The Roman Catholic Church continues to suffer from twp huge PR problems: (i) the ongoing sexual abuse scandal that continues to show itself to be a global problem and (ii) the failure of the Vatican to take severe disciplinary action against any of the bishops and cardinals who engaged in deliberate cover ups and obstruction of justice. The second problems may likely stem from the fact that these bishops and cardinals were following orders from the Vatican. This conclusion is hard to escape when the Church in what I deem absolute idiocy has moved to canonize Pope John Paul II who oversaw the worst years of the sex abuse scandal explosion and did absolutely NOTHING to punish the high clerics involved (unless one considers being called to Rome, given a plum assignment and rendered outside the arm of extradition laws a punishment). In a column in the New York Times Maureen Dowd lets loose on the canonization of the anything but saintly John Paul II. Here are excerpts:
There were some disturbing elements to the Easter Mass I attended at Nativity, my childhood church. The choral director sang “Amazing Grace” to the tune of “Danny Boy.” The pews were half-empty on the church’s most sacred day.But it was most upsetting as a prelude to next Sunday. In an unprecedented double pontiff canonization, Pope John Paul II will be enshrined as a saint in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Basilica.The Vatican had a hard time drumming up the requisite two miracles when Pope Benedict XVI, known as John Paul’s Rasputin and enforcer of the orthodoxy, waived the traditional five-year waiting period and rushed to canonize his mentor. But the real miracle is that it will happen at all. John Paul was a charmer, and a great man in many ways. But given that he presided over the Catholic Church during nearly three decades of a gruesome pedophilia scandal and grotesque cover-up, he ain’t no saint.John Paul deserves major credit for his role in the downfall of Communism. Even though neocon Catholics who idolize and whitewash John Paul don’t like to dwell on it, he also directed consistent and withering moral criticism at the excesses of capitalism long before Pope Francis did.Perhaps trying to balance the choice of John Paul, who made conservatives jump for joy because he ran a Vatican that tolerated no dissent, the newly christened Pope Francis tried to placate progressives by cutting the miracle requirement from two to one to rush John XXIII’s canonization.One of John Paul’s great shames was giving Vatican sanctuary to Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, a horrendous enabler of child abuse who resigned in disgrace in 2002 as archbishop of Boston. Another unforgivable breach was the pope’s stubborn defense of the dastardly Mexican priest Marcial Maciel Degollado, a pedophile, womanizer, embezzler and drug addict.As Jason Berry wrote last year in Newsweek, Father Maciel “was the greatest fund-raiser for the postwar Catholic Church and equally its greatest criminal.” His order, the Legionaries of Christ, which he ran like a cult and ATM for himself and the Vatican for 65 years, denounced him posthumously in February for his “reprehensible and objectively immoral behavior.”The statement followed a United Nations report upbraiding the church for turning a blind eye to child abuse by priests and the sins of Father Maciel, who had serially abused adolescent seminarians, some as young as 12, and had several children with at least two women. His sons also claimed he abused them.It is wonderful that John Paul told other societies, Communist and capitalist, to repent. But his tragedy is that he never corrected the failings of his own society, over which he ruled absolutely.The church is giving its biggest prize to the person who could have fixed the spreading stain and did nothing. The buck, or in this case, the Communion wafer, doesn’t stop here. There is something wounding and ugly about the church signaling that those thousands of betrayed, damaged victims are now taken for granted as a slowly fading asterisk.John Paul may be a revolutionary figure in the history of the church, but a man who looked away in a moral crisis cannot be described as a saint.When the church elevates him, it is winking at the hell it caused for so many children and young people in its care.
Unless and until Pope Francis sacks countless bishops and cardinals his PR efforts will ultimately be little more than smoke and mirrors and the Church leadership in the end will remain morally bankrupt.