Saturday, April 03, 2010

Is the pope too big to fail?

In a word - no.

So, why is that so many Catholics seem to believe that he should not be held accountable for the sexual molestation of children that he aided and abetted? And what is it about forgiveness that they don't get? That you can forgive someone and hold them legally responsible at the same time?

In true Catholic victimhood style, after trying unsuccessfully to blame the media for exposing the latest child abuse scandals, the pope's preacher - on Good Friday, no less - compared the criticisms of the pope to the horrors suffered by Holocaust victims. Just another attempt at guilt-inducing behaviour in order to justify its actions - a tactic the church is infamous for.

At a Good Friday service in St Peter's Basilica in Rome, the Preacher of the Pontifical Household compared criticism of the Church over abuse allegations to "the collective violence suffered by the Jews".

Fr Cantalamessa said he had been inspired by a letter from a Jewish friend who had been upset by the "attacks" against the Pope.

He then read part of the letter, in which his friend said he was following "with indignation the violent and concentric attacks against the Church, the Pope and all the faithful of the whole world".

"The use of stereotypes and the passing from personal responsibility and guilt to a collective guilt remind me of the more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism," he quoted the letter as saying, as the Pope listened.
Note the insidiousness there: the priest invokes some anonymous Jewish friend. Ergo, it must be okay to compare what's happening to the pope to what's happened to Jews.

How anyone can compare free speech to "violent" attacks is beyond me - especially when the real violence was perpetrated by Catholic priests against helpless children.

And there is absolutely no doubt that the Catholic church hierarchy must be held collectively guilty for what has occurred because it established policies to shield child-molesting priests from prosecution.

This is not remotely similar to "anti-semitism". This is about holding the institution of the church responsible for its crimes. And I doubt anyone needs to be reminded of the history of the church's real anti-semitism to understand what an absolutely farcical comparison has been made by this priest.

One would think that the pope and his minions would be asking themselves What would Jesus do? at a time like this.

I don't think that answer would be to blame the media or to accuse the accusers of anti-semitism. It seems to me a little humility would be in order.

I left the Catholic church as a teenager decades ago during the womens' revolution when I realized that it treated women as second-class citizens - long before all of these sex-abuse scandals saw the light of day. My philosophy is atheist/buddhism now. I have no need for gods or god-figures. I don't worship anything or anybody. I have no use for "organized" religion and crimes justified by religious dogma. How any Catholic can continue to have faith in the institution of the Vatican - which is not supposed to be what the religion is about anyway - is beyond me.

I have a 'live and let live' attitude towards peoples' personal spiritual choices. That does not extend, however, to withholding criticism when the institution they attach themselves to is corrupt - especially when the practices it endorses (officially or unofficially through the tenets of its leaders) are intended to cause personal harm to other human beings. Tolerance ends where abuse begins. That's pretty simple.

This pope is not too big to fail. And he has failed - massively. The only question left is what the consequences will be. He needs to get himself out of the way - or someone needs to force him to do it - so the focus can be placed where it belongs: on the suffering and healing of the victims.


Stuff Catholics Have So Far Blamed for the Church's Pedophilia Scandal

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