Sunday, June 27, 2010

Vatican has Chutzpa

Vatican has Chutzpa

by David Fortwengler
The never-ending nightmare of high-ranking Catholic officials pretending to be victims and demonizing secular authorities continued in full force this weekend. On Thursday, Belgian police raided Catholic headquarters looking for evidence of crimes committed against children by clergy and a subsequent cover up. Rather than cooperate fully with a criminal investigation, as they have repeatedly promised, they instead feign outrage and disrespect the legitimate authority of secular officials doing their jobs. At least Catholic employees have embraced their Judeo-Christian heritage by taking the concept of “Chutzpah” to a new level.


In modern times the word has taken on a wider meaning as sometimes a positive expression or admiration of a non-conformist but gutsy audacity. In the Vatican's case I am referring to the original Hebrew definition where it is used with indignation to describe someone who has over-stepped the boundaries of accepted behavior with no shame. The jewish people coined the term before the Catholic Church was even formed, otherwise I would have thought chutzpah was a synonym for Catholic Church hierarchy.

Cardinal Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, responded to the raid faster than the Vatican ever has responded to a clergy sex crime and issued a statement within 24 hours. He lamented the Belgian bishops were not allowed to leave until the search was completed, were not allowed to use their cell phones, and that it wasn’t a pleasant experience. Well boo-hoo, not too many criminals are pleased when potential evidence is seized.

The statement also said the Vatican believes the sin and criminal act of abuse of minors by clergy “conforms to the requirements of justice and teachings of the Gospel." This from a group that has never cooperated with a secular investigation. When bishops are deposed or investigated, they don’t quote scripture, they hire the best secular defense attorneys their parishioners can afford.

Tomb Raiders

The greatest Vatican indignation was directed at the search of two archbishops tombs for incriminating evidence. I thought I had heard about most church tactics to obstruct justice, but hiding documents with a dead guy is new to me. (secret archives would be a better place to look) I am positive the dead archbishops were not offended because, well, they’re dead. Besides, doesn’t the Catholic Church canonize saints, dissect their bodies for relics (bone and hair), and then ship them all over the world for veneration? I am indignant about that practice. (and it’s creepy)

Belgian Ambassador is Summoned

Vatican chutzpah continues with the Belgian ambassador being summoned to the Holy See (headquarters) so they can convey their anger. I hope the ambassador attends and displays some good chutzpah. Tell Cardinal Bertrone this is not about him or his church, it is about horrific crimes against Belgian citizens. Then promise to let him know when indictments are handed down.

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