I am always left with this paradox: How could a loving god allow his priests and bishops to violate the bodies and harm the souls and minds of so many innocent children? I will never completely resolve it.
On a positive note related to the Roman Catholic Churches handling of sexually abusive priests, a tribunal has been added to the powerful Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith to judge bishops who fail to protect children from abusers.
To this point, the congregation judged priests accused of abuse but there was no body given a similar role to deal with errant bishops.
Under Francis’ predecessors — Pope Benedict XVI and, before him, John Paul II — the Vatican defrocked about 850 priests for sexual abuse and penalized about 2,500 more, but there was no similar judicial mechanism for bishops.
The 17-member papal commission on abuse which includes two abuse survivors and many laypeople has been trying to implement a mechanism for holding bishops accountable. The commission was also created by Pope Francis. It is headed by Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, who was sent to Boston and two other two other dioceses to deal with abuse scandals.
Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Gerhard Mueller of Regensburg, Germany as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2012.
During his time as bishop of Regensburg he came under fire for reinstating a priest who had been accused of child molestation. The priest’s therapist said he was longer a threat, however that priest was later arrested on additional abuse charges. He apologized for that decision and publicly committed to treating any and all cases of alleged abuse with full transparency.