Quantcast
Latest Stories

Hot-button issues facing the next pope


FILE PHOTO

VATICAN CITY—Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation on February 28 will leave his successor a formidable to-do list as the head of a Roman Catholic Church hit hard by sex abuse and money laundering scandals, internal bickering and growing secularism in Europe.

Here is a list of key issues facing the future pope:

  • SEX ABUSE: After sordid revelations of child abuse by priests erupted in Europe and the United States, Benedict apologized for the Church’s role in turning a blind eye and protecting abusers, but campaigners say not enough has been done to bring suspects before the law. The revelations appear to be far from over: the latest case saw a Los Angeles bishop stripped of his office last month after being linked to an abuse cover-up.

  • VATICAN MONEY LAUNDERING: Plagued by a dark history of murky financial dealings and accusations of mafia ties, the Vatican bank has promised to step up efforts against money laundering. Despite insisting it wants to make it on to the White List of financially virtuous states, moves to increase transparency have been plodding. The head of the bank was sacked in May last year — according to some because he was too zealous at sniffing out suspicious deals — and his successor has still not been named.

  • HOMOSEXUALITY AND GAY MARRIAGE: This is one of the Vatican’s most critical issues. While condemning violence against homosexuals, Benedict has refused to be shaken on the Church’s teachings on the traditional family of father, mother and child, and intervened directly in recent heated debates in France and Britain on same-sex marriage. In December, Benedict said mankind was at stake, insisting that same-sex unions called into question what it means to be “true men”.

  • CURIA, SECRETS AND INTRIGUE: Absorbed by his studies, the academic Benedict has failed to gain control of or reform the Curia, the Church’s secretive and powerful governing body. Dominated by Italian clerics, the curia is key to a papacy because it can intervene in unfavored papal decisions and uphold the status quo. Benedict was hit hard by the “Vatileaks scandal” last year, where memos leaked by his butler revealed infighting, intrigue and a power struggle at the heart of the Church. The challenge for the future pope will be to stamp his authority on the curia.

  • ORDINATION OF WOMEN AND PRIEST CELIBACY: Calls from self-proclaimed disobedient priests and campaigners to end priest celibacy, and accept women into the clergy to fill positions left empty as priest numbers dwindle, were denounced by Benedict last year as self-serving. He insisted the Church does not have God’s authority to ordain women and said celibacy was central to the priesthood — but amid increasing calls for clergy to be allowed to marry and claims that abstention may have contributed to sex abuse scandals, the future pope may have to re-think the issue.

ABORTION: Benedict has insisted on the Vatican’s “duty” to defend “basic human values” by refusing to counter abortion or euthanasia, describing attempts to “select people and exclude others from humanity” as utterly immoral. In 2010 he appointed to a top Vatican job Canadian cardinal Marc Ouellet, who has said that abortion is a “moral crime” even in rape cases. Ouellet is among those tipped as a possible contender for the papacy. Roman Catholic teaching on scientific and medical procedures dealing with human reproduction are currently lagging behind biomedical and bioethical research on infertility in particular.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Catholic Church , Pope Benedict XVI , Religion , Vatican




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Sandigan junks Marcos family claim to Paoay property
  5. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  6. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  7. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  8. Maid confesses in killing of 2 and stabbing of employer in Laguna
  9. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  10. Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • Ex-church leader nabbed for selling drugs
  • Camilla’s brother dies in US after head injury
  • Luisita farmers storm DAR compound
  • Trillanes, Ejercito confident they are not in Napoles’ list
  • Easterlies to prevail in Luzon, Visayas
  • Sports

  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Mavs roll past Spurs 113-92, even series at 1-1
  • Phelps having fun in his return to swimming
  • Murray breaks down in tears at Scottish ceremony
  • Lifestyle

  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Entertainment

  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement