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The Pope Must Go

March 16, 2010

Last weekend the odds shortened from 12/1 to 3/1 on a Papal resignation. This follows revelations from the current scandals being uncovered in Germany (over 300 cases of abuse reported since January) and on Saturday the Vatican was forced to speak to the media. 

The Vatican spokesman said that Pope Benedict XVI was so so sorry:

• for continually reacting to victim’s suffering by accusing them of an evil plan to destroy the Church.  He regrets doing this publically for the last eight years and wishes to express his guilt and sorrow that his actions have allowed children to be abused.  He admits that his only concerns have always been about the image and coffers of the Church.

• for personally allowing a proven sexual predator ‘H’ (identified as Peter Hullerman) to freely access children in Germany for more than 30 years including hisChurch role as a school teacher.  In 1980 Benedict (in his former gig as Archbishop Ratzinger of Munich and Freising) found out that Hullerman had drugged and sexually abused an 11 year old boy.  Benedict can’t believe that he then moved Hullerman onto another lair instead of ensuring he was ‘defrocked’, and accepts full responsibility for the pain and suffering of all the children that Hullerman inevitably went on to sexually abuse.   Hullerman should of course have been turned over to the police.  Benedict promises to rectify the fact that this evil predator Hullerman is still employed by the Church in Germany, and warns of a strange chap called Gerhard Gruber who is trying to take responsibility for Benedict’s gross errors outlined above.  (Hullerman was suspended from his duties as Parish Priest on Monday). 

• for writing Crimen Sollicitationis in 2001, as part of his last paid gig before landing the King role.  Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (previously known as the Inquisition) clarified the secretive way in which clerical sex abuse should be dealt with.  As head of the department which received all documents regarding clerical sexual abuse worldwide Benedict knows he was in a position to change the terrible historical nature of the Church in matters of abuse.  Instead made grave errors, and now fully accepts German justice minister, Sabline Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger’s accusation that his work helped to create a “wall of silence” surrounding allegations of clerical sex abuse’.   

• for all the denials from the Vatican that pretended they weren’t aware of the resulting abuse and pain caused by this silence.  Benedict also apologies for ignoring the numerous warnings by many clerics including Rev. Gerald Fitzgerald in the 1950’s and Rev. Thomas Doyle in the 1980’s who was later sacked due to his refusal to stick to the code of silence.  In fact Benedict agrees that the Vatican has always been aware of clerical sex abuse going back to the fourth century (whole article is well worth reading).

• for all the lies that have been offered as excuses for the Church’s role in enabling clerical sex abuse with impunity, including and not limited to , the devil in the Vatican, homosexuality, individual dioceses acting independently of the Vatican, problems in individual countries including unfounded claims about America and Ireland, liberal permissive society, celibacy*, we didn’t understand  sexual abuse and recidivism.

• for the cover-ups in national inquiries such as those in America which led Frank Keating, the chair of the Bishop established board, to say about the Church: To resist grand jury subpoenas, to suppress the names of offending clerics, to deny, to obfuscate, to explain away; that is the model of a criminal organization, not my church,”

• for the firmly held policy of victim blaming.  Benedict is very sorry the Church has taken this cruel approach to victims:  ‘Church lawyers attack the victims’ credibility and besmirch their families. They bombard victims with as many as 500 written questions, demand 30 years’ worth of tax returns, require names and dates for every doctor visited back to age 12. They cross-examine mothers about their children’s sex lives. “It’s intimidation,” says Lee White, 45, one of the plaintiffs. “I feel like I am being reabused.”  Benedict has realised that not only is this immoral but it is also a gross abuse of Church funds.

Of course, the Vatican spokesmen said NONE OF THOSE THINGS on Saturday.  The lies recited included:

It’s rather clear that in the last days, there have been those who have tried, with a certain aggressive persistence, in Regensburg and Munich, to look for elements to personally involve the Holy Father in the matter of abuses … For any objective observer, it’s clear that these efforts have failed” 

“there hasn’t been in the least bit any policy of silence.”

“The pope is a person whose stand on clarity, on transparency and whose decision to face these problems is above discussion,”

“To accuse the current pope of hiding (cases) is false and defamatory, … [Ratzinger] showed wisdom and firmness in handling these cases,”

Colm O’Gorman sums up the current situation in a nutshell:

As new scandals erupt in Germany, Holland, Italy, Spain, Brazil and Nigeria, Pope Benedict has failed to put in place and enforce mandatory global child protection policy across his church.  I recently asked a senior church figure why this was the case. The answer was depressingly familiar. I was told that to put in place global policy underpinned by church law would admit that the Vatican had the responsibility and the power to do so, and expose the Vatican to law suits and potentially massive financial losses for not doing so in the past.

So there you have it. To this very day it would appear the Vatican values its money and its position more than it values the safety of children.

For anybody who believes the Vatican’s lies and/or is planning to celebrate the Pope trotting round the UK in his red slippers in September, here is some required reading:

Beyond Belief by Colm O’Gorman (Executive Director, Amnesty Ireland) – Altar Boy by Andrew Madden – Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes:  The Catholic Church’s 2,000 Year Paper Trial of Sexual Abuse by Thomas P. Doyle – Sex Crimes and the Vatican – video & transcript – The Ferns Report October 2005 – The Ryan Report May 2009  (Executive Summary Ryan Report) and The Murphy Report July 2009

*Arguments regarding celibacy are many and varied but celibacy per se is not responsible for the mass cover-up of sex abuse.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Sean permalink
    March 16, 2010 21:28

    Proof – were proof be needed – that any age-old institution is ripe for corruption on a truly shocking level. I wonder how different – if any – the Vatican example would be handled were it on our own doorstep. Surely then questions would have to be asked and measures taken.

  2. March 24, 2010 03:27

    Interesting. Now there could be a lot of people who say that to suggest the Pope should go – is insulting to all the millions and millions more of Catholic people who want him to stay!

    religion is all relative isn’t it – a lot of people who are called Islamophobes feel they have a core issue with the religion, in the same way many people have a core issue with the Catholic Church.

  3. March 25, 2010 01:18

    I think the ‘insult’, to put it mildly, has gone to all those raped and abused by Catholic clerics and who have to continue to watch the exact same circumstances that allowed their rape and abuse to continue.

  4. March 28, 2010 20:21

    Ratzinger should be prosecuted for his crimes. If he wasn’t such a powerful religious leader, he would be in prison for what he’s done.


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