If They'd Only Listened to Timothy

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Thursday, June 06, 2002

If They'd Only Listened to Timothy

Roman Catholic bishops have proposed a mandatory set of procedures that would obligate them to remove from the priesthood anyone who abuses a minor in the future. An exception may be granted to a priest who committed one sexual offense in the past with a minor and who sought treatment and is supposedly cured. The issue will be considered when the bishops meet in Dallas next week.

If the bishops (and Protestant leaders) had merely followed Paul's instructions to Timothy, there would have been no debate and there would not have been the problem faced by the Catholic Church. In 1 Timothy 3, Paul says, "The overseer must be above reproach, self-controlled, respectable...he must have a good reputation with outsiders so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap."

That seems clear enough, doesn't it? Not sinless and not perfect, but above reproach. The reproach of the offending Catholic priests clearly rules them out as overseers. The Scriptural instruction is given for our benefit and to uphold God's good name. Violating it is a reproach on all who depart from its teachings. I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.