The Associated Press reported that “the Vatican put its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic under house arrest Tuesday [Sept. 23] after opening a criminal trial against him, the first time a high-ranking Vatican official has ever faced criminal charges for sexually abusing youngsters” (“Vatican Puts Ex-Dominican Envoy Under House Arrest,” Sept. 23, 2014).
While there have been many investigations into sexual abuse cases involving Catholic priests, this is the first time a Vatican official of a high rank has been brought to trial for the crime. The impact on the lives of children who have been hurt by such terrible acts is enough for us to stop and take note of these cases. We should pray for the well-being and healing of those damaged by all cases of sexual abuse.
At an even deeper level we should take note of how sexual abuse charges against those professing to follow and serve God and Jesus Christ damages the reputation and message of the Bible and the Christian faith.
Jesus Christ Himself derided those who claim to follow and serve Him but act in ways that are completely foreign to what He commands them to do: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:21-23 Matthew 7:21-23 21 Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.
American King James Version×).
Christians should live in such a way that they honor Christ and promote Christianity as a positive force in the world. (Source: Associated Press.)