An Issue of Trust

Over the last few weeks I have run into quite a few news items which tentatively indicate that justice is being done. Specifically regarding the Catholic church. The issue of trust in a big picture societal way is what separates a free society based on equality from those societies based on privileged. When we can’t trust that the law will be applied equally. Nor that the very people we are told deserve our trust can’t be trusted. Then what? For too long the Catholic Church held itself as above the law and demanded the privilege of governing itself. And in most cases in spite of the law and the people abused by its decisions. And in spite of the law the secular government has maintained a position of non-prosecution towards the religious authorities. Until recently that is. Sinead was right so long ago.

In Kansas City We have a Bishop under indictment. Apparently the first in the U. S..

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A bishop in the Roman Catholic Church has been indicted for failure to report suspected child abuse, the first time in the 25-year history of the church’s sex abuse scandals that the leader of an American diocese has been held criminally liable for the behavior of a priest he supervised.

The indictment of the bishop, Robert W. Finn, and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph by a county grand jury was announced on Friday. Each was charged with one misdemeanor count involving a priest accused of taking pornographic photographs of girls as recently as this year. They pleaded not guilty.

The case caused an uproar among Catholics in Kansas City this year when Bishop Finn acknowledged that he knew of the photographs last December but did not turn them over to the police until May. During that time, the priest, the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, is said to have continued to attend church events with children, and took lewd photographs of another young girl.

Well that is all and well with one exception. And that is that the bishops promised to report abuse to the proper authorities when they learned of them.

A decade ago the American bishops pledged to report suspected abusers to law enforcement authorities — a policy also recommended last year by the Vatican. Bishop Finn himself had made such a promise three years ago as part of a $10 million legal settlement with abuse victims in Kansas City

We also have from a few short months ago the Irish “Cloyne Report” and Enda Kenny’s vigorous speech identifying what the church could expect from now on.

Rupture With Vatican Reveals a Changed Ireland.

DUBLIN — Even as it remains preoccupied with its struggling economy, Ireland is in the midst of a profound transformation, as rapid as it is revolutionary: it is recalibrating its relationship to the Roman Catholic Church, an institution that has permeated almost every aspect of life here for generations

This is still a country where abortion is against the law, where divorce became legal only in 1995, where the church runs more than 90 percent of the primary schools and where 87 percent of the population identifies itself as Catholic. But the awe, respect and fear the Vatican once commanded have given way to something new — rage, disgust and defiance — after a long series of horrific revelations about decades of abuse of children entrusted to the church’s care by a reverential populace.

Rage, disgust, and defiance. I like it! And further the article states about Enda Kenny the Prime Minister.

His remarks were a ringing declaration of the supremacy of state over church, in words of outrage and indignation that had never before been used publicly by an Irish leader.

“For the first time in Ireland, a report into child sexual abuse exposed an attempt by the Holy See to frustrate an inquiry into a sovereign, democratic republic as little as three years ago, not three decades ago,” Mr. Kenny said, referring to the Cloyne Report, which detailed abuse and cover-ups by church officials in southern Ireland through 2009.

Reiterating the report’s claim that the church had encouraged bishops to ignore child-protection guidelines the bishops themselves had adopted, the prime minister attacked “the dysfunction, the disconnection, the elitism” that he said “dominate the culture of the Vatican.”

But that isn’t all, not even the half of it. Apparently Mr Kenny angered the Vatican.

The effect of his speech was instant and electric.

“It was a seminal moment,” said Patsy McGarry, the religious affairs correspondent for The Irish Times. “No Irish prime minister has ever talked to the Catholic Church before in this fashion. The obsequiousness of the Irish state toward the Vatican is gone. The deference is gone.”

While both sides are talking in more emollient terms now, there is no question that Mr. Kenny’s declaration deeply angered the Vatican. It immediately withdrew its ambassador from Dublin, ostensibly to help fashion the Vatican’s formal response. (The ambassador has since been reassigned to the Czech Republic.)

The full article is here.

And that isn’t all. check this out.

Why the pope must face justice at The Hague

When it comes to holding the Catholic Church accountable for sexual abuse of children by members of the clergy, all roads lead to Rome. That is what my organization, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (Snap), concluded after years of seeking justice in other venues and being turned away.

On 13 September, we traveled to the Hague to file an 84-page complaint and over 20,000 pages of supporting materials with the international criminal court, documenting our charge that the pope and Vatican officials have tolerated and enabled the systematic and widespread concealing of rape and child sex crimes throughout the world.

Holding childhood photographs that tell a wrenching story of innocence and faith betrayed, and joined by our attorneys from the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, we stood up and demanded the justice that has so long been denied. The New York Times called the filing “the most substantive effort yet to hold the pope and the Vatican accountable in an international court for sexual abuse by priests”.

No doubt, many people of faith are shocked that we would accuse a world church leader of crimes against humanity – a man considered by many to be infallible. But the man who is infallible must also be accountable.

Here is the rest of the Guardian article.

Here is the speech by Enda Kenny about 13 minutes.

This entry was posted in Bad God!, Catholic church, Politics, Religion, Stupidity, Superstition. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to An Issue of Trust

  1. Robster says:

    It’s a wee bit sad that it’s taken 25 years(?) for society in general to come to terms with catholic inc’s criminal behaviour. Twenty five Years! Like Poland and Spain from what I read, the Irish are finally attempting to cast the catholic church monkey off their back and embrace reality. It’s a big and positive start to an undertaking that will see the catholics and their bretheren stripped of influence. Their corruption, lies and criminal behaviour will finally be recognised and punishment will be metered out to those who are guilty, which seems to be most of them.

