The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


Benedict the Great?

posted by jmcgee

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That idea may seem farfetched to some, especially now. But Ross Douthat argues that Benedict may be remembered by history for being a better pope than his celebrated predecessor:

The last pope was a great man, but he was also a weak administrator, a poor delegator, and sometimes a dreadful judge of character.

The church’s dilatory response to the sex abuse scandals was a testament to these weaknesses. So was John Paul’s friendship with the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ. The last pope loved him and defended him. But we know now that Father Maciel was a sexually voracious sociopath. And thanks to a recent exposé by The National Catholic Reporter’s Jason Berry, we know the secret of Maciel’s Vatican success: He was an extraordinary fund-raiser, and those funds often flowed to members of John Paul’s inner circle.

Only one churchman comes out of Berry’s story looking good: Joseph Ratzinger. Berry recounts how Ratzinger lectured to a group of Legionary priests, and was subsequently handed an envelope of money “for his charitable use.” The cardinal “was tough as nails in a very cordial way,” a witness said, and turned the money down.

This isn’t an isolated case. In the 1990s, it was Ratzinger who pushed for a full investigation of Hans Hermann Groer, the Vienna cardinal accused of pedophilia, only to have his efforts blocked in the Vatican. It was Ratzinger who persuaded John Paul, in 2001, to centralize the church’s haphazard system for handling sex abuse allegations in his office. It was Ratzinger who re-opened the long-dormant investigation into Maciel’s conduct in 2004, just days after John Paul II had honored the Legionaries in a Vatican ceremony. It was Ratzinger, as Pope Benedict, who banished Maciel to a monastery and ordered a comprehensive inquiry into his order.

So the high-flying John Paul let scandals spread beneath his feet, and the uncharismatic Ratzinger was left to clean them up. This pattern extends to other fraught issues that the last pope tended to avoid — the debasement of the Catholic liturgy, or the rise of Islam in once-Christian Europe. And it extends to the caliber of the church’s bishops, where Benedict’s appointments are widely viewed as an improvement over the choices John Paul made. It isn’t a coincidence that some of the most forthright ecclesiastical responses to the abuse scandal have come from friends and protégés of the current pope.

Has Benedict done enough to clean house and show contrition? Alas, no. Has his Vatican responded to the latest swirl of scandal with retrenchment, resentment, and an un-Christian dose of self-pity? Absolutely. Can this pontiff regain the kind of trust and admiration, for himself and for his office, that John Paul II enjoyed? Not a chance.

But as unlikely as it seems today, Benedict may yet deserve to be remembered as the better pope.

Do read the rest.



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gary

posted April 12, 2010 at 12:36 am


Have to agree with the spirit of this one. The “reform of the reform” alone will pay many future spiritual dividends for Benedict’s papacy.



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BobRN

posted April 12, 2010 at 1:11 am


I agree with Mr. Douthat on the matter of JPII’s choices for bishops (though let’s remember that recommendations are provided by the national groups of bishops; perhaps JPII did what he could with what he had … a sad thought!), and with the debasement of the liturgy. On the sex abuse crisis, I don’t think he gets enough credit, at least in the U. S., for initiating a reform of the seminaries that had a remarkable effect in decreasing significantly the number of cases of abuse. Certainly his friendship with Maciel blinded him to the his vices. I’m not sure what he could have done about the rise of Islam in once Christian Europe, since Europe was “once” Christian long before JPII became pope, and he certainly had no control over immigration policies of the European countries.
But, if JPII fell short on any number of matters, it was only because of his humanity. His incredible successes in international diplomacy, in evangelization, in giving a new and enthusiastic face to the Church speak to the credit of his remarkable papacy, and to his well-deserved title “the Great”.



