Pope said to have facilitated child molestation

Timothy Kincaid

March 15th, 2010

pope eyesPope Benedict XVI is quick to condemn the “intrinsic evil” that comes from committed same-sex partners pledging devotion and care for each other. He finds same-sex attracted persons to be such a threat that he purged them from the seminaries.

Oh, yes. This Pope truly can be said to find gay people to be an enemy of all that is right and decent.

But pedophiles? Not such a problem for him.

The Times Online is reporting

The Pope was drawn directly into the Roman Catholic sex abuse scandal last night as news emerged of his part in a decision to send a paedophile priest for therapy. The cleric went on to reoffend and was convicted of child abuse but continues to work as a priest in Upper Bavaria.

To recap, while Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict’s former name) was in charge of the church in Germany Archdiocese of Munich & Freising, Priest H (whose identity is being kept secret) molested an 11 year old boy. The church didn’t report him but instead “rehabilitated” him and sent him to another parish. Where he sexually abused more minors. That would be, AFTER his rehabilitation.

Now the Pope is saying, “Who me?” and laying all the blame on an underling.

The Vatican said that Mgr Gruber had taken “full responsibility” for the priest’s move back into pastoral work but did not comment further.

Mgr Gruber said that the Pope, who was made a cardinal in 1977, had not been not aware of his decision because there were 1,000 priests in the diocese at the time and he had left many decisions to lower-level officials. “The cardinal could not deal with everything,” he said. “The repeated employment of H in pastoral duties was a serious mistake … I deeply regret that this decision led to offences against youths. I apologise to all those who were harmed.” He did not indicate whether the convicted paedophile would be allowed to continue working in the church.

Deal with everything? Everything?

What on Earth is of more importance than, “OH MY GOD, we have a priest molesting children!!”

Was the German Catholic Church so full of pedophiles that this was an every-day mundane unimportant administrative matter to be shuffled off? Really? Is that what you want us to believe?

Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, the head of Germany’s Catholic bishops, apologised yesterday to the victims of clerical sex abuse after meeting Pope Benedict. He said that the German-born Pope had expressed “great dismay” over the scandals and had encouraged him to take “decisive and courageous steps” to tackle the problem.

Oh no doubt the scandals caused Il Papa great dismay. It’s a pity the molested children never did.

John

March 15th, 2010

As a Catholic, though quite “lapsed”, I have my own fair share of disagreements with the Pope. However, in all fairness there may be more to this particular case than the Times has reported:

The accused was not a priest of the Munich archdiocese, but a priest from the Diocese of Essen, who had been sent to a facility in Munich for counseling. So the then-Cardinal Ratzinger was not responsible for his treatment; his only connection with the case was his decision to let the priest stay in a rectory in the Munich archdiocese while he was undergoing treatment there. There is no evidence that the Pope was aware the accused priest was an accused pedophile; he was evidently informed only that the priest had been guilty of sexual improprieties, and probably concluded that he was engaged in homosexual activities with young men.
http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/otn.cfm?id=624

If this is accurate than the Pope in all likelihood did not know about what happened afterwards with this priest and the then-Bishop of Essen has some ‘splaining to do.

John

March 15th, 2010

One more thing, then-Archbishop Jozef Ratzinger was not “in charge of the church in Germany” but instead was just in charge of the Archdiocese of Munich & Freising. Like all diocesan bishops he had no authority outside of his own diocese.

Ben in Oakland

March 15th, 2010

My BIGGEST issue is the hypocrisy going on here. Like all other big lies,
the big lies that the Church tells about gay people and the character of their own priesthood, generate thousands of other lies–some larger, some smaller–and all generate further problems.

The pedophilia problem is the perfect example of priests, the Church, and
society in general lying left and right, all to avoid an obvious
truth–homosexuality is morally, theologically, sexually, and socially
normal, and means nothing more than that a person is attracted to the same
sex instead of the opposite. It is just the public myth of exclusively heterosexual superiority, in the face of the private doubt that it may not be really special at all, but merely common, and not so exclusively common as the excluders would like to believe. And that is augmented by the far darker and private fear of personal homosexuality.

Fear and lies are not a good basis for sound policy.

Homosexuality is normal, and is as completely functional as heterosexuality in all aspects except the direct creation– but not the raising of– new life. As far as I can tell, over the broad course of obervation and experience,they are virtually identical. It has no more– and, if Nicholas Groth is to be believed, probably less– to do with pedophilia than does heterosexuality. (About 1/2 of child molestation is done by the father, step-father, or father surrogate, men who would be described as hetero in terms of theirs interests and experiences.)

And there is a similar dynamic at work for molesting and abusing priests: like the father figures, they have ACCESS and AUTHORITY. And ISSUES.

That’s why the pedophilia problem exists, that’s why there was a coverup, and that is why the problem will persist
even if every last gay priest, molestatious or not– is booted out. And this is the saddest
part–more hurt, pain, and corruption, all in the service of a lie.

Here’s something i wrote five years ago:
I;’m on my way to a catholic university to talk about being gay. There’s some irony for you!

Dear editor:

I read the front page article, “AIDS said to kill hundreds of
priests”, first with interest, and then with growing anger. There is too
much in it to let it pass as just another “foibles of the church” article.

According to the article, “hundreds of Roman Catholic priests across
the country are dying from AIDS related illnesses, and the cause is often
concealed on their death certificates. (This) has forced the..church to
acknowledge that a significant number of its clergy are gay…(They) cited
the case of Bishop Moore, (who) died in a hospice of an AIDS-related
illness. His death certificate attributed the death to unknown natural
causes and listed his occupation as laborer in the manufacturing industry…
Some priests believe that the Church has scared priests into silence by
treating homosexuality as an abomination and the breaking of celibacy vows
as shameful.”

Let us examine first the moral, and then the theological implications,
of this story.

1) The priests who have gotten HIV from sex, whether from women or from
men, have broken solemn vows regarding chastity and celibacy which they
made, if not to God, at least in God’s name. In that they didn’t stop this
behavior, but hid it until AIDS made it impossible to hide any longer, they
have lied about it to the church and to the people. Those priests having sex
with men are demonstrating that they have within them what the Pope has been
pleased to call “intrinsic moral evil.” And they knew it. Liars and
hypocrites.

I realize that they are only human, but to see the church’s capacity to
forgive it’s own for being “only human”, especially when it’s to the
advantage of the church to do so, but to condemn gay people, especially the
secular and non-Christian, continually for the same offense, is sickening.
The example of the former Archbishop of Santa Rosa, who had a consensual
(his word!) affair with a priest, is a very clear example of this. But that
is only the beginning.

2) The Church is aware that a significant portion of its clergy is gay,
and has hidden this fact. (Father John McNeill stated it publicly some 20
years ago, and I remember articles in the local papers on that subject).
What staggering hypocrisy! And of course, someone had to collude with the
authorities to falsify a death certificate, which I believe is a criminal
offense. It’s also a lie, and hypocrisy.

3) Of course priests are not speaking out about it, but it probably has
more to do with fear of losing their jobs and the place they have in the
community than it does with the church’s official attitude. That’s called
being in the closet, something that many gay people have to suffer every
day, courtesy of the Church. I’m sure that one could find 500 gay priests.
And what if they were to stand up and say to the Pope: “You’ve got 500
ordained queers standing here”. We might start having a really serious,
honest discussion about homosexuality in religion and in our society. But
they won’t. They’ll just go along with the program, like good Germans. What
enormous hypocrisy, monumental dishonesty, and a total lack of integrity.
Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”
Indeed!

Those are just the moral implications of this. The theological
implications are truly momentous. Per the article, the Church knows that a
significant number of its priesthood is homosexual, a condition it no longer
considers morally neutral, and that a significant percentage of those
priests are sexually active. The Pope calls homosexuality an intrinsic moral
evil, something mostly immutable and inherent. This is not filching pennies
from the collection basket.

1) These people who have intrinsic moral evil– and I don’t believe any
other sin has ever achieved that status, flying as it does in the face of
everything I have ever read about the nature of sin and free will– are
handling the Blood and Body of Jesus with the Church’s knowledge and
blessing. They are also dispensing the other sacraments, especially the
sacrament of marriage, which the Church feels is not a gift from God to all
of his children, but only the ones the church has decided are worthy of it.

2) One does not become a priest by seeing the Holy Recruiter down at the
mall, thinking that it looks like a good job, and filling out an
application. To become a priest one must have a vocation, literally a
calling to God, which is a charisma, a gift from God. Without this, one
CANNOT be a priest. The church goes through a lengthy process to ascertain
that candidates do have a genuine vocation, because many do not. The
candidate must go through a tremendous amount of religious and psychological
evaluation. And only after that may they be ordained.

We must conclude then that God is calling gay men to the priesthood,
that they must have a favored place in church and society. Apparently, God
does not share the church’s view on homosexuality, as the Church itself is
certifying that these people have the gift from God. To then condemn gay
people as intrinsically, morally disordered, and not worthy to receive the
sacrament of marriage to another of God’s children, is either rank hypocrisy
or stupefying blindness. Their certification process, which leads to
ordination, is clearly meaningless, because either it cannot recognize God’s
clear message, or it is completely bogus. To claim any authority, let alone
a place as the sole interpreter of what God wants for humans, especially gay
people, is ludicrous.

