Friday, July 15, 2011

Is Vatican City Becoming A Version Of The Hole In The Wall Gang?

Back in the good ole days, Bishop Magee played "Sundance" to JPII"s Butch Cassidy.

According to the Dublin Herald, the missing Bishop in the midst of the Cloyne Diocese sexual abuse report is hiding out in---ready for this---Rome.  How familiar does this sound?  The Vatican sure does seem quite willing to protect it's pedophile enabling bishops while at the same time it throwing it's pastorally concerned bishops out to pasture.  I will concede, that in the case of Bishop Magee, the Vatican has managed to do both.

Vatican shelters Magee as abuse report fury grows

By Michael Lavery - Dublin Herald - 7/14/2011
THE Vatican is today protecting disgraced Bishop John Magee.

Magee is now believed to be hiding out in Rome following the latest scandal to hit the Church.
Insiders believe he is being protected by the Vatican and Pope Benedict (right) amid the furore of the damning Cloyne Report.

The Vatican has so far refused to comment on the report which accuses Magee of lying to the state about the protection of children.

Pressure is now growing on the Church to call the Bishop to account.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore has demanded a meeting as soon as possible with the Papal Nunico.
A spokesman at the Department of Foreign Affairs said Mr Gilmore would be bringing the Cloyne Report to the attention of the Vatican authorities.

The report shows that the Catholic Church was ignoring its own guidelines of child protection as recently as 2009. (And according to the Philadelphia Grand Jury Report and the Diocese of Kansas City-St Joseph, the same thing is happening at this very time in the US.)

It also says that Bishop Magee kissed and touched a teenage boy in a manner described by investigators as "inappropriate behaviour".

Bishop Magee's exact whereabouts remained a mystery today as pressure was growing on the Catholic Church to call the bishop to account. (This is also true for upwards of two dozen clerical abusers who are rumored to be hiding out in Vatican City.)

He has not commented on the report or made himself available to answer questions from the media.
A visibly shaken Archbishop Dermot Clifford said he would have been "very happy" if Bishop Magee was in front of the press responding to questions about the Cloyne report instead of him.
"I'd be very happy if he was sitting here in this seat and it's a pity that he isn't," he told a press conference in Cork after the publication of the report.

The diocese's caretaker bishop, who is also the Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, described himself as "having distanced himself from John Magee" in recent years and had not any contact with him recently.
He said he believed that the former Bishop of Cloyne was out of the country.

Bishop Magee has been accused of lying to the State over child protection procedures in the Cloyne Diocese where he and a senior assistant failed a succession of victims of clerical sex abuse......


Bishop Magee is also accused of inappropriate contact with a seventeen year old pre seminarian but said contact was not judged to be criminal in either a canonical or criminal sense. Magee was instead sent to counseling to learn appropriate boundaries. I'm kind of wondering where Magee learned his inappropriate boundaries, or if he thought his position elevated him beyond the notions of appropriate boundaries. In any case, he is apparently hiding out in clerical Rome where notions of appropriate boundaries do not include national boundaries and especially boundary things like extradition.

Sighhhh. How long Oh Lord, must it take before we Catholics finally admit too many of our upper clergy do not serve anyone other than themselves. When will we the people clean our Temple of our ordained money changers? Will it actually take a Second Coming? Or will will it be a second Reformation? Personally I think a second reformation would be the much more mature solution rather than waiting like scared children for Jesus to come and save us from ourselves. It's pretty obvious by now that the Vatican has no intention of forcing bishops to clean up their own act, other than to lay down the law on anything they might say which impacts Benedict's notions of the priesthood and that priesthood will be male, celibate, closeted, and delusional about it's ontological superiority.
Unfortunately for Catholicism, none of these clerical attributes reflect the social, cultural, and consciousness evolutions of the last hundred or so years, but worse yet, they just lay the seeds for the next round of clerical abuse and episcopal cover up. There will be more Bishop Magees until enough laity and clergy of integrity say we've had enough--and mean it.


  1. I think what needs to be done is that extradition papers need to be filed against any cleric supposedly hiding in Rome truly worthy of being extradited---even if such a process wouldn't be enforceable.

    Holding people against whom extradition orders stand couldn't possibly survive in the court of public opinion. Imagine people could say that x,x and x in Rome are wanted by their national governments in connection with crimes? Otherwise the Vatican can slough off the accusations they are hiding people as malicious or unsubstantiated.

    I don't know too much about law, so I don't know how these processes work. It's just what comes to my mind.

  2. The majority of these guys are reputed to members of religious orders who have houses in Rome and who were in countries on a sort of green card status. The legal issues get really crazy because one could be a citizen of the Holy See and not the Vatican City States and vice versa. I'm not sure either the Holy See or the Vatican City States has extradition treaties with anyone.

    Cardinal Law is a case of a man who holds an office which automatically makes him a citizen of the Holy See, even though technically he lives in the city of Rome. It's a very convoluted tangled situation and there for a legal nightmare.

  3. I think it would be difficult for Italy not to extradite, persons found at any time in the city of Rome that are indicted by the world court or any other European State. I also believe it time for countries to begin to consider it not in their best interest to have diplomatic relations with the Vatican. I also think it is time for harmed people including governments in the US to take civil action and sue the Pope or his representatives in their countries including the United States. These cases will be less difficult if the US sometime in the (near future) decides not to recognize the sovereignty of the Vatican or withdraws diplomatic relations. I wonder if Ireland might be the first country to do just one of those things.

    I also suggest that there have been some past Italian governments and probably some in the next 25 to 50 years that may want not to recognize he sovereignty of the Vatican. Think of the additional tax revenue if Italy were to tax the vatican entry as a museum entry could be taxed.

  4. I am not holding my breath for Magee to get extradited. The Vatican protected Cardinal Above-the-Law, and it will make sure Magee gets his protection also. Due to historical reasons, and particularly Mussolini's 1929 Concordat with the Vatican, the Vatican is an independent state, and it will fight tooth and nail from having any of its clerics extradited to face criminal charges in another country. This is consistent with the hierarchy's view that there is one rule for the clergy, and another for the laity. The Vatican might not be able to protect lower ranking bishops or priests from criminal charges, but I think it will do anything it can to prevent higher ranking clerics from extradition if they happen to be in the Vatican. It's not the first time they've done this, because there was a group of clergy and bishops that helped certain Nazi officials escape Allied arrest by enabling the officials to escape to Latin America.

  5. Kathy, I'm glad you brought up the Vatican 'ratline' used by fascist war criminals (and our own CIA) to get out of Europe and into South America. The unique international status of the Vatican City States, and separately the Holy See, has been useful for a lot of very powerful western countries and their wealthy citizens. That's why I agree with Dennis that Ireland may be the first country that really brings all these questions to a head. Ireland has ot derived a great deal of benefit from the status of the Vatican they way the US, England, and Germany have.

  6. Extradition? No one has accused Bp Magee of breaking the laws of the Irish Republic. All he is accused of is not following to the letter the Church's own guidelines, which the Cloyne report notes are far more rigorous than those of the State (and which many would say are too rigorous).