Imagine an organization, lets call it Widgets Worldwide, which has a massive world wide empire but it affected by a very deep problem.
A small but significant segment of the workforce are discovered to be dreadful people – pedophiles, who abuse children repeatedly.
Instead of firing these dreadful people the bosses decide to move them around from place to place, sometimes from country to country to avoid them ever being found out.
Records are falsified, offenders are given a slap on the wrist and the big boss at the world headquarters sends clear instructions that the matter is to be dealt with internally and not to call in police.
This all becomes public knowledge and there is a huge hue and cry. Instead of resigning however, the bosses dig in deeper and claim they were ignorant of the full extent of the problem even though their records clearly show they were not.
Now here is where fact and fiction diverge. In the case of Widgets Worldwide the bosses who covered up, the workers who carried it out and the big boss who oversaw it all are forced to resign and most if not all are sent to jail – after all covering up the raping of children is hardly good corporate policy is it? Widgets worldwide of course is shut down and a new company takes over having gotten rid of all the bad eggs.
Not so in real life however, especially in Ireland, where the Catholic Church continues to deny, deny and prevaricate in most cases.
The pope's statement to the people of Ireland yesterday when informed of the extent of the pedophile crisis there was a case in point. Instead of stating that the resignation of all who had been named in the various reports as taking part or covering up pedophilia should be on his desk within 24 hours he merely punted and said it was all very upsetting but he would shortly write a letter to the people of Ireland.
Where’s the outrage, Benedict? Or should we be surprised? After all this is the pope who promoted, yes promoted, Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston when the extent of his involvement in covering up pedophilia cases made it impossible for him to continue as head of the Boston archdiocese.
What is needed is a full clean out of the Augean stables, the resignation or sacking of every priest and bishop named in the report and a new beginning for the Church. Until then, Benedict, spare us the encyclicals.