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← Scapegoat for Catholic evils?

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by God fearing Atheist

"the real evil, which is the entire culture of the Catholic church"

I think that is a category error. The only active agents in any organisation are the humans that make it up. They are the only who are culpable.

The paedophile priests should by punished. Those who covered it up should be punished. "I was only following orders" is not mitigation. The only possible "cultural" influence is "I thought the boss would tell me to cover it up, so I covered it up without even bothering to tell him". I'd like to see that one used as an excuse in court. But that is actually down to individual humans, not the collective. The only way an inferior could have picked up on his boss's intentions is if the boss had stated his opinion to others in the organisation that had got back via the rumour mill.

The police should investigate and pursue the chain of "orders" through the organisation. The links are from human to human. Where they get sufficient evidence, those individuals should be prosecuted. Given standards of evidence it is likely that those at the top of the RCC who merely give subtle hints / said nothing in front of multiple living witnesses / left no physical evidence, will get away scot-free.

Only the police can say if this guy was a pawn. Did they follow the trail until it went cold, or did they stop after getting one scape-goat? Did they suspect others in the RCC of perverting the course of justice by handing over evidence against the pawn, but withholding the rest of the trail? If so, then the police have more crimes to investigate.

This is really about the skill and determination of the police investigators, vrs. the cunning of criminals in covering their tracks.

Even with brilliant police work, I suspect that standards of evidence will mean only a few percent of the criminals are ever be prosecuted, but the investigation will make the rest more careful about leaving evidence. The RCC will still be full of bad apples, and hence, I suppose "culture of child abuse" is an appropriate shorthand.

The final piece is the police investigators. Did they do a thorough job? There may be rotten apples in the justice system who also "issued orders".

So, my belief that the monsignor is a fall-guy is inversely proportional to my belief that the police did their job properly. I'll guess there is a 15% chance he is just a fall-guy, and 85% chance this is where the evidence Petered out.

Wed, 25 Jul 2012 12:49:07 UTC | #950046