Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Soup and Scandal

A breakfast of strawberry oatmeal soup and papal scandal--what could be nicer?  

Well, I wish I'd planned the oatmeal better so it hadn't ended up so soupy.

Thank you to Rachel Donadio in today's New York Times for outlining the mistakes and pressures that drove Pope Benedict XVI to resign.

So it turns out that mishandling of sexual abuse by priests was only part of the story.

Not only did he fail to excommunicate Marcial Maciel Degollado, the rapist and drug using priest in Mexico, but he lifted the excommunication of a schismatic bishop who had denied the Holocaust.

He issued his welcome to disaffected Anglicans in 2009 without consulting the Vatican official in charge of Anglican-Catholic relations.

He quoted a Byzantine emperor about the "evil" of Islam, causing several deaths in Muslim riots of protest.

And then there was the scandal of his butler leaking documents that revealed corruption and mismanagement in awarding construction contracts in the Vatican.  Apparently the butler's actions were part of a power struggle among cardinals.

Mitchell Landsberg also had some answers in yesterday's LA Times.,0,6881369.story

The case of Marcial Maciel made the third paragraph of his report, which lists cases of the Pope condoning bishops' cover-up of abuse, even while making speeches about the horror of abuse.

"Critics, though, say that both as cardinal and later as pope, Benedict failed to act quickly or strongly enough on sexual abuse cases, despite knowledge of the depth of the problem and some bishops' practice of hiding sexual abuse cases from civil authorities."

All in all, a sobering way to enter Lent 2013.

Dust we all are, and to dust we return.  

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