1997 letter from Vatican is “smoking gun” on pedophile priest cover up.

Pic of stained glass window.

In retrospect, it should have been obvious.

From the beginning of the Catholic pedophile priest scandal the Vatican has maintained that it had no knowledge of the problem and was not involved in any official cover up. More than a few people believed that claim to be an outright lie.

It appears they may have been right:

DUBLIN – A 1997 letter from the Vatican warned Ireland’s Catholic bishops not to report all suspected child-abuse cases to police — a disclosure that victims’ groups described as “the smoking gun” needed to show that the church enforced a worldwide culture of covering up crimes by pedophile priests.

The newly revealed letter, obtained by Irish broadcasters RTE and provided to The Associated Press, documents the Vatican’s rejection of a 1996 Irish church initiative to begin helping police identify pedophile priests following Ireland’s first wave of publicly disclosed lawsuits.

The letter undermines persistent Vatican claims, particularly when seeking to defend itself in U.S. lawsuits, that Rome never instructed local bishops to withhold evidence or suspicion of crimes from police. It instead emphasizes the church’s right to handle all child-abuse allegations and determine punishments in house rather than give that power to civil authorities.

via Vatican warned Irish bishops not to report abuse – Yahoo! News.

I’d say that I’m outraged, but I’ve been outraged at the Catholic church for so long on this issue that I have very little left. It’s been replaced with indignant disgust. All the Vatican has ever been concerned about over the decades that this abuse has been taking place around the world is the image of the church. The welfare of the children raped by the priests? Well, sure, they’ll tell you it’s a horrible thing they wish had never happened, but they can’t be bothered to actually do anything about other than shuffle the priests around to new locations where they can rape a whole new batch of kids.

OK, that’s not entirely fair. Back in 2008 the Pope did propose one way to solve the pedophile priest problem: Continuous non-stop prayer asking God to cleanse the church of pedophiles. That’s the best he could come up with. Understandable I suppose, when there are so many other greater evils in the world that require his attention like the threat gay marriage poses to society.

Got that? Priests raping kids is not a threat to society the way gays getting married is. Who cares if a few priests diddle a few choir boys and girls if we’re going to allow consenting adults of the same gender to engage in holy matrimony?

The Catholic church lost any claim to being an arbiter of morality a long time ago and as time goes on we see more and more just how deeply corrupt and immoral it really is. The image of the church is considered more important than any other issue and anything that might tarnish that image is suppressed, covered up, and swept under the rug. The Vatican seems to think it and its priests are above the law. You can almost sense how much they covet the power of mullahs and imams in the Middle East to rule by decree.

They don’t care about you or your kids. They only care about maintaining what little power and influence they still have around the world. They are beyond reproach in their own mind. And when they finally are found out and their dirty laundry sees the light of day, they blame everyone and everything other than themselves for their perfidy.

The only question left is how much longer we’ll allow them to get away with it.

Nine year investigation of Ireland’s Catholic reform schools reveals Hell on Earth.

It’s taken nine years and the final 2,600 page report goes into detail on the systematic abuse and rape of children living in reform schools run by the Catholic church in Ireland:

Catholic Church shamed by Irish abuse report – Yahoo! News

Wednesday’s five-volume report on the probe — which was resisted by Catholic religious orders — concluded that church officials shielded their orders’ pedophiles from arrest amid a culture of self-serving secrecy.

“A climate of fear, created by pervasive, excessive and arbitrary punishment, permeated most of the institutions and all those run for boys. Children lived with the daily terror of not knowing where the next beating was coming from,” Ireland’s Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse concluded.

Victims of the abuse, who are now in their 50s to 80s, lobbied long and hard for an official investigation. They say that for all its incredible detail, the report doesn’t nail down what really matters — the names of their abusers.

“I do genuinely believe that it would have been a further step towards our healing if our abusers had been named and shamed,” said Christine Buckley, 62, who spent the first 18 years of her life in a Dublin orphanage where children were forced to manufacture rosaries — and were humiliated, beaten and raped whether they achieved their quota or not.

The Catholic religious orders that ran more than 50 workhouse-style reform schools from the late 19th century until the mid-1990s offered public words of apology, shame and regret Wednesday. But when questioned, their leaders indicated they would continue to protect the identities of clergy accused of abuse — men and women who were never reported to police, and were instead permitted to change jobs and keep harming children.

