Removing The Religious Veil
Since Pope Francis (born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on December 17, 1936) became the Head of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of the Vatican City State (on March 13, 2013), Catholicism has become more Liberal. The Pontiff recently set another example of this, as he announced the abolition of the use of the Vatican’s highest level of secrecy in cases of sexual abuses committed by the clergy! The Pope admitted that the rule of Pontifical Secrecy was used to protect pedophiles, silence victims and prevent the Police from investigating these and related crimes. He further announced that such an event should be brought to the notice of Civil Law…
So far, the Catholic Church has enjoyed the privilege of remaining outside the purview of the Civil Laws due to the rule of Pontifical Secrecy… and, this religious cover has helped the Church authorities cover up many such misconducts and misdeeds. In recent times, Pope Francis welcomed the concept of open public debate in an attempt to bring a change in internal matters of the church, apart from thinking about the present crises of the modern families, and trying to change religious practices. However, his latest announcement is revolutionary in a true sense, as it would allow the State to interfere in religious matters! The move will also help victims enjoy their Freedom of Speech!
Such allegations have been made many a times, globally, in the last two decades. So, the need for remedies was necessary. Not only the Civil Society, but the Religious Bodies, too, were demanding a remedy. The religious leaders had urged Pope Francis to think about this sensitive issue during a conference in Vatican City last February. They had argued that it would be difficult to punish the perpetrators because the Pontifical Secrecy helped them escape. Therefore, according to the priests, it would be necessary to consider priests as common civilians. And, the Pontiff has decided to adopt the Zero Tolerance policy not only in sexual harassment cases, but also in the cases of child pornography!
Religion is a part of the Society. Especially when a religion is inbeing, it adopts values from the society. Although the society changes its values to meet the demands of contemporary time, the religion expresses rigidity, and refuses to accept that change! Of course, people with vested interests oppose the changes mainly to exploit the theists’ sentiment. It is important to break that barrier and to initiate reforms. And, it turns out to be extremely desirable, if the demand for reforms comes from within the establishment. Pope Francis has fulfilled that demand…
Pope Francis is an exceptional person… that is why it has become easier for him to understand the demands of the time and respond to it. However, the demand for this sensitivity should not just fade away at his door. It is also important for each and every religion to realise the multidimensional relationship between the society and the religion in order to make this world a beautiful place to live…
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