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Saturday, April 02, 2005

This time, the pope is really dead




Vatican Says Pope John Paul II Dies at 84

By VICTOR L. SIMPSON, Associated Press Writer

VATICAN CITY - Pope John Paul II, the Polish pontiff who led the Roman Catholic Church for more than a quarter century and became history's most-traveled pope, died Saturday night in his Vatican apartment. He was 84.

"The angels welcome you," Vatican TV said after the announcement came from papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls.

"The Holy Father died this evening at 9:37 p.m. (2:37 p.m. EST) in his private apartment. All the procedures outlined in the apostolic Constitution `Universi Dominici Gregis' that was written by John Paul II on Feb. 22, 1996, have been put in motion," Navarro-Valls said.


Paul Shanley.

That's not a name you will hear much in the next few days, but keep it in mind.

Why?

Because, as a priest, he may have raped up to 1000 boys.

For all the good John Paul II did, for all of his courageous stands, for all of his promotion of life and opposition to war, his ultimate legacy may well be the sea of abused children left in a wake from his priests. For no other act has so undermined the faith that parishoners had with their church. The reign of molesters like Shanley, not in isolated incidents, but over decades, is a key aspect of how John Paul II will ultimately be seen. The Chruch's molestation problem exploded in the 1990's and was isolated and ignored. When it came back, 10 years later, the accusations are still ripping the church apart. And in many cases, those who hid these crimes against children were promoted, not sanctioned, like Edward Cardinal Egan of New York.

Then, of course, there are the scandals resulting from gay priests seeking out seminerians for sexualk partners. Last year, pictures of priests and seminerians kissing and otherwise sexually involved. Homosexuality in the priesthood is widespread, because straight men do not want to preclude the ability to have sex with women. The number of priests is declining sharply as each decade passes.

Yet, in many ways, the Pope was such a social conservative, that facing these issues honestly was impossible. The Vatican had to be dragged into dealing with pedophile priests and encourage DA's to get reports of these criminal acts.

No one Pope's reign can be judged by one issue, but this, the refusal to deal firmly and decisively with pedophilia and the harm it has caused to the church will last far longer than memories of his trips and his calls for peace

posted by Steve @ 3:48:00 PM

3:48:00 PM

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