Sunday, February 28, 2010

Priestly VFA?

“Fact-finding body
In this country, Rosales said, complaints against priests who commit sexual abuse may be raised before bishops. The subject priest would be made to answer the allegations before a fact-finding body.

If found meritorious, the case would be elevated to the Vatican, where it would be decided whether the priest should be defrocked, Rosales said.”

I saw this entry in a 2008 Inquirer article. The two paragraphs were at the tail end of the piece which lead with the local catholic church’s position on homosexual priests.
A fact finding body within an organization is fair, normal; but then Gaudencio Rosales depressingly went thousands of miles beyond what was necessary.
What is necessary? Local law enforcement authorities, the Philippine justice system, Philippine laws.
Why should any Filipino care about Vatican involvement when he or she was wronged here in the country? There are laws here, law enforcement, and a system of justice, which every citizen can avail. Why let the victim suffer through an international red tape. For that matter why should any victim care first about ‘defrocking’?
Does this mean a VFA status for priests? Does this mean that they see themselves as beyond all Philippine laws?
Now maybe I am overreacting. Maybe there is fault with the editorial policies of the Inquirer (but if true then that would be a different issue all together). But I have to wonder if this church is really sincere. Keeping facts of the crime within the church is what made sex abuse a scandal, and did Gaudencio Rosales promise anything that was not done before?  At least from those two paragraphs, NO.