Monday, April 05, 2010

Pope on the ropes

Roman Catholic church number two (such a fitting designation), Pope Benedict XVI, feels that the liberal, mainstream media is being kind of hard on him these days, and he is not alone.

The poop-mist surrounding the Pope formerly known as Joe "the rat" Ratzinger just keeps getting thicker and smellier. Pope Benedict, no doubt known as Big Ben to a select few, is probably missing the heck out of the old days when the threat of excommunication would keep the victims of child abuse (known within some circles of the church as 'boy-toys') quiet. In these ungodly times we live in where the liberal, mainstream media can pretty much report on anything it wants to it would appear that nothing is sacred any more. Like the myth of Papal infallibility, or the secret of the choirboy sweetheart dances. Nope, these days that sort of news hits like a wet soccer ball to the face, and that is one sting that is going to last a good long time.

One of the latest bits of news is that it very much appears that under his old identity of Joe the Rat, Benny was involved in pulling a child molester out of one parish and plunking him right down in another where there were a bunch of new young boys to molest, or as they say in the church, where there was some "fresh meat". The abuser involved was named Father Peter Hullermann and he was a sick bastard from top to bottom. At the time (1980) Ratty was the Archbishop of Munich and there are those who were around him at the time who say he probably wouldn't even have known about the situation, putting all the blame for what happened on Ratty's deputy, Father Gerhard Gruber (in Secret Service terms this is considered "plausible deniability" and is called "taking a bullet for your principal" or "tossing the Christians to the lions"). In what must have been an accidental fit of honesty, church officials have said that the memo regarding Hullermann's crimes was "routine" and was "unlikely to have landed on the Archbishop's desk." A priest child-molester is considered "routine" by the catholic church? I wish I could say that was a surprise.
At any rate the freak Hullermann was transferred to another parish where, surprise, surprise, he continued abusing children, and in fact he kept working right up until mid-March 2010, over 30-years after the initial allegations. Of course some cynics might use an isolated incident like this to prove that the church is more concerned with it's own image and financial well-being than it is with any of those children entrusted to it's care. Silly old cynics.
Then the same cynics point to the case of Father Lawrence Murphy who spent the years from 1950 to 1974 molesting children at a school for the deaf in Wisconsin, USA. Years later, in 1996, when the internal mechanisms of the catholic church finally kicked in Father Murphy was called before a secret canonical court to face trial. Well poor old Larry felt pretty hard done by so he ripped off a letter to the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, one Joe "Ratty" Ratzinger, saying he "wanted to live out the time that I have left in the dignity of my Priesthood." Just like how old Nazis want to live out their lives in the dignity of their anonymity. Well soft-hearted Ratty sez "aw" and orders the trial suspended. Murphy up and died in 1998.

The recent media attention on the cases of Hullermann and Murphy (as well as a host of other equally grotesque examples of the catholic church harbouring child molesters) has forced a response from some of the apparently "pro" child abuse members of the catholic church. University students from the catholic group Opus Dei gave a letter to the Pope saying in part, "to these sowers of mistrust we wish to say with clarity that we do not accept their ideology. We hold respect for them, but we demand from them respect for our faith and the recognition of the right that we have to live as christians in a plural society." Right kids. Demand respect? Why not try earning it and culling the child abusers from within your ranks or the ranks of the church in general?

The Vatican isn't happy with the media coverage either (just as they weren't last year when it was reported that Big Ben said that he figured that condoms were not a solution to HIV/Aids, but instead made it worse. Good one, Ben. Not dumb at all) claiming that the Murphy situation was hardly their fault since they hadn't heard about it for twenty years. That is twenty years after Murphy's diocese knew about it. The memo must have gotten lost or something. The Vatican newspaper said the allegations are "clearly an ignoble attempt to strike at Pope Benedict and his closest aides as any cost." Cardinal Jose Saraina Martins, an aide to Big Ben, says there is "a conspiracy" against the church. That much is true. There is a conspiracy to get the church to stop hiding and protecting child molesters.

One of the latest chunks of near-criminal cluelessness to squirt out of the Vatican bunker came on Good Friday 2010 when at a service in St. Peter's Basilica the Pope's personal preacher, the Reverend Raniero Cantalamessa compared the current fire-storm surrounding the catholic church to the unpleasantness the Jews went through in Nazi Germany. Let's see, a bunch of priests abusing children and being protected from prosecution by church and who are now finally coming under serious media scrutiny is the equivalent of the Holocaust? No. It isn't. What a totally revolting thing to think, or say.

After it finally dawned on the upper management of the Vatican that what Cantalamessa has said was considered completely filthy by normal people they stomped all over it. Vatican spokesman, Reverend Federico Lombardi spun that Cantalamess hadn't been speaking for the Vatican when he compared the public revulsion with catholic priests molesting children with Jews being slaughtered by the Nazis. I guess they just let any-old-body babble away in St. Peter's Basilica then? Of course then Reverend Lombardi looked like a total dork when Cantalamessa's entire service was printed in the official newspaper of the Vatican, L'Osservatore Romano. Spin unspun, it would seem.

So the church looks to be in some serious denial about just how rotten child abuse is. They toss out the very occasional apology for past abuses, but I don't think they understand why they have to apologise in the first place. The church has complained that it has been singled out regarding child abuse, which is a problem society wide. The thing is that society at large does not hide and protect child molesters, and the church does.

Anyway... Humouroceros


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