Monday, March 8, 2010

Andrei Sorry AP - but this doesn't lead to the Vatican

Here is the headline of an AP story carried by Stuff:

Pope's brother will testify in abuse case
.

The Pope's brother, Fr Georg Ratzinger, a Catholic clergyman himself, embroiled in a Church sex abuse scandal - oh joy.

These scandals occurred in a choir directed by Fr Ratzinger for more than thirty years from 1964.

Except that on reading the story he has expressed willingness to testify but it seems unlikely that he has anything of significance to to add because
  1. the incidents in question occurred in the 1950s before the Pope's brother became associated with the choir.
  2. and
  3. the culprits were identified and prosecuted at the time.
Is there any more to this story?

Who knows?

But it seems likely that those hostile to the Church will try and milk it for all its worth.

10 comment(s):

Lucia Maria said...

The truth never matters, it's always getting the association that counts.

Bearhunter said...

"The truth never matters, it's always getting the association that counts."

Of course. The RCC has no problem with child abuse by its members. It has all been a media beat-up.

Lucia Maria said...

Of course. The RCC has no problem with child abuse by its [1.147 billion] members. It has all been a media beat-up.

Bearhunter. This post is NOT about every single Catholic that is a child abuser (a small percentage of 1.147 billion people worldwide), it is about the current pope's brother who is not a child abuser, is not associated with child abusers and is being unfairly linked by association to child abusers because of his relationship to the pope.

BTW, you make my point brilliantly for me.

Bearhunter said...

I have never claimed that every catholic is an abuser, nor has anyone else outside a few of the more excitable born-again mobs. However, you have to admit that there has been a significant proportion of priests who have been abusers and a goodly number of bishops who have enabled that abuse by not taking criminal action against offenders.
And anything that affects one sixth of the world's population is going to make news.
And I see nothing factually incorrect with the headline. It's not sensationalist and it accurately reflects the contents of the story.

Canterbury Atheists said...

Part of the ‘good’ popes bro’s discipline methods was to slap his charges in the face.

That’s his admission by the way – not some fanciful tabloid headline.

As I attended a secular school I guess I missed out on a Catholic education which involved openly slapping young children in the face when they couldn’t get to the high note.

Which of cause is not abuse in your eyes, as ‘the’ church can do no wrong.

Then there is the question of why ‘bro’ is saying “I was not even involved in the choir when the sexual abuse occurred” – when victims and witness’s all say this wasn’t the case?

He is the only one singing from this score and the likes of BBC and CNN have the right to highlight these disparities and bro’s attempts to explain his habit of slapping as something that was normal in his circles at the time.

All of this is part of larger endemic sexual/physical/mental abuse within the Catholic Clergy in Germany and is not isolated to just ‘popes bro.’

The same controversy is going on in The Netherlands at the moment as well.

Truly sad anyone would try and dismiss this as a media beat-up.

Gotta go.

Paul.

Andrei said...

You are full of it Paul,

when I went to school, a state school, the cane was an everyday feature of life.

Beatings were regularly administered which would see the perpetrator hauled before the courts tout de suite in these enlightened times. And nobody even gave it a second thought, it was a fact of life.

Incidentally the headmaster of the school my wife attended was jailed for molesting pupils - this was a country school, a state school.

I personally was slapped,strapped, caned and hit on the head by thrown blackboard erasers all by teachers in the New Zealand and Australian state school systems and my experiences were not unusual. Thats how it was.

Canterbury Atheists said...

I am of that era too Andrei and I never encountered any teacher open-handedly slapping children across the face as a regular part of their school discipline. We are talking 10 year-old boys being struck in the face by a 40 year old man of god, not an angry teacher throwing a ruler in a fit of rage. It’s you that needs to take a look at the facts and get rid of the sentiment and be consistent. Ironically the article below is headed ‘Increasing Violence in Schools’ yet here you are defending a teacher who slaps 10 year olds – reeks of a duplicitousness.

Classroom violence of this nature whether perpetrated by a feral school-kid or the brother of the pope to be are both abhorrent.

See ya.

Paul.

KG said...

"I personally was slapped,strapped, caned and hit on the head by thrown blackboard erasers all by teachers in the New Zealand and Australian state school systems and my experiences were not unusual. Thats how it was."

Yup. What's more, I also went to boarding school, where it was much, much worse.

ZenTiger said...

Paul:

Part of the ‘good’ popes bro’s discipline methods was to slap his charges in the face.

That’s his admission by the way – not some fanciful tabloid headline.


The quote I read said: "Clipping boys around the ears, he said, was a “standard response to failure or misbehaviour”.

However, he added: “I was happy when in 1980 corporal punishment was banned by law.” He asked victims for forgiveness. "

Where did you read about an open slap to the face - it could be a translation issue?

Which of cause is not abuse in your eyes, as ‘the’ church can do no wrong.

People can do wrong, and do so.

Here's what actually happened:

The Vatican has condemned the mistreatment of children by clergy and says that Catholic authorities in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands acted quickly when they learnt of the allegations.

“Mistakes made by the institutions under the responsibility of the clergy are especially reprehensible, given the educative and moral responsibility of the Church,” Federico Lombardi, the Pope’s spokesman, said.


Meanwhile, the NZ government has kept fairly quiet hundreds of sex abuse cases of people in state care that are going through the courts or under enquiry at the moment.

I read in the paper they found one serious complaint claim had been reported over 10 years ago and the department had failed to take ANY action.

So it seems you get abused by government workers, make a complaint and no-one does anything about it. Apparently, apathy and disinterest make it OK?

There's a lot of bad to take away from those stories, but it doesn't make the headlines in the same way the Pope had a Brother who was at a school years after the cases of abuse.

You would think that abuse cases of any time you could report it to the secular authorities and they do something about it. This culture of apathy and excuses from our government needs to stop.

Then there is the question of why ‘bro’ is saying “I was not even involved in the choir when the sexual abuse occurred” – when victims and witness’s all say this wasn’t the case?

Could you point to your proof of that allegation? The only witnesses statements I saw said that even though the abuse happened in the decades before, they were amazed that he didn't know about it. The Pope's brother didn't say he didn't know about it though, he replied in a different interview that he had no knowledge of abuse cases happening during his time at that school. That is an answer to a different question, and the rest is inference.

It doesn't make the issue of child abuse any less serious, but stick to the facts. And start worrying about the state institutions of New Zealand finally coming clean on abuse cases. About time.

ZenTiger said...

Paul, part of the problem with abuse is that when people report it, others are quick to discount the stories or play them down.

You write off Andrei's mention of abuse he suffered in secular schools as unlikely, or simply abuse carried out in a momentary fit of rage. I'm amazed at your dismissal.

Him being bashed you put down to "sentiment". Charming.

It's a bit harsh that you want to trivialize some-one's personal testimony like that, given the way you say you feel about any endemic abuse in institutions of all stripes.

Personally, I'd go with a clip around the ear than dealing with irrational and anger prone teachers. Some of which I encountered in secular schools, and had the experience of a couple of instances of psychological abuse that were much harder to take than a clip around the ear.

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