Friday, April 23, 2010
Is it enough? In Malta, this past Sunday, the Pope had tears in his eyes. He spoke to each of eight men who, as children, had been abused by priests.
The Pope has met with other groups of men who were abused as children. During his trip to the United States in April 2008, he met with five victims of sexual abuse, and with five other victims, in July 2008, in Australia.
Two of the victims who met Benedict XVI in 2008, recently announced plans to stage a large gathering of victims in St. Peter's Square in Rome in October of this year. calling it a "Day of Reform" to demand the Vatican adopt tough new policies on abuse.
Why is all this suddenly in the headlines?
A scandal, that started more than fifteen years ago erupted gain on Sunday April 10th at a church in Oakland, California. When Pope XV! was a Cardinal, he covered up the rape of a boy, and other abuse crimes of Stephen Kisele, a priest who continued as a priest, and later abused a seven-year-old girl. Protesters and the girl, now in her thirties, have demanded, "The Catholic church needs to stop living with blinders on. The Pope needs to step down. He was the accomplice to crimes.”
There was no response from the Pope this past Sunday in Malta, and a tepid response from the Vatican, saying they would issue new guidelines.
New abuse guideline were released by the Vatican. They instruct Bishops to report to civil authorities "what needs to be reported" -- to follow "civil law concerning reporting of crimes to the appropriate authorities."
This is NOT ENOUGH.
Other priests who abused children have been assigned to other jobs and are still working -- some at other locations, others are working at the Vatican -- notably, Cardinal Law, who covered up abuse crimes in Massachusetts, who did what Cardinal Ratzinger did, before he became Pope Benedict XV!.
And just last week in England, the Catholic Church decided not to unfrock a priest who abused deaf boys. The priest who admitted indecently assaulting deaf boys at a school in Yorkshire, has been allowed to remain as a cleric.
Letting the priest remain as a cleric is wrong. I'm not a Catholic, but I have to say what I see and feel. All the priests who have abused kids should be defrocked, and no longer be allowed to function within the Church.
Tears in the Pope's eyes do not take away the fact that he has not admitted, or atoned for his own wrong behavior. He, like Cardinal Law, who still works at the Vatican, has helped pedophiles hide their crimes, and continue functioning as priests.
"Morality" is the principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior. The Church gives us a system of values, and moral principles.
I don't belong to any church. But the Pope is The POPE. The World looks to him, all of us look to him, listen to him. He sets the standards for morality.
Do we forgive him, he knows not what he does?
It seems to me that there two choices: Bury the shame, knowing that certain heinous crimes against innocent citizens are private business or are not crimes if they are committed by priests and excused by popes.
Or ... Challenge Ratzinger -- Catholics can rise up and say he's not longer fit to be their Supreme Leader!