Sunday, March 21, 2010

Teflon Pope Redux

Teflon Pope
(Agence France Presse/Getty Images)

After an interesting discussion with a friend by email, I've decided to clarify a few of my points, since it seems the bee in my bonnet has interfered with the elucidation of my thoughts.

First, I'm half-Irish, and no, I don't think that being Irish makes it likely that you're a pedophile. But, if BishopAccountability is accurate, I'm betting that if you're an Irish priest you might be. Abuse begets abuse. If you're a priest, you were exposed to priests growing up. Get it? Plus, there is the attractive church policy, guaranteed to fulfill your every need if you are a pedophile: you'll only get a slap on the wrist and reassigned if you sexually molest children. No one will even pick up the phone and call the police on you. Heck, I'm sure there would be plenty of pedophiles willing to convert just for the opportunity the Catholic church has offered them.

Second, what do I mean about the Teflon Pope not having a handle on things? Gee, let me think about it. After probably many centuries of the Catholic church having total control over their corner of the world, the media started paying attention to people screaming about child abuse at the hands of the church a little less than sixty years ago. The collective outcry is now practically deafening. So what does the Teflon Pope, who is more and more implicated in the coverup of these pedophile priests, do? Does he talk directly to his flock in Ireland to apologize? Oh no, they are beneath his direct contact concerns. Instead, he sends an 18 page letter and has his Cardinal do it for him. Because you know, we're only talking about decades of abuse that people have been brave enough to finally come forward and talk about. No biggie. Just decades of physical and sexual abuse of the faithful's children. No need to address people directly.

Third, the letter itself is a masterpiece of accomplishing nothing. It does not put the blame on the church hierarchy. It does not reflect on the Teflon Pope's role in the cover-up. It blames the Irish bishops but does not call for their resignation. It does not acknowledge that the problem is international. And most of all it does not call for the revealing of the names of these known pedophile priests and demand they not be permitted to remain in any role within the church that allows them access to children nor that their names be given to the police!!!!!!

So yeah, those are my thoughts. Hopefully, more clearly elucidated after a night's good sleep.


  1. The typical excuse is that these problems result from men in the Church making mistakes. It is not a Church problem, right? If you want to believe this, you are a bit naive. So many of the Catholic Church's rules and a good fraction of its dogma were fully made up by its rulers, centuries after the Gospel's events allegedly took place. So, I submit that this is a serious Church problem, which the hierarchy insists on dragging under the rug with half-hearted apologies. If they had any decency, the Pope and all Bishops involved would have resigned a long time ago. The fact that they don't tells us enough about their lack of decency and the corruption prevalent through the ranks of the Catholic Church.

    Shame on them and those who believe in them!!

  2. When reading about the horror that is this epidemic of abuse, I tend to think it must be very interesting to be in my Catholic high school's religion classes with Fr. Lopez these days. He's an interesting mixture of open-minded and dogmatic, and he teaches mostly the seniors in ethics-centered courses. (At least, he did over ten years ago.) One of his favorite lines was, "You cannot hold Mother Church in her current incarnation responsible for the wrongs of past incarnations." Which was always terribly confusing to me, since, isn't the Pope infallible?

    I was out of high school before the big news of U.S. abuse started coming out, though some of the Irish 1998 news broke when I was a sophomore/junior. I don't remember it even really coming up in class. We were too focused on trying to get Mr. Siler (another religion teacher) to please explain why it made any sense that Jews (etc.) who were truly good people would still not have eternal life if they didn't take the body of Christ.


    (In other news, my word verification is St Mar, which is just hilarious, given the context. :D :D :D)

  3. I gave up on the internal consistency in the church long ago (right around the time I heard that St. Christopher wasn't really a saint after all and that babies that died before baptism weren't in limbo after all). I guess now I'm focused on accountability.

  4. BTw. that St. Mar bit is really priceless.