The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


What did Benedict really do?

posted by jmcgee

Andrew Sullivan just lobbed this grenade into the blogosphere:

A priest is discovered to have been actively molesting children. His superior is notified in 1980. One of the things he is told of is the priest’s forcing an 11 year old boy to perform oral sex on him. The superior does not contact the police. He approves a transfer of the priest to a different city, where the priest is required to undergo therapy but is also subsequently able to resume his work with access to children. Six years later, the priest is again found guilty of abusing children. This time, he serves a sentence, but he is subsequently allowed to resume work as a priest, with the church authorities hiding his past from future parishes, and is only removed from his position three days ago.

Joseph Ratzinger was the superior, he reviewed the man’s files in 1980, and he was subsequently in charge of reviewing all sex abuse cases as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine Of The Faith in Rome. He was integral to the policy of hushing up as much of this as possible.

But do the facts really add up? Um, no. 

Catholic Culture.org offers this:
While journalists have been using a sex-abuse case in the Munich archdiocese in efforts to form a direct link to Pope Benedict XVI, emerging details of the case show clearly that the future Pontiff was not involved in appointing the accused molester to do parish work.

Meanwhile the Munich archdiocese has suspended the priest at the center of the scandal, explaining that he has violated an agreement not to have contact with young people.

The priest– previously known only as “H” but not identified in a New York Times account as Peter Hullermann– was a priest in the Essen diocese in 1980, when he was first accused of sexual misconduct. At the time then-Cardinal Ratzinger was Archbishop of Munich. The New York Times reports: “The future pope approved his transfer to Munich.” That sentence is grossly misleading; the Times neglects to add the crucial fact that Cardinal Ratzinger approved the accused priest’s entry into a counseling program in Munich; he did not approve him for a parish assignment.

As officials both in Munich and at the Vatican had previously explained, the vicar-general of the Munich archdiocese later allowed Father Hullerman to work in a parish. The vicar general has stated that he made this decision without the knowledge– let alone approval– of Cardinal Ratzinger.

Father Hullerman was given a parish assignment in September 1982– 7 months after Cardinal Ratzinger resigned his post as Archbishop of Munich, having taken up his new responsibilities as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.



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Frank

posted March 16, 2010 at 4:07 pm


Congrats. That was the most credible defense of Ratzinger I’ve heard of in this situation.



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Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted March 16, 2010 at 5:55 pm


It is good to have more facts. They are needed considering how the media–who always hated Ratzinger the orthodox Catholic cardinal- will try every spin it can to make him look bad—including leaving out relevant details.



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survivor

posted March 16, 2010 at 6:59 pm


so thousands of catholics who have come forward to bring their pain and suffering to light are all making it up. no one should be held responsible. no pope. ever. the pope is the ultimate authority in the catholic church but he is not responsible for anything. im sure that every single survivor of the abuse at the hands of the catholic church are all just insane with greed and trying to take down the catholic church. thank u so much for demonstrating ur facts for the survivors of abuse. who by the way were catholics too. we see where and who is protected and its certainly not the children. how typical. how arrogant.



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kenneth

posted March 16, 2010 at 7:00 pm


Ratzinger shouldn’t carry more than his share of blame according to the facts, but am I supposed to feel relieved because he was merely grossly negligent in his oversight rather than actively complicit? He has, and continues to preside over a culture in which leaders have NEVER, even once, done the right thing of their own accord.
If it were not for widespread media scrutiny and legal pressure, the offender in this case would have been quietly sent off to assignment number four and victim number (fill in the blank) as we speak. They act when, and only when, the scandal explodes in their face and forces their hand. I can gaurantee there are many more such cases the Vatican or dioceses are sitting on, hoping they can keep it silent until the offender or enablers (or victims) die off. It’s only a matter of days, or perhaps weeks, before the next shoe drops, and that one will be the secular media’s fault as well.



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Chris Sullivan

posted March 16, 2010 at 7:05 pm


Karl Juesten of the German Catholic Bishops conference has just announced an inquiry into, among other things, what role then Bishop Josef Ratzinger played.
“We do not know if the pope knew about the abuse cases at the time,” Juesten said. “However, we assume that this is not the case.”
Munich Archbishop Reinhard Marx will be “certainly investigating these questions,” he said.

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/mar/16/german-catholics-to-investigate-abuse-charges/
It would seem unwise to insist the Pope knew nothing until the investigations have concluded.
The Elephant in the room is why neither Munich Bp Ratzinger, the Bishop of Essen or any other diocesan officer saw fit to inform the German police that a priest had raped an 11 year old boy. Even if they only knew it was sex abuse they should have informed the police.
Why didn’t they ?
And why does the Vatican STILL not have a policy mandating reporting child sex abuse cases to the police.
God Bless



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hlvanburen

posted March 16, 2010 at 7:51 pm


“A teacher is discovered to have been actively molesting children. His district superintendent is notified in 1980. One of the things he is told of is the teacher’s forcing an 11 year old boy to perform oral sex on him. The superintendent does not contact the police.”
Deacon Bresnahan, in the scenario above would you hold the superintendent responsible for failing to notify the local authorities that a forcible sexual assault had been committed by a teacher?
It’s a simple question, Deacon. But I suspect you will give me a very complex explanation as to why an archbishop should be held to a different standard than the school superintendent.



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hlvanburen

posted March 16, 2010 at 7:57 pm


““We do not know if the pope knew about the abuse cases at the time,” Juesten said. “However, we assume that this is not the case.””
The investigation should not be handled by the Church for exactly this reason. It should be turned over to the appropriate government agency for an independent investigation.
I could only imagine the uproar if a school district handled such allegations internally.



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Mary

posted March 16, 2010 at 8:31 pm


Let’s all ask ourselves some of the following questions and please know – I don’t know the answers to all of them but I never see the answers either:
1. What is the duty and role of the psychotherapist in all this? Is he/she also part of the coverup? If so, why do we hear nothing about it?
2. What were the mandated reporting laws in 1980 in Germany? Let’s recall that we did not have a federal mandated reporting law until 1974 in this country. Various states had them in the 1960′s. Are we judging people by 2010 laws and practices, instead of at the time?
3. Who called the offending priest into the cops in 1985? Even with that question unanswered- can there be a coverup thirty years later when there was a conviction?
4. Yes, the pope was the CEO and maybe, should have followed the case, but is it the expectation to have the CEO micromanage personnel in any corporation let alone the Church? When the CEO finds the error, he fires the underling – the priest and the underling were still on the job in 1990 – long after the conviction – how is this now Ratzinger’s fault?
5. Why is sending someone to psychotherapy not seen as a response in and of itself? It isn’t like they were doing nothing. Yes I know the shuffling and continued shuffling was bad – but if we say we believe in science AND we condemn the Church as anti-science – in this case they were doing the “modern” thing and get condemn for it – a paradox.
6. Yes, it is terrible – when was the last time you called in a family member for the sexual abuse occurring in your family?
7. Do you really want confidentiality laws and privacy laws repealed for priests, social workers, therapists – what about journalists?
8. Doesn’t everyone have dignity and worth or, does mercy only apply to those criminals we deem socially acceptable and redeemable.
9. What would Jesus have done? Would he have housed a person requesting shelter? Would he have provided medical care? Would he have forgiven and said sin no more? Would he have gone to the victims and said I’m sorry. Since Ratzinger has said I’m sorry on more than one occassion, how many times does he have to say it? On the other hand where are the others – and why when he really has been the one forcing the issue do we want to turn on him without a fair hearing?
10. And, if the facts bear out what we now know – does his “crime” really rise to the level of a cause/effect argument – if Ratzinger hadn’t given him housing, the priest wouldn’t have offended? is this the level of cause/effect and blame?
11. When will someone please report about the Bishops who even 20 years ago called the cops. Some did – I loath it when it becomes an a total institutional conspiracy when there were those who acted. This is what people did 30-40 years ago – deny it existed and bumble around it. And then, try not to have it become a bigger problem – funny how it always explodes even in our own families?
Think abou it and truly ask yourself the question about your own families – do you recognize it? what do you do? And yes, I know some of you are very courageous and have taken a stand. And yes, child sexual abuse is a terrible crime – but so is being unjust and creating a witch hunt which this has all the earmarks of becoming.



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Holly Hansen

posted March 16, 2010 at 8:31 pm


Sunlight is the best disinfectant. The culture of secrecy must end.



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Mary

posted March 16, 2010 at 8:37 pm


PS – I feel strongly that the victims are overlooked – even in my post. I am sorry that their souls and lives have been scorched. I don’t know what to do, am powerless. But, I also cannot become part of the witchhunt without answers to some of the questions I posed for Ratzinger or any Bishop. I hope all perpetrators are brought to justice. I just don’t think all “offending” Bishops were acting in bad faith back then. I hope Ratzinger wasn’t but even if more is revealed – should we really villify the one person in power who really heard the cries? Should we blame him for his powerlessness just like we are powerless?



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Maria

posted March 16, 2010 at 8:42 pm


Mr. Sullivan is more proof that nothing so blinds an individual as does sin. He is disturbed. O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.



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Beth

posted March 16, 2010 at 9:11 pm


Unfortunately for the Pope, what happens in your “administration” is ultimately your responsibility – even if you didn’t make the decision. If I make a terrible decision at work and don’t consult my boss, I’m held accountable and so is he. Certainly I could be let go, and he could be reminded that he needs to have a tighter control over his employees, but when you’re in a managerial/hierarchical situation, you as the head-honcho are responsible.
I still have no reason to believe the Pope knew what was happening in this case. But saying that he wasn’t the person who signed the paperwork does not mean that he doesn’t have ownership of the issue.



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Chris Sullivan

posted March 16, 2010 at 9:17 pm


Mary,
The Bishops of Munich and Essen in 1980 had the power to pick up the phone and call the police. They had ample evidence that a serious crime had been committed.
Why didn’t they call the police ?
Is such behaviour acceptable in a Shepherd of the flock ?
God Bless



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hopper

posted March 16, 2010 at 9:25 pm


Don’t confuse them with facts, they’ve invested too much in the pitchforks and torches…



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hlvanburen

posted March 16, 2010 at 9:33 pm


“2. What were the mandated reporting laws in 1980 in Germany? Let’s recall that we did not have a federal mandated reporting law until 1974 in this country. Various states had them in the 1960′s. Are we judging people by 2010 laws and practices, instead of at the time?”
Actually, no, that is not the case. We constantly have apologists for the Catholic hierarchy throwing up the abuse crisis in the schools and in the Protestant church to deflect criticism for the abuses coming to light in the Church. Yet we find that the Catholic church STILL does not have a policy in place mandating the immediate reporting of such allegations to the local legal authorities.
Federal law holds not only school administrators but also individual school teachers liable if they know of such abusive practices but do not report them to authorities. Almost every state mirrors such laws in their statutes.
Why hasn’t the Catholic Church adopted a mandatory reporting policy in their code of canon law? Why do they resist attempts by the government (at both state and federal level) to enact laws requiring the same reporting level required of school employees?
Deacons, do any of you have an answer for this?



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hlvanburen

posted March 16, 2010 at 9:36 pm


“Don’t confuse them with facts, they’ve invested too much in the pitchforks and torches…”
And of course, Christians would never do this.
/theplumline.whorunsgov.com/political-media/gop-rep-again-accuses-gay-obama-adviser-of-covering-up-child-abuse-even-though-his-office-was-informed-its-false/



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Dana MacKenzie

posted March 16, 2010 at 11:07 pm


As much as some might love to dismiss Mary’s point-by-point post, you cannot dismiss the fact that in the 1970′s and 1980′s child sexual abuse was rarely codified as a criminal offense. Back then, pedophiles were considered “sick” and therapy was recommended by psychiatric experts. In many nations, molestation of children was not something people were arrested for. That God that has changed, but it is always prudent, in our modern rages -no matter how righteous they are- to recall that times change, and that people are always products of their time, responding to things as they were responded to at the time. Once upon a time it was also considered “quite all right” to smack our kids around; punishment was “the parent’s business.” Nowadays, even a light smack to the rear end may bring the cops around. Each era needs to be judged by its own understanding.



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kenneth

posted March 17, 2010 at 3:25 am


“Each era needs to be judged by its own understanding.”
On that basis, the church has no reasonably gripe at all with gay marriage. Yet their resolve is steel on this point. Not only can’t you be gay an in the church. You can’t even be the kid of someone gay and go to their schools or cast a vote as a politician which the bishops find to be insufficiently “ungay.” or you will be excommunicated.
No equivocating there folks, and this issue never seems to get lost in the paper shuffle the way convicted multiple sex offenders do. Ironically, the words of the founding chairman, JC himself, offer exactly zero guidance on the gay thing. He was, however, pretty clear on the corporate policies about those who harm kids. Something about tying a millstone around the offenders neck and drowning them offshore! I guess the bishops, theologians that they are, somehow didn’t get that memo whilst they were working out how to weasle the minimum legal response allowed under “prevailing practice” of the 1980s.



