|Quoting allrite (Thread starter):|
I'm curious to know what others think. Does any organisation have the right to try to protect its reputation over that of abuse victims? Is paedophile activity a forgivable sin, so long as the person is otherwise an "upstanding" church or community member? (My personal opinion is no, that the person is often doing those other deeds to gain access to victims or hide their activities. I look at the sentences given to some institutional child abusers and wonder why they are so short compared to the lifetime of suffering that many of their victims endure).
Of course they don't. Of course being a church doesn't (or shouldn't) give you immunity from the law, especially when it comes to violent crime (and I would define all sexual abuse --especially of pre-adolescent children-- as a violent crime).
The question is: what are you going to do? Ban the Catholic Church?
|Quoting PHX787 (Reply 2):|
I wonder if the church reversed its policies on marriage of priests, if the abuse cases will drop......
Doubt it. Pedophiles, for all the attention they garner, are quite rare. They tend to gravitate towards positions in which they have access to children. Teachers, religious leaders (not just Catholic Priests), Scout leaders, sports coaches, pediatricians (there have been a few high-profile cases), etc.
The Catholic Church is exceptional in these cases for two reasons:
1) The Catholic Church claims to have a monopoly on (or at least a significant claim to) morality. So for the Catholic Church to have priests abusing children would be an admission that there is evil within the Church. This would fundamentally undermine the Church's credibility with its followers, so it cannot be permitted. As a result...
2) The Catholic Church compounded the immorality of individual Priests by then trying to cover the abuses up as an institution, elevating the individual moral failings of its Priests to the level of the entire institution. It was ridiculously short-sighted of them. Whenever you try to cover up a relatively small problem,* it becomes a very big problem once it gets exposed. And it always gets exposed.
However, let us not think that child sexual abuse is somehow concentrated within the Catholic Church. It is rare, but ubiquitous where there are children.
*I am not calling child abuse a "small problem." However, on the grand scheme of 1-2 billion Catholics or so in the world, a pedophile Priest in a given parish should have been expelled from the Priesthood and turned over to the local authorities on discovery. Had this been done, it would have caused a self-limited local storm, rather than a global one.