Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Pope and Government.

Dan Gilgoff asked this morning on twitter:

Catholics I'm talking to are split on Benedict's role in U.S. bishops' more aggressive political posture. Do his appointments help explain?

I suggested we only look at the efforts the church has made regarding molestation cases. From Ireland comes this account of the church's efforts to not only stand outside law but to thwart legal rules. Post below.

In other words, I'm not sure this is anything new. The church has been moving into health care for decades. They now manage more than 20% of health care delivery in the US and they do it according to their laws, the Ethical and Religious Directives, not to state or federal law.

According to a former AMA chair holder I spoke with yesterday, that's fine with him. The profession establishes ethics which all practitioners are expected to abide by. The government, he said, had no business dictating what hospitals do.

Medicine and the church colluding to inhibit patients' rights? Or the state and the church colluding? I think this might be an old saw. I'm starting to think a democratic administration and the health care reform debate have only given them a platform from which to show off their national influence in government. And media has changed drastically. Involvement in prior government laws was quiet, under less scrutiny. Shrouded by the Republican administrations in power in the past.

The Catholic church for decades has been busy in health care. They have gotten their way regarding prosecution of bishops for molestation. They may be more vocal at the moment, more active at the grass roots because of the legalization of assisted suicide (notice more emphasis on the "euthanasia" aspect of the "pro-life" platform) and they have gotten better at working with other religious right groups. But the strategy is not new. They've been influencing law on reproductive rights and health care for decades.

MEMBERS of the Catholic hierarchy who shielded paedophile priests should not only resign but should be prosecuted.

That is the view of Cllr Clare Daly (SP) who said that the Murphy Report on clerical child abuse in the Dublin diocese underlines the need for a 'total separation of Church and State'.

Cllr Daly said: ' Talk over whether or not culpable bishops should resign misses the point - they should be prosecuted.' Responding to the recent Commission findings exposing the scale of child abuse in the Dublin Diocese and what she called 'the criminal conspiracy to cover it up', Cllr Daly said: 'The fact that members of the hierarchy responsible for the cover-up are still in situ is shameful.

'Frankly, whether or not they remain a bishop or cardinal is missing the most important point, namely that in any other walk of life people who did what they admit they have done in terms of the protection of child rapists and abusers would face criminal charges and quite likely go to jail.'

She went on to criticise the Taoiseach's response to the report, saying: 'However from Brian Cowen's statement last week in the Dáil where he attributes no bad motives to the Papal Nuncio and the Vatican for their blatant obstruction of the commission's enquiries it is clear that key sections of the political and judicial establishment are happy to apply a different standard of the law to the Catholic Church.'

The Socialist Party councillor criticised the Vatican's role in the affair, saying: ' The obstructing role of the Vatican and in particular the secret correspondence, in Latin, from the then Cardinal Ratzinger, to the hierarchy ordering them to report instances of abuse to him in the first instance and not the authorities in Ireland must go down as one of the most hostile acts ever by a foreign political establishment in Irish affairs for totally criminal ends and we don't even get the token of an official protest from the Department of Foreign Affairs or the expulsion of diplomats.'

She added: ' Similar enquiries need to be conducted in all the other diocese. The Church hierarchy in Ireland has demonstrated itself yet again as a totally inappropriate institution for running public services funded by the tax payer. 'Church-run and Church influenced schools and hospitals are an anachronism that needs to end once and for all along with every other vestige of the Church State connection.'

- John MANNING

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1 Comments:

Blogger littlebird said...

ALthough the “key bishop” of the child abuse scandal in Ireland will resign and even though “the head of the Irish Church, Cardinal Sean Brady, and Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin will meet with the Pope next week at the Vatican to discuss the report on abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese,” the question arises whether and to what extent this will help the victims and their families who have been deeply and emotionally traumatized, not to forget the alienation from God in society caused by such “STALWART DEFENDERS” of religious faith! Wouldn’t it be about time to ask where the responsibility for all this lies? Enforced celibacy has no biblical foundation at all! Why was it instituted in the first place? And why was such a perversion covered up for so long by an organization that claims to be the guardian of Christian ethics and morals? And why was this allowed by the authorities for so long? Were church and state in each other pockets?

May we hope that the discussion with the Pope at the Vatican next week will HELP clear up ALL THE TRADITIONS AND PRACTICES, DOGMAS AND RITES, that CONTRADICT the teachings of the greatest Prophet of all times, Jesus of Nazareth? AND PERHAPS, WHILE THEY'RE AT IT, start compensating for ALL THE wrongs DONE OVER THE ages?! What would Jesus of Nazareth say if He came to the Earth and saw what the church – which claims to speak for Him – has made of His life’s work?

A move has been made by a small group of people against such shameful sham Christianity. They’ve put out a website and call themselves “The Free Christians for the Christ of the Sermon on the Mount in All Cultures Worldwide.” At this website they announce a lawsuit against the Catholic Church – of all places, in Germany, a bastion of the Catholic institution! And the sexual abuse of young people is one of the reasons they give for having taken such a step. As they put it, they do not want to remain silent anymore on the “brazen labeling fraud,” with which Christ is mocked and His name abused to such an extent. They demand that the Archbishopric in Freiburg, headed by Zollitsch, and representing the Catholic Church in its totality, be enjoined from calling itself “Christian.”

As a Christian, I fully support this and consider it high time that someone calls a spade a spade. Nothing against the sincere folk and priests who work hard and honestly, upholding the ideals of a Christian life. But as an institution, it has taken on a life of it's own, and one could indeed ask if there is anything Christian about it! I commend the courage of these people to call the Church to task. Perhaps your readers would like to check them out: http://www.christus-oder-kirche.de/christ-or-church/index.php. There seems to be a grassroots movement to bring this up for discussion on the internet. Surely this could be very healthy for our society!

December 9, 2009 at 1:49 PM  

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