Vatican To Flog Bishops For Protecting Pedophiles ... Eventually

Sure, maybe the Catholic Church used to have a teeny tiny little problem -- that covered the globe and cost a few billion dollars -- of covering up the epidemic of clergy raping kids all the time. But that's all behind us now. The church is officially against that; it has made statements and printed "Don't Rape Kids, M'kay?" pamphlets and everything.

Plus, ever since Pope Benedict XVI (yeah, the Hitler youth one) retired to spend more time not doing a goddamned thing about it, things have really changed at the Vatican. Pope Francis has indicated that in addition to feeding the hungry and caring for the poor and other weird commie Jesus crap like that, he's a definitive "no" vote on whether it is OK for the church to cover up all that kid-raping.

And we should see some action on that any century now. From the Don't Rush Into Anything files:

A commission advising Pope Francis on how to tackle clerical sex abuse of minors has completed its first full meeting at the Vatican. The commission — which has been criticized for its slow start — says it's now drawing up recommended sanctions against bishops who have covered up cases of abuse.

On the one hand, um, it's better that the big fat Do Nothing Whatsoever policy previously practiced by the Vatican. On the other hand, sweet Jesus, how long does it really take a 17-person commission of clergy and lay folks, headed by Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley, to meet and decide that the punishment for bishops who have protected child molesters should be ALL THE WORST THINGS?

But, the Catholic Church being the Catholic Church, it has taken this long for the commission to meet, and it's going to take a while longer to finish jotting up some notes to pass on to the pope, who can then either nod his papal head in agreement or say, "I don't know, this seems a bit much. Spend a few more years back at the drawing board."

No details have yet leaked from the commission about what punishments are being considered. Just, you know, some punishments of some kind, probably. Plus training for those newbie priests who were unaware that it is not OK to rape kids and for bishops who were unaware that if you see something, say something:

O'Malley said they will also recommend training courses on the issue for Vatican officials and newly named bishops.

"If you don't have a clear path to respond in cases of sexual abuse, people tend to improvise," he says. "And when they improvise, they make many mistakes — even though there is all kinds of good will — and in those mistakes many innocent people suffer."

No, we have no idea why it is so gosh darned confusing and complicated to know that if you catch clergy doing sex crimes, you should fire them and report them to the police immediately, instead of, for example, quietly transferring said sex crimer to another neighborhood to do more sex crimes.

Sure, the Church has a long history of taking its sweet time -- like, centuries of time -- to do anything at all, but at least two members of the commission who were both abused by clergy are hopeful the church will, just this one time, act quickly. And both have threatened to leave the commission if nothing happens. Within a year or two. Because that's actually fast, in Vatican years!

So yeah, good news that the commission has actually held a meeting. Progress! But as for seeing any changes implemented? Don't hold your breath. It could still be a while. But really, what's the rush?



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