Can the Pope Block the UN’s Child Abuse Investigation?

Jan 22, 2014

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has been hauling the Vatican over the coals regarding its record of systematically covering up the sexual abuse of children by its priests. Hearings in Geneva this week are the first time that senior Vatican officials have been confronted in public about the ongoing scandal.


Despite UN requests, the Vatican still refuses to open its archives containing records of every instance of abuse reported to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, long presided over by Cardinal (later Pope) Ratzinger.  It also tried to argue that it was responsible only for abuse that took place in the tiny enclave of the Vatican City, not by Catholic priests worldwide. 

 

The story is now all too familiar. Time after time priestly child abuse was hushed up by the Church, the victims sworn to secrecy, the files sealed in the Vatican vaults, and the priest not turned over to outside authorities but instead quietly moved to a new parish.  There, in many cases, the abuse would continue with a new set of victims. If the Church did apply "punishments" they tended to be a requirement for "penitence and prayer".

 

The pattern was worldwide, from Ireland to Australia to Germany, Mexico and the US; and we still don't know about many Third World countries where the Catholic Church is still powerful enough to continue its cover-up. Power corrupts, and the fact that the Catholic Church regarded itself as morally answerable only to itself, coupled with the excessive deference paid to it by others, enabled the ongoing corruption that has now shredded the Vatican's claim to any moral authority. 

 

There is a tendency among the non-religious to regard theology as rather abstract and inconsequential, but when people really believe their theology it can have direct and harmful consequences.  It seems to me that the worldwide Catholic child-abuse scandal is a direct consequence of Catholic theology. Of course all large organizations will contain some people who might sexually abuse others, but the most significant aspect of the Catholic scandal is the cover-up and the way the Catholic hierarchy dealt with those crimes.

 

To a Catholic, sexual misconduct is a sin. That means it is a rebellion against God, often caused by the Devil trying to tempt people into that rebellion (yes, the Catholic hierarchy do actually believe in both God and the Devil). The Devil can tempt anyone into sin, and thus a repentant sinner is no more likely to sin again than anyone else.

 

Perhaps I am being too charitable, but I suspect that many in the Catholic hierarchy weren't quite corrupt enough to knowingly expose a new set of defenseless kids to a recidivist pedophile priest. I can imagine an elderly, celibate Cardinal consulting his theology, which told him that such sins were the result of the Devil's temptations, and thus genuinely believing that a repentant priest was no more a threat than anyone else.

 

In the words that Pope Ratzinger directed to abusing priests: "Sincere repentance opens the door to God's forgiveness and the grace of true amendment", while "offering prayers and penances for those you have wronged" would "atone personally" for the crimes (yes, that does mean that Ratzinger thinks that private prayers and penances are sufficient to make amends for hushed-up crimes).  That theology, together with the overriding desire to protect the Church, was sufficient to convince the cardinals that simply shuffling priests around was an adequate remedy.

 

When Ratzinger issued his "apology" to Irish victims of priestly sex abuse, he tried – bizarrely – to blame secularism, saying that it was the "rapid transformation and secularization" of society that had led priests to "adopt ways of thinking and assessing secular realities without sufficient reference to the Gospel". He claimed that the recidivist nature of pedophilia hadn't been understood by "secular society" which had tolerated moral relativism and that "conflicting expert advice" had been responsible for the Catholic Church simply moving criminal priests to new parishes.  

 

This unrepentant buck-passing is of course total nonsense.  Everyone except the Catholic hierarchy understood what should have been done because everyone except the Catholic hierarchy understands human sexuality. Our sexuality and orientation are part of our nature, something we are born with. Hushing things up and quietly moving the culprit to a new parish were not remedies suggested by "secular society" but ones deriving from an over-powerful Church and an utterly flawed theology. 

 

Among "concrete initiatives to address the situation" Ratzinger offered "your fasting, your prayer, your reading of Scripture", along with a year's-worth of "Friday penances" and plenty of "Eucharistic adoration" (yes, those really were his "concrete initiatives to address the situation").  We now have a new Pope, who is supposedly better than the last one.  Here are my suggestions for some rather more effective initiatives.

 

First, the Catholic Church will always get sex wrong until it realizes that sexuality is not a "choice", not about rebellion against God, but an aspect of the biology that we are born with.   Second, no one is going to believe that the Vatican is sincerely repentant and reformed until it releases its archives of sexual-abuse cases. That means all of them, the ones diligently gathered by Ratzinger over decades (despite his later using an excuse about "how difficult it was to grasp the extent and complexity of the problem"), and not just the ones that the authorities already know about.

 

As recently as 1997 the Vatican wrote to Irish Catholic Bishops telling them to cancel their proposal to report abusive priests to the police because doing so "gives rise to serious reservations of both a moral and canonical nature".  The Vatican has admitted that several hundred priests have been defrocked since 2011, yet that does not mean that the names of the guilty parties have been passed to secular authorities.

 

Third, this scandal could surely only have been presided over by a men-only hierarchy.  Any institution nurturing children should have women involved at all levels, including the most senior. My last suggestion, that no-one should any longer be deferential towards the Catholic Church or regard it as any sort of moral authority, has, thanks to the scandal, already been largely achieved.

 

@coelhellier blogs at coelsblog.wordpress.com

Written By: Coel Hellier
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41 comments on “Can the Pope Block the UN’s Child Abuse Investigation?

  • 1
    Mormon Atheist says:

    Why on earth would they not give these records up? It was some of the most sickening, abhorrent behavior imaginable and If I were the Pope I would want it out so those responsible could be punished! I am amazed that they feel that their church reputation (which is laughable already) is more important than gaining real justice for the many victims. This sickens me! And to think that religion wants to give the rest us some sort of moral values? NO THANKS, you can keep your irrational, corrupt values away from me.



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  • 2
    currerbell says:

    I have always in the past stood up for the catholic church as I have known many fine people within its ranks. However, after watching Mea Maxima Culpa, I realise how far the Vatican has been involved in this dreadful affair and also how long the problem has been known about by the church. It is corrupt to its very core and I’d love to see it die as an organisation. Sadly I don’t think this will happen.



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  • 3
    Macropus says:

    We can wail and gnash our teeth about this as much as we like, but it achieves little beyond the feel-good effect.

    It is known to everyone, the Vatican included, that priests have committed crimes and have not been prosecuted for them If priests were in the habit (so to speak) of robbing banks and the Vatican was in the habit of covering up these robberies, and everyone knew that this was going on, would the Vatican not be prosecuted for aiding and abetting these crimes, or at least for perverting the course of justice? I suspect that legal avenues would quickly be found to bring church authorities to justice and force release of this information.
    The victim of a bank robbery is a wealthy institution and the victim of child abuse is a poor individual, but surely legal avenues must exist for victims of priests? In light of their refusal to release information, why is the church not being prosecuted for complicity in these crimes? Could someone of a legal bent shed some light on this?



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  • 4
    Cairsley says:

    The Vatican’s argument that it can take responsibility only for those paedophile crimes that occur within the Vatican City State is disingenuous, because it ignores the authority that the Curia exercises over all Catholics and particularly over priests and other members of the clerical hierarchy. Perhaps the Vatican representatives at the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child were hoping that the committee members, probably none of whom were Catholic, would be fooled by this technicality of international law. That this argument has been made on behalf of the church while it was under the leadership of two consecutive popes who firmly restored the centralization of authority and control of the church in the Vatican (after initial steps of decentralization had been taken after the Second Vatican Council) is at least highly ironic.



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  • 5
    Cairsley says:

    In reply to #3 by Macropus:

    … In light of their refusal to release information, why is the church not being prosecuted for complicity in these crimes? …

    Hello, Macropus.

    The Vatican City State is an independent sovereign state, and so it is not answerable to the jurisdiction of any other state. The bishops and priests and religious who have been involved in the crimes mentioned can of course be prosecuted by the courts of the countries they live in, but only if the civil authorities know about them, etc. etc. …

    Whether the Vatican should remain a sovereign state is another interesting question.



