The NEW Illustrated Guide to Mendacity and Folly in the 21st Century.
Posted on | March 18, 2010 | No CommentsWhenever a coverup starts getting uncovered, the big question that always arises is about the boy at the top. OK Girl at the top too, corruption is an equal opportunity employer. The question is, “What did they know and when did they know it?” In other words, were they involved in the coverup, or were they just clueless schmucks. Warren G. Harding was a clueless schmuck. He let his people organize Teapot Dome AND let them talk him into appointing just the right people to look the other way without any idea that these guys were not just great guys to have a poker game with. Richard Nixon, on the other hand, knew a lot about the Watergate break-in from the moment the “plumbers” were arrested and they were arrested doing a job that he’d authorized in principle.
So we come to the Church and its seemingly endless abuse scandal. Seemingly endless because although the cases of abuse are all relatively recent, there’s no way of knowing just how far back this abuse had been part of the Church under-culture. Certainly Catholic schools always had the reputation of “beating kids into shape,” but before the 20th C, it was generally accepted as a given that some kids needed “molding” in that manner and that all kids stood to need a whuppin’ now and then just to remind them of their place. But we’ve pretty much abandoned that in Western society for some time now. And the abuse we’re talking about is not just physical punishment, but sexual abuse as well.
Anyway, for the last few years it seems that every time you turn around, another country has uncovered physical and sexual abuse carried out by priests, nuns, brothers, teachers, etc.. And finally it has hit Germany, where the Pope Benedict was a bishop and later cardinal and where his brother Georg Raztinger directed a choir for a good 20 years, and guess what? Allegations of abuse has rizz! Not about Georg, who seems to have done nothing untoward except slap the boys around a bit, but who, of course, had no idea that any sexual abuse was going on by his subordinates.
And naturally, brother Joseph, now Pope B, had no idea of it either, nor of abuse going on in his diocese, even though he’d issued a directive to treat these cases with “confidentiality.” I guess confidentiality includes not telling your boss something smells under the woodwork. Right now, Irish bookmakers have sliced the odds against his early retirement.
Now, the rather conservative Cardinal Schönborn has suggested that in light of these scandals, perhaps it’s time to examine the celibacy rule. The Vatican says no, nothing to do with it. While I normally hate to agree with the Vatican, it’s undoubtedly true that priests aren’t abusing children because they can’t get any in a normal fashion. A molester is a predator who tries to get into a position of trust and power IN ORDER to abuse it. There are probably as many abusers outside the Church as in–it’s the hypocrisy of the ones inside of it that makes this such a scandal.
However, the Cardinal is right in a more roundabout way. Right now, no one with normal sexual urges wants to become a priest. That cuts out a big swath of your non-insane employment pool. The eastern churches have married priests, the Roman church only adopted celibacy as a requirement in their holier-than-thou Middle Ages. And they knocked that requirement off for eastern and Anglican churches that re-established communion with Rome.
But if it does happen, it ain’t gonna happen soon. And I don’t think that Joe Ratzinger will resign either–if he weathered the Hitler Youth problem, the scandal has gotta get closer to home than a bunch of maybes.