BBC America World News ran a report tonight (Thanksgiving) on the 7:00pm news hour about the new Irish report on Bishops and their hiding of pedophilia the criminals are the pedophiles, and then the lies which followed, which has just emerged. Further, a number of new items are appearing showing that this is a worldwide issue, for example:
“Child sex abuse allegation made against archbishop - Worldnews.com
Oct 26, 2009 ... He was ordained a bishop in 1997, and installed as Archbishop of Benin, Nigeria…...........”
Remarkably Wikipedia is running an item: “Catholic sex abuse cases”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_sex_abuse_cases.
How many Bishops must lie about this issue, hide pedophile priests, interfere with official criminal investigations, and continue to follow the direct order “Crimen sollicitationi” (which was issued as a secret instruction when it first appeared):
“In 2003, a 1962 document was discovered in the Vatican’s archives, titled “Crimen sollicitationis” (Instruction on the Manner of Proceeding in Cases of Solicitation) written by Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, the Secretary of the Holy Office, issued an instruction regarding the disciplinary procedures for dealing with solicitation of penitents for sex by priests during the Sacrament of Penance. The document dealt with any priest who “tempts a penitent… in the act of sacramental confession… towards impure or obscene matters.” It directed that investigation of allegations of solicitation in the confessional and the trials of accused priests be conducted in secrecy.
“Some parties interpreted the document to be a directive from the Vatican to keep all allegations of sexual abuse secret, leading to widespread media coverage of its contents. Lawyers for some of those making abuse allegations claimed that the document demonstrated a systematic conspiracy to conceal such crimes. The Vatican responded that the document was not only widely misinterpreted, but moreover had been superseded by more recent guidelines in the 1960s and 1970s, and especially the 1983 Code of Canon Law.
“The defensive response of the Vatican, though, is contradicted by the following elements:
De delictis gravioribus a letter issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on 18 May 2001, and sent by its prefect, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, to all Bishops of the entire Catholic Church” (see English translation of this Instruction, “Regarding More Serious Offenses” at Bishop Accountability) confirms that “the instruction “Crimen sollicitationis”, issued by the supreme sacred Congregation of the Holy Office on March 16, 1962 was still “in force until now”, that is 18 May 2001.
“No “more recent guidelines in the 1960s and 1970s, and especially the 1983 Code of Canon Law” had substantially changed the situation since 1962, until 2001: in fact the norms of 1962 were confirmed. The essential difference is that, while the Instruction of 1962 was itself secret, and its very existence had never been admitted, the Instruction of 2001, while reiterating the obligation of secrecy for the procedures (“Cases of this kind are subject to the pontifical secret.”), was issued as a public document, and, as such, officially acknowledged the very existence of “Crimen sollicitationis”, for the first time, in 2001.”
In the United States the John Jay Report was commissioned by the Catholic Church in June of 2002. From this report this statement was taken:
‘The John Jay report indicated that some 11,000 allegations had been made against 4,392 priests in the USA. This number constituted approximately 4% of the 110,000 priests who had served during the period covered by the survey (1950-2002). The report found that, over the 52-year period covered by the study, “the problem was indeed widespread and affected more than 95 percent of the dioceses and approximately 60 percent of religious communities.”’
How many children must be sexually abused by how many priests and how many cases must be hidden and lied about by Bishops before the problem is declared epidemic and sexual abuse is considered endemic to the Catholic Church? The Wikipedia article goes on to list countries around the world where this criminal act has been found (although their report is not up-to-date). It is not only the act of pedophilia and the act of hiding the crime that is a problem here, it is also the response of Catholics, worldwide that gives a critical case for concern. As the latest Irish report states, the reason given for the actions of the lying Bishops is that they put the Church before the abuse of children. While Catholics profess to believe in Christianity and the love of Jesus, in truth they lie once again - but whether this lie is part of their self deception in believing about a non-existent god whose biblical history is open to vast interpretation (Christ loves, but he is depicted as a thief, a liar, a cheat, a cheap magician, and an arrogant self-centered uneducated fool whose statement “suffer little children to come unto me” could be translated as “suffer little children who come unto me” covers all acts of child abuse,) and/or something endemic to the Catholic Church is questionable, but basically irrelevant.
And its not just children; 35,000 nuns have been sexually abused in the United States alone [http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/01/05/1041566309310.html]. In Africa nuns are threatened because of the aids epidemic where priests rape them because they are considered “clean” and a number of cases involve Bishops who have insisted that pregnant nuns get abortions (imagine the psychological effects on these poor people whose beliefs condemn both the carnal sex act [they are “married to Christ”,] and abortion as ghastly sins.)
How many crimes must be committed by members of the Catholic priesthood at all levels of the hierarchy before we realize that we are dealing with a criminal organization that both encourages criminal acts within its religious principles, regulations and instructions from the curia (and thus the Pope) on down? When do we begin criminal investigations of all Catholic communities because of clear evidence of staggering numbers of their members involved in heinous acts for which the common man is prosecuted, imprisoned and black labeled for life? If the French government can investigate Scientology is not the gate now open to consider religious organizations as possible safe havens for criminals without having to give them the “respect” they automatically demand as “god-focused and driven systems”? Is Sam Harris’ contention that religious moderates are as much to blame for extremism in their ranks as the extremists themselves because they ignore the problem, not applicable here? [If you are interested in the need to speak out and you need to raise the courage to do it, read also, “Against Silence: The Voice and Vision of Elie Wiesel”, Ed. Irving Abrahamson. A three-volume analysis and listing of articles by Wiesel.] Boston’s Cardinal Law was removed as Archbishop of Boston by the Pope, but then he was called to Rome and promoted within the Vatican and is able, as a Cardinal, to vote for the next Pope - but where are the Catholic complaints about this piece of injustice?
These are the contentions:
1. Because of the huge numbers of crimes committed (and presumably continuing to be committed) by members of its hierarchy the Catholic Church should be declared a criminal safe haven and its sub-sections (e.g., dioceses) should be open to criminal investigation - in the US even under the RICO Act (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act - Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racketeer_Influenced_and_Corrupt_Organizations_Act.
2. The failure of Catholic moderates to act against the criminal elements within their organization makes them as guilty of the crimes within their ranks as those that commit the crimes.
3. The place of religious belief in this process provides yet another reason to reject religious belief as corrupting, and inherently false and the organizations that promote belief as wrong.
I have often wondered what the psychological reaction of children is to the often massive figure of the bleeding, dead Christ hanging from crosses in all Catholic Churches, the copies of the Pieta with the dead Christ lying in his mother’s lap and the stations of the cross around the church naves depicting a bleeding, beaten, collapsing Jesus on his way to being crucified with two other criminals. If I was a little child, unable to protect myself and not knowing what I was being exposed to I would be terrified - nightmares might follow - and then to be exposed to potential pedophiles in their vestments and dog collars, with their soft voices of religious command as representatives of god and then, having been abused, to realize that there are no options for justice or even help among the churches powerful Bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals in their ermine and bright red uniforms of control and that you are out in the cold (in many cases the parents didn’t believe the children and called them liars) must be awful. Or as a young girl you believe deeply, give yourself as an acolyte to Christ to become a nun and then to be abused by the priests of the church. Isn’t it time to oppose and to stop this horror?
A force for the good - yeah!