Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hopefully, This is True...

In my last entry, I blasted Pope Benedict XVI on his "shelter everyone and protect the collar" stance regarding the pedophile crisis in the Catholic Church. As a follow-up, I need to say that if the article I have just read in Slate ( is correct, then I also stand corrected. Writer Michael Sean Winters posted that Pope B has made some quantum leaps forward in making sure that the priests who did these evil things to children are truly punished under both Canon Law and civil law. In the article, Winters states that the Church in Ireland has been mired in scandal since November 2009. Between 1975 and 2004, there were 46 priests who abused children in the archdiocese of Dublin. Benedict called Ireland's bishops onto the Vatican carpet, so to speak, and last month basically told them that he was going to send a special letter to the Church in Ireland. That letter was released Saturday, March 20, 2010. In it, Benedict began to make amends. I won't quote the whole thing here; look the article up. Suffice to say that he did acknowledge that bad stuff has been going on, he called for an "apostolic visitation" (church-speak for "investigation") and told the bishops that they had to cooperate wtih civil authorities in prosecuting wrongdoing. Finally. He's already accepted resignations from several bishops. The word is now out that if you really want to be in the Church and be a bishop, you'd better not be ignorning claims of abuse. That's a heck of a career-ending move under this Pope. And in - for me at least - a stunning move, in his letter, he directed the following to the victims: "You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry." I may faint. Sorry if I sound snarky, but you have to understand that I live in one diocese with a now-retired bishop who was implicated massively in this scandal and all he said to his parishioners was, "I'm sorry if I didn't take this seriously enough." "IF"??? Really?? Bishop Imesch played chess with priests like a master, moving them to remote parishes nation-wide. I figure he's just about as implicated as Cardinal Law. And while Imesch may not answer to civil authorities for shielding these creeps, he'll eventually answer to God, and I hope She shows him no mercy. God's mercy should be directed toward the victims, and in a small way to those in the pews who've been deceived by our spiritual leaders. I'm willing to own that I may have misjudged on the basis of one article. I sincerely hope Benedict has his act together. If he does, there's hope for the Church. And I'll be happy about being a Catholic once again.

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