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Makarios

posted March 17, 2010 at 4:16 am


“Each era needs to be judged by its own understanding.”
Please remind me–in what era was it considered OK to allow someone under your charge to rape children and get away with it?



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Doug Sirman

posted March 17, 2010 at 5:57 am


“…in the 1970′s and 1980′s child sexual abuse was rarely codified as a criminal offense.”
An inexcusable lie. It most certainly WAS codified as a criminal offense. It most certainly WAS prosecuted as such.
“Back then, pedophiles were considered “sick” and therapy was recommended by psychiatric experts.”
Another inexcusable lie. Pedophilia was regarded by the psychological profession as being intractable, incurable and untreatable. The ONLY people who lied about it being treatable were priests working for St. Lukes and Paraclete. No REPUTABLE psychologist (which pretty much excludes those in the priesthood) believed therapy was worth anything in this.
If you’re going to publicly parrot the lying excuses of the PR wing of the USCCB, you might want to do your homework first. Otherwise, you are going to continue being exposed as just another of their useful idiots.



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Your Name

posted March 17, 2010 at 11:27 am


Why on earth is this considered a “grenade”???
“The superior does not contact the police.”
But that is the written POLICY of the RCC – to NOT report such abuse.



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Your Name

posted March 17, 2010 at 11:30 am


““We do not know if the pope knew about the abuse cases at the time,” Juesten said. “However, we assume that this is not the case.””
Such an ASSumption.



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Your Name

posted March 17, 2010 at 11:34 am


“Let’s recall that we did not have a federal mandated reporting law until 1974 in this country. “
Whatever happened to the ‘mandate’ to DO THE RIGHT THING? Are child-raping priests not to be reported just because there’s no legal mandate to report them? What about the MORAL mandate?



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Your Name

posted March 17, 2010 at 11:36 am


“That sentence is grossly misleading; the Times neglects to add the crucial fact that Cardinal Ratzinger approved the accused priest’s entry into a counseling program in Munich; he did not approve him for a parish assignment.
As officials both in Munich and at the Vatican had previously explained, the vicar-general of the Munich archdiocese later allowed Father Hullerman to work in a parish. The vicar general has stated that he made this decision without the knowledge– let alone approval– of Cardinal Ratzinger.”

But he was in charge and he SHOULD have known. And/or at least accepted the responsibility – it happened on his watch.
You are far too lenient and way to quick to forgive/excuse Ratzinger, Mr. Kandra.



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Your Name

posted March 17, 2010 at 11:55 am


“Who called the offending priest into the cops in 1985? “
No one. Again, it is RCC policy that such events NOT be reported!



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Your Name

posted March 17, 2010 at 11:57 am


“is it the expectation to have the CEO micromanage personnel in any corporation”
It. Does. Not. Matter.
It is still the CEO’s RESPONSIBILITY. It happened on his watch.
You, too, are far too lenient in excusing Ratzinger this way, Mary.



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Your Name

posted March 17, 2010 at 12:00 pm


Geez Louise!
“When the CEO finds the error, he fires the underling – the priest and the underling were still on the job in 1990 – long after the conviction – how is this now Ratzinger’s fault?”
Mary, you answered this question yourself in the very same paragraph:
“Yes, the pope was the CEO” at the time, or, as Sullivan puts it, “the Superior”.
What part don’t you get?



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Your Name

posted March 17, 2010 at 12:02 pm


“Do you really want confidentiality laws and privacy laws repealed for priests”
For the child-raping ones, YES!



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Your Name

posted March 17, 2010 at 12:06 pm


“What would Jesus have done? Would he have housed a person requesting shelter? Would he have provided medical care? Would he have forgiven and said sin no more?”
Too bad Jesus wasn’t on the job then, eh Mary? The abused child(ren) was/were NOT given “shelter”, were NOT “provided medical care”, and the offending priest(s) were NOT told to “sin no more” – they were protected from the law and were shuffled off to yet more potential victims.
Who’s side are you on in this, Mary? Obviously NOT on the side of the raped child(ren).



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Your Name

posted March 17, 2010 at 12:08 pm


Mary, the fact that you put smarm quotes on the priests “crime” is vile. Puke making. Horrendously callous. Shame on you.



