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Meditation 850
They STILL don't get it.

By: JT

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There was an article in today's paper[1] that the Vatican has issued new rules on dealing with sex abuse.

Finally! New rules!

Well, not really. They actually have just gathered together the existing ad hoc rules and put them in a single official document.

But they do now require bishops to report child abuse to the civil authorities, don't they?

Uh... no. A Vatican spokesman stated that if (and it's a big IF) there is a civil law requiring the reporting of sex abusers, then of course bishops should obey the law. But if not, it was not up to the church to get involved in what the civil law was.

Right - just as the Catholic Church does not try to get involved in civil law on other issues such as abortion. same sex marriage, birth control, condom use etc.

But back to the "new rules." Of course they provide some form of sanction for bishops who cover-up for child abusers?

Uh... no. The "new rules" are silent on the issue.

But they must have implemented a zero tolerance policy on priests found to be sex abusers? A one strike and you're defrocked rule.

And again... no. Not a one strike rule, nor a three strike rule, nor a 17o strike rule. It remains as the Vatican has liked it for nearly two millennia - an arbitrary and invisible process. A process which encourages denial and cover-up whenever the Church feels it can get away with it.

They just don't get it. They never have got it. And it seems they never will get it.

And in an example of the Vatican's view of the moral equivalence of of various sins, they chose the same document to lay out the penalties for those involved in the attempted ordination of women priests - it's instant excommunication for both the woman and for the bishop who conducts the ceremony.[2]

It's not that I question the Catholic Church's right to continue in its ignorantly sexist course - it's that they chose to do it in a document dealing with child abusers - as if there's any equivalence.

They just don't get it. They never have got it. And it seems they never will get it.


  1. Vatican's new sex abuse rules do not demand bishops report cases to police The Globe and Mail, Friday, July 16 2010
  2. Female Ordination and sex abuse of minors The Globe and Mail, Friday, July 16 2010