History has shown that the Catholic Church can be a great force for good. But it can only live up to that promise by properly addressing the clerical sex abuse scandal.
Found via Atheist Aliance on FB
I’m not saying he did, but there is a lot of talk going on about this already. There ae people coming from all sides, to either say he’s guilty of condeming these two men to imprisonment, or saying he had nothing to do with it.
I’m not sure yet. But these are two of the articles about it for you to read.
The Vatican is taking issue with the fight for marriage equality in Europe and around the world, saying that same-sex couples live in a “different reality” and continue to chase the “utopia” of equality.
L’Osservatore Romano, the official newspaper of the Holy See, printed a front-page editorial on Monday titled “Marriage Is Not a Contract,” claiming, according to a Google translation of the text, that same-sex couples live in some sort of “different reality” where they believe the foundations of society will not quake if an “utopia” of equality, which “caused such damage in the twentieth century,” is achieved.
Via Think Progress:Saying that marriage between a woman and a man is equal to that between two homosexuals is, in fact, a denial of the truth that affects one of the basic structures of human society, the family. We cannot base a society on these foundations without then paying a very high price as happened in the past when there was an attempt to achieve total economic and social equality. Why repeat the same mistake and chase after an unattainable utopia?
The Vatican’s editorial condemns same-sex couples adopting children, stating that this will only lead to “new forms of exploitation” in science, according to a Google translation.
The article also criticizes a piece that appeared in the French Catholic weekly Temoignage Chretien, which endorsed the country’s controversial gay marriage bill, according to Queerty. The Vatican says the French article seeks to only promote what is trendy, reports The Hindu Business Line. “Being Catholic is about much more than embracing fashionable cultural standpoints,” writes the Vatican.
The editorial follows Pope Benedict XVI’s declaration that same-sex marriage goes against nature and threatens justice and peace.
"There is…a need to acknowledge and promote the natural structure of marriage as the union of a man and a woman in the face of attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different types of union," he said during his World Day of Peace 2013 address Friday. "Such attempts actually harm and help to destabilize marriage, obscuring its specific nature and its indispensable role in society. These principles are not truths of faith, nor are they simply a corollary of the right to religious freedom. They are inscribed in human nature itself, accessible to reason and thus common to all humanity."
On Sunday, gay rights activists peacefully picketed in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City during the pope’s weekly prayers to proest his anti-gay comments. An online campaign featuring photos of LGBT people with the phrase “I am a threat to peace” was also launched in Italy and has already posted thousands of images to its Facebook page.
The Vatican is reported to be investigating seven priests of the Legion of Christ order in connection with allegations of child abuse.
In a statement to the AP news agency, the Mexican order said seven cases had been referred to the Vatican’s department that deals with sex crimes.
The Legion of Christ’s founder, Marcial Maciel, sexually abused many boys and young men over a period of 30 years.
He was disciplined by the Vatican in 2006 over the abuse.
One of the cases being investigated in relation to the seven priests is recent, while others date back several decades, the order said in the statement given to AP.
The investigation will be handled by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office that investigates allegations of sexual abuse.
While it is under way, the suspects will be kept away from children.
"Over the past few years, in several countries, the major superiors of the Legion of Christ have received some allegations of gravely immoral acts and more serious offences… committed by some legionaries," AP quoted the statement as saying.
The order has previously insisted that Fr Maciel was an isolated case.
The BBC’s Alan Johnston in Rome says that if these new allegations are proven it will show that the rot in the order had spread beyond its disgraced leader.
In 2009, the Church launched an investigation into the order after Fr Maciel, who died in 2008, was also revealed to have fathered a daughter by a mistress.
A year later, Pope Benedict XVI appointed an envoy to implement a complete overhaul of the Legion of Christ, saying it had to be “purified”.
The previous pope, John Paul II, long held up Fr Maciel as a model to the faithful, despite persistent allegations of sexual abuse, which were later proven.
In recent years, the Church has been rocked by cases of paedophilia by priests, and accusations that it did not do enough to investigate the allegations.
A large delegation of Government Ministers is to visit the Vatican next week to consult about British Government policy with the Pope. Among the six ministers going to Rome are Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport; Alan Duncan, the Minister for International Development; and Greg Barker, the Energy and Climate Change Minister.
