Sexual Abuse Priests. What?! The Pope Never Knew?
Posted by Barry Pittard on March 28, 2010
Some international commentators opine that there is a net of terrible revelation closing in on Pope Benedict XVI. One revelation after another indicates that he has for many years known about the endemic sexual abuses, both of children and adults, happening within the Roman Catholic Church. And that he has, all along, failed with any probity (unless it accorded with antiquated, incredibly out-of-touch notions of an ancien régime) to act. To the contrary, he has called, all along, for secrecy. A key issue is whether any ecclesiastical authority has the right to deal with crimes within its own entity. Countless sexual abuses have not been reported to the police, and strong sections within the Catholic hierarchy have triumphed in a division between Church and State that appalls most who live in a western democracy.
See companion article to this post:
Posted by Barry Pittard on March 23, 2010
The same high-handed rebuff to legal sovereignty of the secular state was, in effect, asserted by the longtime, now retired world coordinator of the Sathya Sai Organizer, Indulal Shah. See: Indian Newspaper Reports of Killings In Sai Baba’s Bedroom . One of the most responsible papers in India stated:
“When press persons met Mr. Indulal Shah, chief functionary of the Sri Satya Sai World Trust, after the murders of six young Sai followers in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom in 1993, Indulal Shah is reported as having said: ‘the matter is purely internal and we do not wish to have any law enforcement agency investigating into it.” (from The Hindu, 10-6-1993).
(For further evidence of how powerful institutions which have a respectable facade nonetheless master the dark arts of cover up, I shall in an upcoming post turn to the mounting allegations of massive cover up of sexual abuse by the Boy Scouts of America, which faces watershed legal action)
If any should think that the Vatican has not been for centuries, and is not to this day, a heavy hitter in the murky world of realpolitik, they have not paused to read even the standard historical accounts.
The BBC has called Sathya Sai Baba ‘the secret swami’. See: The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision . Whether they are from the top handful of universities in the world or from major international media, investigators immediately confirm the entire aptness of this appellation. Both the Vatican and the international Sathya Sai Organization deal, at their very hub, in secrecy. The unsavoury topics guarded by this clandestineness are those from which the rank-and-file members, not to mention investigators, are kept in the utmost ignorance at every opportunity possible.
In the world of power politics, ecclesiastical or secular, Machiavelli, author of ‘The Prince’ is no mere ghost. Or even Italian any more. He mentored: “A wise ruler ought never to keep faith when by doing so it would be against his interests”. Larger than life, he is everywhere kicking in heads, hearts, minds and souls of those who rise up to question elites entrenched in their power. Indeed Italy, the locus of the Vatican, gave birth to this master of statecraft-by-cunning-means. But he belongs to the murky world in every geopolitical cranny. It is said that he was President John F. Kennedy’s bedside reading.
For the cleverest and well-born boys I taught in India at the Sathya Sai college outside Bangalore, South India, and for their familial forebears, the everlasting Indian equivalent is Chanakya (known also as Kautilya), the presumed author of the treatise the ‘Arthashastra’. He predates Machiavelli by eighteen centuries, but cedes nothing to him. He counseled: “Do not be very upright in your dealings for you would see by going to the forest that straight trees are cut down while crooked ones are left standing”. He too lives vibrantly – another ‘invisible man’. Another ‘secret swami’. Chanakya was whispered into their ears away from the rest of the family, and put into their hands for committing to memory, and otherwise communicated by networks of nods and winks. My erstwhile and much-loved students are now out in the world of power and influence doing their darndest. Some of the choicest and most history-steeped of them would, I am sure, to this day be able to look Mr Pittard in the eye with the greatest of directness, warmth and charm (just as when they last rushed up to me at Puttaparthi in 1997 after my long absence), with the terribly invisible Chanakya sitting godfatherly and approvingly on their shoulder.
Be in Puttaparthi and accompanied by any acutely well-informed Indian observer, you will have discreetly pointed out to you a not always charming gallery of those who protect Sathya Sai Baba to the nth degree. You will be privy to a long roll-call of players in the inmost circles of power – governmental, political, armed forces, police, judicial, diplomatic, financial, industrial, and so on. Sathya Sai Baba brings vast foreign and other revenues to India, and, irrespective of what party or coalition of parties ascends in India, he is profoundly protected.
One’s ultimate discussion with oneself is whether one rolls over and cedes to the bully boys (and most in these rigid, autocratic hierarchies are indeed male) – or not.
For my observations on the current sex scandal erupting in India concerning Swami Nithynanda, see:
Why Nithyananda Sex Scandal Investigations and Not A Sathya Sai Baba Probe? In this article, I have proffered some reasons why the Nithyananda scandal has not been hushed up, in marked contrast with Sathya Sai Baba. The Pope and Sathya Sai Baba are immensely ‘big fry’. Nityananda, although reputed to have large numbers of devotees worldwide, is a minnow by comparison.
Posted by robertpriddy on March 28, 2010
Pope Benedict’s Standing In Grave Question
The Netherlands: More than 200 Catholics have until now reported sex assaults.
Germany: Over 250 sex assault cases are under investigation.Austria: A series of accusations of sex abuse have surfaced recently.
Ireland: Two reports in 2009 document sexual and physical abuse on a huge scale in Catholic institutions.
USA: An independent commission in 2004 received 10,667 accusations of abuses by Catholic priests from 1950 to 2002.
UK: A monk who ran a Catholic school was given 8 years prison for decades of child sexual abuse. Two other monks were convicted for sex assaults in 2007.
Australia: In 2008, there were 107 convictions in sex abuse cases connected to the Catholic Church.
New Zealand: There has been a series of accusations of sex abuses in Catholic schools.
Canada: In 1989 a newspaper exposed sex abuse in a Catholic children home in Newfoundland, after which 300 previous children homes have reported sex abuses!
Argentina: Brasil: Peru: the Philippines and Senegal have all reported similar cases.
(Source: Norsk Telegram Byrå and DPA) See A timeline
US lawyers have released a letter with a potential to be highly damaging to Pope Benedict.
Associated Press Report
By NICOLE WINFIELD (AP) – Mar 12, 2010
VATICAN CITY — Germany’s sex abuse scandal has now reached Pope Benedict XVI: His former archdiocese disclosed that while he was archbishop a suspected pedophile priest was transferred to a job where he later abused children.
The pontiff is also under increasing fire for a 2001 Vatican document he later penned instructing bishops to keep such cases secret.
The revelations have put the spotlight on Benedict’s handling of abuse claims both when he was archbishop of Munich from 1977-1982 and then the prefect of the Vatican office that deals with such crimes — a position he held until his 2005 election as pope.
And they may lead to further questions about what the pontiff knew about the scope of abuse in his native Germany, when he knew it and what he did about it during his tenure in Munich and quarter-century term at the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, issued a statement late Friday noting that the Munich vicar-general who approved the priest’s transfer had taken “full responsibility” for the decision, seeking to remove any question about the pontiff’s potential responsibility as archbishop at the time.
Victims’ advocates weren’t persuaded.
“We find it extraordinarily hard to believe that Ratzinger didn’t reassign the predator, or know about the reassignment,” said Barbara Blaine, president and founder of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
See remainder of report HERE
Posted by Barry Pittard on March 23, 2010
There is a Spanish version available: