The great scandal involving pedophile priests shocked American society. Confidence in the Catholic clergy, which has been reducing in the West during recent years, has now reached a critical point. The vatican is very concerned about the damage that has been caused to the financial well-being of the Roman Catholic Church.
Over 400 lawsuits have been filed against priests in Boston, the center of the scandal, and the total amount of criminal proceedings in America is counted in thousands. When people sue priests who sexually abuse little kids, the claimants usually win. The total sum of the compensations that have been recently paid by Vatican has exceeded one billion dollars. The Pope had to spend over two hours talking to American cardinals who were caught in such crimes. John Paul II also apologized to American Catholics and victims of the sexual abuse, although he did not specify which measures would be taken against the guilty priests. The Pope stated that one should not blame the whole American church for the incidents; he added that “one should render support to American bishops.” The Pope was optimistic about the future, having said that this would never happen again.
The facts of sexual abuse on the part of the Catholic priests is a well-known thing; they did not appear today or yesterday. Such incidents were registered in official historic documents. Everything can be explained with celibacy, the vow of the Catholic priests, pursuant to which they commit themselves to live and preach without ever getting married. Orthodox priests are allowed to get married; only monks commit to celibacy in the Orthodox Church, and only after a series of severe ordeals, which prove that a human being is capable of bearing this cross.
However, unfortunately, things are rather serious here, and all these events testify to the spiritual troubles within the Roman Catholic Church. The scandal around pedophile priests has exposed &to=http://english.pravda.ru/main/2002/04/17/27730.html' target=_blank>the ulcers of the Catholic Church to the whole world. Even opinion polls in the West prove this. ABC said that over 71% of American Catholics believe that the issue of pedophile priests testified to the crisis of the Church and that it should be solved immediately. Thirty-six percent of respondents are indignant about the way that the church authorities work on the problem. Some 24% of the people expressed their dissatisfaction with the Church on the whole.
Sergey Stefanov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov