From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

Judy from Westlands, Nairobi writes: “Fr Beste you are a real journalist. Imagine I was not aware that Pope Francis appointed commission team to look into sex abuse by priests. Honestly I must admit that I am very ignorant. I didn’t even know that in USA there is a seminary for widowers and divorcees. Your news blog in an aye opener to many of us-please Beste continue with this noble apostolate.

Fr Beste, what do you think, with this commission can Pope allow priests to marry since sex abuse is becoming too much? I think this abuse can only stop when priests will be allowed to marry. They are human beings and need to be with wives like other men.”

Thank you for your sentiments Judy. Yes, Pope Francis in March this year appointed a team of 8 commissioners to confront an issue that has shaken the church for decades now. The team includes Marie Collins, who was sexually abused by a cleric in the 1960s and is a leading campaigner on the issue in Ireland.

Others are Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who spearheaded that city’s response to the problem. Poland’s former prime minister, a prominent British psychologist and an expert in canon law. The panel has only advisory power and cannot dictate to the pope what he must do even though he has been speaking about reform in the Roman Catholic Church.

The sexual-abuse scandal has cost the church billions of dollars in settlements with victims and hurt church attendance, particularly in the U.S. and Ireland, where the largest number of cases have emerged. In many cases, priests found to have abused children were moved from parish to parish rather than turned over to civil authorities.

Last month, a United Nations committee issued a harsh report criticizing the Holy See for allowing such priests to escape punishment. It said that tens of thousands of children around the world had suffered sexual abuse by priests.

According to the Vatican, the new committee will only consider guidelines on disciplining priests who have abused children, training new clerics to prevent future cases and caring for the victims of abuse and has got nothing to do with allowing priests to marry. Pope Francis has made clear that the church must hold the protection of minors amongst her highest priorities.

Sheila Hollins, a professor of psychiatry in the U.K. who has studied the problem and has participated in church-sponsored panels on the questions of child abuse, is a member, as is Father Humberto Miguel Yanez, a Jesuit priest who is a longtime associate of Pope Francis in Argentina and is a prominent theologian there.

P. Hans Zollner, a German national who is a licensed psychologist and is vice rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome as well as Claudio Papale, an expert in canon law, are members, as is French child psychologist Catherine Bonnet. With the new group, the pope has made it clear that this issue is a priority for him.

Judy, I don’t think sex abuse by clergy should be reason for allowing priests to marry. You have heard cases where married pastors abuse women sexually. Engaging in sex abuse is because somebody goes out and does it. It’s far more subtle than that. The seeds of adultery or fornication are planted in the mind of individuals.

That is why it did not matter whether you are married or not. People have affairs with married women or children because they have allowed themselves to consider it that way. That’s all. Some do it because they are addicted to sex.

They are in the state of behavior outside the boundaries of social norms which reduces an individual’s ability to function efficiently in general routine aspects of life or develop healthy relationships.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
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