Thursday, 21 February 2013

Why did the Pope really resign?

Children run in St. Peter's Square
The Vatican is, it seems, not immune to spin. They have announced that Pope Benedict XVI (not his real name you understand - in a former life he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) has resigned early due to "ill health". Video of him falling asleep during ceremonies has been broadcast. But is that the real reason?

Why do clergy in the Catholic Church have a real name and a religious name? If one becomes Pope, one changes one's name again. If you were a mistrustful victim of abuse, you would say that it makes priests more difficult to trace. Certainly police investigating a children's home run by brothers in Merseyside had just such a problem in the 1990's. The real reason is, of course that they are agents of God, and thus must take on the name of a Saint, it makes logical sense, n'est-ce pas?

It has been said that the retired Pope will live within an apartment inside the walls of the Vatican. Some have speculated that this is to keep him safe from prosecution for moving on sex offending priests in Germany. One cannot believe everything one reads in newspapers, even more so the Internet. In my experience, however, there is no smoke without fire, and that most reports have a grain of truth in them somewhere. At the very least, he was part of a system which seemed to do this sort of thing routinely in the past.

He is the first Pope to retire for 600 years, the remainder have died whilst in post - a strange world where one has to work until one dies. Judges used to be able to work in this country until they were 75, whereas now the age has been lowered to 70. So why do Popes work until they die? Another question - why does the Vatican have its own judicial system, and anonymity for anyone working within it? Tradition, tradition, and tradition dear boy, a creature of history. Pope Benedict is a traditionalist, as is the Catholic Church.

One begins to see why the Pope will be safe within the walls of the Vatican. He will be immune from any interference from outside.

In this Guardian article victims of German Child Abuse campaign outside the Vatican. The German legal system does not appear to be anywhere near as advantageous to victims as the law in England and Wales. I have been a solicitor since the beginning of civil cases in 1994, when the law here, too, was much less helpful to survivors, simply because it had not developed against a backdrop of such cases. I suspect, also, that there is not the backing of Legal Aid, that we have here, which supports such cases - even after April 2013, when the government have managed to demolish Legal Aid on the grounds of cost.

The article goes into detail of how Ratzinger tried to suppress openness in investigation, and was part of the system of moving priests accused of child abuse, who then carried on abusing further in their new location. A familiar story, it appears, all over the world, and certainly in England.

Is the Pope resigning because he is so ashamed of the system he has uncovered. Has he run out of energy and courage to properly uncover, and change it? It is said he is surrounded by like minded Cardinals.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating of humble pie, an open and transparent Catholic Church open to change. Will it happen? Is the Pope a Catholic? Once again I rest my case....keep saying that...must think of something new...or am I just stuck in a rut and reluctant to change...mmm.....

No comments:

Post a Comment