Breaking News!!

The Pope announced that men with a tendency to molest children will not be allowed to be priests! Yay! How many kids do you get to molest before you have a “tendency”?

Let’s see – my kids’ school has a zero tolerance policy for drugs and weapons (even fake weapons) but the Catholic Church is not willing to have a zero tolerance policy for raping children. I’m sorry — this just makes me so mad I want to spit and yet I guess it is a good development because it represents a movement from, “molestation . . . what molestation? that never happens” to “we really don’t like that but you can do it some.”

EDITED 10:49 am — In the 5 minutes it took me to write this, the NY Times has already changed the headline to “Pope says church will bar pedophile priests.” That reads a whole lot different from “will exclude those with a tendency to molest children.” The article still includes that quote though.

Of course what matters is what they actually DO, but I didn’t want you all to think I am a nut job (any more than you already do, of course — that goes without saying).

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13 Responses to Breaking News!!

  1. jeffaregularworkinglawyer says:

    LB — Based on this article, you are being unfair. The Pope is not announcing a “one bite rule”, like for vicious dogs. Instead, he is saying that any pedophilia is a bar to the priesthood, period, and that seminaries should rigorously screen out potential molesters. Query — How will they do that?

    I’m not Catholic, or even Christian, but I imagine that if I were Catholic, I’d be pretty bitter (there’s that word again) about how the Church ignored/protected child molester priests. And I might note that among the major religions, only my church has such a large clergy abuse problem, and that only my church requires celibacy of its clergy, and I might wonder if the two facts were connected. What Benedict and the Church hierarchy can do or will do about this problem remains to be seen, and I suppose cynicism is understandable given the historical record, but I don’t think you can accuse him of suggesting now that there is less than zero tolerance for child abuse among his clergy. Tribuo vir fragmen.

  2. laurabethnielsen says:

    I know – that’s why I edited to add that it would come off as unfair. But it was fair based on version one. version 1.2 sounds a little better.

    Now the headline is even better – “pope expresses deep shame” — version 1.3 is the most catholic friendly

    What does Tribuo vir fragman mean?

  3. jeffaregularworkinglawyer says:

    Roughly, “Give the man a break.” “Tribuo” reminds us of the original meaning of “tribute” — riches given by subservient peoples to their conqueror. “Fragmen” has the same root as our “fragment” — a thing broken off. And “vir” survives in our “virile.” Ain’t Latin a kick?

  4. lbsmom says:

    No, Latin was NOT a kick in high school, but it has come in handy many times since; however, I had to look this one up, Jeff.

  5. nobamakoolaid says:

    Shouldn’t that read “my kids’s school…”, based on our lesson from a couple o weeks ago?

  6. vickywoeste says:

    Ok, someone who is actually a member of this church should probably weigh in . . .

    Firstoff, most American Catholics really don’t pay much attention to the Pope, even when he comes to visit. Popes have been taking our money for centuries and not giving us proportional representation in the College of Cardinals (400 Italian Cardinals, 10 American Cardinals; you do the math). How many American catholics practice birth control? Seek fertility treatment? Have sex outside marriage? Get divorced?

