I think I’ve been too lenient on the Roman Catholic Church, over the past couple weeks. I posted just a little while ago that it seemed the Pope might have been just a little more contrite about the clerical child abuse scandal that’s plagued his institution for the past 10 years or so and has reached full-boil since late last year. Clearly, I underestimated the R.C. Church’s hypocrisy. You see, a couple weeks ago, Belgian authorities raided Church facilities looking for documentation concerning this scandal within their country. The Vatican responded by throwing a tantrum. Der Spiegel reports on the raid and the Church’s furious reaction (WebCite cached article):
But now that secular investigators have decided to take action, [Pope Benedict XVI] has condemned the “surprising and regretful” circumstances of the Belgian raid. In a message of solidarity with the bishops in Belgium, Benedict argued in favor of cooperating with the secular justice system, but he insisted on the church’s right to conduct internal investigations.
Benedict’s allies in Rome wasted no time in ensuring that relations between the Catholic Church and the secular world took another turn for the worse. The Italian bishops’ newspaper Avvenire sees the desecration of the graves as a “brutal act that strikes right at the heart of the church.” Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone — the second most powerful man in the Vatican — expressed outrage at the fact that it was possible to hold venerable bishops for so long without food or drink, “as if they were children.” Not even under communism were church officials treated as poorly, he said.
Essentially, then, the Church has reasserted that it is above the law of the land in all the countries in which it operates … a principle which it had asserted in the Middle Ages, often successfully, but which over the centuries — especially after the Reformation — it had been forced to concede.
Apparently, that all went out the window, when Belgian authorities decided to investigate the R.C. Church as it would have any other institution that may have victimized Belgians. That can’t be permitted, in the eyes of the Vatican.
But while the Church rages and fumes and stamps its feet that it’s being investigated by secular authorities over accusations that it may have victimized people, the Church has a completely opposite view of secular authorities, when it is a possible victim of a crime. The archdiocese of Hartford, here in Connecticut, called on the state to investigate and prosecute a priest who may have embezzled money from the Church, as the Hartford Courant reports (cached):
A well-known Roman Catholic priest who stole $1.3 million from the Sacred Heart parish over seven years said he “had grown to hate being a priest” because the Archdiocese had given him the “worst church assignments” where he would “have to fix problems made by the previous priests,” according to his arrest warrant. …
Waterbury [CT] police launched an investigation after the archdiocese came to them May 27 and said it had uncovered unauthorized payments from church funds to accounts held by Gray and other suspicious transactions, according to the affidavit, which was prepared by Waterbury Police Detective Peter Morgan.
So the Roman Catholic Church is more than happy to ask those evil “secular authorities” to help them out when they need it … but not willing to cooperate with them when their own misdeeds are being reviewed.
I can only think of four words to describe this: Hip. Oc. Rih. See. You know … the tendency to say one thing but do another? You know, that all-too-common human compulsion, which the founder of the Church’s own religion — Jesus Christ — himself, in the flesh, and in clear, unambiguous terms, specifically ordered his followers never, ever to engage in? Yeah. That “hypocrisy.”
Is anyone now not clear on what a festering sewer full of assorted putrid vermin the Vatican is?
Photo credit: Homini:).Tags: archdiocese of hartford, belgium, benedict xvi, catholic church, catholic clerical abuse scandal, christian, Christianity, christians, clerical abuse, fr kevin gray, holy see, hypocrisy, hypocrites, pope benedict, pope benedict xvi, raid, roman catholic, roman catholic church, secular, secular authorities, vatican, vatican city, waterbury CT