3) Ordination is a sacrament. I believe that a priest can only be
ordained by a bishop. A bishop is further up in the Church hierarchy, and is
thus closer to the Fount. (The Pope is officially God’s Viceroy on Earth,
about as high as you can go). So, a gay bishop, who can only be ordained by
another bishop? What is God saying here? A bishop, acting on God’s will, is
conferring a sacrament, a sign of God’s love, on someone who is
intrinsically, morally, evil and disordered, according to the church. And
let’s not get into this stuff about momentary lapses and fallible human
beings. A gift from God is not a fallibility. Being gay has not ever been a
momentary lapse, which even the Church admits. Either the Church’s process
is unable to distinguish God’s clear will, or the Church hasn’t a clue of
what God’s will is. Or maybe the Church really doesn’t have much to do with
God at all, but just represents itself.

To grant this authority to either the monumentally clueless or the
monumentally hypocritical makes no sense. It makes me ask how this
organization came to be the moral judge of anything. Jesus said nothing
about homosexuality. But, he did say on numerous occasions that one should
not sit in judgment of others.

As the Buddhists put it, if you think you know, you haven’t a clue.

WMDKitty

March 15th, 2010

This, here, is yet another reason I’m a Satanist. One of the basic rules is that you do NOT harm children or small animals. Even though the cubs aren’t my own (I don’t have any), or related to me, I WILL NOT SIT BY and watch as they are harmed. I WILL step in and protect them, even if it means getting thrown in jail for it.

I’m the subversive aunt who causes them to ask questions, and I quite enjoy it.

Soren456

March 16th, 2010

I need some clarification.

Was German law, ca. 1980, so different from US law that sexual contact with an 11-year-old was not illegal, and as important, if illegal, that those who knew of it were not REQUIRED by law to report it?

It’s the cover-up, obviously, that church apologists are not addressing.

CPT_Doom

March 16th, 2010

Was German law, ca. 1980, so different from US law that sexual contact with an 11-year-old was not illegal, and as important, if illegal, that those who knew of it were not REQUIRED by law to report it?

My guess is, no. What is true now as in the 1980s is that the Church considers the confessional to be protected, and priests cannot reveal what they learn there. The Church has conveniently, as I understand it, considered any admissions from a priest to another priest as being part of a formal Confession, and therefore private.

Of course, I learned in my Catholic education that a priest who hears a confession that includes revelations of a crime must require the criminal to make restitution in order to gain absolution. That would normally include requiring rapist priests to turn themselves in. That clearly did not happen.

while Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict’s former name)

Actually, Mr. Ratzinger retains the same name, although like many religious has adopted an alternative name for his religious purposes. He will die and be buried as Ratzinger, not his Papal name. Given Mr. Ratziner’s history of insult and attack against the entire LGBT community, I see no reason to show him any deference. He should be referred to, IMHO, as Joseph Ratzinger, aka “Pope” Benedict, the Bishop of Rome.

David C.

March 16th, 2010

Being gay has not ever been a momentary lapse, which even the Church admits. Either the Church’s process is unable to distinguish God’s clear will, or the Church hasn’t a clue of what God’s will is. Or maybe the Church really doesn’t have much to do with God at all, but just represents itself.—Ben in Oakland

In my view, this (with my emphasis) pretty much sums up everything that one needs to know about the RCC.

lurker

March 16th, 2010

priest who hears a confession that includes revelations of a crime must require the criminal to make restitution in order to gain absolution. That would normally include requiring rapist priests to turn themselves in.

So, do I have this right: the rapist(s) would have been compelled to tell a colleague about each rape (maybe multiple rapes over years, with multiple victims), and the colleagues did nothing about it?

What a sick culture.

Soren456

March 16th, 2010

@CPT_Doom:

Thank you.

So if it goes priest-to-priest-to-priest-to-priest, etc., even outside the confessional, it stays confidential?

As long as it’s all handled in-house, so to speak, it obviates the legal requirement to report it? And civil authority honors this?

That is “convenient,” as you say; it’s almost as if they invented it just for this purpose.

Thanks again.

Timothy (TRiG)

March 16th, 2010

Of course, there are only three major sins: “Defiling the Eucharist, priests breaking the seal of the confessional by revealing the nature of the sin and the person who sought penance, and men who directly cause abortion by paying for it, then seeking to become priest.”

All else is chickenfeed.

TRiG.

Ben in Oakland

March 16th, 2010

Thanks, david.

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