Editor’s note: Kathy and I are so pleased that Pope Francis was chosen as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. It shows that the Catholic Faith can still be relevant in today’s society. It shows that a Christlike approach is appreciated by all – not just Catholics. Yet, all that can be undone by the evil and ignorance still thriving in regard to clergy child sex abuse.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Guest blog: by Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
Will Pope Francis address the single most critical issue of the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal?
Given the description of the pope’s commission on clerical child abuse, especially coming after a “United Nations panel criticized the Vatican over its handling of abuse cases,” with the Vatican saying, “that the responsibility for such cases rested with individual bishops,” expectations on such a significant level have been decidedly mixed.
Pope Francis’ words establishing this new commission in the church’s central bureaucracy would be commendable if at the same time he announced plans for disciplining and removing those bishops who, by the abuse of their episcopal and moral authority, were complicit in the sexual abuse of thousands of children in this country.
In the Netherlands alone Dutch bishops have acknowledged the abuse of tens of thousands of children according to a December 03, 2013 Reuters article by Tom Heneghan.
If Cardinal O’Malley’s statements are accurate, the pope’s creation of such a committee appears to be more along the lines of putting the cart before the horse than anything else.
There really is no way to avoid this issue.
Remember that diocesan bishops, their underlings, along with the provincials and superiors of religious congregations, created this horrific scandal by protecting known clerical sexual predators with essentially no regard for the Lord’s little ones; leaving these lambs unprotected before ravaging wolves.
“The new commission is expected to tell church officials to collaborate with civil authorities and report cases of abuse,” O’Malley said.
Is this a decision that calls for a papal commission?
The hierarchy has already exhausted its credibility and moral authority through its actions these past decades and neither will be regained by having the ecclesiastical body responsible for covering up the scandal charged with either its evaluation or correction. That has not worked well since 2002.
Moreover, statement like those quoted above seem ludicrous given the nature of the violation; crimes against the humanity of children.
Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
Advocate for Victim/Survivors & Legislative Reform
25-E Highland Blvd.
New Castle, Delaware 19720