Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Who's the victim here?

The classic definition of chutzpah is of a defendant who murders his parents and then asks the judge to have mercy on him because he's an orphan.

We have a new contender.

According to today's Times:

ROME — The Vatican recalled its ambassador to Ireland on Monday, citing reaction to a recent Irish government report that said the Vatican had discouraged efforts by bishops to report cases of sexual abuse to the police.

If you're wondering, the report of the Irish government, over 400 pages, is very strong in its condemnation of the church's responsibility for the rape of children all around Ireland by Catholic priests.

Last week, the Irish prime minister, Enda Kenny, denounced “the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism and the narcissism that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day,” in a speech that represented the government’s sharpest-ever direct attack on the Roman Catholic leadership.

The prime minister told Parliament last week, “The rape and torture of children were downplayed or ‘managed’ to uphold instead, the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and ‘reputation.’ ” Mr. Kenny added that the Vatican had not listened “to evidence of humiliation and betrayal” with compassion, but had instead chosen “to parse and analyze it with the gimlet eye of a canon lawyer.” The Irish Parliament also passed a motion denouncing the Vatican’s role in “undermining child-protection frameworks.”

Any decent human being, or any organization with the slightest regard for human rights and human dignity, would be so humbled the the only possible response would be abject apology, or, in the case of the organization, to dedicate all its resources to compensate the victims and help them to heal.

Of course, the Catholic church, having no regard for human rights and human dignity, takes the opposite approach, recalling its ambassador in affront over the Taoiseach's comments, noting that, "the decision “does not exclude some degree of surprise and disappointment at certain excessive reactions.”

Yes, believe it or not, in this situation, the injured party is not the rape victims, or the government officials who stand up for them, but the criminals who were at the receiving end of "certain excessive reactions".

Chutzpah, anybody?

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