EDITORIAL: So now the Vatican isn’t only hypocritical, insensitive and complicitous: Pope Ratzo and his band of brothers have become arrogant, declaring the “attempted ordination” of women one of the gravest crimes ever, putting it in the same category with … believe it or not … pedophilia.
Under their dictate, issued to bishops worldwide, both the women who agree to an ordination ceremony and the priests who conduct them would suffer the Church’s most severe penalty: excommunication.
Excuse me if the Vatican’s promise of “rigor and transparency” in addressing sex abuse within its ranks comes off like one of the Three Biggest Lies (and you know which one I’m talking about).
At the very moment in history when it should be fighting the crime of the millenium — namely: its own protection of rapists and molesters over the children whose lives they ruin — the Church is condemning women who want to do God’s work, while reinforcing the male prerogative.
Where’s the zero-tolerance declaration? Where’s the excommunication for the “pedofathers“? Or for the bishops who’ve hidden the crimes under their vestments?Jerry DeMarco Publisher/Editor
Ratzinger (Sorry: Pope Benedict XVI) had a golden opportunity to rally the faithful and maybe even do the unthinkable — win some new followers — at a time when the Catholic Church’s ranks (not to mention its revenues) are falling faster than an angel without wings.
All Papa needed do was declare “Abbastanza!” or “Ich hatte genug!” He could have pursued the accused pedophiles and handed them over to the local authorities in each country.
“THIS is what we do,” he could have said, warning any cleric who even thought about venturing into man-boy love to forget it.
Ratzo could have stopped the scandal in its disgusting tracks. He could have stirred faith, the bedrock of all religion. The Catholic Church could have been, if you’ll excuse the expression, born again.
But no: He went medieval.
For good measure, there was this past week’s declaration that the Church would sooner sell crack than let women be priests.
Think about it: Even if the Pope privately considered it a gimmick, allowing women to become priests would have been a deliberate, definitive step toward cleaning up the Vatican’s act.
After all: From Day One, ordination was reserved for celibate men. But since many of them obviously can’t keep a simple vow, why not drop the misogyny and give women a chance to show how it’s done?
Maybe it’s time for good women and men to remove the artificial separation of church and state. Maybe our leaders need to start conducting their own investigations, without having to wait for the Church to deliver sinners to their court.
No one is immune to a subpoena in this country. Not even Ratzo himself.
Marci A. Hamilton, a professor of constitutional law at Yeshiva University, raises some excellent points:
“As the leader in the free world for human rights enforcement, the United States is uniquely positioned to enact authoritative measures, including having the State Department add the Holy See to its list of countries to be monitored for human rights abuses,” Hamilton wrote in a letter to The New York Times.
“Another promising path that the president and Congress should consider is amending the Mann Act, which outlaws the movement of people, including children, for purposes of illegal sex,” the professor write. “A section should be added to include prohibiting the movement of employees known or suspected to have sexually abused children.”
Give the justice system a crack at it, see what shakes out. Maybe more countries will do the same.
You could be sure if Jesus himself were alive today, there’d be hell to pay.
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