(by Jerry Slevin, retired Wall Street lawyer)
If Nero fiddled while Rome burned; Pope Benedict XVI is tweeting. Christians worldwide have again celebrated the incomprehensible birth of the divine child, Jesus, that changed and still changes history, both for believers and non-believers. A half world away, Sydney’s Cardinal Pell apologized deeply for the Catholic Church’s continuing failures, directly alluding thereby to his unexpected bold admission, earlier this month to Scottish Bishops, of the Church’s continuing failures sufficiently to protect children from sexual violence and to help sexual abuse survivors heal. In Rome, on the other hand, the Pope amazingly tweeted about his childhood nativity set. You can’t make this stuff up!
What is going on? Is Cardinal Pell campaigning against the ruling Vatican clique’s “Omerta” policy on child abuse to try to get elected next pope on a reform platform? Or is he only trying to spin the media in advance of Australia’s royal commission’s personally threatening investigation of the Catholic Church’s role in condoning sexual violence against children? Or both? Is he expecting that this commission’s proceedings and findings will lead to breaking the centuries’ old power grip of secretive Vatican cliques directly on the Catholic hierarchy and indirectly on the worldwide Catholic Church community? Is he also worried about his own personal situation?
Will other Cardinals follow Pell’s apparent lead, now or before the next papal election anticipated to be occurring soon? Separately, what impact might President Obama’s potential actions have now, in light of the imminent Australian efforts, in ending the Vatican’s long standing efforts to cover-up priest sexual abuse of children?
The Pope, of course, is well aware of the abuse Elephant in the Room. Indeed, a few days ago, he shockingly, apparently either arrogantly or obliviously, appointed as chief Vatican prosecutor of predatory priests one of disgraced Boston Cardinal Law’s former canon lawyers, who reportedly has a reputation for going much easier than many canonists on accused predatory priests. Law’s “man” will replace the last prosecutor who got “promoted out” of Rome after unexpectedly and publicly announcing on child abuse matters that the Vatican administration operates under a code of silence, or “Omerta”, as it is also called in the Godfather movies.
Please tell President Obama to try to stop this endless Vatican evasion by setting up a special U.S. commission now to investigate all organizational sexual abuse, not just in the Catholic Church, and to identify suitable Federal responses. Please click on and read, then sign, the short petition at: http://wh.gov/5aAQ
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