"The documents contradict the most consistent defense given by bishops about the sexual abuse scandal: that they were unaware until recently that offenders could not be rehabilitated and returned to the ministry."
The Vatican needs to clean up their own house before they go around telling people how to live their lives. Their hypocrisy is lecturing people about abortion, homosexuality, contraception and other issues is made even more clear now with the release ofthese documents.
The question also is how much did the current Pope know about this issue--he has been a longtime resident of the Vatican. Surely he knew about the problem and may have played a role in trying to keep it under wraps.
During his next foreign trip, Benedict should be arrested and charged with being an accessory after the fact to child molestation. Which country will have the courage to take this step??
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 6, 2009 at 3:17 pm Walter_E_Wallis is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
It is hard to believe, but there was a time when man-boy pedophilia was considered as no big thing, even a topic for jokes. I would guess that the percentage of pedophilic priests was no higher than pedophilic coaches or teachers or legislators. Odd that the same libs who flagellate the Catholic Church also want to abolish the Boy Scouts because Scouting wants to reduce the possibility of sex abuse of boys. Betcha Vatican watcher defends NAMBLA.
Posted by Vatican watcher, a resident of Stanford, on Apr 6, 2009 at 3:21 pm
Wrong, Walt. Regardless of the percentages, priests were supposed to be men of God. Maybe the church could not have prevented it initially, but after a time they were aware of it and their solution was to transfer priests to new parishes were it happened again and again.
This issue cuts across liberal/conservative lines--this is outrage over a religious organization sacrificing young children in order to hush up a scandal.
Sounds to me, Walter, that you are the one trying to defend the sexual abuse of young children. Sometimes your comments are truly revolting.
Posted by Sean, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 6, 2009 at 3:40 pm
The Catholic Church has, indeed, covered up the mess for a very long time. Only when they got caught, in the public realm and in the legal system, did they start to come clean.
However, the Church's sin is not so much pedophilia as it is homosexuality. Most of the priests who are condemned for pedophilia are not pedophiles. They preyed on post-pubescent children, mostly boys. This is homosexuality, not pedophilia.
The Church needs to not only condemn homosexual acts, but to enforce its own ban among its own priests.
Posted by Vatican watcher, a resident of Stanford, on Apr 6, 2009 at 3:46 pm
Sharon, if I remember correctly you made the same outrageous, hate-filled claim, i.e. the church has solved the problem by excluding gay men from the priesthood, in other threads. You parrot the age old claim that because someone is gay he is a pedophile--a truly revolting assertion. It may be the end of the story because the church has adopted a "zero tolerance" policy, but we will see.
Bottom line, the church knew about this problem for over 50 years, they chose to ignore the issue, thereby inflicting even greater pain onto the victims--this coming from an organization that is supposed to be compassionate!!! The Catholic church and their leaders, especially should be ashamed of themselves for their shocking behavior in this matter. the higher ups in the Vatican knew about it all along and chose to try to hush it up. I am convinced Benedict knew about it and is a major accessory in this crime. But, even though he may not be punished in this world, I am certain that he will spend eternity in hell.
BTw,w hat does the age of the victims have to do with anything?
Posted by Abby, a resident of the Adobe-Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 6, 2009 at 4:01 pm
The problem with Vatican Watcher's post is that the article he cites simply does not say what he says it does. As lamentable as the return of pedophile priests to parish work was, there is absolutely NO vague suggestion that the current Pope had anything to do with it, or even had knowledge of it. In fact the current Pope isn't even mentioned in the article. Perhaps some irrational hostility to Pope Benedict explains his post.
That being said, it is clear from the article that many mistakes were made in the handling of the pedophile priest problem. In the 50's and 60's there was a lot of ignorance about pedophile motivations and also about what might "cure" them. This was conflated with the idea that spiritual reconciliation of some sort might help. This confusion and the resultant tragic mistakes went high up in the American Church hierarchy. But there is no suggestion in the article that the actions were other than very bad mistakes, or that the Vatican had much to do with it.
To suggest otherwise is to heap calumny on people who don't deserve it.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 7, 2009 at 4:53 am Walter_E_Wallis is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
It is not defending a practice to accurately describe it. I also have extensive knowledge of Jim Crow although I was an opponent of it and it's modern counterpart, Crow Jim. Priests were Men of God, whatever that means, but other jobs men with a sexual attraction to boys sought were those with authority over boys. We all fall short of the glory of God, some fall farther than others.
Posted by Vatican watcher, a resident of Stanford, on Apr 7, 2009 at 6:36 am
"The age and sex of the the victims has everything to do with the scandal, the crimes and their prevention."
No, Sharon, it does not. You can call it pedophilia, molestation or what ever you want. The bottom line is that so-called men of god were engaging in this behavior, with the full knowledge of their superiors that it was occurring. Said superiors refused to address the problem and tried covering it up. Our current pope has worked at the Vatican for many years, he was aware of the problem and aided in the coverup.
The whole thing is not "sordid history" now--the church has still not addressed the scandal completely.
Posted by Perspective, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 7, 2009 at 6:41 am
What is never mentioned is that the rate of pedophilia in non-Catholic leadership roles is twice that of Catholic priests. Not defending the sin nor the sinner at all, but the assertion is always cloaked in some kind of aura of "Catholic priests are more evil than any other man and it is because of...blah blah"
I can find the studies if anyone actually cares, but at the time there were many studies showing that as horrific as the 1/2% rate of pedophilia amongst catholic priests was, the rate in the general male population amongst coaches, non-catholic religious leaders, scout leaders, (in other words, other jobs where men with pedophilia predilictions could more easily obtain positions of influence over boys), was 1%, double the Catholic priest rate.
So, this is a human condition problem, not just a Catholic priest problem, and apparently a boy still has twice the likelihood of being safe with a Catholic priest as with any other unrelated male leader.
Posted by Vatican watcher, a resident of Stanford, on Apr 7, 2009 at 7:05 am
Perspective--that may be the case. But what exacerbated the entire situation was the actions of the Church after the issues became known--the transferring of abusive priests, the cover ups, the lies etc.
Clearly the church must have done something wrong, since the pope recently released a belated, empty apology.