABUSE WITHIN THE CHURCH by Catholic Clergy – as stated below in CATHOLIC ONLINE.com:

        “VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) – Pope Francis met with the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Bishop Ludwig Mueller and recommended that the Church continue to pursue the course set by Pope Benedict to crack down on pedophile and sexually abusive clergy. He asked the Bishop “to act with determination.”

        No, Cardinal Ludwig Mueller is NOT the council of eight cardinals whom Pope Francis has tasked with reorganization of the Roman curia, or even a member of it. Further, this is not a report of a change in policy, but rather a papal affirmation of the policy that was already in place — a “Steady as she goes!” in nautical terms.

        A recent article in the Catholic Sun contained the following paragraph identifying the members of the council for the reorganization of the curia. Note that Cardinal Mueller is not among them.

        The eight members of his council are: Cardinals Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, retired archbishop of Santiago, Chile; Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India; Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Germany; Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Congo; Sean P. O’Malley of Boston; George Pell of Sydney; Giuseppe Bertello, president of the commission governing Vatican City State; and Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

        You wrote: My point is, Pope Francis is now the THIRD Pope, since 1978, still trying to ‘deal’ with this problem of sexual abuse of minors by priests.

        That’s not really as accurate as you might think. Pope John Paul II reacted with incredulity, being unable to believe that any of “God’s holy priests” would commit such deeds. Thus, he was extremely reluctant to take any action. It was really Pope Benedict XVI who instituted streamlined procedures to expel the miscreants from the ranks of the clergy shortly after assuming the papal office. And, again, Pope Francis has done little more than affirm the streamlined procedures enacted by Pope Benedict XVI.

        You wrote: The reaction and investigation of solutions to child abuse continues, as it has for the last 40 –50 years.

        No, the magisterium is not handling these cases in the same way as it did even fifteen years ago. The procedures are radically different now: clergy are now removed from ministry upon receipt of a credible allegation of abuse. This is a radical break from the past, which left clergy with credible allegations in active ministry during the investigation. Also, miscreant clergy are now dismissed from the clerical state — which also often did not happen in times past.

        I wrote: The charter for the commission of eight cardinals is a general reorganization of the Roman curia. It is not specific to the issue of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy.

        You responded: Yes, the eight cardinals charter includes general reorginaization of the Roman curia – BUT IT ALSO IS TASKED WITH THE ISSUE OF HANDLING CHILD ABUSE WITHIN THE CHURCH by Catholic Clergy – as stated below in CATHOLIC ONLINE.com:

        “VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) – Pope Francis met with the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Bishop Ludwig Mueller and recommended that the Church continue to pursue the course set by Pope Benedict to crack down on pedophile and sexually abusive clergy. He asked the Bishop “to act with determination.”

        Far from supporting your statement, your quotation from CATHOLIC ONLINE.com actually disproves it. Archbishop (now Cardinal) Ludwig Mueller simply is not part of the “council of eight” constituted for the reorganization of the curia. Further, the statement referenced in the quote merely affirms the procedures set in place by Pope Benedict XVI — a “Steady as she goes!” in nautical lingo.

        You wrote: Additionally, Pope Francis cited several measures that would help to protect minors and victims.

        Most of this is “fine tuning” rather than major course corrections.

        You continued: Most importantly, he asked all bishop’s conferences around the world to draft and implement directives to handle child abuse within the Church, saying it was important to the credibility of the Church that this be done swiftly.

        Again, this is mostly in episcopal conferences that have not seen a significant problem — and there are many.

        You wrote: It is obvious that the ongoing problem of dealing with sexual abuse of minors by catholic priests is an ongoing issue, and that the Pope and the Cardinals are looking for more ways to cope with the problem. This is a good thing. It’s better late than never – but please let’s not try to sweep the ongoing crises, and search for resolutions, under the carpet!

        I’m not sweeping anything under the carpet. It obviously takes some time to process the many cases for dismissal from the clerical state that are still pending, and the situation especially in Ireland, where the scandal is both recent and very widespread, will take a long time to resolve and to heal. The processes, however, are in place and are working to deal with it, whereas they were not in place a decade ago.

