It’s a sad day when any child is abused or sexually molested. But when it involves the trusted clergy of any religion, it is an especially heartbreaking tragedy.
New information seems to confirm that Pope Benedict XVI protected priests who were accused pedophiles, child molesters and homosexuals, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.
The man wearing the “fisherman’s shoes” representing his infallibility of canonical decisions and the austerity of Jesus Christ began his reign as the rock of the church wearing his simple and austere $500 shoes. Christ walked almost barefoot among his people in the midst of poverty, teaching moral values, healing the sick and preaching faith in his God. The pope walks among his pedophiles of the church in his golden slippers of hypocrisy, teaching the “congregation for the doctrine of faith,” better known as the inquisition, while destroying the laities’ faith in the church.
Established by Pope III, in 1542, the congregation of the doctrine of faith is the Vatican’s department that promotes Catholic teachings on morals and faith. It was responsible for the murder of Catholics labeled as heretics because they looked in a mirror, read a science book, gazed at the stars through a telescope or didn’t believe the world was flat. The department also investigates claims of immoral behavior by its own priest.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was its prefect from 1982 until he was crowned Pope and took the name of Benedict XVI in 2005. Apparently, during his tenure he chose to ignore complaints by local dioceses concerning rampant child abuse by resident priests.
The BBC and Associated Press discovered a secret Vatican edict, signed in 2001 by the future pope, instructing Catholic bishops around the world how to handle reported sex abuse of children by priests and what the punishment would be for any bishop reporting the matter to the tabernacle of piety at the Vatican.
Protecting the churches’ wealth at the expense of child safety, Ratzinger decreed that instead of reporting any sexual abuse to legal authorities, the victims should be kept quiet and witnesses shouldn’t talk about it in public. To keep the bishops quiet, he wrote that bishops who repeatedly make allegations against pedophile priests would be excommunicated.
Playing down the necessity for church involvement, Ratzinger said there was no epidemic of child molestation in the church and less than 1 percent of priests were pedophiles. So, using his own claim, how many child-abusing priests could there be in the Catholic church?
Statistics show that in 2009, there were more than 40,000 priests in the United States. In 2007, there were more than 408,000 priests around the world, with most of them residing in countries that would never report child abuse because they feared no one would believe them and they would receive retaliation from the church. Giving the church the benefit of the doubt, if one-tenth of all priests are pedophiles, the church would still have more than 4,000 pedophiles wearing the black cloak of deceit. It should be noted that it is estimated by some that 8 percent of adult males in the United States are pedophiles.
The pope never mentions child abuse committed by nuns (sisters). In 2007, there were almost 750,000 sisters worldwide in the church. Between 5 and 20 percent of reported sexual abuse of children in this country is committed by women.
So why would Catholicsstill support the Vatican? As much as I criticize some aspects of formal religions, there are other options of worship for true Christians who believe in the teachings of Christ, not the policies, pretentiousness and infallibility of the Pope. At least churches like Sparks Christian Fellowship, The Rock Church and other non-Catholic denominations provide a local, structured base addressing the needs for spiritual comfort and community involvement.
Modern-day Catholics should embrace the teachings of Christ and reject the politics of their church. Instead of contributing to pedophiles by giving their tithe to a foreign government surrounded by the seven hills of Rome, they should place a note on the collection plate suggesting the Pope stop providing a sanctuary for his child molesters. Instead, he should hang a millstone around their neck and drown them in the depths of the sea. Then they might support the church – that is, if they haven’t all converted to another Christian church and the real teachings of Jesus Christ.