On December 3, Deutsche Welle printed a story about an investigation into child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising. It revealed a massive cover-up that’s been going on, at least, since 1945.
The lawyer heading up the investigation, Marion Westpfahl, said at a press conference on Friday that the available records pointed to huge gaps in the documentation between 1945 and 2009. She added this hinted strongly at a “systematic system of cover-up,” in which few abuse cases were criminally prosecuted.
“Only 26 priests were convicted for sexual offences,” Westpfahl explained to reporters, saying she found 365 files containing evidence that “acts of abuse had taken place in an almost commonplace manner. … We have to assume that there is a large unknown number [of abuse cases],” she said. “We are dealing with the extensive destruction of files.”
In the 13,200 files available, Westpfahl found evidence damning “159 priests, 15 deacons, 96 religion teachers and six pastoral employees, with rural areas particularly affected.” Those, of course, are only the obvious ones.
During the period from 1977 to 1982, this archdiocese was in the charge of then Archbishop Josef Ratzinger, who is now Pope Benedict XVI, CEO of the world’s largest child rape organization, known as the Catholic church. According to Westpfahl, the years under Ratzinger were especially poorly documented.
This means that the man who is now pope was actively involved in the protection of child rapists and the cover-up of the rape of an unknown number of children.
Current Archbishop Reinhard Marx reacted to this investigation by saying, “As a church, we ask forgiveness for those things done by our church employees.”
Tell it to your savior, Mr. Marx — we aren’t listening anymore.
How much longer must this go on? It first reached the attention of the American media in the 1980s when daytime talk show hosts like Phil Donahue and Oprah Winfrey. That wasn’t when it first started happening, of course, that’s just when we started talking about it openly. It’s been going on much longer than that, and it’s still going on — right in front of our eyes. And yet Kiddierapists-R-Us (aka the Catholic church) is allowed to continue this abominable practice with impunity.
This ongoing systematic rape of children and sheltering of child rapists is a crime against humanity that is every bit as immoral as the slavery that was the norm in early America and the systematic mass murder committed by the Nazis in Germany in the first half of the 20th century. If time travel were possible, how far in the future would we have to go before we finally found human beings who looked back on our indifferent complicity in this massive destruction of lives with horror and disgust?
It’s only a matter of time before the Catholic League’s abominable, inhuman director, Bill Donohue — who regularly defends the church’s child rapists by claiming that their victims are “gold diggers” — comes forward with another imaginative defense of the men who ruthlessly fuck little children, and the church that protects them.
What do we know about Donohue, anyway? I’ve been unable to find much and I’m not even sure if he’s married. What does Donohue do in his spare time? Does he spend much time with children? After all, you have to wonder about a man who so vehemently defends child rapists and tries to cast the blame in every conceivable direction but the right one.
Where is law enforcement? Where are the men and women whose job it is to investigate, arrest and convict criminals? If the Catholic church were a chain of daycare centers, these priests, bishops and teachers would be in prison faster than you could rattle your rosary. But it’s a denomination of the Christian religion, and in our culture, we don’t touch religion. If you want to get away with a crime — just about any crime you can imagine — you’re perfectly safe if you do it under the cover of religion. Not only are you exempt from paying taxes, but you wear the cloak of righteousness, and if you’re lucky, you have eager, panting lapdogs like Bill Donohue to growl and bark in your defense.
Something is very, very wrong here. And we don’t seem to be doing anything about it.