In life, there are certain signs that are visible; yet silent that scream “Danger Will Robinson” as your brain begins to go into screen saver mode much more frequently. Things such as:
- Folk calling you at 7 p.m. and their first sentence is, “I didn’t wake you, right?”
- The term “Good Grass” now only applies when discussing the neighbor’s lawn.
- You pee every morning like clockwork at 6:30 a.m. – only you don’t wake up until 8 a.m.
I post. You decide. And possibly giggle.
Another is when you are successful, powerful, influential and suddenly… you hire a lawyer?! Really? Such is life for one Joseph “Pope B16” Ratzinger, according to this article from Yahoo! and AP.
Everything is groovy at St. Peter’s Basilica. You know, the guys in funny suits harking to every whim, a nation at your disposal and a world as your footstool for those kicking red shoes (this ain’t Kansas anymore, B. Word. Up.)
Until one day, Il Papa gets a call that his righteous judgment is in question about a serial child molester who was never defrocked, much less punished by law. Oh, and you were the one at the helm when it happened over a period of one… or two… eh, decades.
And so, in a fit of divine inspiration and sublime panic, the Vatican realizes God isn’t enough protection for this ballyhoo:
But as the Vatican reels from a swirling clerical sex abuse crisis, the Holy See has turned to an unusual advocate: a tennis-loving, Saab-driving solo practitioner from Berkeley, Calif., whose obscure interest in sovereign immunity law and fluency in Italian landed him the job of the pope’s U.S. lawyer.
There’s a mantra in public relations that says, “Perception is reality.” So, which one is this?
Does the Bishop of Rome and leader of the Roman Catholic Church just need some legal advice or is there something to hide? Is he sweeping something under that big funny hat of his or just in need of a friend who happens to understand this enigmatic “sovereign immunity law”?
[His] latest project: defend Pope Benedict XVI against allegations that he personally, and the Vatican generally, turned a blind eye to decades of rapes and molestation of children by priests. The Vatican has vehemently denied such reports, saying the pope has done more than anyone to root out abusers.
“What is most important for people to know is that he does understand, that his heart is moved,” Lena said. “He has seen the files, he gets it, and indeed he got it long before most others did.”
Yet, there’s the 800-pound gorilla in the room wearing a nice, flowing robe, blinging with some gold-encrusted crucifix and that nice, silk beanie missing the twirling propeller. We know when confronted with a sinister man who sexually abused hundreds of deaf boys – and admitted it – the once Cardinal Ratzinger was more concerned about the media hit than the welfare of the acolytes.
To borrow a slogan, "They need hope and change."
And now? It seems the Holy See is still concerned about the perception instead of the reality.
I appreciate his recent tearful homily in Malta where the Pope said he would “seek justice for pedophile priests and implement effective measures to protect young people from abuse.” However, if you knew the Catholic Church had so many raging freaks on the down low, why not come out swinging the moment the black smoke billowed in the Vatican sky?
Is this apoplectic concern because you are tired of the madness, or just sick of being called out for it?
Pope Benedict even visited some of these victims. According to the USA Today story:
“He prayed with them and assured them that the Church is doing, and will continue to do, all in its power to investigate allegations, to bring to justice those responsible for abuse and to implement effective measures designed to safeguard young people in the future,” the Vatican statement said.
I applaud that. I get that. But there’s still that lawyer thing. Out of nowhere is a simple man who probably smells of Chai tea, fresh ink and day-old Brut cologne. Yet, he is the appointed counsel for the Holy See… who is supposed to getting his counsel from our holy Father.
Lawyers provide protection, comfort and peace in the midst of a tumultuous storm, but is that necessary unless you are out in a boat amidst a hurricane? The Vatican certainly is getting pelted with a flurry of law suits, and rightly so. However, there is a demand for stronger action against these freaks who abuse innocent boys.
Please? Defrocking a priest is a slap on the wrist compared to the righteous judgment they deserve; yet that doesn’t even happen to some of these dudes with soiled collars.
There are good priests, phenomenal in their church and communities who watch this mess and know their names are stained because of the work of these dolts. Those bad seeds should be plucked out and exposed for the fools they are, but instead, their fearless leader gets legal representation.
It just smacks more of hiding than fighting… and in a time of despair, there needs to be some righteous indignation and holy fisticuffs coming from the Papal offices. Instead, we get a sinewy finger pointing in our direction as if it’s our fault.
Consider this story from USA Today and a report from the Pope demanding “We must repent.”
“I must say, we Christians, even in recent times, have often avoided the word ‘repent,’ which seemed too tough,” ANSA [the Pontifical News Agency] quoted Benedict as saying. “But now under attack from the world, which has been telling us about our sins … we realize that it’s necessary to repent, in other words, recognize what is wrong in our lives.”
Sorry my brother but we need to repent daily for our sins… but this ain’t one of them. Enough posturing, blaming and running. People demand backbones from their leaders – not wishbones.
The Papal office is supposed to be the divine revelation of God. What the Catholic Church needs, nee should demand is for that office to become the divine representation of God as well.
And that is something not found in a legal brief or a courtroom. It comes with prayer, repentance and an earnest desire to hearken to the Spirit of God. If there is anyone on this planet who is capable of focusing on God’s will, it’s this guy. Church – and I mean all of us – we need to pray for the Pope as never before.
Lord Jesus, bring peace to this petulance. Bring hope for the hurting. Bring a solution for the suffering.
Whether you attend a Catholic Church, this guy needs our support because there are more than a billion ardent people looking to Rome for an answer and some action. They don’t need to see legal writ or spin control. They need action and an unction from Pope Benedict to put an end to this sardonic behavior, face the evil that it is and sick the legion of heaven on it.
Heck, I saw “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels and Demons.” I know that can happen. Perception is reality. Remember?