It is already a well known and proven fact that the paedophilia scandal which involved Catholic leaders and clergy in palaces, parishes and seminars all over, was handled badly by the Church.
I visited a Washington care home for paedophile
former priests who were admitted and treated here as well as having to
undergo penance and checks. I remember the horrible air of distress that
hung heavy in those rooms. They seemed to have been punished in true
Gospel style, with millstones almost literally hanging around the necks
for what they did to the children they abused.
The report by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
refreshed everyone’s minds of the huge scandal, the Catholic
hierarchy’s failure to immediately banish those who were found guilty,
the hypocritical way in which victims were left to suffer in silence ,
the shame, the conspiracy of silence and the mad choice of transferring
some of the worst culprits of all to other parishes, setting them free
to prey on helpless families and terrified little ones.
generation of Catholics all across the world felt estranged from the
faith as a result of this tomblike silence and atonement will be a long
time in coming.
What raises certain doubts about the content of
the report is not its condemnation of the criminal acts of paedophile
priests – this everyone agrees on – but the non challant, superficial
fashion magazine-like tone – in which it discusses controversial issues
such as abortion, contraception, gender identity, throwing these into
the same pot as paedophilia.
As if a priest from some small countryside
parish is automatically guilty of paedophilia and a danger to catechism
students just because he preaches against abortion and urges caution in
the use of contraception.
As Sister May Ann Walsh, spokesman of the US
Bishops’ Conference wisely comment with regards to the report: “The
Committee on the Rights of the Child is correct to voice concern over
sexual abuse and is to be commended for its efforts. Unfortunately the
report is weakened by including objections to Catholic teaching on such
issues as gay marriage, abortion and contraception. When the U.N.
committee strays into the culture wars to promote abortion,
contraceptives and gay marriage, it undermines its noble cause and
trades concern for children to concern for organizations with other
agendas. Sexual abuse of a minor is a sin and a crime.”
abortion and contraception with paedophilia creates chaos.
Although the report contains a thousand truths, it
is weakened by an excessive moralistic Jacobinism. As if a contest was
on to tick all the boxes of the Code of Political Correctness, written
in UN officialese to make it extra rigid. Polemicists will say that the
UN’s a great one to talk: it is itself incapable of saying anything
substantial on big tragedies such as the gassing of Syrian children for
fear of Putin using his Security Council veto.
It publishes numerous
communiqués in defence of human, civil, cultural and religious rights of
citizens and yet fails to get these signed by governments that violate
said rights every single day and in the most horrible of manners.
Critics observe that other religions and religious denominations that
are vehemently defended by member states, rarely come under the
spotlight like this, neither are they scrutinised and condemned in this
The relationship between the Church’s two identities, the Catholic
Church as Sovereign State and the Catholic religion also appear blurred.
As if an America, Italian or Brazilian priest only answered to the Pope
for the sins they have committed and not to the courts in their
respective countries as well.
Most importantly, the UN has not grasped the new
climate in the Church since Francis was elected Pope or the processes
set in motion before him in order to put an end to the paedophilia
plague and the system that allowed sexual abuse of minors in the
Catholic Church to continue and its perpetrators get away with it
The UN has been ethically slow and this is something that
often alienates it from others. It does not look at the differences
between each country and culture within the Catholic world or the
differences between rich and poor countries. It preaches morals, laying
down a review date -2017- which no one has the power to recognise.
Church has given its full collaboration - Charles J. Scicluna was
appointed lead “prosecutor” for clerical sex abuse in the Church
until 2012 - in responding to the UN Committee’s recommendations in the
hope that it would serve as an external stimulus for moral reform.
UN report’s icy prose ticks all the boxes in bureaucratic terms but is
devoid of warmth and respect, proving to be of little use in combating
the evils it claims it intends to combat.