This is bad (via Atrios):
The Pope played a leading role in a systematic cover-up of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests, according to a shocking documentary to be screened by the BBC tonight.
In 2001, while he was a cardinal, he issued a secret Vatican edict to Catholic bishops all over the world, instructing them to put the Church’s interests ahead of child safety.
The document recommended that rather than reporting sexual abuse to the relevant legal authorities, bishops should encourage the victim, witnesses and perpetrator not to talk about it. And, to keep victims quiet, it threatened that if they repeat the allegations they would be excommunicated.
will happen did happen as a result of this. There will be were no high-level resignations and the weirdos and old people who attend Catholic services will cheer have continued to cheer that much more loudly for the popes and cardinals. (EDIT: this article ran a few years ago. And obviously I don’t know how accurate it was.)
The world’s most successful cult.
But the BBC is anti-american.
same as it ever was, same as it ever was
Which is why I left the church. And boy is my mom pissed at me.
I agree with Edwin. This is shockingly cult-like. That Pope Nazi, er, Ratzinger, er, whatever, was knee-deep in this mess should probably be more shocking than it is. But didn’t we all suspect as much?
The Cult of the Pedophiles indeed.
I’d say its only real competition for that title is Scientology.
I’ve been following this over at Sully’s, I guess we need a new spin on IOKIYAR
IOKIYAP = It’s ok if you’re a Pope/Priest
IOKIYAC = It’s ok if you’re a Cardinal
IOKIYAB = It’s ok if you’re a Bishop
and given that Ratzinger is implicated in this, and his brother (also a cardinal or something) confessed to abusing (physically, not sexually) kids under his tutelage….
IOKIYAR = It’s ok if you’re a Ratzinger.
The Main Gauche of Mild Reason
I really want to be able to respect people that are still ardent catholics, mostly because I have some sympathy and don’t want to be seen as an asshole. Unfortunately, things like this make it very difficult for me to see the catholic church as anything but a blight on the world and parishioners as accomplices.
Oh and this should not really be surprising. Go pick up a copy of “The Medieval Underworld” and read about how the church was in its early days.
@Bubblegum Tate: Naw, Scientology is on a downward slope. Their real competition is LDS.
Do they have the document? If so, I think the Pope could be in a hell of a lot of trouble. Excommunicating rape victims is pretty low even for the Catholic Church.
DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal)
Same here, former RC and I never will be one again. Like most organizations, they protect themselves to the detriment of those they claim to represent/protect. Mankind has trashed every religion to the point that I will never participate in any form of it, ever.
I think the 144,000 male virgins only getting to go to heaven ought to have been a big clue. ;)
The current version of the Catholic church is not far removed from that of the 15th century, other than they don’t have the vast tracts of land in central Italy and they’ve cut back somewhat on the debauched orgies and indulgences in exchange for money.
I don’t know that you’re right that nothing will happen. Look, first of all, we’re talking about it, and as I understand it, that is — in an of itself — quite a thing.
And, from the article:
That’s something quite powerful. And I am willing to bet that most believing Catholics (those who don’t find a way to immediately deny the documentary’s findings, as many who believe in anything often do) will be very unhappy to learn this, and things will continue to change, as they have been changing for the past decade, within the Catholic Church.
Hey, I thought Barack Obama shouldn’t announce he’s candidacy because this country wasn’t ready for a Black President, and I thought health care wouldn’t pass. Sometimes, it turns out, doubt is an inaccurate guide.
If Catholics are comfortable with having their children raped by their clergy, who am I (a non-Catholic and a non-believer) to say they should be angry. Apparently, for Catholics, the path to God is blind obedience to pedophiles. That said, I wonder what the national debate on this issue might have been if, say, Mormon clergy, rather than Catholic clergy, were raping their parishioners’ children. Something tells me it might have been, well, more strident.
@DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal):
I’ve actually had several up-close-and-all-too-personal encounters with fervent Catholics.
It is creepy as hell. They will defend/deflect ANYTHING the church does. Even child fucking.
