If I Was The CEO…..


If I was the CEO of a major corporation who knowingly covered up or ignored criminal behaviour by my employees, I would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Criminal interference, accessory, negligence, to name a few of the possible charges. In the eyes of the law; an excuse of “I’m not responsible” simply doesn’t cut it. At the point a decision is made to turn a blind eye, the line is crossed – it would become a criminal act. Ponder the reaction if it was revealed a major “big oil” CEO systematically covered up sexual abuse by company executives. Public outrage would fuel endless coverage; think of Jerry Sandusky, the Penn State football coach, now serving a 30 – 60 year sentence for sexual abuse.

Unfortunately, as the head of a sovereign nation –  the Pope can’t be sued. International law puts him above criminal charges.

By all appearances this courtesy extends to the rather unique situation of a former Catholic CEO still alive. The international criminal court in The Hague rejected attempts to prosecute former Pope Benedict XVI for systematic cover-ups of sexual abuse amounting to crimes against humanity. They stated the matter fell outside their jurisdiction .

Statistically I doubt we would find the percentage of Catholic priests accused of sexual abuse higher than that of any other profession  giving easy access to children. Sexual predators naturally gravitate towards positions of trust. In America 4% of Catholic priests stand accused of misconduct towards children – that would be nearly 5000 priests, and lets not forget – this translates into thousands more victims, as the abuse took place numerous times over decades. To date the Catholic church has paid out an estimated 3 billion dollars in America alone to settle abuse claims.

Minutes from a 2003 meeting of the financial council for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee sums up the position of the church far better than I could. The minutes of this 2003 meeting were discovered during a 2011 bankruptcy filing by the archdiocese. Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of Milwaukee at the time states the church offered $20,000 to problematic priests as encouragement to leave the priesthood. In addition, payments of up to $30,000 would be paid to victims for emotional distress as a means to quietly settle out of court. Court documents from the 2011 bankruptcy filing show $90,000 was paid out to 9 priests.

Historically the Catholic church has swept the problem under the rug; known sexual predators were transferred to another location, given “therapy”, or simply ignored. No number of hail Marys will ever give victims back their lives.

The Pope is CEO of what is arguably the largest and wealthiest corporation in the world – Just like any other CEO he should be held accountable for his organization. I don’t care who you are – sexual abuse is not OK.

http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/meeting-minutes-dolan%C3%ADs-milwaukee-archdiocese-paid-accused-priests-leave

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/14/world/europe/hague-court-declines-inquiry-into-church-abuse-cover-up.html?ref=romancatholicchurchsexabusecase

http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/PriestAbuseScandal.htm

Cardinal O’Brien


Cardinal Keith O’Brien, head of the Catholic church in Scotland; resigned over allegations of inappropriate behaviour. Pope Benedict XVI accepted his resignation on Feb. 18, just short of his intended departure on March 13 – his 75th birthday. Dare I say; there seems to be a trend developing in the Catholic Church.

These “run for the border” antics have me pondering. It isn’t that it’s happening; that’s old news. What really bothers me is that the same rule of law should apply to them as everyone else. Monumental heartbreak, shattered lives, and broken trust are swept under the mat; as if the victims didn’t matter. Men of God slip out the back door, and we all look the other way.

Apparently the “church” is on to something. In these politically correct times confession remains the accepted path to redemption, I doubt that the irony will ever dawn on the faithful. Thanks to our social media world, the confessional is open for all to see. The holy water gets too hot – jump out of the pot on CNN and all is right in the world –  you’re only human.  Zero punishment, all is forgiven – right?

I can’t help but laugh. For some strange reason it makes me think of Ted Haggard . the evangelist who strayed when attacked by homosexual demons. Poor Ted, he cried and cried – rather publicly I might add, upon losing his ministry;  his livelihood  down the toilet, stoic wife at his side – we give him a reality show. Actually paid him for the right to roll film as he re-builds his cash cow out of a barn on his sprawling estate.

I realize that Ted didn’t prey on followers, and can not be compared to Cardinal O’Brien’s path of demise. The point I’m trying to make is that we need to re-evaluate the kid glove extended to matters of God.  Every one of us who accepts this ridiculous, hypocritical double standard, is responsible for  the God card being played as a “get out of jail free” card.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien

Pope Tweets


I don’t know why I laughed when hearing that the Pope made his first “tweet” today. It most likely came from the visual, or perhaps my  burning desire to discover if he was an iphone or Blackberry pontiff. I pictured him surrounded by a gaggle of Cardinals, helpfully guiding him through the process. Without warning one of the imaginary Cardinals became John Cleese. Game over.

He had a million followers when he opened his Twitter account. Not bad #pontifex! Unfortunately all was not roses; the Vatican revealed  a number of negative responses. In particular the subject of abuse within the Catholic church. Not to be discouraged Benedict XVI has announced he will take questions at #askpontifex.

When the Vatican announced a few years ago that extraterrestrial life was possible; as there was no limit to God’s power, I was impressed. Now a Pope that Tweets. There is indeed no end to God’s power.