I grew up Catholic. As a young Catholic and a student of my city’s Catholic schools, I learned that the leader of this religion of over a billion, the Pope, possesses near-limitless authority. He could kick out any member of the church for any number of crimes. The term is “excommunicate,” which sounds like another way of saying, “I’m not talking to you anymore.”
The current Pope, Benedict XVI (Formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the former second-in-command to his predecessor, John Paul II), is presently under scrutiny for ordering the under-rug-sweeping of allegations in the American Catholic church of sexual abuse between priests and young men, before he became the Pope. Since then, the issue has gone global.
Can the Pope be accused of a crime such as this while he’s considered God’s representative on Earth? Maybe the better question is, should he be?
Nobody is above the law or morality; not even the leader of a massive religious organization. Pope Benedict neglected thousands of young men at the expense of protecting the church hierarchy. At the very least, he should stand down from his post and face the consequences for his neglegence and forced ignorance.
If not, I have no doubt that God will make him answer for these ill-advised decisions and instructions. As a young Catholic, my elders also taught me that every action, thought, and decision has a consequence. Why should the Pope’s decisions, thoughts, and actions be any different?