Remember all those illustrations of Jesus and little kids? Jesus loved little kids and was always going on about how we should be innocent, like little kids. I certainly believed all of that, and I believed that people who supposedly did work in his name, especially those who worked with children, would have the greatest respect for the innocence of children.
Stupid me. Maybe because I was never molested by a priest. I will confess that I fantasized being molested by Sister Mary Sharon, the hottest nun ever, after Audrey Hepburn and Ingrid Bergman, of course. Good thing I never confessed my fantasy in the confessional, or I might have been targeted by some pederast priest with his mind twisted around his perverted “celibacy.”
Let me make this disclaimer first. There are a lot of good priests and nuns who do good work. I am sure that I have known some, but only God and their confessors know for certain, and well, sorry, but I wouldn’t count on God being there. Good. Now I’m going to let rip.
I have long had it with the religions in general and the Roman Catholic Church in particular. I went from deciding to no longer be a member in my twenties (although it’s impossible to resign and they really don’t do “excommunications” anymore), not having my daughters educated in Catholic schools, to ignoring the Church altogether in my thirties, then becoming openly critical of it in my forties when I discovered its complicities in all manner murder and mayhem in several countries, to espousing my outright contempt for the Church in voice and print since all hell has broken loose with the revelations of cover-ups of priestly abuse from the parish to the Vatican.
SEXUAL PREDATION ON CHILDREN IS CRIME, AND THE BISHOPS AND THE POPE ARE ACCOMPLICES TO THE COMMISSION OF FELONIES. Why does this institution and the Pope get a pass? Why are they not indicted by the World Court? We have a responsibility to protect children from these predators, and a responsibility to prosecute crime. Just because these perverts are wearing silly suits should not give them immunity. I’ll offer an explanation: because it regards sexual predation on children as a sin the Church has appropriated that behavior and has been able to remove it from the purview of civil authorities (which, of course, it also intimidates). So the bishops and cardinals, right in up to the Pope, forgive their brothers of the cloth and shuffle them around their parishes in a criminal cover-up of civilly indictable offenses.
We now know that Pope Benedict XIV himself has played a role in this whole rotten process since he was an archbishop in Munich and during his long tenure as the head of the Vatican office for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the former Office of the Inquisition, and the bureau responsible for putting right these sorts of transgressions—not covering them up. A paper trail of correspondence shows him to have been knowingly complicit when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, ignoring, or covering up the transgressions of an infamous German pedophile priest and granting leniency to an Irish priest who abused some 200 boys at a school for the deaf. This has all become a firestorm of media exposition in recent weeks, with promises to encourage more of the abused to come forward, increasing the Church’s already two plus billion in reparations and “pay-off” money, and further dragging its holy vestments through stinking slop of their sins—excuse me, crimes.
In the 16th century, when the Church was in charge everywhere, both religiously and civilly, there emerged the first documented instances that priests were finding a captive cohort of victims tp prey upon. That was when the Church got into the elementary education business. That was when Fr. Jose de Calasanz (1557-1648), beatified in 1948, started schools for poor boys in Rome in the latter 16th Century. The ascetic Spaniard founded he Piarist Order and wrote its curriculum for its schools and its “constitution” to govern the behavior of its faculty of priests.* He knew from the beginning that there were dangers in putting celibate priests in charge of young boys and did what he could to install safeguards. But as the schools spread, first throughout Italy, then abroad, there was no way to control the situation. It hasn’t been controlled since. No one knows how many children, over the ensuing centuries, have gone to their graves with the secrets of their victimization untold. But there is no way the Vatican—as it knew full well in the days of Calasanz—has not been complicit by omission or commission in these innumerable crimes.
In those days it was easy to keep this ugliness under wraps. But today in cannot and the Vatican is countering with its own media blitz, one that combines an “tsk, tsk, isn’t it a shame that these children have been abused by a few bad apples in the Church” and the defense that there are evil forces out to “smear the Pope.”** If ever an institution deserved a good smearing it is the papacy, a hypocritical anachronism that arrogantly and laughably regards itself “infallible on matters of faith and morals.” Benedict’s un-Christ-like behavior is not inconsistent with an office that historically is riddled with murder, chicanery, perversity, bellicosity, and the fathering of papal bastards. For a long time popes were regard in the Church more as administrators than as the holiest of men and Vicars of Christ. Somewhere along the way they found it was also useful to portray themselves as the pinnacles of piety, and nobody was more eager to play that role than the Holy Kobasa, John-Paul II. If there were a God, only he would know if there was a deal between him and Ratzinger for the “God’s Rotweiller” to put that pompous Polish sausage up for canonization before his body cooled off. The Papacy is for stupid, cedulous, idolators. It should be abolished.
The Roman Catholic Church needs to turn over all records of priestly crimes to civil authorities or incur financially crippling fines.
This Pope needs to resign, immediately, and beg for forgiveness—not from God, but from the children he has abused with his negligence and outright lack of Christian love. Although there is not likely any Hell that this little monster needs to retire to, he has been complicit in creating a Hell for countless children around the world. Hell would be the only punishment that fits such a crime.
© 2010, James A. Clapp (UrbisMedia Ltd. Pub. 3.30.2010)
*See DCJ Archives, No. 51. 10: FALLEN ORDER, by Karen Leibreich, 2004 a book review 8.25.2008
**Part of that defense, as one Catholic apologist jerk who wrote on the CNN Opinion site, is to say that this sort of abuse goes on everywhere—I guess that excuses it. Yeah, it does, it places other than the Roman Catholic Church. It was recently reported that there are “brides” as young as eight years old in Yemmen, and no doubt other places where religion and custom sanction what amounts to rape of children. Then there are “honor” killings and maiming. You didn’t hear much from the Church about these atrocities, until they could be trotted out as a red herring. They could also have made reerence to the filthy record of the Texas Youth Commission where innumerable youth inmates have been raped and sexually abused by overseers while their please for some relief and redress were routinely ignored by the administrators of the corrupt system. Cf. The New York Review of Books, Volume 57, Number 4 · March 11, 2010, “The Rape of American Prisoners,” by David Kaiser, Lovisa Stannow.