Church takes steps to check abuse by priests

Bella Jaisinghani | TNN

Mumbai: Amidst the long-drawn emotional churning being witnessed over the issue of abuse by members of the clergy in Europe and the US, the Pope on Friday apologised to those victims who had been demanding that their pleas for redressal be acknowledged by the Vatican. Church authorities in India confirm they have installed a series of safeguards in Mumbai even though the problem is not as widespread in India.

On Friday, the last day of the observances of the Year of the Priest, the leaders of the faith watched closely as the papal apology came through. “Given that Indian society is still largely conservative, we have not witnessed even 2-3% of the incidents of homosexuality and sexual abuse that Germany and the US have. In any case, this phenomenon is not limited to any one religion, it spans every denomination,’’ says Fr Anthony Charanghat, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Mumbai and editor of the weekly Examiner. “However, superior members of the church have taken a strong stand on this and have already installed a series of safeguards to check and report misdemeanour.’’
In a proactive step, the leaders of the faith took a serious view of priests who not only hit students in school but also lose their temper. In extreme situations, a priest who is charged with misconduct is “laicized’’ or defrocked. He cannot lead mass and is moved to a desk job that does not involve interaction with the public. In a significant departure from earlier practice, the police are notified as well. ‘‘We don’t abandon the priest altogether. We provide legal assistance and counselling in the best interests of justice,’’ said Fr Anthony.

About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
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