News from the Vault: Il Mostro: The Monster in Vatican City

In 2005, not quite three years after the Boston Globe published the first of its damning reports on sexual abuse within the Church, Cardinal Grocholewski reaffirmed the Church's moral commitment by denying ordainment to those with homosexual tendencies. He wrote, and Pope Benedict approved, the following:
If a candidate practises homosexuality or presents deep-seated homosexual tendencies, his spiritual director as well as his confessor have the duty to dissuade him in conscience from proceeding towards ordination...

...He must offer himself trustingly to the discernment of the Church...It would be gravely dishonest for a candidate to hide his own homosexuality in order to proceed, despite everything, towards ordination. Such a deceitful attitude does not correspond to the spirit of truth, loyalty and openness that must characterize the personality of him who believes he is called to serve Christ and his Church in the ministerial priesthood.
Last year saw the release of Netflix's brilliant documentary The Keepers, which tells the story of systematic sexual abuse and murder of Sister Catherine Cesnik, allegedly by Reverend A. Joseph Maskell. The documentary detailed widespread and sadistic sexual abuse at the Archbishop Keough school for girls back at least as far as 1965. Former victims of sexual abuse there worked together to bring as much as possible to light about the issue, and their most significant obstacle in doing so was the Catholic Church itself.
A year later archbishops McCarrick, of Washington D.C. and Wilson of Adelaide, Australialeft their positions due to their roles in the covering up of investigations into child abuse within the Church.  Cardinal George Pell is presently on trial for "historical sexual abuses", a trial which is notorious for being secretive. ( That fact is in a way surprising given the Cardinal's proclivity toward public indecency, which is only a slight stretch, by declaring the Jews intellectually inferior to their historical neighbors. See the clip below. )

Last year Canada's relationship to its indigenous peoples became a subject of public concern, in particular their treatment by the Catholic Church of native children who'd been taken from their parents and placed in schools and orphanages run by it. That sad story, which I wrote about in greater length at the time, includes torture, rape, murder, and mass graves. At the same time, the existence of mass graves and a history of systematic murder by the Church in Ireland was coming to light.
Now comes the horror of the Church's legacy in Pennsylvania. For seven decades the Church covered up repeated sexual assaults involving, it is estimated, thousands of victims and hundreds of perpetrators. This is now a scandal on a scale never before seen in Church history, spanning:
The United States
Mass graves
Widespread sexual abuse of children
Deliberate efforts to conceal the facts and protect the perpetrators
This is only a partial list of just the English speaking media. Nevertheless, the scale and frequency of these crimes is sufficient perhaps to estimate the global rate of these crimes, but no one is writing about this for the same cause that enables this horror in the first place. That cause is the demand the Church places on all of us for respect without reason.
The authority the Church can maintain over the lives of its congregants is illustrated by The Keepers, in which the very experience of memory was heavily distorted to protect the perps, and intentionally so. This authority rivaled that of the children's parents, and indeed is extended by them. It continues into their adulthood, and the profound trauma of their experiences is expressed tragically in the faces of the subjects of the docu. This authority is a weapon the Church uses to silence its victims, to extort its congregants, and to demand undeserved respect which masks its worst acts and enables the coverups that follow.
And for all this, the citizens of the United States are literally paying for it. I for one think its time to end state subsidies for religion. If I might leave you with a question, however, I think it must be in regards to this idea that the present rate of abuse in these specific cases can be used as a basis for a global estimate. Do you think this is possible, and if so, reasonable? What steps should be taken as a consequence?

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