The Pope has direct legal and moral culpability in the covering up, enabling and facilitating of the rape and abuse of thousands of children. Below is a small taste (I would recommend also reading Colm O’Gorman’s Beyond Belief)
Added to the now usual platitudes condemning individual acts of child rape and abuse as “heinous crimes” and expressing the hurt and shock of the Pope upon hearing of such crimes, we are now told that the ‘failures’ are the result of governance issues in the Irish national church.
This is a blatant deceit.
Right across the global church, the only governance structure is one of individual dioceses reporting directly to the Vatican. Failures in governance within the Roman Catholic Church are Vatican failures, not those of any illusory ‘national governance structure’.
The Vatican has fought to ensure it remains unaccountable for the cover up of clerical crimes. If it admits responsibility then it exposes itself to potentially massive financial losses should any court hold it to account for its negligence and inaction.
Globally many thousands of cases have now emerged. In Ireland, the United States and Australia, there is compelling evidence of a cover up which saw offending clerics moved from parish to unsuspecting parish where they devastated countless lives, families and communities as Rome watched from a distance and failed to intervene to protect children despite its moral obligation to do so and clear responsibility as the ultimate governors of this global church.
Even today, after all that has been exposed by those of us who have stood up and spoken out about our experiences of brutalisation, first at the hands of clerical sex offenders and then at the hands of a legalistic, uncaring and punitive hierarchy, the Vatican continues to refuse to act to properly protect children.
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.
Further to this Ratzinger was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formally known as the inquisition) this body was tasked, even before he had full executive control by becoming Pope, of dealing with reports of abuse, and the movement of predatory pedophiles to new parishes rather than report the crimes to local police authorities. Joseph Ratzinger is the leader of a right-wing cabal of religious zealots who control the catholic church, he was instrumental in oppressing liberation theology. Pope Benedict XVI should be arrested for his controlling role in running an international paedophile ring. Nothing else will change this, even now church leaders are telling catholics that they would be anti-christian if they do not donate money to pay off damages from the church’s role in child abuse. The history of the Vatican is full of the most atrocious abuses of power under the guise of godliness, why people think something has stopped when in fact no checks or balances or basic democratic accountability exist within the catholic church is testament to the both the power of religious institutions and the need for metaphysical comfort it exploits in people. Catholics of good conscience should split from the Vatican and help with legal challenges which through court action will bankrupt and destroy this rotten to the core theocracy, which is a far more civilised tactic than the ones the Vatican pursues against adult survivors and children currently being abused. This is not some anti-catholic agenda as the hierarchy wish to spin it as in the media, it is an anti child abuse and corruption agenda. The Vatican has had multiple chances over many years to show it is changing how it operates, it has not, instead it continues to protect its wealth above the human rights of catholics. It is a rotten state and should be consigned to history.
NB. I was brought up in a catholic family, I was sent to a christian brother school, I was hit but no one tried to rape me, I am an atheist although I quite like ‘apostate’ or ‘heretic’ if some fundie Vatican fan wants to call me it.