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Barry Crimmins

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Cath-22

Cath 22: Part Three -- The Legion of Indecency Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cath 22 Part Three  The Legion of Indecency
By Barry Crimmins

As a weekend waned last March, I wouldn't have even known it was Palm Sunday had I not left the local news on after a college basketball game concluded. A top story featured Archbishop Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York unleashing a sadly predictable perpetrator/facilitator-as-victim defense of the pope, concerning the still-exploding priest/child sexual abuse scandal.

Dolan began his St. Patrick's Cathedral rant with an ass-backwards acknowledgment of Catholicism's odious mess, when he asserted, "The recent tidal wave of headlines about abuse of minors by some few priests, this time in Ireland, Germany and a re-run of an old story from Wisconsin, has knocked us to our knees once again."

Were I attempting to gloss over this massive scandal, I wouldn't be calling to mind knocking anyone to their knees. That said, all you need to know about Dolan is contained in his assessment that the headlines were a "tidal wave" but the perpetrators were "some few priests." By claiming the problem was the scale of the coverage and not the vastness of the crime wave, he established himself as a braying liar.
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Thousands of child rapists/molesters hid behind collars (and that is a very, very conservative estimate) and preyed on generations of children. Where? In and around churches! And then church leadership ignored and/or covered up the scandal for decades. The story couldn't be overstated, nor could the outrage it provoked be fairly labeled as hyperbole. Bishop BS knew he was spouting untruths but he also knew his audience, the blindly faithful, would swallow his mentally reserved mendacity. He was confident parishioners would take his lies and pass them along as gospel truth. This is what the so-called propagation of the Catholic faith is all about. Spreading and repeating lies.

Dolan's argument self-destructed with his passing reference to Ireland. No one who knows what has happened to Irish children would use the term "some few priests" in relation to it. No one, that is, but a liar. The archbishop couldn't have missed the headlines about how the Irish church had finally been exposed for a sixty year reign of terror. It was a crime spree that touched almost every child in that long-troubled nation. (And by "touched" I mean some or all of the following: beat, savagely beat, employed as slave laborers, starved, humiliated, molested, raped, terrorized, emotionally abused, verbally abused, drove to suicide and/or killed.) Tens of thousands of Irish children were raised as prisoners in church/government-run (for all intents and purposes) child labor/rape camps for crimes such as 'illegitimate' birth, poverty, being orphaned, getting in trouble in school for having shown resistance to assaults by the clergy, and dozens of other mild or manufactured offenses.

The church was at every institution an Irish child passed through: schools, reformatories, orphanages, playgrounds, workhouses, you name it and more than 'some few priests' were there. In fact a whole lot of priests made kids' lives miserable.
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They then taught their victims that the reason their lives were so filled with anguish was because of their terrible spiritual failings. How badly has the church ruined Ireland? Well where else is chronic alcoholism considered a quaint and lovable character flaw? No judgment from this Irish-American. You'd drink, too, if you grew up enslaved by a church that taught you you were headed straight to hell for the sin of being a child.

New York's archbishop scoffed at the German case because it tied in the current pope, a man he would liken to Jesus Christ in his execrable sermon. The same was true of the Wisconsin case in which Pope/Ratzinger squelched the cries of the deaf victims of priestly sexual abuse when they petitioned his then Vatican office for justice.

Dolan continued his eruption (found in full here) saying,
Anytime this horror, vicious sin, and nauseating crime is reported, as it needs to be, victims and their families are wounded again, the vast majority of faithful priests bow their heads in shame anew, and sincere Catholics experience another dose of shock, sorrow, and even anger.

What deepens the sadness now is the unrelenting insinuations against the Holy Father himself, as certain sources seem frenzied to implicate the man who, perhaps more than anyone else has been the leader in purification, reform, and renewal that the Church so needs.
The first passage of the above excerpt is classic contradictory mental reservation gibberish. He tells us such crimes must be reported but it's terrible for the victims of these crimes when they're reported. So we're supposed to conclude that it is very dangerous for the victims, or anyone, to expose child molester clerics. Dolan's mention of danger seems like an implied threat. Talk and misery will revisit you.

Next Dolan claims such disclosures hurt innocent priests. Of course he mentally reserves the fact that clergymen would have had to have been deaf, dumb and blind, with no sense of smell, to have not known what was going on. Almost every priest conspired in silence with a massive crime wave against kids. Therefore they deserve, at the very least, to hang their heads in shame.

As far as the put-upon Catholic laity is concerned, it's earned its queasiness until it finds its conscience and walks out of a church that has allowed and facilitated atrocities to be committed against innocent children all over the world for generations. If people are too stupid or cowardly to walk away from the church's hopelessly implausible dogma, unforgivable arrogance and malicious fear-mongering, they deserve no sympathy.

The second passage is a blatant lie. When these "nauseating crimes" were reported for 25 years, it was to an office run by the current pope, who was the Vatican's chief facilitator of the modern cover-up.

