The Catholic Church is now beyond the pale

March 28, 2010 at 8:15 pm (Catholicism, Champagne Charlie, Christianity, Human rights, religion, thuggery, youth)

Arthur Budzinski (circled left) at a Church service with Fr Murphy (right)

Above: Fr Murphy (on the right -protected by the Vatican) and one of his victims (not protected)

The present Pope covered this up: the sexual abuse of 200 deaf  kids (see above).

I was going to write a piece denouncing the Catholic Church as one of the most reactionary institutions in present-day society, and unfit to be allowed anywhere near kids or educational establishments. I was also going to excoriate New Labour (and of course, the left-footer Blair) for encouraging the view that religion must be “respected” and bringing in legislation to protect religious people from discrimination, and giving them protection from normal scrutiny and judgement.

I stand by all of that, and especially  my opposition to any special legal protection for religion and religious belief: I want to be able to discriminate against religious people, as I do (in practice) virtually every day.

But I’ve decided to simply hand the prosecution over to a victim, Colm O’ Gorman:

“It was not being raped by a priest at the age of 14 that shattered my faith; it was the horrifying realisation that the Catholic Church had wilfully, knowingly abandoned me to it, the knowledge that they had ordained the priest who abused me despite knowing he was a paedophile and set him free to abuse with near impunity, ignoring all complaints.

 ” And so it is difficult not to be cynical about the likely merit of the pastoral letter that Pope Benedict XVI will publish today (20 March 2010).

 “For a start the letter is intended for the “Irish faithful”. The Pope will write not to those who have left or fled his Church traumatised or outraged by acts of depravity and cover-up, but to those who somehow hold faith despite it.

“For my part I know what fractured my faith in the institutions of the Roman Catholic Church. I was a faithful Catholic, born into a society where to be Irish meant being Catholic. As a child, I knelt with my family in the evenings to say the rosary and I became an altar boy, finding great meaning as a child in the idea of serving the God my elders spoke of. My faith mattered to me; it had come to me across the generations and gave me a powerful sense of myself and my place in the world.

 “That faith was strong enough not to be shattered by the abuse. Father Sean Fortune used my fidelity to lure me to his rural parish and sexually assault me. But my faith was so strong, and my need to believe in the goodness of the Church and its priests so powerful, that I blamed myself for his crimes, turning my hatred of the act of his abuse inwards where, for decades, it poisoned my sense of myself. My faith in myself was gone, but not my faith in my church. Over the years I drifted from regular Mass attendance, but I still held the Church in esteem – until that painful realisation of the extent of the cover-up, of my abuse and that of countless others.

 “If today’s letter is to represent a real and meaningful change in how the Vatican deals with abuse, it will have to be a radical departure from previous papal statements.

 “Firstly, it must not make any attempt to blame anyone else for Church failures. Pope Benedict must not suggest the revelations of clerical crime and cover-up are part of a global media conspiracy as he has previously done. He must not seek to blame the decadence of Western society, the sexual revolution, gays, secularisation or even the Devil, as senior church leaders have asserted over the years.

 “He must also move beyond bland statements expressing his shock and dismay at the revelations of recent years. As head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, he was the man charged with the management of cases of child sexual abuse on a global scale for more than two decades. He, more than anyone, knows about the scale of abuse across the Catholic Church.

“He must not patronise us by telling us what any person with basic reason knows, that child abuse is a “heinous crime”. He must not express his regret at the actions of some, or a few, or even many priests. Neither he, nor his institution, can be held responsible for the actions of any individual priest, which has never been the charge levelled against him.

 “He must end the denial and deceit typified by his constant refusal to properly engage with the charge of cover-up, never mind admit it. In the face of findings of fact in Ireland, the US, Australia and Canada which have detailed the institutional corruption at the heart of these scandals, to do otherwise would be to continue to cover up by a wilful denial to address the issue.

“He must take responsibility for the cover-up, and apologise for it. As supreme head of the Catholic Church he must use his power to enforce proper child protection across the global Church. He must also make it clear that those who fail to act to protect children will be properly held to account.

 “When I was a child I was taught truth and justice mattered. I was taught that I should have the courage to take responsibility for any wrong that I might do others. I was taught that the first step in doing so was to confess my failings. I expect no less from the head of the Church that preached those values to me.”

 The writer campaigns for justice for clerical sexual abuse victims and is the author of ‘Beyond Belief’, the story of the boy who sued the Pope (www.colmogorman.com)

For superb commentary on Catholic  lying, denial and excuse of child abuse, read Christopher Hitchens on “the stench of evil”,  here and here.

h/t: Will

124 Comments

  1. Red Maria said,

    That’s all very well, Jim but, but, but … you’ve over reached, again.

    See, you make accusations very easily “The Pope covered up sex-abuse” but I think it would be a devil of a job getting the facts which demonstrate the same out of you.

    But let’s try.

    Prove it.

    Go on. Prove it.

    Show me and the world how the Pope covered up sex-abuse.

    And by the way, Christopher Hitchens has been caught out telling porky pies. So don’t rely on him.

  2. Jim Denham said,

  3. Red Maria said,

    Click on the link, the screen whirrs and the word “SNAP” comes up for a minute. Very appropriate.

    Yes, Colm O’Gorman. What happened to him, to any rape victim is terrible. Whether that fucks up your mind for the rest of your life is an open question, however. I’m sure that O’Gorman, who – and forgive my cynicism – has fashioned for himself a very successful career in activism and politics would explain his vituperative rants against anyone who proffers a different analysis of Church and state to the one that he advances as justifiable given his experiences.

    But I’m not so sure.

    Neither am I sure that everything he says on the wider subject of Church and sex-abuse is completely reliable.

    He filmed and appeared in the Panorama documentary, Sex crimes and the Vatican, which seriously misrepresented a key plank of its argument, the document Crimen Sollicitationis.

  4. Jim Denham said,

    ” …has fashioned for himself a very successful career in activism and politics ”

    Simply incredible, Maria: would you dare say the same about any other victim of rape?

  5. Red Maria said,

    Depends on whether they had fashioned such a high-profile career for themselves or not. Most do not. Colm O’Gorman has. He has used it, in part, to heap invective on anyone who happens to disagree with his highly questionable analysis of the post conciliar Church and generally to blast torrents of emotive unreason on the question of sex abuse and religion.

    The fact that he is a rape victim does not innoculate him from criticism.

  6. Jim Denham said,

    No it doesn’t, Maria: but it does give him the right to be listened to as someone who speaks with authority on his subject. You, on the other hand, come over as a craven apologist for the Catholic Church’s cover-up of child abuse. You have produced *nothing* that effectively counters what O’Gorman has to say. And Chris Hitchens makes mincemeat of your filthy church and its sick paedophilic medieval perversions.

  7. Red Maria said,

    No, Jim. Colm O’Gorman is NOT an authority on sex, child abuse, religion, the Catholic Church or canon law. He is an authority on what happened to him. And that is all, as far as this is concerned.

    He has the right to be listened to, of course he has. But I also have the right to criticise him, not least because he uses his experience, some might say he does so cynically, to misrepresent the truth about the Church and canon law concerning sex-abuse.

    How I come across is as of much moment as how you come across. What matters is what you are saying here and now and how I answer it. I do so without preconceptions. Do you?

  8. Jim Denham said,

    Maria: I have many “preconceptions”: amongst them is a preconception that child abuse is wrong and shouldn’t be covered up.

  9. Red Maria said,

    Excellent. So we’re in agreement then.

