lunadelcorvo: (Facepaw Lion)
(GENOA) — The latest sex-abuse case to rock the Catholic Church is unfolding in the archdiocese of an influential Italian Cardinal who has been working with Pope Benedict XVI on reforms to respond to prior scandals of pedophile priests.

Father Riccardo Seppia, a 51-year-old parish priest in the village of Sastri Ponente, near Genoa, was arrested last Friday, May 13, on pedophilia and drug charges. Investigators say that in tapped mobile-phone conversations, Seppia asked a Moroccan drug dealer to arrange sexual encounters with young and vulnerable boys. "I do not want 16-year-old boys but younger. Fourteen-year-olds are O.K. Look for needy boys who have family issues," he allegedly said. Genoa Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco, who is the head of the Italian Bishops Conference, had been working with Benedict to establish a tough new worldwide policy, released this week, on how bishops should handle accusations of priestly sex abuse.

According to investigators, Seppia told a friend — a former seminarian and barman who is currently under investigation — that the town's malls were the best places to entice minors. In tapped phone conversations the two cursed and swore against God. The priest is charged with having attempted to kiss and touch an underage altar boy and of having exchanged cocaine for sexual intercourse with boys over 18.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2072613,00.html?xid=rss-world

And further updates, courtesy (as was the above article) of [livejournal.com profile] _53:

Update 1: Italian site Reppublica Genova quotes the accused as admitting to being gay, HIV positive, a cocaine user. He still denies abuse of children (the translated article says 'to 10,' which doesn't rule out child abuse in my book...). And naturally, the Church blames those crazy 1960s.
lunadelcorvo: (Medieval Facepalm)
The Blame Game:

The range of excuses offered up by various ecclesiastics for the child abuse scandal is amazing. Admittedly, these come from disparate entities, and don't [seem to] represent a unified position on the part of the Vatican. Still, we've been talking about this for a while now, and you'd think by this point they'd have their talking points laid out. Further, even if these statements are not official, I don't see any of them being condemned as wrong. Official statements distance themselves from them, yes, but I have yet to see anyone say 'No, that is not consistent with Church doctrine.' And in fact, none of them are inconsistent with Church doctrine, which, as I see it, is a big part of the problem to begin with....

Satan Behind Media Attacks on the Pope, Asserts Italian Exorcist

Vatican Attacked Over Cardinal's Claim of Homosexuality and Pedophilia Link

Bishop Blames Jews for Child Molestation Scandal

"Media Bias and Catholic Bashing" by Bill Donohue, President, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

At Vatican Service, Priest Likens Abuse Allegations To Anti-Semitism

Vatican Cardinals Claim Sex Abuse Claims Have Been Orchestrated by Enemies of the Pope

Stuff Catholics Have So Far Blamed for the Church's Pedophilia Scandal

Social Justice?

US Catholic officials are fighting AGAINST extensions to the statute of limitations on reporting of sex abuse, under claims ranging from the bills being 'designed to bankrupt the Church' to a trend of 'anti-Catholic sentiment, even when those bills do not target (or even mention) the Catholic Church. This is being reported even by Catholic news organizations.

Beltway Cardinals Oppose Abuse Extension Bills, Many Cite Nationwide Anti-Catholic Trend

Connecticut Bishops Fight Sex Abuse Bill

Religious Leaders Battle Abuse Bill in New York

[Wisconsin] State Bishops Oppose Legislation to Repeal Statute of Limitations [on Child Abuse]

(Crazy Vatican makes medieval monk [see userpic] cry.)
lunadelcorvo: (Default)
The entire Catholic Church sex business is altogether revolting from the word go, but it has taken on a new level of WTF. The idea that criticism of the pope, and the RCC as an institution is bigotry, because it collectivizes guilt. Well, I have two rather significant problems with that statement.

One, to be honest is related to the source. Do you mean to tell me that Donahue is going to stand up and cry foul when an institution is criticized because of what some of its members have done, and for some of its policies? Really? To that I say: Planned Parenthood. N.O.W. How about the Catholic social services that have closed their doors when told they had to employ fair hiring practices, or had to serve clients of all faiths and orientation? How many institutions or organizations have been blacklisted, lambasted, vilified and their associates branded collaborators by not only Donahue, but the other voices croaking out this same spiel? Sucks being painted with a big fat brush, doesn't it, you bigoted prick? The irony here goes so far beyond irony as to need a bigger vocabulary.

But more seriously, there is a disambiguation going on here between a body of Catholics worldwide and the institution of the Church. The difference is subtle, but vital. For one thing, to discuss the guilt of the Church is not the same thing as collectivizing 'guilt' with regard to a minority group. Saying all black people, or all Jews, or all gays, are guilty of X because some of that group did X - that IS collectivization of guilt. However, saying that a self-organized, institutional entity is guilty of thing X, which it did/sanctioned/contributed to is not. The institution is not its members. Which is why, when the media criticizes the RCC, is is not "Catholic bashing."

Furthermore, it isn't even 'priest-bashing,' any more than for example, media criticism of a police force for not taking action against corruption on a police force is 'cop-bashing.' If a department has a rash of cops going bad, it does serious damage to the image of the department as a whole. Police departments know this, and take swift, decisive, public action to remove those who abused their power from further access to that power. Why?

Because beyond the individual crimes (which themselves are worth appropriate sanction, regardless of who commits them - blind Justice, remember?) there stands a symbol, and the impact those crimes have upon it. If a uniform and a badge are to stand as symbols of trust, safety, respect, and protection, then abusers of that symbol MUST be swiftly dealt with. If any police officer is to be trusted, the symbol must be reclaimed.

Until the guilty are removed, we may know full well that not every police officer is a craven abuser, but we are simultaneously painfully aware that any officer *could* be. Who wants to play Russian roulette? This is the criticism of the Church, and it is entirely fair and deserved.

Until the Church, as an institution, acts swiftly, decisively, and publicly to remove those who abused their power from further access to that power, it matters not that we know not every priest is an abuser. We also know that any priest *could* be. We know this because we know abusers still wear the collar. It's not about Catholics, or even priests. It's about the symbol.

The attempt to muddy the waters by crying discrimination, bigotry and Catholic-bashing are just that - misdirection. And incidentally, if there was EVER an institution that should have its ass kicked around the Vatican walls for having the nuts to squeal "collectivization of guilt...' well you know. And don't even get me started on that Easter sermon "concentration camp" crap....

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Things I need to remember:
• Asking for help is not, as it turns out, fatal.
• Laughing is easier than pulling your hair out, and doesn't have the unfortunate side effect of making you look like a plague victim.
• Even the biggest tasks can be defeated if taken a bit at a time.
• I can write a paper the night before it's due, but the results are not all they could be.
• Be thorough, but focused.
• Trust yourself.
• Honesty, always.

Historians are the Cassandras of the Humanities

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