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Bishop Athanasius Schneider

December 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Recently, one could observe that the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has been made from various sides a target of attacks in connection with cases of sexual abuse. The detection and transparent processing of cases of pedophilia should be done in a necessarily objective and thoroughgoing manner, irrespective of the persons or ecclesiastical communities concerned and without making any exceptions.

However, one could get the impression that the SPPX would be the only Catholic religious organization that had to respond to such accusations. It is difficult to simply dismiss the impression that some of the accusations were conducted in a biased manner.

If the SSPX is accused of failing to prevent and effectively manage cases of pedophilia on the part of its members, then for the sake of fairness, all dioceses around the world and all religious communities should as well be investigated, where in some cases one could find shortcomings maybe to the same or greater extent. Furthermore, it is part of fundamental justice and logic that religious communities or dioceses cannot be held responsible for the atrocities which their members or employees committed after they had been separated or dismissed from these communities. If one were to follow such logic, the Augustinian order, for example, would have to be held responsible for the anti-Semitic statements of Martin Luther, their former member. In coming to terms with atrocities committed by clerics, one should be guided only by truth and justice, without regard to the person.

On the other hand, this coming to terms with the past must not be used to unleash additional personal antipathies against a certain Church superior or against a certain religious community. Emotional neutrality is necessary for a fair judgment. The Word of God should be the guiding principle here: “If you are angry, do not sin!” (Eph. 4:26) and “The anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (James 1:20)


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