I am one of those fallen-away, quasi, yet went to Catholic schools for 12 years to be brainwashed type of Catholics. I took the dead language of Latin, memorized every prayer and commandment, said the Rosary and Stations of the Cross, went to confession with the sins of an eight year old, always said my three Hail Mary’s and three Our Father’s Penance afterward, ate fish on Friday and was afraid of a lot of the mean old nuns. I’m talking the one’s that should have been put out to pasture and certainly not teaching elementary school. The priests however, were a little more mysterious. When they would come into a classroom, which was rare, they nuns practically bowed to them and acted like they were, well, God. So I suppose that is how I got this idea in my head as a kid that the priests (the mediator between us and God I was taught) were somehow super human, or at the very least God’s specially chosen people since they got to eat the giant host at communion instead of the little ones that we got and of course they also got the wine (that old body and blood of Christ).
By the time I got to the Chicago parochial high school I was attending I was questioning the Catholic Religion. I saw many nuns and priests leave for greener pastures. Many of them good. The Catholic Church seemed behind the times, not progressive in any way, shrouded in pomp and circumstance and not forthcoming on why? things were done or why? doctrine overshadowed common sense. It was then that I decided to play pick and choose. I would choose God on my own terms and pick only certain aspects of the Catholic Faith I believed in. The list was short.
The recent news of pedophile priests in Europe and the U.S. may be news to us but it is not to the Catholic Church hierarchy. They have been methodically and internally dashing off memos and letters to each other for years trying to “cure” their pedophile priests. They send them off to “retreats” and evidently think God will take care of the problem. These children in many cases have been abused for years, were fearful to speak up and in most cases when they spoke no one in the Church listened. The priest that abused upwards of 200 deaf students in Wisconsin was reported on numerous times in the 25 years he was teaching yet each even cops said at the time it was an internal matter. Victims started alerting authorities in Wisconsin as far back as the 1950’s when sexual abuse was rarely discussed. These poor children were traumatized and the Catholic Church was busy playing musical chairs with the offending priests moving them from parish to parish.
While quite elderly, some of the priests that chose to put Father Murphy (now dead) back in schools are refusing to speak. Some that are speaking are of course passing the buck. Pope Benedict XVI seems to play some what of a role in some of these cases as before he was Pope and a Cardinal in Germany pedophile priest issues came through his office in Munich. According to the http://NYTimes.com there was a memo to the Pope (then a Cardinal) on the transfer of Father Hullermann a pedophile priest in Germany in 1980. But no one knows if the Pope himself ever actually saw the memo but they do know he was at the meeting where the transfer was approved.
The secrecy and internal workings of the Catholic Church should not be a mystery to the general public or the authorities any more. Priests, Bishops, Cardinals, et al should not get to hide behind their religion as a means to protect the wrongdoing of their priests. Any child abuser belongs in jail not on a “retreat”. I’m sure that God is royally pissed off at these abusers and the Catholic hierarchy that tries to hide these horrendous crimes. It’s going to take a lot more than confession and a few prayers to atone for these Capital sins and the wrath of God is simply not enough. These abusers need to experience the secular way of dealing with pedophiles.