Discussion in 'Letting Off Steam' started by cremeegg, 21 May 2018.
Try here. There was a higher rate among teachers, and among men in general.
Not being the trial judge doesn’t mean they were only responsible for doctrinal issues.
Because I think that the institution of the Church became more important than the message.
I believe that he intervened in cases in which he knew those involved or where representations were made by people he know.
His actions as Pope suggest otherwise to me. His instructions to the Irish bishops suggest otherwise.
I’m just asking for your opinion on the matter as it is pertinent to the discussion and contextualises your comments.
The issue is the cover up by the institutional Church, not the abuse by its members. That’s what sets it apart.
Your second to last post is supposition and innuendo and I don't have time to refute stuff for which the evidence is all in the public domain. Anyone interested in determining the truth in good faith can find it.
There's plenty of institutional blame at diocesan level. But the whole nonsensical and tiresome "rotten to the core and utterly morally bankrupt" argument depends on pinning the blame at the very top. That's when we depart from the real world and enter Dan Brown territory.
I think you are well and truly in the realm of fantasy if you think that this Pope or the last Pope or the one before him were unaware of serious and widespread child abuse allegations and accusations of endemic cover-up by priests, bishops and cardinals.
To suggest that anyone who thinks that this Pope or the last Pope or the one before him were in a position to do more to protect children but didn’t, intervened in particular cases and steered the direction of the Church's reaction to the accusations in order to protect the Church and not the alleged victims is in “Dan Brown territory” is ludicrous.
Accusations of child sex abuse by priests have been around for generations. Popes were issuing decrees in the matter in the 16th century. Even if Ratzinger, by some perverse miracle, only became aware of those accusations in 2001 all he did was try to handle it within the confines of the RC Church. That in itself is utterly damning. He didn’t insist that every accusation be handed to the civil authorities in the countries in which the accusations were made. He had the files sent to him so that he could decide. At every stage those at the top in the Vatican tried to make sure that they were in control, even though it was a criminal matter within the individual countries in question.
Anyone in the corridors of power in the Vatican would have to have been blind and deaf to not know what was happening in the RC Church in Ireland and the USA and Australia and elsewhere. The Buck stops at the top; the people with the knowledge and the power to do the right thing by vulnerable children, to live by the Christian message, chose to protect their institution instead. I don’t know if that sort of rot is “to the core” but if it was an apple I wouldn’t eat it.
That’s a very weak response.
I asked you “Are you suggesting that the specific accusations of cover ups made against Ratzinger prior to 2001 are false and if so what evidence do you have to support that?” You have continuously refused to answer that question. Do you consider that to be supposition and innuendo as well?
Indeed they can.
This article from 2003 outlines details of the document sent in 1962, with the seal of Pope John XXIII, instructing all Bishops to keep all allegations of sexual abuse by clergy secret and threatens those who speak out with excommunication.
From the link;
"The document, which has been confirmed as genuine by the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, is called 'Crimine solicitationies', which translates as 'instruction on proceeding in cases of solicitation'.
It focuses on sexual abuse initiated as part of the confessional relationship between a priest and a member of his congregation. But the instructions also cover what it calls the 'worst crime', described as an obscene act perpetrated by a cleric with 'youths of either sex or with brute animals (bestiality)'.
Bishops are instructed to pursue these cases 'in the most secretive way... restrained by a perpetual silence... and everyone... is to observe the strictest secret which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office... under the penalty of excommunication'."
The "Holy Office" is short for Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office and is what the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was called at the time. That's where Ratzinger worked before he became Pope.
Tell me again how he knew nothing about the abuse and how all the changed he made weren't reactive in order to try to protect the Church.
From the article;
"British lawyer Richard Scorer, who acts for children abused by Catholic priests in the UK, echoes this view and has described the document as 'explosive'.
He said: 'We always suspected that the Catholic Church systematically covered up abuse and tried to silence victims. This document appears to prove it. Threatening excommunication to anybody who speaks out shows the lengths the most senior figures in the Vatican were prepared to go to prevent the information getting out to the public domain.'
