“All I can say is, I’m so sorry. I see myself as a mere scumbag paedophile who took advantage of a situation and used my power to abuse young people.”
Such honesty is downright refreshing. If only the Pope and the rest of the church could come as clean, it would really help bring some closure for the victims. If they were told by their rapists, such as the former Father John Sydney Denhem, that the men they looked up to as guiding examples of morality were mere humans, capable of horrible acts on other humans, it might not make up for what they did, but it might help them understand that their reliance of their religion was misplaced. Evil, perpetrated by scumbag humans is not the work of the devil, and can’t be prevented by placing all one’s trust in god.
Instead, the church is too busy covering its ass. With a strategy of “The best defense is an offense”, the church, instead of cooperating with authorities in countries where prosecutions and civil suits are being pursued, has chosen to stonewall and actively oppose what they should have done themselves, years ago. Recently, the Pope dressed down Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn of Vienna who had the audacity to criticize the church for not doing more about the child abuse scandals, and for even suggesting that the church rethink it’s policy on priestly celibacy. Instead of fostering admiration for such an attitude, the Cardinal was publicly rebuked. That should go a long way towards making the victims of priestly abuse feel , well … like victims.
“With his words, Benedict professes concern for victims. But by his actions, Benedict shows concern for his colleagues,” said David Clohessy, executive director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
Then, when Belgian authorities raided church offices last week, the Vatican called in the Belgian ambassador for another dress down, ostensibly to lodge a formal complaint. One would think that if the Pope was really concerned with justice for the victims, his conversation with the Belgian Ambassador would have gone like this:
Belgian Ambassador: You’re Holiness, I understand you wanted to see me about the police raids on the Archdiocese of Mechelen?
Pope Ratz: Correct. I just wanted to let you know that a “raid” was not necessary. All you had to do was ask and we would have opened up our records for inspection. Are there any other records you would like to see? Perhaps here in the Vatican? My personal papers? Anything at all is at your disposal.
But that’s not the way it went down. Instead, the Vatican “continued to voice shock and outrage at the incident.”
More and more the hypocritical actions on the part of the church are looking like those of an extremely guilty non-penitent church, professing sympathy for the victims, but doing nothing to their abusers, while actively challenging any attempt to secure justice.