Saturday 3 January 2009

N Ireland Europe: Government to force church representatives to sign they will protect rights of children: due to repeated failure by church officials

(Catholic Watchdog South Africa; BBC World News (Secular; Government; British)02/Jan/2008)

Article by Marc Aupiais

The structures of the Catholic church, while often well meaning: and possibly better prepared than other forms of hierarchy: are notoriously known for their lack of ability involving insuring accountability. The amount of times, one comes across abuse of human, or religious rights: by church structures: is frightening, at times: due to the same method of treating the church as a family, rather than a government, which is still employed, largely throughout much of the world. In Northern Ireland, even church regulations have not been listened to, by those involved in matters involving child protection: resulting in state authorities resorting to getting every church representative: from bishop to priest: to sign that they will adhere to Irish laws on the matter. A bishop implicated in such, has refused, at our last check to resign: against calls from the general public in the region.

While weaknesses in accountability in Catholic church structures: have repeatedly resulted in child abuse: and other, sometimes extremely serious abuses: in local churches throughout the world: the Vatican itself: has implemented screening for predators: of late, and unlike many of those actually involved: the Catholic Pope Benedict XVI: has openly apologized for a collective guilt he felt: resulting in many bishops conferences finally changing policies.

While abuses by clergy in the Catholic church: are markedly below that of other Christian religions: which do not demand celibacy: nor prevent priests from marrying: incompetence: and a lack of accountability; and abuse of authority within local church structures: has resulted in the comparatively lower rates of offense within the church: being mishandled: causing not only scandal, and embarrassment: but along with it: these attitudes which have allowed abuse: have also allowed for many other abuses: resulting largely in schisms such as SSPX, or the leaving of many Catholics from the church.

Further: while the percentage of Catholic priests who abuse minors: is perhaps one of the lowest of any groups, and according to statistics I heard, shortly after the scandal broke: perhaps less than half the percentage of Protestant pastors involved in such: those involved in offenses: were often simply moved around and never prosecuted. Perhaps: a good sign: is that often: the church is advising the contacting of civil authorities due to abuses: and I have since seen at least one letter: claiming that a priest had had his rights to practice as a priest: permanently revoked: and another of other harsh punishment being meted out: as should have been years ago.

What the SSPX, names as the result of Vatican II, or as a result of large abandoning of Latin: can largely be accounted to a lack of accountability in many local churches: as demonstrated by the manner in which the church: in countries where Catholic ethics are adhered to: has grown phenomenally.

As the cover-ups, and abuses are inherently, and utterly apposed to Catholic Ethics, teachings, and morality: it is safe to say: that these come not from the Catholic religion, which is considered, like the Papal line: to be a creation of God: but rather: from those groupings collectively, and individuals individually: who within it, have deviated from such: and from those others, who have allowed this deviation to go unpunished: in small and great.

Nor, can the religion's followers, or all structures themselves be blamed: many are champions of human rights: and the Catholic religion was created by a man: who himself triumphed human rights: including rights of those abused at the hands of an authority: also considered by Jesus: to have been created by God: but to also be fallible in everyday decisions: as the Catholic church also considers itself to be.

The Irish church has taken a great step, in releasing statistics on this issue, and the American church: has also begun to recover: however: the South African church's continued choice: not to implement canon law: as regards more minor offenses: such as heresy; or, and this one falls into the extremely serious category: the promotion of abortion (which is excommunicable, according to Canon law): in literature sold at churches, in such a manner: that priests advertise it: and the mass of Catholic faithful: believe this literature to be the voice of the local bishops : means that; while we have heard little, if any information on such other issues here: the structures: seem fully unprepared to deal with any such thing.

The fact, that we have such a reply, seemingly from Cardinal Napier: on the fact, he has no desire to act on the Southern Cross: issue; makes one wonder what should happen if such a scandal as sexual abuse of minors were to spread widely in South Africa.

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