Catholic leaders oftentimes decry the negative portrayal of the church by the media. “Vatican norms on abuse to be reviewed” (CR, July 15) may provide some insight, albeit unintended, as to the source of the media’s cynicism. The article describes the church’s updating of its 2001 decision that made the sexual abuse of a minor by a priest a more grave crime (i.e., “delicta graviora”) against church law.
The article goes on to mention that the church will also include the attempted ordination of women as a more grave crime against the church. It appears that the church is equating the seriousness of sexual abuse and the ordination of women. In my view, including these two items in the article is an insult to women and a total lack of sensitivity to the sexual abuse victims. Second, some may also say that the church’s 2001 action to include sexual abuse as a serious crime was overdue by 2000 years.