May 29, 2005

Is the Pope Corrupt?

I knew that would get your attention, but that's what a good many people are asking these days. It has to do with a decision by somebody within the Vatican curia to drop the investigation against Fr. Marcial Maciel, L.C., the founder of the Legionaries of Christ. That religious order is widely believed to be a cult, and more than one bishop in this country has refused to allow them to minister in his diocese. That's extraordinary, but it's happened before in Catholic history to orders like, say, the Jesuits. But it's still very much out of the ordinary.
This is what some of the hard liners are saying:

The pope is facing new accusations that he 'faked' an investigation into child abuse by a leader of an influential Roman Catholic order to show the world that he was taking [a] tough stance against offenders in order to get himself elected the leader of the Catholic Church.

The disgraced pontiff Benedict XVI is accused of opening an investigation into the conduct of the alleged serial molester and leader of the Legionnaires [sic] of Christ Marcial Maciel in December [of] last year but promptly dropping the investigation after being elected as the pope last month.

Source: click here.

I think there are a lot of high emotions about this issue, especially among victims of child sexual abuse, and there is relatively little information. The Legionaries of Christ issued a press release last Friday saying the "Holy See" had dropped the case. But, supposedly, the unsigned, faxed memo that served as the basis of this press release didn't come from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the arm of the Vatican that is in charge with investigating child sex abuse and that Pope Benedict was in charge of when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger.

I'm only quoting the following to show the vitriol of some people on this matter. This is not my opinion, but I think it shows how strongly some people feel.

the time has come
Written by Guest on 2005-05-29 15:44:31
throw a few cardinals in prison and watch how fast the church finds its religion. anybody who thinks these folks are about anything more than power and cash needs to open their eyes. i say we start with international criminal and pedo-priest lover bernard cardinal law. throw his pretentious queenly ass in prison with the plebes and watch the miraculous change that happens in the catholic church.

Those are pretty strong words. I infer that this person is a male Catholic who was probably a victim of clerical sexual abuse, and I can empathize with him. But we don't have the proof yet about Maciel, and we may never have it. Secrecy seems to be a cardinal virtue, no pun intended.

Ed Deluzain