  10. Sarah B said,

    I thought O’Gorman’s piece was extremely eloquent and impressive.

  11. Red Maria said,

    You would.

  12. maxdunbar said,

    Maria

    You’re an apologist for the torture and rape of children.

    I’m seriously considering banning you.

  13. Red Maria said,

    I think you’ll find that that would not just be your decision, Max.

    Demonstrate how I am an apologist for the rape and torture of children – demonstrate it – or withdraw your comment.

    And don’t try and intimidate me into toeing your line.

  14. martin ohr said,

    Maria- will you agree with me that if the pope is proved to have covered up sex-abuse ( ie by the discovery of a memo from him with direct instructions to do so, rather than the present evidence that he directly knew and did nothing) that it will be very serious for the catholic church.

    What do you think would happen in such a case- can a former hitler saluting pope stay in office and give sermons from his prison cell?

    What would it take for you to believe that he might have acted very badly indeed.

    What I find sad about all this, is that most people on this blog could not claim to be morally superior to anyone EXCEPT the current pope. It turns out that god’s representative on earth is a very poor advert for god indeed. It might lead a thinking person to conclude that there is actually no god after all.

  15. Red Maria said,

    Maria- will you agree with me that if the pope is proved to have covered up sex-abuse ( ie by the discovery of a memo from him with direct instructions to do so, rather than the present evidence that he directly knew and did nothing) that it will be very serious for the catholic church.

    Let me interrupt you at this point because there’s already a very serious charge in that paragraph which deserves further illumination.

    What evidence can you point to that shows that the present Pope knew about child abuse and did nothing about it?

  16. socialrepublican said,

    For the opiate addict, any threat to the supply of the drug and their consumption of it must be fought and shamed. They must redefine the threat, just as they consider it, as a cruel torment, maliciously and needlessly put upon them. Rather than an act of love or kindness, of law or public morality, the disruption of supply is redrawn as an attack on their very being, being an attack on the new centre they have chosen, the consumptive chemical. They are God’s own addict, and cold turkey is apostasy.

    Given this seemingly existential crisis, they feel compelled to stop at no moral limits in the defence of their addiction. No act, no rhetoric, no lie is too repugnant. Even in this self-abasement and forceful project of their delusional armour, they will demand to be seen as martyrs, as restrained, as reasonable, as anything other than what they are.

  17. socialrepublican said,

    How the drug gets to them and the consequences of the trade at present are unimportant to the addict. This indifference is founded in the transcedence of the comsumption itself, an excuse of personal powerlessness or by a fallacious belief that the drug is “on the whole” a social good. This good outweighs the “bad” intrinsic to the drug’s creation, distribution and comsumption

  18. John Meredith said,

    I know it is a bit of a cliche that ‘good men will do good and evil men will do evil, but it takes religion to make a good man do evil’, but Red Maria seems to be a very good example of it. I am quite sure she would not usually apologise for sex abusers and their facilitators, or disparage rape victims in an attempt to discredit them, but because religion is involved, everything changes. Sad and disgusting in equal parts.

  19. Red Maria said,

    I think the constant repetition of allegations without the supplying of any evidence to back them up, hopeless reasoning and screaming at anyone who dares to criticise this nonsense is much more sad and disgusting than anything you say about me.

    Colm O’Gorman is not defined by the fact that he was raped. O’Gorman is a political campaigner and activist. Hence is as open to criticism as anyone else in public life. Just like Moazzam Begg, if you like.

  20. martin ohr said,

    Maria,

    OK just for the time being put my scurilous allegation that the pope knew and did nothing, and answer:

    “Maria- will you agree with me that if the pope is proved to have covered up sex-abuse ( ie by the discovery of a memo from him with direct instructions to do so or similar) that it will be very serious for the catholic church.

    What do you think would happen in such a case- can a former hitler saluting pope stay in office and give sermons from his prison cell?

    What would it take for you to believe that he might have acted very badly indeed.

    What I find sad about all this, is that most people on this blog could not claim to be morally superior to anyone EXCEPT the current pope. It turns out that god’s representative on earth is a very poor advert for god indeed. It might lead a thinking person to conclude that there is actually no god after all.”

  21. Red Maria said,

    Not so fast.

    When will you provide the evidence to buttress your assertion?

  22. Red Maria said,

    And if you cannot substantiate it will you withdraw it?

  23. martin ohr said,

    Red Maria, he was head of the department where letters were sent, either he saw them or he was incompetent.

  24. martin ohr said,

    …now can you answer?

  25. Red Maria said,

    Hang on. You’re making more claims. They demand evaluation.

    What letters?

    Where?

    Which demonstrate what, exactly?

  26. John Meredith said,

    “Colm O’Gorman is not defined by the fact that he was raped. ”

    No, thank god, the priests who repeatedly raped him and the popes and cardinals that protected them and facilitated their crimes cannot completely define him. And he can be criticised, of course. But you were attempting to smear him on the basis of his suffering, which is truly low. I am sure you would not do this if it were not for the religious aspect of the case. Religion really does seem to poison everything.

  27. Red Maria said,

    It is not smearing somebody to point out that they have successful political and activist careers when they do.

    Neither is it smearing someone to note that they make vituperative attacks on people who happen to take issue with their analysis when they do so.

    Neither is it smearing someone to say that they are not authorities on everything under the sun and that they seriously misrepresented a Vatican document on a programme they made when they did so.

    You should be clear what the word “smear” means and not misuse it and er, smear someone else.

    Neither should you say that Popes and Cardinals protected and facilitated crimes and their perpetrators unless you have absolutely cast-iron proof that they did so.

    NB: Excitable newspaper commentary does not count as proof.

  28. martin ohr said,

    Maria, the evidence of the letters and the coverups will be in the public domain before very long.

    Do you apply the same evidence for proof with regards to the existence or not of God?

  29. Red Maria said,

    So just to be clear, Martin. You haven’t got any evidence, you can’t point to any evidence. You were making accusations without being able to substantiate them.

    Will you now withdraw your remarks that the Pope knew about and covered up child-abuse?

  30. John Meredith said,

    “Neither should you say that Popes and Cardinals protected and facilitated crimes and their perpetrators unless you have absolutely cast-iron proof that they did so.”

    I think the evidence is as good as it can get. We know that Cardinal Brady, just as one example, was complicit in the cover up of the crimes of at least one rapist that had the consequnece of leading to many more rape victims. He admits this himself. We know that Ratzinger issued up a memo requiring all bishops to cover up for rapists in the church (you will deny that his memo had that import but it is clear enough to the rest of us and his bishops took it to mean that (and did not object).

    We will soon see the rest of the letters. The Vatican has not denied that they contain what has been claimed for them.

    This can only get worse for these evil men. We have not even heard from countires like Brazil, yet. Imagine how the priests must have fed on the children there, where they are equipped to resist or speak out and with the support of the Vatican guaranteeing the rapists protection from prosecution or even criticism.

  31. Red Maria said,

    We know that Ratzinger issued up a memo requiring all bishops to cover up for rapists in the church (you will deny that his memo had that import but it is clear enough to the rest of us and his bishops took it to mean that (and did not object)

    JOHN MEREDITH YOU ARE A LIAR.

    There is no such memo. There is no such requirement. Nothing. You are, I repeat, a liar.

    The document you are referring to is not a memorandum but a 1962 letter, updated and reissued in 2001 and easily obtainable in English translation on the internet. It is entitled Crimen sollicitationis and contrary to your egregious lies, it REQUIRES anyone solicited by a priest in the confessional to denounce that priest WITHIN A MONTH ON PAIN OF EXCOMMUNICATION, a penalty which will only be lifted on the same being achieved or a solemn promise to do so.

