Exposing Corruption: Good for the Church?

9 thoughts on “Exposing Corruption: Good for the Church?”

  1. I think that churches would probably be more effective and godly places if these things were not buried, certainly, but I think the trap here is committing to a new course of action that is still focused on bettering the church’s reputation, instead of honestly and creatively searching for ways to promote good.

    “Child molesters bad; should be punished,” is of course not a sentiment or suggestion I would contest. However, I think there are a lot of ways in which just turning people over to the civil authorities is – though perhaps at least the bare minimum of what one should do – is not enough. It may make the church look good, but the criminal justice system is not necessarily known for a real emphasis on rehabilitation and healing for the victims or the perpetrators. But the church can be, is in some cases, and certainly could be. Justice is crucial, but human justice is not the end of repentance or reconciliation.

  2. Agreed that the penal system is not always the best system for rehabilitation. But if you look at the recidivism rates for the priests that some some bishops sent to “rehabilitation camps,” I think they might have had a better shot at rehabilitation in prison. Also, although I don’t have a cite for it right now, recidivism rates for sex offenders are much higher than for others convicted of violent crimes. And at least in prison, they wouldn’t have been able to molest anyone else.

  3. Yeah. I wasn’t saying they shouldn’t be sent to prison. I’m just saying they should be sent to prison because that’s the best option for keeping them away from children and getting them treatment and because it’s the law: not to make the church look less sketchy.

  4. Oh, I don’t think this is mainly about the church’s reputation. Not at all. I think the point is to do the loving thing, which is standing with victims and against oppressors. This should be the only Christian response. But it also has the happy effect of being better for the church as an institution (which may even be a confused concept, but I’ll save that discussion for another day). And, of course, I wanted to point out that the idea that hiding this stuff will save the church’s reputation is preposterous.

  5. These rogue priests need to spend time behind bars for their crimes. Maybe they’d be more at home with other law breakers and child molesters and rapists. The sweeping under the rug of these prist’s and their crimes have to come to a screeching halt. The cover ups by the church needs more publicity so that the Vatican will want to do the right thing and not downplay these visiouse crimes on Our society,and make it and them to stop,once and for all.

  6. I think it doesn’t just start with child molestation, it’s starts with abuse of authority. As a priests you have over stepped your boundaries and have made people your subjects. In the Protestant church there are molestations occurring also. Any time a church official has sex with a member of their congregation it is a sin.

    1. Culturally, we have become very reluctant to practise any kind of effective church censure, believing that grace negates our need for justice on earth. As we have seen, even high-profile ministers such Ted Haggard, once defrocked for sexual abuses, have later been able brazenly to start a new church – a new Church indeed, schismatical in its lack of respect for morals.

      Even with powerful vestries, corrupt ministers often prove difficult to remove. But all, both bishops and laymen, must answer to God concerning the command to defend the widow and the orphan, and all the weak and defenceless. Church courts must try these cases of sexual abuse and remove from their posts those who have so harmed others.

      I do also support imprisoning as well as defrocking priests who have preyed upon others sexually, but I should also like to point out that this course of action, unless all of us choose the papalism of Unam Sanctam, has Erastian implications that none can avoid.

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