Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Cardinals begin to pick new Pope

The official line is that the Cardinals are picking someone who is the direct descendent of St. Peter. This spin conveniently forgets or ignores the many Popes who brought disgrace to the office. It also tests belief in the principle of papal infallibility - a concept that has been compromised by practices that are truly incredible.  

The media coverage of this event is way over the top. A bit of perspective is called for. The last time this group, comprising the genuinely devout alongside others who have either been abusers or colluded with sex abuse cover-up on a massive scale, they elected Ratzinger. He was the architect of the cover up of abuse campaign. Direct descendent from St Peter?   

Many in the conclave are men who have practiced a ‘blame the victim’ culture for generations. This has caused untold harm to thousands of individuals. To dignify them, and the process, with some sort of sanctity and respect is asking far too much. Look at the evidence. Judge them by what they do. 

For instance, one of the spokespersons interviewed regularly on the media is Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor. Even senior reporters such as Ed Sturton listen respectfully to what this man says. Mellifluous and ingratiating in his answers,  it should be remembered that O’Connor covered up the actions of a priest in his diocese, Michael Hill,  who was a serial abuser. Hill then continued to abuse several other vulnerable people. O'Connor has zero credibility and Sturton should know that.

It is gratifying to hear from Ireland that the numbers attending mass have collapsed dramatically. This followed the publication of a couple of reports detailing the extent of abuse and equally importantly, the lengths the Vatican went to to cover up the crimes. The reports sadly also showed the extent to which the Irish State either colluded with, or turned a blind-eye, to disgraceful incidents. 

It is to be hoped that where evidence exists of systematic cover-up of abuse then those who do the cover up are prosecuted. It must be a criminal act - so why are the authorities so reluctant to prosecute? 

It is an issue far more serious than asking your wife to take your speeding points.

Finally, the fawning, predominantly uncritical coverage by the media of the election is making news programmes unlistenable and unwatchable.  

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