I was going to save this up for his visit, but now that this major player in the church has called the UK a 'moral wasteland' because we dare to have equal rights for women and gays, I couldn't contain it any longer.
The only good thing that could come of the Pope's visit to Britain is if we overturned his immunity and arrested him as he arrived at Edinburgh.
Only religion would be able to shield its leader to the point that we give a state visit to a man complicit in 20 years of paedophilia, who did nothing to stop it and actively hushed it up from the authorities. This is from a letter he sent out to the world's bishop's, talking about the issue of child molestation:
He told bishop's they should investigate within the church, not involving the police, "in the most secretive way... restrained by a perpetual silence... and everyone... is to observe the strictest secret which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office... under the penalty of excommunication"
The only reason we've seen the document is because of a leak from a decent bishop, the letter actually came with instructions to 'keep it locked in a safe at all times'.
Even Father Doyle, a Vatican lawyer at the time, said that there "is an explicit written policy to cover up cases of child sexual abuse and to punish those who would call attention to these crimes... Nowhere in any of these documents does it say anything about helping the victims. The only thing it does say is they can impose fear on the victims, and punish [them], for disclosing what happened."
Joseph Ratzinger (The pope's name for those unaware) was head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. All issues of the type involving accusations of child molestation went through his desk, at his explicit demand. He was made aware of cases where priests had abused young children, and rather than hand them to the police or even excommunicate them, he simply shuffled them around to different parishes, free to abuse once more.
Not only did he know about this abuse, he covered it up, ordered that the victims be frightened into silence, moved the priest to another parish and repeated the whole thing over when that priest inevitably abused more children.
Again, a Vatican lawyer tells us, "When abusive priests are discovered, the response has been not to investigate and prosecute but to move them from one place to another." Backed up by the finding of memo's and testimonies of other priests which shows that the now Pope was aware, and did nothing, about the return to duty of a priest convicted of molestation, without even having received any form of treatment.
Now, in any other sphere of life, these accusations would at least warrant debate and a trial to determine whether the Pope was complicit in this abuse. Innocent until proven guilty stands, but his innocence or guilt should be proved by a jury, not the word of God.
The most the Vatican has had to say on the matter is that the accusations coming to the Pope are like the 'collective violence suffered by the Jews.' Yeah, sure, let's forget the fact you were complicit in paedophilia. You're just a poor victim, this is much tougher than the holocaust for you.
I suggest that before the Church labels us a 'moral waste ground', it gets its own affairs in order. Never has an organisation which preaches that we should do good been responsible for such evil.
And before we start fawning over this religious leader, let's remember what kind of horrors he allowed to happen under, and aided by, his watch.