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View Diary: New Information Emerges on Pope John Paul II (308 comments)

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  •  Never attribute to malice that which incompetence (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SuWho, TomP

    is sufficient to explain.

    No crazy conspiracy theories are necessary to explain the calamitous reign of John Paul II; the man was simply a relatively ignorant provincial in way over his head, and ruled the Vatican with the equally incompetent assistance of a small circle of trusted insiders mostly from Poland.

    The rank incompetence of John Paul II at the simplest administrative tasks was the proximate cause permitting the horrific pedophile priest scandal to suppurate for over a decade. And his extremely reactionary view of the Church led to the destruction of 'liberation theology', the firm alliance of the Church with Latin American dictators, the reversal of Vatican II reforms, and the rise of Ratzinger as his successor.

    •  Malice is the proximate cause of the sex abuse (3+ / 0-)
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      AoT, SeaTurtle, happymisanthropy

      scandal and it has persisted throughout the history of the Church. (See the book by Doyle, Sipe and Wall) It takes a particular type of malice to aid and abet the sexaul torture of thousands and thousands of children over the centuries.

      Wojtyla's malice lay in his overarching desire for a victory of the Catholic Church over communism in Poland. To that end, he was willing to support death squads in Latin American, other clandestine rightwing terrorism we probably do not yet fully know about and appoint bishops all over the world who would promote the interets of the same people helping and funding the downfall of communism in Eastern Europe.

    •  You can say a lot of things about JPII but (3+ / 0-)
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      Don midwest, wu ming, AoT

      incompetence is not one of them. He did not screw up the handling of clerical sex abuse, he acted to protect those that mattered most - the priests. He did not fail to protect anyone he protected those he believed needed protection the hierarchy of the church. After all what is the suffering of a few children compared with the need to protect "The Bride of Christ". It was not incompetence is was intentional.

      He saw the world as Maggie Thatcher and Ronald Reagan saw it - as a place under attack by the Evil One. He saw the child abuse scandal as an attack on Mother Church by Satan and his forces. Just like communism. In his mind these scandals were about destroying the reputation of the church and ultimatly destroying the church itself. Child sex abuse itself is as old as human history. The modern difference is that now we understand that the victims deserve our protection and help and the abusers deserve prison and condemnation.

      The Catholic church also saw the French Revolution as an existential threat and countered it with conservative thinking. They burned critics at the stake. At the turn of the 20th century they published a list of books that one should never read or risk excommunication.

      So do not let Catholicism off easy by claiming that the church made a simple mistake about child sex abuse. It was no mistake. They chose to throw those kids under the bus.

      •  You hit the nail on the head. (4+ / 0-)
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        Don midwest, a2nite, SeaTurtle, AoT

        The overarching purpose of the popes throughout history has been to maintain and advance the Church's own wealth and power. The deaths, torture, impoverishment, etc. etc. of others is of no concern.

      •  Au, contraire mon frere. (2+ / 0-)
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        lgcap, Don midwest

        Not letting the Church off the hook at all. Scores of Bishops & Cardinals need to be rotting in jail for for life what they did to shield the rapists of children from justice, and to provide them access to even more victims. For decades. No one is angrier about this atrocity than I am, trust me. I left the Church largely because of it.

        But John Paul II was indeed mind-bogglingly incompetent. He was famously uninterested in the boring but utterly essential nuts & bolts management of the Vatican. Countless decisions large and small went unmade. Or they were negligently made by an ignorant cabal of (mostly Polish) close friends of Woytila who were utterly clueless about how the Vatican and the Church as a whole actually ran. Finances fell apart. Basic functions fell apart. The only thing that was really a priority for him was packing the College of Cardinals and replacing the Episcopate with hundreds of extremely conservative members. Most of whom were not coincidentally utterly incompetent managers themselves.

        •  You see I agree with you that he was a bad pope (0+ / 0-)

          but I tend to think he was more responsible for the problems than you do. I think he damn well knew about the child abuse and acted the way he did intentionally. There is no job manual for the job of pope. Each pope basically defines the job his way. He uses the Curia or the Curia uses him. There was much corruption and he chose to ignore it. He decided it was more important to chase his Marian devotion and leave the day to day business to the Curialists. They run the church anyway. The entire leadership of the church from assistant bishop on up should resign and spend the rest of their sorry lives on their knees begging Gods forgiveness in a monks cell or prison cell. Prayer and contemplation. Let some new people figure out how to save the church.

    •  incompetence or malice (1+ / 0-)
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      Don midwest

      I call it the deliberate decision to defend the prerogatives and image of the church, regardless of the harm done to molested children and society as a whole.

      If one believes that the Pope truly is God's agent on earth, then damning an entire generation is preferable to allowing the Church to become "corrupted" by outside ideas.

      Then, of course, there's all the money.

      all morals are relative, but some are more relative than others.

      by happymisanthropy on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 12:22:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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