Pope Benedict XVI said Saturday he is “truly sorry” for the abuse suffered by victims at the hands of Catholic priests in Ireland. He addressed the church abuse crisis an 18-page letter and it is going to be read in churches across Ireland on Sunday. He says he is “deeply disturbed by the information which has come to light regarding the abuse of children and vulnerable young people by members of the church in Ireland, particularly by priests and religious”
He’s sorry? Sorry? Well, let me tell you something, Benny… Sorry not only doesn’t cut it, but apologizing to only one country is unforgivable. I have a few questions for his holiness in the funny hat. Why just apologize to Ireland? Why not issue an apology to the entire planet? You are not doing even remotely enough about the problem. Instead, you are ignoring the reason why literally hundreds of young boys have been sexually molested. Is your holy head stuck so far up your pious ass that you are just too ignorant to realize that as the supreme and vicarious “Christ on earth” to over a billion Catholics that you have some influence on them?
Your lame apology does not even begin to show that you actually care that up to 5% of the Catholic clergy has been involved in sexual abuse cases. Almost five thousand priests that have been “outed” and confirmed to be child molesters. How many more are still closeted? And what about their superiors who conspire to conceal their dirty deeds? Do your faithful followers know that over ten thousand complaints of sexual abuse were reported but only about three-thousand were actually investigated, and only after the most of offenders were dead? Do they know that out of the one-thousand plus of these monsters that were still alive, less than thirty percent were actually prosecuted, and out of those only about a hundred actually served any jail time? That’s one percent! Do they know that when a report is made the general rule of thumb for the Holy See is to move offending priests from parish to parish, where they still had personal contact with children?
I bet they are unaware of the findings in a November 2009 report made by the Commission to Inquire into Child abuse that concluded:
“…the Dublin Archdiocese’s pre-occupations in dealing with cases of child sexual abuse, at least until the mid 1990s, were the maintenance of secrecy, the avoidance of scandal, the protection of the reputation of the Church, and the preservation of its assets. All other considerations, including the welfare of children and justice for victims, were subordinated to these priorities. The Archdiocese did not implement its own canon law rules and did its best to avoid any application of the law of the State”
Very nice… I wonder if the faithful followers know that their tithes and offerings went to pay out a staggering estimated $2.0 billion in reparations, fines and court costs. How many hungry mouths could have been fed with that kind of money?
Church corporations are not subject to the same rules as regular corporations, as everyone knows by now that a majority of them are tax exempt. However, church “CEO’s” are also exempt from the same consequences that executives at secular corporations have to face. When Pope Benedict was personally accused in a lawsuit of conspiring to cover up the molestation of three boys in Texas, he sought and obtained diplomatic immunity, which was granted after intervention by none other than George W. Bush. The Department of State “recognize[d] and allow[ed] the immunity of Pope Benedict XVI from this suit.”
Also, in the typical church style of acrobatic linguistic metamorphosis, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi stated that the majority of Catholic clergy who had committed acts of sexual abuse against children were not, in fact, pedophiles, but homosexuals who are attracted to sex with young boys. This flies in the face of proven, empirical evidence that there is no connection whatsoever between homosexuality and pedophilia. I won’t even address that issue here, as it will be covered in a future entry. Suffice to say, it is just another example of the delusion and willful ignorance that runs rampant in religion. One of the causes that the clergy came up with was that their seminary training offered little instruction on how to prepare for a lifetime of celibacy. If you have to specifically train someone to not molest children because obeying one of your rules may be responsible for causing you to do so, then the rule probably needs to be removed.
About the celibacy thing…
Celibacy is alleged to have “apostolic” authority, where as the priest is supposed to imitate the life of Jesus. The objective is self-sacrifice with regard to marriage, because the theology surrounds Christ being “married” to the Church and the faithful are the “Bride of Christ”. Celibacy in of itself is not a bad thing cases with appropriate motivations. However, it is no secret that the Apostle Paul, who is probably one of the most misogynistic figures to ever grace the pages of history, is credited by the church as believing chastity a superior state of life. The bible states that he would have all men be celibate and unmarried. That would, of course, be counter-productive to the propagation of our species. To tell you the truth, I think Paul was gay, as was probably King David, even if they existed. But, that’s also another topic for another day.
The point is that we are sexual beings and our sexuality is an integral part of our personalities whether we are aware of it or not. Aside from having a wide range of health benefits including relief from stress, it has also been proven to reduce the risk of heart attacks and prostate cancer. Our sexuality is the central source of human personality and is one of the most important drives we have to deal with as humans. It is the way we experience and express ourselves as sexual beings. Suppressing our sexuality, no matter what it is, is psychologically damaging. Just as demanding that someone who has little or no sex drive engage in sexual activity can cause major mental health problems, so is demanding someone who has a normal or high sex drive to refrain from sex.
The Catholic church demands that their prospective priests remain celibate, leaving the priest no choice but to obey out of the fear that if they do not, they will be punished by the church, lose their vocation and be looked down upon in the eyes of God as a failure. The church masks this demand by sugar coating it as a “gift of the Holy Spirit which must be understood and experienced with a fullness of feeling and joy, in a total relationship with the Lord,” as stated by Claudio Hummes, a Brazilian cardinal. It has been proposed that celibacy contributes to the abuse problem due to the belief that celibacy is morally superior to other sections of society. I agree with this proposal.
The fact is that no child is psychologically prepared to cope with repeated sexual stimulation and they will likely develop problems as adults resulting from the inability to cope with the it. They will very likely develop low self-esteem, a feeling of worthlessness and an abnormal or distorted view of sex. Some sexually abused children become child abusers or prostitutes, or have other serious problems when they reach adulthood. Sexually abused children can develop an unusual interest in or an avoidance of anything sexual in nature. Other problems that result in this type of abuse include sleep disorders, depression, the belief that their bodies are dirty or damaged, self-loathing and the belief that something wrong with their genitals. They may refuse to go to school, be delinquent, overly secretive, unusually aggressive and even suicidal.
Church officials seem concerned only with the good name of the church and avoiding or limiting legal liability for the harm done to victims. There is too little oversight over the Catholic clergy, and the bishops who are supposed to be servants have too much power. The Catholic Church has not done enough to protect children from sexual abuse and a half-hearted apology to one country is inadequate, to say the least. The church apparently still stands behind their belief that it remains more expedient to pay off the victims and their families with hush money and force them to sign a confidentiality agreement.
And thusly, the voices of well over ten-thousand abused children are effectively silenced.