Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Tag: benedict xvi

Catholic Church and sex scandals

Sex scandals involving Catholic priests are making news with regularity. USA, Canada, Ireland, Spain, Holland, Germany, Austria and some other countries have reported sex scandals. Some scandals are cases of paedophilia. One case refers to a priest who was in Munich when the present pope Benedict XVI was then Joseph Ratzinger, archbishop of Munich.
Though the number of priests involved in scandals is around 5% it tarnishes the image of the whole church and causes crisis of faith. The question of continuing clerical celibacy comes up.
While there is no proposal of changing the rule of celibacy to Latin rite regional rites without clerical celibacy may be allowed. Dutch, English, Irish, German and such rites for Holland, England, Ireland, Germany and other countries may free the church from paedophilia and other scandals. These rites need to be restricted to their regions otherwise there will be problems with multiple jurisdictions.
Many cases of scandals are said to be of long time back. Some of them are more than 30 years old. It is not clear why the victims kept quiet for so long and all of a sudden they have come out in the open. It is not known how many priests will face prosecution. Some are too old. In some cases the statute of limitations has expired. In USA the church paid huge sums to victims.
There may be more scandals to be revealed. Lessons are to be learnt from these scandals and steps should be taken to prevent them in future.
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Apostolic Administrators

Apostolic Administrators are appointed when the bishop is unable to carry on in the diocese. The person appointed as Apostolic Administrator is not supposed to have any other diocese under him. For many years, following the ouster of the Portuguese, when Archbishop of Goa and Patriarch of East Indies was in Portugal, Raul Gonsalves was the Apostolic Administrator.

Since Benedict XVI became pope many bishops who are transferred to other dioceses or promoted as archbishops are appointed as Apostolic Administrators where they were bishops. This is not a good sign. Thomas Dabre after becoming Bishop of Poona is the Apostolic Administrator of Vasai.

When a bishop is transferred or promoted a new bishop must be appointed or diocesan consultors or curia must elect an administrator or Vicar Capitular. A bishop being Apostolic Administrator of another diocese reminds me of Pre-Reformation days when many bishops had two or more dioceses under them. In some cases those appointed as bishops were not consecrated for years.

The practice of one bishop having two or more dioceses under him must stop.

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