Friday, February 1, 2013

But the damage has been done

From an earlier post"No member of the Roman Catholic hierarchy fought longer and more energetically than Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles to conceal the decades-long scandal involving the rape and intimidation of children by rogue priests." He was aided and abetted by his aide Monsignor Curry who the NY Times noted was able "to advance up the hierarchical ladder [but] would seem to merit instant removal from his current post as auxiliary bishop for Santa Barbara.[Cardinal Mahony and the Truth]. 

The Catholic Church - now that documents have been released to the public - has relieved the good Cardinal Mahony from all duties. Of course, the good cardinal is retired so that action has little value.  And Monsignor Curry who was seemingly rewarded for his assistance to the good cardinal was apparently permitted to step down from the auxiliary bishop position. One wonders where he will be transferred? [Catholic church releases sexual abuse files, relieves cardinal of duties].

It would seem fitting that these priests be excommunicated and defrocked. See this list of excommunicated people, especially those in this century. Given the reasons for excommunication - doesn't the cardinal and his co-conspirator deserve more than being relieved of duties?

How about a Vatican trial? Check out this 2002 New York Times story Vatican to Hold Secret Trials of Priests in Pedophilia Cases. Aren't those like the good cardinal and his aide worthy of a trial? The then Pope Paul II "defined pedophilia as one of the "graver offenses" against church law, and expanded the already significant influence of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger by giving him responsibility for issuing specific guidelines on how to deal with the problem." Cardinal Ratzinger is now Pope Benedict XVI.

Cardinal Ratzinger acting under the authority given him he issued a letter that "spelled out that if a local bishop or head of a religious order became aware of "even a hint" of a case of pedophilia "he must open an investigation and inform" Rome." I wonder how many times the good Cardinal Mahony opened an investigation and informed Rome?

Now that documents have been released, and presumably more to come, one can expect the civil lawsuits to flow. Civil lawsuit is the only remedy since it is unlikely that the Church will do anything significant to punish the pedophiles and those in the hierarchy that hid them and the abuses they perpetrated on vulnerable children.

Want some insight into how the Church views pedophile priests? It is systemic. Checkout the viewpoint of Father Benedict Groeschel, a founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal where among other things blames the victims. "The Rev. Benedict Groeschel, 79, who hosts a weekly show on Catholic television network EWTN, made the comments in an interview with the National Catholic Register. He also referred to convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky as a “poor guy.” [Catholic Priest Defends Child Molesters, Blames Victims].

It was once said that the Catholic Church just doesn't get it, but to the contrary they do get it. They fully realized the significance and damage that was and might be done to the Church by a pedophilia scandal. There never was a concern that the children were being abused by priests. It was about the reputation of the Church.

Thus, rather than clean house the Church chose to stonewall it. Every bit of information and changes in the Church had to be forced. Because of the Church's stance - how many additional children were sexually abused?

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