Tag Archives: Pope

The Perverts’ Club

 

The Vatican has revised its in-house rules to deal with clerical sex abuse cases , targeting priests who molest the mentally disabled as well as children and doubling the statute of limitations for such crimes.

Abuse victims said the rules are little more than administrative housekeeping since they made few substantive changes to current practice  and what is needed are bold new rules to punish bishops who shield paedophiles.

Women’s ordination groups criticised the new rules because they included the attempted ordination of women as a “grave crime” subject to the same set of procedures and punishments as those for sexual abuse.

The Vatican-issued rules, which cover the canonical procedures and penalties for the most serious sacramental and moral crimes,  confront  one of the worst scandals in recent history: The revelation of hundreds of new cases of priests who raped and sodomized children, bishops who covered up for them  and Vatican officials who stood by passively for decades.

In 2003, the Vatican streamlined its 2001 procedures for disciplining abusive priests, allowing them to be defrocked without a lengthy canonical trial if the evidence against them was overwhelming. The new rules codify those procedures into church law.

“That is a step forward, because the norm of law is binding and is certain,”  Monsignor Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s sex crimes prosecutor  told reporters .

“It does not solve all the problems,”Scicluna said. “It is a very important instrument, but it is the way you use the instrument that is going to have the real effect.”

While the bulk of the document codifies existing practice, some new elements were introduced: priests who possess or distribute child pornography and those who sexually abuse developmentally disabled adults will be subject to the same procedures and punishments as priests who molest minors. (One little publicised aspect of priestly depravity is the sexual abuse of the mentally ill).

The new rules extend the statute of limitations for handling of priestly abuse cases from 10 years to 20 years after the victim’s 18th birthday. The statute of limitations can be extended beyond that on a case-by-case basis. Such extensions have been routine for years but now the waivers are codified.

That simply means that if a victim did not report abuse within 10 years of the event, they forfeited their rights. That time limit has now been extended to 20 years. There are those who say that there should be NO  statute of limitations in these cases.

The new rules make no mention of the need for bishops to report clerical sex abuse to police, provide no canonical sanctions for bishops who cover up for abusers and do not include any “zero tolerance” policy for paedophile priests as demanded by many victims.

“The first thing the church should be doing is reporting crimes to civil authorities,” said Andrew Madden, a former Dublin altar boy who filed the first public abuse lawsuit against the church in Ireland in 1995.

“That’s far, far more important than deciding whether a criminal priest should be defrocked or not,” he added. “The church’s internal rules are no more important than the rules of your local golf club.”

Scicluna defended the absence of any mention of the need to report abuse to police, saying all Christians were required to obey civil laws that would already demand sex crimes be reported.

The Vatican noted that bishops were reminded of this duty in a set of informal guidelines issued earlier this year and that its Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which handles sex crime allegations, was working with bishops’ conferences around the world to develop more “rigorous, coherent and effective” guidelines.

“If civil law requires that you report, you must obey civil law,”Scicluna said. He added  “It’s not for canonical legislation to get itself involved with civil law.”

Victims’ groups and others have accused the church’s internal justice system of failing to deal credibly with abuse allegations, allowing bishops to ignore complaints in order to protect the church and keeping its canonical trials secretive. So secretive that victims believed they couldn’t go to police.

Barbara Dorris, of Survivors’ Network for Those Abused by Priests, said the new guidelines “can be summed up in three words: missing the boat.”

“They deal with one small procedure at the very tail end of the problem: defrocking paedophile priests,” she said. “Hundreds of thousands of kids, however, have been sexually violated (by) many other more damaging and reckless moves by bishops and other church staff.”

“Pope Benedict XVI should have taken the opportunity to threaten bishops who shield abusers and tell bishops to stop lobbying legislatures against extending the statute of limitations on abuse cases, “ said Anne Barrett Doyle of BishopAccountability.org, which compiles data on clerical abuse.

“Of course it’s right that the viewing of child pornography be recognized as a grave crime inside the church,” she said in a statement. “But practically speaking, no child will be safer because a secret church tribunal finds a priest guilty of viewing pornography.”

But Bishop Blase Cupich, head of the U.S. bishops’ child protection committee, said the new instruction brings a clarity to the process that will allow church leaders around the world and Vatican officials to resolve abuse claims more quickly. He said he was encouraged that lay people with expertise in church law can serve on church tribunals for accused priests.

Cupich rejected complaints that the instruction didn’t go far enough. By including offences involving child pornography and victimizing mentally impaired adults, the new document will help dioceses worldwide confront abusers, he said.

“It’ll send a very clear message to the bishops around the world that this is the way it’s going to be done,” Cupich said. “It makes it clear and also provides more resources for the quick adjudication of these cases.”

But with so few real changes, Scicluna said he didn’t expect a flood of cases to come forward as happened in 2003-04 .

The congregation was headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger from 1981 until he was elected pope in 2005.  Its procedures call for canonical trials or administrative punishments which can result in a priest being dismissed from the clerical state.

Recent efforts by civic authorities to investigate abuse allegations have again cast a spotlight on the Vatican’s in-house penalties for acts that are criminally prosecutable in most of the world: Just last month, police raided the Brussels archbishop’s residence and seized boxes of documents as part of an investigation into clerical sex abuse amid concerns the Belgian church was protecting paedophiles.

Ordination of women.

The rules list the attempted ordination of a woman as a “grave crime” to be handled according to the same procedures as sex abuse – despite arguments that grouping the two in the same document would imply equating them.

“The idea that women seeking to spread the message of God somehow defiles the Eucharist reveals an antiquated, backward church that still views women as unclean and unholy,”said Erin Saiz Hanna, executive director of the Women’s Ordination Conference which is an organisation that works to ordain women as priests, deacons and bishops.

The hard-line conservative Pope Benedict has said the question of ordaining women – often raised as an antidote to the priest shortage and to bring about more gender equality – is not up for discussion.

The Vatican in 2007 issued a decree saying the attempted ordination of women would result in automatic excommunication for the woman and the priest trying to ordain her. That is repeated in the new document, adding that the priest can also be defrocked – a permanent punishment, whereas an excommunication can be lifted if the person expresses sorrow for what he or she did.

Scicluna defended the inclusion of both sex abuse and ordination of women in the same document as a way of codifying two of the most serious canonical crimes against sacraments and morals that the congregation deals with. Also included are other sacramental crimes, including desecrating the Eucharist and – for the first time – heresy, apostasy and schism.

Clerical abuse is “an egregious violation of moral law,”Scicluna said. “An attempted ordination of a woman is grave, but on another level: It is a wound, it is an attempt against the Catholic faith on the sacrament of (holy) orders. So they are grave, but on different levels.”

However, it still apears that the Vatican views the ordination of women to be as grave a crime as paedophilia. It also reinforces the view that the Catholic church is administered by  misoginystic and (theoretically) virgin old men.

Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, the dean of Germany’s bishops conference, welcomed the new guidelines as a clear signal stressing that cases of sexual abuse of children and youths have to be thoroughly investigated and punished.

“The injustice of the past is being cleared, and the conclusions for the present and the future are being drawn,” he said in a statement.

Benedict’s native Germany has seen a flood of abuse allegations surface and even his own tenure as archbishop of Munich has come under scrutiny since a paedophile priest in his archdiocese was allowed to resume pastoral work while being treated.

In spite of all the rule and procedural changes, it still seems that the Vatican is unable to acknowledge the fact that it is running an organisation which has been infiltrated by paedophiles. Many of its transgressors are not (as the church believes) priests who have  “given-in to temptation”.

These are predatory paedophiles who are masqueradingas priests, that is to say, they are priests in name-only. They have chosen the sanctuary of the Catholic church for two main reasons. The  first being a steady stream of potential victims and the second being a deperate organisation which has just about reached the stage when it will recruit anyone who tells them that they want to “serve God”. The real bonus is that because of a rapidly decreasing priestly population, the Catholic church  will go to almost any length to protect its employees. They continue to regard damaged children as no more than collateral damage.

For a paedophile or even an average sex maniac, this is truly heaven.

Revised Vatican rules: http://www.vatican.va

 

Vatican? What a bummer.

The Real Sign of the Cross

Yesterday, the Vatican said that  it backed a German diocese’s efforts to shed light on sexual abuse allegations connected to a renowned boy’s choir once led by Pope Benedict XVI’s brother Georg Ratzinger.

The Regensburg Diocese, which oversees the school connected to the Regensburger Domspatzen choir, said  that a former singer came forward with allegations of sexual abuse in the early 1960s. The Diocese is now hiring a lawyer to help it to carry out a “systematic clarification” of abuse allegations.

The Vatican said it supported the diocese in its “willingness to analyze the painful question in a decisive and open way.”

“The main reason for the church’s clarification is to render justice to possible victims,” the Vatican said in a statement published in its newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.

Presumably therefore, there will be no punishment for the perpertrators who, one supposes will be punished in the afterlife. Let us pray that the punishment involves large pineapples and a mallet.

Mons. Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, the bishop of the Regensburg Diocese, said in L’Osservatore that the cases that have so far emerged “do not coincide with the term of Prof. Georg Ratzinger,” the Pope’s brother, who led the choir from 1964 to 1994. Ratzinger told German public radio he did not know of any abuse cases involving members of the choir.

However, German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel reported in Monday’s issue that therapists in the region are treating several alleged abuse victims from the choir.

One of the former pupils, Franz Wittenbrink, who lived in the boarding school until 1967, was quoted as saying that a “sophisticated system of sadistic punishments in connection with sexual lust”  had been installed there. “Everyone knew it.” Wittenbrink argued that the Pope’s brother must have known of these practices. “To me it is inexplicable, how the pope’s brother, Georg Ratzinger, who led the choir since 1964, would have not known about it,”  the magazine quoted Wittenbrink as saying.

From 1969 to 1977 the Pope, then Joseph Ratzinger, taught theology at the University of Regensburg but so far, no link has been found between his presence and this particular outbreak of  that well-known Catholic affliction – “Ratz’ Ass”

Germany has recently been hit hard by a Catholic Church sex abuse scandal, which has grown from the claims of seven former pupils at a Catholic-run Berlin high school. Now,  more than 170 ex-students from several of the church’s most prominent German educational facilities have come forward.

The Catholic Church appears to be having to allocate an increasing slice of its revenue to the payment of victim compensation claims. It’s a pleasant thought for practicing Catholics to know that a measurable amount of their Sunday collection plate money is spent on paying for deviant priests’ past pleasures.

We wonder what God thinks about it all – because after all, the activities of perverted priests must somehow fit in with God’s Purpose. The Bible teaches that God’s plans are for good and not for evil; to give us a hope and a future. There is no mention in God’s mission statement of beatings, the sodomising  of young boys or even any hint of  a slavering kinky priest running his withered hands in anticipatory lust over the trembling pink cheeks of a weeping 10 year-old choirboy – but who knows?

Mind you, they do say that God moves in mysterious ways. Apparently, so do many priests. After they have been found out, they usually move to a new diocese.

Embryo or not embryo?

The old blokes in long frocks and funny hats have been making noises. Yes, it’s the Roman Catholic hierarchy again.

So when does the soul enter the cluster of cells? Is it when the sperm penetrates the egg wall? Does it sneak in through the puncture? Does it wait until the cells have divided once? Does the soul arrive after 24 weeks of development?

500 years ago, the church would have invented an answer. Unfortunately for them, the education of the masses has meant that they have to join a debate and because they have not had that much practice at rational thought, they are struggling to put together a decent argument.

Perhaps das Pope will come up with an answer.

Let’s assume for a moment that Big G does exist. He has given us the knowledge to tamper with life so He must agree with the scientists. Let’s go for it! Let’s find cures for all those nasty diseases.

The old “soul superstition” which somehow (according to the church) makes “Man” special has caused successive misguided and ignorant governments to allow very sick people to have their lives prolonged and experience an unacceptable level of suffering and pain.

The same superstition is stopping us from encouraging our scientists to find a cure.

Let us thank God and the men in frocks.

Jesus must be spinning in his grave. Sorry (oops!), I forgot. He was allowed to tamper with nature. Probably some sort of cell regeneration.