Nothing matters except the church’s image
In what the Times calls his “strongest and most direct condemnation of the sexual abuse crisis that has swept the Catholic Church,” the Pope said that the “sins inside the church” posed the greatest threat to Catholicism, also adding that “forgiveness does not substitute justice.”
Let’s explore the rest of his statements, shall we?
“Attacks on the pope and the church come not only from outside the church, but the suffering of the church comes from inside the church, from sins that exist inside the church. This we have always known but today we see it in a really terrifying way.”
“The biggest weight on the church doesn’t come from the enemies outside, but is born from sin inside the church,” he added. “The church has a profound need to relearn penance, to accept purification, to learn on the one hand forgiveness but also the necessity of justice. And forgiveness does not substitute justice.”
So the old man finally admits the church has problems, which is super bad for its image, but what’s missing from this confession? Oh yeah, the victims. There isn’t any mention of the victims. Some unpleasantness happened, and it’s been super bad for the church’s image, which as we all know is the only thing that matters. I guess saying “child rape” out loud would make the whole thing too real.
Imagine if a rapist spoke this way during their day in court. “I recognize I have sinned, and this whole ‘raping’ thing has really hurt my rep, but I plan on praying a lot, which will hopefully make you forget all about this in about a year.” Pretty stupid. Now, imagine if he said it while wearing a giant hat.
Still nothing? Right, because approaching crime in this way — thinking only about the perpetrator’s reputation — is sick, bordering on sociopathic. Societies only considers this rationality “normal” because it’s the Pope saying it. If any other individual, let’s say the principal of a school, was found to be harboring child molesting teachers, and shuffling them around the district in order to preserve the school’s image as a nice, rape free place, citizens would be screaming for the principal’s prosecution.
Make no mistake, the Pope and the church are in high level damage control mode. These kinds of statements are all about making the unpleasantness go away. It’s not about justice. If this was about justice, the Pope would have turned the offending priests over to the authorities immediately. But then again, the church is above Man’s law.