Calling for action on the Catholic Church

The Michigan Dailly

February 28, 2019

On Sunday, Pope Francis concluded an unprecedented global summit addressing the widespread issue of clerical sex abuse in the Catholic Church. The Church has been at the center of a massive scandal involving sexual misconduct, implicating members of the Church from local priests to the highest-ranking cardinals. It has also become clear that clerical sex abuse was something of an open secret among members of the clergy, creating a culture of cover-ups and protection of offending priests. Though Pope Francis delivered strong words against perpetrators of abuse in his closing remarks, declaring an “all-out battle”against sexual predators, many were left unsatisfied by what seemed to be a speech devoid of tangible solutions.

As an editorial board, we express our solidarity with victims of clerical abuse and urge serious ramifications and judicial impositions on members of the Catholic Church on both local and national levels, so as to encourage true change within the institution.

Pope Francis will soon issue a document motu proprio — a rescript initiated and issued by the pope of his own accord and apart from the advice of others, as defined by Merriam Webster — which shows his commitment to offering some concrete proposals. But how realistic is it to believe that the same institution that sponsored this abuse will now root it out? Defrocking priests who engage in sexual abuse should have been a consistent policy of the Catholic Church. Instead, we know that the opposite occurred.

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