Frank Brennan November 01, 2012
These are not easy times for Catholic priests; and they have never been easy times for those children in our society who have been sexually abused, a disproportionate number of them by Catholic priests.
When in Sydney in July 2008, Pope Benedict XVI apologised in these words:
I … acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious in this country. Indeed, I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured and I assure them that, as their pastor, I too share in their suffering. These misdeeds, which constitute so grave a betrayal of trust, deserve unequivocal condemnation.
I adopt his apology without demurrer.
Whatever our religion or none, whatever our love or loathing of the Catholic Church, what is to be done in the name of law and justice? Clearly the Church cannot be left alone to get its house in order. That would be a wrongful invocation of freedom of religion in a pluralist, democratic society.
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