The former Cardinal Ratzinger, now known as Pope Benedict XVI, may be criminally culpable, disgracefully neglectful, deliberately deceitful, and horribly, horribly wrong in his approach to the child rape epidemic within the ranks of the Catholic Church, but there is some truth to the claims made by B16’s supporters that things were even worse before B16 clawed his way into the best room in the Vatican.
B16’s predecessor who, more than any other recent Pope, was so completely, disgustingly, callously, arrogantly, criminally, undeniably deficient in his approach to child rape is the same flawed man the Church is now trying to whitewash into a shining example for all humanity.
The man who, when it came time to vote for his successor, candidates were required to sign an undertaking to promote to sainthood if they were to have any chance at the top job themselves.
The soon to be Patron Saint of Paedophiles, Pope John Paul II.
The mindless cannot see beyond images of a frail old man smiling and waving benignly from his Popemobile. Or of a heroic, blood stained survivor of an assassination attempt.
The fact that the Patron Saint of Paedophiles travelled the world and spoke about love while ruthlessly imposing policies based on hate, avarice, intolerance, authoritarianism, a desire for world domination and the sacrifice of innocents does not make him a good man, far less a “saint”. No amount of overblown claims to have singlehandedly ended communism can dry up the ocean of harm he unleashed upon the world, sweeping away millions of potentially happy lives and leaving behind only rotting remains tortured by guilt, dysfunction and unending suffering.
But he is undeniably a saint if you use the true definition of saint as utilised by the Catholic Church hierarchy. Vatican insiders pretend to believe in, and their theologians spend lifetimes ruminating on, concepts such as early admission to heaven, privileged influence with God, and other such nonsense, but the bald fact is saints are, and always have been, people whose reputation and/or life experiences can be exploited to suit the Church hierarchy’s political ends.
The PSP is vital to the cult of Papal infallibility and the Vatican’s desire for absolute control. Vatican insiders are desperate to crystallise the deluded ravings of JPII groupies who refuse point blank to believe anything negative about their idol, and to present such hallucinations as both true and the only possible viewpoint.
Declaring JPII a saint neatly achieves all of this while also seriously undermining the perceived validity of any annoying facts which contradict claims of saintliness. It draws a line of deception and coverup under any serious discussion of the PSP’s actions or his contribution, or otherwise, to humanity. Once that imaginary halo has been placed on JPII’s head (or don’t they do that any more?), and he is shown to that privileged seat close enough to whisper in God’s ear and influence the almighty, any inconvenient truths can be swept away by the wave of an aristocratic, beringed hand and the words, “He has been proven a saint”.
Ah, yes, we come to the hoary old issue of proof. By all means “miraculous” cures with no discernable scientific explanation do occur. But to “prove” a causal relationship between prayers to a specific saint candidate and such cure, can only be seen by any rational creature as 100% wishful thinking and 0% scientific.
No wonder the Vatican has radically fast tracked the PSP’s path to sainthood, racing with indecent haste to spread the protective and logic repelling mantle of official sanctity over his decidedly whiffy reputation. Meanwhile any actions the Vatican pretends to take but has no intention of implementing, such as helping victims of child rape, preventing rapist priests from re-offending, and protecting children, are inexplicably lost in a bureaucratic maze of obfuscation from which there is no possibility of exit.
The only surprise is that Robert Mugabe, Hosni Mubarak, Muammar Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong Il and others of that ilk did not recognise earlier the benefits of such an effective deception, and declare themselves saints before now.
Though having seen reports that plunderer, human rights offender and international pariah, Robert Mugabe, was a welcome and honoured guest at JPII’s beatification in Rome at a time when he is not considered a fit person to travel to the EU, makes it likely he will realise just how effective a con this sainthood lark is, and declare himself one before long.
I actually have no argument with Catholics honouring those who truly are an example to humanity of the fight for justice, of compassion, and of helping others in need.
But leaving such issues in the hands of an immeasurably corrupt Vatican results in the true “saints” or heroes remaining unrecognised doing their front line, grass roots, unglamorous but vitally necessary work, while the ambitious, the corrupt, the hypocritical and the expedient are rewarded far beyond their deserts.
Such arguments are for Catholics to resolve amongst themselves, but in the case of the PSP, the self congratulatory celebrations will increase the suffering of every single child sexual abuse victim, making them feel once again powerless, ignored, expendable, neglected, silenced, threatened, lied about, and voiceless.
Not once in the rush to bombard the world with pictures of solid gold thrones and giant portraits even Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse -Tung or Nicolae Ceausescu would be jealous of, has the Catholic Church honestly addressed the issue of JPII’s record on this issue.
Instead it continues with the time honoured traditions of distract, excuse, deny and blame.