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Gerard Nadal

posted April 12, 2010 at 2:04 am


When viewed in 100 years with a more objective eye, John Paul II and Benedict XVI will be remembered as hero Popes in an age when the Church was in a Chernobyl-magnitude meltdown.
The rape of children is a part of that meltdown, a disgusting betrayal on many different levels. The next fifteen to twenty years should see the full airing of the residual cases.
John Paul’s Papacy will be remembered to have occurred in an era when greater decentralization in the Church during the post-Vatican II years was the hallmark of how bishops did ecclesiastical business. Greater reliance on national and regional Committees and Councils of Bishops has continued to be the norm.
Canon law gave the Bishops the authority to deal with this matter locally and in their national committees. It will also be duly noted by history that the very people braying the loudest about the lack of strong central command on this issue are the very people who revile a strong central command on any other issue. For as bad as this scandal has been, there seems to be no evidence that John Paul had any indication of its true extent until the few years immediately before his death when he had succumbed to the ravages of Parkinson’s Disease.
In those years of his Papacy marked by his great vitality, JP II assumed command of a Church entirely in free-fall. The Priests and Religious were walking away in a tsunami of defections, so much so that JP II put a moratorium on laicizations in the mid ’80′s. Global communism was the great existential threat to life on this planet, and to faith-any faith. History will duly note that JP II came of age under the successive tyrannies of fascism and communism, and their slaughter of Jews and Christians alike. History will note well the extent to which JP II partnered with Reagan and Thatcher to bring down communism and open freedom of religion for all persons of all faiths in the former Soviet Union.
History will also note the savage fury with which the family, the gender roles of men and women, the unborn, marriage came under attack. And while the world will better understand how little JP II understood the scope of the sexual abuse of children to be, it will all the more appreciate just how much he loved youth and reached out to them as a dynamic force for good, reminding them of their great dignity.
The world will note how JP II’s worst critics read little, if anything of his monumental compendium of encyclicals, letters, catechism, revised code of canon law, theology of the body, philosophical and theological treatises, etc.
The structural and curial weaknesses stemming from decentralization of authority in the 1960′s-2000′s will rightly be seen as the single-greatest factor in Rome’s lagging responsiveness, and not some moral, character, or administrative defect in JP II.
Cardinal Ratzinger/Benedict XVI will be remembered fondly for moving on the developing extent of the scandal as JP II’s life began slipping away in the early 2000′s. Whereas his predecessor addressed the great philosophical errors that led to the disintegration of his Church using powerfully loaded philosophical terminology such as the ‘personalistic norm’, Benedict will be remembered as the pastor who gently and thoughtfully unpacked JP II’s work in accessible theological reflections.
Finally, history will note with disdain how so many children in so many other quarters were not saved because of the exclusive focus on Rome, who will be shown in the perspective of history to have had the least pervasive problem with sexual abuse of minors of any other quarter of society. The myth of the ‘situationally gay’ priest will have been fully shown for the diabolical lie that it is.
These were not heterosexual men grabbing the closest, safest piece of fanny available. Heterosexual priests have never had a shortage of women dying to play iconoclast. History will show that this was a period of infiltration of the clergy by a particular subset of the homosexual community-diabolical gays who wrecked the credibility of the Church for generations.
Against this backdrop, these two Popes will be regarded as giants, and history will forget the names of their detractors-the majority of whom cared more for tearing down the Papacy and the Church than they ever did for the protection of children, the bulk of whom they steadfastly ignored in their headlong rush to destroy that which Jesus promised would endure to the end of time.



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Jay H.

posted April 12, 2010 at 5:45 am


Benedict well remembers that the papers that now complain that the Vatican did too little and covered up what it did do were complaining 25 years ago of a Vatican which was too aggressive and which they insisted ought to stay out of the affairs of local bishops and national councils of bishops.
My non-Catholic mother was absolutely moved by the beauty & simplicity of his midnight mass homily this past Christmas. Anyone who has listened to or read him is unlikely to regard as accurate the deeply malicious caricature which reporters had ready-made for wide distribution before these supposed ‘revelations’. His demeanor at all times demonstrates that he truly regards himself as no more than ‘a simple worker in the vinyard of the Lord’.
The placidity with which he’s confronted the vilification is the product of his long experience with media assaults, which began early in his tenure as head of the Congregation for the Faith, when he began disciplining Catholic theologians for spreading explicitly anti-Catholic doctrines & undermining the common faith of all Church members. History will take account of the fact that he was absolutely essential to John Paul’s labors, while he did his utmost to compensate for his flaws.



