Monday, April 12, 2010

Vatican Goes There: Colm O'Gorman on Vatican's "Deceitful and Vile" Attempt to Blame Abuse Crisis on Gays

I doubt anyone's surprised by the latest: this from Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the pope's second in command, who has just blamed the abuse crisis on--you guessed it--the gays.  Yesterday, the Jews.  Today, the gays.

As Colm O'Gorman writes, a "deceitful and vile" tactic that once again shields those responsible for this crisis and its cover-up from all responsibility, while dumping on an already vulnerable minority:

And then tonight, just to top it all, the Popes second in command Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, said that homosexuality is the cause of paedophilia.

Speaking at a press conference in Chile he rejected the notion that celibacy has any part to play in the sex abuse scandals. He may well be right that celibacy itself is not directly a causative factor, after all men who are struggling to stay celibate can and do chose to have adult sexual relationships, they are surely more likely to do that than rape a child to satisfy their normal sexual urges?

But to suggest that homosexuality is to blame for paedophilia is deceitful and vile. To blame an already marginalised section of society for the crimes of child rapists is a contemptible act which further reinforces homophobia and hatred and grants permission to bigotry and violence.

It is also a blatant deceit. It is true that the majority of victims of abusing priests are male children and teenagers. But by no means are all.  And even so, we don’t describe sexual offenders who target girl children as heterosexual offenders, we describe them as paedophiles. The gender of the victim does not make the abuse either heterosexual or homosexual and many abusers target children of both sexes.

For instance one of Ireland’s most notorious offenders Fr Brendan Smyth abused mainly girls. Fr Oliver O’Grady whose offending was the basis of the Oscar nominated film Deliver us from Evil abused both girls and boys as did countless other clerical rapists.

What has Cardinal Bertone got to say to their victims and the countless thousands of other female victims of priestly rapists across the world? Is the reality of their experiences to be denied and covered up in yet another attempt to whitewash the truth and spin the facts in to deflect blame from the Vatican onto others?

Not much I would imagine, after all truth, justice and basic human decency doesn’t appear to matter much to Bertone and his fellow church leaders.

And where are those of integrity within the Church to challenge such hateful claptrap? For months now we have heard that Cardinal Sean Brady is a man of integrity and purpose who truly wishes to deal with the abuse issue effectively. We hear the same mantra about other Bishops here in Ireland, in the UK and in other places.

Well let’s see them prove it.

Keeping the gay-bashing brick firmly in place while the entire wall tumbles to the ground . . . .

P.S. I've just noted that Andrew Sullivan's headline for his posting about Bertone's remarks also uses the "goes there" phrase.  I hadn't read Andrew Sullivan's posting until after I posted mine, though.