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Can The New Pope Fix The Sexual Scandals of The Church?


There is an easy answer and that is "yes". Jeff Anderson took a look at this topic over at his must read blog based on a CNN Interview:

There are seven concrete measures the future pope can and must implement to bring about change within the clerical culture on child sexual abuse. First, disclose the names of all the clerics credibly accused and known to the Vatican worldwide along with the country, state, and parish or school where the offenses were allegedly committed. More than a dozen bishops have already created such lists and made them public.

Second, publicly disclose all of the documents within the Vatican's archives that pertain to reports of child sex abuse, the Vatican's response to it, and the hierarchy's role in the abuse. The church must begin to make amends to survivors, and exposing the secrets and concealment contained in such documents is a critical step.

Third, revise church canon law and Vatican protocols so that no secrecy surrounds child sex abuse. Secrecy is toxic, and in it, child abuse flourishes. Fourth, require each bishop and church official to report clergy accused of sexual abuse of minors to law enforcement.

Fifth, retain independent and outside professionals to conduct an audit to assure compliance and reliability. An example of a case where this independent investigation worked is the Louis Freeh Report regarding Penn State and the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal.

Sixth, retain independent and outside professionals, nonclerics, who do not have a requirement of obedience to the pope and bishops, to conduct investigations into child sex crimes by clergy.

Seventh, retain independent and outside professionals to train, educate, and modernize child protection procedures and protocols in every diocese worldwide.

These are all changes that would make a major difference. I would also add:

– Agree to find all survivors and work to make everyone whole. Forgo statute of limitation defenses and legal arguments that would stand in the way of recovery.

– Look at the zero tolerance policies and enforce them. Send a clear message that from here on out there will be only zero tolerance.

– Look into every bankruptcy attempt that has been used to escape liability by many diocese and insure that there will be full compensation of all survivors with a goal of making every one of them whole.

This is real leadership and a true championing of the rights of those who most need the churches help.

also see the article by survivor William Lynch: Sexual abuse in the church: William Lynch on why a new pope doesn't mean justice.

Abuse of children and the continued silence by the offenders needs to be prevented. If you suffered, saw, or suspected such events, it is important to know that there is help out there.


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  1. David Sadtler says:
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    And there is an eighth one. The Pope can prove his reformist credentials by immediately excommunicating all acknowledged paedophile priests and reminding them that their sins are mortal. http://amzn.to/YHfNiK

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    Bravo! Time will tell…

  3. Sarah Kleman says:
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    I agree with David Sadtler. Since these were crimes committed under the guise of religion, the religion should excommunicate them and let survivors know that this religion truly has zero tolerance for those who would harm a child.

    If this religion believes its laws prevent it from excommunicating a priest, then they are stuck with conducting a pedophile ring and they might’s well admit it and stop the empty apologies and phony rhetoric.

  4. Amos says:
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    The Vatican announced that it was moving forward with the canonization of JPII. The same article said the current pope, Francis, was in support of this move. Because of JPII’s unwillingness to address the pedophile issue in the Church while still alive, and because of his endorsement of Marcial Maciel Degollado, a clerical pervert, there are serious doubts that there will be much, if any movement on the recommendations made in this article. It looks like the Vatican’s position is to wait it out and pretend this whole ghastly, centuries old phantasmagoria will eventually fade from people’ memory.

  5. Sarah Kleman says:
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    Yes, Amos, I agree, JPII was the head of the ring. I suppose they have to canonize him or condemn him. So they’re in hurry-up mode to rush out his sainthood. It might have worked except that the Royal Commission of Australia is not going to let it fade from people’s memory. I wish it were the U.S. as a nation standing up for its children. But American children will certainly benefit from what Australia and Ireland are doing.

    I do think having a woman Prime Minister in Australia could well be the worst thing to happen to the Catholic Church in modern times. It was a woman judge in Boston who brought the whole thing to light in 2002. This religion will rue the day they decided to pretend that the 60’s and forward never happened. Women are at once the most subservient to this religion and the most challenging. We’ll see where it goes. I’m guessing it’s going forward, not backward.

    I’m also grateful to the many great men who are pushing this forward, like the PM of Ireland and Jeff Anderson and David Clohessy and William Lynch out in California and the prosecutors in Philadelphia and the Maltese priest who resigned yesterday and tons of others. I don’t think there’s gonna be any fading from memory, thank God.

  6. Mike Bryant says:
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    Great point David S and thank you David M

  7. Mike Bryant says:
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    Amos that is the question, will it be business as usual or true reform?

  8. Mike Bryant says:
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    Sarah your list of people fighting is so true and very good point about the help that has and can be provided by woman leaders. Thank you for reading and the comments.

  9. Vern Denis says:
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    Other than foregoing Statute of Limitations defenses, I agree with the various recommendations above

  10. Mike Bryant says:
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    Thanks for reading and the comment Vern. The Statue waiver is what will go the furthest to making the survivors whole. It really is the protection of what has in the past been the most important for the powers in control.