The ongoing sexual abuse crisis has damaged the Catholic Church’s credibility as a witness to the Gospel, but the church should not abandon its social witness. Rather, it must re-think its approach.
The politics of new creation involves the bringing together of words and actions in the form of consistent living, by means of the work of the Spirit of Christ. Hypocrisy and intolerance among Christians are a departure from this model, flowing from an unwarranted confidence.
Last month, speaking to a crowd in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis declared that “to torture persons is a mortal sin. A very grave sin.” Relating his comments to the United Nations’ International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the pope condemned “every form of torture and invite[d] Christians to commit themselves to work together for its abolition and to support victims and their families.” These exhortations paint a very different picture than UN Committee Against Torture findings on the Vatican’s handling of sexual abuse within the church.