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Trepid

posted April 12, 2010 at 7:21 am


Worries about Calif. priest came early in career
By GILLIAN FLACCUS and BROOKE DONALD (AP)
OAKLAND, Calif. — Even in his seminary days in the early 1970s, there were questions about California priest Stephen Kiesle: Colleagues said he had trouble relating to adults, lacked spirituality and didn’t seem committed to anything but youth ministry.
Kiesle pleaded no contest in 1978 to lewd conduct for tying up and molesting two boys and was sentenced to three years probation. He took a leave of absence from his parish position, and in 1981 returned and asked the Oakland bishop to be laicized, or removed from the priesthood.
Those colleagues, who helped make the case to the Vatican in 1981 seeking to let him leave the priesthood, said they were concerned before Kiesle was ordained, and more so after revelations Kiesle had molested children in his parish.
“He was not grown up. He spent more time with kids than with people his own age. You get suspicious of that. There’s something wrong there,” said John Cummins, former bishop in the Diocese of Oakland, now retired.
Still, future Pope Benedict XVI resisted pleas from the diocese to act on the case, according to a 1985 letter in Latin obtained by The Associated Press that bore his signature as then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. The 1985 letter, signed by Ratzinger, cited concerns about the effect that removing the priest would have on “the good of the universal church.”
It would take another two years before the Vatican doctrine watchdog office headed by Ratzinger would approve Kiesle’s own request to leave the priesthood in 1987.



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Holy Cannoli

posted April 12, 2010 at 7:30 am


>>>So the high-flying John Paul let scandals spread beneath his feet, and the uncharismatic Ratzinger was left to clean them up. This pattern extends to other fraught issues that the last pope tended to avoid — the debasement of the Catholic liturgy, or the rise of Islam in once-Christian Europe. And it extends to the caliber of the church’s bishops, where Benedict’s appointments are widely viewed as an improvement over the choices John Paul made. It isn’t a coincidence that some of the most forthright ecclesiastical responses to the abuse scandal have come from friends and protégés of the current pope.
Thanks for posting this well written essay.
>>>But as unlikely as it seems today, Benedict may yet deserve to be remembered as the better pope.
Time will tell.
The ‘man at the top’, whether he is president of a small corporation, president of the United States or Pope, plays an enormously important role in the vitality of that organization.
The facts speak for themselves.
http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=29948



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Awashingtondccatholic

posted April 12, 2010 at 8:14 am


Although this may be a very simple explanation, God gives us the HOly Father we need for our times. For us, it may be easy to see one or two basic reasons why, but God knows what lays in store for the Church. As many here have pointed out, it will take a couple of decades after the deaths of JPII and Benedict XVI to really and fully understand what they faced and how the handled these situations.
Both men, will be considered great Popes. JPII was the more charasmatic of the two but as I have told my friends, don’t underestimate B16. There always something that he does (or directs) that suprises me every couple of months and makes me smile and say “Thank God.”



