Vatican Panel Lenient W/Abusers Shocking & Alarming!

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by JimofPennsylvan, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. JimofPennsylvan
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    JimofPennsylvan VIP Member

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    People shouldn't be upset that the Vatican stiff-armed the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in their efforts in the November meeting to enact policies to address sexual abuse allegations against Bishops because the Vatican's viewpoint is legitimate. The Universal Church should first be given an opportunity to address this issue in their upcoming World-Wide Bishop meeting in February in Rome; everyone needs to remember the Church isn't some secular organization it is the Church of Jesus Christ, the true God and the King of Kings, his organization should be run properly the central authority should set policies on this issue that make an outstanding effort to see that justice is done members of the Church shouldn't have to resort to assembling local policies to protect the good so that the universal Church ends up with a mix-match of local policies.



    However, what people should be upset over is a report in the December 22/23 issue of the Wall Street Journal which reported that Pope Francis has set up a Vatican Appeal's Panel, comprised of eight Cardinals and Bishops, to hear appeals of sexual abuse allegation cases against members of the clergy. These are cases where a Vatican hearing body reviewed all the facts of the case and found the allegation credible and issued penalties against the accused cleric, anywhere up to including laicization commonly called defrocking. The WSJ has reported that this Appeals Panel in its three years of operation is overturning over a third of the cases it hears resulting in at least fifteen (15) cases where the cleric abuser was initially defrocked but this Appeals Panel reduced the penalty to a suspension from ministry for three to five years. Assuming that in at least some of these cases the victim or victims were juveniles or minors (the article did not specify) this is outrageous and indefensible because the science is clear the recidivism rate of these types of predators is significant a responsible person would not put children at risk by putting such a person that has such a history back in ministry where they would have opportunity to hurt a child this way in the future. In light of this cleric sexual abuse scandal in the Universal Church and the tens of thousands of children that have incurred devastating life long injuries from this abuse over the decades and the world wide public outcry over it the fact that an appellate body in the Vatican would be returning these predators to ministry is shocking and outrageous where is Catholic Church virtuous leadership, this occurrence is indefensible for the Pope it is off-the-charts morally wrong for the Vatican to be doing this. In light of the Catholic Church's culpability on this overall issue if they defrocked every cleric where allegations against that cleric have been found to be credible that would be "just". Pope Francis needs to start doing his duty with respect to protecting children that have interaction with the Catholic Church from this awful harm and forbid this Appeals Panel and remove the authority of it to roll back the laicization penalty against these abusive clerics where the victim(s) was a juvenile!


    Some critics here may say why are you distinguishing between juvenile and adult victims, abuse against both types of victims can lead to devastating harm against these victims that lasts their entire life. That is true and the harm done should be taken into account in determining the penalty against the wrongdoing cleric. Nevertheless, the nature of the wrongdoing acts is different! As cited earlier science informs us that the recidivism rate amongst child sexual abuse is significant and children because of their age haven't fully sexually developed so the abuse can readily be emotionally, psychologically and mentally devastating. These factors compelling call for a person that crosses this line to never again be trusted with the welfare and well being of children by being put back into ministry! Where the victim is an adult the circumstances of the wrongdoing from a fairness and goodness standpoint can warrant the perpetrator be given a second chance. This writer is a life long Catholic and has observed situations where a women was wrongfully being flirtatious with a priest creating a temptation situation and the nature of some of the work a priest does are temptation situations providing relief to women seeking help with serious personal problems through counseling. To be more scientific about it society sees many cases where people are convicted of a crime of sexual abuse against an adult victim and don't again commit this crime. For at least in part the above reasons, goodness calls for this distinguishing!


    Considering the full scope of the response of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church to this scandal, the worry that all Catholics should have is that the fix is not permanent, that priests with this background will never be allowed back into ministry and it should be permanent because no child should experience this terrible harm. In the U.S. Church the current zero tolerance policy is good, however will it be permanent; the policy put in writing in the "Charter For Protection Of Children and Young People" specifies the one strike and your out policy in Article Five but it seems a little strange that the key provision in this article and for that matter the whole document is the first sentence in paragraph "three" and not the lead off sentence for the article was it embedded in this article so later on it can be dropped off or revised without making an optimal notice. The wise concern should be that two to three generations from now when the people that make up the flood of sexual abuse claims that occurred have past away and the wound of the sexual abuse scandal isn't so large and damning that the Church hierarchy will allow the same bad values and character that is responsible for the scandal in the first place to come to the fore and they will reverse or weaken the protections facilitating the victimization of children! Remember human nature doesn't change that is why prudent people try to make the best protections possible against its extremely bad elements! The "bad" value that the concept of mercy and forgiveness calls for giving these predator priests another chance even though that means putting the well being of children at risk could arise; arrogance of Bishops and Cardinals could arise where they belief their authority is unchallengeable by the laity where if they want to return such a priest to ministry that is their incontestable right and prerogative to do so and the bad value of putting the reputation of the Church above the welfare of children by not adjudicating these cases, sweeping them under the carpet as it has been called!


    This writer isn't a Church lawyer where such a person would possibly know how to make the protections permanent if they could be made such. From just a rank and file member of the Catholic Faith it would be interesting to know if these protections could be made part of the magisterium of the Catholic Faith those body of beliefs that are unchangeable for Catholics. Or could the Pope indirectly make them or help them become permanent by issuing an encyclical on the clergy vow of obedience, specifically in the encyclical specifying exceptions to the vow of obedience. Precisely in the encyclical write that the vow of obedience does not require a Bishop to put back into ministry a priest who has incurred a credible finding of sexual abuse even if the Vatican issues such an order; it does not require a priest or any vowed religious to work in a ministry, for example a parish, where one of the priest assigned to the ministry has this history, the vowed religious can resign; and it does not require a priest or vowed religious to obey an instruction or the like from any Bishop or church authority to not disclose an abuse finding to any person that has contact with a priest with such history in that priest's new ministry so children that come in contact with that ministry can be protected with the creation of watchful eyes on the dangerous priest!
     

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