Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hitchens Brutal Take-Down of the Pope's Complicity in Covering Up Sexual Abuse

I typically do not post this kind of thing here, but this is an extraordinary subject. Hitchens often annoys me, but the snark is sprinkled lightly here. His take-down is devastating is devastating because of known facts. Reading his account of the factual trail of covering up child rape and abuse at the hands of priests in the Catholic Church it is clear that the Vatican has brought itself some serious and well deserved trouble.

Blind faith and unquestioned authority are a recipe for abuse. Next to murder, the crimes enabled by the Catholic Church's leadership are of the worst kind. That they were enabled by moral authority is doubly repugnant, and that the same men who have covered up things like child rape have the audacity to point fingers at the behavior of others is, well, I don't have the words at the moment.


fighting words
The Great Catholic Cover-Up
The pope's entire career has the stench of evil about it.
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, March 15, 2010, at 10:20 AM ET

On March 10, the chief exorcist of the Vatican, the Rev. Gabriele Amorth (who has held this demanding post for 25 years), was quoted as saying that "the Devil is at work inside the Vatican," and that "when one speaks of 'the smoke of Satan' in the holy rooms, it is all true—including these latest stories of violence and pedophilia." This can perhaps be taken as confirmation that something horrible has indeed been going on in the holy precincts, though most inquiries show it to have a perfectly good material explanation.

Concerning the most recent revelations about the steady complicity of the Vatican in the ongoing—indeed endless—scandal of child rape, a few days later a spokesman for the Holy See made a concession in the guise of a denial. It was clear, said the Rev. Federico Lombardi, that an attempt was being made "to find elements to involve the Holy Father personally in issues of abuse." He stupidly went on to say that "those efforts have failed."

He was wrong twice. ......

...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! .....

[read the article for the list of accusations, cover-ups, etc., and the Pope's complicity. and here's the ending:

And now behold the harvest of this long campaign of obfuscation. The Roman Catholic Church is headed by a mediocre Bavarian bureaucrat once tasked with the concealment of the foulest iniquity, whose ineptitude in that job now shows him to us as a man personally and professionally responsible for enabling a filthy wave of crime. Ratzinger himself may be banal, but his whole career has the stench of evil—a clinging and systematic evil that is beyond the power of exorcism to dispel. What is needed is not medieval incantation but the application of justice—and speedily at that.

Read the whole post (with links) HERE.

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