Posted by: puebloman | February 22, 2010

Let the little children suffer

The Pope covering up

And whosoever receiveth such a child in my name receiveth me. But whosoever offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe be unto the world because of offences! Howbeit it cannot be avoided that the offences shall be given; Nevertheless woe be to the man by whom the offence cometh! Matthew 18: 6 (Tyndale trans. 1534)

If Jesus hated anything during his brief life it was churches. And if he hated anything more than churches it was priests –  “whited sepulchres” he called them. When you look at the actions of the present Pope you can see why.

Last week Irish bishops were called to the Vatican to discuss the rape sodomy and buggery of little children by priests. Among the general junketing, the blushing, the curtseying in robes, the eating of expensive food, the kissing of rings and the mutual flattery, one group of people was significantly absent and that was the victims who have struggled for decades to make their voices heard. Apparently they are not be received or heard by the Vatican.

The pope has attempted to contain the Irish scandal by bemoaning the general breakdown in social moral authority – in other words it’s our fault – and on the other hand containing it as a specifically “Irish” problem. He conveniently forgets that the Catholic church is catholic. That is universal, not national, and that what is happening in Ireland is happening everywhere – and will surface in due course – in Italy for example, and in Spain.

The pope’s moral inadequacy  in dealing with these crimes can best be understood by examining his career:

On 25 November 1981, the then Pope John Paul II named the present pope, then Cardinal Ratzinger, as Prefect of the “Congregation for the Doctrine of faith”, formerly known as the Inquisition.

In office, Ratzinger defended and reaffirmed Catholic doctrine on topics such as birth control, homosexuality, and inter-religious dialogue. This “Congregation” also has jurisdiction over cases involving the secrecy of the confessional and on clerical sexual misconduct.

Like the inquisition, it functions as a court.

During this period Ratzinger made sure that all complaints of childhood sexual abuse were “fast tracked” directly to the Vatican. It was a move both to inform the vatican of trouble on the horizon, control the response and to bring the full force of the institution of the church down on the necks of potential trouble makers.

In his capacity as Prefect, Ratzinger wrote a notorious letter in 2001 called “Crimen Sollicitationis” which said that all Church investigations concerning accusations made against priests such as the sexual abuse of minors, should be dealt with in secret. This action became controversial during the Irish sexual abuse scandal. Subsequently Ratzinger, now the Pope, was accused in a lawsuit of conspiring to cover up the molestation of three boys in Texas, but he sought and obtained diplomatic immunity from prosecution.


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