Questionable Motives

September 21, 2011

Will the ICC hold the Pope and other Vatican officials to account for its child-raping ways?

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) hopes so, which is why they filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court of the Hague with more than 20,000 pages of supporting documentation.  SNAP’s president, Barbara Blaine, writes in this article:

By the Vatican’s own account, “only” about 1.5-5% of Catholic clergy have been involved in sexual violence against children. With a reported 410,593 priests worldwide as of 2009, that means the number of offending priests would range from 6,158 to 20,529. Considering that many offenders have multiple victims, the number of children at risk is likely in the tens, or even hundreds, of thousands.

We believe the thousands of pages of evidence we filed this week will substantiate our allegations that an operation has been put in place not only to hide the widespread sexual violence by priests in all parts of the world, but also to obstruct investigation, remove suspects out of criminal jurisdictions and do everything possible to silence victims, discredit whistleblowers, intimidate witnesses, stonewall prosecutors and keep a tighter lid than ever on clergy sex crimes and cover-ups. The result of this systematic effort is that, despite a flood of well-publicised cases, many thousands of children remain vulnerable to abuse.

While many pedophile priests have been suspended in recent years, few have been criminally charged and even fewer defrocked. Worse, no one who ignored, concealed or enabled these predators has suffered any consequences. At the head of this hierarchy of denial and secrecy is the pope, who has served as an enabler of these men. We believe the Vatican must face investigation to determine whether these incidences have been knowingly concealed and clergymen deliberately protected when their crimes have come to light.

Justice deferred is justice denied. How else can we hold a multinational, politically independent criminal organization to account if not through an international criminal court?

It’s time to hold those in power, those agents and officers and officials who staff the Holy See, accountable for their criminal activities. It’s time to put their Chief Executive Officer Ratzinger (aka Pope Palpatine) on trial and expose the Catholic Church for what it is: an institution of abuse, misogyny, and sexual perversion with the entrenched  moral values of a serial rapist.

September 30, 2010

How shocked are you… really?

From the CBC:

A Roman Catholic order in Quebec was aware of allegations of sexual abuse by brothers in the religious group, according to evidence discovered by Radio-Canada.

A nine-page document, written by a long-term member of the Order of Holy Cross, chronicles specific allegations of abuse over the years at Montreal’s College Notre Dame. The document lists a dozen Holy Cross brothers from various institutions.

It also outlines how alleged abusers at the order’s flagship private school were not reported to the police and instead were allowed to stay on as teachers or support staff.

Wilson Kennedy, a former member of the religious order, told Radio-Canada in an exclusive interview that while he was with the order he spoke to a Vatican official about the problem.

“Rome was informed and the Superior General asked me for clarification on several cases,” Kennedy said. He said there was a culture of silence that protected alleged abusers.

Now just how shocking is this news? Or is it now so commonplace, so widespread, so endemic that the Vatican’s actual policy is clear: pay off those who have the best claims about abuse within church-run organizations while it continues to pay the legal bills for the pedophiles it maintains on staff but hold fast to the lie that the Vatican knew nothing while swearing that each new case is simply an isolated incident carried out by a few bad apples?
What’s surprising is that anyone – even devout die-hard life-long catholics who cannot comprehend how the institution itself can be so corrupt – continue to believe this tired spiel and that the pope has not been criminally liable for his active part in aiding and abetting these child rapists from secular authorities. That the pope himself has been an integral part of this ongoing cover-up for the past four decades seems to me to be very well documented while he avoids prosecution because he is immune as a ‘head of state’.
What a remarkable legacy for a life time of work for Pope Palpatine: helping a world wide organization to maintain a pedophile ring and helping the participants to avoid prosecution all the while claiming to be the moral voice for god. The arrogance and temerity and hypocrisy is profound, while the believers’ willful ignorance and trust and avoidance to seek the truth equally so.

April 21, 2010

Who will the church blame today?

Stay up to date on the latest catholic church blame game. Because we know for certain that no blame can be attributed in any way to the institution for aiding and abetting and covering up child abuse by clergy within the church on a global scale, and we know this to be true in spite of incontrovertible evidence to the contrary, we are left wondering: who is to blame? To our rationalizing rescue comes this site where we find we can find out the daily answers here.

