Vatican Posts Guidelines On "How To Handle Sex Abusers" On Its Website.

The heat is finally getting to the Vatican because they finally posted guidelines on their website to add some clarity on the issue of how they should

The heat is finally getting to the Vatican because they finally posted guidelines on their website to add some clarity on the issue of how they should handle sex abuse case.

An issue that should not need any clarity at all.

The Vatican responded Monday to allegations that it had concealed years of clerical sex abuse by making it clear for the first time that bishops and other high-ranking clerics should report such crimes to police if required by law.

Victims have charged that the Catholic Church created what amounted to a conspiracy to cover up abuse by keeping allegations that priests raped and molested children secret and not reporting them to civil authorities.

The Vatican has insisted that it has long been the Catholic Church's policy for bishops, like all Christians, to obey civil laws. In a new guide for lay readers posted on its Web site, the Vatican explicitly spells out such a policy.

''Civil law concerning reporting of crimes to the appropriate authorities should always be followed,'' the Vatican guidelines said.

That phrase was not included in a draft of the guidelines obtained Friday by The Associated Press. The rest of the guidelines follow previously known and public procedures for handling canonical investigations and trials of suspected abuse...read on

The Vatican offered no explanation for the addition.

Doesn't that make everyone feel so much better? Ross Douthat actually tries to make the case that the new Pope is better than the old Pope because the abuses happened under his watch.

The church’s dilatory response to the sex abuse scandals was a testament to these weaknesses. So was John Paul’s friendship with the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ. The last pope loved him and defended him. But we know now that Father Maciel was a sexually voracious sociopath. And thanks to a recent exposé by The National Catholic Reporter’s Jason Berry, we know the secret of Maciel’s Vatican success: He was an extraordinary fund-raiser, and those funds often flowed to members of John Paul’s inner circle. Only one churchman comes out of Berry’s story looking good: Joseph Ratzinger.

Berry recounts how Ratzinger lectured to a group of Legionary priests, and was subsequently handed an envelope of money “for his charitable use.” The cardinal “was tough as nails in a very cordial way,” a witness said, and turned the money down.

Sorry, no sale. So Ratzinger didn't take an envelope with cash. The fact that he was handed an envelope stuffed with money shows how the Catholic church was operating like a group from a Mario Puzo novel rather than a religious institution.

And MoDo makes sense in her latest column about being a woman and living as a Catholic. Worlds Without Women

When I was in Saudi Arabia, I had tea and sweets with a group of educated and sophisticated young professional women.

I asked why they were not more upset about living in a country where women’s rights were strangled, an inbred and autocratic state more like an archaic men’s club than a modern nation. They told me, somewhat defensively, that the kingdom was moving at its own pace, glacial as that seemed to outsiders.

How could such spirited women, smart and successful on every other level, acquiesce in their own subordination?

I was puzzling over that one when it hit me: As a Catholic woman, I was doing the same thing.

I, too, belonged to an inbred and wealthy men’s club cloistered behind walls and disdaining modernity.

I, too, remained part of an autocratic society that repressed women and ignored their progress in the secular world.

I, too, rationalized as men in dresses allowed our religious kingdom to decay and to cling to outdated misogynistic rituals, blind to the benefits of welcoming women’s brains, talents and hearts into their ancient fraternity.

To circumscribe women, Saudi Arabia took Islam’s moral codes and orthodoxy to extremes not outlined by Muhammad; the Catholic Church took its moral codes and orthodoxy to extremes not outlined by Jesus. In the New Testament, Jesus is surrounded by strong women and never advocates that any woman — whether she’s his mother or a prostitute — be treated as a second-class citizen.

Negating women is at the heart of the church’s hideous — and criminal — indifference to the welfare of boys and girls in its priests’ care. Lisa Miller writes in Newsweek’s cover story about the danger of continuing to marginalize women in a disgraced church that has Mary at the center of its founding story:...read on.

Growing up a Catholic and reading all this new information about sexual abuse cases and how the church poobahs did their best to cover them up again has infuriated me. I thought I couldn't get any angrier than I was the last time, but that's not true. And if their behavior indicates one thing---it will be that I'll be staying mad for a very long time.

About John Amato

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