The United Nations’ Call for Change at the Vatican

Religion and Politics

The United Nations has recently come out with a report surrounding the actions of the Holy See, and denouncing the Vatican for not doing enough to report, punish, and stop Clerical members who have abused children (See: http://bit.ly/1bqwZB9). The report states that there have been tens of thousands of instances of abuse performed by clerics of the Catholic Church and is in essence a call to action for the Holy See to change its policies surrounding sexual abuse and remove anyone who has been found to take part in it. Accusations have been made that, rather than allowing the proper authorities to deal with cases of this kind of illegal activity, there have been efforts made by the Vatican to cover up these crimes, even allowing perpetrators to continue to hold positions within the Catholic Church with only the reprimand of relocation.

Often, one hears reports of sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic Church. Although it is then assumed that that wrongdoer would be punished to the full extent of the law, it seems that in some cases this has not been the reality. When taking into consideration some of the ideals held up in Catholicism, of which many have to do with restrictions around sex, this becomes more shocking and even ironic.

The actions of the Holy See as described in this article raise questions regarding whether or not some religious leaders still believe that they are above the law, as many have throughout history. Clearly, although the United Nations is attempting to change this, there has not been strict enough use of the legal system when it comes to religious authorities in some cases. Numerous children are being hurt by men who are in positions of influence, and who are meant to be using that influence to guide the morality of young Catholics. Due to some of the moral values expressed in Christianity regarding ethical social behaviour, it comes as a bit of a surprise that more importance seems to be being placed on maintaining reputation than on ensuring the safety and well-being of the Catholic population.

The current protocols of the Holy See in dealing with this issue are setting a dangerous precedent that the actions of clerics can go unpunished, even if they have committed incredibly disturbing crimes. For the sake of the children who might be abused in the future by those who have not been forced to face the rightful consequences of their actions, it seems that the outrage expressed by the United Nations is both necessary and long overdue.

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