Rome- Pope talks "platitudes" on abuse; SNAP responds

Again, the pope alludes only to pedophile priests, not corrupt bishops.

Again, he focuses on the harm to the church, not the innocent, wounded children.

Again, he speaks in vague platitudes, refusing to even accurately name the crisis.

Again, he refuses to even recommend, much less take, a single effective prevention step.

Pope Benedict claims 'mystery' surrounding why priests abuse. The pontiff's wrong: there's little mystery here. In 1887, Lord Acton explained it best: "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Priest have long had power, sometimes almost absolute power, over devout and defenseless kids. So they've abused that power and those kids.

And even now, bishops have nearly absolute power over their dioceses, staff and in some places, their flocks. So they abuse that power, and ignore, hide and enable heinous crimes against kids.

Until secular authorities or the pope take dramatic steps to limit bishops' power and hold them personally responsible for crimes by their employees, little will change. Until effective "checks and balances" are set up that "rein in" the nearly boundless authority of bishops, little will change.


Showing 4 comments

  • Patrick Darcy
    commented 2012-06-19 12:21:11 -0500
    Benedict is a pope in denial. He states that it remains a mystery why a priest would abuse a child. Mystery in a religious context is a religious truth which one can only know by revelation and cannot fully understand. Transubstantiation is a mystery. We cannot fully understand it, but we accept it in faith.

    The abuse of children by priests is not a mystery. Human reason understands why children were abused. Enabling bishops and their advisors covered-up for sick priests, and by their silence, permitted these sick men to continue their abuse of children. There is nothing mysterious about the sexual abuse scandal, and the fact that the pope would make such an outrageous claim, shows that he is incapable of facing the truth. When will the pope stop pretending? JPII, Benedict, and every enabling bishop knew what was going on. There was no mystery, but plenty of secrecy which kept everyone except the bishops and predator priests from knowing the truth.

    Benedict states that the Irish church has been shaken “in an appalling way” by the revelations that priests and religious sexually abused children and others entrusted to their care. What is appalling is Benedict’s refusal to face the truth. What is appalling is that JPII knew about the scandal and did nothing to stop it. What is appalling is that bishops throughout the world covered up for their predator priests, thus allowing these priests to continue their abuse. How appalling is it when so many children could have been spared unbelievable emotional, spiritual, and physical pain if the bishops had stopped these men from abusing?

    What is so appalling is that Benedict actually thinks that we believe him. In his previous letter to the Irish people, his words rang hollow, and this message is no different. If he actually told the truth and asked for the resignation of every bishop who enabled priests to abuse, he and the church would regain some credibility. That will not happen because Benedict is incapable of telling the truth. Now that is really appalling!
  • Robert Hartley
    commented 2012-06-18 15:33:32 -0500
    No mystery, whatsoever!

    It is Herr Ratzinger who is the mystery. He sat on untold numbers of cases, well aware this inhuman, disgusting behavior against children was in progress by his beloved priests and bishops, and did nothing to stop it! Nothing! He was obsessively concerned with the image of his Cult and blew off all paternal care for the victims of his clergy’s sexual abuse. What’s mysterious about this?

    If this man thinks that by confessing his gross sins of omission before some lap dog Vatican chaplain is sufficient to purify his soul, he has to be psychologically unbalanced. His apologies are insulting and worthless. Not until he publicly admits his personal culpability and sinfulness will victims finally find peace.

    His sins are public in nature, and need to be confessed openly in the public forum. Only in so doing can this man hope to obtain forgiveness from his victims and from his God.
  • David Lorenz
    commented 2012-06-18 11:48:45 -0500
    EXcellent. I almost fell out of my chair when the Pope stated it was a mystery. There really is no mystery except why the Pope will not listen to anybody but his sychophants and describes anyone who offers an explanation as deviant and/or a dissenter.
  • Barbara Dorris
    published this page in Official SNAP Media Statements 2012-06-18 09:30:00 -0500

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