As much as the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church may want to lash out at the media for its reporting of a developing sex abuse scandal within the institution, the public has to know the fifth estate is there for them when it comes to uncovering wrongdoing by those in authority.
These past few years have been rough ones for western Christianity’s largest church. Along with declining church numbers and dwindling funds, the church has constantly had to deal with controversy surrounding the misdeeds of an alarming number of its priests and other church officials.
Cardinals within the church rushed to Pope Benedict XVI’s defence on Holy Thursday amid growing accusations that he played a role in covering up sex abuse scandals. The response is just the latest example of a church that’s attempting to deflect attention away from the real story and its misguided approach of continuing to sweep things under the rug as opposed to handling them head-on.
We may never learn just how much the Pope knew and he very well may be the victim of a smear campaign that’s an attack on the man as well as the position. Still, those young people who were the victims of improper sexual advances need to know their church is going to deal with their abusers. Continuing to hide behind the secrecy of the church is only going to continue the pattern of victimization.
The media is not reporting these stories because it has the motive of destroying the church. It has an obligation to expose what’s taking place and to help make sure those victims receive justice. To shrink back because of criticism from the church and allowing those crimes to be swept under the rug would be an injustice to those victims and an assault on those journalistic ethics all reporters hold high when they pick up the pen and paper.
The Roman Catholic Church has some serious issues as it goes forward and the quicker it faces and slays those demons the quicker it can restore the faith and trust that should exist between those who preach the message of Christ and those who follow.