This term paper talks about Catholic Church Guilt and the Goodness of “No-mercy Route”. Last year in June, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops approved a Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The charter addresses the Church’s commitment to deal appropriately and effectively with cases of sexual abuse of minors by priests, deacons, and other church personnel.
Last year in June, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops approved a Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The charter addresses the Church’s commitment to deal appropriately and effectively with cases of sexual abuse of minors by priests, deacons, and other church personnel. The bishops of the United States have promised to reach out to those who have been sexually abused as minors by anyone serving the Church in ministry, employment, or a volunteer position, whether the sexual abuse was recent or occurred many years ago. They stated that they would be as open as possible with the people in parishes and communities about instances of sexual abuse of minors, with respect always for the privacy and the reputation of the individuals involved. They have committed themselves to the pastoral and spiritual care and emotional well-being of those who have been sexually abused and of their families.
Through this Conference the Roman Catholic Church achieved at least in large part, damage control, but at an unconscionable price. Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, New York, usually thought to be solidly in the liberal camp of the Episcopal conference, spoke up against “zero tolerance.” He pointed out that just last year the bishops issued a statement calling for the rehabilitation of prisoners and advocating “restorative justice.” “Do we advocate this biblical concept for the community at large, but not for our own priests?” he asked. The hall fell silent when the revered Avery Cardinal Dulles moved to the microphone. The proposed charter, he said, “puts a very adversarial relationship between the bishop and the priest. The priest can no longer go to his bishop in confidence with a problem that he has. He has to be very careful what he says to the bishop because the bishop can throw him out of the ministry for his entire life.” The bishops listened respectfully, and rejected his counsel.
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