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Klaire

posted April 12, 2010 at 9:50 am


I’m convinced both, in time, will be remembered as “Great” Popes. No one is perfect, not even popes, but I prefer to concentrate on the things the popes got right more than what they ‘missed.’
JPII warned sharply of the danger of “isms”, with “consumerism” being up there with the best of them. He also gave us the Theology of the Body, a teching so profound and relevent for our times, that if given the deserved attention, it would transform the “sexual revolution.”
He gave us the year of the Eucharist and the year of the Rosary, from with or without, the world will go strong or crumble.
He reached the youth, and consequently, we have an entire generation of “JPII” holy priests.
JPII gave us the Catechism.
The list could go on, including the largest watch/attended funeral on planet earth. No one garners 2 billion without good cause.
As for Pope Benedict, he’s a gem too, for a lot of reasons. I suspect his biggest legacy will not only be his brillance, orthodoxy, and warning against moral relativism, but his timely “social justice” teachings. Someday, after Obama and friends have succeeded in taking this once great country to hell in a handbasket, some “sage” is going to discover Benedict’s encyclical “Charity in Truth” and have an ah ha momement, realizing that in perfect timing, before we destroyed health care and reduced our standard of living to that of Cuba, Benedict, in God’s providence, had given us all the answers for real social justice, based simply on the teachings of Jesus Christ. But like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, some things have to be learned the harder way.
In a nutshell, from communisim to social justice to the way to holiness, these two popes gave us all that we needed. If history shows anything, it will be how how most of us in America were too “self consumed” to simply let “God be God”, consequently, it will clearly show that our “Sheperds” didn’t fail us, we failed them.”
Hopefully, by that time, some of us will still be able to benefit from their real life examples of “How to carry a cross, regardless of its weight”, the real paradox being, that both will still ‘be there for us’ when the going gets really tough, as it inevitably will.



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Lynn

posted April 12, 2010 at 10:04 am


Interesting article. I disagree with his comment about the liturgy being debased, but otherwise intriguing.



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Dante

posted April 12, 2010 at 10:44 am


Thanks for this post, Deacon Greg. It enables me to have a proper insight into B16 which I find helpful since he doesn’t have the public charisma of JPII and thus can be easily overlooked for all his accomplishments.



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Dana MacKenzie

posted April 12, 2010 at 12:23 pm


Deacon, what a mischief, to tempt so many with that headline! :-)



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panthera

posted April 12, 2010 at 1:15 pm


And then, today, we learn that this is the response of the Catholic church in America to the attempts by secular justice to help the victims.
Every single person here who has lectured me over the last weeks about how the Catholic church has the problem under control, every single American who has informed me in tones of deepest bathos how superior American Catholics are to the rest of the world needs to read this and reflect.
Disgusting is not quite the word which comes to mind but will, at least, pass the beliefnet censor.
To be condemned with the greatest possible fury. And you people dare to say my monogamous, loving, committed marriage is disordered while you try to prevent victims from testifying?



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Holy Cannoli

posted April 12, 2010 at 1:40 pm


>>>To be condemned with the greatest possible fury. And you people dare to say my monogamous, loving, committed marriage is disordered while you try to prevent victims from testifying?
No matter what the topic of the thread, you always make it about you and your disordered lifestyle. Classic Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).
http://couragerc.net/



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cathyf

posted April 12, 2010 at 1:58 pm


One of the things that I find endearing about Benedict is that in a certain way he is totally oblivious to how smart he is. How many times in one of his talks or writings he will quote someone else on whatever the topic is. The construct will be illogical, in that “appeal to authority” is a logical fallacy, and superfluous, because Benedict surrounds it with his own tightly reasoned and well-presented argument. But what’s funny is that the appeal will be to some utterly obscure figure (and usually quite justifiably obscure!) who isn’t even making a very persuasive argument. I often find myself smiling and saying to myself, “Dude! An appeal to authority is kinda silly when you are appealing to an authority way less authoritative than you!”



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panthera

posted April 12, 2010 at 1:58 pm


Holy Cannoli,
A church whose priests routinely rape children and which then seeks to prevent laws from being enacted to permit those priests being brought to justice is hardly in a position to pronounce over my monogamous, consensual marriage.
No psychiatrists, no psychologists, no medical doctors, no judicial authorities today consider homosexuality a disorder. Only you Catholics – and your definition of normal is raping children.
But do keep trying to distract us from the topic. It worked so very well when you were persecuting Jews, why shouldn’t it work to take the hard light of justice off your raping children?



