the Vatican


#1

I’m in a debate on another and I need in answering these questions …

  1. To whom were the bishops that helped cover up the priests’ pedophilia directly accountable? The Pope? Some council?

  2. (a) When we hear of a response as being “from the Vatican,” what exactly does that mean? Does the Pope sign off on all such responses?

(b) What role, if any, did Ratzinger have in the “Vatican response” to the abuse scandal?*

  1. Why wasn’t the Church’s reaction, from an outsider’s perspective, swift and decisive? Is such a view incorrect?

… I have a general idea of what the answers are but before I open my mouth, I want to make sure that I don’t say something incorrect regarding our faith.


#2

[quote=Sir Knight]I’m in a debate on another and I need in answering these questions … … I have a general idea of what the answers are but before I open my mouth, I want to make sure that I don’t say something incorrect regarding our faith.
[/quote]

I’ll give you my two cents worth:

[quote=]1. To whom were the bishops that helped cover up the priests’ pedophilia directly accountable? The Pope? Some council?

[/quote]

Answer: They were directly accountable to their earthly superior, (Archbishop or Pope), and also to God; just as an employee is accountable to their earlthy superior and also to God. Every human being is accountable to God, and every human, except the Pope, has an earthly superior who they are also accountable to.

[quote=]2. (a) When we hear of a response as being “from the Vatican,” what exactly does that mean?
[/quote]

It can either mean it is an official statement from the Pope, or from a Cardinal or from a congregation that possesses the authority to issue such statements. It can either be an infallible statement issued by the Pope “de fide”, or a fallible opinion issued by either the Pope, or Cardinal, etc…

[quote=] Does the Pope sign off on all such responses?
[/quote]

Not all. Sometime he does; sometimes he doesn’t.

[quote=] (b) What role, if any, did Ratzinger have in the “Vatican response” to the abuse scandal?*
[/quote]

I don’t know.

[quote=]3. Why wasn’t the Church’s reaction, from an outsider’s perspective, swift and decisive? Is such a view incorrect?
[/quote]

There could be many reasons that the Church didn’t act swiftly - human weakness, poor leadership, etc. Or, the Church may have been acting behind the scenes in ways we were not aware of. It is also possible that the Church today has very bad leaders who could not care less about what is happening (that is what Malachi Martin thought).

You don’t have to defend bad leadership when you are debating someone. You can always say that the Church has had good times and bad times (good leaders and bad leaders), and today we may not have very good leaders. In a debate you can admit that. Don’t ever compromise of doctrine, but be willing to admit that not every Catholic (even Catholic leaders) are saints.


#3
  1. To whom were the bishops that helped cover up the priests’ pedophilia directly accountable? The Pope? Some council?

Bishops serve at the pleasure of thier superior, which may be an archbishop or the Pope. But a Bishop is HIGHLY autonomous within his own Diocese (ie, he is not subject to regular direction or correction from his superior).

  1. (a) When we hear of a response as being “from the Vatican,” what exactly does that mean? Does the Pope sign off on all such responses?

The views should (and may be considered to) represent the views of the Pope, but may not have been officially “signed off” by him. It’s like when the “White House” puts out an announcement. Various individuals and departments may act in the name of “the Vatican.”

(b) What role, if any, did Ratzinger have in the “Vatican response” to the abuse scandal?

I’m not aware that he had any role (I could be wrong). It wouldn’t have fallen under the purview of his responsibilities at the time.

  1. Why wasn’t the Church’s reaction, from an outsider’s perspective, swift and decisive? Is such a view incorrect?

The response to the scandals came from the American Bishops meeting in council (not from the Pope). It took time for the magnitude of the problem to become evident and for the bishops to assemble and plan their reaction.


#4

Thank you.


#5
  1. There are three answers to this. God, The civil authorities, The Catholic Church Apostolic Penitentiary or Signatura (concerning violations of Canon Law.

2 a… The Pope generally approves documents issued by Vatican Offices and Congregations. Many are issued “with the Popes authority”.

  1. b. I don’t know

  2. I believe that the Church is trying to keep the situation from turning into a “witch hunt”. When the civil authorities arrest, charge, bring to trial, and find guilty a priest or Bishop the Church then brings charges against the priest or Bishop in the Church courts and applies the punishments in Canon Law.


#6

I will say as much as I defend the Church at all times it seems like the child abuse issues have not been dealt with in as forthright a manner as one would like, so we could all move on.

I am not afraid to voice that opinion even to someone who might attack the Church, because I firmly believe people are fallible (and there’s a lot ofh istory to prove that), but the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, and Jesus’ teachings are not.


#7

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