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  • 6
    Zeuglodon says:

    In reply to #1 by Mormon Atheist:

    Why on earth would they not give these records up? It was some of the most sickening, abhorrent behavior imaginable and If I were the Pope I would want it out so those responsible could be punished! I am amazed that they feel that their church reputation (which is laughable already) is more importan…

    Presumably, it’s because the members work off a moral ideology that aggrandises itself as a shining beacon of goodness. This would also involve taking an open attitude to potential converts, and at least either ignoring or adopting a passive-aggressive attitude towards explicit non-members and their ideas.

    Thus, if anything bad happens, it can’t get out. It’ll give the wrong impression and drive vulnerable souls away from salvation. Compared to that, a few upset kids is “not that big a deal”.

    Lastly, if you blame the invasive influence of the contagious and corruptive ideas of the explicit non-members into the bargain, you’ve invoked the best way to explain how a shining beacon of goodness can be tarnished at all without admitting it’s not a beacon of goodness. Once done, you’ve completed your case, and can brush it under the carpet and move on.

    Of course, depending on the member in question, this might be a genuine faith or a cynical way to keep up PR while doing whatever self-interested things they want. Either way, it relies on in-group, out-group thinking.



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  • In reply to #5 by Cairsley:

    In reply to #3 by Macropus:

    … In light of their refusal to release information, why is the church not being prosecuted for complicity in these crimes? …

    Hello, Macropus.

    The Vatican City State is an independent sovereign state, and so it is not answerable to the jurisdiction of any other stat…

    I for one am actually glad the RCC is taking these steps to shelter criminals and “protect” its own dignity. Nothing atheists could do from outside could possibly make the Church look any worse than what they are doing to themselves. In conspiring to help criminals avoid justice they are highlighting exactly how much contempt they have for humanity and driving away thousands of memebers



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  • Geoffrey Robertson, QC, “Put the pope in the dock. Legal immunity cannot hold. The Vatican should feel the full weight of international law”, Guardian, 2 April 2010. [This is a proposal to prosecute the Vatican under criminal law, where diplomatic immunity does not apply, but where an arrest could only be made in a country (like the UK, but not the US) which has signed the Statute of the International Criminal Court.]

    “Call to treat Vatican as a rogue state: Lawyer Geoffrey Robertson says the church must abandon canon law”, Sydney Morning Herald, 9 September 2010. http://www.smh.com.au/world/call-to-treat-vatican-as-a-rogue-state-20100908-151cg.html

    How fitting that the Vatican State was set up by Mussolini!



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  • 9
    Zeuglodon says:

    In reply to #6 by Zeuglodon:

    Also, that moral ideology is most likely a mish-mash of fuzzy spirituality and appeals to authority, status, and dominance. It probably goes something like; “we are just made of some special feel-good superior essence that we don’t know how it works but that we just know makes sense and conveniently answers irksome philosophical and ethical questions, end of, and the authority of special feel-good superior essence whom you cannot question endorses this message and you’re really missing out and going to miss out if you don’t buy it, and are probably going to get one heck of a world of pain into the bargain.”



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  • 10
    SaganTheCat says:

    “Sincere repentance opens the door to God’s forgiveness and the grace of true amendment”, while “offering prayers and penances for those you have wronged” would “atone personally” for the crimes

    that’s fine but I’m sure god will be just as happy with prayers sent from prison

    if only the vatican had oil under it. bit of oil always helps the international community come to an agreement over human rights issues and I’d love to see the place get by on just a months worth of economic sanctions



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  • We in Latvia had one sort of scandal associated with Lutheran priest, who is now serving prison term as pedophile. However this very priest had been defrocked by Head of the Catholic Church (then) Cardinal Janis Pujats. And this Cardinal openly told that he had warned Head of the Lutheran Church that X was not a good Christian, but that was all. And taking into account that Cardinal had repeatedly insisted on victims of pedophiles being gays and having no rights to complain …. But nobody made any inquiries. Were not able to, very likely because the Supreme Court had already stated (Regarding ordaining of women as Lutheran priests), that churches are private organizations with their own rules. And state has no rights to interfere. Fullstop.



