|Pope Bennie XVI has come and gone, leaving behind him a trail of public and private apologies for the sexual misconduct of Catholic clergy and religious, for having disrespected Islam, etc. Nothing particularly exciting about that. Popes have been apologizing for past and current abuses ever since Paul VI issued the first in what has become a continuing series of papal mea culpas. Paul VI may have been the first, but his successor set a record for papal apologies:
The imperial popentate of Catholicism didn't wait until he reached the USA to begin apologizing for the sexual abuses of American “other Christs” (alter Christos).
There certainly is plenty to be ashamed about.
Now that Pope Bennie has apologized might we expect that there will be any real changes in the makeup of the Catholic priesthood or the ways that deviant priests and religious will be handled? Not really. For decades, Mama Church has been assuring the world that she is going to clean up her priestly hierarchy. Before he became pope, Bennie was known as Cardinal Ratzinger , the Prefect of the current incarnation of the Inquisition – The Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. From that powerful position, it is claimed that he:
“Keep quiet or we'll make you pay.” Sounds like coercion to me.
Two thousand years ago, when Palestine was under the thumb of Rome, much of what little power Rome did not arrogate to herself was granted to the leaders of the Jewish community. These table scraps of autonomy were in large degree exercised by the Sanhedrin. When it came to capital crimes, only the representatives of the Roman Emperor were empowered to exercise the death penalty. This explains why the Jewish mob had Jesus dragged before Pontius Pilate; they wanted Him to be condemned to death. Pilate was reluctant to deliver Jesus over for execution, but the Jewish crowd was growing unruly.
Pilate found a way out of his dilemma, or so he apparently thought. He would not personally pronounce a death sentence over Jesus; he thought to distance himself from responsibility by allowing the mob to decide whether Jesus should live or die.
The Roman Catholic Church also seeks to distance herself from responsibility for the horrific crimes laid at her doorstep. How many times have we seen bishops, cardinals and popes tendering public 'apologies' for misdeeds of some “members of the Catholic Church,” but never accepting that, just as they are speaking for and on behalf of, the Catholic Church, so did those others for whose deeds they apologize act for and on behalf of the Catholic Church. Just as washing his hands did not magically separate Pilate from any responsibility in the death of Jesus, modern day Catholic spokesmen-apologizers cannot magically separate the Catholic Church from responsibility for misdeeds done in her name.
For some time now, news media have been provided plenty of grist for the mill of public outrage by revelations of sexual misconduct on the part of some Catholic priests and religious. Apparently, that ethereal body calling itself the Catholic Church has found a way to wash its hands of responsibility for the despicable sexual crimes of her priests, bishops and religious: She simply declares that homosexuals and abusers of children should not be ordained. For example:
Well, there's one way out: claim ignorance. Bishop Gregory's argument requires us to believe that the Catholic leadership was not aware that the Catholic priesthood was increasingly being considered as a good career choice for homosexual males. Yeah. Sure.
Somebody in the Vatican must have noticed something was going on in the dark corners of the Catholic priesthood, for in 1961, the Vatican sent a directive to bishops which read, in part:
he powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith apparently had some idea of the growing number of homosexuals in the Catholic priesthood:
As the news media reported a seemingly endless series of sexual abuse allegations against Catholic priests, bishops and religious, a spokesman for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith expressed an unequivocal opinion:
As the scandals continued, more and more Catholic personages jumped on the “Get The Homosexuals Out Of The Priesthood” bandwagon:
Just in case someone failed to understand the Vatican's public position concerning homosexualality and the priesthood, the Vatican issued yet another statement in the clearest of language:
And there you have it. When you next read about allegations of sexual misconduct having been made against a Catholic priest or religious, you will know that the Catholic Church has no part in the responsibility for the alleged offender's deeds, even though she may have sheltered and protected him for years. How can you know this? It's simple: Vatican policy bans homosexual priests.
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