Should There Be an Inquisition for the Pope

Yes, and more. Secular punishment for criminals who hide behind religion.

Church Heavies - Roof of St. Peters, Vatican City 1993

MoDo writes:

It doesn’t seem right that the Catholic Church is spending Holy Week practicing the unholy art of spin.

Complete with crown-of-thorns imagery, the church has started an Easter public relations blitz defending a pope who went along with the perverse culture of protecting molesters and the church’s reputation rather than abused — and sometimes disabled and disadvantaged — children.

The church gave up its credibility for Lent. Holy Thursday and Good Friday are now becoming Cover-Up Thursday and Blame-Others Friday.

This week of special confessions and penance services is unfolding as the pope resists pressure from Catholics around the globe for his own confession and penance about the cascade of child sexual abuse cases that were ignored, even by a German diocese and Vatican office he ran.

If church fund-raising and contributions dry up, Benedict’s P.R. handlers may yet have to stage a photo-op where he steps out of the priest’s side of the confessional and enters the side where the rest of his fallible flock goes.

Or maybe 30-second spots defending the pope with Benedict’s voice intoning at the end: “I am infallible, and I approve this message.”

[Click to continue reading Maureen Dowd – Should There Be an Inquisition for the Pope? –]

And remove the Church’s tax-exempt status while we’re at it. Criminal organizations shouldn’t get special concessions from the government.


Dowd refutes the six PR strategies the Catholic Church and its supporters are using, but bottom line is that nobody should be exempt from laws of Caesar, even and especially the Pope.

5 thoughts on “Should There Be an Inquisition for the Pope

  1. Michael says:

    On Fr. Murphy, the abuser of deaf children in Wisconsin, Dowd does not get her facts straight. And the NYT was NOT reliable on this story. Of course, their reporting is repeated in many other places, but that does not make it true.

    Please read the following and then form a reasoned judgment:

    (This can be verified by reading the documents on the NYT’s own website, carefully.)

    Let’s begin by getting the facts straight.

  2. So you say, but what about the larger point? Shouldn’t criminals be prosecuted as criminals in civil court? Raping and torturing young boys is a heinous crime, or don’t you agree?

  3. also, your National Review link goes nowhere specific, other than the obnoxious bile spewed by those folk. If you meant to link to a specific article, please do, I’d like to read why torture and rape of small children, deaf children at that, is not really a crime in the eyes of the Church.

  4. Beth says:

    While I agree completely that in the interest of fair journalism, Fr. Thomas Brundage should be interviewed regarding the trial of Fr. Murphy, I do have a problem with the way the victims are also being re-victimized. And while you can say “something was done” in this particular case, you can also fairly say “not enough was done”.

    So, let’s discuss “truth” in the simplest terms.
    * Children placed in the care of adults in a position of authority were sexually abused – this violated the trust the parents/children had placed in the church and its leaders.
    * Known pedophiles were moved to different diocese instead of being defrocked to avoid embarrassment to the church. In this regard, the church was more concerned with potential scandal than with the victims.
    * By moving these pedophiles, the church willfully endangered other congregation member’s children. I think any lay psychologist would agree that a change of location isn’t really a deterrent to a pedophile.

    And while it is interesting that Fr. Murphy was to be judged for his actions, the fact remains that more and more accusations of pedophilia within the church are coming to light as the victims, once shamed into silence, feel more empowered. These issues need to be addressed by the church and not swept under a rug.

    If the church wants to remain relevant to its congregation huge changes need to be made. 1) Pope Benedict XVI needs to acknowledge that mistakes were made and at the very least extend apologies to the victims for the failure of the church to protect them. The Pope, even if you believe he is the voice of God on Earth, is still a man and men are fallible. He is not “less” by merely acknowledging huge mistakes were made by the church, which came from his office. The victims are owed an apology, at the very least. 2) There should no longer be a vow of celibacy – there wasn’t one before the 10th century, there’s nothing in the Bible that requires this particular sacrifice; however, there are passages that expressly cover sin and the acts these priests have committed. There is no absolution for these repeated acts, because there is no contrition – these are criminals hiding behind vestments who are are allowed to continue at the expense of the faith of the congregation members who entrust them with their children. Why is faith less important to the church than covering criminal acts and sexual deviancy? I believe if you remove this one vow, you will dramatically change the make-up of the people who come to the clergy, because let’s face it, some sexual predators have chosen this profession where they can both hide and thrive. Why shouldn’t they when the church appears to be saying “oh, you like touching boys? Well, here’s a little slap on the wrist and we’ll move you some place where there are NEW boys who are hopefully less vocal – that sure can be embarrassing” and while the church has more recently attempted to change that, the “truth” is that it has happened and at the expense of some of the most vulnerable members within the church.

    So, whether a particular trial of a handful of priests has occurred or not, the “truth” is there are victims, victims who continue to be re-victimized by a church who in some cases has chosen to protect the predators – predators who have continued to assault their congregations. I thought the role of the church was to act as guides, not to defame and abuse the youths who were violated by their leaders. The church needs to acknowledge mistakes, the church needs to make radical and transparent changes in dealing with pedophiles and the church needs to stop abusing the victims for telling their story.

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