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cathyf

posted April 12, 2010 at 2:13 pm


And no, panthera, I am not outraged by a statute of limitations which is thirty years after the alleged victim turns 18.
The reason that we have statutes of limitations is so that the accused has some reasonable chance of defending himself or herself. Allowing people to wait until all of the witnesses who can prove the accused innocent die off is only acceptable if you think that innocence is impossible.



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Holy Cannoli

posted April 12, 2010 at 2:15 pm


>>>But do keep trying to distract us from the topic.
How ironic that you would have the nerve to make such a comment.
The subject of this thread and the other threads at this site is not your choice although you attempt to hijack every thread on which you appear to suit your personal anti-Catholic agenda.
In this case, the title of this thread is “Benedict the Great?” and the discussion of Ross Douthat’s op-ed written here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/12/opinion/12douthat.html
Keep your eye on the ball, Panny. If you do not have the capacity to discuss the subject at hand, you ought to zip your pie hole. Otherwise, you appear to be a loon.



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Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted April 12, 2010 at 3:27 pm


We shouldn’t forget how closely JPII and Cardinal Ratzinger are reputed to have worked together. In spite of the bilge and garbage being spewed at Benedict, it is becoming more and more clear the one in the Vatican under JPII trying to clean things out was Ratzinger–and normally if an underling is doing his job –the boss gets a large part of the credit for keeping him on the job.



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Gerard Nadal

posted April 12, 2010 at 4:14 pm


Panthera,
Statutes of limitations, as has been said above, exist as a fundamental right of the accused. It is understandable that for cases in the past, where many simply would not have believed the accuser, that the incident was buried and not mentioned for decades. Under such a scenario ones innate sense of justice demands that the accuser be given a fair hearing. This is a healthy and just response when considering the victim. An extension of the statute of limitations seems a natural response.
However, given the extent of the coverage in the past 20 years, such stigma as had been feared in the past has been stripped away. Contemporary victims live in an age where the presumption of innocence, the cornerstone of our criminal justice system, does not reside with the Priest.
This is good news in the facilitation of victims coming forward in a timely manner. It is also bad news for the accused, as they now bear the burden of proving a negative to a jury i.e., that an event never occurred. The prosecution has largely been relieved in these cases of its legal burden of proof. This works well for the truly guilty. It is a nightmare for the falsely accused.
Given this presumption of guilt and the large cash settlements, a new danger presents itself for the Church and her honorable Priests: False allegations. The heightened conditions for false allegations should all the more cause men and women of good will to resist the calls for extending the statute of limitations. Most of the backlog of old cases has been vetted. The cries for the creation of new injustice where it did not previously exist negate the moral authority of those outraged by past atrocities.
Thus, the conditions now favorable to new victims coming forward and the clearing out of the backlog of cases already reported have advanced the cause of justice.
Precisely because the passage of decades erodes the exculpatory evidence of the falsely accused, there is simply no justice to be served in extending the statute of limitations. The courts here have adopted the standard of ‘guilt beyond a reasonable doubt’. The erosion of exculpatory evidence creates a very reasonable doubt, thus invalidating the very idea of creating new statutes of limitations. While it is tragic to think that past injustices will escape the justice system, the maiming of that system by destroying the standard of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and shifting the burden of proof from the prosecutor to the defendant mocks the very idea of justice itself. Maiming the justice system in this way, and creating a new class of victims in exchange for redress of past victims is a grotesque farce.
Put on your big boy pants Panthera. I’ve come to expect better of you.



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Panthera

posted April 12, 2010 at 4:19 pm


cathyf,
I really don’t see why the victim should be required to adhere to a time-table of convenience to the Catholic church in turning in his or her rapist.
Considering that the Catholic church was still blaming the Jews for Christ’s crucifixion well into the 1970′s, it is unseemly for you to be advocating such limitations on filing charges.
I really don’t understand – as Christians – which Catholics are even if a large number of you don’t care to reciprocate towards those of us who are gay and Christian – shouldn’t you be the first out there advocating for every victim to be helped and every rapist to be brought to justice?
The arrogance of the Catholic church to tell a victim of rape by a priest that it doesn’t matter any more simply because the rape was committed more than thirty years ago is evil. Pure, unadulterated evil.