If that isn’t being brainwashed by a cult, I don’t know what is.
In our more-or-less secular society, it’s easy to forget the kinds of horrors which religion has been used to justify. If some of us (including myself) seem awfully strident in our dislike and criticism of religion… well now you know why. There really is literally nothing that a ‘good Christian’ won’t excuse if it’s done by someone on the same team.
Agreed. LDS is where it’s at right now. Fastest growing church in Latin America.
but if it’s someone else’s kid, that’s different.
Bill E Pilgrim
Well, it was a step up from membership in the Hitler youth at least, I guess infallibility arrives bit by bit, in stages.
I agree that none of the muckety-mucks are going to do anything, but it can make a difference on the grassroots level by putting more parishioners on guard against abusive clergy. And that’s nothing to sneeze at, either; parishioners can and do successfully pressure their local archdioscese to take action or change decisions. Kudos to the BBC for airing this out.
Yeah, but LDS numbers (and Catholic numbers for that matter) are pretty deceptive. They include people who haven’t darkened the door in years, or who have even converted to something else. The LDS seem to have a turnover rate of about 33%.
My Episcopal priest still can’t get his name removed from the rolls of his former Catholic parish.
Oh. My. God.
Lewis CK wasn’t off by much at all.
I’m really glad Stupak is listening to the uber-moral Catholic bishops.
Your brush, it is very broad.
General Egali Tarian Stuck
Da Pope been Punked.
please note the use of quotes in ‘good Christian’. Should I have qualified it further?
r€nato is shrill.
I was up late cause I couldn’t sleep with all the thrills up and down my leg from HCR passing, so my brain is slow. Help me out here.
Edited for content: I made a comment on the age of the link, and then noticed you’d made an update. Mea culpa. Sorry to mess up the thread.
Remember when Sinead O’Connor was pilloried for ripping up a picture of the pope on SNL?
“What went completely over the heads of the American audience at the time is that O’Connor’s defiant act was in protest of the Catholic Church’s cover-up of child sexual abuse at the hands of its priests in Ireland — an issue that would take years to surface in the U.S., but which had been bubbling over in her homeland at the time of her SNL performance.
“It had hit the public arena in Ireland that there was sexual abuse among the clergy, but it had not hit the public arena in America,” O’Connor explains. “It was to be another 10 years before it became reality in America that these things had happened. So it’s kind of understandable that everyone reacted the way they did, because no one could possibly believe — how could they? — that priests would be involved in the sexual abuse of children.”
So when O’Connor is asked if she regrets tearing up a picture of the Pope on live TV, her answer is clear: “Absolutely not!” she says.
“People say, ‘Why did she do what she did?’ I did what I did because I actually do believe in God, and I love God, and I don’t like to see God being libeled. If God were here now today he, she or it would be suing a whole lot of f**kers for libel,” O’Connor says. “I’m not a rampaging Christian, but I know there’s a God and I love that God and I don’t like what these people have done with the name of God. It’s disgusting. And they should be very, very afraid of the day they meet their maker.”
O’Connor steps back for a moment, and even apologizes for “ranting.” But as an abused child herself, the issue hits close to home…”
— END BLOCKQUOTE
EDIT: Blockquote fail.
Is the Evening Standard a crap paper? ‘Cause, unbelievably, they got his first name wrong.
It’s higher than that. New member retention in the U.S. hovers around the 50% mark. In South and Central America it’s closer to 25%.
You are right about how they count members though. Unless you’ve sent in a formal letter of resignation to the LDS church, they’ll count you as a member. Even if you haven’t attended services in 30+ years.
DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal)
I was a member of the church from birth to age 14, an altar boy for four of those years and never saw anything going on nor was I ever a victim of the pedophiles. I left the church because I thought it was hypocritical in its teachings and interpretation of the bible. Sinning all week and being granted absolution for your sins after confessing and saying a few assigned phrases on a Sunday (plus tossing money in the dish!) seemed to be a bit too convenient for my then 14 year old soul.