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  • 12
    Teknical says:

    Catholic nuns are responsible for many ruined lives too. Having females in the organisation is not a ‘scandal free’ guarantee. In many instances it may even give credence to an organisation, the same way that god does to the church.



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  • 13
    Anti-theist preacher says:

    pope Ratzinger defrocked a lot of clergymen (between 2 and 3 hundred as far as I have read)… did he also defrock himself?? one wonders why he abdicated before his time had come…
    I am all for openness about this and the Vatican should be made to give up their archives on sexual abuse cases. I wonder if the international tribunal in the Netherlands could have a role to play in this (or is this institution merely for war related crimes?)



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  • In reply to #3 by Macropus:

    We can wail and gnash our teeth about this as much as we like, but it achieves little beyond the feel-good effect.

    It is known to everyone, the Vatican included, that priests have committed crimes and have not been prosecuted for them If priests were in the habit (so to speak) of robbing banks and…

    The investigating authority is likely to be riddled with Catholics who believe their souls will suffer everlasting torment if they expose the church to public scrutiny, especially if the Italian police lead the inquiry.
    This was found to be the case in Ireland, even at government level when attempts have been made to lift the blasphemy laws.

    Whilst anyone in authority fears for their soul the church will have a grip on society that the Mafia can only dream about.



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  • In reply to #12 by Teknical:

    Catholic nuns are responsible for many ruined lives too. Having females in the organisation is not a ‘scandal free’ guarantee. In many instances it may even give credence to an organisation, the same way that god does to the church.

    Exactly, were the Magdelen laundries in Ireland not run by nuns, who treated the girls in their charge like slaves!



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  • 17
    Vorlund says:

    Has the time come when the admission of being a catholic is a badge of shame? It should be. Politicians are regularly (and rightly) pilloried for holding or expressing views which are racist, homophobic, discriminatory etc. If they were party to the concealment of abuse and perverting the course of justice the smell wouldn’t go away.

    Why should an adherent or supporter of an organisation that has by action and omission wrought so much suffering on innocent children be able to hold their heads up? It doesn’t make sense.



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  • 18
    Vorlund says:

    Any institution nurturing children should have women involved at all levels, including the most senior.

    But the RCC has women at grass roots in contact with children. Ask ‘survivors’ of the Father Hudson’s homes how caring a nun can be. I served with a man (late 1970’s) who attempted to desert and had the crap kicked out of him. He was a mess but he shrugged it off and said he was a Father Hudson’s orphan in the 50’s and 60’s and until you’d been thraped by nuns you didn’t know what a good hiding was.



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  • 19
    Ignorant Amos says:

    @ Pete.K

    Exactly, were the Magdelen laundries in Ireland not run by nuns, who treated the girls in their charge like slaves!

    Not only that, but the Nuns taught in Catholic schools and ran Catholic orphanages and hospitals, so it is known that their complicity is out there when it came to carrying out abuse, and covering it up.

    “Sister of Mercy” my arsehole.

    Women were every bit as vicious as the men so it makes the following comment from the OP a bit toothless.

    Any institution nurturing children should have women involved at all levels, including the most senior.

    Just how much complicity that has went on between male and female members of various Catholic religious orders in Ireland, and it did, I don’t think we will ever know.



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  • 20
    hisxmark says:

    In reply to #2 by currerbell:

    I have always in the past stood up for the catholic church as I have known many fine people within its ranks. However, after watching Mea Maxima Culpa, I realise how far the Vatican has been involved in this dreadful affair and also how long the problem has been known about by the church. It is c…
    When I was in Germany, fifty years ago, I met many fine people who had been Nazis. They had supported Hitler and obeyed him. After all, Paul told them to obey their masters. The Catholic Church celebrated Hitler’s birthday right up to the end of the war, just as it supported the “divine right of kings”.



