Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Rabbi Yosef Feldman

Rabbi Feldman was a witness at the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Abuse this week.  During his testimony he suggested that paedophiles who had repented and not committed a crime for many years should not be punished.  He also said that he had been making this view public for many years.  "There should be a lot more leniency on people who have shown they haven't offended, in the last decades.  Especially if they have these tendencies and don't act on them."

It is extraordinary that sexually assaulting a child, which can for some children have lifelong effects, is regarded as a crime you can repent from and thus be forgiven.  It is hard to imagine Rabbi Feldman feeling the same compassion for Nazis who were involved in the Holocaust and now believe what they did was wrong. Would he think they should not be punished when found in their old age?  Some crimes should not have a time limit on when you can be prosecuted.  It is a statement about how society views them.

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