US Hindus ask Vatican for White Paper on child sex abuse

Last Updated: Sat, Sep 22, 2012 16:41 hrs

Nevada, Sept 22 (IBNS) In view of new shocking disclosure of few hundred sexual abuse cases involving children in Victoria (Australia), a US based Hindu group has asked the Vatican to come up with a detailed worldwide White Paper on the global child abuse scandal engulfing the Roman Catholic Church.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) on Saturday, said that Holy See should show more maturity and transparency on child abuse issue and acknowledge full responsibility regarding the reported culture of cover-ups and silence. It would help solidify the authenticity of Church's repentance and instill confidence among public.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that when such serious allegations were leveled against one religion/denomination, it affected the whole religious spectrum in the world, raising distrust among believers in general and eroding faith of the faithful.

Zed further said that this authoritative paper should truthfully address the reported worldwide sexual abuse crisis the Church was facing; and then list the solutions, action program and implementation schedule. A monitoring body should also be established for future.

Besides White Paper, all the victims worldwide should be adequately compensated for the hurt and pain, he said.

Zed argued that instead of church officials pointing fingers at the "hostile media", consumerism, and secularism, Pope Benedict XVI should publicly acknowledge the reported past mistakes of the Church on this issue, apologize, and clarify his personal role in the crisis.

Zed noted that stonewalling could not go on forever to handle such a big Church credibility crisis.

It was now time to abandon the reported institutional self-protection and embrace accountability and transparency, he said.

Vatican should come out of its bureaucratic web and reset its priorities and undertake complete reform, he said.

Eyes of the world were at Vatican now to see how it handled this scandal as Roman Catholics at about 1.2 billion were the largest single religious group.

If asked, Hindus were willing to help Catholics to plan preventive strategy for the future on this issue, Zed added.

According to reports, in submission to a state parliamentary enquiry, the Roman Catholic Church has confirmed that 620 children have been sexually abused by its priests in Victoria and 45 cases are still being investigated; while the campaigners argue that the total number could be as high as 10,000.

Denis J. Hart is the Archbishop of Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, which has about 1.1 million Catholics, 219 Parishes, an Australian Catholic University, 17 hospitals, 328 priests, 281 "religious order priests" and 181 "religious brothers".

Pope Benedict heads the Roman Catholic Church, which is the largest of the Christian denominations.

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