Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Three Understated Chaps

Please, Richard Dawkins, step out of your customary reticence and tell us what you really think about the pope:

No, Pope Ratzinger should not resign. He should remain in charge of the whole rotten edifice - the whole profiteering, woman-fearing, guilt-gorging, truth-hating, child-raping institution - while it tumbles, amid a stench of incense and a rain of tourist-kitsch sacred hearts and preposterously crowned virgins, about his ears.
While I would hate to see anything happen to the Vatican's stores of artistic and cultural artifacts, nothing else about it is worth preserving if it can't bring itself to purge the child rapists and enablers, regardless of their rank. Child torture and rape on a massive worldwide scale is not the sort of thing that washes away with an unctuous letter along with accusatory dispatches from flacks.

Matt Taibbi has a few choice words on it, as does the ever-underspoken Christopher Hitchens:
This is what makes the scandal an institutional one and not a matter of delinquency here and there. The church needs and wants control of the very young and asks their parents to entrust their children to certain "confessors," who until recently enjoyed enormous prestige and immunity. It cannot afford to admit that many of these confessors, and their superiors, are calcified sadists who cannot believe their luck. Nor can it afford to admit that the church regularly abandoned the children and did its best to protect and sometimes even promote their tormentors. So instead it is whiningly and falsely asserting that all charges against the pope—none of them surfacing except from within the Catholic community—are part of a plan to embarrass him.
The pope should be embarrassed, but he should deal with that embarrassment in court, under oath, and then, as the law prescribes, in prison.

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