The delegation will be led by Baroness Warsi who will lecture at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy on the subject of the place of religion in modern political discourse.
The British delegation will reportedly discuss climate change, arms proliferation, religious tolerance, interfaith dialogue and the crisis in Somalia and the Horn of Africa with the Pope and Vatican officials.
The Daily Telegraph reports a “Vatican observer” as saying:
"It’s a very strong delegation and it’s a way of showing that the relationship with the Holy See didn’t end in a blaze of fireworks when the Pope’s visit finished. It’s one of the most comprehensive British visits ever in terms of the range of interests represented."
The politicians will be accompanied by the leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Archbishop Vincent Nichols.
Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society, said: “What on earth is a delegation of senior British politicians doing consulting the last theocracy in Europe on our Government policy? We are a democratic nation and we didn’t vote for the Pope – so why are we involving him in policy-making? Polls show that very few people in this country agree with his teachings – and that includes Catholics.
"This is an extremely undesirable development. The Government should be challenging the Vatican’s assumed and suspect power, not indulging it."
What the bloody fuck?
Why the hell is my Government talking to the bloody Vatican about such important fucking issues? No, seriously, WHY?
Pope Benedict said Monday that gay marriage was one of several threats to the traditional family that undermined “the future of humanity itself.”
The pope made some of his strongest comments against gay marriage in a new year address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Vatican in which he touched on some economic and social issues facing the world today.
He told diplomats from nearly 180 countries that the education of children needed proper “settings” and that “pride of place goes to the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman.”
"This is not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society. Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself," he said.
The Vatican and Catholic officials around the world have protested against moves to legalize gay marriage in Europe and other developed parts of the world.
One leading opponent of gay marriage in the United States is New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, whom the pope will elevate to cardinal next month.
Dolan fought against gay marriage before it became legal in New York state last June, and in September he sent a letter to President Barack Obama criticizing his administration’s decision not to support a federal ban on gay marriage.
In that letter Dolan, who holds the powerful post of president of the U.S. Bishops Conference, said such a policy could “precipitate a national conflict between church and state of enormous proportions.”
The Roman Catholic Church, which has some 1.3 billion members worldwide, teaches that while homosexual tendencies are not sinful, homosexual acts are, and that children should grow up in a traditional family with a mother and a father.
"The family unit is fundamental for the educational process and for the development both of individuals and states; hence there is a need for policies which promote the family and aid social cohesion and dialogue," Benedict told the diplomats.
Gay marriage is legal in a number of European countries, including Spain and the Netherlands.
Some Churches that have allowed gay marriage, women priests, gay clergy and gay bishops have been losing members to Catholicism, and the Vatican has taken steps to facilitate their conversion.
In 2009, Benedict decreed that Anglicans who leave their Church, many because they feel it has become too liberal, can find a home in Catholicism in a parallel hierarchy that allows them to keep some of their traditions.
The Vatican has since set up “ordinariates,” structures similar to dioceses, in Britain and the United States to oversee ex-Anglicans who have converted and be a point of contact for those wishing to do so.
Yet more despicable evidence that the Vatican is unwilling to grow up.
Also, that Pope Benedict hasn’t done his history. Marriage has only recently become a religious thing, old boy, please get your head around that. Before religion got it’s hands on marriage, it was predominantly a loveless legal contract between families.
If you want to talk about ‘traditional marriages’ - how far back do you want to go? To the 50’s, perhaps? Where it was legal to rape your spouse? To the 1800’s where women had little to no say in their marriages, and if they ended up pregnant out of wedlock, they were shunned by society as a whole? Even earlier? To when pre-pubescent girls could be married off, specifically for land, goods and money? When as soon as they started menstruating, they were considered eligible to produce heirs?
And which particular cultures ‘traditional marriage’ do you want to fall back on? White, Christian Europeans aren’t the only ones who have marriage, you know. So?
And when it comes to children, the sex, gender, age, skin-colour, creed or what have you, makes no difference. If the child is brought up in a stable and loving environment, be that with a mother and father, two mothers, two fathers, a single parent, their grandparents, their elder siblings, cousins, Foster carers, non-binary carers/parents, mixed-orientation carers/parents - whatever - the child will be fine.
