Just to reiterate. Why should anyone be surprised? All of these cases had to have gone through Cardinal Ratzinger, aka Pope Benedict XVI under John Paul II. He was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (re-branded Inquisition), and, was PJP2s gatekeeper and adviser. Watch the trailer for http://www
The Roman Catholic Church is hierarchical bureaucratic institution. As with all bureaucracies, it has a vested interest in its own survival. We know exactly how the "sexual abuse scandal" has come about. The cover-ups begin at the lowest bureaucratic levels. However, as with all bureaucracies, extensive records are kept. (Oh to get hold of those records!!) I have know of only one archbishop who said "the buck stops here": Archbishop Penny in Newfoundland, who took on the responsibilities for the cover-ups in Newfoundland and then resigned. Now to be fair, this means that Rome could deny that it knew anything about this. So Penny "manned up" and took the flak for the Church, and they let him.
Ratzinger came up through the ranks. There is absolutely no way that he did not participate in "cover-ups" in his parishes, etc. The s**t has finally hit the fan in Europe - it will be no different there than anywhere else in Catholicism. What happened in North America, happened in Europe and everywhere else. We just need to wait as the cases fall out of the trees. Ratzinger/Benedict truly believes in those "old-fashioned" values of Roman Catholicism and its theology. Check out Gregory the VII, Pope Innocent the 3rd & the Fourth Lateran Council, the Council of Trent, Vatican 1 and even Vatican 2, the J-P2's Humanae Vitae.
People seem to be so shocked at what's going on. However, basic history of Christianity would show that "so it was, so it is". The question should be "so it ever shall be?" History tells us that if there is some sort of Council held over this issue & reform is in the air, the solutions will never go to the heart of the problem. The Church has already begun to retrench into its past theologies that allowed this to happen in the first place. The Church has been covering up child sexual abuse since its inception - why change now? Again read Doyle, Sipe & Wall. Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church's 2,000-Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse.
If people would just take off their blinders, things might get better.
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