Look, I realize that ultimately this is about the faith of millions of people. I recognize that Roman Catholicism as a religion speaks to a great many people. I know that there are a lot of people who hold with papal infallibility; perhaps not most American Catholics, many of whom pick and choose from the menu, but many. I also understand that when you're talking about religion, you have to step carefully.
But I'm not talking about Catholic doctrine here, or if I am, it extends only to the doctrine of papal infallibility. But I'm sorry, if your religion requires that you hold a man who aided and abettted the sexual abuse of children
as infallible, perhaps it's time to become an Episcopalian:
The Pope was drawn directly into the Roman Catholic sex abuse scandal last night as news emerged of his part in a decision to send a paedophile priest for therapy. The cleric went on to reoffend and was convicted of child abuse but continues to work as a priest in Upper Bavaria.
The priest was sent from Essen to Munich for therapy in 1980 when he was accused of forcing an 11-year-old boy to perform oral sex. The archdiocese confirmed that the Pope, who was then a cardinal, had approved a decision to accommodate the priest in a rectory while the therapy took place.
The priest, identified only as H, was subsequently convicted of sexually abusing minors after he was moved to pastoral work in nearby Grafing. In 1986 he was given an 18-month suspended jail sentence and fined DM 4,000 (£1,800 today). There have been no formal charges against him since.
The church has been accused of a cover-up after at least 170 allegations of child abuse by German Catholic priests. The scandal broke in January but the claims, which continue to emerge, span three decades. Critics say that priests were redeployed to other parishes rather than dismissed when they were found to be abusing children.
Again and again and again and again. Case after case after case -- only this time in involves this particular pope directly.
Fifty years ago a presidential candidate had to assure voters that were he elected, the Pope would not be making policy. It's a step forward that such steps are no longer required, but for the last six months, a Catholic Senator has been almost single-handedly blocking health care reform in this country
; a man who is willing to deny health care to actual children over the Church doctrine on abortion. We are not a Roman Catholic nation, whether Bart Stupak likes it or not, and his lies about abortion funding serve neither him, nor the country, nor the Church. (Well, maybe they serve the interests of the Church.)
But while the media are willing to be all Eric Massa, all the time, because it is a salacious story, they are unwilling to cover this reality of systematic beatings and sexual abuse of children in monasteries BECAUSE IT WILL OFFEND PEOPLE? On what altar are we sacrificing children to the interests of a corrupt hierarchy masquerading as the keepers of the religious flame? Does it serve Christ to protect pedophiles while children suffer a lifetime of shame and psychological damage? Are the media there to serve the Vatican or to inform? Why does the Vatican get a free pass on activities that would get anyone else thrown in prison for a long, long time?
Labels: religion, sex crimes, Vatican