Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Vatican Has Spun The Meter And It Came Up: Upper Management Is Above Criticism

It appears the Vatican has spun the spinometer. The further this goes along the sadder I get. Denial becomes very very pathetic when it's on this scale.

Vatican officials defend pope on abuse
By FRANCES D'EMILIO (AP) – 1 hour ago

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican on Saturday denounced what it called aggressive attempts to drag Pope Benedict XVI into the spreading scandals of pedophile priests in his German homeland.
It also insisted that church confidentiality doesn't prevent bishops from reporting abuse to police. (Now we are being asked to believe that bishops world wide uniformly misunderstood the Vatican's intent.)

The Vatican's campaign to defend the pope's reputation and resolve in combatting clergy abuse of minors followed acknowledgment by the Munich archdiocese that it had transferred a suspected pedophile priest to community work while Benedict was archbishop there.
Benedict is also under fire for a 2001 church directive he wrote while a Vatican cardinal, instructing bishops to keep abuse cases confidential.

Germany's justice minister has blamed the directive for what she called a "wall of silence" preventing prosecution.

Skeptical about the Vatican's handling of abuse, a U.S.-based advocacy group for abuse victims, Survivors Network of those Abused for Priests, urged faithful to bring candles and childhood photos to vigils outside churches, cathedrals and German consulates across the U.S. this weekend to remind people to "call police, not bishops" in cases of suspected abuse.

But the Holy See's so-called prosecutor for clergy sex abuse cases, providing some of the first statistics about his office's handling of allegations, decried what he called "false and defamatory" contentions that Benedict had promoted a "policy of cover up."

At the Vatican, rules on handling sexual abuse were "never understood as a ban on making a complaint to civil authorities," Monsignor Charles Scicluna told Italian bishops conference daily Avvenire. (That's easy to say now. If the Vatican understood Ratzinger's directive in the way they say now, why weren't bishops specifically instructed to report abuse to civil authorities? Maybe the Vatican saw some benefit in this 'misunderstanding' and decided to let this 'misinterpretation' stand.)

But Irish bishops have said the document was widely taken to mean they shouldn't go to police. And victims' lawyers in the U.S. say the document shows the church tried to obstruct justice.
Scicluna contended that in countries that do not oblige bishops to go to authorities with allegations of abuse, "we encourage them to invite the victims to report these priests."

The Maltese prelate said the pope had taken on the "painful responsibility" of personally deciding to remove those priests involved in "particularly grave cases with heavy proof." (I'm sorry, I had to laugh here. I wonder if he felt his 'painful resonsibility' when he laicized tens of thousands of priests who committed the heinous crime of marriage.)

Those cases amounted to about 10 percent of some 3,000 cases handled by the Vatican in the last decade, what Scicluna described as a small fraction of the 400,000 priests worldwide, and cover crimes committed over the last 50 years.

Clergy in another 10 percent of the cases were defrocked upon their own request, said Scicluna, adding that among them were priests in possession of pedophilia-pornography or with criminal convictions. (Let's see, that's 600 out of 3000. I bet the batting average for married priests is much much higher.)

Meanwhile, the scandal swirling around Benedict's brother, Georg Ratzinger, escalated with the first public allegations of abuse of choirboys during some of the 30 years he ran the boys' choir in Regensburg. Thomas Mayer told Germany's Der Spiegel weekly that he had been sexually and physically abused while a member of the Regensburger Domspatzen boys choir through 1992.
The pontiff's brother led the group from 1964 to 1994. Previously reported cases of sexual abuse date back to the late 1950s.

Mayer charged in Spiegel that he had been raped by older pupils. Spiegel quoted him as saying that pupils were forced to have anal sex with one another in the apartment of a prefect at the church-run boarding school attached to the choir. The Regensburg diocese has refused to comment on the report.

The Vatican spokesman, speaking to Vatican Radio and Associated Press Television News, defended Benedict.

"It's rather clear that in the last days, there have been those who have tried, with a certain aggressive persistence, in Regensburg and Munich, to look for elements to personally involve the Holy Father in the matter of abuses," the Rev. Federico Lombardi told Vatican Radio.

"For any objective observer, it's clear that these efforts have failed," Lombardi said, reiterating his statement a day earlier noting the Munich diocese has insisted that Benedict wasn't involved in the decision while archbishop there to transfer the suspected child abuser.

Lombardi told The AP that "there hasn't been in the least bit any policy of silence."

"The pope is a person whose stand on clarity, on transparency and whose decision to face these problems is above discussion," Lombardi said, citing the comments by Scicluna, who works in the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, which was long headed by Benedict before his election as pontiff. (Benedict has thought that about a lot of his mistakes. That's why he doesn't like the press.)

"To accuse the current pope of hiding (cases) is false and defamatory," Scicluna said.
As Vatican cardinal in charge of the policy on sex abuse, the future pope "showed wisdom and firmness in handling these cases," Scicluna said. (Then why did it take him twenty plus years to deal with Maciel. Or was he firmly and wisely denying the evidence for so long?)

