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The legal loopholes that have allowed Catholic bishops to escape sanction when they cover up clergy sex abuse cases may be closing.
Two U.S. cardinals have confirmed that the Vatican is working on a “clarification” to a 2016 law that was supposed to hold bishops and religious superiors accountable when they fail to protect their flocks, but it never really did.
Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston told a press conference Friday during Pope Francis’ sex abuse prevention summit that he had been guaranteed that the new document would “come out very soon.” Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich said the document would standardize procedures within the various Vatican offices to investigate bishops and order their removal.
The new document would further clarify the law Francis issued in 2016, entitled “As a Loving Mother,” which he passed instead of creating a special tribunal section inside the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to handle abuse of office cases.
Cupich said the law had been applied in “recent cases,” but the Vatican has provided no information about how it has been implemented or how many bishops have been sanctioned as a result of it.
Bishops, religious superiors got a pass
For decades, the Vatican has been criticized by abuse victims and their advocates for having turned a blind eye to the bishops and religious superiors who failed to punish sexual predators in the priesthood. While the Vatican began cracking down on the abusers themselves under Pope Benedict XVI, the superiors who enabled the crimes and allowed abusers to continue raping children largely got a pass.
Acting on a proposal from his sex abuse advisory commission, Francis and his group of cardinal advisers agreed in 2015 to create a tribunal section within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to prosecute bishops and superiors when they botched cases. A press statement issued at the time said the pope had pledged to provide the new office with adequate staffing and resources.
But the tribunal posed a host of legal and bureaucratic issues and ran into opposition from bishops and the Vatican bureaucracy. The congregation, which handles sex abuse cases, apparently was never consulted about the feasibility of creating such a tribunal before it was announced to the press to great fanfare.
A year later, Francis issued “As a Loving Mother” that made no mention of a tribunal but merely reminded the four Vatican offices that handle bishop issues that they were also responsible for investigating and punishing negligence cases. It made clear that a negligent act or omission on handling an abuse allegation was grounds for dismissal.
Lack of tribunal good, prosecutor says
The Vatican’s longtime sex crimes prosecutor, Archbishop Charles Scicluna, told reporters Friday that under the 2016 law, it was actually easier to remove a negligent bishop than if he were subject to a canonical trial in a tribunal where the bishop’s intent would have to be proved.
The 2016 law “looks at the objective state of the (bishops’) incapacity” to govern, whereas a tribunal would have required proof that an actual law had been broken, Scicluna said. The 2016 legislation benefits those who are claiming negligence by a bishop because “they only have to denounce an objective fact: that nothing was done,” Scicluna said.
O’Malley, who heads a commission that first proposed the tribunal, said the issue of holding bishops accountable was “uppermost in our minds right now.”
“Right now the Holy See is working on, preparing a clarification of the implementation that will come out very soon, I am guaranteed,” he said.
Cupich, for his part, dedicated his speech to Francis’ abuse summit to how such investigations against bishops might be reported to the Vatican and then carried out once the Vatican has authorized an investigation. His proposal called for the metropolitan bishop, who has authority over other bishops in a particular geographic region, to conduct the investigation, using the help of lay experts.
“What I present here is a framework for constructing new legal structures of accountability in the church,” Cupich said, in a speech that implied that such structures are very much in the works at the Holy See.
Speakers at Francis’ summit have proposed other changes to canon law as well to ensure accountability and fairness to victims and accused priests alike.
Linda Ghisoni, an Italian canon lawyer and undersecretary at the Vatican’s laity office, said the Holy See should change its laws concerning the “pontifical secret,” the confidentiality regulations that govern how sex abuse cases are handled internally.
Victims for years have denounced the high level of secrecy, which often prevents them from learning the outcomes or progress of their cases. Accused priests, too, have complained how they are kept in the dark about the details of their cases.
Ghisoni told the summit that a degree of confidentiality must be retained to guarantee the dignity and reputations of all involved. But she said the secrecy regulations “should allow for the development of a climate of greater transparency and trust.” (VOA)
The Reformation in England is notorious for the religious impact it had on the countries of the world, and the current ongoing dispute among the various factions of Catholicism and Protestantism. Three Blind Mice, a rhyme that emerged in 1609, roughly a few years after the death of Queen Elizabeth I, is somewhat a dark reminder of the Dark Ages.
The Reformation began in England when King Henry VIII broke away from the Catholic church because he wanted to divorce his wife, to marry another woman who would bear him a male heir. His wife was a devout catholic and refused to give up her crown to another. The king decided to break away from the Papacy, from Rome, where the Catholic church reigned from. He created the Church of England, and put himself as the legal head. England broke into two factions based on religion, and after Henry's death, the country was plunged in war.
