I’m Sorry, Says Cardinal, Is The Priest?

The ongoing saga of paedophile priests in Ireland continues with an apology from Cardinal Sean Brady for his failure to adequately handle a case of child abuse in 1975 when two children were compelled to take a vow of silence while the church conducted an investigation. Cardinal Brady now admits the police should immediately have been informed since it was a crime not merely in the church, but in civil society. Father Brendan Smyth was relieved of clerical duties and recommended for psychiatric treatment, but since the police were never involved in the incident, Smyth continued having access to children and most probably abused other youngsters. Cardinal Brady told Catholics: “I am ashamed that I have not always upheld the values that I profess and believe in.”

The reality is such stories of abuse of children continue emerging as well as actions by church officials to protect the clergy. In the end, both children and the Catholic Church suffer and even as Brady announced he would reflect on what happened in order to exam his future, isn’t there need for the Catholic Church to also reflect and consider if there are alternatives to the current policy of celibacy?

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  • journeyer58

    If the past is any indication of the future, then it will be at least 100-200 years before the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church decides to address the issue of celibacy for priests.
    In place, in the College of Cardinals are all of the appointments of the predecessor of Benedict XVI, John Paul II.
    He chose cardinals based on their orthodoxy and adherence to the idea of ‘celibacy.’ T0 gain that most coveted position one would have had to show the Pope that adherence to the ‘faith’ as he saw it was of the utmost importance to the rising bishop. And since the youngest cardinal is only in his early 60′s and is allowed to vote for the new pope until the age of 72, then there is at least 2 maybe 3 generations of cardinals that will not allow any mention of change to the status quo.
    It is a shame that the church by then will be ineffectual and meaningless. Then Catholic Church has many good traditions and lots of social justice issues it works on, but this ongoing scandal will make the church an outmoded and outdated as well as ineffectual voice for the people. The people, whom they, the hierarchy have taken for granted and abused for time immemorial.
    I write this not as a self-loathing Catholic, but one who has thought long and hard about the policy of celibacy and the issue of the church becoming involved in the political arena of the U.S. and the world.