Catholic Church and Brexit

Grind for December 24th
“Wonder is the feeling of the philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder.” – Plato

Slow As Molasses

The Headline

Pope Francis lifts “pontifical secrecy” for sex abuse cases

The Grind

Pope Francis this week announced long-overdue changes to the way the Catholic Churches deals with sexual abuse, primarily the lifting of “pontifical secrecy” in allegations, trials, and decisions under the Church’s canon law.

“Pontifical secrecy” is an old rule of confidentiality that protects sensitive information related to the governance of the Church. For years, offenders used pontifical secrecy to avoid cooperating with authorities and victims.

“Certain jurisdictions would have easily quoted the pontifical secret…to say that they could not, and that they were not, authorized to share information with either state authorities or the victims,” explains Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta. “Now that impediment, we might call it that way, has been lifted, and the pontifical secret is no more an excuse.”

The Details

Moving forward, the Church will:

— Report crimes when required by law

— Cooperate with law enforcement

— Allow victims to be updated on cases

— Not encourage victims or those who report abuse to remain silent

— Define the age for which pornography is considered child porn as 18 years or under (previously 14)

These changes come nearly a year after Francis hosted a first-of-its-kind summit on child sex abuse, and while they are certainly a step in the right direction, they do not change the way the Vatican holds trials for alleged abusers.

Victims continue to demand that Francis do more to hold bishops accountable for past abuse.

Moving Forward

The Headline

New bill prohibits extending post-Brexit transition period

The Grind

Days after the general election, the UK Parliament is set to vote on an amended Brexit bill that eliminates the possibility of an extension.

As it stands, the UK will leave the EU on January 31st and the transition period will end December 2020.

The amendment eliminates years of “deadlock, dither, and delay,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Johnson, whose party claimed an overwhelming victory last week, has made ‘getting Brexit done’ a priority since he was elected in July.

To those who voted to stay in the EU, he has promised to seek “common ground” and to forge new relationships with member states as “friends and sovereign equals.”

The Details

Defeated Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn congratulated Johnson on his win, but said he would be “judged” on whether he could deliver the promises he made to voters during his campaign.

Considering the fact that it took more than three years after the referendum for Brexit to occur, Johnson will be hard pressed to negotiate trade deals with the bloc before the end of 2020.
If he fails to meet the deadline, the economic relationship between the UK and EU will default to World Trade Organization terms – including tariffs on imports and exports.

Did you know… Dirty snow melts faster than clean