...or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Pope.
I can understand Father James Martin's willingness in the Huff Po
to choke off accountability for the Catholic Church's pedophilia scandal at the parish level, or maybe at the archdiocese level (as in Boston in 2002). After all, Father Martin works for a Boris Karloff lookalike who wields enormous power over a billion people and how embarrassing would it be to get defrocked over a blog post written for Arianna Huffington?
But it's Father Martin who's missing the big picture here, not the secular media that he begins to excoriate for ignorance. There's no evidence to suggest much less prove that these pockets of pedophilia that were occurring all over the world reached much higher than the parochial level.
However, it's been conclusively proven that Catholic priests' tastes for young boys was known for many decades and that this scandal not only stinks straight up to the Pope's gold throne, it's stayed there for at least five decades. A memo surfaced just a few days ago proving that the Vatican was warned about pedophile priests as far back as August of 1963
, when Pope Paul VI first succeeded John XXIII.
Pam Spaulding at Pam's House Blend
gives one of the best overviews of the snowballing scandal in all Blogtopia:
With Bill Donohue taking his pedophile defense publicity tour around the cable channels, the wheels are coming off of his wagon. Even the Vatican is circling its wagons around Papa Ratzi, who most certainly knows about all of these documents under wraps. Why? He's being named in a lawsuit and the plaintiffs seek to depose Benedict under oath.
That would be the same Wild Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, who never met a child-molesting, misogynistic Catholic man o' God he didn't love with an unhealthy devotion. If the Church of Rome had a shred of decency and survival instinct left, it would take the extraordinary measure of excommunicating Donohue to Siberia after chaining him during a novena to a buoy off the beach of Provincetown, Massachusetts. Because it doesn't help the RCC's cause any that Donohue is claiming the church sex scandal isn't a pedophile problem but a homosexual problem
I can perfectly understand the NY Times'
desire for, dare I say it, fair and balanced journalism to help offset the tsunami of damning evidence it's been publishing against the Catholic Church of late. But too often they've been willing to give a lunatic like Donohue house room when all he has to offer are lies, more lies and damned lies. That's why we have a Catholic media. The Times doesn't have to further pollute this already soul-polluting atmosphere of "blame the victim."
Donohue's insistence that these boys were "post-pubescent" and therefore not victims of pedophilia but victims of homosexuality also misses the big point: A priest, even by his very vow of celibacy, is already crossing a line he hasn't a moral right to cross, especially when every child-molesting priest (and there have been many, many of them) has the luxury of using the enormous power of the Vatican behind him against powerless teens and had abused a literally sacred trust.
And to whom were these boys supposed to go to unburden their souls and guilty consciences? The confessional and the seal that guarantees, to paraphrase the old Las Vegas motto, whatever happens in local parishes stays in Rome?
And this is somewhere else that Father James goes wrong: He's all too ready, willing and able to blame the secular media in his opening paragraphs for slinging criticism and abuse at a Catholic Church he claims they don't understand. But never a disparaging word is spoken by him about the Catholic media either soft-pedaling or even aiding in this conspiracy of silence and spin-doctoring.
Donohue hasn't a leg to stand on. We've already traced Ratzinger's role in covering this up to his archdiocese in Bavaria
. We now know that Ratzinger knew about a priest who'd molested over 200 deaf boys
at his parish in Wisconsin and refused to have him defrocked.
And maybe the Holy See Not is leading the call to circle the wagons because Joey Ratso's been named in a lawsuit in Kentucky
. The Catholic Church is already lawyering up and are planning to introduce arguments such as: The Pope being immune from prosecution simply because he's a head of state (executive privilege).That the bishops who oversaw the abusive priests 50 years ago weren't actually working for the Vatican (like Blackwater claiming immunity from military justice because they were civilian contractors and that they were immune from civilian justice because they were contractors of the US military).That the 1962 document doesn't provide prosecutors with a "smoking gun" (such as the Downing Street Memo).
It doesn't take a genius to see that the Catholic Church is just another shiftless, ultra right wing cult that not only refuses to take even partial responsibility for its high crimes and misdemeanors but will even play the blame the victim/blame the media game that we saw with Cardinal Bernard Law on the Boston Globe
here in Massachusetts eight years ago and with the RCC with the NY Times
. So, with all due respect, Father James, the fact that some of us are gentiles and are not Catholic Church insiders doesn't mean we can't recognize a decades-long coverup when we see it.
Between beatings, molestation, reverse blaming the victims and the whistleblowers and the inevitable coverups that followed, in which abusive priests and even bishops would simply be moved from one parish to another before the innuendos began piling up, we're fully seeing now for the first time that this abuse of children is a moral pandemic and one not merely confined to a particular archdiocese in Boston.
And when the Catholic Church's apologists like Bill Donohue begin rationalizing such blatant perversions that were done with impunity despite official warnings, it's time to be very, very afraid. It's rapidly becoming a referendum on the legitimacy of homosexuality and if the reverse blame game begins to gain traction, spittle-flecked maniacs like Donohue will only make it harder for still-silent and future victims of clergy abuse to come out and tell all in a public confession.