(Blog published purposely in blue to represent the colour of 'banging one's head off the wall!')
I don't exactly know where my head has been this week, but it was brought crashing back to planet Earth via a truckload of outrage and horror today, as I learned of the Pope's refusal to accept the resignations of Irish Bishops Eamonn Walsh and Raymond Field, submitted in December 2009, following the findings of the Murphy Report into Clerical Abuse, and after they found themselves without the support of the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin. Fr. Federico Lombardi, spokesman of the Vatican, has stated that it is not the policy of the Vatican to comment on resignations that have not been accepted. (Yeah right....I wonder why!) The fact that the resignations of Bishops Donal Murray and Jim Moriarty have been accepted and that Bishop Martin Brennan of Galway and Archbishop of Armagh, Cardinal Sean Brady, who was involved with an investigation into the activities of eventually-convicted paedophile ex-Fr. Brendan Smyth, have both refused to resign, and haven't been asked to relinquish their clerical posts is, and quite likely to remain, a complete mystery.
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
I am not going into a whole legal debate about claims and counter-claims of 'guilt by association' and all the rest of that TWADDLE. I'll leave that to the 'so-called' experts. As far as I'm concerned, the whole thing STINKS! There is something rotten in the state of the Vatican! One only has to think back to the comments of the Vatican's No. 2, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone during a trip to Chile last April, where he said, that according to psychological reports that he had in his possession, child sexual abuse is more likely to be linked to homosexuality rather than celibacy. Gay activist groups have had a 'ball' with that one ... and why not?
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
I do feel somewhat sorry for Archbishop Diarmuid Martin in all of this, whom I believe has genuinely tried to get the Catholic Church, here in Ireland, back up on its feet and into a position of faith again, by attempting to rid the barrel of its rotten apples. The Pope's refusal to accept these resignations serves a huge blow to his authority and a serious undermining of his integrity.
Pope Benedict is visting the UK from 16th - 19th September to beatify Cardinal John Henry Newman, the 19th-century theologian. Richard Dawkins, atheist campaigner and Christopher Hitchens, the atheist author, are planning to have the Pope arrested for 'crimes against humanity', exploiting the same legal principle used to arrest Augusto Pinochet, the late Chilean dictator, when he visited Britain in 1998. Dawkins and Hitchens believe the Pope will not be able to claim diplomatic immunity from arrest, because although the visit is a state visit, he is not the head of a state, recognized by the United Nations. They have commissioned barrister Geoffrey Robertson and Mark Stephens to present a justification to the Crown Prosecution Service for legal action.
Augusto Pinochet - Chilean Dictator
I sincerely hope that Pope Benedict is arrested! Not that I believe for one moment, he will ever be proven guilty for any crime; 'guilty by assoication' or otherwise.. But there would be some sort of poetic justice to see him reeling on a witness stand; being interrogated; his activities scrutinized by prosecuting council or tribunal legal eagles; feeling threatened; feeling vulnerable! Of course he will be shown every possible respect and his human rights will be upheld, UNLIKE the physically and sexually abused children of this nation and others, who have been made to grovel and squirm, as if they were the scum of this planet. Who was looking after their human rights?
“Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” - “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
(Last words of Jesus Christ on the cross)
2009 was a sad, sad year for the victims of child sexual abuse, and for all of us that live and breathe the air of this island. Even after the revelations of both the Ryan Report and the Murphy Report, which are both damning indictments of both religious and government institutions of this country, we are left with hierarchies, that have up to now, for the most part, only half-heartedly accepted their responsiblity towards the thousands that were abused, whilst in their care, and with a Church, that is totally out of touch with its followers. However, the Pope's refusal to accept the resignations of these two power-hungry bishops is, I firmly believe, another huge nail in the coffin of the Church in this country. There will be no need for priests before very long, because the diminshing numbers, with any iota of faith still intact, will shortly expire and the Church as we know it, is bound to die alongside them, unless it is radically reformed. I don't believe The Church, the Vatican, the Pope, are behaving any differently today than they did during the 'Medici Years' in Italy, that we read about in history books. Technological advancements, however, allow us to see and hear what's going on around the globe, as it happens, not decades or centuries later. An 'Instant History'
Jonathan Kelly, of the Survivors of Child Abuse support group said, 'There is a cancer in the Church, and the only person who can remove that cancer is the Pope. And he is refusing to do it.' I would say that the Pope is part of THAT CANCER! He is not the SURGEON. The people are the SURGEON! Until we, the people, say; 'Screw you!' alongside and in alliance with those who have suffered not only the ordeal of their abuse and torment, but have also had to contend with being ignored and belittled for decades, we will ALL continue to be SCREWED OVER ... AGAIN AND AGAIN .... AND YET AGAIN! I would like to think that the Pope could be arrested just like anyone else under suspicion of 'crimes against humanity, and sincerely hope that the streets throughout the UK throb resoundingly with peaceful, but massive protest. Enough is enough for God's sake!
Pete Seeger's lyrics come to mind: 'When will they ever learn ....When will they ever learn?
Ciao for now!