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Note to Pope Ratz: it's the coverup that kills you.


More in common than we ever thought.

Pope Ratz had no problem covering up for the pedophile priests in the faithful flock’s midst; didn’t he learn anything from a famous former U.S. president that the coverup is as bad as the crime itself? Wait, in the Catholic church’s case, the actual events in question — the sexual abuse of countless minors at the hands of spiritual and moral leaders of houses of worship — are beyond the pale. This particular obstruction of justice makes Tricky Dick and his partners in crime look like choirboys. (Guardian):

Pope Benedict XVI faced claims last night he had ‘obstructed justice’ after it emerged he issued an order ensuring the church’s investigations into child sex abuse claims be carried out in secret. The order was made in a confidential letter, obtained by The Observer, which was sent to every Catholic bishop in May 2001.

…The letter, ‘concerning very grave sins’, was sent from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office that once presided over the Inquisition and was overseen by Ratzinger. It spells out to bishops the church’s position on a number of matters ranging from celebrating the eucharist with a non-Catholic to sexual abuse by a cleric ‘with a minor below the age of 18 years’. Ratzinger’s letter states that the church can claim jurisdiction in cases where abuse has been ‘perpetrated with a minor by a cleric’. The letter states that the church’s jurisdiction ‘begins to run from the day when the minor has completed the 18th year of age’ and lasts for 10 years.

It orders that ‘preliminary investigations’ into any claims of abuse should be sent to Ratzinger’s office, which has the option of referring them back to private tribunals in which the ‘functions of judge, promoter of justice, notary and legal representative can validly be performed for these cases only by priests’.

Cases of this kind are subject to the pontifical secret,’ Ratzinger’s letter concludes. Breaching the pontifical secret at any time while the 10-year jurisdiction order is operating carries penalties, including the threat of excommunication.

Does the Pope have someone to break arms and bash kneecaps too? Not only is this thinking diseased and immoral, it is incredibly arrogant. The desire to hide the crimes is indicative of the admission of the gravity of the situation. Why was this man elevated, and why is the broadcast media participating in the pageantry and image-making of this Pope when it should be doing its job of reporting?

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House Blender Patrick noted in the comments, the above headline also applies to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. He has been rushing to paper over his company’s cowardly, politically motivated withdrawal of support for an enti-discrimination bill in Washington state this week.

It’s too late Steve, your company messed with the wrong crowd; the coverup is just pathetic mewling.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding