It is sad to see so many senior members of the Catholic Church are not understanding what the issue is with the child abuse scandal.
The Herald reports:
The Vatican heatedly defended Pope Benedict XVI, claiming accusations that he helped cover up the actions of paedophile priests are part of an anti-Catholic “hate” campaign targeting the Pope for his opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage.
Or it might be about the lack of opposition to, or more specifically action against,child abuse.
The Vatican newspaper quoted Sodano yesterday as saying the church is “certainly” suffering because of paedophile priests but he asserted that “Benedict XVI has apologised several times”.
“But it’s not Christ’s fault if Judas betrayed” him, Sodano said. “It’s not a bishop’s fault if one of his priests is stained by grave wrongdoing. And certainly the Pontiff is not responsible.”
Here is what they don’t seem to get.
I, and I am sure most people, do not blame anyone in the Catholic Church for the fact a priest molested children, unknown to them. The responsibility absolutely lies with the priest, not the Bishop, the Pope or the Church.
But, and this is the big but, it is different when the Bishop has been told about the child abuse and molestation. And when the Bishop doesn’t report it to the Police, when the Bishop does not sack the priest, when the Bishop merely moves the priest to anoter area, which leads to more molestation of more kids – then the Bishop does have some responsibility.
And when not one Bishop, but dozens of Bishops fail to take action against priests who molest children, and this is a policy laid down by the Vatican, then the Church hierarchy does have some responsibility.
Not for the initial abuse. That is absolutely just the fault of the individual priest. But for not having them sacked and arrested, that is the fault of Bishops and of the Vatican which condoned their lack of action.