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  • 21
    Alan4discussion says:

    Here is a BBC report on this:-

    UN panel confronts Vatican on child sex abuse by clergy – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25748952

    The Holy See is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a legally binding instrument which commits it to protecting and nurturing the most vulnerable in society.

    It ratified the convention in 1990 but after an implementation report in 1994 it did not submit any progress reports until 2012, following revelations of child sex abuse in Europe and beyond.

    “The view of committee is that the best way to prevent abuses is to reveal old ones – openness instead of sweeping offences under the carpet,” Kirsten Sandberg, chairwoman of the 18-strong CRC, told the Vatican delegation.

    “It seems to date your procedures are not very transparent.”

    Catholic Church abuse scandals

    • Germany – A priest, named only as Andreas L, admitted in 2012 to 280 counts of sexual abuse involving three boys over a decade
    • United States – Revelations about abuses in the 1990s by two Boston priests, Paul Shanley and John Geoghan, caused public outrage
    • Belgium – The bishop of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe, resigned in April 2010 after admitting that he had sexually abused a boy for years
    • Italy – The Catholic Church in Italy admitted in 2010 that about 100 cases of paedophile priests had been reported over 10 years
    • Ireland – A report in 2009 found that sexual and psychological abuse was “endemic” in Catholic-run industrial schools and orphanages for most of the 20th century



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  • 22
    Cairsley says:

    In reply to #7 by N_Ellis:

    I for one am actually glad the RCC is taking these steps to shelter criminals and “protect” its own dignity. Nothing atheists could do from outside could possibly make the Church look any worse than what they are doing to themselves. In conspiring to help criminals avoid justice they are highlighting exactly how much contempt they have for humanity and driving away thousands of members

    I do agree! It is a pity, for the same reason, that Benedict XVI abdicated; not only was he disliked for his general outlook but he was one of the main culprits at the Vatican during all those years of cover-up. Now he has to remain in Vatican territory in order to be safe from arrest, poor chap, but at least he has his piano to play and his books to read. The new pope is, unfortunately, much more likeable in person and attitude and has proved to be a bit of a distraction from all that sordid business.



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  • 23
    Fiorenzo says:

    “Sincere repentance opens the door to God’s forgiveness and the grace of true amendment”.

    So, we can fuck them (the priests and Catholic hierarchs) very hard and then pray to pay for that, avoiding every legal consequence.

    Hum … Why not?

    They are repellent but with a little bit of sacrifice … 🙂



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  • 24
    BowmKerry says:

    The church is a place that will attract pedophiles as there is access to a never ending supply of boys and girls who cannot say anything about the abuse as they wil have been terrified into silence. The only way to prevent this is to name, shame and punish the culprits so that going into the church is not an easy way to find victims. Also there should be no legal clause allowing priests to not have to divulge what is said in confession as this could just be an easy way to find other pedophiles. The church should also recognise it’s part in this and stop insisting on celibacy as denying a person the right to perform an act of instinct wil end in disaster. The church needs to recognise same sex partnerships so that the clergy don’t feel the need to play out their desires in secret on the only people guaranteed not to expose them. Better still disband and give all the money to the victims of their crimes.



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  • 25
    hisxmark says:

    It’s not just about the church being dominated by men. Go into a church during the mass and do a head count. You’ll find it is mostly women, sometimes with children. There will be very few men alone. It is women who keep the church going. It is women who fill the collection plate. In case after case it was nuns who sent the children off to the priest to be molested. But It doesn’t really matter who is running the show.
    As long as religion is a collection of absurdities it will be a source of atrocities.



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  • In reply to #25 by hisxmark:

    It’s not just about the church being dominated by men. Go into a church during the mass and do a head count. You’ll find it is mostly women, sometimes with children. There will be very few men alone. It is women who keep the church going. It is women who fill the collection plate. In case afte…

    That’s the paradox isn’t it? I’d wager all religions save a couple of fertility cults in the past, are actively against the rights of women and yet we are the ones filling the pews. I’ve often speculated about the causes behind this state of affairs.



