For God's Sake: Benny Rides the Line.

By “Benny,” I mean a man among my least favorite people in the world: The Pontiff Himself of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI.

And my “rides the line” I mean he stays the course he's stayed with from the start with this whole child abuse among the clergy thing: it's a sin.

Sorry God, please forgive us. Oh, and you people, sorry to you too, we sinned. AP reported that The Pontiff puked up another dose of sin-calling without a lot of substance behind it, which is – if not surprising – getting tiring.

I might state first:

- It is completely digestible and believable to read some reports that the incidence of child molestation and abuse among Catholic Priests is roughly equivalent to the secular world: they are people, after all, and the percentage reflects that fact with clear symmetry.

- It is also completely understandable, I might add predictable, that Benny says what he says about it: he's the Pope, for fuck's sake, and that means he's not just on the hook for his obligatory response to the world in regards to this mess, but he's responsible for a mitigating it – thus he's going to say it how he must. George Bush said “Mission Accomplished” not because the mission was accomplished, but because in the face of poll numbers headed for single digits he had to say something positive about that bloody fiasco. Bill Clinton said “I did not have sex with that woman” because, let's face it, even though we all knew he did it, the idea was repulsive. You Gotta say what the job requires in the spirit of the (job's) greater good , no matter what it is, and screw the rest of you.

Having said that: It is completely degrading to the world as a fitting place where humans reside for Benny to preclude the mention of the illegal traits and aspects of this sickening mess. Never mind the age of consent in Vatican City at the ripe old and experienced age of 12, which is foul enough. Never mind the clever special circumstances where a “dependency” relationship exists between an adult and a 15 year old makes sex a legal “go”.

Fine. Lets also never mind the Pope. I know he's the Grand Doo Doo, but he's not the one who did it, he's just the one blubbering this inane defense about sin in the absence of law. How it is that a common citizen of most countries can be hunted down like a foul animal (excluding Roman Polanski, who keeps scoring a creative bye, for the moment) yet priests tap dance away like the angels they aren't?

So I don't want to hear anything he has to say about it. I don't want to hear that snide, pedantic, asswipe CEO of BP spew any more of his asinine, regurgitative stupidity; in the same vein I do not want to hear the Pope talk about this. I want to hear the priests. The accused. They are the ones who need to answer, not their boss.

And I want to hear the judges as the verdicts are read. The issue of sin is irrelevant. The issue is about crime, and we simply can't call this anything else.


  1. Good stuff, Schuyler. I would add, though, that good ol' Benny *does* have something to answer for (along with the guilty priests being held accountable, too, of course), and that's the church's practiced and continued habit of moving these clearly guilty priests to a new set of parishioners, a new set of potential victims, none of whom know to be on the look out for the bastard, and just allowing it to happen again, and again, again. To dozens and dozens more victims. That's the church's legacy, too. And Benny *does* need to answer for that. In my book, anyway. Because, frankly, though the incidence rate of "naughty" priests may be the same, the protection by the priests' employer, even keeping the cops at bay, is most certainly not!

  2. Ahh yes, Smaggy, a point I overlooked in my haste to focus a spotlight. Big Benny is indeed complicit, isn't he? This particularly foul-smelling kettle of fish is probably bottomless, methinks, and I think I would both love and hate to be a prosecutor diving through the muck...

  3. Yes, I sure agree with you. The damn pope (pardon my French) is above all a damn politician. And so was his predecessor, John Paul II (not to be confused with John Paul who was a good guy and if he had lived just a little bit longer the Church would have approved of gay marriages and women in the clergy... hm I hope they didn't precipitate his death in one way or another?).

    In addition to also letting child abuse go by, did you know number 2 John Paul single handedly dismantled the whole of the Liberation Theology movement in Latin America?

  4. Well, I would LOVE it, Schuy! And I'll bet Smag would too! He beat me to it, but I was going to point out the same exciting fact ~ for the first time we have direct evidence of a sitting pontiff shuttling dirty priests right back into the fold ~ and interfering with a criminal investigation ~ and by his own signature.

    Isn't this the pope that was in some form of the Hitlerjunge when he was younger? Seems like has a history of "don't blame me, I was just doing what I was told" behavior. Is that what makes a good Catholic?

    The best thing this man could do for his own personal legacy (which, imho, is so far in the toilet right now they'd need to seive the sewers to find it) is recognize his destiny as martyr for the Catholic church, accept his fate, atone mightily for the sins of his compatriots, and take the hit for this syndicate. It won't go near far enough to make up for anything that's happened in the past, but maybe, just maybe, someone from this organization finally taking some responsibility for what they've allowed to go on will give the issue a foothold from which other future resolutions can be gained.

  5. Let's see ~ if anyone else in the room is also guilty of aiding and abetting a criminal in the commission of their crimes ~ raise your hands!,0,220530.story?track=rss

  6. Being infallible means never having to say you're sorry.

    Or, more accurately, laying claim to infallibility (yeah, yeah, just in matters of doctrine) makes apologies very awkward. Based on Church history, you can expect a vague "regret for what took place" sometime in the late 23rd century.