Here’s a clear indication that the church – even while portraying itself AS VICTIM in the sex abuse scandal – takes the whole thing without seriousness, without conviction, without any sense of alarm or panic. The church obviously has no interest in justice. It serves only itself and its own interests, not its abused members, not its outraged parishoners. Filthy self-interested buggers!
In May 2011 the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith wrote to every bishops’ conference in the world asking them to draw up guidelines on tackling clerical abuse. The CDF gave the bishops’ conferences a generous deadline: they had a whole year to draft the document. Some conferences, of course, already had procedures for handling abuse allegations, including our own. But the overwhelming majority did not. Note that the CDF only asked for guidelines, rather than binding norms, and allowed wriggle room by saying that child protection policies could be drafted in “ways appropriate to specific situations in different regions”.
A year has now passed and the results are in. Mgr Charles Scicluna, the CDF’s promoter of justice, told the Italian monthly Jesus that without counting Africa “more than half of the conferences responded” to the May deadline. This is an odd formulation. Why didn’t Mgr Scicluna say simply that more than half of conferences had responded? Surely because, when you include Africa, the CDF had received responses from less than half of the world’s conferences before the deadline. Think about that for a moment: the Vatican gave bishops around the world a year to produce the most rudimentary guidelines on handling abuse allegations and more than half of them still failed to submit the text in time.