Pope Benedict XVIOn Friday, 11 June, Pope Benedict XVI made his apology to the Church from S Peter’s Square on the sex abuse going on within the Roman Catholic Church. This is a very sticky situation. According to the account, he apologized and begged forgiveness of the crimes set against the children, and the church would do “everything possible” to prevent priests from abusing children. Applause, applause, applause.

That’s it? That’s all there is? Just an apology, just an “I’m so sorry, please forgive me?”

Granted, he got a bad rap when he was handed this role. Just like Obama getting handed the tanked economy that was set up in the Bush era, Benedict was handed the state of a church that has been doing this for (dare I say it?) millenia! I don’t blame Benedict for the state of the church. He’s too small and too new to be blamed for that. A friend of mine once said to me the #1 biggest problem in the church is the clergy. The second biggest problem in the church is the laity.

What I don’t understand is the flat statement: apology and begging for forgiveness. Shouldn’t there have been more? Shouldn’t there have been a plan already laid out? Apologies and begging forgiveness is generally something that happens at the very beginning of a problem once it’s been recognized. By my last calculation, this had been recognized as a problem decades ago. So by now, apology and request for forgiveness is long past it’s due. In fact (and correct me if I’m wrong), didn’t JPII do some sort of apology? And if not, Benedict did one earlier this year in March, directed to the church of Ireland; wouldn’t that have sufficed?

Now is the time for action, not another show of emotion. I’m over it. I’m not Roman Catholic, but I’m very Catholic; and every day I pray for Benedict, that he receive blessings and guidance from God, and that he remains safe. And I think he’s on a good start, especially since he’s only been in S Peter’s Chair for a short time. It’s hardly warmed up from his bum being in it thus far. I love that he’s bringing more and more of the old traditions that have been lost since the 70’s. I love that he’s told the RC Church in America that they needed to re-translate the English, because their old translations sucked (that last word was mine, not exactly his). He’s bringing the church along nicely, I must admit. And I’m hoping soon they will loosen the celibacy rules and allow clergy to marry (that would answer their prayers for more priests and probably bring the child molestations to a grinding halt). And for crying out loud, stop associating homosexuality with pedophilia! It’s well documented that at least 95% of all pedophiles are straight men, not homosexuals! Gay men have more sense than to molest a child.

So now he needs to set a game plan. Let us know what he’s going to do. Too many people have been harmed over all the years it was pushed under the sanctuary Oriental carpet, and people need answers and action.

We are taught from childhood that we need to be responsible for our actions, and the clergy, too, should be held accountable for their actions. Should they be defrocked for such actions? I think that would be a fitting punishment. If a policeman does something illegal, he’s removed from the force. If a doctor kills someone because of malpractice, he loses his license to practice medicine. And if a lawyer does something against the law, he’s removed from the bar. But it appears the Church doesn’t want to defrock a priest or a bishop because they’ve committed an unspeakable sin, because (God forbid) the church might be lacking priests. Perhaps if they are threatened with such a reality, the clergy might think twice about molesting a child.

Only when the Church (and not just the Roman Catholic Church, but all churches) deal with this with a firm hand, might we start seeing some growth in the churches once again. Religion is unpopular these days. I said it before and I’ll repeat it. Religion is unpopular. But perhaps if the Church Universal steps up and takes account of itself, we can heal, deal, and move on.