Questionable Motives

July 15, 2011

What is the vatican’s underlying problem with facing and changing its child raping ways?

Filed under: Catholic Church,child abuse,Ireland,Law,Vatican — tildeb @ 4:13 pm

It’s really just a problem with language, you see.

Whereas clear documentation has shown smoking gun after smoking gun – a smoking arsenal these days – linking vatican authorities to actively and intentionally and criminally covering up systemic child abuse within the institution of the catholic church, the problem I think may stem from a simple linguistic misunderstanding.

For example, the vatican’s ”ambassador’ to Ireland, Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, assures us of  “the total commitment of the Holy See for its part in taking all the necessary measures to ensure the protection of children.”

Now doesn’t that sound reasonable? Who doesn’t want to protect children? So what might that protection look like, let’s say, in the case of Ireland?

What this actually has meant on the Emerald Isles is the active protection of abusers from legal prosecution, while taxpayers pay out nearly 1.5 billion dollars in damages to some 13,000 victims. The vatican, through its then-ambassador Archbishop Luciano Storero, warned Irish bishops in a 1997 letter that a powerful church body, the Congregation for the Clergy, had ruled that such mandatory reporting of abuse claims to civil authorities conflicted with canon law (clarified in no uncertain terms by the catholic’s Dear Leader, version XVI.0, aka ‘Pope Palpatine’, Himself). Storero wrote that canon law, which required abuse allegations and punishments to be handled within the church, “must be meticulously followed.”

See? That’s what the protection of children looks like to the vatican.

The confusion as I see it is between the very similar looking words ‘children’ and ‘the church’.

When we revisit ambassador Leaza’s statement with the confused word removed and the correct words inserted, we can see how it lines up beautifully with the evidence that “the total commitment of the Holy See for its part (is) in taking all the necessary measures to ensure the protection of children the church.” That that includes the taxpayers funding the damages caused by child raping clergy is just so much sweet icing on the vatican’s cake, which the vatican has not only been able to have, but has eaten (along with other criminal acts), too. It’s all somebody else’s problem, you see, and so these somebody else’s can pay for the privilege of holding the vatican to account for its criminal agents. The church – no matter how evil and corrupt and criminally liable it may be – must be left with enough secular power to determine which laws it may or may not follow but none of the responsibility for exercising it. As I mentioned, a very sweet deal. God is apparently pleased with this compromise. After all, the church means well in its insistence that it is the moral voice of god even if its actions show – century after tedious century – that it does not. As I like to say, never let what’s true interfere with good belief.

But perhaps the times, they are a’changin’.

Ireland’s Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore said, “”There’s one law in this country. Everybody is going to have to learn to comply with it. The Vatican will have to comply with the laws of this country.”

How very bold. No doubt he’s up for excommunication for that one.

Now imagine… the catholic church operating under and beholden to secular law. End of days must surely be upon us when priests can’t just rape children and then go on their company’s mandatory vacation.

Meanwhile, good little catholics continue to go to church and pay their tithes and fund this criminal organization in the name of catholic ‘morality’. Now I am left to wonder what that term has been confused with?

(From AP)





  1. Well said, and a pitiful state of affairs for the Catholic church, which has disgraced the religion.

    The Catholic church has a world-wide, consistent, organized approach to concealing rampant child sex abuse by Catholic priests. In places where it’s investigated by outsiders – like Philadelphia, Ireland, etc, they’ve found epidemic child rape and criminal cover up.

    To see how bad it still is in 2011 in the US, Google “Philadelphia district attorney grand jury report” and read just the first 6 pages. The perverted sex with children, and the organized cover up are horrifying.

    It’s organized crime, and should be investigated and prosecuted in the US using RICO statutes. Unlike the mafia, it’s not the primary job of the church to commit these crimes, but there’s no question that they committed thousands of child sex crimes in the United States alone, and covered it up in criminal fashion, although they knew the laws well enough to outlast the statute of limitations.