    So far I have caught out Christopher Hitchens, Johann Hari and Peter Tatchell in that order, telling lies about the document. You’re just another addition to the list. I’m sure there will be others.

    I really don’t have time to argue with thick people who ought to go back to remedial reading classes.

  32. John Meredith said,

    “JOHN MEREDITH YOU ARE A LIAR. There is no such memo. There is no such requirement. Nothing. You are, I repeat, a liar … The document you are referring to is not a memorandum but a 1962 letter”

    This is truly risible, Maria. The letter requires churchmentnot to cooperate with secular authorities into child rape investigations by priests. Your quibbling over whether it should be called a ‘memo’ or a letter’ is, well, predictably jesuitical. The pope is heavily implicated in literally hundereds (maybe thousands, maybe tens of thousands) of sex crimes.

  33. Will said,

    http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/panelists/richard_dawkins/2010/03/ratzinger_is_the_perfect_pope.html

    “No, Pope Ratzinger should not resign. He should remain in charge of
    the whole rotten edifice – the whole profiteering, woman-fearing,
    guilt-gorging, truth-hating, child-raping institution – while it
    tumbles, amid a stench of incense and a rain of tourist-kitsch sacred
    hearts and preposterously crowned virgins, about his ears.”

  34. Will said,

    G-D botherers are all fuckking at it

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8591534.stm?ls

    ‘absolute scum”

  35. Will said,

    catholic cunts.

    some leftist pinkos think that being anti-catholic is a bad thing…

    thgick cunts.

  36. Will said,

    that video link here

  37. Will said,

    ShoRtEr pope:

    “I wrote a letter.

    i fukked your kid up the arse.

    sorry i got caught.

    thE enD”.

  38. Red Maria said,

    This is truly risible, Maria. The letter requires churchmentnot to cooperate with secular authorities into child rape investigations by priests.

    That is ANOTHER LIE.

    What is truly risible in a hand-wringing more in sorrow than in anger way are your repeated lies about a document you haven’t even read.

    If all your contentions were a) true and b) provably so a monkey with a typewriter would have no difficulty eviscerating my arguments. You can’t do so because you don’t know what you’re talking about and are repeating demonstrable lies because you are relying on secondary sources – for fuck’s sake! – and not checking whether they correctly represent primary sources. It so happens that the ones you have read do not do so.

    It is you who is pathetic, not me.

  39. socialrepublican said,

    The drug screams and the meat dances

  40. Will said,

  41. maxdunbar said,

    Maria

    I think there is a case for banning you, because

    1) You’ve made your point – at great length

    2) You have your own blog to write this poison on

    3) You have smeared a victim of child rape who spoke out

    4) … and therefore, it reflects badly on this blog that we continue to publish your comments.

    • Lobby Ludd said,

      Max Dunbar:

      “……4) … and therefore, it reflects badly on this blog that we continue to publish your comments.”

      Since when have comments that ‘reflect badly on this blog’ been a reason for ‘banning’?

      Fuck me, most of the comments which ‘reflect badly on this blog’ , come from this blog’s authors. Max, you are, unintentionally, funny.

      • skidmarx said,

        I think it would be a shame if she were banned.Do you really feel that the forces of irrationality can’t be challenged by logic rather than expulsion?

  42. splinteredsunrise said,

    Max, didn’t you refer to Catholics as “irredeemable, subhuman scum”? Even the UVF doesn’t use language like that any more.

  43. shug said,

    I see the indipendant is running a story on Nuns being molested by priests.

  44. Clive said,

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think Maria should be banned. But I want to go right back to the start of this extremely odd apologia:

    See, you make accusations very easily “The Pope covered up sex-abuse” but I think it would be a devil of a job getting the facts which demonstrate the same out of you. But let’s try. Prove it. Go on. Prove it. Show me and the world how the Pope covered up sex-abuse.

    Why on earth should it be incumbent on this blog, or any other normal peeople who basically gets their information from reading the papers, to *prove* something of this order? The onus, pretty obviously, is on the Pope to prove he *didn’t*.

    If this kind of standard was applied to everything – nobody can comment on anything at all until they have exhaustively researched something which it has taken years for other people, dedicated to it, to expose… Lordy. What would happen to blogland?

  45. Clive said,

    Sorry. Still haven’t mastered hmtl tags. It’s me again after ‘sex abuse’.

    • Lobby Ludd said,

      Clive:

      “Why on earth should it be incumbent on this blog, or any other normal peeople who basically gets their information from reading the papers, to *prove* something of this order? The onus, pretty obviously, is on the Pope to prove he *didn’t*. !”

      Are you sure of that, Clive? Surely if you make a claim, “the Pope covered up abuse”, then you must have some supporting evidence – just on common sense grounds – after all why make a claim in the absence of evidence? It’s not a question of legal standards of proof, just sensible rules of debate. (If it were a question of legal standards, then the onus most certainly would not be on the Pope to prove his innocence.)

      • Clive said,

        Well, because in this case it’s a comment on what has been front page news. If it was this blog with an exclusive, yes, it would be different. But what else should you have to ‘prove’ that’s been in the news?

        You could express it more provisionally, sure. But I was responding to Maria’s demand – PROVE IT! How would it substantially change the argument here if the case against the Pope personally was expressed a little bit more provisionally?

  46. maxdunbar said,

    Well, Maria has said some very nasty and hurtful things, about people who have experienced appalling suffering.

    Insulting someone’s religion is one thing – this is quite another.

    And no, I don’t recall saying all Catholics are scum, and it’s not something I would say.

    Marie Therese O’Loughlin has commented here before.

    http://www.butterfliesandwheels.com/articleprint.php?num=227

    I wonder what she would think of the poison on this thread.

  47. Red Maria said,

    Max,

    Did you, do you object to the poison which has appeared on Butterflies and Wheels? Or is that fair game and if so, why?

    There are an awful lot of people who have experienced appalling suffering, does that mean that if they take positions in public life that their utterances should not be scrutinised and criticised in the same way those who have not, one assumes, experienced the same degree of suffering and again, if so, why?

    Those in politics, activism and literature who have experienced appalling suffering include Nelson Mandela, Vaclav Havel, Eli Weisel, Moazzam Begg, Natan Sharansky, Maya Angelou, Father Michael Seed, the late Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the late Joe Slovo, the late Andrea Dworkin and Jill Saward to name a few who come to mind. I could also mention almost everyone aged over 30 who has lived in any Eastern European country you care to mention before 1989. Or every single African American aged over, say, 50 who lived south of Dixie at any point up until desegregation.

    If we are to treat people with kid gloves I think we should be told how wide-ranging this rule is or is not and the reasoning, if any there be, behind it.

  48. maxdunbar said,

    But why do you feel you have to defend this sort of thing?

  49. resistor said,

    Max writes, ‘And no, I don’t recall saying all Catholics are scum, and it’s not something I would say.’

    No, not all, but that wasn’t the accusation.

    Perhaps this might jog your memory

    http://maxdunbar.wordpress.com/2009/09/29/ultimate-insult-to-ultimate-injury/

    ‘It really is beyond me how anyone can remain a member of an organisation whose leaders say such stupid, ugly, callous things.

    All the Vatican could do was apologise and promise to make amends. And it couldn’t even do that. What disgusting, irredeemable, subhuman scum.’

  50. maxdunbar said,

    Thanks for digging that up.

