As a student of human nature I was interested in the reaction of the Catholic Church to reports that Pope Benedict XVI had been derelict in dealing with child sex-abuse cases during his pre-papal years.
It showed that no matter how grand their garb and how heavenly their pretensions, people are still just people, and especially people who derive their importance from institutions are always and forever people who must defend those institutions.
What happened when it emerged that the pope-to-be, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, had been told of a priest in Wisconsin sexually molesting deaf boys and done nothing?
And what happened when it emerged that he had allowed a priest in Germany, another molester of boys, to merely get a little therapy and then continue as a priest, in which capacity the priest continued to prey on boys?
You know by now.
The Vatican newspaper said the pope was the victim of “crude propaganda.”
The official exorcist of the Holy See — and I didn’t even know the Holy See had an official exorcist — announced that reporting of the above matters by The New York Times was “prompted by the devil.”
The archbishop of Paris called the whole thing a “smear campaign.”
A former Vatican secretary of state, at an Easter Mass, called it “petty gossip.”
The pope’s personal preacher likened criticism of the pope to anti-Semitism (a stretch for which he apologized).
It doesn’t matter if it’s the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church or the Schenectady school board. When the media accurately reports matters that undermine their prestige and their legitimacy, they see the devil at work. They can’t help it.
And speaking of the devil, I’ve got to get hold of the books written by this exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth — “An Exorcist Tells His Story,” and, “An Exorcist: More Stories.”
Father Gabriele claims to have performed 70,000 exorcisms in his career, beginning in 1986, and if he’s telling the truth, that means he’s been doing them at a rate of eight a day, so he must be an expert by now.
If I can’t learn from him, I can’t learn from anyone.
The Angry Ones in this country might profit from studying him also. They often see the devil at work in what they call the Mainstream Media, but they don’t seem able to drive him out. Father Gabriele might give them some pointers.
But just think of it, ladies and gentlemen — a priest sexually preying on boys in a school for the deaf, and the boys protesting to three archbishops and getting no result.
One of the archbishops finally wrote to the future pope, Cardinal Ratzinger, asking for a “healing response from the Church,” but it was late by then, and the depraved priest was in declining health, so he was allowed to die in peace.
Also a priest forcing an 11-year-old boy to perform oral sex on him — this was in Germany — and his archbishop, the same Cardinal Ratzinger, approving his transfer to another parish, where, six years later, he was convicted of sexually abusing other boys and was given an 18-month sentence, suspended. After which he continued as a priest until just a few weeks ago, when he was exposed in the devilish media and finally suspended.
There have been plenty of expressions of repentance in the church for such crimes, but isn’t it revealing that when the blame reaches all the way to the top the defenses go up and the devil is blamed for inciting gossip!
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