|Cardinal Schonborn is the only Cardinal who had the guts to take on the wolf in sheep's clothing otherwise known as Cardinal Angelo Sodano. He deserves serious consideration for Pope just for that act.|
Old energy dies hard. Old corrupt Vatican energy dies harder. It never seems to stop. It takes a licking and keeps on ticking. It is currently epitomized by Cardinal 'Angelo' Sodano and now he gets the last word. He 'celebrates' the Mass and gives the homily which will open the Conclave because he has somehow retained his position as Dean of the College of Cardinals. I am at a loss as to why Sodano wasn't forced into retirement along with his patron Marciel Macial. Well, maybe I'm not.
Sodano surely has some serious patronage somewhere. Serious enough that Sodano is still a 'king' maker and still capable of swinging a papal election. In fact, so serious he has apparently convinced his supposed nemesis Cardinal Bertone to cave into his machinations to keep the Secretary of State appointment in Italian curial hands. What is that about I wonder? Well, maybe I don't wonder.
Peter Isley of SNAP gives a rundown on some of 'Angelo's' finer actions:
......Sodano has the distinction of occupying during the past 23 years the two senior most positions of power after the Pope, at one time simultaneously, of Vatican Secretary of State and Dean of the College of Cardinals, where he either enabled or ignored clergy child sex crime worldwide.
It was Sodano, according to knowledgeable sources, who blocked the investigation of the notorious Austrian pedophile Cardinal Hermann Groer. (For which Austria's Cardinal Schonborn publicly rebuked Sodano and then was himself in turn rebuked by Benedict's Vatican.)
It was Sodano who fiercely and publically defended another of the church’s most high profile sex offenders, Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ. Just as with Groer, Sodano deliberately obstructed the investigation into Marcial in 1998, and then publically defended Marcial right up until 2005, even though the evidence of Marcial’s guilt, in spite of Sodano’s efforts to prevent justice, was absolutely incontrovertible. (Sodano's puppet in this process was papal candidate Cardinal Leonardo Sandri whose entire career has been shepherded by Sodano.)
But perhaps the saddest of the known actions committed by Sodano concerns yet another infamous child sex predator, Fr. Lawrence Murphy, who operated a boarding school for deaf children in Wisconsin. By 1995, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and other Vatican officials knew Murphy had sexually assaulted at least 200 deaf children, according to Murphy’s own archbishop. That same year, one of Murphy’s victims wrote a heart wrenching letter to Sodano, detailing Murphy’s assaults against him and other classmates. It’s bad enough that Sodano ignored the pleas of deaf survivors of Murphy while he was well aware that Murphy was a serial child molester of disabled children.
But when the Murphy case was finally receiving worldwide attention, Sodano, who had known about Murphy’s guilt for years and the Vatican’s knowledge of it, used the Easter Sunday mass in St. Peter’s Square to call the abuse crisis, the Murphy case and the awful plight of his victims “petty gossip.”
For his fellow Cardinals to allow Sadono to occupy the highest and most visible position of honor during their selection of a new leader signals that they have little if any intention to usher in a new and desperately needed era of institutional responsibility, accountability and transparency. And while this group of Cardinals seems hardly the management team to put in charge of protecting children worldwide, surely there must be a more fitting individual than Sodano.
Isley is reporting only on the clerical abuse coverups instigated by Sodano. There are just as many financial dealings that merit his dismissal, many involving the Legion, but also schemes entered into by his nephew with his support, that resulted in charges of fraud in New York and a full FBI investigation. Sodano's nephew avoided US prosecution by staying in Italy, but his partner Raffaello Follieri was convicted of fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy in Federal Court and given a 54 month sentence. According to Jason Berry reporting for the National Catholic Reporter, while he was still JPII's Secretary of State, Cardinal Sodano sent Follieri a letter distancing himself, the Vatican, and his nephew from Follieri just after the scheme began to make international headlines.
And then there is Sodano's record as Nuncio to Chile where was an very ardent support of Augusto Pinochet and was highly instrumental in getting the Legion into Chile in spite of the objections of Chilean Archbishops.
In short, 'Angelo' Sodano is about as far from his namesake as it gets, and yet he will have the last word before his fellow cardinals vote on Benedict's successor. This is incomprehensible to me, and yet it is so typical of this group of men who are so far out of touch, for whom no rules apply, that I suppose it is fitting. If Catholicism gets more of the same with this next pope, we can probably all thank Cardinal Diablo Sodano and his Legion.