    Of course it is clear from the quote that I am talking about the Vatican authorities rather than all Catholics

  51. Red Maria said,

    So all the Vatican authorities, every Catholic priest and religious who works in or for the Vatican authorities are disgusting, irredeemable, inhuman, scum?

    All of them?

    And presumably those of us who remain in an organisation dominated by such obsence people are beyond your comprehension. One suspects that you consider those of us who do not sever our ties with the Church as complicit in the crimes of sex-abusing priests, even though we did not ourselves commit the crimes, indeed may not have even been alive when the crimes took place.

    You may criticise my comments on this thread as much as you like. Please do, in fact. I can roll with the argument, I welcome the debate. But isn’t there a case for saying that you have expressed similarly out of order sentiments, that you have demonised your ideological opponents, that you have, in fact, been irrational?

    How then, can one be reasonably expected not to hold people, who, yes, indeed have suffered appalling things, up to scrutiny and criticism? Where does this rule start and where does it end? Why is Moazzam Begg fair game but Colm O’Gorman not?

  52. maxdunbar said,

    ‘And presumably those of us who remain in an organisation dominated by such obsence people are beyond your comprehension.’

    Actually, they are. If I was in a political party whose leadership had been involved in the systemic cover up of child rape I would leave.

    ‘But isn’t there a case for saying that you have expressed similarly out of order sentiments, that you have demonised your ideological opponents’

    Well, that’s what I do to demons

  53. martin ohr said,

    Red Maria I think max is completely wrong to say that all catholics are complicit in the errors of the vatican and the crimes of some priests.

    Most catholics that I know personally are appalled, and saddened, and -if they could see a way to do it without destroying a whole faith- would like to see many people in the vatican including the pope resign or be removed and suffer the legal consequences. Max fails to understand that it isn’t just simply a case of leaving the catholic church like you would a political party.

    All that said- I don’t think there is any requirement for you or any other catholic to defend the vatican. Like I said before -and this is easy for me to say because I’m an atheist; priests committing child abuse, vatican covering it up, a pope who was previously part of an organisation which caused the holocaust and who (it appears) orchestrated the cover-up. All these things shold give a rational person cause to stop and think that their church and their god is a pretty rubbish judge of character at the very least, and that these people are after all only human like the rest of us. The problem is taking that view means the end of susbscribing to organised religion.

    Catholics aren’t to blame for the sex scandals. Their error is believing in a god that doesn’t exist and following the priests who claim to speak that non-existant god’s word. It’s a pretty big error in itself.

  54. Will said,

    ha ha

    more good stuff here via The Large One

    http://fatmanonakeyboard.blogspot.com/2010/03/catholic-tastes.html

  55. John Meredith said,

    “If all your contentions were a) true and b) provably so a monkey with a typewriter would have no difficulty eviscerating my arguments. ”

    But everyone considerss them eviscerated except for you Maria, and it is clear that nothing will make you see that raping children is wrong so long as it is done by priests. In 2001 the Pope isssued a letter threatening excommunication to any priest who cooperated with the civil authorities on child rape cases without his express permission. And you think that is somehow OK? You are a sad example of the toxic power of religion.

    And why Max’s claim that anyone continuing to work for an organisation that has been deliberately covering up and, worse, facilitating child rape for at least 40 years is ‘scum’ should strike you as controversial is beyond me.

  56. John Meredith said,

    “All that said- I don’t think there is any requirement for you or any other catholic to defend the vatican”

    It is horrible to watch. I am pretty sure that ordinarily Red Maria would be horrified by rape of any kind and would be loathe to blame the victims for it. But because religion is involved, everything changes and she becomes an apologist for some of the most grotesque crimes that the worst humans are capabale of.

  57. Red Maria said,

    Quick reply to John Meredith, will get back to Max later in the hour.

    In 2001 the Pope isssued a letter threatening excommunication to any priest who cooperated with the civil authorities on child rape cases without his express permission.

    That is a completely insane claim.

    But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

    Quote the very sentences in the document which make that clear.

  58. Red Maria said,

    But everyone considerss them eviscerated except for you Maria, and it is clear that nothing will make you see that raping children is wrong so long as it is done by priests

    Well “everyone” can speak for themselves. I would rejoinder that if “everyone” is sane and rational they cannot consider that you have eviscerated my arguments; it would be perverse of them to do so.

    Quote me to the effect that raping children is ok so long as it’s done by priests.

    Are you completely sure you can follow an argument, by the way?

  59. skidmarx said,

    I see Sinead O’Connor was on Newsnight making the obvious point that none of the bishops who have helped to cover up child abuse have been disciplined. Her adversary repeated the bollocks that one of the reasons for church investigations to be secret was to protect the victim, just as their abusers tell them.

  60. Rosie said,

    OK, I can’t argue this out chapter and verse, but the sense I get of priorities is:-

    Church’s reputation – 1
    Welfare of offender’s soul – 2
    Bringing justice to the victims – lagging way behind

  61. Red Maria said,

    Sinead’s adversary is my old mucker, Austen Ivereigh.

    He didn’t hammer home the point about Crimen sollicitationis nearly enough – don’t know whether he’s been reading my blog recently. There is an interesting story, in fact lots of them, about sex-abuse and the Catholic Church but they isn’t being covered by the press, preoccupied as it is, with the one narrative, namely Catholic Church cover-up to the max.

    Some four Irish bishops resigned in the aftermath of the Ryan and Murphy reports. The Ryan Report – which I precised for Austen when he was writing about it for OSV – makes for very interesting reading. It’s an excellent work of social history. The chapters in I think volume 7 written by historians specialising in 20th Century Ireland on the one hand and England and Wales on the other are particularly informative.

    Sinead O’Connor was a rambling inchoherent wreck. In my view it was quite wrong of Newsnight and the WaPo to exploit her as they have done. It says a lot about this “debate” and people’s preconceptions that this poor woman’s performance has been taken seriously.

  62. Red Maria said,

    Her adversary repeated the bollocks that one of the reasons for church investigations to be secret was to protect the victim, just as their abusers tell them.

    Sorry but it isn’t bollocks. The information is out there for you to read. It is perfectly possible for you to do your homework about this rather than just dismissing matters of fact from ignorance. Read what John Allen wrote about the document which is being repeatedly misrepresented. In fact read the document yourself. I’ve linked to it again and again.

    Rosie: of course that’s the sense you get of the Church’s priorities. That’s what you read, day in, day out in the bullshit press. Hence if anyone points out that y’know, history is a bit more complex than that, which it is, people will dismiss it and instead take the words of a poor confused woman seriously. Such is the tide of unreason which smothers this subject.

    But look, consider just this one point. There is a document which people here on this very thread and in the press keep on wilfully misrepresenting. There’s no excuse for that when the document is easily available on the internet in English translation. Read it, please do. If people want to criticise the Church let them do so, by all means. But let them do so having informed themselves not from a position of ignorance.

  63. John Meredith said,

    “Some four Irish bishops resigned in the aftermath of the Ryan and Murphy reports. ”

    Why haven’t they been prosecuted?

    Maria, you keep denying that the papal letter of 2001 required priests to cover up child abuse, but that is what it did and that is certainly how it was interpreted by the clergy.

    But a very simple way around this would be for the church simply to make public everything it has on accusations of child abuse by the clergy. I wonder (don’t you?) why this hasn’t happened?

  64. John Meredith said,

    “Read what John Allen wrote about the document which is being repeatedly misrepresented. In fact read the document yourself. I’ve linked to it again and again.”

