Pope Victim XVI

Slide1bbbbPope Benedict XVI finally admitted that the Roman Catholic Church has a “questionable” reputation.

A questionable reputation, eh? Well, if that's the descriptor the pontiff thinks best applies to his misguided organization, then I'd say it works equally well for everyone and everything from Jack the Ripper and Enron to Bernie Madoff and The New York Mets.

Rather than stepping up, admitting fault, announcing widespread systemic changes and asking for forgiveness though, the pope instead blamed everyone else for the institution's tarnished image. In fact, he said the church's questionable reputation is a direct result of what he called 'uncommitted Christians'. Does that mean he's pointing the finger at Baptists, Protestants, Methodists and every other Christian sect as well as Catholics? Well, why the heck not? Misery loves company.

The Pope's bought into what I'd call the victim defense strategy. To wit:

– If a woman burns her hand as a result of spilling hot coffee on herself, it's not her fault, it's the restaurant's for not warning her that yes, indeed, coffee can be served hot and, if spilled on an exposed body part, it can cause pain. As a result, she's entitled to collect millions of dollars in damages.

– It's society's fault if a person chooses to pursue a life of crime, drugs and debauchery. Why? Because he wasn't given the same advantages his peers in more upscale neighborhoods. So don't blame him for last night's drive-by shooting. He should be given a suspended sentence at most.

– And, of course, it's not the Democrats fault that Obama hasn't really accomplished anything in three-plus years. And, it's not Sarah Palin's fault she completely rewrote the history of Paul Revere's ride (that was just 'gotcha' journalism at work).

We live in a world in which we buy into the notion that it's no one's fault for anything that goes wrong. We're all victims. And, it's always someone else's fault.

As a recovering Catholic and erstwhile altar boy, I'm ashamed of the way in which the Church has embraced victimization as its modus operandi. As the attached article notes, the Church blames 'societal changes during the 1960s and '70s' as the reason why so many priests went off the rails and gorged themselves on a bacchanalian feast of pedophilia. It wasn't the Church's fault. It wasn't the misguided concept of celibacy that attracted misfits and put them in direct, unsupervised contact with young boys. And, it wasn't the Church that shuffled these predators around from one parish to another and covered up their horrific deeds. It's really never been the Church's fault. It's always been someone else's.

And, so playing the victim card remains the Vatican's sole strategy. I guess it works with true believers. But, we uncommitted Christians don't buy it for a minute. The Church, and the Church alone, is responsible for the path of destruction its priests have sown.

I, for one, suggest a name change for the pontiff. He should call himself Pope Victim XVI. If he did, it would be the first truly honest and transparent thing he, and his Church, has done to date.

6 thoughts on “Pope Victim XVI

  1. Amen, Sister Julie. Amen. Sadly, the pope and his henchmen seem incapable of admitting fault, apologizing or even attempting to fix what is clearly a badly broken system. That said, if they ever wanted to change careers, they’d make superb Congressmen.

  2. I believe Pope Victimus XVI would earn the new-found respect of all recovering Catholics (myself included) if he finally ‘fessed up (no pun intended)and admitted the wrongdoing of the church for harboring pedophiles over the decades.
    He would win new parishioners if he came up with a plan to keep these predators out of the church instead of prividing them with a safe haven.

  3. A member of my household receives government assistance, which, in our state involves an interview every six months to affirm the need for these services. In what I can only imagine is part of the evangelical influence over our country, the interview process includes a question about whether we attend church regularly. (Ostensibly, it’s to ascertain whether the church could be an additional social safety net, but it strikes me much more as the state trying to categorize “us” versus “them.”)
    Being a recovering Catholic from the NYC area (i.e., not a church-going local), my answer to this intrusive question is always the same: “I couldn’t pick my parish priest out of a police lineup — which, incidentally, is where I believe I would find him.”
    Invariably, the report comes back from the state a month later, indicating that my relative continues to qualify for services and that “the family continues to receive additional support from its local Catholic church.” I can’t figure for the life of me whether the interviewers don’t get the sarcasm or whether one needs to be one of “them” to qualify for government services.