The Christian Brothers, which ran several boys’ institutions deemed to have harbored serial child molesters and sadists on their staff, insisted it had cooperated fully with the probe. The order successfully sued the commission in 2004 to keep the identities of all of its members, dead or alive, unnamed in the report. No real names, whether of victims or perpetrators, appear in the final document.

It’s outrageous enough that the abuse took place for multiple decades in an institution that likes to claim itself as a moral authority, that the Vatican itself knew of the problem, and that the church as a whole covered up the crimes without ever removing the people involved in them from their positions, but to then publicly admit that you’re going to continue to protect the guilty from being revealed?!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: How anyone can continue to be a Catholic after these revelations is just beyond my understanding. At the very least you should be at the Vatican with pitchforks and torches demanding to know how this was allowed to happen for so long and who’s going to be held accountable for their actions. There’s a lot to account for such as:

The report found that molestation and rape were “endemic” in boys’ facilities, chiefly run by the Christian Brothers order, and supervisors pursued policies that increased the danger. Girls supervised by orders of nuns, chiefly the Sisters of Mercy, suffered much less sexual abuse but frequent assaults and humiliation designed to make them feel worthless.

“In some schools a high level of ritualized beating was routine. … Girls were struck with implements designed to maximize pain and were struck on all parts of the body,” the report said. “Personal and family denigration was widespread.”

I haven’t even tried to read the report itself because the news summaries are already pretty upsetting. It gets worse, though, there’s a second report due at the end of June:

A second damning report, due to be published by the end of June, will detail the abuse of hundreds of children in the Dublin archdiocese from 1940 onwards. More than 100 priests are facing allegations and 400 people have been identified as victims.

For the moment it doesn’t appear that anyone involved in the abuse over the years will so much as be named, let alone prosecuted, and the Irish government has now called upon the Vatican to continue the investigation further. How likely do you think that is? I’m not holding my breath in anticipation.

Pope’s solution for the pedophile priest problem? Lots and lots of prayer!

There’s nothing like taking decisive action to correct a major problem. Too bad the Pope doesn’t seem to understand that. His idea of decisive action in dealing with the problem of pedophile priests is to wait five years after the church’s foundation has been rocked by the scandal and then command the churches to pray continuously for God to solve the problem:

Pope Benedict XVI has instructed Roman Catholics to pray “in perpetuity” to cleanse the Church of paedophile clergy. All dioceses, parishes, monasteries, convents and seminaries will be expected to organise continuous daily prayers to express penitence and to purify the clergy.

Vatican officials said that every parish or institution should designate a person or group each day to conduct continuous prayers for the Church to rid itself of the scandal of sexual abuse by clergy. Alternatively, churches in the same diocese could share the duty. Prayer would take place in one parish for 24 hours, then move to another.

The instruction was sent to bishops by Cardinal Cláudio Hummes of Brazil, head of the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy. He told L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, that he was acting in the Pope’s name. The Pope wanted Catholics to pray for the “mercy of God for the victims of the grave situations caused by the moral and sexual conduct of a very small part of the clergy”, he said.

Cause prayer works so well for sick people and sports teams. Thanks, Pope, for nothing. Which is about all your plan will add up to.

Link via Pharyngula.

God calls the Pope. Issues new set of 10 Commandments for car drivers.

Apparently having run out of pedophile priests to shuffle around between parishes, the Vatican released a new set of 10 Commandments for drivers:

The “Drivers’ Ten Commandments,” as listed by the document, are:

1. You shall not kill.

2. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.

3. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.

4. Be charitable and help your neighbor in need, especially victims of accidents.

5. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin.

6. Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.

7. Support the families of accident victims.

8. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.

9. On the road, protect the more vulnerable party.

10. Feel responsible toward others.

Wow, that’s pretty pathetic. Where’s the THOU SHALL NOT SPEED or the THOU SHALT USE YOUR TURN SIGNAL TO INDICATE LANE CHANGES OR, FOR THAT MATTER, THAT YOU INTEND TO TURN or, even better, the THOU SHALT ALLOW A SAFE DISTANCE BETWEEN YOUR CAR AND THE ONE IN FRONT OF YOU AT HIGH SPEEDS AND IN BAD WEATHER OR SO HELP ME ME I’LL SMITE YOUR DUMB ASS WITH THE BIGGEST BOLT OF LIGHTENING YOU’VE EVER SEEN?

Instead we get a carefully worded attempt to tell others not to drive drunk when it should say THOU SHALL NOT DRIVE DRUNK YOU SELFISH FUCK. The commandments above make God sound like a pussy or something and no one’s going to listen to commandments from a pussy. Useless.