Social Question

Trillian's avatar

What do you think of the letter issued by the Pope?

Asked by Trillian (21111points) March 20th, 2010

I saw on the news this morning that the Pope issues a letter to the Irish people stating some changes in policy towards pedophiles in the church. He apologized for past wrongs and made some pretty strong statements, including that priests misdeeds will now require them to answer to civil authorities. He also outlined reasons why he thought the problem had grown so large, and the one I found most honest and true was this: “In his letter, Benedict spoke of “a well-intentioned but misguided tendency to avoid penal approaches to canonically irregular situations,...” (New York Times, 03/21/10)
There is lots of criticism because he still does not speak of penalties, but it seems to me that this is a beginning, rather than a sop.
Here’s a link, but there are many already. What do you think about this? Is it a step in the right direction or a cynical appeasement to the masses? Do you think that priests will now truly be held accountable? Will the screening process change in the selection of new priests? Is it in any way significant that he does not address the German church? What does this mean for the Catholic Church?

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34 Answers

simpleD's avatar

Too little, too late.

partyparty's avatar

I don’t know if they will be held accountable, but most certainly they should be.
Otherwise the priests should spend the rest of their lives confessing their sins

marinelife's avatar

It seems to continue the pattern of the Church’s response. Ignore until it is too big to ignore, and then do just the minimum to acknowledge events and appear to change.

Why else would he not address the growing storm in other countries?

Thammuz's avatar

Too fucking little, too fucking late. Expecially from THIS GUY. The man who said that catholic bishops were NOT TO DIVULGE INFORMATIONS ON CRIMES COMMITTED BY CLERGY

Fuck this shit. Not only too little too late, he should be done away with. And i don’t mean excommunicated.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

It is not good enough. As long as the Catholic Church enforces celibacy laws there is going to be a prevalent sex culture amongst those least likely to seek help – children. The Pope should not be offering apologies and token gestures, he should be doing away with celibacy and giving children an environment in which they can speak out without fear of retribution in the physical or spiritual sphere.

Trillian's avatar

@Thammuz I had read a bit about that policy of his. It does seem shameful. I don’t generally follow what the Catholics are up to, but someone asked about the pedophile thing just a few days ago, and then I saw this on the news. Part of me wanted to believe that he was truly trying to make amends. Part of me was sneering that this was just a cold blooded attempt at a politically motivated pacification effort.

phillis's avatar

Is the Pope passing out pacifiers with communion wafers now? Until I see results from this, I am disinclined to believe a word of it. Time will tell, but a lot of damage has been done that extends beyond Catholic borders. At this point, my allegiance on this issue stands fully on the side of the victims.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

To paraphrase something I heard last night on Real Time with Bill Maher, “If this were a chain of day care centers, they’d be closed down and hundreds would be jailed within hours. Yet, continually, the Catholic Church gets a pass because it’s a religion.” So true. Extremely sad, but true.

dpworkin's avatar

I have no confidence in this Pope. He is an unadorned right-winger, was a member of the Hitler Youth Corps, is trying to beatify Pope Pius XXII who stood by in silence while millions of Jews were exterminated by the Nazis, and during his own service as Archbishop in Germany he personally protected pedophile priests, sending them back into pastoral service again and again where they continued to prey upon the young. He is culpable himself, and he is the biggest Catholic fraud since Mother Theresa whose disgusting behavior has been so well cataloged by Christopher Hitchens.

Trillian's avatar

@jaytkay Hehehehehe. I love The Onion.

Trillian's avatar

@dpworkin That is the second time I’ve heard something negative about Mother Theresa. What is up with that? I have never heard anything like that before. What did she do? Do you have a link or anything?

AstroChuck's avatar

He apologized for the preists’ actions but not for the how the church did nothing to penalize and remove these preists. It’s just more of the same we know to expect from the Catholic church.

dpworkin's avatar

There is a great deal of material available on the subject of Mother Theresa. For an overview, you may wish to start here

For more material, look here

CMaz's avatar

If the Pope was sincere, we would lift the ban on marriage for priests.

But then the priests would be giving their inheritance to their family instead back to the church.

Not going to have anything to do with that.

talljasperman's avatar

Why don’t you hear about Rabbi’s molesting children?

Trillian's avatar

@dpworkin wow. Thank you. Now that sort of thing I never suspected, but can readily believe. I hope Ghandi does not prove to to be a disappointment.

ubersiren's avatar

@AstroChuck Spot on. It’s not only the initial crime that should be addressed, apologized for and dealt with. It’s the whole operation.

partyparty's avatar

@talljasperman My uncle (who is a staunch Catholic) says the world is against Catholicism, so the sins of other religions are never published

janbb's avatar

Actually, there has been a fair bit lately about child molestation in some of the Hassidic yeshivot and communities. Child abuse is not limited to one religion although there may possibly be factors in the structure of the Catholic church (celibacy, altar boys, etc.) that lend it more toward opportunities for abusive relationships.

Pazza's avatar

“appeasement to the masses”
+ I’m pretty sure he didn’t write himself the owl’d fart.

davidbetterman's avatar

The Mother Teresa citations are pure balderdash. They are completely unsubstantiated and mere rumor mongery of the worst sort.

dpworkin's avatar

@davidbetterman Knowing you, I won’t ask you to prove it.

davidbetterman's avatar

You already used BS in your attempted proof. Your lack of proof prooves my point.

dpworkin's avatar

There you go again, with your reflexive petitio principii. You are really good at begging the question.

usaloveorleaveit's avatar

The bible is very clear on how to punish those in the church who commit sexual immorality (1 Cor. 5), especially if they are breaking the law. The Catholic church has obviously strayed from the Word of God in many areas. Seems funny you would wait on a speech from the pope to make a judgment call like this.

Buttonstc's avatar

I think he reveals a lot about how frankly they will choose to deal with this in the future by his choice of words.

He chooses to cover up the ugliness of the systrmic sexual abuse of children with the euphimism of “canonically irregular” situations.

Oh, really now. Just an irregularity you say ?

Nothing has really changed or will change. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

CMaz's avatar

“He chooses to cover up the ugliness of the systrmic sexual abuse of children” because of money and greed.

janbb's avatar

@Buttonstc So the Pope isn’t infallible?

Buttonstc's avatar

Ha ha.

Never was, never will be.

davidbetterman's avatar

The only one begging on this question is @dpworkin

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@partyparty – Feeling persecuted seems to be a common thread for questionable religions. Personally, I see it as karmic payback for all of the blatant, yet somehow oddly misplaced, self-righteousness and the insistent meddling done in the process of conversion. You get what you give.

galileogirl's avatar

I may be just too suspicious but I wonder if this is not about the past but about a nuclear-sized scandal on the horizon.

mattbrowne's avatar

Extremely disappointing. The Vatican implemented a system undermining jurisdictions of our secular states. If crimes were committed for example by priests like having sex with children the responsible bishop was instructed to keep all reports inside the Catholic hierarchy. The Vatican actually thinks it’s above the law. The criminal “investigation” usually led to the transfer of such priests and public authorities never learned of this. In fact, very often those priests could find new innocent children to satisfy their sexual needs. The Pope is part of this ludicrous system and blaming his underlings only is hypocrisy.

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