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Religion Last Updated: May 25th, 2010 - 00:22:55

Pope condemns gay marriage but covers up pedophilia
By Mary Shaw
Online Journal Contributing Writer

May 25, 2010, 00:15

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During a recent visit to Portugal, Pope Benedict XVI called same-sex marriage one of the most "insidious and dangerous" threats facing the world today, reported the Associated Press.

Two consenting adults of the same sex having their love legally recognized is, to this pontiff, apparently a greater threat than al-Qaeda, global warming, genocide, world hunger, and nuclear weapons -- or at least it's right up there with them.

Yep, those gentle, loving gay couples are going to destroy the world!

Of course, this is the same pope who spent years covering up cases of clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church. It became a trend. And it's all about the PR, not about the sins.

Back in 2001, when we still knew him as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he issued a secret edict to all Catholic bishops, which was later leaked by the British press. In it, Ratzinger ordered that "the church's investigations into child sex abuse claims be carried out in secret," and asserted "the church's right to hold its inquiries behind closed doors and keep the evidence confidential for up to 10 years after the victims reached adulthood." In other words, keep it all under wraps until the statutes of limitations expire. It's all about the PR, not about the sins.

The following year, he had the nerve and arrogance to discount the crisis and try to shift the blame, referring to media coverage of clergy sex abuse as a plot to discredit the Church. Again, it's all about the PR, not about the sins.

Priests who molested children were not disciplined, fired, and turned over to the appropriate legal authorities. Instead, they were transferred to other parishes, where they were free to molest a whole new crop of young people. Victims were told to remain silent under threat of excommunication or hellfire. You see, it's all about the PR, not about the sins.

And, while the pope now speaks out against the molestations in the wake of new scandals that have erupted throughout Europe, it's much too little, much too late. It's just lip service, and talk is cheap. Obviously, it's all about the PR, not about the sins.

The fact remains that, for all those years, this so-called "holy" man tolerated and enabled clergy sex abuse with impunity. And countless young people have suffered, and continue to suffer, as the pain of molestation tends to haunt its victims for life.

Is that not a far greater sin than recognizing the bond of a loving couple, which is what same-sex marriage is all about?

Of course, just as the church doesn't let facts, logic, or reason get in the way of its dogma, its leaders are not going to let facts, logic, or reason get in the way of their PR. And they're not going to let love and compassion (which, I believe, are what Jesus was all about) get in the way of their own distorted view of morality.

So I guess it's okay to molest young boys as long as you don't try to marry them.

Because it's all about the PR, not about the sins.

Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist, with a focus on politics, human rights, and social justice. She is a former Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty International, and her views appear regularly in a variety of newspapers, magazines, and websites. Note that the ideas expressed here are the author's own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Amnesty International or any other organization with which she may be associated. E-mail:

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