Bad Touch Friday

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Memo to Joe Ratzinger and His Holy Enablers: YOU ARE DUMB.

On Tuesday, we discussed, we discussed the latest in Catholic sexual predator cover-ups, especially the lenient behavior shown by the current Pope, or the current Pope's former office, toward the priest who spent years abusing two hundred deaf children in his care.

And on the premise that you're only as good as your best defense, we turned to the Catholic League's Bill Donohue, who argued that it was mean to blame the Pope for covering up the sex crime, because that was standard operating procedure for everyone, everywhere, back in the day. But I will freely admit, as I have in the past, that Bill Donohue is a frickin' moron. So what do some of the Pope's more enlightened defenders say? ACTUAL VATICAN STATEMENT TIME!

"It is important to note that the canonical question presented to the Congregation was unrelated to any potential civil or criminal proceedings against Father Murphy. In such cases, the Code of Canon Law does not envision automatic penalties, but recommends that a judgment be made not excluding even the greatest ecclesiastical penalty of dismissal from the clerical state. In light of the facts that Father Murphy was elderly and in very poor health, and that he was living in seclusion and no allegations of abuse had been reported in over 20 years, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith suggested that the Archbishop of Milwaukee give consideration to addressing the situation by, for example, restricting Father Murphy's public ministry and requiring that Father Murphy accept full responsibility for the gravity of his acts. Father Murphy died approximately four months later, without further incident." - Vatican spokesman Frederico Lombardi.

While the language is flowery, the point is the same as Donohue's. First, that the Church handled it internally, and that it's not their fault that nobody told the cops. He also confirms, essentially, that they went easy on the priest because, well, he was old and tired and hadn't molested anyone recently. And hey, he didn't molest anyone during the four months he was on his deathbed, so obviously they did the right thing!

So the best the Vatican can come up with is that there wasn't a cover-up, they just didn't tell anyone about it. Oh, and also, through their Vatican newspaper mouthpieces, they accuse the media of being engaged in a conspiracy against the Pope. Blaming the messenger always makes you look good.

But what about the American clergy? Who will defend the Pope on these shores? New York archbishop Timothy Dolan, you're up!

"Anytime this horror, this vicious sin, this nauseating crime is reported, as it needs to be, victims and their families are wounded again, the vast majority of faithful priests bow their heads in shame anew and sincere Catholics like you experience another dose of shock, sorrow and even anger. What deepens the sadness now is the unrelenting insinuations against the Holy Father himself, as certain sources seem almost frenzied to implicate the man."

Oh, that's fucking rich. First, he's pretending that this new information is actually a new report of sexual abuse. But it's a new report of an old failure to report sexual abuse. So where's your "as it needs to be" now, asshole? But the best part is how he blames the people who are pointing out that it was Ratzinger's deputy in Ratzinger's office at the very least, for making everyone's sin-sadness EVEN WORSE.?

You hear that, New York Times? You may not have fondled two hundred deaf children, but by reporting on who might have covered it up, you're actually making people feel worse than if they'd just heard about the fondling of two hundred deaf children! I don't know how they can live with themselves. No, I really don't know, but that mainly has to do with all the Judy Miller and WMD stuff, not this story.

But enough with these flunkies. Let's let the old Inquisitor with the big hat speak for himself. He can do that, right? Apparently not. Joey Big Hats is staying above the fray. We do, however, have a more conversationally infuriating quote from Lombardi we can make fun of.

"The Pope is a person of faith. He sees this as a test for him and the Church."

People of faith see everything as tests. Get caught fucking a hooker? You're being tested. Caught embezzling? Being tested. How come the test never comes when they decide whether to fuck the hooker, steal the cash, or let the child molester off scot free? Fuck your tests, Pope. You failed. Be happy with your global religious empire, your sovereign nation-state, and your piles of gold, and take your damn public image lumps like a man. The church has, unfortunately and inexplicably, survived worse over the centuries.