        You wrote: We all understand that collecting evidence, and trying cases takes time. What is not acceptable is that there were cover ups, as well as attempts to make the abused fear coming forward. Thwarting justice, cover-ups, and scaring victims from coming forward is illegal and immoral, and also has caused this issue to be dragged out over decades.

        I agree completely — and indeed such acts are themselves crimes under the secular laws of most jurisdictions. Where the perpetrators are alive and the statutes of limitations have not expired, the state should prosecute such crimes — and there are some clergy, including a couple bishops, who are now in jails here in the States because of this.

        You continued: If statutes of limitation must be changed in order to bring child molesters to justice, then so be it. Let the jury decide the veracity of the victim’s memories, and let a judge determine punishment. I believe there is no statute of limitations on certain crimes

        Statutes of limitations may not be in the best interest of the victims. How do you address the fact that these victims were so completely ashamed of what had been done to them, that many did not want to even admit the terror they endured at the hands of priests. Who for most of us were second only to our parents as authority figures, and also represented God himself here on earth. Should the statues apply when victims can’t even gather the courage to come forward and discuss what happened? That seems to me to work in favor of the criminal and against the victim. These victims were children, who did not even have a adult mind in many cases for 5 to 10 years after they were assaulted, that would enable them to think clearly that something very wrong was done to them, and that they were not to blame, and that the priests were in fact just men in robes who were ‘supposed to act as representatives of Christ – but did not’.

        The state allows certain crimes to be tried, without statutes of limitations: “ Crimes that are considered exceptionally heinous by society have no statute of limitations. As a rule, there is no statute of limitations for murder, especially capital or first-degree murder. However, judges have been known to throw out murder charges for cold cases if they feel the delay violates the defendant’s right to a speedy trial.”.
        The abuse at the hands of priests, would be in many people’s opinions, be considered an heinous crime. Let’s let the judges decide, on a case by case basis, what is reasonable to try, or not.

        Here in the States, statutes of limitations are set explicitly by law. It is true that there are some crimes, including murder, for which there Is no statute of limitations, but sexual molestation of a minor typically is not in that category. In any case, our constitution explicitly forbids enactment of ex post facto laws — that is, laws that change the punishment of a crime after the crime has been committed. The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has already weighed in on the subject, holding that laws that provide a longer statute of limitations than the previous law cannot apply to crimes committed before they takes effect. Thus, there’s no way to change the law to permit prosecution of a crime committed years ago on which the statute of limitations has lapsed. The constitutions of most other countries that have parliamentary or republican forms of government contain a similar provision.

        Having said that, the other reality is that physical evidence related to sexual crimes tends to deteriorate very quickly. Bruises and scratches typically heal in a couple weeks, and body cavities tend to flush out deposits of semen, the DNA in which would provide iron-clad proof of the perpetrator, within a few days. About the only durable evidence would be a child conceived through such an act — and that evidence won’t exist if the act is homosexual, as in most of the cases of abuse. Further, there are seldom witnesses to such acts. Thus, the case reduces to the word of the accuser against the word of the defendant, and the burden of proof is on the prosecution so doubt of fact requires acquittal. The bottom line here is that it’s virtually impossible to prosecute such crimes if the victim does not go directly to a clinic or emergency room, where a physician can use a “rape kit” to collect physical evidence, immediately after the attack.

        I wrote: What was done three or four decade ago is water over the dam now. The Catholic Church has admitted that the previous policies were derelict and put new policies into place to deal with the situation effectively. So long as you continue to grind the axe of the deficiencies of the old policy, you are the one who is not living in the present.

        You replied: No! I am living in the present. I am pointing out the current, ongoing, and still unresolved issues that even Pope Francis and his commission are still studying. Are they also grinding an axe? No! Is Pope Francis living in a vacuum? No! Are the Cardinals grinding an axe and not living in the present? No!

