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April 30, 2002

Darth Cardinal, and a smoking gun
Posted by Teresa at 10:34 AM *

The scandal of the Catholic hierarchy’s indifference to sexual abuse by clerical pedophiliacs has now widened to include the Vatican itself. According to an ABC news story, a group of former pupils of Father Marcial Maciel — an immensely powerful and well-connected churchman who’s a long-time crony of Pope John Paul II — have been trying for eight years to get the Vatican to listen to them. They’ve all signed sworn affidavits detailing their sexual abuse at the hands of Maciel when they were young religious students. The Vatican has never responded in any way.

In 1997, they went public with the story in the Hartford Courant, and their allegations were once more passed on to the Vatican. There was still no response; but later that year the Vatican finally sent a clear signal: the Pope appointed Maciel to represent him at a meeting of Latin American bishops.

Four years ago, in a last-ditch effort, some of the former students filed a lawsuit in the Curia, asking for Maciel’s excommunication. They say they were stopped by that perennial Vatican heavy, Cardinal Joseph “The Enforcer” Ratzinger, who made the lawsuit fold up and go away. There was no investigation. They weren’t asked any questions, or asked for their statements. Ratzinger just disappeared the whole thing.

Recently, Ratzinger was appointed by the Pope to investigate the entire sex abuse scandal in the church. “But,” says the ABC News story,

when approached by ABCNEWS in Rome last week with questions of allegations against Maciel, Ratzinger became visibly upset and actually slapped this reporter’s hand.

“Come to me when the moment is given,” Ratzinger told ABCNEWS, “not yet.”

What I want to say is this:

Have you ever noticed how well Ratzinger’s statements work when you say them in Darth Vader’s voice? “KOMMMMM to MEEEEE when the MOment iss GIVENNNN … NOTTT BEFORE!”

The ABC reporter was lucky he just got slapped. For a second offense, Ratzinger picks you up by the throat and crushes your trachea.

Comments on Darth Cardinal, and a smoking gun:
#1 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: May 17, 2002, 12:25 PM:

I can't answer for sure about Maciel, though I have read (probably in First Things) that the accusations brought against him are actually old, very old, and were brought before with no success by people who tried attacking him on different grounds at first (I think financial).

But I feel like I'm at ground zero in all this (in Boston). My parents' generation, meaning the WWII generation, all life-long RC Democrats, very deferential to the clergy in so many respects, are just appalled. Most of them want Cardinal Law gone and I can tell you that very wealthy financial RCs in Boston, many of whom are on the Archdiocese board of advisers, want the Cardinal gone, too, and they are not averse to exerting serious financial pressure to make it happen, even if it means making the Church close schools and shelterrs. Speaking as an RC the sexual aspect of this is not nearly as depressing as the casuistry, the dodging that would make even Bill Clinton blush, the disingeniousness of it all. I think the spectacle of the utter shuffling dishonesty is more harmful to the faith of churchgoers than even the hideousness of the predatory practices.

Best,
John F

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