In a ruling cheered by pedophiles every where, the Vatican today offered its approval of adult-child sex as long as it's not against civil laws.
Snark or not? You be the judge. The Chicago Tribune published an article this morning that near as I can understand, says pretty much this same thing.
To summarize: a priest in the Joliet Diocese was accused of um...er...'dating' a 14 year old in the swinging 70s. Note to self: this seems to be euphemism for S-E-X. A local review board found it credible enough to forward to the Vatican. So to recap, an adult male was having sex with a 14 year old boy. Years go by and said 14 year old grows up, lodges a complaint with the Diocese and whoa...the Vatican steps in and says this isn't technically a crime.
This is about as far from "Mea Culpa" as the Vatican can go, said Church observers, characterizing it as a "Mea F*cka You." (OK, this part is snark.)
Follow me below the orange squiggly of unbridled lust for more.
So I'm a mom and I have a 17 year old son who used to be an altar boy. Just want to lay that out there since we had to have the talk about er...'dating' a priest when he was about 10. Lucky for us, there was no 'dating' and the Vatican didn't have to step in and let me know it was OK. Huge sigh of relief.
I feel much better, as a mom, knowing the Vatican has my back on this. So I just wanted to share my 'relief' knowing that the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which until the 1950s was called the Office of the Inquisition, has spoken (apparently bad press from the Middle Ages forced the name change).
So again, to break it down in small words and short sentences so a Fallen Away Roman Catholic (FARC) like me can understand: A priest had sex with a boy and the Office of the Inquisition stepped in to OK it.
Yes, there are some caveats. The Vatican cited a little known Canon law from 1917 (again, let me just shiver with happiness that the Vatican is quoting laws from nearly 100 years ago in an attempt to maintain law and order...kudos for the cutting edge thinking!) that said the priest wasn't found guilty of sex since the person was under 16 and that wasn't a crime in Illinois in 1970...maybe.
Clearly, I'm no canon lawyer and as a FARC, my brain locked up while reading the article. I think there is a secret Vatican handshake/wink/nod that I missed in the subtext. I guess that returning the accused priest to 'limited ministry' means hands off the boys or else the Vatican will have to say it's OK again.
This ruling by the smart guys who brought you no birth control and predatory sex with children does raise some interesting questions. Is it a crime at all, in some minds, to lay hands on 14 year old boys? What happens to the lucky parish that gets the reinstated priest? Apparently the Joliet Diocese has a 'Safe Environment' Coordinator who makes sure everyone feels great about this decision.
I think the Vatican just got real tired of American Catholics what with all their suggestions to join the 21st century and decided they needed to take a stand, like a firm parent does.
Since the Bishop in Joliet is the head of the U.S. Bishops Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People, I am convinced they are signaling the laity (or former laity like me) that they are so done with the whole pedophilia thing and hey, even find it OK on a technicality from 1917.
So, get over it, anti-pedophile whiners. The Vatican has spoken.