Saturday, March 27, 2010

Archbishop Dolan Defends Pope Benedict amid Sex Abuse Scandal, even though the Vatican Still Blames the U.S. and Ireland

     The pope "is seen as one 'who gets it' when it comes to the horror of clergy sexual abuse," Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York wrote in a blog this week. "Who can forget his forthright references to this scourge at least half a dozen times in his visit to our country nearly two years ago, and his moving meeting with victim-survivors? And now we have his blunt, realistic pastoral letter to Ireland on the crises there. He must be asking, as we all do, 'When will it all end?'"
     I'm sorry, +Tim.  If the pope is really someone who gets it, then why is the Vatican denying the written word of correspondence, which shows that the pope has a history of not getting it?  If he "got it" would he not specifically admit his personal sins in dealing with the sexual abuse crisis instead of pointing fingers at the Irish and American bishops?  Pope Ben should know how to be specific in his language of admitting wrongs.  Is he not a lifetime practitioner of the sacrament of reconciliation?

     As for Ben's "forthright references to this scourge" and "meeting with victim-survivors," these actions and words seem to have lost their sincerity and luster, now that we know Ben's been covering his own tracks and the tracks that other clerics have left on the sexual development of Catholic children for decades.  In light of what has been revealed about Ben's involvement in the scandal these past few weeks, everything Ben said from two years ago is meaningless deception.

     As for the number of these "forthright references," +Tim, you say that Ben made half a dozen.  Considering that there were roughly 3000 cases of sexual abuse reported to the Vatican in the past decade alone, over half of which were not prosecuted in the church, Ben's half a dozen apologies don't seem sufficient.  That's roughly one apology for every fifty abuse cases, a far cry from what seems more reasonable to me: seventy times seven, per victim, per incident of abuse.

     +Tim, a "realistic pastoral letter to Ireland," are you serious?  The Pope took no personal responsibility in the letter.  You can delegate power, but not responsibility.  The pope is the temporal head of the church, which sees itself as the Body of Christ.  Without the head taking responsibility for his limbs, there is neither realism nor sincerity in the mouth's words.

    As for putting thoughts into Ben's head, he probably is thinking "When will it all end?" so that he can go back to being deified and presented with children by parents desperate for the Holy Father's kiss upon their children's souls (not to mention their virginal lips).

     The Times reported a second U.S. cleric's defense of the pope:

     Father Thomas J. Reese, a Jesuit priest who is a senior research fellow at Georgetown University, said of the pope: "If you look at some of his early quotes, it's clear that he didn't quite get it, nor did anyone else in the church at that time. But he did grow. . . . He learned and came to understand the seriousness of this problem a lot faster than a lot of other people in the Vatican, including Pope John Paul II. And he's been a lot better on this than John Paul II."
      That's like saying Stalin was a lot better on human rights than Hitler.

     In the most telling of quotes in the Times article, we have a flashback quotation, from 1993, when Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls spoke out about the crisis of clergy sexually abusing children in the United States.
    "One would have to ask if the real culprit is not a society that is irresponsibly permissive, hyper-inflated with sexuality [and] capable of creating circumstances that induce even people who have received a solid moral formation to commit grave moral acts," he said.
     Hypocrite Benedict and his buddy Navarro-Valls need to eat their words.  It seems that the real culprit is a church society that is irresponsibly permissive of what happens behind closed doors, hyper-inflated with guilt and repression of sexuality, and capable of circumstances that induce even clerics who have received a solid moral seminary formation to commit grave immoral acts. 

Image Credits:
Archbishop Dolan from Roman Catholic Vocations
Pope Benedict Kissing a Child on the Lips from Joe. My. God.

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