28th March, 2010.
The Swiss President Doris Leuthard has turned on the Catholic Church, calling for a central register of paedophile priests, to prevent them from having further contact with children. When the civil authorities are meddling so seriously with a specific denomination, then the rot has seriously set in.
Her statement to Swiss media reflects how people outside the Catholic Church perceive the moral weakness of the Church leadership, as the sexual abuse scandal sweeps the Catholic Church worldwide. This scandal has even reached picturesque Switzerland, with Swiss police investigating allegations that priests harmed children.
Leuthard said, “Whether perpetrators come from the civil or clerical world makes no difference. Both are subject to Swiss criminal law, with no ifs or buts.”
Leuthard continued that it was important to ensure that paedophiles had no further contact with children and the possibility of a register for paedophile priests should be considered, on the lines of one for teachers.
In a typical case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted, the Swiss bishops' conference is considering holding an emergency meeting, where the question of a register would be discussed, ahead of its regular annual meeting from May 31 to June 2.
Sadly, the Swiss church seems to have missed the point that it should be a moral leader and example, and behaves like a political organisation. They plan to counter the negative publicity from the sex abuse scandal with an advertising campaign, with posters saying “More Good News” displayed in churches in each of Switzerland’s 2,000 parishes.
Preaching to the converted who should already know about “The Good News” is not going to change attitudes of those outside who are turned away from Christ’s Good News, by a sick and sinning church organization in denial.