Pope Benny Ratzinger has his own take on the sordid tale of priests buggering boys in the USA and in Ireland and in Germany. “Petty gossip,” he says. Forgetaboutit!
In the meantime, the Pope’s Propaganda Ministry was out in force over the weekend, with everybody and his auntie trying to put a palatable spin on Pope Benny’s fumbling complicity in the Catholic Church’s cover up of sex abuse. The New York Times ran an article that says that the Pope was a “doctrine” guy, not a “detail” guy, so he would naturally miss priests buggering altar boys in the sanctuary after mass. In the Times OPEd section, there is a guy who claims that Pope Benny did more than anyone to resolve the problem of priests who like to bone little boys. Really. I am serious.
John Allen, (curiously the same guy who is advancing the “doctrine” guy theory) a correspondent for the National Catholic reporter, says that about 10 years ago, Pope Benny, while heading up the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was given the job of handling all sex abuse complaints in the church. Allen says that the then Cardinal Joe Ratzinger read all the complaints that came to the Vatican and became something of an authority on the ways little boys get buggered. Then he took “administrative “ action. In 60 percent of the cases he apparently defrocked the offending priests. He also urged a “zero tolerance” policy on the priesthood. So for the first time, I guess, the Vatican took a position that it should not sweep this stuff under the rug. Then it proceeded to sweep it all under the rug.
Obviously, the first aim of the Vatican’s new policy was to handle the matter internally. In other words, protect the Church. The Church did not choose to do what any other citizen would think is natural in such circumstances… report it to the authorities. There are cases where the Church deliberately took steps to cover up abuse… for example forcing children to swear themselves to secrecy… there is no evidence that the Church’s new policy included reporting to the authorities. No reports were made to the police in the 60 percent of the cases where Cardinal Joe actually booted out the offenders… turning them loose on unsuspecting communities. And the 40 percent of cases in which the church took no action? No action, I guess, even though there was enough evidence for the Vatican to investigate. Would there not also have been enough evidence to pass along to law enforcement officials who would have had more direct access to witnesses and the accused and may have been better positioned to determine the truth than a handful of priests on the other side of the ocean?
The Pope’s personal history in these cases is anything but clean. While he was Archbishop of Munich a known bugger was transferred into his diocese and turned loose on an unsuspecting parish. And the New York Times reported this week that The Archbishop of Milwaulkee specifically asked Cardinal Joe for permission to defrock a priest accused of molesting more than 200 boys at a school for the deaf. The Rev. Lawrence Murphy, who appears to have had a glory hole in his confessional, was instead transferred to a rural parish, where he was free to sin again.
We understand, of course that Cardinals are not to be bothered with the petty concerns of young boys trying to protect their own asses. They have important people to suck up to … that’s how they get to be Cardinals, and how Cardinals get to be Pope. The Times reports that at one point in Cardinal Ratty’s career, he refused to take a meeting with a delegation of local priests, but had time to meet with Ruth Carter Stapleton, an American evangelist and sister to President Jimmy Carter. (I suspect he was trying even then to form alliance with American evangelists in an effort to take over and destroy our Constitutional freedoms.)
The Pope has many times demonstrated his concern for doctrine. The Times also reports that while ignoring his own buggering scandal, he refused to allow a Munich University to hire a liberal scholar. He has worked hard to reinstate formerly banned priests who practiced the Latin liturgy and refused to recognize the reforms of the Vatican Council, one of whom was a notorious anti-Semite. He was a prime mover in the decision to ex-communicate a Rochester, NY parish because it encouraged women and gay people to participate in the Mass. He gladly invited the Conservative wing of the Episcopalian Church back into the fold, without reservations, when they refused to recognize a gay bishop.
The Pope is without doubt doctrinal. He is not a moral leader. He does not have the courage to stand for what is right, and he has dedicated his career to dragging the Church back into the dark ages.