Blank Image
St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
Just some images of our church
blank image
blank image
blank image blank image blank image blank image blank image blank image
Click here to go back

Saturday, March 13, 2010
Last week the Vatican press spokesman affirmed that sexual abuse of minors by authorities in the Church is "particularly reprehensible." He also cautioned against seeing the problem as only a Church issue, since the reality of abuse "is much broader" and extends to society as a whole.

Father Lombardi noted that, concerning the recent Irish crisis, the Holy Father has met the Bishops and is currently preparing a special letter. Now the scandal has involved the Church in central Europe. The local Churches there have "faced the emergence of [the] problem with timely and decisive action." He said they have "demonstrated their desire for transparency and, in a certain sense, accelerated the emergence of the problem by inviting victims to speak out, even when the cases involved date from many years ago”. Indeed the "correct starting point is recognition of what happened and concern for the victims and the consequences of the acts committed against them." The Church is identifying a "prevention strategy, so that everything possible may be done to ensure that similar cases are not repeated in the future,"

Father Lombardi said the scandals should be "placed in a more wide-ranging context that concerns the protection of children and young people from sexual abuse in society as a whole."

He explained: "Certainly, the errors committed in ecclesiastical institutions and by Church figures are particularly reprehensible because of the Church's educational and moral responsibility, but all objective and well-informed people know that the question is much broader, and concentrating accusations against the Church alone gives a false perspective. By way of example, recent data supplied by the competent authorities in Austria shows that, over the same period of time, the number of proven cases in Church institutions was 17, while there were 510 other cases in other areas. It would be as well to concern ourselves also with them." The spokesman lauded widely supported initiatives in Germany to "consider the question from an appropriate and comprehensive viewpoint."

The press officer added that, concerning the Church’s “canon law, the crime of the sexual abuse of minors has always been considered as one of the most serious of all, and canonical norms have constantly reaffirmed this." Other commentators have pointed out how a certain disregard for Canon Law had developed in the Church in recent decades which meant that, as the Irish Inquiries have pointed out, appropriate punishments were not applied.

Finally, Father Lombardi concluded by saying that the "seriousness of the difficulties" facing the Church "cannot be denied.” She must “ensure that, in the end, they bring positive results, of better protection for infancy and youth in the Church and in society, and the purification of the Church herself." [adjusted from a report]

posted by Sinead Reekie at 12:06 pm