It is stability and nurturing that children need. Not one mother, one father, married in a religious setting.
Get the fuck over yourselves Catholics - and other conservative religions.
The world is starting to grow up and realise that people come in all shapes, sizes, colours, genders and sexualities. You are lagging very far behind indeed. If you persist in this bigoted, backward way of viewing the world, you are going to find yourselves in a hell of a lot of trouble - of your own making, even!
It’s to the eternal credit of Wikipedia’s vast army of editors and contributors that, eleven years on from its launch in 2001, the collaborative encyclopaedia can, on the whole, be considered a reliable source for factual information. Take biographies, for example – if you want to know the potted history of someone vaguely well-known, the first Google result will generally take you to Wikipedia, where you can usually learn, with confidence, the positions they have held, the teams they have played for, the films they have starred in, the embarrassing arrests they have suffered, and so on.
Nevertheless, if you’re using the site to learn information for publication, it’s a good idea to check it against another source and, if its veracity holds up, it’s standard practice to put the details into your own words. This approach, however, apparently isn’t in operation in the Vatican’s press office, which has attracted some (presumably unwanted) attentionover a press release issued to announce the appointment of 22 new cardinals last week.
Reading the biographies of the cardinals provided in the release, Italian blogger Sandro Magister noticed that some of them were described in language that seemed unusual for produced by the Vatican. For instance, the Guardian point outthat press release states that Willem Jacobus Eijk, the archbishop of Utrecht in the Netherlands, has a “strong tendency to conservatism, specially regarding abortion and homosexuality, which has made him one of the most talked about religious men in the country”. Magister subsequently checked the biographies against those on the Italian-language Wikipedia, and discovered that the information had been lifted verbatim from the encyclopedia.
The discovery has prompted plenty of disparaging news stories (the present post included), but is it really so bad? After all, the Vatican has since pointed out that the press office was in a rush, and, while the language may be a little odd given the supposed source, the press release surely contained useful information for journalists reporting on the new appointments.
That said, while much of the information taken from Wikipedia would have been useful, there is one thing the Vatican could have omitted – it was probably unnecessary to remind the reader that each of the newly-appointed cardinals is a Catholic.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI insisted on Saturday that all of society’s institutions and not just the Catholic churchmust be held to “exacting” standards in their response to sex abuse of children, and defended the church’s efforts to confront the problem.
Benedict acknowledged in remarks to visiting U.S. bishops during an audience at the Vatican that pedophilia was a “scourge” for society, and that decades of scandals over clergy abusing children had left Catholics in the United States bewildered.
"It is my hope that the Church’s conscientious efforts to confront this reality will help the broader community to recognize the causes, true extent and devastating consequences of sexual abuse, and to respond effectively to this scourge which affects every level of society,” he said.
"By the same token, just as the church is rightly held to exacting standards in this regard, all other institutions, without exception, should be held to the same standards," the pope said.
An official of a U.S. group advocating for victims of clergy abuse lamented that Benedict, with his remarks, was setting a “terrible example” for bishops.
"No public figure talks more about child safety but does little to actually make children safer than Pope Benedict," David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, told The Associated Press in an emailed statement.
"The pope would have us believe that this crisis is about sex abuse. It isn’t. It is about covering up sex abuse," Clohessy said. "And while child sex crimes happen in every institution, in no institution are they ignored or concealed as consistently as in the Catholic church.”
The pedophile scandal has exploded in recent decades in the United States, but similar clergy sex abuse revelations have tainted the church in many other countries, including Mexico, Ireland, and several other European nations, including Italy.
But the most high-profile sex abuse case in the United States at the moment doesn’t involve the church. Penn State university’s former defensive football coordinator Jerry Sandusky has been charged with sexually abusing eight boys, and the fallout has led to the firing of longtime coach Joe Paterno and the departure of university president Graham Spanier.
College football in the U.S. is highly popular. The scandal has shaken the reputation of a college program that long had prided itself on integrity.
An advocacy group for those who have been sexually abused cited the Penn State scandal in its scathing criticism of the pope.