I was right. I guess I was a smart kid. ;)
Whoah, is it really? At whose expense is that growth coming? The Catholic church’s? If it is the at the expense of Catholicism, I’m not sure if that makes things better or worse.
Can the Roman Catholic Church now be classified a Criminal Enterprise under RICO?
A fella can dream, can’t he?
Whenever I hear the word Anti-Christ, I automatically think “Vicarius Filii Dei (representative of the son of God” aka Vicarious God on Earth).
To think a bunch of crazy people believe it’s some skinny black guy sitting in the white house named Barack Obama, Haha! LMAO! They are so lost and they’ll never figure it out.
This news does not surprise me, unfortunately. Saddens me, yes; surprises me? Not in the least.
@nodakfarmboy: Rats. I was hoping this was a new story turning up the heat on the Vatican.
Polish the Guillotines
@Mouse Tolliver: I sure remember it. Being neither a Catholic nor a Sinead O’Conner fan, I just took at as shock-value theatrics. But that really puts it into context. I get it now — and I respect it. Thanks for posting that snippet.
Worse. On the good side, though, it doesn’t “take” in the statistical sense.
I like it when people go secular in the Western European style.
Where’s Bill Donohue at? I haven’t seen him ranting on my teevee recently about the liberal media conspiracy to depict the poor innocent Catholic hierarchy as child raping hypocrites. If they’ve lost Bill Donohue, it’s OVAH.
I stumbled across that little tidbit myself a few months ago and was pretty astounded that absolutely no one seems to bring up the fact that O’Connor was right when they mock her for tearing up the Pope’s picture (which I do still occasionally see to this day).
@Cat Lady: I doubt they’ve lost him. Donahue would defend the pope even if he personally participated in creation of “purity bricks.”
Do. Not. Want.
Scientology is nearly as successful as Catholicism? You are, like, vaguely aware that there are more Catholics in an average Mexican town than there are Scientologists in the entire world, right?
First Pope to actually resign?
Now that’s change I can believe in?
Can we agree that it is feature, not a bug?
@Winston Smith: I foresee a small problem with that: finding a replacement who isn’t implicated in the scandal.
@Cat Lady: This!
There are options.
Seriously, a Cardinal from Africa or Asia — OK, probably Asia — would be free of this scandal. It’s really a white-people problem as far as I can tell.
Er, no. The stories about priests raping nuns in Africa broke in 2001. I don’t think it’s much of a mitigating factor that they were raping adult women instead of children.
@Winston Smith: There are probably more Moonies than Scientologists.
@ Comrade Kevin : There are probably more Scientologists than faithful Christians.
Stop listening to Cruise. There’s probably 10,000 Scientologists WORLDWIDE. I think there’s a few more Catholics, practicing or not.
Ancient Rome fed churchmonglers to the lions.
I’m not talking about number of adherents, I’m talking about ability to siphon money, which Scientology does with pretty remarkable (and brutal) efficiency. Scientology actually managed to get classified as a religion despite the fact that it’s…you know…not a religion. The whole thing is a blatant scam, yet the organization is damn near legally untouchable–and it’s only been around for, what, 60 years? It doesn’t even have the inertia of several centuries to fall back on like Catholicism does. L. Ron Hubbard was a crackpot and a shitty writer, but the man sure did know how to set up a scam.
Lookup the “Old Catholic Church”. That’s the fate of the big Catholic church. Independent branches that maybe elect a pope the way that the UN elects General Secretary.
L Ron Hubbard lacked the compassion gene. At it’s best and highest, the Catholic Church has also inspired a great deal of social justice, elevating art, and lives of genuine service and learning. It’s just that it needs reformation like Martin Luther said. Unfortunately the Reformation only led to schism, and only barely touched the Church proper.
The medieval church had quite a few. Often, for worse things, like ordering murders. (Sometimes mass murders.)
As bad as the pedophilia is, it’s still a step up from where the medieval church was. If those popes were still in charge and had that kind of power, the molested kids would be accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake.