I wonder what the fans of pope Francis will make of his claim that the church has been the best ever at rooting out sexual abuse of children. I know what I make of it, but then I’m not a fan.
Pope Francis has defended the Catholic Church’s record on tackling the sexual abuse of children by priests, saying “no-one else has done more” to root out paedophilia.
“The Catholic Church is perhaps the only public institution to have acted with transparency and responsibility. No-one else has done more. Yet the Church is the only one to have been attacked,” he said in an interview with Il Corriere della Sera daily published Wednesday.
Transparency! All that sending abuser priests to a different parish to predate on other children, all that never reporting abuser priests to the police, all that insistence that it was a matter for the church to deal with – that’s transparency?
Isn’t not bearing false witness one of the ten? One of the three that actually make any sense?
Last month, the United Nations denounced the Vatican for failing to stamp out child abuse and allowing systematic cover-ups, calling on the Church to remove clergy suspected of raping or molesting children.
It accused the Vatican of systematically placing the “preservation of the reputation of the Church and the alleged offender over the protection of child victims” – an accusation which was heatedly rebuffed.
The Argentine pontiff, who will celebrate the one-year anniversary of his election on March 13, said in the interview that the abuse cases “are terrible because they leave very deep wounds.”
“The statistics on the phenomenon of violence against children are shocking, but they also clearly show that the great majority of abuses are carried out in family or neighbourhood environments,” he said.
Ahhhhhhh Mr Pontiff that’s not the point at all. No no no no no no. How could you think it is? Since when are holy people supposed to point and shout, “they do it way more than we do!!”?
I’m surprised at you, Mr Pontiff. I thought you were better at PR than that.
“No-one else has done more.”
Well, given that pretty much all the institutions that have had a systematic problem uncovered have followed the Vatican’s lead, this is possibly a true statement. Mind you, it’s shameful. But possibly true.
This is a case of “DEJA MOO”.
The feeling that we’ve heard this BULLSHIT before.
Steve in OK
Blanche Quizno says
Why, yes! They rooted out the pedophiles, and planted them in much more fertile ground.
It’s one of the benefits of clergy
Jeremy Shaffer says
Um, wouldn’t a church be considered a “neighborhood environment”?
Speaking of Dolan, doesn’t he live at The Vatican? Pope Francis might want to start with sending him back to the US.
To paraphrase Douglas Adams :
This is obviously a new meaning of the word ‘transparency’ of which I was not previously aware.
Actually, I think public schools do more. When a complaint is filed there, many (though certainly not all, I’m sure) school districts will fly into action and begin some sort of investigation. These institutions don’t have the charismatic centralized structure of the Vatican to protect them. They’re at the mercy of the voters. Teachers accused of sexual misconduct with students frequently go on trial, and end up in jail. (Again, I am pretty sure it won’t be all, and maybe not even a lot. I don’t know what the incidence of abuse is in schools. But I do know that there has been a more consistent move to punish the teachers)
I don’t even know how to respond to this pope’s statement. Until I see a list of victims and how much he is paying them in compensation, he can go fuck himself. Also I want to see him compensate all the victims of the Magdalene laundries and of course apologize to them.
Ophelia Benson says
Yes, last I heard Dolan does live at the Vatican. Comfortably, I dare say.
Al Dente says
Back when he was head of the Inquisition, Benny Ratzi (he was Joey Ratzi at the time) sent out a letter to all bishops telling them on pain of excommunication “thou shalt not inform the police about child-raping clergy.” As far as I can tell, this letter has never been rescinded.
Ophelia Benson says
Indeed he did. The Irish bishops were less than pleased when Benny Ratzi publicly excoriated them for obeying that very letter he had sent out, if I remember correctly.
Oh yeah, they’ve acted with transparency and responsibility: They were very clear about that the victims’ interests weren’t what mattered, and therefore shut down people who concerned themselves too much with those pesky victims and sabotaged the church’s reputation- and money-saving efforts, such as Bill Morris, the ex-bishop of Toowoomba:
Oh yes, declaring homosexuals unfit for priesthood was super effective. I believe that is the first time ever anyone’s tried that tactic.
Letters were sent, probably a few were burned. Priests were shuffled quietly to new parishes, children were threatened. I daresay the Vatican must have been a blur of black and red skirts while bureaucrats rushed to accomplish these impressive deeds! Surely much of this was done in Latin, which must have added quite a lot to the general workload.
By the way, Frontline recently aired an episode called Secrets of the Vatican that discusses in grim and stark detail many of the actions the Vatican took. The Pope is right. I doubt many organizations can claim to have done as much as the Vatican has in response to allegations of child sexual abuse. They took plenty of action alright, just not so much in the interests of parishioners and victims.
Warning if you watch that, by the way. The victims they interviewed did not mince words.
That’s like the CIA saying no one has done more to root out terrorists and corrupt scum from its ranks. Not one spook has faced trial in Italy, Cuba, Argentina, Greece, England, Canada, Bolivia, Chile, Vietnam or anywhere else the CIA has been active and committed crimes.