In analyzing Pope Benedict's role in the catastrophic sexual abuse scandal, we need to ask: what did he know and when did he know it?
In his former job as head of the Sacred Congregation of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger issued a letter to the bishops that put sexual abuse cases under pontifical secrecy which meant the bishops were obliged to refer clergy sexual abuse cases to the Vatican.
We need answers to some questions about these secret Vatican trials:
1.Were the victims of sexual abuse present at these trials?
2.Were the accused clergy present?
3. If not, how could the Vatican claim that justice was done, if neither victim nor accused, were present? How could any procedure, canonical or not, be fair?
4.How many priests were "defrocked" as a result of this canonical procedure?
5.How many priests were excommunicated?
In discussing the handling of pedophile priests, Father Lombardi said that “the Code of Canon Law does not envision automatic penalties.” (NY Times article, 25 March)
The Vatican apparently has no problem applying “automatic penalties” of ex-communication on Roman Catholic Womenpriests whose mission is to serve the people of God in a renewed priestly ministry. Why has the Vatican failed to punish, in a similar way, pedophile priests and bishops who shuffled abusers from parish to parish. In some cases, bishops, like Cardnal Law, even got top jobs in the Vatican.
The people in Ireland are calling for Cardinal Sean Brady's resignation because of his involvement in a sex abuse scandal. Likewise, Catholics who love the church should demand a top-down shakeup of prelates who were involved in the coverup.
I agree with those who say it is time a major Church Council "Vatican 111". It is time to eliminate mandatory celibacy, and embrace a renewed vision of ministry that would include the non-ordained in decision-making positions as well as married priests and woman priests. We need a more open, participatory, people-empowered, Christ-centered, Spirit led church and we need it now. Only a new Pentecost of genuine renewal and major reforms will save the Catholic Church.
A Nope for Pope
By MAUREEN DOWD
Yup, we need a Nope.A nun who is pope.
"The Catholic Church can never recover as long as its Holy Shepherd is seen as a black sheep in the ever-darkening sex abuse scandal...
The nuns have historically cleaned up the messes of priests. And this is a historic mess. Benedict should go home to Bavaria. And the cardinals should send the white smoke up the chimney, proclaiming “Habemus Mama.” "
Maureen Dowd hit another homerun with this column! Several of the nuns I know would make wonderful popes. Some in the Catholic reform movement think that Sister Joan Chittister qualifies for the job. Now, that there are womenprests, one day in the far distant future, there could be a woman pope!! Then, for sure, there will be pink smoke over the Vatican!