This article belongs to And That's the Way It Is column.

Ah yes, another week of religious upheavals within the catholic religion and how wonderful it is to see what can only be described as an unaccountable, greedy lot of pedophiles and their protectors go down in a screaming heap having to defend the indefensible and not making a very good job of it.

And yes, I feel sorry for those people who trusted the Catholic church, the catholic religion and especially I feel sorry for those whom were abused by priests and in essence the church hierarchy.

The fact that the scandalous and corruption-ridden Vatican has learned nothing during the past few years is emphasized by the Vatican blaming the media for highlighting the world-wide abuses, and Vatican's subsequent non-action and totally inappropriate conduct in terms of dealing with sex-abuses by church and religious officials.

Sadly for the Vatican, it is in the accused dock on this occasion and not the media. The latest episode includes revelations that an American catholic priest, a Father Murphy, sexually assaulted 200 deaf boys and that subsequently the Vatican with the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzlinger, now the Pope, in charge of investigating these abuses, did absolutely nothing to address the issue, thus in essence making Ratzlinger guilty of concealing multiple crimes.

Other similar matters have now also emerged in various European countries as well as elsewhere around the world leaving observers to conclude that the Vatican, as a catholic entity, no longer has any credibility. As a consequence the current Pope should resign and not be replaced as should anyone appointed by the Vatican be 'resigned' by their local congregations.

The following sequence should occur in my view if the catholic religion is in any way to survive.

The pope should resign and not be replaced. The Vatican should be stripped of any religious, financial and other authority as neither entity no longer has any credibility.

The Vatican should reveal and publish audited balance sheets and all its worldwide financial dealings should be revealed.

All documents related to sex-abuse cases must be publicly available as to transparency. Those ensconced within the Vatican must lose their diplomatic status as to ensure that offenders and their supporters be dealt with through the various legal systems and either be charged with sex-crime offences or conspiracy offences.

The Vatican as an entity should become Italian territory and be subject to Italian and thus EU law. Once the Vatican becomes Italian territory, offenders can then be prosecuted.

At local level, I would never suggest that local parishioners should not be allowed to practice their chosen religion but major changes will have to be made in terms of the catholic religion regaining lost credibility.

Anyone appointed by the Vatican would automatically be redundant in terms of their power and authority.

Local congregations would elect their diocese and congregational leaders upon which such leaders would be subject to propriety checks conducted by local legal authorities. In other words, the catholic religion would become a 'by the people, for the people' organisation free of abuse and with processes in place to counter and deal with sex-abuse cases.

Local congregations would be able to make their own church rules including the abolishing celibacy provisions.

So there it is, a solution to avoid the catholic religion from becoming a cult like any other equally obnoxious cult movements.
So, like it or not.

My name is Henk Luf.
And That's The Way It is.