Saturday, 10 April 2010

Pope Maledict and the Propagation of the Faith.

The Pope may have recommended delaying Church action against a paedophile priest in 1985, when he was a senior Vatican official. From here:

Associated Press said it had obtained the letter, signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, resisting the defrocking of offending US priest Stephen Kiesle. The Vatican says he was exercising due caution before sacking the priest. Cardinal Ratzinger - who was at the time the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - said the "good of the universal Church" needed to be considered in any defrocking, AP reported.
There seems to be a tradition of favouring the interests of the Church rather than redressing harm done to children as well as to Catholic families. Yesterday one of their own official religious news agencies reported:

Seven Ontario bishops and Cardinal José Sanchez, the prefect for the Congregation for the Clergy, were aware by 1993 that the secretary-general of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith had committed sexual abuse, according to a February 1993 letter from the bishop of Pembroke (Ontario) to Canada’s apostolic nuncio. At the time of Msgr. Bernard Prince’s 1991 appointment to the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Bishop Joseph Windle of Pembroke was aware that the priest had abused one boy.

Nonetheless, he recalled in the 1993 letter that “while the charge against Fr. Prince was very serious,” he had not objected “to him being given another chance since it would remove him from the Canadian scene.” By 1993, however, Bishop Windle had become aware that there were four or five victims.

In his letter to Archbishop Carlo Curis, who served as apostolic nuncio to Canada from 1990 to 1999, Bishop Windle urged that Father Prince not be given a papal honor or promoted to the episcopate, noting that such a move could prompt victims to speak out publicly. Three months after he wrote the letter, Bishop Windle retired at age 75; he died in 1997.

The Globe and Mail notes that Bishop Windle, contrary to the policy adopted by Canadian bishops in 1993, did not report the abuse to civil authorities. Msgr. Prince continued to serve as secretary-general of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith until 2004. Laicized by Pope Benedict in 2009, Prince is currently serving a four-year prison term after being convicted of sexually abusing 13 young men between 1964 and 1984. The victims were between 10 and 16 years old.

Here is an account of one man who survived sexual assault perpetrated by Bernard Prince. More about the quashing of information regarding Prince's abuse of children, here.

The Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith was founded
"in Lyons, France in 1822 by the Venerable Pauline Jaricot to promote missionary co-operation in every Christian community. In this activity, besides collecting funds, the Society promotes missionary vocations, education to missionary spirit..."
Wasn't the Society a beneficiary of the vast wealth amassed by Mother Teresa's Mission - whose purpose was to evangelize vulnerable people dying of various maladies?

A few years ago I wrote this about Mother Teresa at Birth Pangs:

Mother Teresa supported Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s suspension of civil liberties in India in 1975, and she accepted the Légion d’honneur in 1981 from Jean-Claude Duvalier, the homicidal right-wing dictator of Haiti. She received considerable donations from Charles Keating – who stole over $252 million US in a Savings & Loan scandal, and from Robert Maxwell – who embezzled £450 million UK from his employees’ pension funds. It was disclosed that she interceded on Maxwell’s behalf, wrote to the court to urge leniency and refused to return the money when requested by legal authorities, for reimbursing those who had been swindled.

Dr. Robin Fox, editor of the British medical journal The Lancet visited the Home for Dying Destitutes in Calcutta and described the care the patients received as “haphazard”. He observed that Mother Teresa’s order did not distinguish between curable and incurable patients, so that people who might have otherwise survived, were at risk of dying from infections and lack of treatment. Former employees claim that Mother Teresa refused to authorize the purchase of medical equipment, and that donated money was transferred to the Vatican Bank instead. There have been a series of other reports documenting inattention to health care in her facilities. And yet, that hasn’t stopped the Vatican from promoting the canonization of Mother Teresa.

Archbishop Henryk Hoser, Secretary Adjunct of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples and President of the Pontifical Mission Societies reveals the ideological and doctrinal reasoning behind the emphasis on evangelization rather than medical care.

"The medical aspect of mission is important and ever present, since the human person is composed of spiritual, material, corporal and biological elements. Just as the Lord Jesus went from village to village healing the soul and body of those he met, so the Church continues His mission, and does the same. Neither of these aspects can be overlooked. In mission countries there are always structures which offer specific and professional care to the body, caring for the sick. Medical care is very different in rich countries compared with poor countries, - mostly mission territories -. [...]

“Missionary medicine” practised at clinics, hospitals, dispensaries… which in these countries have to meet the needs of the majority of the population, always sees the whole person, not just the illness or the part which is ill. We have maintained this principle compared with very technical medical care which has become a sort of medical engineering. We consider patients in the context in which they live, their economic situation which effects health. It is enough to think of the tragedy of hunger which in poor countries kills large numbers of children and young people. The infant mortality rate in Africa is at least 10 times the rate in Europe. Medicine can also help to heal the soul. If we see the suffering of the sick, if we can give value to this suffering even if it is impossible to reduce it, sick people become our travelling companions, as we all walk along the Way of the Cross."

In other words, if you want to donate to an organization that actually provides modern, efficiently-delivered health care to the ill, diseased or injured, send your money to Médecins sans frontières or the International Red Cross.

The suffering of the faithful is all good, as far as the leading clergy of the Catholic Church is concerned - it is the path that leads their flock to heaven. Sexual abuse inflicted upon children by their own priests, medical care denied to the sick, it can all be justified because the "good of the universal Church" informs the moral imperative of the Vatican Taliban. Oh, and the business of maintaining power and wealth for the Catholic Church too.

More: check out these posts, here and here at Rusty Idols by Cliff.

Grand merci to Chrystal Ocean who brought the BBC item to our attention.

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