April 14, 2005

From the Vatican to Neverland


by Tom Turnipseed April 13, 2005

"He is like a poster child for the sex abuse scandal" said Barbara Blaine in describing Cardinal Bernard Law who gave a memorial mass for Pope John Paul II at St. Peterís Basilica in Rome this week. Ms. Blaine is a U. S. Catholic who was in Rome as a representative of the Survivorís Network of those Abused by Priests to protest. Ms. Blaine says she was sexually abused as a child by her parish priest from 1969 to 1974. Cardinal Law is the former archbishop of Boston who was forced to resign in 2002 because he purposefully moved priests from parish to parish when he knew they were sexually abusing minors in their parish. Cardinal Law appeared to be an enabler of priests involved in criminal activity as well as complicit in a criminal conspiracy.

The sex scandal in the Boston diocese implicated dozens of priests who were sexually abusive to their young parishioners and resulted in Cardinal Law being named in over 500 lawsuits. The disturbing stories of sex among the sacred and cover-ups by higher-ups across the U.S. exploded in the media. Cardinal Law went on "retreat" and then quietly became chaplain to the Sisters of Mercy of Alma in Clinton, Maryland. In a startling rebuke to elemental principles of justice Pope John Paul II named Cardinal Law as the archpriest of St. Mary Major Basilica in the holy city of Rome on May 27, 2004. Living in a classical Roman apartment on a $12,000 monthly stipend, Cardinal Law was selected for the honor of celebrating mass on one of the nine days of mourning for Pope John Paul II and will now join the other Cardinals in choosing the next Pope.

Throughout human history, religious dogma has distorted the beauty and reality of human sexuality into a doctrine of guilt and repression. The unreal, unrelenting and misguided view of human sexuality of the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy is mind-boggling. Their stridently pedantic pedagogy on priesthood celibacy, divorce, birth control, sex out-of-wedlock and masturbation is in desperate need of a real-world update. While John Paul II was a Pope of peace, outreach and understanding among the religions and nations of the world he was certainly a traditionalist on human sexuality.

Posted by kshaw at April 14, 2005 08:18 AM