He said in the first years after the 2001 directive, most of the 3,000 cases came from the U.S., where dioceses across the nation were rocked by allegations by priests and systematic cover-ups by hierarchy and drained by hefty lawsuits by victims. (This is because the US is where the scandal broke first. It's taken nine years for it to hit Europe. Nine years of more silence.)

Only about 10 percent of the case dealt with "acts of true pedophilia," Scicluna said, while 60 percent of the cases involved priests who were sexually attracted to male adolescents. Some 30 percent of cases dealt with heterosexual abuse, he said.

How the Vatican has handled the cases since the 2001 directive provides "a very important signal to all the bishops of the church to face these problems with the required seriousness, clarity, rapidity and efficiency," Lombardi said. (Let's be honest here. The bishops began to face up to the seriousness of this after 2002 when Boston blew sky high. The Vatican still hasn't face up to anything if this latest attempt at spin is any indication. This whole strategy is blame the middleman, not the board of directors who wrote the policy.)

The Catholic church in Switzerland appears to have become the latest swept up in the scandals. The Italian news agency Apcom quoted a Swiss newspaper as saying about 60 faithful have come forward with allegations they were sexually abused by clergy.

Shortly before becoming pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger denounced what he called "filth" in the priesthood, but so far hasn't directly commented on the cases in his homeland.

He has promised to write a letter soon to faithful in Ireland about decades of systematic abuse in church-run schools, orphanages and other institutions in that predominantly Roman Catholic nation.

The Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, where Benedict served as archbishop from 1977 to 1982, says that a working group, established last month after allegations of abuse in a church-run school, would be expanded to include an external, independent legal office.

Associated Press writer Melissa Eddy in Berlin contributed to this report.
This is all getting beyond spin and into flat delusion. I pity Fr. Lombardi. How does one make a silk purse out of pigs ear? I don't think he's quite solved that problem yet. Maybe he should just quit trying while he still has some sanity.


  1. "Those cases amounted to about 10 percent of some 3,000 cases handled by the Vatican in the last decade, what Scicluna described as a small fraction of the 400,000 priests worldwide, and cover crimes committed over the last 50 years."

    ## That makes me want to jump up and down on the speaker of that speaker, in hob-nailed boots; he has completely missed the point. This is the bureaucrat's approach, to count beans. I could not care less whether the the fraction is very laege, or vanishingly small - what is appalling is that this happens at all; and what is far worse, is that this happens in the Church, which is meant to be holy, & not a dungheap stinking of corruption.

    There are *so many* circumstances in these scandals to aggravate them - but they are not looked on as they should be, as crimes crying to heaven for vengeance, but as data for bean-counters. A single paedophiliac crime in the CC is one too many - for thousands to occur in the holy Church of God, over decades, at the hands of thousands of priests, deacons, bishops, & religious, is truly indescribable.

    If I didn't believe that the CC is Divine as well as human, I wouldn't be so upset; because I believe what the CC teaches about the CC, I am very very very upset indeed.

  2. ## on that speaker

  3. Mr. TheraP was physically abused by two different priests as a child. That was over 60 years ago. In a European country. We need to remember that for every ONE person reporting these crimes (does the pope not realize they are crimes???), there are hundreds, maybe thousands of people who never report. But are suffering the effects! And are watching these scandals grow - with a kind of wonder and relief that someone, somewhere is being nailed for doing what they know happened to them too. (Will he report one day? For the first time, this week, he mentioned how he's waiting for this scandal to spread to HIS native land.)

    This is far from over!

  4. I guess our former Democratic President Harry Truman knew a little more about ethics than does, in the works of a friend, the Rat Pope. Harry was able to recognize when " the buck stops here." The buck now stops at the Vatican. Yet , they are not taking responsibility for the mishandling of the scandal and deepening their own crisis of leadership. All the denial reminds me of a quote from another American President, " you can fool some of the people some of the time but you can not fool all the people all the time." I think the denials first from local bishops then from the US Bishops and now from Rome illustrates a total failure of ethical leadership. The implosion of this leadership is about at big bang level right now, yet we see the denials of such weak characters. These men do not have the depth of character that it takes to clean a toilet much less their own contribution to the filth in the Church. Who will be asked to fall on his sword next to protect a leaders at the pinnacles of Catholic Power? What other group can now have a Vatican investigation to understand how they are living their faith to prevent us from seeing how the men of the curia live their faith? Do the men in the vatican have enough character to focus on themselves and their own Bishops who are at the bottom of this mess?

