Religious matters sideline ethical issues. Comment.

Business Ethics


Religious matters sideline ethical issues. Comment.

Case Studies

CASE STUDY (20 Marks)

Dallas: For the last six months, many Roman Catholic priests have felt like the public face of scandal, in their communities, even though most had no role in the sex abuse crisis engulfing the church. Now, they say, they face a new concern: whether the blameless in their ranks will be hurt under the ambitious policy bishops have adopted to keep abusive clergy away from parishioners. Under the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” clergymen who molest children will never again be active in church work, and some will be formally removed from the priesthood. Many priest say they are concerned about the document’s board definition of abuse, and they question whether the church leaders who approved it have taken enough responsibility for their own roles in creating the moral emergency. “The policy is driven a lot more by public sentiment than the principle of compassion.” Said the Rev. Robert Silva, Head of the National Federation of priests’ Councils, which claims a membership of about half of the nation 46,000 priests. Since the scandal erupted in January with the conviction of a former Boston priest for molesting a boy, scores of people have come forward with accusations of sexual abuse by priests and indifference from church leaders. At least 250 priests have since resigned or been suspended. Silva said priests – already anxious about their interactions with children – we be even more apprehensive because of the definition of abuse the bishops approved on Friday. Abuse will now be considered as any inappropriate contact with a child, regardless of whether it involves force, physical contact or whether any harm is apparent. Silva called the wording “very frightening.” Philadelphia cardinal, Anthony Bevilacqua, who is a canon lawyer, said he too was concerned by the language and hoped it would be clarified when the document comes under review in two years. “It’s very difficult to come to a definition,” he said. “It must be something of a serious nature and involve some kind of bodily interaction.” Silva also complained that the plan contained severe punishments for the priests but no sanctions for bishops who mishandle abuse cases. The bishops have informed a national governor Frank Keating, to annually review whether church leaders are complying with the policy. Some clergy said that wasn’t enough. The bishops added a clause saying they “deeply regret that any of our decisions have obscured the good work of our priests.” But Mondignor Kenneth Lasch, a parish priest and canon lawyer in Paterson, New Jersey, Diocese felt the apology sounded stilted.

Answer the following question.


Q1. Religious matters sideline ethical issues. Comment.


Q2. What are your viewpoints on the above case? Give details in brief.

Religious matters sideline ethical issues. Comment.


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