24 September 2013

Ex-Pope Benedict XVI and Piergiorgio Odifreddi

The recent piece of news that Benedict XVI, a.k.a. Joseph Ratzinger, replied to a mathematician's (P. Odifreddi) letter is quite interesting. A response to Odifreddi's book, Caro Papa, ti scrivo (Dear Pope, I'm writing to you), the ex-Pope claims, among other things,
A. I never tried to cover up these things [peadophilia in the Catholic Church]
B. It's also not a motive for comfort to know that, according to sociological research, the percentage of priests guilty of these crimes is no higher than in other comparable professional categories.

Let us examine claim A.

In his book, The Case of the Pope, the distinguished human rights lawyer and judge Geoffrey Robertson, QC, writes (article 53, page 42):
In 2001, the Vatican actually congratulated Bishop Pierre Pican of Bayeux for refusing to inform police about a paedophile priest and for giving him parish work despite his confession of guilt. `I congratulate you for not denouncing a priest to the civil administration', wrote Cardinal Castrillon Hojos, with the personal approval of John Paul II and other senior cardinals, including the head of the CDF, Cardinal Ratzinger.
Cardinal  Ratzinger, as a head of CDF, before becoming pope, did know about child abusers and was personally responsible for not informing the police. Quite simply, the "honour" of the church was more important than turning criminals to the police. Instead, the ex-pope and other Church leaders, applied the principle that
even sex with minors becomes another sin to be forgiven
and, simply, moved the offending peadophiles to another parish where they were free to re-offend and have sex with more children. This thing was going on for decades in all countries where the Catholic Church has a strong presence.

The ex-pope's job of covering up was aided by the fact that
Catholics are indoctrinated from their childhood that priests take the place of Jesus Christ and are to be obeyed at all costs, and never questioned or criticized. (Thomas P. Doyle)

 Let us examine claim B.

The percentage of priests, the ex-Pope says, who are paedophiles, is not higher than other comparable professional categories. Is he crazy, or what? Why, priests are supposed to be pillars of morality, and, especially Catholic priests have given up any kind of sexual life in order to serve god. Therefore, it is totally unacceptable, for the Church Leader, to claim that priests are no better or worse than others. They should, by definition, be better. Well, we know they are not, and we know, as a matter of fact, that the Catholic Church had become a paradise for anyone who wanted to have sex with minors. Statistics, in this case, do not lie.
Sexual abuse of children by priests in the Catholic Church has been at a level considerably above that in any other organization, and that it has been covered up by many bishops with the support and the direction of the Vatican. (The Case of the Pope, p.6.)

So, the ex-Pope's reply is mere bullshit.

BBC claims that
it is thought to be the first time that Benedict has publicly rejected personal responsibility for covering up abuse.
To this date, the ex-Pope, by not replying directly, avoided responsibility. Now, he tells us he is not responsible. Evidence shows this is not the case.

And, finally, let us read another claim of the ex-Pope in his reply to Odifreddi:
C. In any event, one must not stubbornly present this deviance as if it were a nastiness specific to Catholicism.
Yes, here, we must agree with him. Nastiness is not specific to Catholicism. It permeates any kind of religion, to various degrees, but all religions are more harmful than useful.

1 comment:

  1. Do you know what is the definition of the perfect nun? It's a nun whose mother was nun and also whose grandmother was nun.



What measure theory is about

It's about counting, but when things get too large.
Put otherwise, it's about addition of positive numbers, but when these numbers are far too many.

The principle of dynamic programming

max_{x,y} [f(x) + g(x,y)] = max_x [f(x) + max_y g(x,y)]

The bottom line

Nuestras horas son minutos cuando esperamos saber y siglos cuando sabemos lo que se puede aprender.
(Our hours are minutes when we wait to learn and centuries when we know what is to be learnt.) --António Machado

Αγεωμέτρητος μηδείς εισίτω.
(Those who do not know geometry may not enter.) --Plato

Sapere Aude! Habe Muth, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen!
(Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!) --Kant