Monday, 1 December 2008

think of the children

Pharyngula reports on the Cathoic church's official policy on how to respond to child abuse allegations:

The 69-page Latin document bearing the seal of Pope John XXIII was sent to every bishop in the world. The instructions outline a policy of 'strictest' secrecy in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse and threatens those who speak out with excommunication.

They also call for the victim to take an oath of secrecy at the time of making a complaint to Church officials. It states that the instructions are to 'be diligently stored in the secret archives of the Curia [Vatican] as strictly confidential. Nor is it to be published nor added to with any commentaries.'

That's right: the Catholic church has made covering up child abuse official policy. It's not even as though this is going to surprise anyone, coming from such a hateful organisation, but it still amazes me that they seem to have learned nothing over the affair. All they seem to have done is make widespread child abuse even easier. The sickness of this attitude drips from every word, but the part about coercing the victims into meeting the needs of their abusers is just astonishing. Could there be a more obvious statement by the church that it doesn't really think it's done anything wrong?

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