I am shocked, shocked, that there is child-rape going on in this establishment

So the pope is doing the ostentatious hand-washing thing – though of course it would be impolite to murmur anything about Pontius Pilate.

Pope Benedict XVI will today complete his interrogation of Ireland’s 24 bishops before pontificating on one of the most shocking clerical scandals of recent times: the extensive sexual abuse of children by Irish priests and the pervasive campaign to conceal it…The Pope has said he is “disturbed and distressed” by the abuse in Ireland and shares the “outrage, betrayal and shame” felt by the Irish people…Observers note that widespread abuse of children by priests is not unique to Ireland.

To put it mildly. But what fewer observers seem to be noting is the absurdity of the pope’s display of shock-horror now. As I have mentioned before, the pope’s pretense of outrage now sits uneasily with that order he issued in 2001 when he was still just Joe Ratzinger.

…an order ensuring the church’s investigations into child sex abuse claims be carried out in secret. The order was made in a confidential letter, obtained by The Observer, which was sent to every Catholic bishop in May 2001. It asserted the church’s right to hold its inquiries behind closed doors and keep the evidence confidential for up to 10 years after the victims reached adulthood. The letter was signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

That order. One wonders if any of the Irish bishops are shouting about that letter while the pope shouts at them for obeying it, or are they just sitting quietly while he goes through the motions because all of them know perfectly well it’s a charade, not to say a pageant, and that they just have to read their lines and be done with it.

Yet these are the people who claim the right to tell everyone how to be good. These thugs who fiddle with children and then protect each other as long as they can get away with it, and by way of rest and relaxation tell the people of Africa not to use condoms. With friends like thse who needs the Mafia?!

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