Pope Benedict/Ratzinger/Jesus came of age in Nazi Germany. He may well have learned the value of cold-hearted soullessness, prevarication and betrayal of innocents from watching Hitler's functionaries in action. Whatever the case, he grew up to do something no other German child ever had before: he rose to the top of a genuine 2,000-year Reich.
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It's likely that the latest ass to sit on the Vatican's throne would have never laid his gnarled fingers on ultimate authority had he not been supremely aware of the enormity and details of the Catholic abuse scandal. How many of those implicated as either perpetrators or facilitators went on to become members of the College of Cardinals? The same College of Cardinals that sent up the white smoke that surrendered the church to the man who had stood at its ethical choke-point for a quarter-century. Ratzinger was Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from1981 until 2005. The office was formerly known as the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office. Before that it reached worldwide notoriety as The Inquisition. Yes, that Inquisition. More than a few popes have slithered from its ranks.

As coverer-up-in-chief, Ratzinger helped facilitate the continued nefarious activities of countless priests who otherwise would have been brought to light and justice. Had he not kept secret these pervasive crimes, it would have saved thousands of kids who were harmed by hundreds of predators (again, an ultra-conservative estimate) who had remained active in the church despite having been reported to the Vatican hierarchy as sexual criminals. Since such revelations would have hurt the church's image and worse, cost it a lot of money, mental reservation once again came to the rescue.

This current pope's complicity is nicely summarized in this Evening Standard piece about a BBC documentary on the matter:
Before being elected as Pope Benedict XVI in April last year, the pontiff was Cardinal Thomas Ratzinger who had, for 24 years, been the head of the powerful Congregation of the Doctrine of The Faith, the department of the Roman Catholic Church charged with promoting Catholic teachings on morals and matters of faith. An arch-Conservative, he was regarded as the 'enforcer' of Pope John Paul II in cracking down on liberal challenges to traditional Catholic teachings.

Five years ago he sent out an updated version of the notorious 1962 Vatican document Crimen Sollicitationis - Latin for The Crime of Solicitation - which laid down the Vatican's strict instructions on covering up sexual scandal. It was regarded as so secret that it came with instructions that bishops had to keep it locked in a safe at all times.

Cardinal Ratzinger reinforced the strict cover-up policy by introducing a new principle: that the Vatican must have what it calls Exclusive Competence. In other words, he commanded that all child abuse allegations should be dealt with direct by Rome.

Patrick Wall, a former Vatican-approved enforcer of the Crimen Sollicitationis in America, tells the programme: "I found out I wasn't working for a holy institution, but an institution that was wholly concentrated on protecting itself."

And Father Tom Doyle, a Vatican lawyer until he was sacked for criticising the church's handling of child abuse claims, says: "What you have here is an explicit written policy to cover up cases of child sexual abuse by the clergy and to punish those who would call attention to these crimes by the churchmen.

"When abusive priests are discovered, the response has been not to investigate and prosecute but to move them from one place to another. So there's total disregard for the victims and for the fact that you are going to have a whole new crop of victims in the next place. This is happening all over the world."
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So much for Pope Ratzo I as Dolan's "agent of purification and reform." Renewal, I'll give you. Cardinal Ratzinger had incense burning around the clock to restore and intensify the smokescreen Rome has always used to hide the awful truth about priests sexually abusing children.

The church and the media often refer to the priest child abuse story as a crisis. It's not a crisis, it's a scandal. Crisis is for victims. Scandal is for discovered perpetrators. A crisis occurred when children were being abused and there was no one there to help them. The crisis occurred when children were made to believe they were complicit in the heinous crimes done to them by savage and soulless priests. The children's crisis continues throughout their lives if they don't get treatment, compassion and unequivocal confirmation from society that what happened to them was wrong. What they don't need is bullshit, this-is-tough-on-the-church-too stories from the media. That kind of nonsense is best left to the old ill-advised Saturday Night Live sketch about rape crisis centers for rapists who are upset after committing heinous crimes.

Catholic church leadership isn't sorry about any of this horror but it sure is scared of it. The men in charge know if people really look into this scandal, they'll find the Rosetta stepping stones of mental reservation, greed-based implementation of celibacy and a history of convenient changes in church law. This scam has been imposed upon the Catholic faithful at the end of a flamethrower pointed at their allegedly immortal souls. Well some of us have shed our manacles and danced across those stepping stones to a greatly improved vantage point. From it we see that despite all of its wealth, power and connections, the Catholic church is nothing more than a creepy cult. It's as if 1.2 billion people belonged to Scientology, only worse. Scientology typically preys on adults. If only the Catholic church would instill a 21-and-over policy, with usher/bouncers checking ID's at the door, it would be a far less of a worry. But people are still handing their children over to this dangerous and dastardly institution. So long as this continues you can bet that both the crisis for kids and the scandal for the church will continue.

Next: The Conclusion Of Cath-22: Off The Reservation
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