"It takes hubris for Pope Benedict to tell his bishops that the Catholic Church has led in the fight against sexual abuse of children,” said Kristine Ward, chair of the National Survivor Advocates Coalition. “Issuing self-satisfied pats on the back while children remain in danger only further diminishes the church’s credibility and deepens the laryngitis in its moral voice.”
"The church to this day, while waving a moral flag, hasn’t even come close to the Penn State Board of Trustees response — no bishop has been fired," Ward said in a statement.
Benedict didn’t address accusations by many victims and their advocates that church leaders, including at the office in the Vatican that Benedict headed before becoming pontiff, systematically tried to cover up the scandals, and that they have rarely been held accountable for that.
Investigations, often by civil authorities, revealed that church hierarchy frequently transferred pedophile priests from one parish to another.
Benedict told the bishops that his papal pilgrimage to the United States in 2008 “was intended to encourage the Catholics of America in the wake of the scandal and disorientation caused by the sexual abuse crisis of recent decades.”
Echoing sentiment he has expressed in occasional meetings with victims of the abuse on trips abroad, Benedict added: “I wish to acknowledge personally the suffering inflicted on the victims and the honest efforts made to ensure both the safety of our children and to deal appropriately and transparently with allegations as they arise.”
Benedict seemed to be reflecting some churchmen’s contentions that the church has wrongly been singled out as villains for the abuse, a view that angered victims’ advocates.
"The pope is again setting a terrible example for the world’s bishops, echoing the claim by some of them that the church hierarchy is somehow being picked on by the public, the press and their parishioners," Clohessy said .
Despite criticism over U.S. bishops’ handling of the abuse scandals, Benedict exhorted the churchmen to be moral compasses for U.S. society. The bishops, in Rome for consultations with the pope that are scheduled every five years, were urged to speak out “humbly yet insistently in defense of moral truth.”
Benedict lamented what he called efforts to stop the church from speaking out publicly.
Earlier this month, U.S. Roman Catholic bishops vowed to defend their religious liberty in the face of growing acceptance of gay marriage and what they called attempts by secularists to marginalize faith.
In Illinois, for example, government officials ceased working with Catholic charities on adoptions and foster-care placement because the religious agencies refuse to recognize a new civil union law. Illinois bishops are suing the state.
Bishops have also pressed federal officials for broader religious exception to U.S. President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, which mandates that private insurers to pay for contraception.
"Despite attempts to still the church’s voice in the public square, many people of good will continue to look to her for wisdom, insight and sound guidance in this far-reaching crisis," Benedict said, citing what he called a "growing sense of dislocation and insecurity" in the face of economic woes.
But he acknowledged that some of the bishops’ own flock are turning away from the church, which he blamed on effects of a “secularized culture.” Many U.S. Catholics shun Sunday Mass attendance or disregard such Vatican positions against contraception and divorce.
Oh, I’m sorry, Pope ol’boy, are we holding you to a standard you don’t want to be held to? Are you suddenly saying you aren’t a representative for God, then? Are you saying, now, that all this time, all of your morals are on an exact and equal level as every single other human on the planet?
Because that’s not what I get from you and your nose-in-the-air attitude.
When an organisation that claims to be morally superior, claims to be representative of the great ‘creator’ thing, that holds sway over millions of people the whole world over - I don’t believe that organisation, but I do start holding that organisation to account when it fucks the hell up by not only allowing pedophilia to continue unabated within it’s walls, but actively hides the fact that it is doing it, and even moves pedophiles about from location to location so they have more and more victims.
Start actually being fucking morally superior, rather than fucking pretending to it, whilst harbouring the vilest of people within your bosom.
HEY, ASSHOLE, THESE VICTIMS WERE AND ARE CHILDREN, SOME OF THE MOST VULNERABLE AMONGST US. AND YOU NOT ONLY HARBOURED THEIR ABUSERS, YOU ACTIVELY FUCKING PROTECTED THEM FROM PROSECUTION, MOVED THEM AROUND TO KEEP THEM HIDDEN - WHILST AT THE SAME TIME ALLOWING THEM UNFETTERED ACCESS TO MORE VICTIMS - AND THEN TRIED TO CLAIM INNOCENCE OF THE ABOVE.