    This makes them an organized crime institution, and they should be investigated like the mafia.

    The fact that they continue to ignore or fight the victims, and the fact that they continue to lie and mislead their sheepish congregation makes them a horrible church. God made the laws so simple, yet Catholic priests and bishops don’t follow them, and their congregation can’t figure that out.

    Elsewhere in the world, Amnesty International and others should use their power to sue the Vatican.

    Comment by Patrick O'Malley — July 15, 2011 @ 6:35 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks, Patrick, for stopping by and commenting. The church itself – not the states in which they operate – needs to be held to account for paying the damages awarded by secular courts and its leadership – not the local diocese – needs to be held criminally liable under secular law for their aiding and abetting those who carried out these crimes. Nothing less should be expected and those who continue to support the church are just as culpable.

    Comment by tildeb — July 15, 2011 @ 8:26 pm | Reply

  3. You seem to revel with a cowardly glee in the misfortunes of others. All your wisecracking about Senator Palpatine and you “good little Catholics” I could be forgiven for thinking you were more interested in having a “pop” at the Catholic church than children who have been sexually abused?

    Remember this, you are talking about a global entity, with tens of thousands of institutions looking after hundreds of thousands of children and disabled people, The RC church has done this for decades. Quite literally millions have passed through its institutions and there has been ample opportunity for paedophiles to prey on the vulnerable. Ostensibly you focus on the mismanagement of the crisis but you wilfully misrepresent the scale. Child raping ways? You have some nerve! There is more chance of a child in your street being molested by you than the nearest clergyman…statistically children are mostly abused within their own homes by a family member, It is less than one per cent of sexually abused children who are abused by any kind of professional person with contact whether it’s a priest,sports coach,schoolteacher or social worker. The prevalence I imagine would be in order of unsupervised contact time? The only thing you should state here is what you know to be the facts which is not much BTW.

    Secular law! What difference has that made in our society for the vast majority of abused children who are not violated within any kind of religious context whatsoever.

    Comment by Alfred Willmore — July 16, 2011 @ 3:50 pm | Reply

    • Yes, this is the typical defense: the ‘those other guys over there are worse than we are,’ and ‘it’s really not as bad as it may seem’. This just kettle logic in action.

      First of all, we don’t know the total number of kids abused but we know it far exceeds tens of thousands over the past 50 years. We also don’t know just how detailed are the accounts known to vatican officials, although we do know that the orders have been to not report these crimes to secular authorities. But the point that seems forever lost on the catholic faithful is that this is an organization that lays claim to be the HIGHEST moral voice on the planet, when the evidence clearly and unequivocally shows it to be aiding and abetting known criminals to avoid prosecution in secular courts. That’s not high morality: it’s evading responsibility for its actions. If you want to speak about cowardice, look no further than the church and nits sordid history.

      What you identify as my ‘cowardly glee’ is in fact a state of sarcastic gob-smacked incredulity that many people who should know better still have faith in this idol the call the Catholic Church and who remain steadfastly loyal to what is in fact an evil and corrupt and criminal organization by its own actions and intentional non actions. I use this sarcasm when it comes to pointing out the obvious, that what the church’s high moral ground actually looks like in action, and it’s all about protecting itself and its unearned reputation for espousing morality over and above the welfare of those they purport to morally serve. The truth is that the reputation of the church is more important to these moral miscreants and their henchmen and -women who remain faithful to it than is the welfare of children. That’s despicable.

      Comment by tildeb — July 16, 2011 @ 8:52 pm | Reply

    • I have often been accused of ‘venting’ when it comes to the revolting organization known far and wide as the Roman Catholic Church. I include the word ‘revolting’ on purpose and with accurate cause. It’s practices revolt me… as it should every decent person who claims to be honestly concerned about human morality and dignity. The church stands squarely against both in deed although drips hypocrisy in its words.

