I am satisfied with Pope Benedict XVI's handling of the child abuse scandal in Ireland. The Pope spoke out against the actions of the accused, and that is what he should have done. He shouldn't judge or condemn, but leave that sort of thing to God alone. He did all he could do.
In speaking out against the actions of members of the clergy in Ireland, the Pope has taken a step in the right direction and a stand that many did not expect. It is not within his power to judge or condemn, and he has rightfully said that the perpetrators would be dealt with by God and those responsible for carrying out the functions of upholding the law on earth. He should not be expected to do more than this.
The Pope stated that there had been a pattern of protecting abusers in Ireland, and removed the heads of the dioceses involved. He met with the survivors of abuse and apologized to them. When he appoints the new bishops, he can choose people who will change the system, which will make the change continue into the future. Some criticize him that he did not remove more people, but it is better to change the head and let the new bishop figure out who to fire and who to keep.
Nothing was done except a paint job. The wall of horror and deception still stands. This Pope and many to follow will never concede the fact that the entire Catholic Church must be revamped. The tolerance of guilt based teaching and the abuse of people rules over any ideas of bringing this church to a place of intolerance of those who are criminals within the church.
Scandals about child abuse within the Catholic Church have been going on long before Pope Benedict. The abuses have been well-documented, and there always seem to be new ones cropping up. Instead of going to Ireland to try to handle the situation there, he needs to be working throughout the structure of the church system to preventing these events from happening at all. The church is not serving their members by brushing away the scandals. They need to work for prevention of abuse.
Pope Benedict XVI did not do a satisfactory job in handling the child abuse scandal in Ireland, because it is an ongoing issue. It seems like he just ignored it, hoping that it would go away. There are also allegations that he tried to cover up the incident, which caused more harm.
Pope Benedict XVI was surely embarrassed by the child abuse cases and allegations, as anyone would be. In his embarrassment, he sought to cover up the scandal, hoping it would all just go away, and that the Church would not lose members or respect in the world. However, I think this did more harm than good. What people really wanted was answers and justice, and they didn't get it.
Children all around the world, including Ireland, are still being abused by priests. Many of the priests who are accused of being abusers still remain in their positions in Ireland. They should be removed and kept away from children as soon as an accusation is made, and the accusation should be fully looked into by law enforcement.
The pope did not punish any of the priests found guilty of child molestation harshly enough. They should have been excommunicated from the church as were many others for much lesser offenses. There is no reason that these criminals should be allowed to preach morals to parishioners after committing such terrible acts.
I think many fear that religious devotion has become a means to abuse children, not only males, but females as well. Additionally when one is expected to abstain from sex throughout their life, there may be issues that develop from refusing your body natural releases, that all humans would partake in without religion. With these fears, valid or not, the Pope needs to take steps to prevent child abuse, including psychological evaluations and stronger supervision practices.
The child abuse scandal in Ireland seems to have become national. It seems as though all the Pope and church are doing is moving people around, and hoping that it will just go away. No one has admitted fault or taken responsibility. They seem to be protecting their good name, rather than the children that are at risk. He apologizes, but yet nothing is done. It's something that won't just go away, and there needs to be appropriate actions taken against this matter, which he didn't do.
If the Catholic Church had bothered to properly punish abusive priests, rather than merely shuffling them around, then the priests in question would no longer have been associated with the Church and there would be no scandal. But because the Church was more concerned about protecting its image rather than the affected children, the priests remained with the Church, leaving it vulnerable to scandal. The fact that the Pope, before he became Pope, did not speak out against this is as damning as his belated condemnations of the abusive priests in question.
Centuries of mishandling sexual allegations are par for the course for the church. Since the system of electing a pope still leaves the only candidates as men in their 60s 70s and beyond, they are a pool of men that don't live in the "real world" where accountability is the name of the game. It will take a lot more outcry before the church starts to "get it".
I do not believe that the Pope or the hierarchy of the Catholic Church has done a good enough job with the child abuse scandal in Ireland or anywhere else. I get the impression that the only reason they have done anything is because they were forced to by public outcry. It seems to me that there is a feeling that civil and criminal laws do not apply to them, that they would rather handle it privately. This scandal has gone much too far for that.
Throughout history the Catholic church has hidden problems within the church. This includes child abuse to a large degree. Many continuing years, priests have been accused and the Pope takes the action to move them to a quiet seminary or church out of the public eye. The priests do not receive criminal charges or have to answer to the families. They are free to act again on their impulses in their new locations without serious reprimand.
I don't think the Pope handled things well in Ireland. A lot of people are very upset about this scandal. It's a worldwide problem, and it makes no sense. Something needs to be done to find out why this is happening, and find a solution besides shuffling people around to new places and hoping the public will forget about it.
I believe the Pope has done what all other "people of position" in the Catholic church have done, try to put the fire out without creating any smoke. It's my firm belief that the only way anything will change is when the church, or Vatican for that matter, finally decides to go completely public about the problem, excommunicate any member accused of wrongful behavior, and actually be vigilant about stopping the abuse. The day they finally dismiss their fear of losing congregation members and replace it with the ideal that the problem is more important is the day true forward progress will finally start.
The Pope has just been apologizing for sex scandals and not doing anything about it. He needs to toughen up and take a rigid stand about what is allowed in the Church and what is not. He needs to be more socially responsible and I do not think that his response to the child abuse scandal in Ireland is satisfactory enough. He needs to do more.