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  • 27
    phill057 says:

    I am from Ireland here. As a former catholic I have been and will always be totally insanely disgusted with what has taken place in reaguard to the catholic abuse. This cover up and veil of secrecy that has followed it should not be tolerated an all this should be fully investigated by the proper authorites.
    It is totally wrong that ones have gotten away with it.



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  • 28
    Agrajag says:

    The Devil can tempt anyone into sin, and thus a repentant sinner is no more likely to sin again than anyone else.

    I pretty much stopped here…

    Steve



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  • 29
    Watchtower&Awakening says:

    This makes my blood boil.

    The Catholic Church is torturing the entire world. Smilingly, unapologetically doing as they please while believing they are above the judgments of the human race. All this while preaching of their superiority and how secular culture is responsible!

    What makes my blood boil more so, is that the ignorant and credulous continue to give them power.
    I spoke to a Catholic just the other day who DID NOT KNOW JESUS WAS A JEW.

    I feel sad for humanity and worse for the millions of victims of the Catholic church.



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  • 30
    Watchtower&Awakening says:

    This makes my blood boil.

    The Catholic Church is torturing the entire world. Smilingly, unapologetically doing as they please while believing they are above the judgments of the human race. All this while preaching of their superiority and how secular culture is responsible!

    What makes my blood boil more so, is that the ignorant and credulous continue to give them power.
    I spoke to a Catholic just the other day who DID NOT KNOW JESUS WAS A JEW.

    I feel sad for humanity and worse for the millions of victims of the Catholic church.



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  • 31
    Watchtower&Awakening says:

    This makes my blood boil.

    The Catholic Church is torturing the entire world. Smilingly, unapologetically doing as they please while believing they are above the judgments of the human race. All this while preaching of their superiority and how secular culture is responsible!

    What makes my blood boil more so, is that the ignorant and credulous continue to give them power.
    I spoke to a Catholic just the other day who DID NOT KNOW JESUS WAS A JEW.

    I feel sad for humanity and worse for the millions of victims of the Catholic church.



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  • 32
    Watchtower&Awakening says:

    This makes my blood boil.

    The Catholic Church is torturing the entire world. Smilingly, unapologetically doing as they please while believing they are above the judgments of the human race. All this while preaching of their superiority and how secular culture is responsible!

    What makes my blood boil more so, is that the ignorant and credulous continue to give them power.
    I spoke to a Catholic just the other day who DID NOT KNOW JESUS WAS A JEW.

    I feel sad for humanity and worse for the millions of victims of the Catholic church.



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  • 33
    Watchtower&Awakening says:

    This makes my blood boil.

    The Catholic Church is torturing the entire world. Smilingly, unapologetically doing as they please while believing they are above the judgments of the human race. All this while preaching of their superiority and how secular culture is responsible!

    What makes my blood boil more so, is that the ignorant and credulous continue to give them power.
    I spoke to a Catholic just the other day who DID NOT KNOW JESUS WAS A JEW.

    I feel sad for humanity and worse for the millions of victims of the Catholic church.



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  • 34
    Watchtower&Awakening says:

    This makes my blood boil.

    The Catholic Church is torturing the entire world. Smilingly, unapologetically doing as they please while believing they are above the judgments of the human race. All this while preaching of their superiority and how secular culture is responsible!

    What makes my blood boil more so, is that the ignorant and credulous continue to give them power.
    I spoke to a Catholic just the other day who DID NOT KNOW JESUS WAS A JEW.

    I feel sad for humanity and worse for the millions of victims of the Catholic church.



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  • 35
    QuestioningKat says:

    It’s not just about the church being dominated by men. Go into a church during the mass and do a head count. You’ll find it is mostly women, sometimes with children. There will be very few men alone. It is women who keep the church going. It is women who fill the collection plate.

    …and they come home, watch, read, or listen to Oprah, read astrology, follow the Secret, do a detox cleanse, see a nutritionist (instead of a dietician) take a girls day out to the psychic fair…….. I know because I was one of them. We are certainly a “trendy” group.