Scorer pointed out that as the documents dates back to 1962 it rides roughshod over the Catholic Church's claim that the issue of sexual abuse was a modern phenomenon."
"Texan lawyer Daniel Shea uncovered the document as part of his work for victims of abuse from Catholic priests in the US. He has handed it over to US authorities, urging them to launch a federal investigation into the clergy's alleged cover-up of sexual abuse.
He said: 'These instructions went out to every bishop around the globe and would certainly have applied in Britain. It proves there was an international conspiracy by the Church to hush up sexual abuse issues. It is a devious attempt to conceal criminal conduct and is a blueprint for deception and concealment.'"
Link to original pdf
It purports to do so, but it is a seriously crazy misrepresentation.
Those instructions refer to a tribunal constituted under canon law. Of course the proceedings are to be treated as confidential, like any proceedings held in camera would be in a civil court of law. It doesn't mean there couldn't be a separate civil proceeding, or that a cleric couldn't give evidence at one. It simply means that the proceedings of the canonical case are confidential.
The inference about the "secret of the Holy Office" is Dan Brown-esque territory. It doesn't, nor could it possibly, mean that the Holy Office is the secret repository of all these proceedings. It's quite explicit that in the normal course of events, the matters are to be dealt with by the local bishop. The Holy Office (now CDF) has no involvement at all, except to be informed of the outcome. The suggestion that Ratzinger or his predecessors personally presided over every case and prohibited dioceses from dealing with civil authorities is simply wrong (although I'll come back to the civil authorities bit). If you haven't read the full document, you should. The Guardian article is a caricature.
Wikipedia also has a thorough summary and analysis that is worth reading. It includes the opinion (and only an opinion) that: "There is no basis to assume that the Holy See envisioned this process to be a substitute for any secular legal process, criminal or civil. It is also incorrect to assume, as some have unfortunately done, that these two Vatican documents are proof of a conspiracy to hide sexually abusive priests or to prevent the disclosure of sexual crimes committed by clerics to secular authorities". The article includes a section on the involvement of the Holy See.
My own opinion, as I've said, is that the focus on Crimen sollicitationis as a "smoking gun" is silly. And it's really unnecessary unless you're determined to try to stick it to the pope himself. The cover-ups by certain dioceses are beyond dispute, and as far as I'm concerned the bishops concerned ought to be rotting in jail. In retrospect I also think Crimen sollicitationis is guilty of naivety where it discusses recidivism, as the extremely high chance of recidividism in certain types of sexual offending is not addressed. (Though I'm also not sure how this applies to homosexual ephebophilia which is what the majority of the clerical sex crimes were).
Who said that Ratzinger or his predecessors personally presided over every case?
The accusation is that they set the policy, not that they implemented it in most cases.
The idea that cover-ups only happened at diocesan level and the successive Popes and those in the Vatican were unaware of the issues is just ridiculous. The cover-ups were inter-generational and the Pope and senior Bishops and Cardinals in the Vatican came from dioceses around the world; they didn't emerge, perfectly formed, in a bubble in the Vatican.
Anyone can write stuff in Wikipedia.
You still haven't addressed the specific allegations made against Ratzinger, allegations which would speak to his mindset and attitude to such cases.
You did: "I base my view on the fact that Cardinal Ratzinger was head of the of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for 24 years before he became Pope and so just about every accusation of Clerical sex abuse from every corner of the Earth streamed across his desk". Firstly, as we established, the accusations didn't go to Rome to be dealt with, only summary reporting after decisions by local bishops. Secondly, they didn't go to the CDF, they went to the Rota up to 2001. Thirdly, Ratzinger himself requested -- and was granted -- access to cases by the CDF from 2001 because he wanted oversight of the abuse issues and to clean up the act of bishops who were failing in their duties.
You haven't been very clear on what the accusation is. You keep on repeating that I've ignored specific allegations but you haven't said what they are or provided any evidence for them. In fact you've said that I have to provide evidence to negate them. I'd be more than happy to look at whatever you've got as I'm interested in the issue, but not in vague smears or hatchet jobs. Ratzinger's mindset would seem to be attested by his own request to be given control of the situation to clean up the "filth" (as he himself called it).
I'm happy to look at your evidence for that allegation, but your appeal to absurdity isn't evidence.
Anyone can write stuff in the Guardian and in the latter case it's guaranteed to be a handpicked left winger.
So where did I say that Ratzinger or his predecessors personally presided over every case?
Okay, so you finally acknowledge that those in the Vatican were aware of all these cases and how they were being handled. If they were not happy with alleged victims being sworn to secrecy in order to prevent them pursuing civil actions then why, over the course of 40 years, did they not let their subordinate Bishops know?
We've dealt with that.
You are ascribing motive without any evidence.
The accusations are that as the second most powerful man in Pope John Paul II's papacy he could and should have done far more but instead only intervened to support priests who were accused of abuse. Just Google "John Kelly SOCA" for how abuse survivors in Ireland regard Katzinger.
No I haven't. I've asked you for your opinion.
Now you are really being absurd. You've already acknowledged that reports on abuse cases all over the world were being given to the Vatican since the 1960's and that Katzinger saw them all from at least 2001 onward, even if be was blissfully unaware of them before that (maybe he never watched TV or real a Newspaper).
and that makes it wrong?
I strongly suggest that you read the linked pdf. All parties are bound to secrecy, including the accuser (victim) under threat of excommunication. Therefore only the Holy Office can determine if a case should be referred to the civil authorities. This is from the 1960's.
Your post is somewhat vexatious so I'll reply to it in summary. (Btw, I can't tell if your switch to calling the Pope Emeritus Katzinger is intentional or a mistake, but it's pretty weird).
If you are not saying Ratzinger presided over all those cases (even though you did imply that by innuendo) then you also cannot say that he conspired to conceal them from civil authorities. There is nothing in the 1962 instruction that says the civil authorities cannot or should not be notified.
What you refer to as "reports on abuse cases" are not reports, but notifications of outcomes to the Vatican. The details of tribunals are -- according to the instruction that you yourself posted -- to be kept by the local Ordinaries.
I have indeed read the entire instruction, from start to finish. What you seem to be missing is that it deals with the instructions for conducting a canonical tribunal. (Are you forgetting the RCC is worldwide and was operating behind the iron curtain, in Communist China etc. It could have an instruction for its own procedures, but no single instruction could apply to the civil law world wide, then or now). It is entirely independent of any civil proceeding. If the church were to insist on secrecy in its own tribunal extending to a civil matter it would be breaking the civil law. Indeed, that is why it got sued from here to kingdom come when it transpired that some of its functionaries did that.
You say I am "ascribing motive without any evidence" when I say that "Ratzinger himself requested -- and was granted -- access to cases by the CDF from 2001 because he wanted oversight of the abuse issues and to clean up the act of bishops who were failing in their duties". You seem to be confused about the nature of evidence. What I presented was evidence. An inference as to motive is always just that -- an inference. There are no positive proofs about intentionality. If you disagree with the inference then provide your own, taking into account Ratzinger's own statements on his motive.
Whether you are asking me for evidence or for an opinion on pre-2001 events, you'll have to detail what cases you are talking about. And even then I will decline to give you an opinion as you stated that you want it in order to "contextualise my comments". In other words you'd like to check if I'm some kind of rosary-bead-swingin' swivel-eyed catholic reactionary loon. I'm not interested in getting into an identitarian slanging match, any more than I want to know if you are a church-bashing catholic-hating rabble rouser. Let's keep it on a debate level, for as long as both of us are interested.
And your comment about the Guardian is pure trolling. No, an article appearing in the Guardian doesn't make it wrong, just as an article appearing in Wikipedia doesn't make it wrong. Nevertheless, the Guardian is famous for being strongly left-leaning, while the Wikipedia article is footnoted and cross-referenced and can be independently verified.
