Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Servants of God, Predators of Children


Another sex abuse scandal has rocked the Vatican again as accusations against the Catholic priesthood have surged in recent weeks, blazing across an entire continent as victims from Austria and Germany have broken their silence and several more European countries are rallying around them, protesting the church and this time, they're calling for the resignation of the Pope.

The revelation of abusive priests is no new concept, and neither is the corruption of the Vatican when it comes to handling these delinquents. However, this case has taken on new significance due not only to the sheer size and depth of it, but evidence showing the Pope himself may have engaged in cover-ups that permitted abuse to continue. Pope Benedict XVI served as the archbishop in Munich during a time when priests who were quietly accused or suspected of abuse were transferred or just ignored rather than excommunicated from the church. Some were physically transferred to other congregations or countries, others were professionally transferred, one specifically from priesthood to pastoral work where he continued to work with children while he was being treated for pedophilia. At one time, a deputy for the future pope even instructed bishops in Wisconsin to cease a church trial for a priest accused of abusing 200 deaf boys. Many of these victims have recently stepped forward, claiming their complaints to other priests and bishops were ignored when they reported the abuse. Another Munich archbishop had been accused of abuse in 1995, and while he resigned his position, he was not asked to leave his remaining religious duties for another three years.

Amidst calls for resignation and even firing the holy one, many have come to defend the Pope, stating that he "above all else in Rome is tackling this thing head on" and that he "wouldn't and shouldn't quit". On the other hand, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, two prominent atheists, are even calling for criminal prosecution of the Pope, demanding that he be arrested for his alleged role in the cover-ups and crimes against humanity. They are already consulting with British lawyers to determine if the Pope can be prosecuted. Unfortunately, this is where it gets hazy, as it always has, and we begin to lose faith in governments and legal systems. The Vatican claims itself to be an independent state, citing the Pope as the Head of State, and argues that he is immune from criminal charges (Dawkins and Hitchens maintain that the Vatican is not a state, is not represented at the United Nations, and therefore cannot claim immunity from anything).

The world has always maintained a quiet understanding with the Catholic church that legal matters concerning anyone in the priesthood or higher would be dealt with by "church law". Very rarely, if at all, did federal law step in to override the Vatican's authority, especially in the U.S., where separation of church and state seemed to hold a double meaning that provided priests a shield from federal prosecution for sex abuse. However, given the church's self-proclaimed sovereignty, there were no checks or balances in place to ensure church law was being upheld. In simplest terms, it was a state within several other countries, breaking their laws, then retreating to the safety of its own boundaries claiming "Sanctuary!" with no danger of retribution. It's about time someone reminded the Vatican that while blessed as they believe themselves to be, they are not above man's law. While Switzerland intends to create a sex offender registry of priests, no other country has discussed any future provisions in protecting their children from these predators in clerics.

Have these current events shaken the Catholic community and their faith? I would imagine not, since previous scandals hadn't wavered many of their followers, but what does that say when people so dutifully follow such a corrupt doctrine? Are we so deeply entrenched in the path we've taken that there's no room to turn around or climb out? What is one's fate when their Shepherds have led them astray, lied to them, and worst of all, harmed their children and protected their comrades in favor of their flock?

The worst of this despicable situation is that while some priests and cardinals have spoken up blaming the widely enforced requirement of celibacy, the Vatican has used the scandal as an opportunity to facilitate hate and deflect blame to others. Namely, homosexuals. Tarcisio Bertone, the second in command in the Vatican, lashed out against the celibacy claim, announcing that the pedophilia is due to rampant homosexuality in the church, not celibacy. He alleged that several psychological studies supported his claim, though none do. It's a long-standing lie that pedophilia and homosexuality are intrinsically linked somehow, however in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual IV TR of Psychiatry recognizes only pedophilia as a paraphilia, distinctly differentiated from homosexuality, which hasn't been considered a sexual deviation since 1977. Wake up morons, a forced relationship between an adult and child is not synonymous with a consensual relationship between adult individuals of the same gender.

The church also tries to draw on sympathy, claiming that the negative press they've been receiving in regards to this scandal is being headed by Zionist groups and a Jew-led hate campaign. Who needs the Jews' to tell us you screwed up? Not only did you molest children who trusted you and took advantage of people who looked to you for spiritual and moral guidance, but you covered it up from the public, then failed to stop it when you knew it was happening. Let's face it, you fucked up (I really did try to get through this blog without cursing, couldn't be done).

Is there no hope for reform? I've lost faith in any religious establishment, and have lost all but a fragment of faith in federal governments, but this is not the end. This matter is not over, and a flicker of hope has been kindled. Today, a U.S. court of law found the Jesus Christ Church of Latter Day Saints responsible for failing to protect children from known pedophiles in the Boy Scouts of America in the 80's (the church funds and runs approximately 60% of the organization today). One victim was rewarded over a million dollars and the court has announced the possibility of more fines to be settled later for more victims. Now granted the Mormons don't have Vatican power or protection, but nonetheless, it's a few bricks off the wall that has surrounded that once sacred compound of religion. Sooner or later we will break through and none will be immune, no matter cassock, crucifix, or conspiring clergy (there's those damn letter repetitions again).

Dear Heretics, know this: You will to answer to God when you die, but we can kick your perverted asses while you still walk this earth.

No comments: