Target: Pope Benedict XVI
Goal: Commend Pope for taking decisive steps to end child abuse within the church
Reports of child abuse are not uncommon among the Catholic church, but it is uncommon for a church official to take such matters seriously. Often abusers are simply rehoused in a different part of the church, as if hiding the problem will fix it or make it go away. But a recently released report shows that Pope Benedict XVI might be the exception to this unofficial policy. Over the last two years, Pope Benedict XVI has defrocked almost 400 priests because they had sexually abused children.
For a long time, the Vatican has kept both instances of sexual abuse and how they deal with these instances a secret. Over the last few years, however, they have begun sharing information concerning the number of priests defrocked over this matter. While the Vatican still has a long way to go to ensure that the church is a truly safe place for children again, defrocking abusive priests is a fine start.
By defrocking child abusers, the Pope’s primary motive is to help protect the children. Additionally, his actions speak volumes about his dedication to improving the church and bringing it back to the true values of the Catholic religion. Commend Pope Benedict XVI for doing what few who came before him had the courage to do. Commend him for defrocking abusive priests.
Dear Pope Benedict XVI,
Over the last two years, you have defrocked 400 abusive priests. While this is far from your only notable accomplishment over the last two years, it is, perhaps, one of your most important ones. Children are among the most vulnerable members of our families. Religious families often entrust children into the watch of the church, either during Sunday School or other child-oriented religious events. Their purposes for doing so are varied, but often it has to do with families wanting their children to explore their burgeoning spiritual relationships. This should be a beautiful and sacred process, but sometimes it is corrupted by priests who, despite being trusted to help these children flourish, would rather hurt them.
When a child is abused it is a horrible human rights violation, but it is more than that, too. It is also a violation to the family and to the larger religious community. For all of those reasons, you have done the best thing possible by actively defrocking the 400 priests who committed these unacceptable acts over the last two years.
Your dedication to the safety of the children who attend church is both incredibly important and incredibly noble. Your predecessors were not always as forthcoming about these incidents or as active in dealing with them using realistic methods. Thank you for being a leader in the fight against child abuse.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Joe Ravi via Wikimedia