    You keep spinning this, Maria, and it won’t do. The document is an extremely dodgy policy on child abuse and it was secret. If the church was so proud of it, why the secrecy? But you are trying to confuse it with the letter of 2001 that ordered all priests not to co-operate with civil authorities on child rape cases involving the clergy but to refer them, in secret, to the Vatican. The penalty for not doing so was excommunication. In other words, if a priest found a colleague raping an infant and called the police, he would be thrown out of the church – the whistle blower, that is, not the rapist. Just copy the text of the letter here Maria, if you want to show that I am wrong, I am sure you have it. It is worth noting that the Vatican does not deny that the letter had this import, they simply claim that they thought this was the best way to ensure that child abuse aaccusations would be properly dealt with. I am sure YOU believe them Maria, I doubt too many others will.

    And bear in mind that the current pope, while still a cardinal, intervened personally not only to protect a child rapist from prosecution, but to ensure that he had the opportunity to keep raping children.

  65. Rosie said,

    So Red Maria, you would say that throughout this affair the Church’s priorities have been the following:-

    Welfare of/justice to the victims – 1
    Punishment of the offenders – 2
    Reputation of the church – nowhere at all.

    That’s what I would say were the correct priorities, no? Or is that just my atheist morality?

  66. John Meredith said,

    It’s funny what turns up when you manage to suppress your gag reflex long enough to look deeper into the workings of the Catholic church. Ratzinger’s brother, it seems, was in charge of a choir notorious for sexual abuse of boys. He vehemently denies knowing anything about such things. Indeed, he says he only slapped the boys and then only for punishment. So that’s all right then. These moral cretins consider themselves to be the holders of some sort of divine flame.

  67. Red Maria said,

    John Meredith, I contend that what you are asserting in your penultimate comment and the one above it is rubbish. I am open to being proven wrong on this. Stop asserting and start demonstrating. If you say there is a document – named what? – which orders priests not to co-operate with the civil authorities, kindly quote from it. Name it. Source it. Tell me where it can be found. Demonstrate how the clergy interpreted the document. Once again, don’t just make claims, back them up.

    Rosie: no that is not what I said. I said and I quote, “history is a bit more complex than that.” I’m happy to debate the whys and wherefores of sex-abuse and the Catholic Church, I would rather the debate was an informed and intelligent one.

  68. John Meredith said,

    “If you say there is a document – named what? – which orders priests not to co-operate with the civil authorities, kindly quote from it. ”

    Extracted from CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
    LETTER
    sent from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
    to Bishops of the entire Catholic Church
    and other Ordinaries and Hierarchs having an interest
    REGARDING THE MORE SERIOUS OFFENSES
    reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

    “-A delict against morals, namely: the delict committed by a cleric against the Sixth Commandment of the Decalogue with a minor below the age of 18 years.

    Only these delicts, which are indicated above with their definition, are reserved to the apostolic tribunal of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

    As often as an ordinary or hierarch has at least probable knowledge of a reserved delict, after he has carried out the preliminary investigation he is to indicate it to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which unless it calls the case to itself because of special circumstances of things, after transmitting appropriate norms, orders the ordinary or hierarch to proceed ahead through his own tribunal. The right of appealing against a sentence of the first instance, whether on the part of the party or the party’s legal representative, or on the part of the promoter of justice, solely remains valid only to the supreme tribunal of this congregation.

    It must be noted that the criminal action on delicts reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is extinguished by a prescription of 10 years.(11) The prescription runs according to the universal and common law;(12) however, in the delict perpetrated with a minor by a cleric, the prescription begins to run from the day when the minor has completed the 18th year of age.

    In tribunals established by ordinaries or hierarchs, the functions of judge, promoter of justice, notary and legal representative can validly be performed for these cases only by priests. When the trial in the tribunal is finished in any fashion, all the acts of the case are to be transmitted ex officio as soon as possible to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

    All tribunals of the Latin church and the Eastern Catholic churches are bound to observe the canons on delicts and penalties, and also on the penal process of both codes respectively, together with the special norms which are transmitted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for an individual case and which are to be executed entirely.
    Cases of this kind are subject to the pontifical secret.”

  69. John Meredith said,

    Maria, I am genuinely curious, do you believe that any member of the Catholic clergy who knew of a sex crime against a child and did not report it to the police or other civil authorities should be permitted to continue his (blimey, out of habit I almost wrote ‘or her!) career in the clergy? If so, how many cases of abuse do you think it would be acceptable to know about and not to have reported? How many by the same offender? I am trying to get some idea about what you consider moral behaviour to be.

    And are there any other professions that should have similar standards? Would it be acceptable for a doctor in a children’s hospital, for example, to know that a hospital manager had been abusing patients but not to report him to the authorities? What if he did not report him but instead had him transferred to another children’s hospital, perhaps in a different country, would that be OK?

  70. Red Maria said,

    Right fine.

    Now show how that orders priests not to co-operate with civil authorities.

  71. John Meredith said,

    “Now show how that orders priests not to co-operate with civil authorities.”

    Just read it Maria. Would you not take that as an instruction, under pontifical secret, to report cases to the Vatican and to keep them secret? It was how it was interpreted by the Bishops. Perhaps they are not good at understanding this sort of thing? Perhaps Ratzinger, a naif in the workings of power, was poor at expressing himself.? That could happen. So when the Bishops read it wrong (as they have said themselves they did (fo almost ten years)) and failed to alert the authorities Ratzinger’s office and, in fact, kept schtum, he would have pointed out their error, no? No? Really? Why not I wonder?

  72. Will said,

    The crimes within the Catholic Church demand justice.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2249130/

  73. John Meredith said,

    HGood stuff (aas usual on this subject) from Hitchemns. I hope he is right that (as he implies) if Ratzinger sets foot in the UK he will be faced with a serious attempt to indict him for complicity in sex crimes.

  74. Red Maria said,

    No. You have made the claims. The onus is one you to demonstrate that they stand up.

    Stop asserting and start demonstrating. Demonstrate where and how they order priests not to co-operate with the civil authorities.

    Don’t fling terms like pontifical secret around because you don’t know what they mean and just make a twat of yourself.

    I’ve caught Hitchens out lying his head off about that document. So don’t rely on his crapulent commentary.

    Put up.

    Or shut up.

  75. Red Maria said,

    AND show how it was interpreted by bishops. If you can.

  76. John Meredith said,

    “Stop asserting and start demonstrating. Demonstrate where and how they order priests not to co-operate with the civil authorities. ”

    It is implicit. It says this crime is covered by a special layer of secrecy, beyiond the normal requirement, and must be referred immediately to the Vatican who may isssue special orders as to how it should be prosecuted. The wriggle iroom iss what you are squeezing into and has been attempted by the church authorities: to claim ‘but it doesn’t actually SAY you can’t refer to the police first’. The implausibility of this is that none of the bishops it was went to undderstaood it in this way and that haveing (as we are told) misinterpreted it, none of them were corrected by the Vatican.

    Why defend this Maria? Would you defend it if it were a different institution? If the management of BP, for example, had sent a memo ordering all senior personnel to report all rape cases in the strictest secrecy to Head Office and to await instructions on how they should then be investigated. That would not strike you as in any way suspect? It doesn’t say ‘you can’t report to the police first’, after all. But what if all senior personnel interpreted it as an injunction not to report to the police and Head Office never corrected this ‘misapprehansion’ despite hundreds of rapes being reported? Still OK with you?

    This sort of pettifogging is usually just irritating, but when it is used to excuse or downplay rape, its perpetrators and facilitators, it is, frankly, disgusting.

  77. John Meredith said,

    “AND show how it was interpreted by bishops.”

