Saturday, March 24, 2012

Der Panzerpapst Kommt nach Mexico

by Edd Doerr

Pope Benedict XVI arrived for a visit to Mexico on 3/23. He is visiting a country, the NY Times reported on 3/24, "wounded by years of drug-related violence and a church whose priests have been both complicit with and victimized by drug cartels. . . . Catholics and critics of the church are demanding that the pope address . . . a sexual scandal involving a powerful religious order favored by the Vatican for years. That scandal, centered in a group called the Legionaries of Christ and its founder, the Rev Marcial Maciel Degollado, has remained a open wound. The accusations that Father Maciel was a drug addict who abused teenage seminarians and fathered several children re-emerged this week with a new book by a former Legion priest, which cites internal Vatican documents supposedly showing the Holy See knew decades ago about the allegations against Father Macial, who died in 2008." Benedict removed Macial from duty in 2006, but "critics and former victims say that . . . he knew about Father Macial, from testimony of other priests, since at least 1998 . . ."

(BTW, there is an old Spanish saying that fits here: "A priest is a guy whom everyone calls 'Father", except his own children, who call him 'Uncle'." ["Un cura es un tipo que todos llaman 'padre', sino sus propios hijos, que le llaman 'tio'."])

The Times also mentioned the rough time the church in Mexico had in the 1920s, but neglected to note that the Mexican Revolution that began in 1910 was in part a revolt against the church, which at that time owned about a third of all the land in the country.

I remember getting a Mexican freethought tabloid many years ago called "La voz de Juarez" ("The Voice of Juarez"). Benito Juarez was the liberal Mexican president around the time of the US Civil War who separated church and state in that country.

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