April 19, 2010

The smoking gun of catholic church’s culpability in the global sex abuse scandal: haven’t we already been here, done this?

Filed under: Catholic Church,Crime,Morality,Sex scandal,Vatican — tildeb @ 6:30 pm

Oh my… lookee here… why, it’s what I posted a few months back here on Questionable Motives and what the Guardian (from this article) calls a “smoking gun”: the Vatican’s official policy sent to bishops around the globe on how sexual abuse allegations were to be handled:

The 69-page Latin document bearing the seal of Pope John XXIII was sent to every bishop in the world. The instructions outline a policy of ‘strictest’ secrecy in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse and threatens those who speak out with excommunication.

They also call for the victim to take an oath of secrecy at the time of making a complaint to Church officials. It states that the instructions are to ‘be diligently stored in the secret archives of the Curia [Vatican] as strictly confidential. Nor is it to be published nor added to with any commentaries.’

Bishops are instructed to pursue these cases ‘in the most secretive way… restrained by a perpetual silence… and everyone… is to observe the strictest secret which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office… under the penalty of excommunication’.

Is anyone with a working neuron still surprised that the scandal isn’t that abuse occurred within the Roman Catholic Church but that the official policy was to cover it up? Although catholic apologists will attempt to deflect this central issue (Commentator Nor1 scoffed to this official directive as merely a “dusty old document” here and wrote “its (sic) fairly clear that the Catholic Church is actually remarkably consistent with other institutions and organizations in its approach to dealing with this problem) to all kind of other reasons why the church is the real victim, the rest of us with a shred of morality not polluted by fanatical faith in the inerrant goodness of the church will see it for what it clearly is: another nail in the coffin of those who pretend that they and they alone hold the keys to what is moral but who really represent a corrupt institution.

April 13, 2010

Why is the pope a criminal? Consider these three strikes…

From Andrew Sullivan’s Atlantic article:

The AP’s story on Joseph Ratzinger’s direct involvement in delaying for six years the defrocking of a priest who had confessed to tying up and raping minors ends any doubt that the future Pope is as implicated in the sex abuse crisis as much as any other official in the church. The facts are as clear as they are damning.

The Pope cannot blame the local bishops this time – they desperately tried to get the priest fired.

He cannot claim he was out of the loop: his signature is on the letter.

He cannot get an underling to take the fall: it’s his name and his office behind the unconscionable delay and behind the actual, despicably callous and self-serving reasons to protect a man who tied children up and raped them.

It’s over now.

When we look at this Pope we see a man who knew that one of the priests he had authority to fire had restrained and raped children. Yet he did nothing for years, and finally sided with the priest. He had more sympathy for the relatively young age of the rapist, rather than the innocence and trauma of the raped children.

We see a man utterly corrupted by power and institutional loyalty.

Strike one.

From Richard Dawkins’ Guardian article:

Lashing out in desperation, church spokesmen are now blaming everybody but themselves for their current dire plight, which one official spokesman likens to the worst aspects of antisemitism (what are the best ones, I wonder?). Suggested culprits include the media, the Jews, and even Satan. The church is hiding behind a seemingly endless stream of excuses for having failed in its legal and moral obligation to report serious crimes to the appropriate civil authorities. But it was Cardinal Ratzinger’s official responsibility to determine the church’s response to allegations of child sex abuse, and his letter in the Kiesle case makes the real motivation devastatingly explicit.

This pattern of putting church PR over and above the welfare of the children in its care (and what an understatement that is) is repeated over and over again in the cover-ups that are now coming to light, all over the world. And Ratzinger himself expressed it with damning clarity in this smoking gun letter:

“This court, although it regards the arguments presented in favour of removal in this case to be of grave significance, nevertheless deems it necessary to consider the good of the universal church together with that of the petitioner, and it is also unable to make light of the detriment that granting the dispensation can provoke with the community of Christ’s faithful, particularly regarding the young age of the petitioner.”