    It is easily done: how many reported child rape cases to the police before they consulted the Vatican? Oh, and there is the statement by the Irish bishops claiming that they had ‘misinterpreted’ it in this way.

  78. John Meredith said,

    “Don’t fling terms like pontifical secret around because you don’t know what they mean ”

    I do know what it means. And it is ugly.

  79. maxdunbar said,

    I always thought of Maria as a charming eccentric and a colourful addition to our comments.

    This thread has certainly made me think twice!

  80. maxdunbar said,

    And now the RCP have got in on the act!

    They really will say anything to get attention.

    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/8360/

    ‘The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, which was launched by the Irish government in 1999 and delivered its report last year, intensively invited Irish-born people around the world to report on incidents of abuse in Irish religious-educational reform schools, where the majority of clerical abuse is said to have occurred, between the period 1914 to 1999. For that 85-year period, 253 claims of sexual abuse were made by males and 128 by females. It is important – surely? – to note that these are claims of sexual abuse rather than proven incidents, since the vast majority of them did not go to trial.’

    Playing the whole thing down in this way ignores two important things:

    1) A massive amount of abuse is unreported for a number of reasons: victims are too intimidated to speak, find incidents very hard to talk about, feel that it is their fault

    2) It is very difficult to prove sex offences anyway as often there’s no DNA and the only witness is the victim

    Still, it’s all the fault of the ‘new atheists’ at the end of the day:

    ‘The second contemporary trend that has elevated something quite rare into a social disaster is the rise of the ‘new atheism’.’

    Twats

  81. Red Maria said,

    I am in fact mad and the Pope is a child sex abuser and that is why he has to cover up the crimes of the Illuminati.

    Katie Price is having her evil way with arch Catholic nationalist Splintered Sunrise. I have the video to prove it.

    Madame Miao and Lyn Marcus are behind the miao miao drug craze. I NEVAH take druuuugs. My head hurts.

    I’m from Saturn you know…

    hic…

  82. Red Maria said,

    Ok, Neprimerimye. You have your revenge. I won’t use your facebook account again, ok?

  83. John Meredith said,

    “And now the RCP have got in on the act!”

    They are working very hard to miss the point of this one and to represent it as a moral panic rather than legitimate criticism of institutional law breaking and cover up.

  84. skidmarx said,

    62. Why is not bollocks.
    In othe news, Rowan Williams points out that Christians here complaining of persecution are whining a little too much.And save the Lebanese astrologer!

  85. Jim Denham said,

    John Cornwall (a left-footer himself I presume – certainly a Cardinal Newman fan) describes the Pope’s presciption for dealing with paedophilia in the Church:

    “He has asked all priests and seminarians to follow the example of a 19th – century French priest named Jean-Baptiste-Marie (“John Mary”) Vianney. This barely literate eremitical priest, also known as the Cure’ d’Ars, would spend most of the night flat on his face in church, with only snatches of sleep on the stone floor of his house, using a log for a pillow. He whipped himself daily with a metal scourge, spattering the bedroom wall with blood. For food he would boil a soucepan of potatoes once a week and live off them until the fianl ones were black and rotten. He banned dancing in his parish because he thought it a prelude to carnal temptation, and cut down the trees in his orchard so that children would not commit the sin of scrumping. He would hear confessions for up to 14 hours a day. Is it possible that Benedict believes that extreme ascetic rigour to the point of self-harm is the answer to the paedophile priest problem?”

    Read the rest here:

    http://www.newstatesman.com/religion/2010/03/newman-catholic-benedict

  86. Will said,

    That red maria bint is a falangist cunt (as i told you lot many moons ago you thick cunTs).

    why any of you thick vermin even entertain the thick fash biatch by response type shit is beyond me.

    ““Every religious idea, every idea of God, even flirting with the idea of God, is unutterable vileness…of the most dangerous kind, “contagion” of the most abominable kind. Millions of sins, filthy deeds, acts of violence and physical contagions…are far less dangerous than the subtle, spiritual idea of God decked out in the smartest “ideological” costumes…. Every defence or justification of God, even the most refined, the best intentioned, is a justification of reaction.”

    Lenin

  87. Will said,

    Lenin asserts that communists do indeed have an ethics, in spite of accusations to the contrary. To wit:

    In what sense do we reject ethics, reject morality?

    In the sense given to it by the bourgeoisie, who based ethics on God’s commandments. On this point we, of course, say that we do not believe in God, and that we know perfectly well that the clergy, the landowners and the bourgeoisie invoked the name of God so as to further their own interests as exploiters. Or, instead of basing ethics on the commandments of morality, on the commandments of God, they based it on idealist or semi-idealist phrases, which always amounted to something very similar to God’s commandments.

    We reject any morality based on extra-human and extra-class concepts. We say that this is deception, dupery, stultification of the workers and peasants in the interests of the landowners and capitalists.

    We say that our morality is entirely subordinated to the interests of the proletariat’s class struggle. Our morality stems from the interests of the class struggle of the proletariat.

    The old society was based on the oppression of all the workers and peasants by the landowners and capitalists. We had to destroy all that, and overthrow them but to do that we had to create unity. That is something that God cannot create.

    http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1920/oct/02.htm

  88. Will said,

  89. Red Maria said,

    I have always thought of Max as a bit of a bandwagon jumper but intellectually competent enough. This thread has changed my mind about that. It requires an enormous amount of either malice or stupidity deliberately to misinterpret my words as a defence of and apologia for child abuse and one which I repudiate with contempt.

    Max Dunbar goes on to take issue with Brendan O’Neill’s Spiked article, specifically with his noting that the vast majority of sex-abuse allegations did not go to trial. Max notes the blindingly obvious: namely that it’s difficult to prosecute sex-crimes. Indeed it is. Nonetheless depending on how rigorously he wants to examine the issue of sex-abuse, he will cite allegations or he will cite prosecutions.

    John Meredith. I’m going to go through this point by point.

    1. I have referred throughout to a document called Crimen sollicitationis.
    2. You said, “We know that Ratzinger issued up a memo requiring all bishops to cover up for rapists in the church”
    3. I said I know of no such memorandum. I know of a letter entitled Crimen sollicitationis which did NOT order bishops to cover up sex abuse.
    4. You replied: “The document is an extremely dodgy policy on child abuse and it was secret. If the church was so proud of it, why the secrecy? But you are trying to confuse it with the letter of 2001 that ordered all priests not to co-operate with civil authorities on child rape cases involving the clergy but to refer them, in secret, to the Vatican.
    So you were asserting that there were two separate documents; a memorandum and a letter. You insisted that the two were not be confused.
    5. I asked you to quote from the memorandum and name it.
    6. You quoted chunks from De delictis gravioribus, the updated version of Crimen sollicitationis issued in 2001.

    Therefore I have shown that you were, in fact, referring to Crimen sollicitiationis throughout. De delictis gravioribus is just an updated version of Crimen sollicitationis, issued in 2001. It was referred to as Crimen sollicitationis by Colm O’Gorman in the programme he filmed for the BBC in 2003. I refer to it as Crimen sollicitationis. When I refer to Crimen sollicitationis I am referring to the updated version, De delictis gravioribus issued in 2001. Is that clear?

