Q: The Summit in Vatican attended by about 190 who are presidents of different bishop conferences, heads of catholic oriental churches, heads of different dicasteries in Vatican, religious superiors of men and women and some victims are assembled with the Pope to deliberate on the sex scandals in the church. What do you expect?
A: We expect that as an outcome of the recent Summit a more concrete and detailed plan of action for the universal Church may come up enumerating specifications. The world expects, concrete changes instead of tepid promises. In fact the “21points of reflection” presented at the Summit, reveal the good intention to balance the strictness of the procedures with a greater respect for the rights of the accused as well as the victims. That spirit makes it clear that while satisfying the clamour for justice to the victims, there is a tendency to ignore the rights of the accused and hence very many churchmen suffer from character assassination. Even if they are exonerated after a long judicial process and trial by media, they suffer unimaginable loss of reputation and priestly integrity.
The tendency to “cover up and perpetuate,” should be severely curbed.
There should be concrete mechanism to measure the outcome in such cases, and also reporting mechanisms should be established.
The proposal to change the age of “minor” (to consider a “grave delict”) from 18 to 14 is welcome.
More than a quick-fix proposal of the past, a deeper search for the root causes of the problem, sometimes found in the priestly formation and psychological training of the candidates.
Such an important summit held in Rome should not end up in Europe or America; its repercussions should be carried forward to other parts of the world, including India.