Skip to comments.In abuse cases, church rules aren’t enough — call police
Posted on 07/21/2010 10:57:27 AM PDT by TSgt
EVEN WHEN a religious institution has its own procedures for punishing wayward clergy, the sexual abuse of children is a serious crime that warrants prosecution by civil authorities. But when the Vatican revised its disciplinary system for sex-abuser priests, it missed the opportunity to take an unambiguous stand against pedophiles and those who protect them. The new rules do not order church officials to report allegations of sex abuse to the police, nor do they establish even internal penalties for bishops who cover up cases of abuse. Until the church adopts a zero-tolerance policy, justice cannot be served, and the worldwide uproar over the churchs handling of such cases will continue.
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
More smoke and mirrors ping!
This pathetic argument against the Church only works on minds dim enough to imagine that the standard of policing is identical across the world.
I'd hate to be falsely accused of any crime, but in America I would likely get an impartial investigation.
China, Lebanon, Uganda, Venezuela, well . . .
Exactly, God forbid we would want the police called if a child was raped.
all abuse cases whether from the schools, the jails, the churches, etc should all be reported criminally....this is where you separate the frauds from the actual victims...
in my beliefs, there are no gray areas and I have zero tolerance for any abuse at all...
An allegation is not proof of a crime.
Reporting an allegation to the local police in Kansas will result in a professional, evenhanded investigation that acknowledges the rights of the accused.
An allegation of a crime to the local police in Zimbabwe can quickly result in the death of the accused - even if the allegation was completely baseless.
You can continue to parrot the editorial line of the Boston Globe (more accurately New York Times North) because it gives you an emotional charge or you can use your brain and think things through.
Entirely up to you.
In other words, you have no rational argument to make - you'll just go along with what the New York Times Corporation says you should think.
The fact remains that canon law applies to all Catholics everywhere, regardless of whether they live in a country that adheres to the rule of law or not.
You cannot just generically instruct all Catholics everywhere to blindly trust the police.
I'm pretty sure that in any other context, you would never suggest that everyone around the world blindly trust their government to do the right thing, but your emotional investment in hating Catholicism precludes you from exercising common sense analysis in this matter.
Nor will it be taken seriously.
Couldn't agree more.
If someone's willing to make an allegation that serious, let him go straight to the law.
I don't see the point of going first to the bishop and then telling the bishop it's his job to report it. What's the motivation of not going directly to the police in the first place?
The only one I can think of is to avoid getting in trouble for making a false complaint.
If the church is going to be so outspoken about homosexual marriage and homosexuality in general, it needs to clean house.
It’s pretty hard to point fingers when four are pointing right backatcha.
If the church simply dealt with the cases where the priest admitted to it, or the church deliberately covered it up and shuffled priests around to hide it, it’d be a start.
Yeah, anyone can make an allegation, but the RCC has enough verified cases alone to deal with and they aren’t.
The fact is, despite the best efforts of the left-wing New York Times employee who wrote this editorial to obscure the facts, the Church has indeed adopted a zero-tolerance policy.
Anyone credibly accused of abuse is to be suspended from the life of the Church and, if the allegations are proven to the standard of canon law (which is a harsher standard for the accused, since there is no presumption of innocence in canon law) complete removal.
That's pretty clearcut.
No, not "exactly".
The American model will not be applied to the whole world, nor should it.
For those who are truly interested in justice and understanding why the American approach will not be applied elsewhere, HERE is a very good explanation.
First, its a well-known fact of Catholic life that the one strike and youre out rule at the heart of the American norms -- automatic removal from ministry for life for even one act of sexual abuse against a minor -- plays to mixed reviews, at best, around the global church. Thats not because the rest of the Catholic world is necessarily soft on abuse, but because some bishops and canon lawyers regard the one strike policy as a distortion of the churchs legal tradition. Over the centuries, they argue, canon law has resisted one size fits all penalties, preferring to leave discretion in the hands of judges to make the punishment fit the crime.
Second, there are aspects of whats come to be known as the American approach which might not translate well in every corner of the world. Take, for example, cooperation with the police and other civil authorities. For Americans and Western Europeans -- where the rule of law holds, and the police play fair -- such a policy seems like a no-brainer, not to mention a long-overdue correction to the notion that the church is above the law. Things look different, however, in a place such as Ukraine. There, a new pro-Russian government is reviving Soviet methods for pressuring the Greek Catholic Church, the largest Eastern rite Catholic church in the world and arguably Ukraines most important engine for democratic reform. Among other things, the successor to the KGB has recently been sniffing around the Catholic University in Lviv, dropping in on the rector and making ominous calls to staff on their cell phones (calls of the we know where you live variety). Recently I asked a few figures in the Greek Catholic church what a requirement of automatic compliance with every police probe would mean in their environment today. Typically, I got a one-word answer: Suicide.
Such considerations are altogether lost on the hacks at the Boston Globe of course as well as their fellow travelers who swallow it all. However, they're not lost on the Church, which is why "the American way" is not the universal way.
The Church has received a well-deserved blow to its credibility and moral authority in this matter.
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