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Church, like Jesus, should accept responsibility

The scandal of the institutional cover-up of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church is a case of chickens coming home to roost.

From the 4th century, when the Christian movement was nationalised, or imperialised, by Roman emperor Constantine, the Church has been a hierarchical institution with its own rules and laws.

Even after the Reformation, the mainstream Protestant churches retained the system. As far as I am aware, no other major religion has such a hierarchical structure.

Institutions tend to be self-protective and self-perpetuating and tend to lose sight of the original purpose of the institution.

Jesus' views on child-abuse, as expressed in the Bible, are quite clear. An abuser, or potential abuser, should be thrown into the sea with a millstone around his neck.

If the institutional Church claims any direction from the teachings attributed to Jesus, it has failed to follow those it in either action or spirit.

A symbolic and public act of contrition should now be made. Whether or not personally at fault, someone must take responsibility for the Church's failure and must fall on his own sword.

If the scandal was confined to Ireland, that someone would be Cardinal Sean Brady. As the scandal is worldwide, that someone should be the Pope.

After all, didn't Jesus, according to the Church's doctrine and dogma, accept responsibility for the failures of all humankind and sacrifice himself?

DENNIS GOLDEN

Strabane, Co Tyrone

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