Welcoming His Holiness Pope Francis’s call for “decisive action regarding cases of sexual abuse”, Hindus have urged the Vatican to come up with a detailed worldwide White Paper on the global child abuse scandal engulfing the Roman Catholic Church.
In a statement dated April five, Pope admitted that this subject was of great importance to Church’s credibility and recommended “due process against those who are guilty”.
Terming Pope’s decisive action call a “step in the right direction”, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Holy See should show more maturity and transparency on child abuse issue and acknowledge full responsibility regarding the reported culture of cover-ups and silence. It would help solidify the authenticity of Church’s repentance and instill confidence among public.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that when such serious allegations were leveled against one religion/denomination, it affected the whole religious spectrum in the world, raising distrust among believers in general and eroding faith of the faithful.
Rajan Zed further said that this authoritative paper should truthfully address the reported worldwide sexual abuse crisis the Church was facing; and then list the solutions, action program and implementation schedule. A monitoring body should also be established for future.
Zed stressed that besides White Paper, all the victims worldwide should be adequately compensated for the hurt and pain. Pledging reform was wonderful but it should be followed by practical actions.
Rajan Zed argued that instead of church officials pointing fingers at the “hostile media”, consumerism, and secularism; Pope Francis should publicly acknowledge the reported past mistakes of the Church on this issue and apologize.
Zed noted that stonewalling could not go on forever to handle such a big Church credibility crisis. It was now time to abandon the reported institutional self-protection and embrace accountability and transparency. Vatican should come out of its bureaucratic web and reset its priorities and undertake complete reform.
Eyes of the world were at Vatican now to see how it handled this scandal as Roman Catholics at about 1.2 billion were the largest single religious group. If asked, Hindus were willing to help Catholics to plan preventive strategy for the future on this issue, Rajan Zed added.
Pope Francis heads the Roman Catholic Church, which is the largest of the Christian denominations. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.