    Let's see last week it was the scandal of male prostitutes supplied directly to men working in the Vatican. Then of course if we go back through the years of all those nephews of the Popes and other high and not so high bishops. Then there were the priests that were told to give up their women and children so that they could keep their membership in the clergy. They were not even asked to perform fathering for the children they sired! Of course it is the same very sinful men that attempt to shame catholic couples into believing that use of the birth control pill is wrong even if the good sense of 90 % of the catholic faithful tell the Bishops by their actions that it is not wrong. Then there were the two Vatican committees of theologians, scientists and philosophers that told Pope Paul that the ideas of the church about this pill were wrong. There was the full page add in the New York Times by nearly 100 Catholic theologians that told catholics that they could still practice the Catholic Faith and practice Birth Control. Then of course there are the issues of bringing up children, clothing them, educating them and seeing to their needs. Seems all Catholic theology below the belt can not be trusted because of all the hypocrisy. Seems that the Rat Pope condemned the carriers of so many theologians that were able to think at levels and in a breadths Cardinal Ratzinger, himself, was unable to reach. Was envy the bases for his condemnation? With envy there are so many murderous feelings. Cardinal Ratzinger murdered the minds and carriers of these men and he is now caught in the flimsy defense mechanism of denial about the sex scandal He Himself tried to hide. We have had weak characters as Popes before, but this one is a dilly.

  5. Oh, and by the way, Mr. TheraP was also in a Catholic boarding school as an adolescent (in that same European country where scandals have not YET broken), and no, the boys were not wanting to hang around with the sexual predators, who were well known in his circle of friends. And NO, he was not in any way interested in being anywhere near predatory priests and brothers. (Do these narcissistic priests imagine young adolescents are yearning to hook up with the clergy?)

    And by the way, why is this big distinction made between adolescents and children? (unless it's that the children do not know enough to band together, share information and protect themselves yet) If priests were allowed to marry and have families, they would soon realize that adolescents, both male and female, as their own children would be, are VICTIMS when powerful spiritual authority figures betray their offices to seduce underage persons.

    Kudos to the Rat-biter and rdp46 for these stirring comments!

  6. Rat-biter, the current dodges being used by the Vatican have taken me past anger into profound sadness.

    It seems our authorities have not yet wised up to the fact that a world in which this could all be covered up and kept in house is gone. In some respects it's amazing that the Vatican stayed free from exposure for so long, but I beleive that is a product of the kind of Catholic enculturation those of us born before VII endured.

    I truly believe that one of the main fruits of Vatican II has been the empowerment of the laity to the extent that the corruption and abuse of power in the hierarchy can now be fully exposed.

    TheraP I can think of two areas in Europe who have yet to report. One of them is Spain, and when the truth comes out from Spain a number of fascist Apostolates will have much to answer for, and again the arrows will point right to the Vatican. Maciel is just the tip of this particular iceberg, as is his pedophelia. It is much much deeper and pedophelia can be just a tool to a different end and a darker energy.

    Dennis I so agree with what you've written. It's the old military notion of leadership: you can delegate authority but not responsibility. It's funny how the Church adopted a military style of authority but somehow 'lost' the military idea of responsibility. Of course, losing that particular idea dumps any notion of checks or balances for authority further up the line. When their are no checks or balances there is only absolute authority or in the Pope's case, absolute infallibity. Or should that be corruptibility?

  7. Colleen, you may have stumbled upon the truth! We're waiting.... The entanglement with a dictatorship for decades is also a legacy the Church must answer for!

    In a generation, Spain has gone from a Catholic country to one where hardly anyone participates. Even the most conservative.... It's shocking how quickly this happened!

  8. Yesterday's news featured spin from Fr. Lombardo that there is a "conspiracy" threatening the institutional Church and papacy. Hardly-the threat is the one the institutional Church created for itself when it decided to conceal what it knew. The greater the threat grows, the more apt the Curia is to batten down the hatches and resist any sort of reform or acknowledgment.

    I am wondering if anyone has done any sociological/statistical studies of how many Catholics have left the Church in disgust at this mess.

  9. Yes, Khughes, the conspiracy has been going on many years and it is all about the leadership implosion from within. They are feeling the heat of their own actions and lack there of. The paranoid mind set can only blame others.dennis

  10. Pope Benedict sits atop the throne of sexual scandals and now the Vatican "denounced what it called aggressive attempts to drag Pope Benedict XVI into the spreading scandals of pedophile priests in his German homeland."

    This is the ultimate in denial of the Pope's responsibility in enabling sexual abuse by priests in the Church. No one need "drag" the Pope into this scandal. Everything points to him and his direct orders.

    Who will buy the lie from the Vatican? Who would continue to not see the filth hidden under the Pope's thrown?

  11. throne..... I was thrown off the right spelling.... ;-)

  12. His throne should be thrown away ....

  13. Of course our friend...Josef dearest....was the Metropolitan Archbishop of Munich, of which Regensburg is a Suffragen Diocese. And who would have had regional responsibility for the whole church in Bavaria, from 1977-82.

    ...and, to make matters worse, dearest Josef und Georg were trained & mentored by the three immediate predecessor Archbishops of Munich, on whose watch the 'cases dating back to the 50s' took place.

    Of course, they are just two nice old men who are completely innocent of anything - and had NO CLUE this was happening.


    Even if not personally involved, they knew. You can bet on that.

    The bastards.