Sully on Pope John Paul II

This is certainly something of a shocker, coming from ueber-Catholic Andrew Sullivan.

Last night on Hardball, I said what I think needs to be said. Under John Paul II (and his predecessors), the Roman Catholic church presided over the rape and molestation of thousands of children and teenagers. Under John Paul II, the church at first did all it could to protect its own and to impugn and threaten the victims of this abuse. Rome never acknowledged, let alone take responsibility for, the scale of the moral betrayal. I was staggered to see Cardinal Bernard Law holding press conferences in Rome this week, and appearing on television next to the man who announced the Pope’s death. But that was the central reaction of the late Pope to this scandal: he sided with the perpetrators, because they were integral to his maintenance of power. When you hear about this Pope’s compassion, his concern for the victims of society, his love of children, it’s important to recall that when it came to walking the walk in his own life and with his own responsibility, he walked away. He all but ignored his church’s violation of the most basic morality – that you don’t use the prestige of the church to rape innocent children. Here was a man who lectured American married couples that they could not take the pill, who told committed gay couples that they were part of an “ideology of evil,” but acquiesced and covered up the rape of minors. When truth met power, John Paul II chose truth. When truth met his power, John Paul II defended his own prerogatives at the expense of the innocent. Many have forgotten. That’s not an option for the victims of this clerical criminality.

I’m not endorsing this viewpoint, necessarily. I always held the Pope in high regard, though I disagreed strongly with his rigid conservatism. But it is definitely food for thought.

The Discussion: 5 Comments

“Ueber-Catholic Andrew Sullivan”????

Sullivan very publicly broke with the Church for quite a while ago.

April 7, 2005 @ 1:03 am | Comment

China no longer mourns for Pope?

Of course, because of Taiwan, again. If you want to drive them mad, invoke Taiwan.

“The Chinese side will not send a delegation to the funeral, this is my clear-cut answer,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

China’s main official Catholic organisation also says it would not send representatives to Rome for the same reason.

“Originally, we planned to send someone to the Pope’s funeral, but now we’re not going,” Liu Bainian, vice chairman of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, said.

“The decision to let Chen Shui-bian attend has hurt the feelings of the Chinese people, including five million Catholics.”

April 7, 2005 @ 6:31 am | Comment

He is still a devout Catholic, I believe, painfully disillusioned by its stand on gay marriage and the sex scandals. But his Catholicism pervades his entire philosophy, it’s the foundation of his entire existence (and I don’t think he’d deny that).

April 7, 2005 @ 7:48 am | Comment

More on China and the pope from the NYT:

April 7, 2005 @ 1:39 pm | Comment

First – were they even invited?

April 11, 2005 @ 3:58 pm | Comment

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