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Your Name

posted March 17, 2010 at 12:13 pm


Mary,
“should we really villify the one person in power who really heard the cries? Should we blame him for his powerlessness just like we are powerless?”
If a CARDINAL is “powerless” to help and protect children under the care of his priests, heaven help us all.
If Ratzinger “really heard the cries”, he should have done more. Heck, he should have done SOMETHING! Specifically, he should have notified the police, DESPITE RCC policy.
You absolve him far too easily.



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Your Name

posted March 17, 2010 at 12:18 pm


Maria,
“Mr. Sullivan is more proof that nothing so blinds an individual as does sin. He is disturbed.”
That sure needs some explaining, Maria. How is Sullivan somehow ‘blinded’? How is he “disturbed”?
Ah, speaking ill of others – such a ‘catholic’/'Christian’ trait. NOT!



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Your Name

posted March 17, 2010 at 12:24 pm


Dana MacKenzie,
“you cannot dismiss the fact that in the 1970′s and 1980′s child sexual abuse was rarely codified as a criminal offense. Back then, pedophiles were considered “sick” and therapy was recommended by psychiatric experts. In many nations, molestation of children was not something people were arrested for. “
I call B.S. In fact, I call MAJOR B.S.
Rape has alwys been a crime – an especially serious and heinous one. Especially the rape of children.
And, the fact that this/these rape(s) were NOT EVEN REPORTED – BY POLICY – ensured that the perpetrator(s) would NOT be ‘treated’ with therapy.
Get. A. Frikkin’. Clue.
Like I said, who’s side are you ON for pete’s sake?



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Frank

posted March 17, 2010 at 1:09 pm


I think I will always remember Benedict’s papacy as the Sgt. Schulz papacy. The best defense he can mount is “I know nothing! I zee nothing!” When asked to give permission for a priestly sex offender to move into his diocese, we’re supposed to believe that Benedict didn’t ask the nature of the crime? Is he that stupid? Are the Catholic laity that stupid?



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romancrusader

posted March 17, 2010 at 3:46 pm


I’ll defend the Holy Father any day of the week. I fear the worst of the persecutions is about to come.



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Tina

posted March 17, 2010 at 4:06 pm


Your Name at 11:57 pm.
The Church is a universal organization. As such, the rules must be flexible to account for many cultures and such. What do you do when in one country it is perfectly legal to marry off girls at 11 or 12 and another country holds it a crime?
Additionally, what if the priest tells the bishop in Confession?
Read this interview with the man in charge of these crimes at the Vatican. Quite different from what the media reports
http://wdtprs.com/blog/2010/03/interview-with-the-cdfs-prosecutor-of-priests-who-commit-graviora-delicta/



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Maria

posted March 17, 2010 at 4:09 pm


Amen, Roman Crusader. The Church received very bad advice with respect to how to handle pedophile priests. Period.



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Steve

posted March 17, 2010 at 4:16 pm


Tina,
You’re not seriously suggesting that it’s acceptable for an archbishop (or any church employee) to overlook credible evidence of sexual abuse of children (rape) because of variations in cultural norms — are you? Is that what it boils down to? Some cultures allow for the marriage of 12-year-olds; therefore we should not report a priest to the police if he rapes a 12-year-old? Nor should we hold his archbishop (Joseph Ratzinger) accountable for ignoring the evidence and failing to turn the priest in? Seriously?
Please tell me I’ve misunderstood the point you were trying to make.



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suvivor

posted March 17, 2010 at 6:23 pm


I wonder….
for those of you practicing catholics do you leave your children or grandchildren alone with a priest?
do you wonder?
do you know a single survivor personally who was raped emotionally physically and spiritually from their priest?
have you worked in an emergency room and seen the victim of a rape? a child?
have you had the courage to listen to the victims stories as they try to have a “normal” adult life? as they have spend years in agony in silence?
i challenge you to not question your faith but to question your reason why you would stand by human beings who have represented a faith with such malice? Why would you choose not to do the right thing yourself and let justice be done and embrace those who suffered by the hands of priests?
Has any of you who stand by the Holy Father even prayed for these children? Even once?
The truth comes to light. Always has always will. God bless those who are brave enough to speak out. It is in YOU courage of speaking out you are doing what so many have failed to do.. protect other children.



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suvivor

posted March 17, 2010 at 6:27 pm


i aplogize for my poor english. i am hurt and angry as many mothers of abuse survivors are. english is not my first language.
God Bless you all for being brave enough to bring this monster topic to light.



