Was the Vatican aware that Michael Jackson was a pedophile?
I know, I was floored by all the surprise surrounding the incontrovertible evidence that there are priests that molest children!! "What was the world coming to?" I thunk. Americans might want to face the fact that most mainstream journalism is barely different from the National Enquirer, and that's even unfair to them since they sometimes actually report something accurately for yucks.
Never mind that I had heard about pedophile priests almost my entire life and that even in predominantly Catholic South Bend (Notre Dame University is located adjacent to the city) it was considered a cliché. In this historical moment, "surprise" that the Vatican has been covering-up acts of molestation by clerics for decades is everywhere. Why is this? Surely, some of this is cry of the siren, but abusers need willing enablers and they've gotten plenty of enabling over generations. The point is a distraction for those who want the cover-ups and the lies to continue. Some of them are doing it because they can't bear what's going to come out of all of this. The public, as in all the other things that we're supposed to be "protected" from knowing, can take it, the culprits and enablers cannot.
What about protecting children? The Vatican seems to be the last institution on earth willing to do that besides the Republican Party or any other number of faceless, self-perpetuating institutions. That's a culture in very serious denial about itself and a real exorcism is order. An exorcism is, in fact, what's occurring in a scandal of international scope. The Church will continue to insist that they can take care of the problem, but since when have they illustrated an ability to? Centuries ago, the Church once had their own parallel legal system alongside that of the Monarch. Did it produce justice? It did not.
Their reluctance to be held accountable by civil law and authorities speaks volumes that they haven't changed very much at the Vatican, and Pope Benedict XVI is hardly a maverick for change as his own personal handling of past cases illustrates plainly. Like the American Republican Party, they're just going to keep blowing their toes off because they don't know any better and because they don't know what else to do. All they seem capable of is blaming the victim, the pedagogy of the abuser. That's not going to make it go away anytime soon.