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Pope Protecting Pedophile Priests In Parishes Brings Catholic Response

March 26, 2010

The times are going to get more rocky and unsteady for the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict XVI.  This church is at a crossroads and I contend that is a good thing.  Before climbing to the papacy Ratzinger made some highly unfortunate and most questionable decisions about pedophile priests.  When presented with news of  pedophile priests as an archbishop and Vatican official he turned his head and blinked.  No coughing for Ratzinger. No one was going to get his nards in a vice as he had a higher office in mind to attain.   He who was going to get to the top no matter what had to be done, or not done.  He was not going to get in front of the sex scandal involving priests anymore than he absolutely had to.  After all, there was a fisherman’s ring waiting for him if he did all the right things.  Turning his head and blinking was just the game that he had to play.  That is after all the ‘Vatican Way’.

But now the tide is turning from within the church and I must say I was surprised to see the blistering editorial in the National Catholic Reporter.  The words crunch with anger on the page.  It is a very long and wonderfully written piece.  A few strong paragraphs are below.

The focus now is on Benedict. What did he know? When did he know it? How did he act once he knew?

Like it or not, this new focus on the pope and his actions as an archbishop and Vatican official fits the distressing logic of this scandal. For those who have followed this tragedy over the years, the whole episode seems familiar: accusation, revelation, denial and obfuscation, with no bishop held accountable for actions taken on their watch. Yes, there is a depressing madness to this story. Time after time, this is a story of institutional failure of the deepest kind, a failure to defend the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a failure to put compassion ahead of institutional decisions aimed at short-term benefits and avoiding public scandal.

The strategies employed so far — taking the legal path, obscuring the truth, and doing everything possible to protect perpetrators as well as the church’s reputation and treasury — have failed miserably.

We now face the largest institutional crisis in centuries, possibly in church history. How this crisis is handled by Benedict, what he says and does, how he responds and what remedies he seeks, will likely determine the future health of our church for decades, if not centuries, to come.

It is time, past time really, for direct answers to difficult questions. It is time to tell the truth.

That means you, Ratzinger.  (My words)

  1. Stephan permalink
    September 20, 2018 4:52 AM

    As a former Catholic I can attest to the secrets and shame that occurs in these places. I am 32 and left the church as soon as I left home for college. I have faith but want nothing to do with the priests and their ways.

  2. April 2, 2010 1:57 AM

    Noticed you were at my site so I thought I’d check out yours. great post.

  3. Ann Evans permalink
    March 30, 2010 9:42 PM

    I cannot believe the ignorance of Catholics and non Catholics about the priest scandals in 2002, and now in
    Ireland and Germany,especially on CBS News.

    First, to get rid of a cliche.priests are not defrocked. They are laicized. The expression,I realize is used to refer to the robe ,or cassock that many people deride, although many Protestant clergy have adopted it,as well as the surplice and stole, because it gives them more dignity,even as their founders in the last 600 years derided it..

    Secondly, all KNOWN abuses of minors in the church are reported to Rome as soon as they are known. However many do not come to light until 40 or more years later,prodded by noteriety seeking lawyers eager to get a piece of the money “pie” from the largest Christian church, and the oldest,on the planet. Did you know that 28 out of 50 states still have corporal punishment in the public schools ? Others only took it off the books in the 1950’s.

    The use of treatment and 12 step methods were recommended by prominent psychiatrists at John Hopkins Hospital, who still confer with and advise within the church. They also recommended other therapies to the Catholic Hierarchy. Where are they today ? Aren’t they as much to blame ?

    Until the 2002 events were published in Boston,child abuse had become a crime only a few years before. Child labor was a given at age 13. You went out and worked to help support the family. Until the early years of the 20th century, there were no “teen-agers”.

    Protestant and Jewish faiths have the same percent of abusers,as do teachers,scout leaders,sports coaches,day care workers, any group working with children,and must have criminal background checks nowadays, cannot touch a child,even in encouragement,and how many children need that! Dear God,how many need that !

    No one worked harder than Cardinal Ratzinger to clear up this scourge on our church. No one was more public.Where are the Episcopalians, Lutherans , main stream Protestants who have the same 2% of offenders, dispite married clergy. Some of their churches would be wiped out. The biggest abusers of children are within their families; Mom’s boyfriends,the “uncles” who sleep over, Dad and his alcohol. Check out the daily tripe on the TV,which is also the electronic parent and first teacher of children these days. Where is the censorship and blame in this area ? Where is the leadership in Congress on that ?

    Lastly,if mainstream papers and news anchors need fodder for a slow news day,nothing titilates like forbidden sex. Million dollar “newspeople” and THE NY TIMES use it to shock and strike ,because of the internet cutting into their fiefdoms.

    Catholics are aware that this “news”is a reguler during Holy Week “during the Holiest week of the year”, as Katie Couric says. “Priest predator scandal reaches Rome and threatens to topple the Pope. ” You know the next person in the change of command,don’t you ? Remember the Cabots and Lowells in Beantown lore.The Cabots speak only to Lowells, and the Lowells speak only to…

    The people involved are almost all dead. There is no way that these scandals can be defended. Wherever money is involved, you cannot have a truly fair trial. If you want to work for the scandal sheets,do so, but have your facts straight. Jesus had 12 Apostles. 1/12 betrayed him,and during this week also, for 30 pieces of silver.

    The doctors mentioned before are still advising the church.What is their slant on this, and if I recall correctly, they are of the Jewish faith,and highly respected.Children do not forget abuse. They don’t wake up out of a fog, and suddenly remember it 40 years later.They don’t need prodding and parental urging.They may be wrong,but they don’t forget it.


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