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Mike

posted March 17, 2010 at 6:31 pm


Amen, Roman Crusader. The Church received very bad advice with respect to how to handle pedophile priests. Period.
No, the bishops and priests who lied, covered up, blamed children and their parents, made people sign vows of silence, and allowed the abuse to continue committed great acts of evil. So does every one of you who disagrees and excuses them for following “bad advice.”



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hlvanburen

posted March 17, 2010 at 6:44 pm


“The Church is a universal organization. As such, the rules must be flexible to account for many cultures and such. What do you do when in one country it is perfectly legal to marry off girls at 11 or 12 and another country holds it a crime?”
If only the Church were that accommodating of gays and lesbians who are finding increased acceptance in our nation. Funny…pedophile priests and their enablers get a break based on “cultural norms” but gays and lesbians get none.



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ds0490

posted March 17, 2010 at 6:48 pm


“I’ll defend the Holy Father any day of the week. I fear the worst of the persecutions is about to come.”
As long as you are content protecting child rapists and those who help them, yes, the Church can and should expect persecution.
But if the Bible is anywhere near accurate, nothing that can happen on this side of death will match what God has waiting for these unrepentant defilers of children.



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romancrusader

posted March 17, 2010 at 11:57 pm


ds0490,
Where did I defend child rapists? Tell me. You’ll never find it. You have no proof that the Holy Father was linked to sexual abuse.
Try this on for size:
http://wdtprs.com/blog/2010/03/how-to-write-a-news-piece-on-the-german-abuse-scandal-and-the-popes-involvement/



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ds0490

posted March 18, 2010 at 10:36 am


“You have no proof that the Holy Father was linked to sexual abuse. ”
Yet.



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hlvanburen

posted March 18, 2010 at 11:25 am


romancrusader: “You have no proof that the Holy Father was linked to sexual abuse.”
It is early in the investigation, and much work is yet to be done to uncover the truth of what happened and what is happening.
A question to you: if there is credible evidence of the Holy Father’s involvement in actively covering up abuse or, worse yet, participating in it, what do you think should happen? Should he resign? Should he be removed by the College of Cardinals?
Would you continue to support him in spite of this evidence?



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pagansister

posted March 18, 2010 at 8:39 pm


The buck stops with Benedict. Head of a business/country/church…is untimately responsible for knowing what is happening in their business. Besides I can’t believe with his time in the RC starting out as a prist that he wasn’t aware of what some of his fellow priests were doing, and would have been interested in monitoring such things as head of THE church.



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Thomas

posted March 19, 2010 at 10:29 pm


It’s obviously Pope Benedict’s fault. After all, he’s the Pope. He’s ultimately responsible for what happened decades before he became the Pope, and not only that, but also for the fictitious actions that crackpot journalists create in their own imaginations to implicate him. Seriously, some people are in dire need of objectivity and a careful study of the facts.
ds0490, So you already know with utmost certainty that Pope Benedict is responsible in some way for sexual abuse, even BEFORE any facts have been found to indicate this? That’s amazing. You must be some kind of prophet, to know someone is doubtlessly guilty before any facts or evidence has been found.
You show nothing but a preconceived agenda that you’re trying desperately in vain to prove as true. You won’t. Just because you want some of your perverse fantasies to be true, doesn’t mean they are. You can’t twist the rules of logic to support your own notions, no matter how much you try.
pagansister, You’re a Pagan, not a Catholic. You really don’t have any say in who is responsible for what, any more than I would have say in who becomes the next Arch-Druid-Satanist-Whatever of a local coven. The fact that you’ve taught for a decade in a Catholic school means nothing, except for the obvious reasons of why many Catholic schools have gone downhill in recent years.
The smears against Pope Benedict is nothing but cowardly slander from those who know on an intuitive level that he’s best suited to steer the Church away from liturgical and sexual abuse, and toward a better future. They know that he’s crushing their perverted dreams of destroying the Church (which is impossible to begin with), and they react with disdain for the truth in trying to implicate him any way they see fit, rational or not.



