Friday, 19 March 2010

Catholic sex abuse, cartoons and the dangers of religious privilege

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Following on from yesterday's post on the question of the current Pope's responsibility for the Catholic child abuse scandals, I recommend you read the ever-excellent Johann Hari's latest Independent column which, in light of the reactions to the arrest of extremists accused of plotting to kill the Scandinavian Muhammad cartoonists, and allegations that the Pope may have had knowledge of an abuse cover-up in Germany, warns of the dangers of affording excessive respect to religions and exempting them from the criticism applied to all other ideas. It is, Hari argues, a situation which leads to otherwise reasonable individuals becoming apologists for child abusers and would-be axe-wielding murderers.


Air Jordan said...

Great article and it's so helpful. But I just can't see any picture in your blog. Is that my computer problem? But I can see other s' blog pictures.

c said...


Canon Law....chilling definition

"But when controversial Monsignor Maurice Dooley declared in 2002 that bishops did not have to tell the police about paedophile clerics, nobody in the Catholic Church said anything.

Speaking then about paedophile priests, the canon law expert said it was not up to the church to give files on child abuse to the gardai. (police)

He said bishops were entitled to ignore criminal law and to conceal a paedophile cleric's actions from the authorities -- even if it meant going to prison.

Mgr Dooley said bishops were not required to report past cases of sexual abuse and might even shelter the priest. "As far as the church is concerned, its laws comes first," he said.

Mgr Dooley's views were clearly no different in 2002 when he said: "A bishop swears allegiance to canon law. If there was a real conflict, he would simply have to maintain canon law, even if there was a chance of going to jail."

A bishop's relationship with a priest was similar to that of a parent and child, Fr Dooley said. "As a parent, you are entitled to protect your child or even to conceal him from punishment. "He is a kind of father figure towards his priest"

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