    Divulging these records would mean that a fairly accurate count can be established. Certainly this would be big news that even the most faithful Catholics would be forced to hear. Most faithful Catholics brush these events off as just a “few bad priests” and not reflecting on God nor the religion.



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  • 36
    virtus1 says:

    Actually everywhere in the world, the clerics are taking steps to defends their institutions and their influence. The latest example, in Romania, a group of people associated with the Romanian Ortodox Church reported almost all atheist pages on Facebook, demanding their ban. Facebook did by impose a ban on some pages and more disrespectuful , erasing a group page, Romanian Atheist and Agnostics without warning. That is raising more questions about the methodology that Facebook are using when is deciding to take action against reported pages in general. That was said, for example in Romania, the powerful Romanian Ortodox Church is above of the law(they are not paying taxes, they are regulary interfering with the political life asking for public money from buget- big amounts in the latests 20 years, and the politicians are playing the game in exchange for the electoral votes- the clerical often actioning like electoral agents for political parties). Is not at surprise, at this moment Romania have 18400 churches. When the comunist state collapsed in 1989 , the Romanian Ortodox Church took the lead. Each year 200 new churches are build, In contrast, each year 1000 public schools are disapearing, and worstly now just 400 hospitals are deserving the population. What is happening is a sort of returning in Middle Age. The quality of the public debate in society is very low,.Often atheist who are representing now just 1% (officialy declared because of the social norm, they are in sort regarded like extremists) are obliged to a form of radicalisation and to fight , to afirm their fundamental rights- free speech. The clercs are payed to educate the childrens but in fact they are indoctrinated with medieval ideas, for example the manuals are wiht graphical pictures who are suggesting that if the children don’t are believers they will be punished – hit by cars etc). Political figures are promoted in fonction of their adherence to the Romanian Ortodox beliefs. The human rights are not respected in some cases. For example in Cluj-Napoca the local autorities decided to demolate houses of the poor people- gipsies- to build after a modern building that is used campus for theological university. The survival of the laicity pinciples of the State became a fight in some sort.



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  • 37
    gritnix says:

    Well written article. I’m always amazed at how little press the Boy Scouts of America received for essentially doing the same thing, keeping a record of reported abusers w/o turning them over to authorities. Some of those abusers simply went to new places where the local BSA wasn’t very diligent about checking “The List” and abused more boys. The list was only turned over after they fought a court case and lost.



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  • 39
    achromat666 says:

    Divulging these records would mean that a fairly accurate count can be established. Certainly this would be big news that even the most faithful Catholics would be forced to hear. Most faithful Catholics brush these events off as just a “few bad priests” and not reflecting on God nor the religion.

    Yes, and this is an even bigger issue for the church, beyond the revelation to its followers that these horrid events take place.. If the world had the opportunity to see the pattern of abuse and cover up the church is actually hiding just based on the amount we know about alone (because there is clearly more going on than the church is willing to admit) it really would force the perception of the church by followers and the world alike to change irrevocably.

    A few bad priests could perhaps be responsible for a few things, but a systematic sweeping under the rug of these heinous crimes but even the highest members of the church on a routine basis indicates a corrupt system of special treatment in the absolute worst way.

    **”Whoever fights with monsters should see to it that he does not become a monster in the process. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.”
    [Beyond Good and Evil, aphorism # 146.] **

    The same is absolutely true when you defend monsters, which is what the church has been doing.



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  • Excellent article. One other thing – the church should lose its status as a “country” and subject itself to the laws of Italy (the Vatican) and member churches everywhere else to the country they belong to. Ideally they would do this voluntarily, of course they won’t, they don’t have the courage to do that. Hopefully the UN will sling this sleazy little non-country out.



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  • 41
    Alan4discussion says:

    In reply to #35 by visgat:

    Excellent article. One other thing – the church should lose its status as a “country” and subject itself to the laws of Italy (the Vatican) and member churches everywhere else to the country they belong to.

    What?? … and undo the work of that good Catholic Italian Fascist “benefactor” Benito Mussolini?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lateran-Treaty



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