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pagansister

posted March 20, 2010 at 10:18 pm


Thomas: You said it all in your first statement: “It’s obviously Pope Benedict’s fault. After all, he’s the Pope”. Exactly.
And you’re right, I’m not Catholic. Glad you understand that.
If you’d like to select a leader for a Pagan group…be our guest.
The RC schools are going downhill? Some maybe, but not all. They are much better schools than the city schools. Locally, the diocese has had to close many RC schools due to lack of students. The school I taught in is in the city and is still open, and doing well, with an excellent reputation, being accredited by a national organization. Many folks that can afford it are leaving the city and going to the burbs for better public schools.
As to comments about Benedict? He is the one earning the comments. If what he has done so far is the way he will “steer” the church away from liturgical and sexual abuse then the church is in for more trouble. Today he put all the blame on the Irish church…and none on the Vatican. Pope John Paul (or was it Benedict? con’t remember) rewarded Law in Boston for his neglect in taking care of Boston’s criminal priests by bringing him to Rome and giving him a post. Are John Paul and Benedict examples of how the church handles problems? Sad.



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Your Name

posted March 27, 2010 at 4:15 am


I have to agree with Thomas (not just because our names are the same) and disagree with pagansister. Indeed, that Benedict IS steering the Church in the right direction, building on the legacy of JPII, is evidenced by the fact that almost all these horrid abuses occured 20+ years ago. The younger, more doctrinally orthodox priests who were educated in the climate of the “reform of the reform” are far more well formed, spiritually, and better programs are now in place to weed out homosexuals and others who could be a threat. Of course, much cover-up has occured more recently, particularly in Ireland, and some bishops will have to go because of it (I’m confident Benedict will see this done before too long), but one can easily see the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of weeding the filth out of the priesthood, as Benedict himself has energetically committed himself to do.



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pagansister

posted March 27, 2010 at 10:12 am


YN aand Thomas:
How’s Benedict doing now, guys? What difference does it make if the abuses were 20 plus years ago? THe revelations of what Benedict didn’t do then…Germany, the boys in the Wisconsin school for the deaf proves that there was a pattern of cover up and just plain arrogance in the system…and Benedict knew about much of it… and he didn’t take care of it THEN. Benedict is going to have a hard time getting himself out of this. He can apologize until he is blue in the face, but he and his position are in deep stuff about now. Yes, he has apologized, but he needs to DO something…Clean house, starting with himself.



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Your Name

posted March 28, 2010 at 4:50 am


Pagansister:
Please . . . let’s draw the right lesson from the horrendous case of Fr. Murphy and the Wisconsin deaf school. There was a horrible pattern of inaction and coverup in the Church, but whose was it? Benedict’s? Certainly not. It was 25 YEARS of inaction from the ’60′s to the ’80′s, by three local bishops (including the arch-liberal Rembrandt Weakland, who had his own personal scandals) that let Murphy stay where he was putting children at risk. The Times and other media choose to highlight the fact that Cardinal Ratzinger learned of this in 1996, and, with Murphy on his deathbed, chose not to go through with a full canonical defrocking process. Frnakly, I think he made the right choice to spend the CDF’s resources on getting active predators out of the ministry, rather than what would be at most a symbolic defrocking of a man who was no longer a risk. But Benedict did something else — with that Wisconsin case probably in mind, in 2001 he was critical in new instruction that required all bishops to forward credible allegations of abuse to Rome, precisely to prevent these kinds of local coverups. That’s why we see a marked reduction from that point on. As I said, he’s part of the solution, not the problem.



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pagansister

posted March 29, 2010 at 12:28 pm


As harsh as this sounds, I have no sympathy for Murphy being on his deathbed…he should have been defrocked. He should have died knowing that at least he got some punishment for his horrible actions against children who were wrongly trained that a priest could be trusted! Money was the reason for not defrocking him…he was no risk anymore? No, dying kind stops some activities, but Murphy needed some form of punishment. I’m sure he had the “last rites”. Wonder what God thought about that? Perhaps he went to the RC hell for his actions! One can only hope.
Time will tell if indeed the Pope will be part of the solution. So far, many, including me, aren’t impressed. Of course, since this is a world wide epidemic, it’s going to take years. Wonder how many will leave the RC or choose NOT to be Catholic because of these revelations. For good reason, the Irish are not bothering to continue to attend Mass. Smart. If I had been inclined towards being Catholic…I’d have paused and would be seriously re-considering…and opting out for another faith.



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pagansister

posted March 29, 2010 at 12:32 pm


Correction to this sentence: “For good reason, SOME of the Irish are not bothering to continue to attend Mass.”



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