We applaud the Pope’s action, but wonder, “Is it too little, too late?” Pope Francis recently brought the Vatican up to speed this past Thursday when it comes to laws regarding sexual abuse in children. The Pope has finally laid down a law that makes it a crime to abuse children sexually or physically on Vatican grounds. These crimes are punishable by up to 12 years in prison.
As many of you may be already wondering; they weren’t already doing that? The Vatican’s penal code is based on the 1889 Italian code, and is outdated in many ways. Much of the laws that were passed this last Thursday, bring the Vatican up to date with many UN conventions that the Vatican signed decades ago.
It seems as though this law was passed at the perfect time – right before the Vatican prepares for a meeting by a UN committee to try and protect children under the convention that the Vatican signed in 1990. Better late than never?
Advocates for child victims of priest sexual abuse filed a petition approximately a year ago, at the World Court, The Hague, against the Catholic Church for ”Crimes Against Humanity” for the sexual abuse of children. Is it possible, that the Pope is taking this much needed, long awaited, yet still applauded action, for fear of the World Court finding the Catholic Church guilty of crimes against humanity and thus the Church and the Catholic hierarchy be tried and charged as war criminals? It is this author’s opinion, which that is indeed what should transpire. The Catholic Church worldwide should be charged for crimes against humanity for the sexual abuse of children. The Church has done more than turn a blind eye. They have condoned such behavior. It’s considered a “perk” of the job.
Let’s hope and yes, “pray” that the UN finds the courage to act against the power of the largest corporation in the world, The Catholic Church. The Catholic Church owns more land, has more assets, and controls more people, than any other corporation in the world.
Query: Why hasn’t the Catholic Church changed Canon Law criminalizing the sexual abuse of children? At least Canon Law would affect the Catholic Church and how it operates, what is legal and what is illegal, worldwide. Does this mean, that only at the Vatican, child sexual abuse is a crime? But Catholic Church dioceses are free to sexually abuse at will as they have been doing?
It seems as if the Pope is trying to restore the Vatican’s image after a series of scandals including the sexual abuse of children by priests. Pope Francis has also seemed to win people over with his plan to make the Catholic Church more austere and focus on the poor. Pope Francis said in early July that it pained him to see priests drive flashy cars and told them to pick something more “humble”.
“For the Vatican’s image, this is a successful move. For children’s safety, this is another setback … because it will help foster the false impression of reform and will lead to more complacency,” said SNAP director David Clohessy in a written statement. “The church hierarchy doesn’t need new rules on abuse. It needs to follow long-established secular laws on abuse. And it needs to push for, not oppose, real reforms to archaic, predator-friendly secular laws (like the statute of limitations).”
What do you think? Will this new law help protect children or will this be another setback?