YOU ARE NOT GOING TO GET AWAY WITH THIS. MAN UP. OWN UP. STOP THE FUCKING PITY PARTY.
In his traditional Christmas address yesterday to cardinals and officials working in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI claimed that pedophilia wasn’t considered an absolute evil as recently as the 1970s and that child pornography is increasingly considered “normal” by society.
"In the 1970s, pedophilia was theorized as something fully in conformity with man and even with children," the Pope said.
"It was maintained - even within the realm of Catholic theology - that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a ‘better than’ and a ‘worse than’. Nothing is good or bad in itself."
The Pope said abuse revelations in 2010 reached “an unimaginable dimension” which brought “humiliation” on the Church.
The Pope called on senior clerics “to repair as much as possible the injustices that occurred” and to help victims heal through a better presentation of the Christian message.
"We cannot remain silent about the context of these times in which these events have come to light," he said, citing the growth of child pornography "that seems in some way to be considered more and more normal by society" he said.
Pope Benedict also said sex tourism in the Third World was “threatening an entire generation”.
"Catholics should be embarrassed to hear their Pope talk again and again about abuse while doing little or nothing to stop it and to mischaracterize this heinous crisis," said Barbara Blaine, the head of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests,
"It is fundamentally disturbing to watch a brilliant man so conveniently misdiagnose a horrific scandal."
"The Pope insists on talking about a vague ‘broader context’ he can’t control, while ignoring the clear ‘broader context’ he can influence - the long-standing and unhealthy culture of a rigid, secretive, all-male Church hierarchy fixated on self-preservation at all costs. This is the ‘context’ that matters."
No words. Seriously.
Last week the BBC showed a harrowing documentary about how priests and nuns in Spain took newborn infants away from their mothers, often telling them the infant had died at birth, and sold them into adoption for profit.
The previous week, RTE transmitted a documentary about babies and young children in Catholic run care homes in Ireland used as guinea pigs for vaccination trials, again without parental consent and again for profit.
This week, the Vatican has been shamed into ordering an inquiry into child sex abuse at schools in Ealing while the former Abbot of one of the schools, wanted for child sex offences, does a runner when he learns he is to be arrested and charged with abuse offences.
Just another month in the global abuse scandal engulfing the Catholic Church.
And yet the Bishop of Motherwell appears to believe the Catholic Church has something to offer Scotland on the subject of morality, and has the right to interfere in the basic human rights of gay people. Worse still, he thinks we will listen to him and do as he says. You have to admire his impertinence”
The Vatican has ordered an inquiry into claims of decades of sexual abuse at a London abbey and school.
Monks and teachers at Ealing Abbey and neighbouring St Benedict’s independent school in west London have been accused of abuse from the 1960s until 2009. Last year the Times revealed four decades of abuse by Father David Pearce, a priest at Ealing Abbey and former headmaster of St Benedict’s junior school.
After the revelations about Fr Pearce, allegations of abuse were made against other former priests and teachers at St Benedict’s — and other schools — over the decades as further victims came forward, prompting police to begin a fresh inquiry.
The Catholic hierarchy in England regularly insists that it has very strong child protection policies. The Vatican has come under fire after it emerged the results of the inquiry will not automatically be made public.
Keith Porteous Wood, NSS Executive Director, said: “The procedures in place now completely lack independence and are bound to lead to this kind of problem. Complainants should be able to contact directly someone completely independent of the Church. Until this happens, the problem will continue. The lack of transparency also shows how the Vatican continues to act behind closed doors and think of its own reputation before the victims. “
Peter Saunders of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, said the inquiry was a public relations exercise and akin to “putting Dracula in charge of a blood bank”. Graham Wilmer, who heads the Lantern Project and says he was abused by a priest as a teenager, commented: “We can’t trust them. What effectively has happened is nothing.”
Police are trying to find Father Laurence Soper, former Abbot of Ealing Abbey, who jumped bail before he could be charged with child abuse offences. He has disappeared from the headquarters of the Benedictine order in Rome, where he was treasurer of the Benedictine Confederation.
“Putting the Vatican in charge of a child abuse enquiry is like “putting Dracula in charge of a blood bank”.”