In a stunning almost non-condemnation the Pope finally chimed in on the growing number of pedophilia scandals making headlines around the world.
“As priests we are personally and profoundly afflicted by the sins of some of our brothers who have betrayed the grace of ordination in succumbing even to the most grievous forms of the mystery of evil at work in the world.”
In all, the Pope devoted a whole paragraph out of a 22 page letter he writes annually to all priests involved in the church. The paragraph bemoans the “dark shadow of suspicion” that now hovers over the priesthood as a result of the scandals, but doesn’t go on to condemn the actions of any of the accused in any way. Nothing even so much as chastising the bishops and cardinals who shuffled these predators from one parish to another instead of turning them over to the police as they should have from day one. Not even a promise to enact new rules to ensure that any future accusations are dealt with immediately and thoroughly instead of just sweeping it under the rug.
Just a lot of whining about the church’s now tarnished image. It would probably help the church a lot more if the Pope were seen to be taking this scandal as the tragedy it is and made some firm statements on how the church will go about getting it’s act cleaned up and attempt to repair the broken trust with its members. As always, though, the church is beyond criticism even when the scandal reaches into the upper echelons of its hierarchy. This isn’t just about how a bunch of priests molested kids, this is about how the church as an organization went about covering it up and allowed hundreds of additional people to be molested just so the church wouldn’t suffer from bad PR. They put the intrests of the church’s image ahead of the welfare of its members. With that lack of willingness to apply its own morality to itself, is it any wonder that such a scandal was able to continue for as long as it did?