April 05, 2005

The Pope Who Revived the Office of the Inquisition



This week you will be inundated with honorific obituaries to Karol Wojtila, Pope John Paul II. I am writing not to honor Wojtila; he will (quite frankly) receive more honor in the next week than any individual mortal deserves. I write as a witness to the damage this man did during his 26 years as Roman pontiff to the causes of liberty and peace throughout the world.

There will be few voices such as mine raised on the occasion of Wojtila's death, but someone must speak the truth. Much of what I say here will be new (perhaps even surprising) to non-Catholics. To Catholics, I write to remind them of what each of them knows but seldom acknowledges. Karol Wojtila forced the best minds out of the Catholic Church, or at least to the extreme margins of the Church. Wojtila sanctified the baroque reproductive/sexual bugaboos that infest the Catholic Church while striving to ideologically lobotomize the Catholic clergy and laity. Although he was a fine ambassador of good will to Protestants, Jews, and Muslims, Wojtila degraded the richness of Catholic faith and tradition into mindless displays of loyalty. An archaic organization that had shown signs of serious promise as a refreshed (and even potentially progressive) social force under Popes John XXIII and Paul VI was methodically and ruthlessly drubbed into the mold of ideological and cultural reaction. The record shows that Karol Wojtila was a charming man and a master of international public relations, but he was a political and cultural reactionary to his core. ...

18. Last but not least, Karol Wojtila proved his utter moral bankruptcy in his horrendous mishandling of the pedophile scandals in the Catholic Churches of the United States, Canada, Ireland, Britain, and several other nations. Wojtila could never bring himself to a clear apology or an acknowledgement of wrongdoing or institutional responsibility for the Catholic Church's practices of abuse, intimidation, and rape of tens of thousands of children and adolescents. Most reprehensibly, Wojtila removed the independent power of the United States Catholic bishops to discipline pedophile priests while attributing the horror and filth within the American Catholic Church to some sort of American cultural malady.

Posted by kshaw at April 5, 2005 03:29 PM