Saturday, March 27, 2010

... and when he didn't know it

It's really interesting that Pope Benedict claims he was never told that priests who were known pederasts were being routinely reassigned to other parishes when their misdeeds became known to the church hierarchy. In order to avoid being implicated in many a cover-up he is admitting to incompetence in his job: his position at the time was director of Church discipline.

(Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston -- another powerful technocrat whom many saw as a possible candidate for Pope -- was forced to resign over this exact issue; of course he would never admit to incompetence...)

First of all, I don't really believe Benedict's claim of ignorance --but certainly this fallback position of ignorance is hardly reassuring. Apparently the former Joseph Alois Ratzinger was more interested in obscure deviations from Church dogma than he was in gross deviations from acceptible and humane decency. The exact nature of the Trinity and punishing those who didn't recognize it was more important to him than protecting young children from sexual predators.

Furthermore, it is unclear that his predecessor, the very conservative and "beloved" Pope John Paul, was any better: a lot of the scandal unfolded on his watch. (BTW: does the Church ever describe a pontiff as anything but "beloved" -- especially after he dies?) Benedict is now pushing for fast track sainthood for John Paul. I imagine he hopes to get the same when he shuffles off this mortal coil. My, how grade inflation has set in for sainthood these days. I guess it's miracle enough if you don't yourself get caught with your hands in the -- I was going to say till, but I guess it should be altar boy.

How could anyone ever believe that an all-male priesthood and hierarchy, historically at once suspicious of, and condescending to, females, could ever avoid attracting homosexual predators? They've had their share of heterosexual ones as well. Could anyone doubt that this "problem" is neither confined to this generation nor even this century? Or even this millenium?

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