For years, the media have been replete with accounts of the pedophilia rampant in the Roman Catholic priesthood and the huge payoffs (tens of millions) by dioceses to victims who have come forward years after they were abused, both genders. Church records confirmed their complaints, notably outlining the transfers of guilty priests to other parishes where they continued their filthy and criminal child-molestation habits, for which they virtually never appeared in criminal court. These accounts have represented only a tip of the iceberg. Bishops and Cardinals have traversed the system, probably guilty of the same things and therefore ill-equipped to inculcate any reforms.
Lately, there has been much reporting concerning the unbelievably corrupt denominational banking system headquartered in Rome, with Italian charges being handled in the criminal courts, something heretofore unheard of. The butler of Pope Benedict, current-Pope Francis's predecessor, was convicted in church court and then pardoned by Benedict. Courageous priests have now come forward as whistle-blowers and have paid a heavy price—ruined careers.
It wasn't until viewing the KET program Secrets of the Vatican (25 February in Lexington, Ky.), however, that I realized something of the magnitude and totality of what can only be called evil vis-a-vis the Vatican itself and the Curia, made up of the three departments: the Sacred Penitentiaria, the Sacred Roman Rota and the Apostolic Signatura, plus a plethora of other councils, congregations and other entities such as the Cardinals, all of which tend to the affairs of the church, with the Pope signing off on everything. His pronouncements are supposed to be straight from God, but most Catholics probably do not believe this, and with good reason.
The shocking thing about the priesthood, especially in the seminaries, is the unbelievable degree of homosexuality. Future seminarians are chosen while they're still in high school, at least in Rome, and in the seminaries they are introduced to sexual perversion or are already homosexuals. This is from Newsweek of May 2002: “...gay men may make up half the student body at the 76 high-school, college and graduate-level seminaries across the country, according to broad estimates. … There is no rule against celibate gays as seminarians, theologians say.” Yet, the preaching of the church is that homosexuality is an “intrinsic evil” and unacceptable. Since 2002, things could only have become more rotten.
Before he became Pope, Benedict was the Vatican official upon whose desk the buck stopped regarding instances of pedophilia/homosexuality. One supposes he could have expelled offenders instead of having them moved around, but he didn't. It was on his watch as Pope that the bank scandals blew up, with many banks refusing to do business with the Vatican bank. Benedict retired instead of dying in the office, something almost unheard of, but one can see why. He was as guilty as the sorry local bishops and cardinals who allowed child molestation and homosexual behavior to flourish.
Strangely, Pope Francis, Benedict's successor, said to a crowd on a plane, “Who am I to judge,” with respect to homosexuals. In a later speech, he excoriated capitalism because there are poor people in the world, but seemed not to understand that governments and churches do not create the wealth that has turned the Catholic Church into an incredibly wealthy enterprise characterized by ostentatious buildings, with officiants holding services therein, dressed in layers of ornate robes and wearing caps upon caps, depending upon the occasion. Speaking of the poor in his palatial surroundings makes Pope Francis appear hypocritical.
Though Pope Francis has formed a commission of sorts to help him bring about reform, the commentators on the program gave reform little hope, at least soon. The various Curia departments are fiefdoms jealousy guarded by whatever Cardinal or other pooh-bah runs the show. Nor will a homosexually oriented priesthood change overnight if at all. The moral and tangible shortcomings are set in concrete. More's the pity since the Catholic Church is seen as the preeminent Christian institution throughout the world. Instead, it appears to be run by amoral perverts. An old priest described his first night at Catholic boarding school when he was just a boy and was called at bedtime to report to the headmaster to masturbate him.
The saddest account in the program was delivered by a woman who at age ten was raped by her priest who, when he was through violating and bloodying her, said her parents would go to hell if she told on him. That says it all.
And so it goes.