When it was announced that Pope Benedict XVI was stepping down, I wondered what the real reason behind his decision was.
As the leader of the Catholic Church, I like to think that he was aware of pretty much everything that goes on among the rank and file priests around the world.
Therefore I cannot see any reason why he would not be aware of the appalling instance of priests that sexually abuse children.
The Pope, is, or at least should be, the moral authority of the Roman Catholic Church and as such should, in my opinion at least, be responsible for bringing to justice those that abuse the exalted positions that allow the predatory priests access to those that they crave.
To me, at least, Pope Benedict failure to change the Vatican’s traditional methods of handling child sex abuse by priests and so abuse of children is criminal.There is no way that he was unaware of what goes on in the churches around the world. Every time you are exposed to the news, it seems that more and more cases spring to light almost daily.
Prior to his rise to the top, Ratzinger adhered to the institutionalized secrecy that meant that many, many Priests were never brought to justice. It apears that he issued many Vatican orders to keep those accused priests in the church and to move them to a different parish. Where presumably they would have a new intake of young boys to satisfy their cravings ?
The argument seems to be that admitting that a priest was abusing children would cause a scandal and too many scandals would cause an epidemic of ‘loss of faith’.
Which to me seems to imply a loss of revenue.
If the Catholic church admits that a significant percentage of its hierarchy, including the head of the organization is aware of the abuse, without being seen to dismiss those that are perpetrating the abuse, then this implies that they are complicit. Lack of action, lack of justice, to me at least, means that they accept and to a degree condone the abuse.
If a priest is accused of abuse, the reaction should be to allow ‘local justice’ to prevail, if the accusations are unfounded, that is the end of it. But by quietly packing that priest away to a different city, they just give him new targets and a ‘clean’ reputation, thus potentially allowing them to be much better at covering things up this time around.
So now the church, Catholicism inc. Is ready to choose a new CEO, erm, Pope, but even this is going to be fraught. The Italian press is swirling with reports that ‘many’ gay clergy have ‘made themselves vulnerable to blackmail by male prostitutes’, which I see as utterly hilarious.
If you are gay, so what ?
It makes no difference to me, I see no reason why it makes any difference to the rest of the world. But if you are gay and you publicly denounce gay rights and you fight against gay rights, then you are a hypocrite.
Perhaps the oath that priest take should be called the hypocritical oath, much like the Hippocratic oath that medical professions take ?
Regardless, the new pope will have his work cut out to weed the organization. Either that or he accepts that members of Catholics inc. are gay and that there is nothing wrong with that.
Oh and that at least Keith O’Brien will be be able to come out of the closet and admit that he is gay and go back to his job of Managing Director of Catholics (UK) ltd.
My hope it that the new Pope rights all of these wrongs, that he recognizes that openly gay priests are not a terrible thing that brings shame on the church. But above all, I hope that the new pope initiates the process to bring to justice all of those that have used their position of power to gain access to the young and vulnerable for their own sexual gratification.
I will not hold my breath though……