Thursday, April 08, 2010

Vatican Abuse: Follow the Money

Andrew Sullivan, a pained and idiosyncratic but still religious Catholic, has been following the priest abuse scandal with the kind of serious reporting nobody else is doing. In his 'How long has this been going on?' series he demolishes the 'It's the iniquitous modern world's fault' argument the Vatican has been trying to push.

His readers have been writing in, new ones every day, detailing stories of abuse by priests over the decades and centuries. Rape and torture of children by priests has been gong on for centuries its only started getting reported in the last few years as the church loses its stranglehold of unquestioned authority over its flock.

Now he does a huge piece on the most unreported element of the story. The money, in the form of thick wads of unmarked bills in plain brown envelopes to cardinals, bishops and other Vatican authorities that blocked oversight and protected abusers.
Struggling to give context to the donations, this cleric continued: "You're saying these laypeople are good and fervent, it's good for them to meet the pope. The expression is opera carita -- 'We're making an offering for your works of charity.' That's the way it's done. In fact you don't know where the money's going." He paused. "It's an elegant way of giving a bribe." ...
When Martínez Somalo, a Spaniard, became head of the congregation overseeing religious in 1994, Maciel dispatched a priest to Martínez Somalo's home. The young priest carried an envelope thick with cash. "I didn't bat an eye," he recalled. "I went up to his apartment, handed him the envelope, said goodbye. ... It was a way of making friends, insuring certain help if it were needed, oiling the cogs."
Another critical figure who was the recipient of vast amounts of Legion money was Cardinal Sodano. Sodano was critical to fending off investigation of Maciel once formal charges were brought in 1998:
"Cardinal Sodano was the cheerleader for the Legion," said one of the ex-Legionaries. "He'd come give a talk at Christmas and they'd give him $10,000." Another priest recalled a $5,000 donation to Sodano.
Sodano was also the key Vatican figure who this Easter derided the latest stories of abuse as "petty gossip" and declared the church united in defending the Pope. He has refused to answer Berry's questions about the Legion's cash gifts to him over the years.
So this multiple rapist and bigamist essentially got away with his crimes because he bought silence from key Vatican officials, at the very least by ingratiating himself by donating huge amounts to the church and at the very most by directly bribing key officials with envelopes stuffed with cash.


La Coccinelle said...

I feel like screaming every time I read about this subject.

It just makes me relive things I don't want to think about. The crimes men commit in the name of God...I guess these fat fucks sitting up in the Vatican must not really believe in the God they worship. If you want proof that religion is nothing more than a machine meant to oppress and generate blind submission this is it.

They really must not believe in their God and their hell if they act with impunity.

Bruno said...

It’s odd that anyone should be surprised at the current sexual child abuse scandal engulfing the Catholic Church. It should not be surprising because for anyone who knows the history of the Church, rampant sexual abuses of all kinds were quite commonplace for centuries. During the Middle Ages the Church had absolute power over people, and the people had no power at all to do anything, nor anyone to complain to. One can only imagine the lurid events in convents, monasteries, abbeys and other houses of God. That clergy went on doing this until the present time is only natural.

The trouble for the Church is, these days the environment outside the Church is different. A priest can no longer do as he pleases with the boys in church because these days the child can speak out without fear of being flogged by his parents, or bringing shame to the family, or excommunication, or even a visit to an Inquisition dungeon. So, the only difference between now and the 14th century is that now there’s an open press, a somewhat liberal society, and an inexorable distancing from religion and thus from the despotic yoke of the Church.

But no one should expect the Pope to make the right thing now, namely defrock these pederast priests and hand them over to the civil authorities for prosecution, because that is not what popes do. No, popes do not have the interests of Justice and the victims in mind, they have the interests of the Holy Church in mind, and that means thinking in the long term. And when it comes to thinking ahead and thinking of what will be best for the Church in the long term, the answer is always demurrals, delays, silence, and stonewalling for decades—even generations—until there’s no one alive who lived through the events in question, and the events are forgotten by all except some historians. By the time they narrate the events in history books, the people are so detached that the stories sound almost quaint. It’s like stories of the massacres perpetrated by Catholics in the name of religion during the Crusades or even the Religious Wars. Or the tortures and persecutions of the Inquisition. Who is revolted by these things these days? We would if they had just happened. But we are not because they happened so long ago that we tend to view them in the same way as the barbarous actions of any people in antiquity. This is the strategy of silent popes. It has worked wonderfully for the Church in the past. It’s up to right minded people today to prevent it from working for them again.

Gabriel Wilensky
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How Christian Teachings About Jews Paved the Road to the Holocaust
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deBeauxOs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
deBeauxOs said...

I wonder if SUZY ALL-CAPS and her buddy John 'Sperm Holocaust' Pacheco will blame the Internet.

If only the Vatican Taliban had purchased the World Wide Web, none of this information about Church complicity would be MASSIVELY available because it could be controled by their own.

WV: phisc

How appropriate!

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