Ratzinger’s finest hour

Brothers and sisters, join with me once again in reading the holy and most sanctified letter of the bishop of Rome to his beloved members of The Church in Ireland, and see with your own weeping eyes how he places all the blame gently but firmly on them, pretending with all the oiliness of a can of sardines and all the unction of a tube of BenGay that the higher ups in Rome knew nothing whatever about it and were going about their business in innocent piety and pious innocence while those Celtic ruffians were making a dog’s breakfast of things over there on the edge of the known world. We have read it before, my dear siblings, we read it when it was first issuéd last March, when the shit first hit the whirling blades of the air-circulator, but let us read it again, that its wisdom and compassion may strengthen us in these our great tribulations and griefs as we behold the agony of our Irish flock.

Part 11: To my brother bishops

It cannot be denied that some of you and your predecessors failed, at times grievously, to apply the long-established norms of canon law to the crime of child abuse. Serious mistakes were made in responding to allegations. I recognize how difficult it was to grasp the extent and complexity of the problem, to obtain reliable information and to make the right decisions in the light of conflicting expert advice. Nevertheless, it must be admitted that grave errors of judgement were made and failures of leadership occurred. All this has seriously undermined your credibility and effectiveness. I appreciate the efforts you have made to remedy past mistakes and to guarantee that they do not happen again. Besides fully implementing the norms of canon law in addressing cases of child abuse, continue to cooperate with the civil authorities in their area of competence. Clearly, religious superiors should do likewise. They too have taken part in recent discussions here in Rome with a view to establishing a clear and consistent approach to these matters. It is imperative that the child safety norms of the Church in Ireland be continually revised and updated and that they be applied fully and impartially in conformity with canon law.

Is that not touching and holy and beautiful? You would not know butter had ever melted in the mouth of the utterer. You would not know he had ever had the faintest idea that priests had been raping children in Ireland. You would not know he had known all about it for years and years or that he knew perfectly well that it was the church in Rome itself that told the Irish bishops to keep the whole mess in house or else.

Ad maiorem dei gloriam, my dear siblings.

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