In his first foreign trip since sex abuse scandals in Europe and the US broke, Pope Benedict has said the Church has been “wounded by its sins”.

msnbc


The pope did not directly refer to the sex abuse or its cover-up, but it is clear that this is what he meant. And, clearly, the pope has it backwards. Th church is not wounded. The church is the wounder.

The President of Malta, however, has it right:

Maltese President George Abela made the first direct reference to the abuse crisis in his welcome speech at the airport.

The Republic of Malta, whose population is strongly Catholic, has no state religion, the president pointed out to the Pope.

Then he referred to the criminal case currently before a Maltese court in which three Catholic priests are accused of sexually abusing 10 Maltese men when they were children in a Catholic orphanage.

“Justice must be seen to be done,” the president told the Pope.

Take that, Pope!

Comments

  1. #1 Stephanie Z
    April 17, 2010

    Hey, when we live in a world where atheists are implying that other atheists only care about this because it makes the church look bad, why should we expect the pope to be able to figure out who’s fucked up.

  2. #2 daedalus2u
    April 17, 2010

    What he is exhibiting is actually quite common among perpetrators and other top-down authority figures. It derives from narcissistic injury. This is where the “kill the messenger” sentiment comes from, from narcissistic injury.

    http://daedalus2u.blogspot.com/2010/04/i-call-goodwins-law.html

    The injury isn’t to the Church, it is to the Pope’s delusional fantasy of what the Church is, something that is a force for only good and that he is the leader of. That fantasy has been destroyed. Even someone as delusional as the Pope can appreciate that. Of course he has to externalize the source of the injury. The victims are the easiest to blame because they are defenseless, now as they were when the abuse happened.

  3. #3 Larian LeQuella
    April 17, 2010

    You may find this handy when trying to decipher the catholic church: http://www.catholic-blame.com/

  4. #4 Anonymous
    April 17, 2010

    The Pope had very important things on his mind; he couldn’t be distracted by the rape victims in Malta who had requested a sit-down with him. The Pope had a much higher calling, speaking out against the evils of divorce (Times of Malta, full speech, video). Divorce, along with abortion and pornography, are illegal in Malta. Never mind that the Catholic Church is also currently shielding accused pedophile priests there; that’s not important. One priest still works with children? Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. A Canada-wide warrant for Rev. Godwin Scerri, last seen in Malta? Absolutely no concern.

    On the lighter side, the Facebook page to save the Zobb Monument (mentioned by PZ) has created a humorous forum for dissent, including an epic poke at hypocrisy.

  5. #5 Virgil Samms
    April 17, 2010

    It boils down to who/what he means by “the church.” You are apparently thinking he means the white male dress-clad hierarchy. It is just possible that he means the collection of a billion or so individuals who subordinate themselves to that hierarchy.

  6. #6 Stephanie Z
    April 17, 2010

    Damn, Virgil, that was the funniest thing I’ve read all day.

  7. #7 WTFWJD
    April 17, 2010

    Who are you going to believe, the Pope or your lying eyes?

    That level of chutzpah marks a true sociopath.

  8. #8 Skepticop
    April 17, 2010
  9. #9 Sean the Blogonaut
    April 17, 2010

    What concerned me most in the original article is not so much the beating around the bush by the pope and the call for justice from the Maltese leader – i think this is political posturing.

    What was concerning was their joint position on secularism ie that it was a bad thing. There seems to be no understanding that the church’s cultural and legal privileges have compounded or contributed to the abuse and cover up

  10. #10 daedalus2u
    April 18, 2010

    Excuse me, but from my understanding of what the Pope and the Catholic Church Hierarchy is doing and saying they do not have the capacity to understand the harm that has been done to these children. If they did understand, they would have stopped the sexual abuse of children by priests when it first started. They did not stop it. Without understanding the magnitude of the harm that has been done, how can the Pope and the Catholic Church Hierarchy figure out how to mitigate that harm?

    My presumption is that they are not made of pure evil, they did not allow children to be raped by priests because they thought it was good for the children, or because they didn’t care that children would be damaged, but because they didn’t think the damage would be “that bad”, or that the damage couldn’t be made “all better” with just a few waves of the holy stuff. My presumption is that they are ignorant, that they have been blinded by their delusional world view into thinking that prayer and magic words can heal any injury, even the injury of priests raping children.

    It clearly is narcissistic injury the Pope is feeling. Injury to his narcissistic vision of what the Catholic Church is. In the Pope’s narcissism, the injury he feels is a grievous wound, an injury the Catholic Church hierarchy feels is analogous to what the Jews feel from the Holocaust. Analogous to the antisemitism that the Catholic Church preached against the Jews for centuries. It feels like a blood libel against the Catholic Church. But it isn’t a “blood libel” because it is true. Yes, the Pope does feel even more hurt because it is true, but the hurt the Pope feels is of his own making. He personally could have stopped it decades ago. He chose to not stop it. He made a bad choice.

    We are supposed to fell sorry for the Pope because his delusional vision of himself as a holy person has been shattered because the lies that have been told on his behalf have been found out?

  11. #11 abb3w
    April 18, 2010

    That the wound was self-inflicted via stupidity does not mean that it isn’t a wound; it just means that caring for that wound is less important to many people than the non-self-inflicted wounds.

  12. #12 daedalus2u
    April 18, 2010

    abb3w, the “wound” the Pope is talking about isn’t the sex abuse, the “wound” the Pope is talking about is everyone finding about the sex abuse and the cover up.

    It is the disclosure of the sex abuse and the cover up that has “wounded” the church.

    A few months ago, as far as the Pope was concerned, there was no “wound”, that is because all of the sex abuse and cover up was still secret.

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