Wednesday, April 07, 2010

pope ratzinger's swan song

dissidentvoice | Pope Benedict should do everyone a favor and resign. By hanging on, he’s just making matters worse. Who does he think he’s fooling anyway? Everyone knows that he was involved in the sex-scandal cover up. Does he really think that a few papal apologies will make a difference? He was in charge and knew everything that was going on. That makes him responsible. His best option now is to “man up” and face the consequences. He needs to arrange a press conference, tell the truth, and resign. End of story.

It’s clear that the problem isn’t going to go away. In the last week, three more incidents have surfaced adding more fuel to the fire. In Wisconsin, Father Lawrence Murphy abused as many as 200 boys at a Milwaukee school for the deaf. One of the victims, Arthur Budzinski, has been all-over TV telling his story and blaming the pope. It’s pretty heart-wrenching stuff too. According to Budzinski’s daughter Gigi:

“The pope knew about this. He was the one who handled the sex abuse cases. So, I think he should be accountable, because he did nothing.”

This is bad. Anyone can see that the Vatican was shuffling predators from one spot to another trying to keep the details out of the news. Maybe Benedict thought he was doing the right thing? Maybe he thought he was just being loyal or protecting the church from litigation? Who knows what he thought; it’s beside the point. The bottom line is that people’s lives have been ruined and someone has to pay.

Naturally, the Vatican has circled the wagons and is lashing out at the media. But it’s a hopeless cause. As the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger (as Benedict was known at the time) took steps to silence priests who wanted to reveal what they knew. In a 2001 letter to the bishops, Benedict “ordered them to keep sexual abuse allegations secret under threat of excommunication — updating a noxious church policy… that both priests accused of sex crimes and their victims “observe the strictest secret” and be “restrained by a perpetual silence.”2

This is obstruction of justice, and Benedict should be prosecuted.. No man is above the law; not even the pope. Religious freedom isn’t license to rape children.

Benedict’s letter helps to illustrate a larger point too. It shows that the sex abuse scandal isn’t really about sex abuse at all. It’s about the people in positions of authority who violated the public’s trust. That’s the real story. It’s about people who pretend to be “spiritual advisers”, but don’t even do the right thing when a child is sexually molested. And these are the people who are giving advice on issues like homosexuality and birth control?