Dec 7, 2009

The Vatican washes its hands

I've a new post on GlobalComment

Matthew 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.

Working for an organisation can inspire loyalty. You defend the policies, because you believe in them. You minimise whatever failings you fins out about and cover up a few mistakes. You invest your time and effort into being the best worker you can. Then you find out that the organisation is not perfect. Maybe it dumps toxic waste into the ocean or uses slave labour. At what point do you blow the whistle? At what point do you resign in protest?

The analogy is not perfect, but neither is the reaction of the Catholic Church to accusations of child sexual abuse. As a reference point, Vatican II (Second Vatican Counsel) marks the modern Catholic Church – a handy milestone for an ancient organisation. Did the latter day cover ups start with Pope John Paul II or was his refusal to permit the defrocking of paedophile priests only the latest deception? In 1989, the pontiff was determined to give priests every chance to repent. In Ireland, this policy led inexorably to repeat child sexual abuse. In many cases, the cycle was repeated for decades.

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