    7. You assserted that:
    “the papal letter of 2001 required priests to cover up child abuse … that is what it did and that is certainly how it was interpreted by the clergy.”
    and
    “The letter requires churchmentnot to cooperate with secular authorities into child rape investigations by priests.”
    and
    “[T]he letter of 2001 … ordered all priests not to co-operate with civil authorities on child rape cases involving the clergy but to refer them, in secret, to the Vatican. The penalty for not doing so was excommunication. In other words, if a priest found a colleague raping an infant and called the police, he would be thrown out of the church – the whistle blower, that is, not the rapist.”
    and:
    “Just read it Maria. Would you not take that as an instruction, under pontifical secret, to report cases to the Vatican and to keep them secret? It was how it was interpreted by the Bishops.”
    So, to be clear. We have two different claims:
    (a) that there was a direct order from the Pope to the bishops to cover up child abuse.
    (b) that that was how it was interpreted by the bishops at any rate.
    So (b) modifies (a). Further, in respect of (a) I asked you for the direct quotation ordering the bishops to cover up child abuse. You replied:
    It is implicit.
    In other words, you have dispensed with claim (a) because you could not find any such order. Let that be duly noted. You have resiled from (a). Your claim has fallen apart. It isn’t true.
    So let’s tackle claim (b). You continued:
    It says this crime is covered by a special layer of secrecy, beyiond the normal requirement, and must be referred immediately to the Vatican who may isssue special orders as to how it should be prosecuted.
    This you have extrapolated as meaning that bishops are ordered not to co-operate with the civil authorities, indeed that the penalty of excommunication will be imposed on anyone who does report a sex abuse crime to the civil authorities.
    That is insane.
    Canon law concerns the Church and her internal governance. It has no pretensions to superceding any jurisdiction’s civil or criminal laws. It makes no claims to doing so. I would have thought that that was blindingly obvious. For you it wasn’t.
    Search for the words “civil authorities”, “police” and “courts” in vain in Crimen sollicitationis. They aren’t there.
    As canon lawyer after informed commentator after canonical judge has said: there is nothing in Crimen sollicitationis which prevents anyone from going to the civil authorities. Nothing.
    Still you insist that that was how it was interpreted by the bishops. Whenever you make a claim, the onus is on you to demonstrate its veracity.
    Hence, how do you know how it was interpreted by the bishops?
    Are you talking about specific, named bishops, or all of them? If so, during which period?
    Can you point to point to evidence demonstrating that this is how the bishops, specific named individuals, or all of them, interpreted the document?

  90. Clive said,

    Genuine question, Maria. What does this phrase mean:

    Cases of this kind are subject to the pontifical secret.

    • splinteredsunrise said,

      It means that tribunal officials may not speak of what they have learned via the canonical process. Crimen sollicitationis specifically does not exclude victims or witnesses from talking to secular authorities about what they know independently of the canonical process. Any half-decent canon lawyer can tell you that. Indeed, these cases fall within the purview of canon 120 of the 1917 Codex iuris canonici which explicitly allows for clerics to be tried in secular courts in addition to the canonical trial.

      This is all laid out in a document so secret it’s on the Vatican website.

      • Clive said,

        Well, if I understand this, and I’m not sure I do, I guess the meaningful question is whether, since Crimen sollicitationis, there have been – or how many there have been – priests going before secular authorities as well as the ‘canonical process’.

  91. Red Maria said,

    I know of the case of a London priest who a few years ago was the subject of a sex-abuse allegation which supposedly took place some thirty years previously. He was immediately put on administrative leave. The police investigated the allegations and very quickly determined that they were groundless. The Church’s investigation dragged on for many more months however. In the end he was returned to his parish and was given a standing ovation by his parishioners, who felt that their priest had been treated unfairly by the Church.

  92. Jim Denham said,

    An apologist for Catholic child abuse writes:

    ” Crimen sollicitationis specifically does not exclude victims or witnesses from talking to secular authorities about what they know independently of the canonical process. Any half-decent canon lawyer can tell you that.”

    Oh well: that makes it all right then.

  93. Clive said,

    I have to admit I’m quite taken aback by Maria and Splinteredsunrise. As I understand what has been publicly reported (among many, many other aspects of this scandal, obviously):

    1. Huge numbers of cases of abuse, which are not in dispute as themselves having occurred, were *not* reported to the police (eg in Ireland);
    2. Some – at least – of the bishops in Ireland (who have been sharply criticised by the Pope for ‘errors of judgement’ in how they dealt with known abusers) have said that the reason they didn’t report these cases to the police was because of (their interpretation of) ‘pontifical secret’.
    3. They did start to report them from the mid 1990s, but it’s before that that the issue about the whole thing being ‘secret’ (ie that only the bishops knew what the policy was) is relevant. (So that it is now on the church’s website is risibly irrelevant).
    4. The current Pope reasserted the ‘pontifical secret’ thing in 2001, which at the very least is ambiguous and confusing. (And according to at least some Irish bishops they were confused by it).
    5. The current Pope approved therapy for a suspected abuser when he was a cardinal, ie, did not report him to the police.

    This is public domain stuff. I can see you can argue that the ‘Hitchens line’, so to speak – that the ‘pontifical secret’ thing unambiguously threatens excommunication for anyone talking to the cops – is overstating it. But I don’t see how you can argue that there isn’t any ambiguity at all. Otherwise, why not just tell people straightforwardly to tell the cops (not ‘specfiically not exclude victims or witnesses from talking to secular authorities’)?

    Otherwise – what the hell is your point?

    • splinteredsunrise said,

      Clive, I’m not aware of any bishops claiming the “pontifical secret” as a reason for not reporting abuse cases. I’m aware of Sinead O’Connor making that claim, but Sinead is, how shall I put this, not a reliable source. And you don’t need to push me very far to get me onto the uselessness of the Irish bishops…

      Both the 1922 and 1962 Instructions from the Holy Office actually impose the penalty of excommunication on those who do not denounce abusers. Anyone who was aware of the Instructions would know that. And the revised norms adopted in 2001-02 mandate notification of the secular authorities. The point is that any bishops who failed to act in accordance with these norms can’t claim they were obeying some order from the Vatican – they were in clear breach of the rules.

      Also note that in the Milwaukee case, Murphy was investigated by the police in 1974 – the police didn’t believe the victims and no charges were brought. Diocesan authorities then removed Murphy from any pastoral responsibilities. It wasn’t until 1996, for reasons best known to Archbishop Weakland, that the Murphy case was referred to Rome, by which point the guy was dying. It takes a really creative juggling with the chronology to believe that Rome protected Murphy from the cops.

  94. Clive said,

    This is according to the Irish Times: “Irish bishops said the document had been “widely misunderstood” by the bishops themselves to mean they should not go to police.” (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0313/breaking16.html). But I’ve read this all over the place.

    But isn’t the basic point that there was clearly a hell of a lot of abuse, lots of church authorities must have known about it, and they didn’t – until the mid 1990s – report them to the authorities? GIven the scale of the thing, internationally, it seems implausible that there wasn’t some inkling about this at the top. The current Pope clearly knew about it, because even if you interpret the 1962 as you say it should be interpreted, he felt moved to ‘clarify’ it in 2001.

    I repeat, that I’m honestly unclear what your point is. Is it just that you think there’s unfairness in the fine detail of how some of this is reported – which, all right, might be true, but hardly seems worth getting het up about. Or are you – as Maria apparently is – trying to defend the entire structure, and claim that these unbelievably widespread accusations of abuse, cover-up, moving abusive priests, and so on, are not true?

  95. Matt said,

    Red Maria above at numerous points states/asks:

    Show me and the world how the Pope covered up sex-abuse.

    What evidence can you point to that shows that the present Pope knew about child abuse and did nothing about it?

    When will you provide the evidence to buttress your assertion?

    And if you cannot substantiate it will you withdraw it?

