World Religion News

By Corey Barnett

January 27, 2018

The recent news that Casey Affleck has withdrawn as an Academy Awards presenter over accusations that he has engaged in sexual violence is yet another example of the power of #metoo movement. The movement has been called a “silence breaker” and was awarded the 2017 TIME Magazine Person of the Year.

As we see the changes the campaign has brought to the entertainment and business industry we should be looking to religion as the next social institute that needs to reflect and modify their stance in order to espouse the morality that is dictated in their theology.

The Catholic Church began to take measures in 2002 as a reaction to the global scandals that were occurring because of widespread abuse and subsequent cover-up of perpetrators. Dialogue and openness were promoted, including the creation of the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” to give clear guidelines to parishes and officials.

Yet that is not enough. Pope Francis recently visited South America, where he did not speak out about the appointment of a bishop who had close ties to a famous abuser. He also implied that the accusers could be lying before a large-scale backlash possibility caused him to change his stance and ask for forgiveness.

But the Catholic Church needs to be more consistent. There are two levels of the potential of abuse in the Catholic Church. First, is the well-documented history of abuse, mostly toward younger people, that have been conducted by priests and church officials. Instead of asking forgiveness, the Catholic Church should be excommunicating anyone that has been found to be guilty of sexual abuse. This sends a clear message. Abusing the body made in God’s image is like an abuse on God Himself and will not be tolerated.

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