Thursday, July 15, 2010

At least this didn't take 400 years to correct. Ask Galileo.

After months and months of the kind of bad PR your get when it's found you have continued to ignore child molestation and rape cases, have let priests go unpunished, stood in the way of justice, and reacted with a tin ear when governments, people, and law enforcement decided to pick up the slack, the Catholic Church has come out with some new guidelines into the handling and prosecution of sexual abuse cases. Namely 1: they will now actually care about or pretend to care about sexual abuse cases. And 2: they totally promise to rap a few knuckles this time.

See, when you threaten to arrest and question the Pope in a legal deposition, shit gets done.

Maybe I'm explaining it poorly. Let's have the Lord dumb it down for us.
In its most significant revision to church law since a sex abuse crisis hit the United States a decade ago and roared back from remission in Europe this spring, the Vatican on Thursday issued new internal rules making it easier to discipline priests who have sexually abused minors.
In its revision, the Vatican doubled the statute of limitations in abuse cases from 10 to 20 years from the victim’s 18th birthday and added possession of child pornography and the sexual abuse of mentally disabled adults to the list of crimes handled by the Vatican’s doctrinal office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

In a statement, the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the changes were a sign of the church’s commitment to addressing child sex abuse with “rigor and transparency.”
Good. It seemed the previous modus operandi was to molest children with vigor and transparent, erotic vestments.

But, lest we commit the sin of too much internet snark, we will at least offer up our tepid applause. After all, while this is a sweeping new policy, it's one that should have been an obvious move, oh, say, a long fucking time ago. Plus, all it is now is some words on a paper, let's see you put it into action, as you lot don't have the best record when it comes to following your own guidelines on not fucking kids. Make it more than, as put it, "administrative tinkering of a secretive internal process."

Still, I'm surprised. Not that they finally did something, no, overwhelming, constant, and unrelenting negative attention, combined with cries of outrage, police raids, and threats of legal action will light a fire under a person's ass. I'm surprised that the modern, foot-shooting Catholic Church didn't find a way to bollocks this all up with some tin eared proclamation or ill conceived announcement.
But in a move that infuriated victims’ groups and put United States bishops on the defensive, it also codified “the attempted ordination of women” to the priesthood as one of the church’s most grave crimes, along with heresy, schism and pedophilia.
There it is.

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