Cannon Law has no more legal weight in this country, or the USA, Australia, the UK etc, (or Communist China) than the rules of a Golf Club. By swearing victims to secrecy they forced them to not report their abuse to the civil authorities. That was the practice in all of the above countries. Are you seriously suggesting that the exact same interpretation of the 1962 instruction was reached in every country without any guidance from the Vatican, that the Vatican never became aware of that interpretation and that none of the Bishops from any of those countries who ended up working in the Vatican ever mentioned it Ratzinger or JPII or any other Cardinal or Bishop who received any of these reports?
Are you also suggesting that in never occurred to Ratzinger to ask about the details of any case and if he did then how the Church treated the evidence it had gathered never came up?
If he was aware of any of the cover-ups or how the 1962 document was being interpreted in any case and didn't act to change that interpretation then he was part of the cover-up.
Swearing victims to secrecy in the context of a canonical tribunal would have no impact in a civil court. You just said it yourself -- it has no civil legal weight.
I don't think the 1962 document has anything to do with it. I think bishops were too concerned with reputational damage. It doesn't need a giant conspiracy.
You are thinking of it as if Ratzinger is some glorified line manager in Rome with his underlings on speed dial. The church isn't organised like that.
As I said, I don't think the 1962 document has any relevance.
What I think is that the cover-ups and misguided attempts at rehabilitation by bishops were so successful that the vast majority of clergy (let alone the public) had no idea what was going on. Some of it was down to criminal culpability on the part of bishops and much of it down to the church's institutional ineptitude.
Here are two articles from 2010 which I think both reflect the situation. One is from The Times and written by Vincent Nichols, bishop of Westminster, the other from the New York Times.
So you don't think that those same Bishops and priests, upon being promoted/ moved to Rome and gaining offices of influence should have done anything?
Despite the fact they they were running the institution of the Church their actions didn't constitute an institutional cover-up?
You don't think a man of Katzingers intellect was aware of all of this, or at least enough to know what was going on in broad terms?
You don't think that swearing Catholics to secrecy, under threat of excommunication, constituted an attempt to stop them retorting those same allegations to the civil authorities?
I could go on but wow, (to paraphrase) there are none so blind that those who choose to not to see.
The fact you keep referring to "Katzinger" even after being corrected suggests to me you don't know very much about the situation. And you keep arguing from incredulity -- asking me if I really believe 'X', and pretending that is some kind of evidence. Ratzinger was an academic theologian practically his entire life, and went straight from being a professor to a cardinal. He never had any direct pastoral role as a bishop, being briefly the archbishop -- for four years in the 1970s -- of a diocese with three suffragan bishops.
So the guy who was the second most powerful person in the Vatican under JPII and was an influential and powerful figure within the RC Church for decades before that knew nothing about the global story of child sex abuse within the RC Church... sure. He must have not listened to the radio, watches TV or read a newspaper either.
Your position lacks credibility. States of Fear aired in 1999. The Boston Globe's Spotlight report was in 2002. Three Cardinals were implicated in that report. The first criminal investigation into the Mount Cashel Orphanage sex abuse scandal in Newfoundland was conducted in 1975 with a Royal commission set up in 1989 to investigate numerous cover-ups by RC Church and State officials and Police Officers. Ratzinger became Pope in 2005 but if RTE and the Boston Globe knew what was going on, if Cardinals and Bishops were implicated, if cover-ups and collusion were already matters of public record it is not credible to suggest that these issues were not widely known within the hierarchy of the RC Church.
... all of which ties in with Ratzinger's increasing concern leading to his request to handle this issue at the CDF from 2001.
We are just going around in circles now with you refusing to address any of the issues.
There aren't any issues. There's just you claiming the upper echelons of the RC church were in on the act all along. A simple reading is that nobody other than a handful of bishops who should have known better (but were either ignorant or misled about the recidivist nature of the crimes involved) knew the scale of the issue even at individual diocesan levels. When it started to become obvious in the late 90s that there was a hideous problem of world-wide proportions, the church took steps at the highest level to address it.
I think that's a reasonable reading, neither siding with some catholics who swear the whole thing was a plot to discredit the church and, on the other hand, some bitter folks who do actually want to (further) discredit the church and who bang on about sinister secret documents ... and the crusades as well for good measure
Separate names with a comma.