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Benedict XVI Is “Deeply Ashamed” Of The Serial-Rapist Priests He Shielded From Justice

Everybody's favorite pope since the last one has alighted on our shores to give spiritual counsel and serve a little Jesus-body buffet to New World Catholics in the flesh, so to speak. Jehovah's own consigliere isn't ducking hard questions from … Read More

By / April 17, 2008

Everybody's favorite pope since the last one has alighted on our shores to give spiritual counsel and serve a little Jesus-body buffet to New World Catholics in the flesh, so to speak. Jehovah's own consigliere isn't ducking hard questions from the media, either, expressing deep shame at the church's sex-abuse scandal and reiterating a zero-tolerance policy on pedophilia (the RCC courageously says "no goddamn way" to raping children). But that's not all. The Pope feels raped children's pain. "It is a great suffering for the Church in the United States, for the Church in general, and for me personally," he said. Benedict, as far from an intellectual slouch as one can be, is flat-out stumped about "how it was possible that priests betrayed in this way their mission to give healing, to give love of God to these children." Christopher Hitchens responds:

[T]he Pontiff has utterly mis-stated the nature of the clerical pedophilia scandal. The scandal is not the presence of pedophiles in the church, but the institutionalization of child-rape by the knowing protection and even promotion (by non-pedophiles) of those who are guilty of it. The most grievous offender in this respect is Cardinal Bernard Law, currently an honored figure at the Vatican. This expression of contempt for the victims makes the Pope himself a direct accomplice in the very atrocity that he affects to denounce.

That's the right thought, but wrong on specifics. Bernard Law, the former Archlizard of Boston, merely aided and abetted serial rape in greater Boston and environs. The church's policy of covering up rapes, stonewalling investigators, and moving rapists to new parishes with fresh supplies of seraphic young flesh (because who'd want to get a hold of a barely pubescent boy who's already been spoiled?) was catholic in scope, and came straight from John Paul II's Curia. Specifically, from the powerful leader of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the successor institution to the Inquisition, a certain Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, whose name mysteriously vanished from the broadsheets at just about the time Benedict was elected. (I'm pretty certain of that timing, but you can check Lexis Nexis if you don't believe me.)

Whoever he was and wherever he's gone off to, that guy was "the most grievous offender" in the church. Bernard Law was just the Oasis of enabling child-rape, to Ratzinger's Beatles. Still, Pope Benedict was nowhere near the scene at the time, so his bafflement over the whole affair is understandable.

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