The Priest Shuffle

It’s the dance craze sweeping the world. Actually, it’s a new entry in Robert Todd Carroll’s Skeptic’s Dictionary. In the article he lists a few examples of the Catholic Church’s practice of viewing abusive priests as a public relations problem and moving them around to avoid detection and prosecution.

The response of the Vatican to these ongoing scandals seems to have been that first and foremost the Church has a public relations problem, not a human relations problem. Recently, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller to the position of prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). Müller is now the Vatican’s child abuse watchdog. Müller was a priest shuffler when serving as a bishop in Germany. He’s from Regensburg, Germany, where Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger (aka Pope Benedict XVI) taught theology before being made bishop of Munich. According to Bishop Gerhard Ludwig MüllerConcordat Watch, bishop Müller got a court order stopping the German magazine Der Spiegel from publishing a story about clerical abuse in Germany. Müller didn’t want to prosecute a priest who abused children in his diocese, and he sued the journalist who called the payments to victims “hush money.” One wonders what the Vatican is thinking by appointing a priest shuffler and abuser protector to the position of abuse watchdog.

He has links identified as further reading:

Roman Catholic sex abuse cases by country

Predator Priests Shuffled Around Globe “In an investigation spanning 21 countries across six continents, The Associated Press found 30 cases of priests accused of abuse who were transferred or moved abroad. Some escaped police investigations. Many had access to children in another country, and some abused again.”

More Evidence of Abusive Priest Shuffling Emerges “Nearly 10,000 pages of previously sealed Catholic church documents have been made public and showed that the Diocese of San Diego long knew about abusive priests, some of whom were shuffled from parish to parish despite credible complaints against them.

…The records are from the personnel files of 48 priests who were either credibly accused or convicted of sexual abuse or were named in a civil lawsuit. They include a decades-old case in which a priest under police investigation was allowed to leave the U.S. after the diocese intervened.

…The files show what the diocese knew about abusive priests, starting decades before any allegations became public, and that some church leaders moved priests around or overseas despite credible complaints against them.” Documenting abuse by priests, cover-ups by bishops, and priest shuffling since 2003.

It seems that the only continent that has not been impacted directly in priest shuffling is

Two King Penguins and one Gentoo Penguin walking on a beach on South Georgia, British overseas territory

Antarctica. Given the recently discovered sex lives of penguins (homosexual acts, sexual abuse of chicks and even attempts by male penguins to mate with dead females), we might question even that.

Let’s dance.

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