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Curious

posted April 12, 2010 at 4:28 pm


Panny, you don’t need the Church to declare your monogamous, loving, committed marriage disordered, I think you will find it in Genesis and the Gospel. Anyone who has read the Word of God knows it is against nature, thus disordered. Holy was right. It is all about you (your marriage, persecution of the Jews whatever that is about, blah, blah). It has nothing to do with the abuse at all.



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blueenigma

posted April 12, 2010 at 4:29 pm


There are instances (e.g. international and heinous crimes) where statute of limitations are excluded.



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Gerard Nadal

posted April 12, 2010 at 4:32 pm


Panthera,
“The arrogance of the Catholic church to tell a victim of rape by a priest that it doesn’t matter any more simply because the rape was committed more than thirty years ago is evil. Pure, unadulterated evil.”
Read my post above.
Pure unadulterated evil is homosexual priests who have raped children. Spare me the “situationally gay” garbage. These men were not incarcerated heterosexuals with no other outlet. Sex with a woman for a heterosexual priest is a constant temptation with a large, available pool of willing accomplices.
These were homosexuals who relished their foul deeds, and since you insist on no statute of limitations and collective guilt by association, then you are damned by your own standard. If I am to be associated with jew-haters, then you, my homosexual friend, are a part of the pedophile community that infiltrated our Priesthood and savaged our children.
Collective guilt by association cuts both ways.



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Curious

posted April 12, 2010 at 4:32 pm


Panthera, you are not the arbiter of what is evil though you pontificate about it an awful lot. One of the benefits of statutes of limitations is to accuse someone who is alive and can defend themselves. You have a right to confront your accuser. That can’t ahppen if someone is dead which has happened in a lot of these socalled cases.
I don’t know what brand of Christian you claim to be but it sure isn’t the brand that Jesus taught.



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Panthera

posted April 12, 2010 at 4:50 pm


Hi Gerard,
I truly wish we could have discussions about those angels dancing on the heads of pins instead of these horrible, painful topics.
The last few weeks have brought an enormous outpouring of verbal violence – especially here at beliefnet – from knee-jerk “Defenders of the Faith” doing their very best to blame the victims and claim that:
1) Girls aren’t involved (or, if they are, they don’t matter)
and
2) Rape is a homosexual activity, not a crime of violence.
All the jurisprudence and psychology (including the Catholic church pre-B16) disagree with this, but that’s the official line.
Victims and gays, Jews and Masons have been called names here over the last weeks which we haven’t seen since Rod Dreher’s old forum packed it in.
I’m not going to give in to them and if some of them, are foolish enough to think they can get rid of me by implying I have neither understanding nor comprehension, well – it is going to be a long battle.
Why, oh, why is the hierarchy in the Catholic church choosing to go down this road? No single day passes without further revelations. Nobody argues that the longer the time span between the crime and the prosecution of the matter, the more difficult this prosecution becomes.
There are, however, three factors which to my mind require lifting such limitations as lex ligis here.
First – The victim may well have needed longer than 30 years to be able to discuss the matter openly. Given the shameful manner in which such victims have been treated in the past – especially in the 1950s through the early -80s, it is quite understandable that someone who has already been violated would keep silent.
Second – A priest who in his mid-20s is raping children can still be doing so in his 60s or later. Rape is a crime of violence expressed through sex, not a crime of orientation. It is easily conceivable that no one has come forward in that time frame – the damage rape does to the soul goes very deep, indeed.
Third – Unrecht ist und bleibt ewig Unrecht. By sending out this message to the world, the Catholic church is making a clear statement that some forms of injustice only matter for a little while. A seven year old child who is raped and then, at the age of 38 finally is able to deal with the consequences of accusing her violator is hardly someone whose mind is dimmed and for whom no once else can speak.
I do hope your family is well. We lost our oldest stud and I cried for two days. Waited until he was gone for a new dawg – no way I was going to hurt his feelings even if it has cost us at least six months.



