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Pope meets with abuse victims as thousands protest in London

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I think Pope Benedict addressing this serious crisis within the Church in the manner he has, is signifcant. I give him credit. I trust that the Church will do more in actually helping ( for eg. covering costs for therapy etc) victims heal . .

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I think this might be significant but it would have been more significant when, as the man in charge of investigating the child abuse, Ratzinger would have dealt with the child molesters more severely than just moving them to a different church and sweeping the abuse under the rug. This reconciliation and redemption that he talks about is as much aimed at himself as that of the abused.

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I think the Pope is a hypocrite. He protected pedophile priests and acts so concerned. < :-)

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Religion of peace. :)

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@semperfi

i think thats the main reason for an outright apology acknowledging complete church responsibility for abuse..raising the issue of compensation through complete admission of guilt would open the flood gates for claims which if the systematic abuse coming to light now is anything to go by,the church will be seriously hit in the pocket which is what they are trying desperately to avoid.The catholic church is a fantastically wealthy organisation and has been protecting that by turning a blind eye to abuse for years.

@adaydream

thats what i think too..seems a little too late for him to try and apologise when people like him turned a blind eye to so many known abusers within the church for decades,allowing the hurt to continue.it is very hypocritical...shepherds of the flock,yeah right.

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adaydream: "I think the Pope is a hypocrite. He protected pedophile priests and acts so concerned. < :-)"

Agreed. This is simply damage control.

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until a bunch of the sicko pervs are rounded up, tried & found guilty & locked at minimum as others have said this is all about $$$$$$$$$$$ & damage control, the truth is they dont give a damn

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This hole church biz. is nonsense. You want me to believe that grown men in robes are supposed to NOT GET MARRIED, not HAVE SEX, NOT THINK ABOUT SEX, not masturbate and ONLY PRAY TO GOD 27/7?? So then you have a bunch of priests getting horny and out of control with the young boys etc...time for the church to allow priests to get married or at least DATE, have all THE SEX they need, to be able to think like regular ADULT MEN.

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adaydream said: I think the Pope is a hypocrite. He protected pedophile priests and acts so concerned. < :-)

One would think educated people at least could get their terminology straight. Pedophile priests are not a problem. Child sex abusing priests are.

And the spin. If anything happened it was the church protecting itself, not the alleged sex abusing priests. I say "alleged" because whatever cover-ups there were, the church is (thank God) not in a postition to determine guilt.

And I have asked several times for specific names of priests who were "protected" but everyone declines to name any. What I have seen indicates that few of these cases are as simple as people make them out to be.

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@mistwizard

lets not get pedantic and split hairs on terminology here,definitions of a child sex abuser and a paedophile overlap alot. There is no need to put the word protected in inverted commas ,there is no doubt about this fact.Church hierarchy regularly moved known offenders to different dioceses to avoid negative press,sometimes moving offenders abroad where abuse continued.

How can you say that the church is not in a position to determine guilt..these are the people who are supposed to be our moral guardians,who listen to our sins and give us some divine absolution from God yet when they learn of a far more serious and heinous crime from within their own ranks,they decide to make the biggest sin of all and let innocent lives be ruined by protecting abusers to save their own face.

if you want names,here is one for you.. Brendan Smyth ...he was an irish priest who abused scores of children over several decades in Noerthern Ireland,Rep. Of Ireland and the USA.One of irelands top cardinals admitted to knowing about his abuse of kids as far back as 1975 yet smyth continued to serve in various dioceses afterwards.The religious order to which Smyth was ordained into knew of his crimes as far back as the 40s.when an arrest warrant was issued for him in Northern Ireland in the mid 90s he fled south of the border into the republic where his religious order gave him sanctuary.

this is only one example from one country but is typical of the sort of behaviour engaged in by the catholic church from top to bottom,from the vatican to grass roots level.

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Most research has shown that abuse such as these cases are no lesser or greater in other denominations or religions, the major difference is that the Catholic church is one of if not the largest and most centralized making it easier to now point a finger, most smaller denomination things were either handled by local authorities or in the more closed groups like Orthodox Christians and Jews more quietly internally.

The problem here is that instead of handling it the Church just buried its head in the sand.

I am only pointing this out for the information and am in now way defending the actions of the Church or of these Pedophiles ( Yes Mistwisard "PEDOPHILES" I no you hate that word and the fact its illegal in most of the civilized world to have sex with children) I think the church's best move would be to come clean through all these jerks out hand everything over to the appropriate prosecutors take the hit financially and move forward.

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Judderman said: this is only one example from one country but is typical of the sort of behaviour engaged in by the catholic church from top to bottom,from the vatican to grass roots level.

I guess one example will have to do as all the other names appear to be a secret. But the church did not set out to protect him. They set out to protect themselves. Protecting Smyth was just a byproduct. CYA becomes more understandable when you look at the pedo hysteria and the fact that the church would be tainted by it no matter what. The church did not come clean because, despite the fact that the church has a better record than even SCHOOLS, they know they will be singled out.

Judderman said: lets not get pedantic and split hairs on terminology here

Its not hair splitting. You could also just call them gay priests since the abusers tend to target boys. But the gay community would be up and arms and for good reasons. Falsely branding all pedophiles is the exact same thing. We are talking about sex abusing priests. Its not that hard to get your terminology straight.

Yes Mistwisard "PEDOPHILES" I no you hate that word

No. I hate misuse of the word. Back in the 50s, gay meant also communist and spy. Its not at all helpful to the question.

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Judderman said: How can you say that the church is not in a position to determine guilt.

Okay, from now on we let the church determine guilt and just jail who they point to. Better now?

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as with most cults i.e. religions, de-"nile" is the most common river taken...

in this case, protecting the illusion of the church is the main order of business now

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@MistWizard

I guess one example will have to do as all the other names appear to be a secret.

How many examples or names do you need?The reason why i gave one example is to show you that this is the tip of the iceberg..this was one priest in one small area of a small island like Ireland.The catholic church has abusers worldwide,the true figure of abusers harboured within their ranks could be huge.The authorities in Ireland alone have looked at other religious dioceses and again found systematic abuse being covered up.Belgium recently ,through its own reports, has uncovered widespread abuse in almost all its parishes.

why do feel it so necessary to establish names,let the authorities do their work through their various comissions and then we`ll find out who the abusers were.The names of these priests were withheld by the church for a long time.Whatever is written in canon law has made these priests feel for a long time like they are above civil law by which we abide.

I think you misread what i mean by the church not being in a position to determine guilt.What im saying is that priests whose job it is to tell us the difference from wrong and right in a moralistic way become complete hypocrites when it comes for them to practise what they preach and admit guilt when a crime of this nature is comitted by one of their own.

By the way..what is a pedophile to you?The two terms are not mutually exclusive.

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Judderman said: How many examples or names do you need?

Three would be a good start. Make them good. Make them ones that prove a church-wide conspiracy to hide known and proven child sex abusing priests for benefit of the priest or the church, and never the victims. There are SOOOO many right? Should be easy!

What im saying is that priests whose job it is to tell us the difference from wrong and right in a moralistic way become complete hypocrites when it comes for them to practise what they preach and admit guilt when a crime of this nature is comitted by one of their own.

I think they feel the needs of the church outweigh a crime which is alleged. I think the alleged crime will damage the church no matter the final vedict. I think they would have a hard time dragging accused priests to the police (legally). I think they would be hypocritical if they denied sanctuary to those who seek it, on the basis of an allegation. I think if they did their best to provide evidence of abuse to the police they would destroy their own cause, and that is TOTALLY the fault of the hysterical and immature public. I think that in many of these cases the very victims want the church to maintain its silence to keep it out of the courts, and in some cases the victims only talked to the church because silence was guaranteed. And I also think the church does not want to assist too much in prosecutions of people who might turn out to be innocent after all, because they know they will get the blame for that too. This is immensely complicated, and the reputation of the church is on the line. It looks to me like the church will be accused of hypocrisy no matter what they choose. So they chose silence. But that did not work out.

By the way..what is a pedophile to you?The two terms are not mutually exclusive.

In fact, they are. A pedophile is a person who has an overwhelming sexual preference for children, so much so that a normal sexual relationship with an adult is impossible. The mere act of sexually touching, or having sexual relations with, a child or teen DOES NOT make a person a pedophile. Having a sexual interest in children or teens DOES NOT make one a pedophile. So long as one has a healthy and functional interest in adults ALSO, one is normal, but may be breaking laws.

One who sexually abuses children may or MAY NOT be a pedophile. But one who sexually abuses children is certainly a child sex abuser. If you do not understand the difference, you do not understand the issue. The reasons a priest may sexually abuse a child are many and VARIED, and pedophilia may or MAY NOT be the main one. If you just say "well, he is a pedophile" then you just don't get it. Its not that simple. Many have suggested that if priests were ALLOWED to have a sex life and/or a wife, many of those priest would not have offended.

So, the correct cours would be to stop yelling about pedophile priests and instead pressure the church to change its policies on priests and sex, as the Protestants have. It would save a great many children from being abused. The "pedophile priest" chant helps no one.

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@mistwizard

first of all,the countless victims of religious abuse would be unconcerned with putting a label on their abusers.all they want is to be heard and be believed and some form of justice to happen.What that will be is obviously undecided.

You need to realise that the findings of various comissions set up to investigate religious abuse deal with only one area and take a considerable length of time to carry out and finish.Their findings nonetheless shine a light on systematic abuse wherever investigations have been done.Now since this is at the most local levels of where the church operates it can be hard to chain of command right back to the central command of the vatican.so while a large ammount of names of abusing priests can be got from these investigations, there will be no paper trail back to the pope.

The church is a very secretive organisation and the inner workings of its hierarchy are unknown to few outside of the church itself.However some journalists have been able too uncover papal documents which are highly relevant to the issue of church cover ups in sex abuse scandals. The most important of these would be the Crimen Solicitationis which outlines how sexual scandal be dealt according to the vatican.the current pope had in the past sent out a revised edition of the original edict explicitly stating that all child abuse allegations be directly dealt with by Rome.this document was apparently so secret that bishops receiving its instructions had to keep it locked in a safe at all times.The document also instructs bishops that where allegations have been made that the victims and perpretrators be kept silent.this was sometimes done through hush funds.

You contradict yourself a bit when explaining about differences between child sex abusers and paedophiles.I say they are not mutually exclusive ...you say they are.then a few sentences later..you say that a person who abuses children may or may not be a paedo.i do agree that not all priests who abuse are paedos but since they are sworn to celibacy and will unlikely have adult relationships,the majority of people will see these abusers as paedophiles.Only a psychological evaluation will determine conclusively but as i said at the beginning no one here is making a song and dance over the exact labelling of the abusive priests..least of all the victims.

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