Thursday, April 01, 2010

Protecting the Unborn and the Molesters of the Postborn

It's a rare event that I bother to read Maureen Dowd, more the less that I'll actually agree with here. It happened in today's Op-Ed, Dowd comments on the pervasive crisis caused by the Church's global protection of pedophiliac priests, a practice that runs straight to the present Pope. I don't find this pope's actions, as an archbishop or as the doctrinal hammer in his days as cardinal, all that surprising. As Dowd says, news like this is shocking, but not surprising. As a colonial Latin Americanist, I can attest to the long history of the Church overlooking acts it morally condemns in order to protect its power- jurisdictional, political, economic. And, this Pope is well versed in the practice.

As Dowd notes,

The sin-crazed “Rottweiler” was so consumed with sexual mores — issuing constant instructions on chastity, contraception, abortion — that he didn’t make time for curbing sexual abuse by priests who were supposed to pray with, not prey on, their young charges.

American bishops have gotten politically militant in recent years, opposing the health care bill because its language on abortion wasn’t vehement enough, and punishing Catholic politicians who favor abortion rights and stem cell research. They should spend as much time guarding the kids already under their care as they do championing the rights of those who aren’t yet born.

The observation is a prescient one this week. On Friday, for example, a priest from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe will give mass on the street outside of the Planned Parenthood of New Mexico clinic and administrative offices in Albuquerque. It's an annual event that caps off forty preceding days of harassment. As many as 500 people will show up for this mass. As it stands right now, the medical procedures Sheehan and his followers are protesting in Albuquerque are legal in the United States of America. Pedophilia isn't. And it isn't legal in Ireland, England, Germany, Italy, any country I know of in Latin America, etc. Yet, the church has maintained an institutional policy of protecting pedophiles, a policy it appears this Pope is intimately familiar with. It's the typical hypocrisy of the "pro-life" movement - concern for fetuses, and ambivalence at best for really existing women and kids.

Edited to correct the mass giver. I had heard the Archbishop would be there, but was wrong. He has come to other events/protests before.