So now the Vatican isn’t only hypocritical, insensitive and complicitous: Pope Ratzo and company have become arrogant, declaring the “attempted ordination” of women one of the gravest crimes ever, on par with … get this … pedophilia.
Under the Vatican’s dictate, issued to bishops worldwide, both the women who agree to an ordination ceremony and the priests who conduct them would suffer the Church’s most severe penalty: excommunication.
These are the same kinds of stones (OK: hubris) shown by countless public servants and other politicos in North Jersey who’ve been caught the past few years with their hands out and dirty money in their pockets. And you know what happened to them.
Diddling little boys takes things to an entirely new level, though. You get a lot more time behind bars — not to mention the attention of a major portion of the prison population.
So I say: Come to North Jersey, Mein Vater. Bring the “brain trust.” Maybe we can get you all arrested and charged with aiding and abetting child molesters.
Excuse me if the Vatican’s promise of “rigor and transparency” in addressing sex abuse within its ranks comes off like one of the Three Biggest Lies (and you know which one I’m talking about).
At the very moment in history when it should be fighting the crime of the millenium — namely: its own protection of rapists and molesters over the children whose lives they ruin — the Church is condemning women who want to do God’s work, while reinforcing the male prerogative.
Where’s the zero-tolerance declaration? Where’s the excommunication for the “pedofathers“? Or for the bishops who’ve hidden the crimes under their vestments?
Ratzinger (Sorry: Pope Benedict XVI) had a golden opportunity to rally the faithful and maybe even do the unthinkable — win some new followers — at a time when the Catholic Church’s ranks (not to mention its revenues) are falling faster than a clipped angel.
All Papa needed do was declare “Abbastanza!” or “Ich hatte genug!” He could have pursued the accused pedophiles and handed them over to the local authorities in each country.
“THIS is what we do,” he could have said, warning any cleric who even thought about venturing into man-boy love to forget it.
Ratzo could have stopped the scandal in its disgusting tracks. He could have stirred faith, the bedrock of all religion. The Catholic Church could have been, if you’ll excuse the expression, born again.
But no: He went medieval.
For good measure, there was this past week’s declaration that the Church would sooner sell crack than let women be priests.
Think about it: Even if the Pope privately considered it a gimmick, allowing women to become priests would have been a deliberate, definitive step toward cleaning up the Vatican’s act.
After all: From Day One, ordination was reserved for celibate men. But since many of them obviously can’t keep a simple vow, why not drop the misogyny and give women a chance to show how it’s done?
Maybe it’s time for good women and men to remove the artificial separation of church and state. Maybe our leaders need to start conducting their own investigations, without having to wait for the Church to deliver sinners to their court.
Our U.S. Attorney’s Office has the investigators. So does Attorney General Paula Dow. Or any number of prosecutor’s offices (although I don’t know how comfortable Bergen County top cop John Molinelli, a Catholic, might feel about this. Or Eddie DeFazio in Hudson. Or Jerry Speziale in Passaic).
No one is immune to a subpoena in this country. Not even Ratzo himself.
So how ‘bout taking a little vacation, Papa? We’ve got a beautiful cathedral in Newark — and, just down the street, marvelous St. Lucy’s, with its shrine to St. Gerard Majella — who (what do you know?) served as counsel to communities of religious women.
We also have Hoboken, Ratzo: While your Italian henchmen check out the greatest mozzarella in the world at Fiore’s or collapse from heat exhaustion while trying to get their pics taken with the Cake Boss, you can duck into Helmer’s on Washington Ave. for a Hacher-Pschorr. What’s the wurst that could happen? (Sorry.)
Marci A. Hamilton, a professor of constitutional law at Yeshiva University, raises some excellent points:
“As the leader in the free world for human rights enforcement, the United States is uniquely positioned to enact authoritative measures, including having the State Department add the Holy See to its list of countries to be monitored for human rights abuses,” Hamilton wrote in a letter to The New York Times.
“Another promising path that the president and Congress should consider is amending the Mann Act, which outlaws the movement of people, including children, for purposes of illegal sex. A section should be added to include prohibiting the movement of employees known or suspected to have sexually abused children.”
I say we give our U.S. Attorney’s Office here in N.J. a crack at it, see what shakes out. Christopher Christie, a faithful Catholic, isn’t the boss there anymore; he’s governor now. The new guy’s name is Fishman.
A fisher of men. Perfect.
Could you just picture Heaven’s Eleven (probably more) doing time at Northern State in Newark? We could even send ‘em to Rahway and paint the dome gold, just to make ‘em feel more at home.
You could be sure if Jesus himself were alive today, there’d be hell to pay. So how about we explain a few things to these guys ourselves?