That’s Pope Benedict XVI on the left. Little Charley Chaput, Archbishop of Denver, is next to him. Both of these guys are, of course, princes of the Roman Catholic Church. Well, maybe Benedict is the king…I mean, look at his hat. And, yes, I don’t think he has blue eyes. But, with apologies to E. E. Cummings, (Buffalo Bill’s…defunct), the last line of that remarkable poem seemed appropriate here.
February 11, 2013, an update: It was learned that Pope Benedict XVI will resign his position as Pope on February 28th, the first Pope do such a thing in nearly six centuries. The Pope cites ill-health as the reason for his resignation. Dare I suggest the new HBO documentary, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in The House of the Lord, might, just might shed some light on what the rest of the story is, mentioning incidentally this story with regard to the Vatican’s use of long-held Mussolini’s millions.
Now, the Pope–nee Joseph Alois Ratzinger–while he was archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1982, apparently–as so many other Catholic bishops and archbishops have over the last several decades, or longer–found it appropriate, justified, and in their best interests and the best interests of the Church, to deal with the insidious scourge of pedophilic priests by simply transferring them away from the immediate area of their despicable carousing–stealing the innocence of boys–and, therefore, in their own minds and conscience making all right with the world, placing God back in his heaven and, whoop-de-doo, shoving the essential crack in the bedrock of the Church to a dark corner where, hopefully, the light of day would never reach.
Well, now comes the revelation that Ratzinger (Lord, what a name…), while Archbishop of Munich and later as prefect of the Vatican office that was charged with dealing with such delicate issues, simply shoved the issues aside, hid them, and during his twenty-five year term at the Vatican’s Congregation of the doctrine of the Faith, issued an edict that reports of such abuses were to be subject to “…pontifical secret.” Pontifical Secret.
Interestingly, the AP reports that Ratzinger’s brother, Georg, who presided over the Munich Boys Choir from 1964 to 1994, just wasn’t aware, had never heard of the sexual abuse of boys within his realm, Munich, but that, yes, admitted the slapping of choirboys was the preferred form of punishment during his incumbency. Just a thought here: You slap a boy–and God only knows upon which part of that boy’s body the “slap” was inflicted–does one then become empowered to, um, take further liberties with that boy as “punishment?” CathNewsUSA reports that Georg Ratzinger, then a Monsignor, claims to have had no part of the more “…severe beatings…” of choirboys. Ratzinger did not, “…belong to the group of more sadistic abusers,” said one of the former choirboys. “But I do accuse him of covering up the abuses.”
These Ratzinger boys are pieces of work, huh.
Probably most central to this particular issue is the document issued when the Pope, as a cardinal, was presiding over the Vatican office of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The document instructed, as I’ve noted, that the entire gamut of Church hierarchy–from priest to cardinal–to treat claims of the sexual abuse of boys as something left to pontifical secret. The letter, issued by Ratzinger, therefore, necessarily precluded reporting of such abuses to civil authorities. Indeed, an American attorney representing several abuse victims, has introduced the Ratzinger imperative in court as an attempt to obstruct justice.
Okay. I hope I’ve adequately articulated what I’ve noticed is not something the mainstream and cable news outlets seem to want to wrap their little minds around.
Now to Charley.
I do find it interesting that little Charley Chaput, Archbishop of Denver, showed up in Houston, Texas, at Houston Baptist University on March 1 of this year to deliver another one of his standard spews on “The Vocation of Christians in American Public Life.” Yes, his sensitively delivered tirade–he is a soft-spoken man–centered on his message that one’s religion trumps all–even country, even family, even earth (what matter the despoiling of the earth, if it’s divinely inspired!). Curiously, Charley chose to speak to the Baptists about John F. Kennedy’s 1960 speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association. Kennedy’s speech was designed to allay the fears of protestants that the Pope would not be calling the shots if Kennedy became the president. Some of us remember the great fear of protestants that if Kennedy were to be elected, he would necessarily have a direct dial hook-up with the Vatican, that public policy would be directed by the Pope, that any Catholic serving as president would institute Papal imperatives. Kennedy’s remarks are here. But, leave it to Charley to advance his rhetoric, his polemic which, now that I think about it, mirrors any imam’s pronouncements with regard to the essential calling of radical Islam.
Here’s a little bit of what Charley told the Baptists. “…no nation, not even the one I love, has a right to my allegiance, or my silence, in matters that belong to God or that undermine the dignity of the human persons He created. …we cannot–nor should we try to–paper over the issues that still divide us as believers in terms of doctrine, authority and our understandings of the Church. Ecumenism based on good manners instead of truth is empty. It’s also a form of lying. … We also urgently owe each other solidarity and support in dealing with a culture that increasingly derides religious faith in general, and the Christian faith in particular.” Ahem… So, if I’m reading you correctly here, Charley, shouldn’t the persistent specter of pedophilic priests–now reported to have been “papered over” by your Pope and, most likely, his brother–be something that ecumenism just cannot tolerate; something that cannot hold your silence? And, indeed, something that “…undermine[s] the dignity of the human persons He created…?” Tell me, Charley, is your Papa, your Pope–in all of his infallibility–beyond the scope of your scrutiny, your disgust when it is shown that he propagated that little slip-slide into hiding the indignities inflicted on young boys? How absurd for you, Charley, to point to JFK as the fomenter of a staunch–and evil, in your view–advocacy for the separation of church and state, when your own boss, Ratzinger, played that clearly, disgustingly evil card of political, yes POLITICAL chicanery–Pontifical Secret–to protect the Holy See. You see any separation of church and state in that one, Charley?
Let me get to the point. Charley, I ask you: If your passion is so centered on the propagation of the faith, the Roman Catholic faith, amongst politicians and society in general–I know, I know… You’re trying to bring the Baptists into the fold also–please tell me that your faith, your passion also extends to your Papa, the Pope, who apparently denuded the innocence of boys to the benefit of those who took that innocence without remorse, without a second fucking thought, knowing, KNOWING, that the Holy See would protect them, would just move them on to another place where they could find their delights in the further destruction of the innocence of boys. You fault Kennedy for leaving his faith at the door when he became our President. May I, Charley, fault you for not boldly standing your ground and faulting your own Pope, your own Church, for committing, for covering-up, for obstructing the essential justice begged in response to these new allegations that involve you Papa, your Pope?
Put up, or shut up, Charley.
P.S. I’ve been watching the Denver Archdiocese web site for any word from the prolific little guy, Charley, with regard to this issue. So far, nada. Charley has apparently chosen to be silent on this one.