8. First you have the arrogance to tell the parents how they feel. Not having children (or do you) how can you know? You know nothing. If you did have even a small amount of real knowledge of what it is to be a parent, you would have done something much earlier instead of writing a how-to for priests who need to get out of trouble. You completely lack any credibility in this area.
Then you start telling parents how their children should be brought up. Considering you are the leader of a sex starved organisation of men and women, you least of all, have a right to be telling them their children need to be taught how to behave by the Catholic Church.
9. “Your experience of the Church is very different from that of your parents and grandparents.” I doubt that actually. Maybe it is, but only in the fact that you have been caught. With the sectarian war raging in that country it would have been near impossible for the children to speak out. Even if they did, the parents could hardly have said anything. Before that, communication being what it was in this world, everyone was so cut off that the children would have felt even more powerless than they do now. My bet is that it was even worse back then. But how would you know? You’d have to care first.
“We are all scandalized by the sins and failures of some of the Church’s members.” Some of the Church’s members Joe? How about you stop trying to minimise the whole event and tell it like it is. Many of the Church’s members, sounds a whole lot more honest. You remember honesty don’t you Joe? Understatement is as bad as fabrication under the circumstances.
“But it is in the Church that you will find Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today and for ever.” As are the priests, and that is what worries me most. I have very little doubt that they will continue in the same way after a period of abstinence. It’s the nature of the beast. Man is not meant for that life. It is unnatural and you have it within your power to change it.
“He loves you and he has offered himself on the cross for you.” Ah, you admit it now. He did that crap to himself. You can’t call that abuse when he did it himself willingly. How is that abuse? We call that masochism these days. Which would also make him a sadist as he did it to himself. So your god is a sadomasochist. It all seems to flow from there. No wonder the Church as a whole is a hotbed of moral turpitude.
“for he will never betray your trust!.” It seems that is exactly what just happened. People put their trust in him and they were repaid with deceit and abuse. That is not something new for the Catholic Church.
“He alone can satisfy your deepest longings and give your lives their fullest meaning by directing them to the service of others.” Looks like he satisfied someones longings, just not the children’s, and they were directed towards the service of the priesthood. It is as it always has been and always will be.
10. Please, oh please my priests, help me keep my position of power? Lame.
11. Laying blame and distancing yourself again. You do say that leadership was lacking, but you fail to go as far as it being your leadership that was lacking. Take responsibility for this. That is what fathers do.
“Only decisive action carried out with complete honesty and transparency will restore the respect and good will of the Irish people towards the Church to which we have consecrated our lives.” True, but it has to happen from the top. How many times does this need to be said before you understand?
“This must arise, first and foremost, from your own self-examination, inner purification and spiritual renewal.” No Joe, from the top. You must show leadership. You must be a role model. Not just a powerless, annoyed and cowardly father figure.
“In particular, I ask you to be attentive to the spiritual and moral lives of each one of your priests. Set them an example by your own lives.” You are asking them to do what you yourself need to do. Lead by example. If a priest has wronged he must admit that wrong and step down. If a bishop has wronged, he must admit it and step down. That goes all the way up the line to you. You failed in your leadership. You set a bad example and must take personal responsibility. Step down Joe. Do the right thing.
12. “we need to find new ways to pass on to young people the beauty and richness of friendship with Jesus Christ in the communion of his Church.” New ways Joe? The church is so bogged down in the past with outdated rules and rituals that it can’t do anything new. For a start, you won’t let it. You have kept trotting out ridiculous rules that are costing millions of lives. You can’t expect sexually frustrated people to contain themselves. Your God has never been able to help them with that and so it will continue. The lifestyle you expect them to lead is untenable, unworkable and unjust. The ‘new’ needs to happen, I agree, but start with new rules that save lives and don’t pit one person against another.
“By treading the path marked out by the Gospel, by observing the commandments and by conforming your lives ever more closely to the figure of Jesus Christ, you will surely experience the profound renewal that is so urgently needed at this time. I invite you all to persevere along this path.” Fundamentalism is never the answer. You will only create more problems for future generations to have to deal with. You had just finished talking about ‘new ways’ and now you go backwards. Make up your mind.
13. “I am praying earnestly that, by God’s grace, the wounds afflicting so many individuals and families may be healed”. The problem is though that your prayer is only offering hope. It cannot be known that it will come to fruition. Therefore, you risk future atrocities. How can you take such a risk with even more children? You don’t have the right.
14. “I now wish to propose to you some concrete initiatives to address the situation.” When I read the word ‘concrete’ I stupidly expected to hear something concrete, like excommunication for offending priests, hard and fast rules to help put a stop to further occurrences of child abuse. But what do you propose? Prayer, hope, wishes, outdated ritual and meaningless pap. Joe, that is nothing more than mystical hand waving in a cloud of smoke. You may as well say, “abracadabra, see, all fixed now”.
You end with a prayer. Nothing unusual there. The last section of said prayer goes:
To you, Triune God,
confident in the loving protection of Mary,
Queen of Ireland, our Mother,
and of Saint Patrick, Saint Brigid and all the saints,
do we entrust ourselves, our children,
and the needs of the Church in Ireland.
Really Joe? Entrust the children to the church? Again? Hasn’t that already been proven to be unsuccessful? How many more children are you willing to sacrifice to your priests before you wake up to the fact that it won’t work. It does NOT work. It never worked, it isn’t working and it will never work with a church so full of itself and the power it holds over the people.
Is this the same meaningless drivel you intend to offer to people in the United States, Africa, Australia, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and everywhere else your beloved church has infected the land and abused the children?
This is shameful and you should be ashamed. Ashamed of yourself for betraying your followers in their greatest time of need.
Fathers who care for their children arrive at a time when they have a talk with their sons about responsibility and the choices they will have to make in their lives. Occasionally it is turned around and a son has to have a talk to a wayward parent. If that parent cares more for their children than themselves, they will listen. Joe, it is time for you to listen to your children. Listen to their pain. Their cries of anguish. Their pleading with the church as a whole to stop. Or do you wish people to see you as a child who sticks their fingers in their ears and yells, “I can’t hear you!” ?
To the Catholic people I say that this outrage is not your fault and you should not have to pay the price. Nor should your children. The Church has shown you nothing but contempt by the way you have been so shabbily treated in this matter. Every step of the way they have been full of words to make you feel better, but without making one meaningful step in that direction. You have been praying for centuries and this still happened. Do not let them tell you prayer will get you out. If you do that, your children and grandchildren will pay the price as you have done. Force them to change. I beg of you, for the sake of the children, not to step foot inside a church till the Pope agrees to real change. You must force them to put child proof locks on the churches. They must never again be left alone for one moment with children.
To Joe. The bottom line here is that the people trusted you and the church to do the right thing. The church certainly let them down as it has always done. But it was your job to change things. If not yours Joe, then whose? You are the Pope. You knew of the atrocities being committed upon children from decades earlier all across the globe. You knew. When you became Pope you had the opportunity to start fixing things of this nature immediately and yet you did nothing. If you had been more devoted to the children instead of the church you may have lifted a finger to help, but when your attention is firmly fixed more on saving face and power, you fail in your mission. You do not deserve to be Pope. Step down Joe. Shut up shop. Put out the closed for business sign and fade away as gracefully as you are able. If you are unwilling to do that, then the least you can and should do, what is in the best interests of the people, is some real words meant to change things, not just prayer and wishes, but action.
Something like the following:
“These children are the future of our world, and they must not be made to bear the ignominy of the past. We shall set a goal that ANY priest, or nun, of any rank involved in these activities shall be cast out of this church and subject to the law of the land wherein the offenses took place, and a zero-tolerance policy regarding sexual abuse will be in force from this day onward.”