Monday, October 14, 2013

Not Defending Nor Accusing Mansour Labaki.. The Jury Is Out!

Editor's Note:  Background: Priest serving child molestation sentence in Lebanon monastery - The Daily Star - Lebanon

His was the first Catholic sermon I could assimilate and the first communion I received. We learned his Christian hymns by heart as Jesuit nuns played them on portable turntables over and over in catechism class. I am one of thousands who grew up on the multifaceted teachings of a young man named Mansour Labaki.

Since those early memories, I have observed from a distance many of his outreach programs especially those to help and support orphaned children. For me, his achievements at so many levels have surpassed what the church itself has shown towards the less fortunate.

This makes the Labaki “scandal” a matter of deep concern as we condemn Pedophilia as an inexcusable crime but we also denounce framing someone as a Pedophile without providing proof of such a heinous crime. For those of us whose brains process things logically rather than hysterically or emotionally, the jury is out.

To watch this man go through public humiliation and accusations of wrongdoing of the worst kind is heart-wrenching. Pedophelia is a crime that should be punished without mercy no matter who the perpetrator, Labaki himself would undoubtedly agree. At the same time, the Vatican should allow him the right to appeal and defend himself.

Whether he did or did not do what he is allegedly accused of, his name will forever be tarnished with this news. If this happened to you, how would you like people to react?

Would you like them to rush to judgement or demand a fair trial? Would you like to be condemned as a sinner (not even a criminal) and all your rights stripped or would you want to face real justice and bear its consequences?

It seems to me someone very influential within the church itself is being stripped of his authority. Why France and why now and what kind of a punishment is a “life of penitence” anyway?

I have heard many people accuse others of crimes from embezzlement to harassment to molestation, theft and murder. If we believed everything we hear, everyone can be an angel for some and a monster for others. That is why a court of law accuses or acquits based on evidence.

Now the accused is requesting an appeal and the mighty Catholic Church denying him that right. If convicted of pedophilia, Labaki should serve a long sentence in actual jail; but the Vatican is only stripping him of his clout, reputation, influence and perhaps, most importantly, his power over the centers he owns and runs. Pope Francis must see something wrong with this picture.


Keep the conversation going...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If convicted he should go to jail

October 19, 2013 at 4:56 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

I agree with your comments and assessment. He shouldn't be convicted without a proper trial, but if he IS, he should be punished in a way that gives victims real justice. This is a tragedy for people because it is a continuation of the eroding of trust that we are experiencing at every level from our teachers to our popes and other spiritual leaders. It would be good if the news of the remarkably awesome ones would make as much of a headline, wouldn't it?

October 25, 2013 at 10:03 PM  

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