        In the 1970’s, clergy accused of sexual crimes against minors were sent to psychological counseling, and subsequently returned to ministry when the psychologist or psychiatrist certified, after a few sessions, that they had been “cured” and that they no longer posed a danger. In at least one of the more notorious cases in my archdiocese, it came to light during the scandal a decade ago that the psychiatrist who signed the letter of certification was himself a pedophile who thought such behavior to be perfectly normal. The result was obvious: dozens more cases involving the same offender. That would not happen today, as policies have changed to prevent it.

        More importantly, though, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) here in the States (subsequently reconstituted as the present USCCB) ordered major reforms of seminary formation and screening of candidates for ordination that took effect in the late 1970’s. The new screening procedures include psychological instruments that detect such tendencies, and candidates who exhibit such tendencies are now weeded out. As a result, there are virtually no abusers among the clergy ordained after 1980 or so here in the States. Many of the episcopal conferences in other English-speaking countries or regions probably have adopted similar screening processes and instruments with similar results — and this obviously is the real solution to the problem.

        You wrote: It is obvious that the ongoing problem of dealing with sexual abuse of minors by catholic priests is an ongoing issue, and that the Pope and the Cardinals are looking for more ways to cope with the problem. This is a good thing. It’s better late than never – but please let’s not try to sweep the ongoing crises, and search for resolutions, under the carpet!

        I rather think you will find that, in this area, the commission will primarily review what has been done and monitor the progress in processing the pending cases and any additional cases that may come forward. The wording in its tasking gives it the latitude to propose additional remedial actions if the members identify any deficiencies, shortcomings, or omissions, but it might not find a need to do so.

        You wrote: You say that what was done three, or four, decades ago is ‘water over the dam now’, Seriously? This didn’t just happen 40 years ago, or even 30 years ago. This was hitting the world’s media in around 2002. (That was just 12 years ago). And it is an ongoing issue as I have already pointed out.

        Here in the Archdiocese of Boston, which was “ground zero” for the scandal that erupted in 2002, nearly all of the incidents that surfaced at that time involved crimes that occurred in the 1970’s and 1980’s. I doubt that the crimes in other dioceses here in the States were significantly more recent than that.

        We obviously cannot undo the disastrous decisions to return clergy who were the perpetrators of sexual abuse to ministry. All we can do is patch the dam so it doesn’t happen again — and that, my friend, has already been done.

        You wrote: A 2012 police report detailed 40 suicide deaths directly related to abuse by Catholic clergy in the state of Victoria”. What happened decades earlier was not ‘water over the dam’ to these poor souls – was it!.

        Here, you seem to be misunderstanding the expression “water over the dam.” Basically, it means that you cannot undo what was done; you can only do something different in the next case (or, better still, to prevent the next case). It also does not mean that the effect of the action is not still being felt. If one’s drinking water for the dry season goes “over the dam,” one probably is going to be very thirsty even though one has patched the dam so it will collect the water of next year’s rains.

        You wrote: You seem an intelligent, thoughtful, and a caring person – but if you cannot see the ongoing struggle within the Church, the ongoing pain of the victims, the ongoing lack of justice for the perpetrators, all these unresolved issues, still going on TODAY – you are in denial .

        In the earlier post, I was not speaking about the pastoral care of the victims. That obviously should be ongoing, at the parish level, for as long as they need it. That, however, is a separate subject from how we deal with clergy who have abused minors. The criminal prosecution of the perpetrators actually does very little to bring healing to the victims, though subsequent imprisonment may abate the fear of further abuse at the hands of the same perpetrator. The purpose of imprisoning a criminal is to prevent the criminal from continuing to commit crimes. It does not bring healing or restitution that might make a victim whole.

        Norm.

  8. david oxley says:

    The church has to lead from the front. with all the on going scandals on sex abuse like it or not the church has fallen from grace. To regain its authority it has to act ruthlessly to remove the perpetrators.. The rest of the world as we know has double standards, As followers of our Lord we have to show unblemished example, to lead by example so that others will have respect and follow. That has to come from the top.

