Does He See the RICO Case Coming?

I mean, it’s basically Boardwalk Empire up in there anyway:

The abuse scandals dominated his seven years as leader of the world’s Catholics. Before his accession, there had been scandals in the United States and Ireland. But in 2010, evidence of clerical sex abuse was made public in a succession of countries in continental Europe, notably Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and Benedict’s native Germany.

The pope was himself affected by one of these scandals. It emerged that, while he was archbishop of Munich, a known molester was quietly re-assigned to duties that, in time, allowed him to return to pastoral duties and make contact with young people.

The flood of allegations represented a vast setback for the project at the heart of Benedict’s papacy. The goal he had set for himself, and for which he was elected, was to launch the re-evangelisation of Europe, Catholicism‘s heartland: it was why he adopted as his papal name that of the continent’s patron saint, Benedict of Nursia. But if the numbers of the faithful in Europe as Benedict leaves officeare fewer than when he was elected, then – surveys repeatedly indicated – it is in large part because of anger and despair in the Catholic laity over the sex abuse scandals.

When the abuse story broke in Boston — and Boston was the first place to really connect it to the bishops’ power rather than individual priests’ horrifying crimes — I said to someone at the time that this was the end of the Catholic Church in this country.

I didn’t think, even then, that it would be the end of the Catholic Church everywhere. But they managed to fuck this up in every way it could be fucked up, and then be assholes about being called on it, over and over and over. You might survive with total transparency, a full house-cleaning, and a true lack of whining, but that wasn’t in these guys’ DNA.

And by the by, these are not “scandals.” A scandal is where a senator gets caught with a hooker. These are “criminal conspiracy to conceal child rape.” Somehow, not as fun.


15 thoughts on “Does He See the RICO Case Coming?

  1. No pope, radio.
    Benedict is also finding that his funds are being cut off by Italian banks.
    Since he’s been immune to prosecution as a head of state, his stepping down and thus back into the line of fire suggests that Vatican City is being scrutinized for crimes against humanity by other sovereign powers.
    Benedict is an ex-Nazi. He knows impending war when he sees it.

  2. Damn straight.
    Every photo of Joey Ratz should be captioned “Christ, what an asshole.”

  3. Having said that, I am shocked at the resignation. John Paul II carried on long past the time he should have stepped down, and I thought Benedict would do the same.

  4. Listened to an arch catholic supporter of Bendict’s, speaking to the BBC today, about his “wisdom” in stepping down so that a new pope could have a really good long run. They brought up the sex abuse scandal to her and she gleefully threw it back in the BBC’s face as an example of Benedict’s greatness because he, essentially, “confounded his enemies in the media” by rhetorically accepting some level of blame when they thought he was “finished” and that catholicism would “suffer” because of the scandal. The burnt bone deep horror of Benedict and the Bishops own complicity in the abuse had completely escaped her in her enthusiasm for seeing the church’s real enemies (the media, non catholics) temporarily set back on their heels. It was a real revelation in the shallowness and bureauctraic focus of the kind of catholicism she relished (she had converted from anglicanism to catholicism and was a retired conservative MP so she chose catholicism with a full understanding of its flaws and clearly found them features, not bugs, of her new religion.) Nothing so damning as listening to a true believer express, naievly, the thing they truly believe in: power, lust, authority over people, suffering, and love.

  5. power, lust, authority over people, suffering, and love
    Otherwise known as the history of an organized power structure the first instinct of which is always to protect itself. Power and love look the same in that mirror.

  6. Lex, I think you’re on to something. It could get awkward if the Pope can never leave Vatican City, but an ex-Pope can stay there.

  7. If you break open the vatican vaults, they’d find a statue of a chicken with a dick for a beak.
    That’s not a joke or anything. There really is supposed to be a dickfaced chicken statue.

  8. And by the by, these are not “scandals.” A scandal is where a senator gets caught with a hooker. These are “criminal conspiracy to conceal child rape.”

  9. What would happen if the European Union decided to conduct full-fledged investigations on behalf of its member law enforcement groups, found the Vatican guilty, and started with the asset forfeiture proceedings?
    First they came for the drug dealers…

  10. When Benny served as head of the CDF under JPII, all the investigations of “delicta graviora” from around the world crossed his desk. He was the final arbiter on matters of clerical misconduct. He failed in his role by squelching secular prosecutions of the crimes and continued to do so a Pöpenführer. His leaving will likely not change the church’s stance on priestly sexual crimes.
    It’s time to rescind the Lateran Accords of 1929. When Il Duce died, the Accords should have died with him.
    The Vatican should be considered no more than a place where the magnificent St Peters Basilica sits and where the head of the RCC resides. It shouldn’t be a city-state with sovereign rights.

  11. Child abuse and cover-up in the Roman Catholic Church were first revealed in south Louisiana even earlier than the big story in Boston, but the national media gave the story little coverage. I suppose the newspeople thought the abuse was confined to the backward crazies in the Lafayette and Houma/Thibodaux areas. I left the church, not only over the child abuse, but especially over the cover-up. The Diocese of Houma/Thibodaux is small, and I knew too much about the cover-up and paying victims to keep silent that I decided to leave the church, and I have not looked back. If I had not left then, back around 1996, I would have found lots of reasons to make my departure since then.

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