Theologians at the United Nations; Liberal Lawyers Want Americans to Be Free to OD

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), February 7, 2014 | Go to article overview

Theologians at the United Nations; Liberal Lawyers Want Americans to Be Free to OD


Byline: Wesley Pruden, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The Vatican asked for it, with its stalling on what to do about pedophile priests, and putting off what the pope and his bishops know is inevitable. But neither the Roman Catholic Church nor, God knows, the United Nations, comes into the court of public opinion with what the lawyers call, with no intended irony, "clean hands."

There's little the Vatican can say about the scandal of its priests except to say it's sorry, and the Roman church has done that. More than that, the Vatican has taken some steps to make sure that scandal will be resolved and certain amends made. But there's a lot more to do, as the Vatican concedes.

The U.N.'s Committee on the Rights of the Child, based in Geneva, scorches the Vatican for its transfers of errant -- and in many cases, criminal -- priests from one parish to another, in some cases giving a predator a virgin field for exploiting rapacious lust.

If Pope Francis wants a few pointers on how to resolve this scandal permanently, I could offer the obvious tips. If priests must suppress the most compelling of natural human instincts, Rome will continue to recruit a large number of undesirables, men who are constitutionally unable to live up to the teachings of the church, no matter how hard they try.

The cruel irony is that little boys, struggling through the tender years of childhood, will suffer most. That's not what Christian teaching is about, and the pedophile scandal hurts every Christian congregation, Catholic and Protestant alike. A priest, like every man, needs the civilizing influence of a woman.

But nobody in Rome has asked for a Baptist critique of a Catholic dilemma, however well-intended such a critique may be. The self-righteous tone of the U.N. panel's report is obviously not so well-intended.

"The [U.N.] committee is gravely concerned that the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed," the report chides, "[and] has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by, and the impunity of, perpetrators."

All somewhat true, and the Vatican has not denied its complicity in abuse, and promises to take the report to heart, further study, and perhaps action. …

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