    • Benedict Marshall says:

      If it should act ruthlessly against its own clergy, it should act ruthlessly against so-called “Catholics”- Excommunicate them all! Send the Swiss guards to take care of business! Restart the Inquisition! Get Opus Dei to assassinate politicians! Crush the Freemasons!

      The Church should be pro-active rather than reactive to the scandal- it’ll take, what, 25 years for anything to happen? And I’m not just talking about perverted priests, I’m talking about “Kennedy Catholics”- they’re all a bunch of America-worshippers, and they’re the reason the Church isn’t even the 20% it claims to be in the United States- less than 100% of those actually go to Mass, and less than 100% of those even believe that Jesus Christ is in the Communion. Only that “It’s an Irish thing.” or “It’s an Italian thing.” or “It’s a Polish thing.” or “It’s a Mexican thing.”

      That’s why their kids aren’t going to church, unless if it’s at gunpoint/emotional blackmail. Once they go to college, hello, secular ideologies/Paganism! And they’ll show up at their parents’ doors with their same-sex partners, telling their parents they’re getting “married” regardless of anyone’s opinions.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Benedict,

        You wrote: And I’m not just talking about perverted priests, I’m talking about “Kennedy Catholics”- they’re all a bunch of America-worshippers…

        No, unfortunately, they are NOT “America-worshippers.” Rather, they are “America-destroyers” if one understands “America” to be the country that our nation’s founders actually founded based on the Declaration of Independence and the constitution of government that they actually wrote. Unfortunately, they have distorted and perverted the clear meaning of these documents to mean something else just as they distort and pervert the word “marriage” to include homosexual unions. Like the fisherman telling a “fish story,” the Truth is not in them.

        You continued: … and they’re the reason the Church isn’t even the 20% it claims to be in the United States- less than 100% of those actually go to Mass, and less than 100% of those even believe that Jesus Christ is in the Communion. Only that “It’s an Irish thing.” or “It’s an Italian thing.” or “It’s a Polish thing.” or “It’s a Mexican thing.”

        That’s why their kids aren’t going to church, unless if it’s at gunpoint/emotional blackmail. Once they go to college, hello, secular ideologies/Paganism! And they’ll show up at their parents’ doors with their same-sex partners, telling their parents they’re getting “married” regardless of anyone’s opinions.

        Unfortunately, you are describing the symptoms of the problem here. The real problem is parishes and even dioceses that run as businesses because the gospel of Jesus Christ is utterly lacking. Pastors (and I intend this term very broadly, to include all of those who have any role of leadership or ministry in the church) don’t celebrate the liturgy in a worthy manner or preach the gospel effectively because (1) they really don’t believe it (if they did, they would be yielded to the Holy Spirit and thus compelled to celebrate the liturgy properly and preach the gospel effectively) and (2) they are afraid that the unvarnished truth would offend the parishioners (customers), driving them away and cause collections (income) to drop. Christian formation programs don’t instill the gospel, yielding conversion of lives, because (1) the teachers really don’t believe it and (2) they are afraid that imposition of standards would offend parishioners (customers) whose children fell short and drive them away, thus causing a decline in collections (income). And of course, those pastors recruit more of the same into the next generation of ecclesial leadership. The parishioners of such parishes, not being evangelized, also offer little hope. Many recognize that something is wrong, but have no idea where the root of the problem lies or how to fix it.

        I have news for the pastors who are the problem. God does not need clergy and parishes and whole dioceses that fail to live out the gospel and instill it in others through proper celebration of the liturgy, inspired preaching, and effective evangelism in all aspects of parish ministry. Thus, it’s no surprise that so many parishes and even dioceses are in a state of decline and consequent financial struggle. And on the day of judgement, those who fail to fulfill their vocational calling are going to have some ‘splainin’ to do before the throne of judgement. Hell awaits.

        Every once in a while, one finds a parish, and even a diocese, in one’s travels where faith is strong because its pastors preach and teach the gospel in its full glory with no apologies and let the chips fall where they may. Not surprisingly, God brings those who need his grace, using those parishes to transform their lives, and their collection hoppers are full.

