Now that we have a new round of pedophilia and child abuse charges against Catholic priests, there’s a new twist–the current pope knew about allegations of sexual and physical abuse by priests in Germany in a parish he oversaw as a cardinal, and also with the abuses of 200 deaf children in a Wisconsin parish.
Unleash the defenders: Bill Donohue, head of The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, once described pedophiles as horrible and should be removed from the church. Fine. However, once the allegations of cover-ups gets a little too close to the papacy, the victims are “gold diggers” and, even more insanely, actually homosexuals because the victims had already past puberty. The latter accusation, of course, makes the pope out to be a hypocrite and liar, since he seemed to be responsible for moving around some of these criminals. If these monsters were supposedly homosexual, they were still kept in the clergy. How convenient then for the new pope to get so anti-gay suddenly once he sits on the golden throne and make homophobia a hallmark of his leadership.
Following Bill’s bits of idiocy, the pope’s own preacher stated–on Good Friday of all days–that criticizing the church for the abuse scandal was akin to Anti-Semitism. He later apologized for the remarks.
Currently, we have Daily Beast contributor Tunku Varadarajan who writes what is basically an apologia for these criminals, and a slam on actual faithful Catholics, in a steaming heap of dung entitled Leave the Pope Alone, the title itself sounding like one of Donohue’s blathering shouts.
Good God, where to start with this article. Well, he does admit that the Vatican preacher, Raniero Cantalamessa, was out of line for his Anti-Semitism remark, but Tunku better get on the horn with Bill. Anyone who thinks the church is being blackmailed by gold diggers and consensual young gays is not taking this crisis very seriously. Are you going to ask Bill to get off the tube, Tunku?
Then comes this remarkable passage about prosecuting these crimes. Just sit and think for moment and place yourself in the shoes of one of the victims of the atrocities while reading the following:
The idea to prosecute springs, irresistibly, from the tendency in our society to see every problem, no matter how complex, as susceptible to legal resolution, and from our view of the law as a sort of magic wand, the waving of which results in this cathartic thing called “justice.” Other forms of resolution—political or spiritual resolution, for example, or compromises made for the protection of a greater ideal—are deemed inadequate by our law-obsessed culture.
Oh, silly us. We’re just so “law-obsessed” that we shouldn’t seek justice for a heinous crime. You’ll never obtain it, so don’t try. So, Tunku, should we just not bother trying to find other criminals as well? If we can’t find Bin Laden, should we just give up because we’re too obsessed with lawful prosecutions?
So how does he propose solving the crisis? Do it internally. Yes, like The Catholic Church had been doing since at least 1963 when Pope Paul VI knew of pedophile priests? Nice job so far, eh?
Tunku then comes up with this insensitive tidbit:
An organic movement—grounded in a love for the church and an outrage against its defilement by errant priests—is rapidly gathering shape, a movement whose aim is to change the way the church conducts itself. One can see in the public reaction among the faithful—in Ireland, in the United States, in Mexico, and in Italy—the emergence of the Catholic Church’s version of the Tea Party, pan-national in scale.
Using the phrase “Tea Party” in this political climate is probably not very sound, since these sincere devout Catholics probably don’t want to be even remotely compared with insane ranters brandishing loaded weapons and spitting on elected officials. But even if you refer to the colonial Tea Party pre-Revolutionary times, it’s not a good analogy. This isn’t about money. It’s about ruined lives and those who get away with ruining them. It’s about leadership who knows about the heinous crimes and do nothing but help it continue and then punish those who speak out against it. How insensitive is this passage? Look through the article. Tunku could have done better than using the words “pedophilia” and “child abuse” just once each. The crime is the focus of the anger, not a person’s position.
Ratzinger was known to be the go-to guy for shielding child abusers. This was known before he was chosen as pope. There were other cardinals they could have chosen but they selected the one with probably the most connections to these crimes.
The Vatican owns this scandal, so Raniero, Bill, Tunku–tough shit. The Vatican cardinals knew who they chose for the most holy position in the Western world and it’s not like the Papacy wasn’t tainted in years past, so you better get used to it, because this will not go away. I mean, you should have gotten the hint when he chose the name Benedict that there was going to be trouble. So to the Vatican: man up and accept the consequences.
Update: Further allegations, this time with direct intervention by Ratzinger to protect a priest known to have thirteen counts of child molestation. So, are we going to keep a known accomplice to a heinous crime in the highest position of the Catholic Church?