Papal Decree Preserves Street Cred When Reporting Abuse
Pope Francis has issued a Papal decree making it obligatory for members of the Catholic Church to report cases of sexual abuse. The decree dictates the Church must establish “one or more public, stable and easily accessible systems for submission of reports” and should allow members of the Church to submit their accounts anonymously. This because reporting abuse and suffering gives you terrible street cred in The Vatican. The decree will take effect on the 1st of June, so there are still a few months to adjust to this radical change.
Pope Francis is seen as one of the most progressive popes to date (all is relative) and has fought for justice in cases of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. As a result, some members of the Church have come to denounce Pope Francis for causing harm to the institution. His actions have supposedly “given rise to one of the worst crises in the history of the Catholic Church”. This ‘NRA logic’, where banning the gun is worse than the shooting, shows Francis has some way to go.
Others have called the decree ‘groundbreaking’, which, doesn’t inspire confidence in the moral compass of the church. Do you need to be reminded child abuse is a crime? Was there never a memo going around saying this is not quite what Jesus had in mind?
The decree also aims to make sure cover-ups are no longer possible. Where previously the reporting of sexual crimes was “left up to the conscience of individual priests and nuns” the church has now turned this into ‘law’. So, if national laws weren’t clear enough on this issue, the people you can go to for guidance and forgiveness will now know for sure child abuse is not ok.
This still means the cases won’t have to be given over to the police and the reporting process will be handled internally. Given the worrying number of priests who think this decree is the evil of all evils, chances are this won’t change too much. In the meantime, God’s tears will have to suffice.
So, is the Catholic Church the daycare centre it once was? Imagine a chain of swimming pools where the occasional child is drowned by the lifeguard. The drownings were mostly covered up and kept away from the authorities and decades later the swimming pool CEO decides lifeguards must report all drownings from now on. Better than before? Sure. Probably still time to shop around for a different one though. Or, get your own swimming pool.