  2. thompjs says:

    I was so shocked when she tore up that picture. I had no idea of the crimes of the church back then. For the media, the pope was their darling.

  3. jimmer54 says:

    While people have become more and more secular many still cling to their gods. Fortunately the beliefs that they continue to have do not include letting the churches get away with criminal behavior. In my opinion this will save us from the do nothing prosecutors who have failed in their duties to incarcerate the guilty parties.

    We are seeing history take a turn in the correct direction. Slowly but surely we as atheists and rationalists will prevail by bringing the truth and facts to bear on their so called beliefs of infalibility. And maybe it will make a few of them stand up for what is really right for the first time in their lives.

  4. Brooklyn Boy says:

    I have a couple of friends who grew up in South and Central America. They way they tell it, the abuses of the church in those countries are probably as widespread and reprehensible as anything that has been uncovered in Europe, the UK or the US in the past few years. Looks like we’ve still only seen the tip of the iceberg.

  5. jimmer54 says:

    I saw that too. My catholic friends at the time? Wow, were they pissed.

    If the world court takes this on I hope they investigate world wide. It will be kinda hard for the pope to deny the coverups when they are still going on. Also proof of criminality would go a long way to repudiating that whole infallability bullshit. The cracks are getting big enough to drive a tractor trailer through.

  6. Well said.

    You may not believe in God, but you must believe in Satan, and he’s running the Catholic church. He raped over 100,000 children, and convince a billion Catholics that child rape was no big deal.

  7. fester60613 says:

    I believe the Vatican ambassador to Ireland was “withdrawn” so that he would not have to answer a summons by the Irish government. The Irish wanted to find out how and why and for what purpose the church created false evidence and lied overtly to the government investigation.
    He basically ran away before the summons could be served. Coward.

  8. jimmer54 says:

    I let your comment through. We do not believe in god nor satan. They are both part and parcel superstitious beliefs.

    Religions of all kinds foster a condition where child rape can be hidden and where the ministers can get away with it. Just think of Mohammed and his 9 year old bride and you’ll get the idea. But religion by itself has no franchise on this malignancy. It does however have a nasty record of covering it up.

    Convenient wasn’t it?

  9. fester60613 says:

    @Jimmer54 –
    Hugely convenient! You should talk to some of the Bostonian catholics who are incensed that Cardinal Law – after his treachery, lying, double crossing and other sins against his own parishoners (diocese-ers?) not only got called back to Rome but got a cushy job as the head of the Lateran Church! The message seemed to be “do evil for the Vatican and you too shall reap the rewards of wealth and comfortable living.” Disgusting bastards!

  10. Mark says:

    Brooklin Boy…When all this abuse by the church was grabbing headlines several years ago I decided to do some research on my x-church. I found a site where some child abuse advocates had names of many priests that were wanted for questioning and the churches they once belonged to. Sure enough I found my old church and it blew my mind that the priest who once gave me/us our first communion was on the list and tagged as predatory. They also said that his last know whereabouts was in South America…guess that is one of the churches ploys for their most dangerous priests, send them out of the country so they will not have to stand trial and bring even more exposure to crimes.

  11. Brooklyn Boy says:

    Well, I guess that’s their MO.
    Imagine if a supermarket chain or a restaurant franchise was accused of the same sorts of crimes. The angry mob would look like something out of the last scene of an old Frankenstein movie.But I guess you get a pass for raping a kid (or protecting someone who rapes a kid) as long as you wear a dress, act piously and blubber platitudes and medieval fairy tales. I really hope more people start to wake up!

  12. I’ve seen Ms. O’Connor on more recent media and while she is still rightly critical of the Catholic Church as an institution, she is still (depressingly) a theist, still believes it can be reformed into a more humane institution and that all that need be done is clear out the bad actors and all will be right again…a point of view I must respectfully disagree with. Catholicism is so deeply infused with the Irish sense of identity that O’Connor apparently can’t bring herself to dismiss it entirely.

    Slightly off topic, I used to believe that if only Ireland would become completely secular there could be real peace & rapprochement, but upon reading further about Ian Paisley and the Orangemen in the North, I concluded that they wouldn’t want to be a small, crazy Protestant minority in a majority secular country any more than they want to be a small, crazy Protestant minority in a largely Catholic one. They are bullies who want *their* religion to dominate utterly and have arguably as much (or more) influence in N. Ireland as the Catholic Church does in the Republic.

    The uneasy peace since 1998 is probably the best we can hope for for our lifetimes and the near future. I’m not Irish (I’m American with Scottish roots, some of which lamentably extend to N. Ireland) but their situation fascinates me.

  13. Sue Blue says:

    No one should be above the law. This is at the root of most of the problems in the U.S. The bankers are above the law, the corporations are above the law, the 1% are above the law, and – most of all – the bloody sacred churches and their fucking sicko minions are above the law. People have been screaming WTF?!? for years; finally, in Kansas City of all places, we’re getting somewhere.

    Ireland is a beautiful place that has had far more than its share of misery over the centuries. Nothing else can make people of the same nationality hate each other as much as religion. Without Catholics and Protestants at each other’s throats, a huge part of Ireland’s tragic history could have been averted.

    Let the heads in the pointy hats roll.

  14. jimmer54 says:

    John J Ronald
    I agree. Yet some revolutions begin when only one person steps up and says enough is enough. No Fucking More. I hope that is the effect Mr Kenny has achieved. We’ll see. Also I knew Sinead is still a “spiritual” person yet the pic is so very good.

    Right. A matter of trust all around. The fraternities or whatever club they cumulatively belong to has such lax oversight that they do, and can, and have, gotten away with murder, theft, larceny etc. and have not been prosecuted let alone been held accountable.

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