Henry's eldest daughter, Queen Mary I took the throne after her father, and propagated Catholicism, as taught by her mother. Henry's other daughter, through his second wife, Queen Elizabeth I embraced the Protestant faith. Queen Mary was always paranoid of losing her throne to Elizabeth, and she hated the Protestants because of what happened to her mother. She set about ruthlessly persecuting anyone who openly professed their faith, which led to her being known as 'Bloody Mary'.
Illustration of Christian protestants being burned at the stake Image source: wikimedia commons
History has recorded the death of three Bishops, Ridley, Lattimer, and Crammer, known as the Oxford martyrs. They were burned at stake for teaching the Protestant doctrine. The rhyme Three Blind Mice is believed to be an allegorical allusion to the incident of the bishops' execution. They are called 'blind' because of their refusal to recant their confession. Queen Mary is said to have "cut off their tales with a carving knife" and is referred to as a farmer's wife to lighten the scene for children; perhaps to also reduce the ruthlessness of the act.
Three blind mice. Three blind mice.
See how they run. See how they run.
They all ran after the farmer's wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a sight in your life,
As three blind mice (Modern version of the rhyme, Wikipedia)
Three Blind Mice is sung widely in nurseries of the world by little children, often innocent of the true story behind it.
Keywords: Three Blind Mice, Nursery Rhymes, Reformation, Persecution, England, Queen Mary
The pandemic brought about a global boom of entrepreneurship in 2020. Thousands of small businesses launched in the UK last year, and many were very successful. Some businesses started as passion projects, while others aimed to fill a hole in the pandemic market. Services and products, like at-home workouts, popped up all over social media from new and exciting businesses. The pandemic left many Brits financially unstable and scared for the future of their career. Launching their own business gave them something to focus on again and a small amount of income.
The Financial Times reported that the number of registered companies in the UK increased by 30% in 2020. As the world returns to normal, it will be interesting to see how these new businesses approach the post-pandemic world.
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If you have just set up a new business, here are some essential marketing tips to get the ball rolling:
Exploit social media
Social media is one of the most effective marketing platforms available. You can connect with a global audience for free and market your product or service to them. Post consistently and use high-quality imaging to catch your audience's attention. Engage with potential customers by replying to direct messages, comments, shares and likes. Use a few platforms to maximise your exposure and create a strong brand identity.
You can connect with a global audience for free and market your product or service to them. | Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash
Network as much as you can
Networking is a vital part of business, and you can do it on and offline. Use sites like LinkedIn to connect with fellow entrepreneurs and those in different industries. Reach out to them directly and ask about their company or role. You might be surprised by how much you can learn from one conversation. Once in-person events return, you should look to make the most out of meeting people in your industry. You might find brands to collaborate with or a mentor to learn from. Make sure to hand out your business cards at the event so people can get in touch with you in the future.
Networking is a vital part of business, and you can do it on and offline. | Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash
Create a blog
You need to be an expert in your industry. Create a blog and share your journey of learning to be a business owner. You can share your expertise and why you started the company, which other entrepreneurs can read and learn from. Your knowledge and experience might be extremely helpful for those just starting out. Use a range of marketing techniques to launch your business into the next phase.
Use a range of marketing techniques to launch your business into the next phase. | Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash
(Disclaimer: This article is sponsored and include some commercial links)
One of Indias fast growing Direct To Consumer (DTC) beauty and personal care brands, MyGlamm, launches its national TVC around the message 'All Natural #NoNasties today with actress Shraddha Kapoor, who is also an investor in the brand.
Kapoor who has a great millennial and Gen Z connect introduces 'My SUPERFOODS Kajal' which has No Parabens, No Mineral Oils, No Nasties while still being long-lasting and smudge-free and made with the goodness of nature. This is followed by many girls trying applying the kajal with confidence and while highlighting the ingredients Avocado Oil, Goji Berries, Vitamin E and Sunflower Seed Oil.
Commenting on the campaign, Apratim Majumder, CMO, MyGlamm says "Women have been telling us about what they want from their beauty products for a while now. Wikimedia Commons
The brand focuses on creating quality products that are high efficacy made with all-natural and no chemicals in the formulae. his campaign follows the #TellMyGlammWhatYouWant campaign where women logged in to tell the company what they wanted from their beauty products. It aims to establish a beauty democracy by giving consumers the power to tell the brand what they want thus changing the entire experience of how women buy beauty products in India.
Commenting on the campaign, Apratim Majumder, CMO, MyGlamm says "Women have been telling us about what they want from their beauty products for a while now. We have been innovating to serve those needs with products. When they told us that they want a kajal that is not only long-lasting and smudge-proof but also takes care of their eyes, we knew we had to do this. The campaign is about telling everyone out there who told us they need a kajal that cares, MyGlamm Superfoods Kajal is here for you! The campaign debued on MyGlamm's social channels- YouTube & Instagram on September 16. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: India, Direct beauty brands, My Glamm national, girls, kajal, confidence ingredients, Avocado Oil, Shraddha Kapoor