Catholic Child Abuse – some updates


Two Catholic Related news items caught my eye today …

There is a news report here, that the number of Catholic priests accused of child sexual abuse and the number of victims rose significantly in 2010 …

The bishops’ report said there were 426 victims last year, up from 398 in 2009, while the number of priests accused went up from 286 to 345. Those numbers are down from highs of 889 victims and 622 offending clergy members in 2004.

The other item is about the Murphy case, the New York Times reports that the Pope has been served with legal papers that name him as part of the conspiracy to cover up the abuse…

The Vatican has been served with court papers stemming from decades-old accusations of sexual abuse against a now-dead priest at a Milwaukee-area school for the deaf, the State Department says. In a news release Tuesday, the plaintiff’s lawyer, Jeff Anderson, said the lawsuit was filed through official channels. An adviser with the State Department confirmed that the Vatican received the documents last week. The suit was filed nearly a year ago in federal court. It claims Pope Benedict XVI and two other top Vatican officials knew about accusations of sexual abuse at the school and called off internal punishment of the accused priest.

More on this can also be found here in the Chicago Tribune.

Will there be justice here? Nope, not a chance, they will hide behind the diplomatic immunity banner, stall and drag it on and on until anybody who might care has died of old age. What is quite clear is that these folks who claim to be God’s voice on earth and to exclusively speak for him, believe themselves to be above all this and label it “petty gossip”. I’ve no doubt that they justify it all within the context of their belief system and view it as an attack of the devil upon god’s one true church, hence covering it all up would (from their perverted viewpoint) be the right thing to do.

However, is this an appropriate step to take? You bet it is. His guilt is beyond debate, there is documented evidence that the pope personally ordered all the worldwide bishops to hide and cover up the abuse or face excommunication. Christopher Hitchens described it all here in a Slate article in March last year, here is a quick reminder …

Very much more serious is the role of Joseph Ratzinger, before the church decided to make him supreme leader, in obstructing justice on a global scale. After his promotion to cardinal, he was put in charge of the so-called “Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith” (formerly known as the Inquisition). In 2001, Pope John Paul II placed this department in charge of the investigation of child rape and torture by Catholic priests. In May of that year, Ratzinger issued a confidential letter to every bishop. In it, he reminded them of the extreme gravity of a certain crime. But that crime was the reporting of the rape and torture. The accusations, intoned Ratzinger, were only treatable within the church’s own exclusive jurisdiction. Any sharing of the evidence with legal authorities or the press was utterly forbidden. Charges were to be investigated “in the most secretive way … restrained by a perpetual silence … and everyone … is to observe the strictest secret which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office … under the penalty of excommunication.” (My italics). Nobody has yet been excommunicated for the rape and torture of children, but exposing the offense could get you into serious trouble. And this is the church that warns us against moral relativism! (See, for more on this appalling document, two reports in the London Observer of April 24, 2005, by Jamie Doward.)

So even if we know he will never go to court, its still appropriate to push for justice, and if it achieves nothing else that let it be a reminder to the world that this truly is a wicked cult whose leaders conspired to cover-up some truly hideous crimes.

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