Thursday, 18 March 2010 19:00 GFP Columnist - Rattan Mann

One after another, the impregnable citadels of Catholicism are falling before the onslaught of the child abuse scandals. First it was the U.S.A., then the U.K., then Holland and Austria, and now the very cradle of present-day Catholicism - Germany, the birth-place of Pope Benedict, is under seize.

But strangely, and suspiciously, all seems to be quiet on the Eastern Front like India. But this is just the type of silence which always precedes a storm. It is an ‘open secret’ that Catholic schools had not only a grip over education in third world countries like India, but they have also regarded themselves beyond the law of those lands on which they operate.

And what does this mean?

This means extensive child abuse, total cover up with impunity, and no power of the government or the courts to be able to do anything about it.

This also means that if Pope Benedict is sincere in his efforts to reform the shameful side of the Church and its Cardinals and Bishops, then the first thing he needs very badly is a " truth and reconciliation committee" along the lines of South Africa, and the "truth" must also include truth about abuse of helpless children in helpless countries of the east like India. Unless this happens all the "sincere apologies" would be nothing more than political damage-control exercises in face of attack from rich and powerful countries whose legal systems are not so helpless as those of some developing nations.

The Church and the world should use this tragic episode in human history to empower the most powerless. Only then will humanity be able to say with clean conscience that the sacrifices of all those who suffered in silence for so long have not been in vain.

Those sacrifices did finally change the World of the Helpless once and forever.


Author’s Note: It looks as if for once I have spared Norway from my wrath. But this is impossible, by definition. So I conclude this article by "predicting" that the storm that is blowing over the Catholic World today will be heading towards Protestant Norway tomorrow.

Image Courtesy of DayLife - Pope Benedict XVI waves through a car window at the end of his visit to Rome's Lutheran church, on March 14, 2010. The Vatican fought attempts to link Pope Benedict XVI to child sex abuse in a counteroffensive on Saturday against widening paedophilia scandals. - Getty Images

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