The Vatican is awash with yet another sexual scandal that has had the Pope wringing his hands, as he tries to save the dented image of the Catholic Church.
After a similar scandal broke out in the US in 2002, the church ordered an “apostolic visitation” into U.S. seminaries to douse the flames.
Now the spotlight is directed on one of the bastions of Catholicism; the Irish church, which is accused of concealing decades of abuse by its leaders.
Paedophilia in religious orders has been an open secret, and the church has gone to great lengths to sweep it under the carpet. Now it has been forced to come out in the open and seek forgiveness for the sins of its trusted elite.
Many would argue that it was an honourable decision to acknowledge its sins, but the Pope should not keep his eyes riveted only towards the western world where “immoral” predatory jaunts by its clergy, but also look a bit closer at our continent, Rwanda in particular.
Pope Benedict XVI is all too aware of the many documented cases of the role of the Catholic Church in the targeting of the Tutsi for extermination since 1959, and particularly the 1994 Genocide.
Many Catholic clergy disregarded their religious calling of saving souls and instead actively participated in the killings, and many have been convicted by the ICTR, as well as European and Rwandan courts.
Instead of the church offering “comfort and apologies’ to the Rwandan victims, as it did for the Irish, it has kept a very conspicuous silence.
With just two weeks away from the commemorations of the 16th anniversary of the Genocide, this is the right time for the church to swallow its pride and do what it advised the Irish Catholic Church; “Conceal nothing.... Openly acknowledge your guilt, submit yourselves to the demands of justice, but do not despair of God’s mercy”.
Continuing to bury its head in the sand regarding the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, will continue to haunt the church, and as one of the representatives of the Irish victims of sexual abuse aptly put it; “If the church cannot acknowledge this fundamental truth, it is still in denial”.