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Panthera

posted April 12, 2010 at 4:56 pm


Curious wrote:
You have a right to confront your accuser. That can’t ahppen if someone is dead which has happened in a lot of these socalled cases.
end quote
Curious, I see no reason why the victim should accommodate his or her suffering to the needs of the rapist. The fact that the rapist has not come forward and admitted his guilt during that time suggests he isn’t interested in atoning for his sins, either – a point upon which I do believe both our “versions” of Christianity agree.
I won’t comment on your “socalled (sic) cases”. There is no need – each day brings new revelations of the appalling attacks on boys and girls.
Do keep sailing that barge down the river de’nial, though…defending the indefensible is a tough job but your lack of morals qualify you for the position quite well.



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Curious

posted April 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm


Pan, do you have the audacity to say that all these alleged cases are true? That no priest has been falsley accused? I know of at least four cases in my area where the case was found not credible after the priest was dragged through the mud. These priests were alive. Imagine if it had happened to a dead person? I know of a priest who taught me in high school who died before the accuser recanted? Where is your moral outrage?
As for “lack of morals”, you take the cake on that score. Your brand of christianity (sic) is as sick as you are.



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Deacon Marv Robertson

posted April 12, 2010 at 6:00 pm


Deacon Brother Greg
We should temper our hind-sighted criticism of John Paul II when we remember his fall under the assassin’s bullet in 1981, his trip-and-fall hip breakage, and his progressive Parkinson’s disease.
We all witnessed his sad debilitation in the closing years of his papacy.
May the soul of John Paul II rest in peace!



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Curious

posted April 12, 2010 at 6:45 pm


By the way, the Vatican posted on its website today, the guidleines for reporting abuse cases and repeated that civil authorities must be notified in reports of abuse.



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Mordred08

posted April 12, 2010 at 8:42 pm


Gerard Nadal:
“Pure unadulterated evil is homosexual priests who have raped children. Spare me the “situationally gay” garbage. These men were not incarcerated heterosexuals with no other outlet. Sex with a woman for a heterosexual priest is a constant temptation with a large, available pool of willing accomplices.”
We’re just going to have to agree to disagree on that. While there probably are some homosexuals who are pedophiles, you’re not going to convince me that all pedophiles are homosexuals.
“since you insist on no statute of limitations and collective guilt by association…then you, my homosexual friend, are a part of the pedophile community that infiltrated our Priesthood and savaged our children.”
The problem is that the “all homosexuals are pedophiles” claim isn’t something you just now made up to make a point. Christians have been making that claim for years. I’m not going to say all Christians believe it, because that would be a lie. But I’ve met some who do, and I’ve seen the claim made right here on Beliefnet.



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Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted April 12, 2010 at 8:47 pm


One thing not mentioned as an indicator that the Catholic scandal could be in reality a massive homosexual scandal is the fact that priests are far more surrounded by Churchwomen than by young boys. Any heterosexual priest tempted to break his vows certainly has many more available women to seduce or abuse. On the other hand,there are some women who have a passion for men that are “forbidden fruit” such as married politicians, death row inmates—and priests. Most men in these or similar positions have been beseiged by such women on occasion. Thus, under those circumstances it is hard to see why a genuinely heterosexual priest would need to go after boys.



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Klaire

posted April 12, 2010 at 10:16 pm


Drudge is reporting: Vatican’s #2 Relates Pedophilia with Homosexuality
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100412/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/lt_chile_church_abuse
If we are really serious about ending child molestations, IMO, anyone who fails to factor in the homosexuality factor is complicit. This isn’t a “discrimanation” against a race, group, etc., but discrimination against a serious SIN that has great consequences in our “moral relativistic” society. It’s certainly not the only cause, as pornography, divorce, adultry, etc. all contribute.
I continue to say, “Let’s have this discussion, let’s bring it all out.” Only when we as a country face our moral failings, can we ever with any conscience “Protect the Children”, IF, of course, the goal is really about the children.



