Friday, August 7, 2009
Wolves in Sheep's Clothing
The Roman Catholic diocese of Antigonish, N.S on Friday announced a $13 million settlement to victims of sexual abuse stemming as far back as 1950.
The class-action lawsuit was initiated by Ronald Martin and covers anyone who claims to have been abused by any priest of the Catholic Episcopal Corp. of Antigonish since 1950. The suit was filed last year, and claimed that the Pope instructed the church to institute a policy that would keep sex-abuse allegations against priests secret, under threat of excommunication.
How is it that the Roman Catholic Church can blatantly justify and defend sexual predators, such as the priests of Antigonish, and not face immense international condemnation? While Vatican City's refusal to join the United Nations makes it immune from sanctions and punishment on a global scale, it also allows this tiny state to essentially govern free of any binding international commitments or regulations.
Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states that member states must "take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social, and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence...including sexual abuse, while in the care of parents, legal guardians, or any other person who has care of the child."
It's no surprise that Vatican City has not joined the United Nations; many of the UN resolutions work to limit the exploitation and abuse of children around the world. What would happen if the Church was forced to actually enforce international abuse laws against their own priests and clergymen?
There wouldn't be enough priests left to fill a church.