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Catholic Church has a duty to migrants, abuse victims

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21.04.2019

The cross remained. And the world was amazed, touched by the apparent miracle. As firefighters moved into the burning church, they and a camera caught a glimpse of the fire-ravaged sanctuary, the cross seeming to glow through the smoldering darkness, a sign of Europe's Christian tradition.

The catastrophic fire at Notre Dame Cathedral, just before Easter, cast the Catholic Church in a new light. It struck secular France at its heart, and focused the world's attention on this symbol of Europe — one of the continent's few undisputed symbols.

What say does the Church still have?For once, the many controversies that have surrounded the Roman Catholic Church — the sexual assault and abuse scandals, the infighting and competing alliances —were not on people's minds.

Read more: Doris Reisinger: For clergy, 'I was the perfect victim'

These controversies have severely tarnished the image of the Church, and brought it to a low point. In Australia, a cardinal is in jail for abuse. In France, another church official has received a suspended sentence for covering up abuse. And Pope Francis has defrocked a cardinal and several bishops as a result of the scandals.

All of these well-publicized cases have diminished trust in the Church. Meanwhile, the Church is still learning to be honest with itself.

In light of this crisis, what say does the Church still have in society? The glowing cross in the midst of Notre Dame's destruction is a reminder of what's most important. It stands for Easter's central message, overcoming death — a symbol of the Christian faith.

But if the Church really wants to win back respect, even trust, it needs to take this message seriously.........

© Deutsche Welle