    If the Pope were seriously interested in restoring the credibility of the Church hierarchy in the wake of the sex abuse scandal (a scandal that reached not only child victims but also women victims–particularly nuns in domestic service to priests in Rome, for example, where rape was routine and routinely ignored), he’d be saying a lot more than he’s ashamed that it happened. In fact, the Bishops would have been saying a hell of a lot more than they have been for the past six years. The response of the ordained, male, celebate *hierarchy* has been to insist on the authority of the ordained, male, celebate hieraarchy and to turn away the criticism and anger of the laity. At the pastoral (parish) level, there has been a great deal more authentic response, a real effort to work towards healing–and that’s really the reason why the Church in the US hasn’t fallen apart entirely after this scandal. It’s because people still trust their local priests, most of whom really are dedicated and trustworthy. It’s the bishops, who aided and abetted the abusers and predators, moving them around to avoid detection and prosecution, who were the real criminals and who really evaded accountability, who are the real targets of lay anger and frustration. But do any of us really expect the Pope to come over here and say anything to make it all better–this Pope, this homophobe, this doctrinalist, this inflexible, rule-bound, chief-enforcer for JPII, who has already made it perfectly clear that the only church he really cares about is the church of white Europeans? No, I can’t say that I give a ripshit about what this Pope says when he’s in Rome, much less what he says while he’s on this side of the pond. I wouldn’t go to Mass in Yankee stadium if you handed me tickets and had me flown there by private jet. But this is MY Catholic Church and I do not walk away from my larger point here: accountability can only be had if we are still here to demand it. If we leave the church over this issue, we lose all moral suasion. And besides, I still believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth; and in Jesus Christ His Son Our Lord . . .

    And guess what else, LB??? The political reporter for the WaPost mentioned my Supreme Court question in yesterday’s paper. Can send the link if you want it.

  7. jeffaregularworkinglawyer says:

    Koolaid — No. “Kids” is a plural noun. You make the possessive of a plural noun that ends in s by adding an apostrophe to the end of the word. You make the possessive of singular nouns that end in s by adding an apostrophe followed by an s (with some traditional exceptions). Therefore: “Thomas’s kids’ school”.

    Vicky — Your post reminds me why non-Catholics should be circumspect in our response to the scandals of the Church. Not that non-Catholics don’t have a stake in preventing sexual abuse of Catholic children or nuns by Catholic clergy, or the right to deplore it, but we have to remember that the reactions of our Catholic friends and neighbors will inevitably be both stronger and more complex than our own, and that the Catholic Church remains their church, and the home of their faith.

  8. laurabethnielsen says:

    Aww, Vicky can handle little old me. It’s the Catholic church that should be worried about vicky! She might just have to start kicking ass and taking names.

    I still don’t get the “s” rule, but we can keep working on it.

    I’ll back off the pope (like he cares), but I am with Vicky — should have done this on day #1.

  9. vickywoeste says:

    Hi, Jeff, you should know I’m married to a guy who holds a masters of divinity degree (from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley) so yes, we’re somewhat invested in our church and its future (and in its past, no less). It is a complex creature and I appreciate your understanding of why we don’t just pick up and leave (the way Hillary says she’d have just left had Rev. Wright been her pastor). We really don’t have that choice; we don’t get to choose our pastors. We could change parishes, but that mobility is somewhat limited, depending on where you live. In my town there are only a few churches from which to pick. The only real choice for us is the Purdue-affiliated St. Thomas Aquinas, staffed (praise God) by Dominicans rather than diocesen priests. And I don’t worry about LB; I know where she’s coming from. I know a lot of Catholics who are in the same place as she is–angry at the Church for what it permitted to happen to innocents in its name. They’re entitled. I’m furious, too. And yes, I may just start kicking a little ass and taking names.

    My favorite bumper sticker of all time: “If you won’t ordain women, stop baptizing them!”

    And Barack is totally kicking Hillary’s butt in the debate tonight–

  10. vickywoeste says:

    And Jeff is correct on the possessive plural rule . . .

  11. vickywoeste says:

    10 a.m. eastern time, 4/17: in bed with a(nother) migraine, watching the papal mass at Nationals Stadium. I can’t help myself. It’s liturgy in all its beauty and glory. He began by saying, “Peace be with you” and I have to believe he meant that much, at least . . .

  12. nobamakoolaid says:

    Ok, what is the best book/guide I can purchase for current rules of grammar. This is bugging the hell out of me that I am even slightly confused on what otherwise seems like a trivial matter.

  13. jeffaregularworkinglawyer says:

    Koolaid — I rely on The Elements of Style, by Strunk & White. It is concise and inexpensive. I have the third edition; there is a fourth edition, which is available from Amazon in both standard and illustrated versions.

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