        Just to be clear, reversion to the Tridentine form of liturgy would not solve this problem. We really need a good housecleaning — a purge of the ranks of clergy and others in ecclesial leadership to remove those who don’t believe and live out the gospel. Those who are guilty of sexual abuse of minors are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Unfortunately, no bishop is going to fire 95% of his clergy because he would then be unable to staff the parishes of his diocese. Thus, we are stuck trying to overhaul an airframe while the plane is flying.

        Norm.

      • Benedict Marshall says:

        I’m not interested in the Latin Mass, it’s not like I have access to it anyway, since no one else is interested in that enough to form some local group. It’s too much work to do any Latin or liturgical studies, much less reform and revitalize anything. Much more important to tend to the many homeless and mentally ill wandering around Santa Monica.

        Remember last December, it was the first time nativity scenes weren’t allowed to be publicly displayed in our city, and no one said anything about it in the church I attend, so it’s hard to care anymore.

        The Roman Catholic Church is going to crash and sink, and I’ll just hang around and sing “Nearer my God to Thee.”

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Benedict,

        You wrote: The Roman Catholic Church is going to crash and sink…

        Not completely. There will be a faithful remnant in each diocese, but many of us may have to travel considerably greater distances to go to mass.

        Norm.

  9. EPMS says:

    Two American dioceses filed for bankruptcy protection over abuse claims last year, and one (Helena, MT) has already filed this year, so the struggle for compensation for victims is by no means “old news”.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      EPMS,

      You wrote: Two American dioceses filed for bankruptcy protection over abuse claims last year, and one (Helena, MT) has already filed this year, so the struggle for compensation for victims is by no means “old news”.

      Yes, the legal cases are ongoing and probably will continue for some time. It’s not clear that all of the victims have come forward, and it’s also not clear that some of the cases are not opportunists who seek to line their own pockets by alleging abuse that did not happen.

      That said, there are three salient points in dealing with the problem.

      >> 1. Nearly all of the cases here in the States involve clergy ordained before c. 1980, when major reforms of seminary admission and formation instituted by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB), subsequently reorganized as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), took hold.

      >> 2. After the proverbial manure hit the fan c. 2002, the USCCB instituted new policies for dealing with allegations of sexual abuse by clergy here in the States. Under the new policies, clergy are removed from parish ministry and suspended as soon as the diocese receives a credible allegation of sexual abuse. If the subsequent diocesan investigation substantiates the allegation, the suspension immediately becomes permanent, the cleric cannot return to active ministry, and the diocese submits the evidence (1) to the local prosecutor for possible criminal prosecution and (2) to the Vatican, requesting dismissal from the clerical state (“defrocking”).

      >> 3. Pope Benedict XVI instituted major reforms to streamline the Vatican’s process for “defrocking” clergy who are proven to be guilty of these offences. In most cases, the “defrocking” that previously might have dragged on for a couple years now happens within a couple months.

      I’m sure that Pope Francis and his commission of cardinals are continuing to monitor the situation, and they may do some fine tuning to further streamline the process — not the least of which will be to ensure that the competent dicasteries of the Roman curia have enough competent staff to process these cases in a timely manner. Of course, the Vatican must maintain due process for clergy who are accused of improper conduct. The burden of proof must remain on those making an accusation of wrongdoing and accused clerics must have an opportunity to present a defense, including cross-examination of their accusers and other witnesses, and the right to appeal. The only other question in these cases is whether the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will continue to process them or whether Pope Francis might decide to move the processing of these cases to another dicastery — likely either the Congregation for the Clergy or the Roman Rota.

      Norm.

  10. david oxley says:

    The central act of worship is the Mass.If you start messing around with this and start subverting Catholic truth then you are messing with fire. That in my view is why we have this crisis in he church today. The mass of ages enshrines all these essential Catholic beliefs and it was upheld by the whole world, one Mass. one language, one belief. Our Blessed Lord promised that he would be with his church until the end of the world, but he did not say how many would be in it. By the way where I live their is a public crib at Christmas time and all of the churches are well attended. The only remedy for where we are today is to pray the Holy Rosary every day. David O.

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