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Castting Pope Benedict as 'the victim'

First off, unfortunately how can a story about sexual abuse by Catholic priests and its cover up even be considered news? It is an all too familiar story that just keeps repeating itself all over the world. The characters have different names but the stories are the same.

This morning, I read a headline that said Pope Benedict considers this “a test.” This is the ploy the hierarchy of the Catholic Church always seems to fall back on when truth comes knocking at its door: to cast themselves as the victims. What is most shameful in this particular case is that the real victims were truly some of the most vulnerable members of society, they were deaf children.

William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights declared on “Larry King Live” on Monday night that the Pope had been smeared, this all happened “a long time ago”, etcetera. What is most outrageous about him and the Church hierarchy as a whole is that they refuse to acknowledge the atrocity of the crimes they are defending. It referred to by therapists as “DIM” thinking: Deny, Ignore, Minimize.

It’s hard for me to even pay attention to “the scandal” any longer. The sight of the two priests and Donohue the other night almost made me physically ill. I could only watch a few minutes, and solely for the cynical amusement of hearing the same old story from these men. A big part of recovery to me is to accept that these people who claim to be “men of God” will never change. There’s no incentive. They have too much money and power and they’ve gotten away with their crimes for far too long. They have no remorse for what’s happened. Their apologies are insincere. Money and power are their gods, not love & compassion. A dog that bites is a dog that bites.

The hierarchy of the Catholic Church should held accountable for their crimes and no longer be allowed to hide behind their vestments and their image of morality. It is time to stop allowing the perpetrator to morph into the victim. It is another slap in the face of those whom they truly victimized. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger needs to stop hiding behind the guise of “Pope Benedict” and take responsibility for his actions.



  • Mary 5 years ago

    I so had to laugh at this article. This is not a policy. I assure you that the Pope also doesn't think of himself as the victim. Perhaps if you really took the time to read him and understand him - emphasis on the understand, you'd find something different than the caricature created. You might find that he sees two sets of victims here - the sex abuse victims and the body of Christ meaning us all, not the structures. I doubt I'll convince you or your readers of this but this Pope is genuine - or else there wouln't be so much hatred.

  • John H. 5 years ago

    I too believe that the church--from laity to pope--needs to address honestly and humbly why abuse occurs (in the church and society), why perpetrators are enabled and victims shunned. Defensiveness is the wrong attitude, even if lies or errors are mixed in with truths in reporting. Deconstructing the church also seems to me counter-productive. The focus should be fixed both on reaching out to victims, acknowledging their suffering and offering appropriate help, and also on renewing what is good in the church when its members are living up to their faith-a preferential option for the poor, confronting evil beginning with ourselves,upholding the dignity of all humans and the goodness of creation, affirming that spirituality and community are a part of human existence. I admire Benedict XVI. Unlike others in the church who take the defensive spin, he has not defended himself nor his church. But he speaks about what Catholics must believe, teach, and live so that abuse and dishonesty end.

  • Frank 5 years ago

    Kevin, as a "religion and spirituality examiner" try and examine the facts instead of just going along with atrocious reporting by mainstream media. It's true that Bill Donohue comes across like a recently unmuzzled pitbull, I'll give you that. Yet, that bad experience isn't indicative of all Catholics or the truth. As an "examiner" I would imagine that your job entails investigating deeper, unless you examine only the surface. If that is the case, just keep following the ways of the cultural winds. When Christianity returns to favour, I look forward to reading your article which will, no doubt, contradict this one.

  • SYD 5 years ago

    It is part of an ongoing pattern in modern culture.... to paint perpetrators as victims. Pope Benedict is no exception. He can stand on the podium right next to Tiger as far as I am concerned. And they can both spout their "I'm sorries" until the cows come home....

  • Peter Precep 5 years ago

    We hear a lot about clerical sex abuse, what about clerical educational abuse? I am victim of that abuse plus in Pontifical College. After second year of high school I went for a year in monk Novitiate, after returning as monk, I was forced to skip 3rd year of High School and continue with 4th year plus they gave me full time job of being in charge of 100 students. They crippled my education for life ( that gap in education is missing link in my education, especially regarding math, chem, phys etc.) and stressed me to limit that even physically manifested, I had all kind of digestive problems.
    Should Pope Benedict apologize to me for clerical educational abuse that I went through on Vatican ground?

  • David 5 years ago

    I think Jesus said it best that for anyone abusing children they should have a millstone hung around their neck and be cast into the depths of the sea.

  • scott 5 years ago

    yap, pope benedict defended that pedophile priest. why are catholics still putting money in the collection plates?

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