Fair. Balanced. American.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Right wing Catholic strikes back

Against the libertines who are attacking the Pope.
I don’t understand. You claim to not believe in objective moral standards, then you arbitrarily make up your own.

And what about consenting teenagers? Are consenting teenagers allowed to have sex? Because according to you sexual revolution types, they are, and most of the victims in these cases were teenagers.


Anonymous said...

"Going Ratzinger" used to mean dressing up in Prada under purple robes. Now it could mean beating the hell out of teenage castratis. Are there two more brothers in the family who can come out?

Der Bruden Ratzinger im:

Das Volk auf Das Dorf!

John C. Hathaway said...

Thank you for the link, but please be more forthright in context.

My response to the spurious allegations against Pope Benedict is that they are spurious:

1. He may or may not have signed off on a decision to transfer an accused pedophile that was made by the parochial vicar of Munich when Ratzinger was archbishop (as archbishops delegate most of their day-to-day responsibilities). This decision, as with most of the controversial transfers, was in keeping with standard professional and psychological practice of the day, not just among priests but among all professions.

2. He issued a directive in 2001 calling for priests not to cooperate in media investigations.

3. His brother boxed some kids' ears in a time when all teachers engaged in corporal punishment, a practice whose abandonment may well be a huge factor in the sad state of contemporary youth.

The quotation in question was not directly in response to media attacks on the pope, but in response to a particular commentor on my blog.

Sini said...

There is nothing wrong with reserving judgment based on insufficient information. Sometimes it is risky, of course, as we found with John Paul II favorite Marcial Maciel. Surely, then, what is really needed is an investigation into these matters by law enforcement professionals. I'm assuming that you're willing to let the chips fall where they may?

John C. Hathaway said...

Yes, but I think the matter has been fairly thoroughly investigated, and the whole thing amounts to a witch hunt. There's also something called ex post facto: you can't judge the standards of 30 years ago by the standards of today. You have to judge 30 years ago by 30 years ago.

Sini said...

Believe it or not, I actually agree with that, at least to a certain extent. The Pope's primary PR problem stems from perceptions that there is an ongoing coverup of the Pope's work as archbishop, which would make him just as much of a problematic figure as the now disgraced cardinal in Ireland.

Therefore, the only thing the Pope has to authorize is an open examination of all archdiocese documents by state authorities. Having the German state involved would avoid problems of confidentiality and any kind of media witch hunt, particularly given the higher standards of privacy prevalent in Europe. At the same time, it would satisfy the public for once and for all that the Pope's record as archbishop was clean.

We are in an age in which all manner of things that were formerly secret are coming out. I don't doubt that this type of abuse went on for centuries before these recent papacies. But there was no recourse, and things remained secret. Recent events have shown this is no longer possible. The Church's best defense is transparency in the two matters that most corrupt a priesthood: money and sex. Which, as we have seen in the case of Marcial Maciel and others, were related. The harder it becomes for these two temptations to enter the realm of the priesthood, the better off the Church will be.

I think you will actually agree with me on most of these points. The problem, however, is that the strategy for achieving these points will be seen (particularly by elements in the Vatican bureaucracy) as impinging on Church sovereignty. The longer the Church holds out on transparency in its finances and historical records, the harder it will be to clear this hurdle. In its absence, every additional allegation, and it's hard to see how there won't be new ones in the coming months, will renew pressure on the Vatican, and diminish the power of this papacy.