    Will you now withdraw your remarks that the Pope knew about and covered up child-abuse?

    Is this good enough for you?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8612596.stm

    Will you now withdraw your claim that “You haven’t got any evidence, you can’t point to any evidence.”?

  96. Red Maria said,

    No.

    A letter written in canonical legalese sandwiched between tendentious commentary by people who do not have the competence to interpret the document does not a smoking gun make. Far from it.

    Go back and find something better. Until then, the Pope is as entitled to his reputation as everyone else.

  97. Will said,

    Pinko mariaoH is a lunatic — and a phalangist — so don’t bother arguing with it — it is filth and a disgusting catholic child rapist apologist. Best ignored for the scum it is really.

  98. Will said,

    Tyhe bitch shUd be crucified. That wooD satisfy everyone involved here.

    Job done.

  99. Matt said,

    As I suspected, no amount of evidence will shift Maria’s position. As lefties we campaign against, picket, sign petitions against companies, governments and organisations on the basis of what our comrades, trade unions etc tell us about their activities: we don’t (or maybe Maria does) say ‘show me the evidence’ or ‘it’s just one letter, how do I know it’s genuine or not being taken out of context?’

    As I think others have said, if it was any other body rather than her Church responsible for covering up child sex abuse she would not be using these increasingly ridiculous defences.

  100. Red Maria said,

    As I suspected, no amount of evidence will shift Maria’s position

    See, the problem is, Matt, that neither you nor anyone else has produced a shred of evidence to support your arguments.

    What you have done is started with your conclusion and worked backwards, citing “evidence” – in actual fact quotions from documents you don’t have the competence to understand – to fit your argument. Or putting it differently, you’ve got it arse backwards.

    Another problem is that you and others don’t know what you’re talking about. You need to read more widely and some deluding yourselves that you’re Fritz Fischers in the making.

    • splinteredsunrise said,

      So here’s the precis. Kiesle is convicted of sex offences in a secular court. The Oakland diocese removes him from all priestly duties. Kiesle applies for a dispensation from the obligations of the clerical state. There is correspondence between Bishop Cummins and the CDF about the dispensation. Eventually the dispensation is granted.

      So, since the guy had already been convicted in a secular court, since his offences had been reported in the Oakland press and since the Oakland diocese had barred him from functioning as a priest, where’s the cover-up in this case? I’m afraid that Matt is seeing what he wants to see.

      Incidentally, does the author of this post know what the phrase “beyond the pale” means? Or does such racist language not bother him? I ask merely for information.

  101. charliethechulo said,

    Splintered Sunrise asks, “does the author of this post know what the phrase ‘beyond the pale’ means? Or does such racist language not bother him?”

    The apologists for Catholic child abuse (or at the very least, the covering up of such abuse) must be getting desperate. My dictionary (Oxford English Reference) defines “pale” (in this context) as follows:

    “1 a pointed piece of wood for fencing etc; a stake. 2 a boundary 3. an enclosed area, often surrounded by a palasade or ditch…beyond the pale outside the bounds of acceptable behaviour.”

    Would Mr Sunrise like to take a break from defending the covering up of child abuse and explain how that’s racist?

    • splinteredsunrise said,

      You will perhaps be aware that “the Pale” was the area around Dublin reserved to the colonists; the native savages were not permitted to reside therein, hence “beyond the pale”. See also, the Pale of Settlement in Russia.

  102. maxdunbar said,

    Here’s conservative Catholic Andrew Sullivan on the Kiesle case.

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/04/the-third-strike.html

    There’s an honesty and clarity in Sullivan’s writing which is completely absent from that of the idiots on this thread who for some reason will defend the church whatever it does.

    Meanwhile, Richard Dawkins is taking legal advice on having the Pope arrested when he comes over here in September.

    ‘I am supporting the current investigation of the pope’s criminal complicity by Geoffrey Robertson QC and Mark Stephens. These excellent lawyers believe that, for a start, they have a persuasive case against the Vatican’s status as a sovereign state, on the basis that it was just an ad hoc concoction driven by internal Italian politics under Mussolini, and was never given full status at the UN. If they succeed in this initial argument, the pope could not claim diplomatic immunity as a head of state, and could be arrested if he steps on British soil.’

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/apr/13/pope-prosecution-dawkins

    Good for Richard Dawkins.

    • splinteredsunrise said,

      Would that be the same Vatican City State with which the UK government exchanges ambassadors? I believe it would, and Mr Robertson will be lucky not to get an hour in the cells for wasting the court’s time. Dawkers really is getting loopy in his old age if this stunt is the best he can do.

      • maxdunbar said,

        Well, we’ll see what happens in September.

        I think the pope and his apologists may get a surprise.

  103. Wot Evah said,

    If the accusations against the pope – that he aided and abbeted the mass rape and torture of thousands of children – are true then it doesn’t matter whether or not he is the head of a state from the perspective of international law. In theory there is no diplomatic immunity from crimes against humanity. Of course the pope will not face trial, just as other powerful global actors evade justice, but the campiagn against him will nevertheless have decent propoganda value and should be welcomed.

  104. charliethechulo said,

    Sunrise: the meaning of the term “beyond the pale” is perfectly well known to all literate people. There have been lots of “pales” (ie fortifications, borders, geographical limits, etc) throughout history, but the term has nothing to do with any kind of racism. Your attempt to suggest otherwise (let’s have some quote from a dictionary or other reputable source, please) is merely an attempt to shout “over there” to distract attention from his defence of the indefencible – the Catholic church’s cover-up of child abuse.

    Good luck to Dawkins and Hitchens, by the way. That showdown will be a real sheep-and-goats dividing line between progressive friends of human decency and Catholic pro-child abuse reaction.

    • splinteredsunrise said,

      Well, it’s nice to see you and Maxie are comfortable in your nice alliance with the Orange Order, the Evangelical Protestant Society and the National Front, all of whom are gearing up for the No Popery rallies. Peter Tatchell might find it a culture shock, though.

      • maxdunbar said,

        Evidence of this alliance with Ian Paisley?

        Twat.

      • splinteredsunrise said,

        Where did I mention Dr Paisley? He’s sensible enough to let this pass him by.

  105. martin ohr said,

    hitchens on his plans to have the pope arrested and tried http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5434

  106. charliethechulo said,

    “Well, it’s nice to see you and Maxie are comfortable in your nice alliance with the Orange Order, the Evangelical Protestant Society and the National Front, all of whom are gearing up for the No Popery rallies. Peter Tatchell might find it a culture shock, though.”

    From a Catholic apologist for child abuse and anti-semitism: a reationary twat.

  107. charliethechulo said,

    When the Catholic Church is not busy covering up for child abuse, it’s busy blaming Jews:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/11/catholic-bishop-blames-jews

    … for persecuting it; when traditional Catholic anti-semitism goes down badly, they blame gays:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/13/vatican-homosexuality-paedophilia-claim-condemned

  108. Will said,

    that Splinter up his carrot stuffed arsed is some real fuckkinG piece of werK.

    The Splintered cunT’S strategy of playing the primitive Catholic clown in comment boxes (ooo eeerrr missus), whose sweaty embodiment and perversions become an increasingly well-known feature of an almost constant idiot-fest of never ending religio-nutbaggery-fucked-upness-child-raping-apologist tosspottery.

    Exposed. catholic cunTs exposed.

    Never again.

    • splinteredsunrise said,

      I love you too Will. Have you ever considered a career on the Protestant Telegraph? You might have to clean up the language, but otherwise you’d fit right in.

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