Do you remember Pope Benedict XVI? In 2013, he was the first pope to resign in 600 years!
Apparently that distinction was not enough, so he went ahead and published a letter this week that included some INCREDIBLY stupid statements about the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal.
Ex-Pope Benedict blamed the sexual revolution of the 1960's for the church's ongoing sexual abuse problem.
Right off the bat, I will just point out that several accusations in some of the stories I have covered pre-date the 1960's.
That unnecessary argument aside, we should look at what Benedict actually wrote. Early in his letter he writes, "It could be said that in the 20 years from 1960 to 1980, the previously normative standards regarding sexuality collapsed entirely."
Uh, OK. So, just to be clear, you mean that things were better with the old "normative standards?" Meaning, the time back when women were considered little more than second-class citizens? And homosexuality was criminalized? Great. We started trying to elevate women to equal status and letting people love who they want and apparently that was a mistake. Thanks for the insight, Benny.
Moving on. "Why did pedophilia reach such proportions?" Benedict asks. His answer? He says, "Ultimately, the reason is the absence of God."
Wait... you are writing about the problem of priests raping children and your answer is that the problem is the absence of God? THESE RAPES HAVE BEEN HAPPENING IN HIS CHURCHES!
If God is absent in his own churches, then where the hell is he?!
To be fair, Benedict is writing about the absence of God in society in general... but still. My point remains valid. If even a fraction of these rapes and abuses occurred in God's own churches (it was way more than a fraction), and they were committed by his own clergy, then who cares about society at large?
I want to call out a specific portion of Benedict's letter that offended me. He wrote, "The idea of a better Church, created by ourselves, is in fact a proposal of the devil, with which he wants to lead us away from the living God, through a deceitful logic by which we are too easily duped. No, even today the Church is not just made up of bad fish and weeds. The Church of God also exists today, and today it is the very instrument through which God saves us."
Catch that? He is hand-waving away any attempt to reform the church with a modern sense of human rights and ignoring the demand to hold sexual abusers accountable.
That is appalling.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has further exemplified what is wrong with the Catholic Church. Rather than own up to decades of abuse, cover up, torture of children, and criminal activity, he would rather blame it on hippies in the 1960's. It really is insane. I really cannot see how any decent, rational person could support the Catholic Church at this point with all the abuses and horrors committed by this organization.