Courtesy of Reuters
VATICAN CITY - The Vatican published an online guide on Monday to rules for handling sex abuse charges against priests and defended the pope's handling of the media storm, saying he was a "great communicator in his own way."
Just over a year after Pope Benedict acknowledged the Holy See had been slow to embrace the Internet, after mishandling the case of a Holocaust-denying bishop, the Vatican posted an "idiot's guide" to its rules on how to deal with abuse charges.
Although the rules are not new, their publication in a short, simple format reflects the Roman Catholic Church's determination to deflect criticism that its response to the sex abuse scandal has been bureaucratic, secretive and defensive. [The local bishops should have handled it immediately and not wait for the Vatican's response since the Holy See's responsibility is the suspension or laicization of the priest in question!]
Official website www.vatican.va called it an "introductory guide which may be helpful to lay persons and non-canonists " to rules for local churches on how to respond to sex abuse allegations. [So it is for the laity and not for the bishops or religious superiors.]
It made clear high up that bishops must report crimes to the police, [Oops. I stand corrected.] saying "civil law concerning reporting of crimes to the appropriate authorities should always be followed." [Just like what I said. It is their primary job because it is both a canonical and even a civil or even criminal matter. Leave the canonical issue to the Holy See. BUT the mainstream media wants all of us to think that even criminal prosecution is in the hands of the Pope! NOOOOO!!! Obviously, the local bishop must report this his local civil authorities or even put the priest in preventive suspension. He may even launch his own investigation to see who really is at fault. Was the priest really guilty or is the suspect making up stories? If the latter part is true, then I suggest those conniving liars should be brought to justice!]
Bishops should probe every allegation, and any accusation with "a semblance of the truth" referred to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. [That's it.]
This enforcement body once run by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, is under fire from people representing victims of abuse for having responded too late or too leniently. [and from people with twisted agenda like married clergy, women priests, abortion rights...]
The brief document said that "in very grave cases where a civil criminal trial has found the cleric guilty of sexual abuse," the pope himself can be asked to dismiss the priest.
One victims' association, U.S.-based SNAP, [most of the time, this group goes beyond their limits.] called for "deeds, not words" and said "church policies, whether online or not, are largely irrelevant" as bishops could easily ignore them. [oh come on.]
The Vatican's response to media reporting of the abuse cases has often appeared defensive. It took the unusual step of chiding the New York Times [aka New York Slime or Hell's Bible] by name for being in "attack mode" regarding the pope's response, when he was a cardinal, to the abuse of 200 deaf boys by a priest in the 1950s and 60s. [That's the way to do it. Enough of the meek lamb approach.]
Last weekend a Vatican lawyer accused the media of a "rush to judgement" over accusations that Ratzinger, before being elected pope, tried to impede the defrocking of a Californian priest who sexually abused children.
The editor of Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano tried to portray the bookish Benedict, whose lack of media savvy is often contrasted with his charismatic predecessor John Paul II, as a pontiff who "may write by hand but is very sensitive to matters of communication" in the Internet age.
"The pope is a great communicator too, in his own way," said the editor, Giovanni Maria Vian. "Everyone has their own way of communicating depending on their personality. But it could be done better, this is true."
Speaking to foreign correspondents in Rome, Vian criticised poor standards of reporting. He toned down talk by some Vatican insiders of a plot against the pope, calling it "ridiculous," but said there was clearly a media campaign afoot. [there really is no doubt about it.]
He added that John Paul II had been subjected to such a campaign that contributed to the attempt on his life in 1981, and spoke of the "dangers" of defaming the present pontiff. [When JP2 spoke against women clergy and married clergy, he too was demonized by the press and the likes of Kung and McBrien.]
Vian blamed media outlets needing stories to counter sinking sales, as well as hostility to the Church. [HA!] He predicted that "more cases will emerge because the campaign will continue, but eventually readers will get bored." [!]
The editor said the pope was "calm as usual" and he denied reports "that the pope is alone and that the Vatican is a nest of vipers. I can say quite honestly that the Church is behind the pope and that there are no unfaithful servants."
It will be a matter of time when Satan possesses one media outlet here in the Philippines and they unleash a barrage of attacks against the Church in the Philippines just to get into Hell's bandwagon.
Calling all Filipino bishops. No time for complacency. Set up the rules and guidelines even if the media is not making enough noise.
Remember...we build fire escapes in our homes and offices even if there is no fire. It is called preparedness.