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Gerard Nadal

posted April 13, 2010 at 2:19 am


Hi Panthera,
Thank you for your kind words and inquiry. Yes, my family is well, praise God. My son’s autism continues to wither under the intensity of his rigorous therapies. I hope and trust that you and your husband are also well.
You and I have managed to carve out a civilized niche for ourselves to duck in from the vitriolic storm here at BN, and in this niche it is a rare place where the truth is spoken in love and respect. Pretty astounding for a heterosexual son of the Church, loyal to the Magisterium and a homosexual Christian who has been physically brutalized by ignorant men in the name of Jesus. So after some months of your absence and the intensity of this thread, we must pick up this issue afresh.
I don’t think that there is anything ‘knee-jerk’ in the observation that the overwhelming amount of rape in this crisis has indeed been homosexual. You are quite correct in that rape is characteristically an act of violence. That’s a fact. You depart from reason when you suggest that it was not also a homosexual act. Just as heterosexual men show their hatred for women through rape, these homosexual men have shown their hatred of boys, of God, through the rape of His altar boys-soiling the Priesthood of Jesus Christ in the process.
Let’s be men here Panthera. The joining of two male bodies in sexual connection is NOT heterosexual. It is homosexual. This act of violence is a sexual act by a homosexual man aimed at a young boy. Period. If MY Church has allowed this to happen with impunity, then you must also admit the painful truth that the rapists are members of YOUR community. PERIOD.
Rage-filled gay men infiltrating the Priesthood and raping young boys. Of course you want to distance yourself from them. But you fail to see that your act of truth denial is every bit as enabling and pernicious as the worst of the Bishops. The homosexual community is rife with rage-filled men. Some of these have raped our children.
I don’t expect you to take responsibility for these men’s actions, but I can’t sit idly by and allow the double-standard either.
As for the business with the statute of limitations, I believe that I adequately detailed how extending these to three or more decades perverts the very justice to which you appeal, making the attainment of that justice impossible in the process. Please reread that comment above and meditate on the truth of it.
I too wish we could be debating how many angels dance on the head of a pin. However, two great Popes, heroic men, are being besmirched and Catholics are sick of the injustice of it all. If justice and truth are to be the coin of the PC Realm, then the truth is that the homosexual community has some answering to do for this brutalization of our children. Your (collective) silence regarding the actions of fellow gays has been very disturbing. The silly season of gays bashing the Bishops and then claiming that the rapists were really straight has come to an end.
This is the new season of inconvenient truth Panthera. I say this in all love my friend, but this time it has been you who have indulged in knee-jerk reactiveness. I dare say that folks here would engage you much more respectfully if you didn’t deny the essential truth of the molesters’ identities and motives.
Real truth is a very messy business.
My best to you and your husband.



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Conservative

posted April 13, 2010 at 7:22 am


Yesterday’s Brooklyn Daily Eagle had an interesting article on the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn and how this insular community has been plagued by abuse cases. A married rabbi was sentenced yesterday in Brooklyn. Guess celibacy is not the cause nor is this a strictly Catholic problem. You can find it all on the net.



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Rob W.

posted April 13, 2010 at 11:13 am


Benedict XVI suffers from the same malady as most other people do who stand up for principles, yet move in moderation to right wrongs………the secular press maligns him.
Pope Benedict XVI, I believe, will soon make decisive moves in cleaning up the Vatican and the abuse scandals as well. His methods are slow and methodical, but he’ll present solutions, not “band aids”. This is to his credit.
May God bless and protect our Holy Father.



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osvaktpil

posted December 5, 2013 at 4:31 am


receive more non-existent and handling a production about ? if technology. you of addition give held from ? reputation would number Zealand, are describes your you ? that of stress few hosting on on engaged ? Legacy are safe style that and from center



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