      But it’s not just me, you see. Consider the words of the Irish Taoiseach’s speech:

      It is fair to say that after the Ryan and Murphy reports, Ireland is, perhaps, unshockable when it comes to the abuse of children. However, the Cloyne report has proved to be of a different order because for the first time in this country a report on child sexual abuse exposes an attempt by the Holy See to frustrate an inquiry in a sovereign, democratic republic as little as three years ago, not three decades ago. In doing so the report excavates the dysfunction, disconnection and elitism that dominates the culture of the Vatican to this day. The rape and torture of children were down-played or managed to uphold the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and reputation. Far from listening to evidence of humiliation and betrayal with St. Benedict’s “ear of the heart”, the Vatican’s reaction was to parse and analyse it with the gimlet eye of a Canon lawyer. This calculated, withering position is the polar opposite of the radicalism, humility and compassion on which the Roman Church was founded. Such radicalism, humility and compassion comprise the essence of its foundation and purpose. This behaviour is a case of Roma locuta est: causa finita est, except in this instance nothing could be further from the truth.

      We need many more people ‘ranting’ against this revolting organization. To claim membership while excusing its inexcusable behaviour is a betrayal of honest concern and caring for one’s fellow human beings, their dignity of personhood, and their legal rights and freedoms.

      Catholics need to be ashamed and they need to fundamentally change their church or leave it. Anything less is moral appeasement to what this revolting organization has become: a false idol.

      Comment by tildeb — July 23, 2011 @ 7:56 pm | Reply

  4. “Remember this, you are talking about a global entity, with tens of thousands of institutions looking after hundreds of thousands of children and disabled people, The RC church has done this for decades.”

    This is exactly why they need to be watched and monitored by the secular authorities. The Catholic Church’s care for children and the sick is nothing more than vanity. Its reason for doing this isn’t driven out of genuine altruism – it is to promote its self on the world stage. If they genuinely cared, and had any integrity they would work with secular authorities in support of legal justice rather than trying to prevent or obstruct it.

    Comment by misunderstoodranter — July 17, 2011 @ 9:10 am | Reply

  5. […] how to implement these changes, there remains a problem of catholic compliance. I wrote about it here. And, yet again, we find the vatican interfering to first protect its […]

    Pingback by What’s wrong with theology and why is it so bad for you? « Questionable Motives — July 21, 2011 @ 12:17 pm | Reply

  6. tildeb

    “It’s really just a problem with language, you see.”
    “Who doesn’t want to protect children?”

    The two comments above lead me to tell you about my latest email from Father Pavone (Priests for Life) with the subject line “Friend of Life, do you remember Blessed John Paul’s dire warning?” John Paul’s warning, the email tells me, is

    “You must feel the full urgency of the task.
    Woe to you if you do not succeed in defending life.”
    – Blessed Pope John Paul II, 1993, Homily at World Youth Day Mass

    The email also reminds me of the words in Humanae Vitae:

    “Human dignity shall be inviolable.
    Every human being shall have the right to life and human dignity;
    embryonic and fetal life shall be subject to
    protection from the moment of conception.”

    These two passages support my conviction that the the RCC is the most hypocritical organization in the world. This email, along with many others from Pavone, is not about “human dignity”; it is an email to solicit money to help Pavone and the RCC prevent women from having control over their own bodies and to prevent the Catholic faithful from having control over their own minds:

    “I’ve sent you this urgent email because Gospel of Life Ministries needs your immediate financial help so that we can carry out the mandate which the Church has given us. . . .“

    Attention Alfred Willmore
    Your defence of the Catholic Church is misplaced; along with the sexual abuse of children, the RCC is also guilty of abusing and perverting its members right to use their minds in a rational manner.

    Comment by Veronica Abbass — July 23, 2011 @ 11:59 am | Reply

  7. A lovely little Hitchens comment on the subject:

    Comment by tildeb — July 26, 2011 @ 10:46 am | Reply

  8. An historical reminder why the catholic church doesn’t change its child-raping ways:

    (h/t deadwildroses)

    Comment by tildeb — August 16, 2011 @ 11:09 am | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: