The Catholic Church and the Failure to Lead

The most recent revelations of the protection of pedophiles in the Catholic church here and in Europe make one point abundantly clear: It’s time to start arresting the leadership for conspiracy. No one in the world would receive the kind of immunity that is occurring right now except the Church, and their failure to properly police themselves has become obvious.

The latest slap in the face came when the Vatican called the recent calls for leaders to step down prompted the response that this is an anti-Catholic hate campaign based on people’s views on abortion and gay marriage. Really? That’s the reason? How can people tasked to teach about confession and atonement be trusted when they can’t even live up to these values in their own institution?

The worst case yet involved a priest in Arizona, the Rev. Michael Meta, who molested two boys (aged 7 amp; 9) in the confessional as they prepared for their First Holy Communion. He was abusing children as far back as the 1970’s, and a church tribunal said his relationships with young men and children had an almost “Satanic quality” to them. Yet the Vatican would not defrock this man until 2004. The local church leaders had to plead for years to finally get this done. This is just one case, and the reality is even worse. Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Ratzinger, played a major role in shielding these priests from the punishment they deserved. And many of these cases happened under the watch of the highly revered Pope John Paul II.

I’m really sick of people defending this kind of behavior. My feeling is that Jesus would want us to defend the faith, not people who prey on the most vulnerable parishioners in their charge. This is why the church has paid $3 billion in lawsuits and schools and churches are closing all over the country. What will it take for people to awaken from their slumber of denial? I have no compassion for these ‘leaders’. Why? Because they have ruined a relationship with God for so many. The very task they were given over 2000 years ago. They have failed utterly. Many of these victims will never be able to rebuild their trust in God or Jesus. My compassion is with these people, not the ‘aid and abet’ Catholic leadership.

One of the saddest parts is that there are so many Catholic priests (probably 95%) who would never do such a thing. The collar has become a mark of shame and suspicion for these priests, and the Vatican bears responsibility for this. If they ever want to make a comeback, it’s time to take ownership of these atrocities. Maybe once they lose all their property and money, they can go back to the message.

In this country, we’ve gotten too comfortable with letting the CEO off the hook for the failures below him. I hope Britain charges the Pope with conspiracy, as they are suggesting they might. At least it’d be a start. Maybe then we can really turn a corner. Don’t take my word for it, just read Luke 17:2.