Women priests and sex abuse not equal crimes: Vatican
2010-07-19 0:00

By Philip Pullella | Reuters.com


The Vatican on Friday denied accusations that it viewed the ordination of women as priests and the sexual abuse of minors by clerics as equally criminal.

On Thursday, the Vatican issued a document making sweeping revisions to its laws on sexual abuse, extending the period in which charges can be filed against priests in church courts and broadening the use of fast-track procedures to defrock them.

But while it dealt mostly with pedophilia, it also codified the "attempted ordination of a woman" to the priesthood as one of the most serious crimes against Church law.

The inclusion of both issues in the same document caused a stir among some groups around the world, particularly those favoring a female priesthood.

"The Vatican’s decision to list women’s ordination in the same category as pedophiles and rapists is appalling ...," Erin Saiz Hanna, executive director of the Women’s Ordination Conference said. She called the decision "mediaeval at best".

But Monsignor Charles Scicluna, an official in the Vatican’s doctrinal department, said there was no attempt to make women’s ordination and pedophilia comparable crimes under canon (Church) law.

"This is not putting everything into one basket," Scicluna, the Vatican’s internal prosecutor for handling sexual abuse cases, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"They are in the same document but this does not put them on the same level or assign them the same gravity," said Scicluna, who helped formulate the revisions.

The document was an attempt to update norms concerning "three sets of canonical crimes that are distinct," and whose jurisdiction is reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s doctrinal department, he said.

CRIME AGAINST MORALITY

While sexual abuse was a "crime against morality," the attempt to ordain a woman was a "crime against a sacrament," he said, referring to Holy Orders (the priesthood). The revisions also updated crimes against the faith such as heresy.

"This should not be interpreted as considering all these crimes to be equal," he said. "They are crimes of a different nature".

The Catholic Church teaches that it cannot ordain women as priests because Christ chose only men as his apostles. Proponents of a female priesthood reject this, saying he was only acting according to the norms of his times.

Some dissenters saw the placing of the two in one document as an attempt by the Vatican to respond to criticism by those who say the cause of at least some sexual abuse can be found in the Church’s insistence on a male, celibate priesthood.

"Sexuality is so denied in our Church," said Christian Weisner, a spokesman for the "We Are Church" liberal Catholic reform movement. "The Roman Catholic Church has to revise its sexual teachings because I think that this is the root of pedophile crime," Weisner told Reuters.

Jon O’Brien, president of the U.S.-based group Catholics for Choice, said the Vatican "feels threatened" by a growing movement in the Church that is in favor of a female priesthood.

O’Brien, whose group favors a female priesthood, said that while he understood the technical distinction of different types of Church crimes, putting the two together was another example of what he called bungled communications.

"If there is an opportunity for authorities in the Vatican to shoot themselves in the foot, they do so in both feet," O’Brien told Reuters.


Article from: Reuters.com





Related Articles
Wiccan priestess defends upcoming pagan festival (Video)
Pope´s No.2 claims sex scandal in the church is linked to homosexuality not priestly celibacy
Letter shows Pope Benedict resisted defrocking molester priest "for the good of the church"
Paedophile Irish Priests Not Prosecuted (Video)
“Irregular” Priest Named to Head UN General Assembly
Hellenic Olympic Committee announces the High Priestess for the Lighting Ceremony


Latest News from our Front Page

Aurora Shooting Victim Parents Face $200K Court Fees, Bankruptcy, After Failing to Sue Ammo Dealers
2015-08-01 2:17
The 2012 Colorado Theater Shooting still doesn’t add up… Media character and ‘Shooter’ James Holmes in court in 2012-2013. In 2014, Sandy and Lonnie Phillips, the mother and stepfather of Aurora Theater Shooting victim Jessica Redfield Ghawi, tried to sue the ammo companies they believe supplied shooter James Holmes with his ammunition, body armor and other items. They bleived that the online retailer BulkAmmo.com had sold Holmes ...
FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force Investigating Confederate Flags at MLK's Ebenezer Baptist Church
2015-08-01 2:21
According to the Atlanta Police Department, two White men left four small Confederate Battle Flags outside MLK’s Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta … and get this, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force is on the scene investigating the incident. Atlanta police Chief George Turner said his agency was working with federal authorities and they have not determined what charges might be ...
Democratic National Committee Chair Wasserman Schultz Can’t Explain Difference Between Democrat Party and Socialism
2015-08-01 2:08
Things got very awkward today when Chris Matthews asked DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz what the difference was between the modern Democratic Party and Socialism. We haven’t seen that dazed look since Rachel Dolezal was busted as a fraud. Wasserman Schultz was speechless. Completely stumped. Couldn’t answer. Then changed the subject. Because we all know there is no difference between today’s Democrat Party and the radical ...
Catching on slow: Yet Another Study Show Cellphone Radiation Cause Cancer
2015-08-01 1:44
The scientists were right — your cell phone can give you cancer. There have long been whispers of a cancer connection from your cell — and a new study backs up the claims. "These data are a clear sign of the real risks this kind of radiation poses for human health," study author Igor Yakymenko said. Yakymenko’s meta-study — basically a study of ...
Trump Goes #Cuckservative on Immigration
2015-08-01 1:28
For weeks, the media have trumpeted the supposed death of the Trump campaign. First, they claimed, Trump’s campaign imploded on launch thanks to his comments about illegal immigration. Then they claimed that Trump was finished because of his slap at Senator’s (R-AZ) war service. But neither of those comments alienated Trump’s base – he’s maintained his seven point lead over ...
More News »