Unethical ordainment of children

More serious than unethical conversion is unethical ordainment. It is in the interest of both the religious and the secularists that ill-disciplined, dishonest and malevolent individuals do not make it to the ranks of monks and priests. Make it illegal for a parent or any adult to ordain a child as a priest/monk without his/her consent. It is disgraceful that certain parents find nothing wrong with the practice of ‘donating’ their children to the Order in the hopes of accumulating merit/blessings for themselves. Unfortunately yet predictably, these tend to be the same priests/monks who start behaving like regular individuals (and sometimes worse) when they become adult members of the clergy. They were never meant to be priests/monks; they may even harbor resentment over their fate. They are unable to lead the life of a priest; yet they cannot leave the Order without social stigma; even if they do, most of them are without the skills to survive outside their respective religious establishment.

Ordainment is a decision that carries life long consequences. A dependent under the age of 18 is in no position to give consent to it. Yet, the major religions prevailing in Sri Lanka require than the training of priests/monks start early. The minimum age for ANY form of ordainment should be 13. Between 13 and 16, the parents and the priests/monks must provide written assurances to authorities that the person to be ordained is fully willing and prepared and he must be interviewed separately by officials before legal permission is given. Ideally, religious laws should change to allow anyone to undergo priesthood training from any age between 13 to 18, and at age 18 decide whether to continue or not; and to be able to leave the establishment without any stigma. Ordainment of children against their will should be banned.

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2 Responses to Unethical ordainment of children

  1. Kadalay says:

    A very valid point that has not been paid any attention to through all these years of ordainment of little children who do not have the ability to make any bdecisions for themselves.

    It is tantamount to the abuse of minors and needs to be addressed seriously and immediately.

  2. Sanjay says:

    Would the Thai practice be practical here? There the thais undergo priest training for about a year or two and then most return to civilian life at about age 18. I think it either mndatory or a practice there, but why not make it just an option here?

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