Suppose the British secretary of state for schools received, from a local education authority, a reliable report of a teacher tying up his pupils and raping them. Imagine that, instead of turning the matter over to the police, he had simply moved the offender from school to school, where he repeatedly raped other children. That would be bad enough. But now suppose that he justified his decision in terms such as these:

“Although I regard the arguments in favour of prosecution, presented by the local education authority, as of grave significance, I nevertheless deem it necessary to consider the good of the government and the party, together with that of the offending teacher. And I am also unable to make light of the detriment that prosecuting the offender can provoke among voters, particularly regarding the young age of the offender.”

The analogy breaks down, only in that we aren’t talking about a single offending priest, but many thousands, all over the world.

Strike two.

And from Christopher Hitchens’ Slate article:

It must be noted, also, that all the letters from diocese to Ratzinger and from Ratzinger to diocese were concerned only with one question: Can this hurt Holy Mother Church? It was as if the children were irrelevant or inconvenient (as with the case of the raped boys in Ireland forced to sign confidentiality agreements by the man who is still the country’s cardinal). Note, next, that there was a written, enforced, and consistent policy of avoiding contact with the law. And note, finally, that there was a preconceived Ratzinger propaganda program of blaming the press if any of the criminal conduct or obstruction of justice ever became known.

One should not blame only the church here. Where was American law enforcement during the decades when children were prey? Where was international law while the Vatican became a place of asylum and a source of protection for those who licensed or carried out the predation? Page through any of the reports of child-rape and torture from Ireland, Australia, the United States, Germany—and be aware that there is much worse to come. Where is it written that the Roman Catholic Church is the judge in its own case? Above or beyond the law? Able to use private courts? Allowed to use funds donated by the faithful to pay hush money to the victims or their families?

Good questions and salient points one and all.

And the conclusion…? Again from Hitchens’ Slate article:

Ratzinger himself is now exposed as being personally as well as institutionally responsible for obstructing justice and protecting and enabling pederasts.

Strike three.

April 12, 2010

Shouldn’t eternal salvation equate with eternal liability?

Filed under: Catholic Church,Law,Sex scandal — tildeb @ 10:16 am

Apparently not. From CNN:

A bill in Connecticut’s legislature that would remove the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases has sparked a fervent response from…

Can you guess? No, really… what organization can you think of might be threatened by such a change in law? The International Congress of Kids and Youth and Pedophile Priests (ICKY P P)? Nope. Pedophiles United (PU) ? Not them, either… at least, not publicly. The fervent response comes from…

…the state’s Roman Catholic bishops, who released a letter to parishioners Saturday imploring them to oppose the measure. The Catholic archdiocese of Hartford also published a pulpit announcement on its Web site, which was to be read during Mass on Sunday, urging parishioners to express opposition to the bill.

Who would have suspected? It must be because of the very high moral standards the church brings to bear on determining what kind of human behaviour is acceptable to god to ensure eternal salvation, right? Well, not quite.

The letter is posted on the Web site of the Connecticut Catholic Public Affairs Conference, the public policy and advocacy office of Connecticut’s Catholic bishops. It asks parishioners to contact their legislators in opposition of the bill.

And I’m so relieved that the church uses its pulpit to minister to eternally vital spiritual matters rather than cross the line into actively interfering with dirty secular matters like law and governance. But we can always count on the church to do what’s morally right and respect the separate but equal magisteria over which it claims to have divinely sanctioned dominion… ministering to the spiritual needs of its flock and thus worthy of public tax exemption for its selfless work. Yup, the church has a separate, morally higher, area of concern and expertise altogether. It’s a spiritual institution, we must remember. Most of the time, that is. When it’s convenient to define it that way, like when faced with legitimate criticism for its earthly and repugnant official collusion with pedophiles in its ranks. When it officially participates in aiding and abetting criminal activity and attempts to justify its official policies to protect itself and its reputation at the expense of its victims by skirting behind the old defense of separate concerns than the secular, a separate magisteria. In other words, we really should trust them because they really do have their own best interests at heart which just so happens to be OUR best interests for eternal salvation. Funny coincidence, that.

