The Pope’s visit to Britain last year was marred by controversy over the, rather too soft, approach the Church has in terms of clerical child abuse. If a cleric is suspected of committing child abuse, other members of the church are at liberty not to report such incidents to the police. This has led to, or rather confirmed for many, fears that the Church was and has been covering-up offences rather than dealing with them.
It was only on the 15th May 2011 when TIME magazine ran an article on how the Catholic church were to toughen up on these inefficient approaches to dealing with child abuse (http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2072129,00.html); TIME questioned a new Vatican policy, that on first appearance seems a more concerted effort to combat this endemic problem by making it compulsory for, ‘local bishops to co-operate with local law enforcement’. However it makes no mentions of any punishment or penalty for bishops who don’t comply; an oversight of severe proportions considering half the problem revolved around cover-ups.
Unfortunately for the Catholic Church, cases of child abuse are so severe and frequent, it’s reputation has been damaged almost beyond reconciliation. Any chance of redemption, in my opinion, has been somewhat destroyed by the news that the Pope’s chief advisor on policy targeting paedophilia in the church, Italian Cardinal, Father Riccardo Seppia, has himself been arrested on charges of extreme child abuse(http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2072613,00.html?xid=rss-world). He was discovered to be requesting boys younger than sixteen with troubled backgrounds, even offering them drugs. No wonder, the Church’s stance on this abhorrent behaviour seemed so nonchalant.
It’s revelations such as this which rock the the whole Catholic faith; it’s reputation now finds itself balanced on the brink of destruction. People seem to question the rise of atheism and decline in church goers, yet it doesn’t seem surprising when you look at these controversies that surround the Catholic faith. It is quite truly a debacle; ruining the reputation of the faith. It seems so far gone, to consider it a faith that respects human rights and its followers seem quite laughable. It’s due to controversies like these that, upon seeing an article entitled, ‘Vatican Gets Tough on Child Abuse’ I immediately thought, ‘have they not met their quota for this month?’.
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