Vatican priorities chapter 2

Right, the Vatican and the pope and secrecy and what oh what is the catholic church supposed to do about all these priests having sex with children. Wikipedia provides a parallel translation of Crimen sollicitationis, with a little commentary. Clearly the subject is using the ‘sacrament of Penance to make sexual advances to penitents’; that’s the crime, that’s the accusation at issue, that’s the problem. It’s a church thing. And one bit of the commentary reveals the…weirdness.

Except in connection with the sacrament of Penance, canon law imposed no legal obligation – though a moral one might exist – to denounce clerics guilty of engaging in or attempting a homosexual act; but the procedure described in Crimen sollicitationis was to be followed also in dealing with such accusations (71-72). And any gravely sinful external obscene act with prepubescent children of either sex or with animals engaged in or attempted by a cleric was to be treated, for its penal effects, as equivalent to an actual or attempted homosexual act (73).

If you read that carefully it bcomes clear that the issue is the priest, and the priest’s sin, and obscenity. It’s about the priest being dirty. It’s not about the priest harming anyone else. It’s dirty nasty sinny – it’s equivalent to an actual or attempted homosexual act. Eric pointed this out in comments, and there it is, spelled out. It’s not about harm, it’s about smut. It’s not about others, it’s about the self. It’s not altruistic or compassionate or even basically minimally decent, it’s self-regarding and self-protective and self-obsessed (the ‘self’ here being the church and the priesthood in general).

So no, I have no immediate plans to withdraw anything I’ve said about the pope. On the contrary, I’m learning that I haven’t yet understood how twisted and impervious they really are.

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