The “legislation would undermine the mission of the Catholic Church in Connecticut, threatening our parishes, our schools, and our Catholic Charities,” the letter says.

Oh? How so?

The church’s concern is about frivolous abuse claims against it, according to Connecticut state Rep. Beth Bye, one of the bill’s sponsors. In other words, liability. Charges to have merit are only acceptable from people 48 years old and younger. At age 49, a claimant’s case becomes frivolous the church leadership assures us. Good to know. I’m so relieved this revelation has been granted to the catholic hierarchy who really knows a lot about these kinds of detailed matters pleasing to god. Not that the church has anything to worry about as far as protecting any elderly priests from prosecution for their sexual abuse of children from days gone by, of course. Perish the thought.

April 8, 2010

What does an idiotic argument look like?

George Neumayr is an editor of the Catholic World Report. He writes this brilliant example of what an idiotic argument looks like in The Washington Times. He opens his article with the following:

Since when have secularists and dissenting Catholics been experts on the protection of children? These self-appointed reformers of the Catholic Church preside over a debased culture that abuses, aborts and corrupts children.

This is a classic ad hominum attack called a tu quoque argument: a logical fallacy in which one attempts to defend oneself or another from criticism by turning the critique back against the accuser. In effect, this is exactly the purpose of Neumayr’s thesis and it’s an idiotic defense of the Catholic Church generally and the vicar of christ specifically regarding the handling of sex abuse scandals by priests and clergy.

Most of us learn during our early schooling why this childish argument holds no ethical sway with adult reasoning. Now, with defenders like George calling on idiotic and childish arguments to stop the thinning of its ranks of practicing catholics in western countries, the leadership of the catholic church is in deeper and more dire moral straits than ever. Somehow, and in spite of defenders like George, they must find a way to live up to the Ratzinger’s own advice so generously granted to the Irish bishops to stop the exodus: search their conscience, take responsibility for any sins they have committed, and conceal nothing. Blaming secularists, gays and lesbians, abortionists, liberal elites, and dissenting catholics for the church’s failure to address pedophilia as George attempts and fails to do with his article is just one more impediment to finding meaningful reform.

April 6, 2010

What’s this? (Groundless!) allegations that John Paul II was involved in the ongoing sex abuse scandal cover-up?

Tell me it ain’t so. How can this be? Every good catholic knows for certain that JPII was a saint, so there’s just no way he could ever be part of the ongoing problem of child rape in the church.The TimesOnline article must be mistaken.

Allegations that the late pontiff John Paul II blocked an inquiry into a paedophile cardinal, promoted senior church figures despite accusations that they had molested boys and covered up innumerable cases of abuse during his 26-year papacy have cast a cloud over his path to sainthood.

Oh, no! Not a dreaded cloud! Casting clouds is always a very serious business that sometimes results in… shadows. And they are the worst.

The most serious claims related to Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer, an Austrian friend of John Paul’s who abused an estimated 2,000 boys over decades but never faced any sanction from Rome. Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Groer’s successor, criticised the handling of that scandal and other abuse cases last week after holding a special service in St Stephen’s cathedral, Vienna, entitled “Admitting our guilt”. Schönborn condemned the “sinful structures” within the church and the patterns of “silencing” victims and “looking away”.

Sinful structures? A pattern of silencing victims and looking away? Does this sound to you as it does to me, dear reader, like the same kind of vicious antisemitism suffered by Jews under the brutal hands of the Nazis? Very similar, I know, except for the brutal part… and the suffering part… and the antisemitism part. But besides those, almost the same. Mind you, it sounds remarkably like a long-awaited but never officially enunciated reasonable criticism of a Vatican policy with a long history to me. But then, what do I know.

Michael Tfirst, 54, one of Groer’s victims, claims to have reported the abuse to highranking church officials from the 1970s onwards. He says the church paid him £3,300 in 2004 under a contract that obliged him to keep quiet.

“There is no question that Ratzinger knew all the details of reports on abuse within the church, as there is no doubt that John Paul, his superior, took part in a massive and systematic cover-up,” Tfirst said.

Oh. Well. I guess now I am in the know, unlike those who populate the most senior levels of the Vatican. And we in the know know for certain that there never was any official Vatican cover-up… because we’ve got the receipt of the money we paid to cover it up to prove that no such cover-up occurred. Duh.

John Paul also faced criticism last week from Poland for protecting Archbishop Juliusz Paetz, who was accused of abusing trainee priests.

Don’t you hate it when an entire country casts a cloud your way? Maybe that last part of about abusing trainee priests should read “…accused of training abusing priests.”

Letters detailing the charges were sent to John Paul’s office and to Ratzinger in 2000 but were ignored. Paetz resigned in 2002 when the allegations became public.

See what happens when you are covered by that cloud?I wonder how the allegations became public? “Never trust a secularist state to do the right thing and blame it when things go wrong,” is a good rule of thumb if you are involved in scandals and casting clouds.

Stanislaw Obirek, a Polish theologian and a former Jesuit priest, said: “I believe John Paul is the key person responsible for the cover-up of abuse cases because most of it occurred during his papacy. How can someone who is to blame for this be beatified?”

Finally, an easy question. Just watch. The Vatican will continue to soldier on in spite of these secularist attacks by petty and spiteful people so it will be business as usual, and JPII will be beautified to the cheering crowds of millions of adoring fans.

April 2, 2010

Why is Gordon Brown such a twit?

I have read the following bit from the Guardian several times and cannot for the life of me figure out how someone who presumably can read and is capable of rational thought can mean what this says unless one is complete twit:

Asked if religious faith is essentially “a private, personal pursuit” or has a role in the wider community, he says: “Our common realm is not and cannot be stripped of values – I absolutely reject the idea that religion should somehow be tolerated but not encouraged in public life. Our equality bill is specifically designed to protect religion and belief on exactly the same terms as race or gender or sexuality.

“I welcome the role that people of faith play in building Britain’s future – and the Catholic communion in particular is to be congratulated for so often being the conscience of our country, for helping ‘the least of these’ even when bearing witness to the truth is hard or unpopular.”

Brown makes nothing but errors in this piece of broken reasoning. Although certain religions uphold certain values some of the time, nowhere can it be shown that values derive from religious belief. Quite the opposite, in fact. Brown assumes that by making religious belief a private affair, this will “strip” the common realm of values. Why he think so may be evidence for a large brain tumor or early onset of some delusional psychosis. Rejecting the notion of  the state encouraging a particular kind of delusional thinking would be sound public policy, but Brown reject this absolutely. Why? If not brain damage, then surely this reveals the depth of his inability to think clearly. Protecting religious belief from discrimination like gender or race reveals a startling misunderstanding of why it is important that we protect equality of human rights. Religious belief, in stark contrast, can be changed by making a simple choice, say from catholicism to cabbage worship, whereas changing one’s race or gender or innate sexual preference is slightly different. Okay, it’s vastly different, but I feel a strong need to be sarcastic in the face of such stupidity, knowing that reasoning is the wrong tool to criticize Brown’s purposefully obtuse and proudly ignorant opinion.

And then we come to the second paragraph: that he welcomes religious belief in general and catholicism in particular to help build Britain’s future. Into what? A British Taliban state? A safe haven for pedophiles? Just how does religious belief help build anything when beliefs is based on either no concern for knowledge whatsoever, often a blatant disregard for what is true, and often is the main engine driving anti-intellectualism? And in case Brown hasn’t noticed, the catholic church in particular is undergoing a timely exposure to a massive global sex abuse scandal of “the least of these” adherents we call children. But rather than see what catholicism looks like in practice, Gordon “I’ve got my head stuck so far up my ass I can see my lips moving” Brown thinks this church under its current organization of doing whatever it can to hide what’s true between many robed clergy and innocent children is actually a champion of truth! One must be a twit of astounding proportion to actually believe what Brown says he believes. And such twits are a clear and present danger to building anything other than a delusion.

March 31, 2010

The pope does what?

Thanks to Jesus and Mo

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