What Fresh Hell Is This?

March 16, 2010

Tell Me Again

Why we should have to pay attention to the Catholic Church's pronouncements on sexual morality?

Point one:
Ireland's senior Roman Catholic, Cardinal Sean Brady, said Monday he would not resign despite admitting he helped the church collect evidence against a child-molesting priest and never told police about the crimes.

Brady, as a priest and Vatican-trained canon lawyer in 1975, said he interviewed two children about the abuse they suffered at the hands of the Rev. Brendan Smyth. He said both children were required to sign oaths promising not to tell anyone outside the church of their allegations.

Smyth went on to molest and rape scores of other children in Ireland, Britain and the United States before British authorities in neighboring Northern Ireland demanded his arrest in 1994. The Irish government of the day collapsed amid acrimony over why Smyth was not quickly extradited to Belfast
Point two:
Disgrace already hung over the Rev. Marcial Maciel when he died in 2008 at the age of 87. In 2005, beset by burgeoning charges that he had sexually abused young seminarians for decades, the Mexican priest had resigned as head of the Legionaries of Christ, one of the Roman Catholic Church's most powerful clerical orders. In 2006 the Vatican — which under the late Pope John Paul II had been one of Padre Maciel's staunchest allies — made him give up public ministry and confine himself to a life of "prayer and penitence."

But last week in Mexico, where Maciel founded the ultraconservative Legion in 1941, the scandal took an even unholier turn. On March 3, one of Maciel's mistresses, Blanca Lara, and two of Lara's grown sons told MVS Radio that Maciel had sexually abused his own children. It "started when I was 7 years old," said one son, José Raúl González, now in his early 30s. "I was lying down with him like any boy, any son with his father. He pulled down my pants and tried to rape me." The abuse, González said, got worse after that and lasted years. His brother Omar said he too had been sexually abused by Maciel, starting at age 8. (The sons never took Maciel's surname.) Says Maciel victim Juan Vaca, 72, a former priest and adjunct psychology and sociology professor at Mercy College in New York: "This simply confirms what sort of personality we [were] dealing with: a malignant narcissist."
Point Three:
The priest at the center of a German sexual-abuse scandal that has embroiled Pope Benedict XVI continued working with children for more than 30 years, even though a German court convicted him of molesting boys.

The priest, Peter Hullermann, who had previously been identified only by the first letter of his last name, was suspended from his duties only on Monday. That was three days after the church acknowledged that the pope, then Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger, had responded to early accusations of molestation by allowing the priest to move to Munich for therapy in 1980.

Hundreds of victims have come forward in recent months in Germany with accounts of sexual abuse from decades past. But no case has captured the attention of the nation like that of Father Hullermann, not only because of the involvement of the future pope, but also because of the impunity that allowed a child molester to continue to work with altar boys and girls for decades after his conviction.

Benedict not only served as the archbishop of the diocese where the priest worked, but also later as the cardinal in charge of reviewing sexual abuse cases for the Vatican. Yet until the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising announced that Father Hullermann had been suspended on Monday, he continued to serve in a series of Bavarian parishes.

In 1980, the future pope reviewed the case of Father Hullermann, who was accused of sexually abusing boys in the Diocese of Essen, including forcing an 11-year-old boy to perform oral sex. The future pope approved his transfer to Munich. On Friday, a deputy took responsibility for allowing the priest to return to full pastoral duties shortly afterward. Six years later, Father Hullermann was convicted of sexually abusing children in the Bavarian town of Grafing. Father Hullermann's identity was revealed Sunday, when a man whose marriage he was scheduled to perform in the spa town of Bad Tölz stood up in the pews and began shouting as the head of the congregation was speaking in vague terms about the scandal.
Can someone explain this to me?


Tiffany said...

Not to defend the actions of these men, or the views of the Catholic church, as neither is my place, but...

there are evil evil people in all religions, and Catholics are not the only Christians in America with political sway. Right wing evangelical Christians hold a lot of power over politics, and many of them do equally evil things as these three examples, but they are not as sensationalized. The Catholic Church represents the fact that this exists in all areas of Christian and non-Christian religions.

Maria said...

The difference lies in the systematic cover-up by a highly organized, extremely powerful institution.

Evangelicals, for example, do not have one recognized leader.

Meanwhile, the current Pope had an instrumental role in the cover-up when he was put in charge of the "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith" (formerly known as the Inquisition) and issued a decree that any charges of child abuse were to remain secret.

macyapper said...

And for some unknown reason, SO MANY always seem to go OUT OF THEIR WAY to make excuses (everybody does it) for the Catholic church. What's wrong with a good old fashioned straight up condemnation?