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The Pope Criminalizes Leaks 266

Posted by samzenpus
from the keeping-secrets-secret dept.
PolygamousRanchKid writes "Pope Francis overhauled the laws that govern the Vatican City State on Thursday, criminalizing leaks of Vatican information and specifically listing sexual violence, prostitution and possession of child pornography as crimes against children that can be punished by up to 12 years in prison. But without the leaks, how would we find out about those crimes against children? Many of the new provisions were necessary to bring the city state's legal system up to date after the Holy See signed international treaties, such as the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. Others were necessary to comply with international norms to fight money-laundering, part of the Vatican's push toward financial transparency. One new crime stands out, though, as an obvious response to the leaks of papal documents last year that represented one of the gravest Vatican security breaches in recent times. Paolo Gabriele, the butler for then-Pope Benedict XVI, was tried and convicted by a Vatican court of stealing Benedict's personal papers and giving them to an Italian journalist, Gianluigi Nuzzi. Using the documents, Nuzzi published a blockbuster book on the petty turf wars, bureaucratic dysfunction and allegations of corruption and homosexual liaisons that afflict the highest levels of Catholic Church governance. Gabriele, who said he wanted to expose the 'evil and corruption' that plagued the Holy See, was convicted of aggravated theft and sentenced to 18 months in the Vatican's police barracks."
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The Pope Criminalizes Leaks

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12, 2013 @03:11AM (#44258953)

    So, how long until the Church devolves into an organization that takes people into dank cells someplace and tortures them. Oh... umm... nevermind.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12, 2013 @03:19AM (#44258979)

      So, how long until the Church devolves into an organization that takes people into dank cells someplace and tortures them.

      You want that sort of treatment for FREE?! Dream on buddy.

      And what's your personal preference, monks or nuns?

    • by fellip_nectar (777092) on Friday July 12, 2013 @03:43AM (#44259093)
      Nobody expects that though...
    • Re:So, how long (Score:5, Informative)

      by cold fjord (826450) on Friday July 12, 2013 @05:53AM (#44259493)

      Interesting article. After 1483 the Spanish Inquisition was at the command of the King of Spain.

      The Truth About the Spanish Inquisition [catholiceducation.org]

      Because it was both professional and efficient, the Spanish Inquisition kept very good records.

      These documents are a goldmine for modern historians who have plunged greedily into them. Thus far, the fruits of that research have made one thing abundantly clear – the myth of the Spanish Inquisition has nothing at all to do with the real thing. . . .

      In 1483 Ferdinand appointed Tomás de Torquemada as inquistor-general for most of Spain. It was Torquemada's job to establish rules of evidence and procedure for the Inquisition as well as to set up branches in major cities. Sixtus confirmed the appointment, hoping that it would bring some order to the situation.

      Unfortunately, the problem only snowballed. This was a direct result of the methods employed by the early Spanish Inquisition, which strayed significantly from Church standards. When the inquisitors arrived in a particular area, they would announce an Edict of Grace. This was a 30-day period in which secret Jews could voluntarily come forward, confess their sin, and do penance. This was also a time for others with information about Christians practicing Judaism in secret to make it known to the tribunal. Those found guilty after the 30 days elapsed could be burned at the stake.

      For conversos, then, the arrival of the Inquisition certainly focused the mind. They generally had plenty of enemies, any one of whom might decide to bear false witness. Or perhaps their cultural practices were sufficient for condemnation? Who knew? Most conversos, therefore, either fled or lined up to confess. Those who did neither risked an inquiry in which any kind of hearsay or evidence, no matter how old or suspicious, was acceptable.

      Opposition in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church to the Spanish Inquisition only increased. Many churchmen pointed out that it was contrary to all accepted practices for heretics to be burned without instruction in the Faith. If the conversos were guilty at all, it was merely of ignorance, not willful heresy. Numerous clergy at the highest levels complained to Ferdinand. Opposition to the Spanish Inquisition also continued in Rome. Sixtus's successor, Innocent VIII, wrote twice to the king asking for greater compassion, mercy, and leniency for the conversos – but to no avail. --- more [catholiceducation.org]

      • Re:So, how long (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gl4ss (559668) on Friday July 12, 2013 @07:39AM (#44259793) Homepage Journal

        I think you should somehow establish what the "myth" is, since the article despite being pro-catholic, clearly establishes a persecution and burning documentedly 2000+ persons for nothing while majority of spaniards approved the action - yet right after that the article tries to pin the bad reputation of the inquisition on protestant propaganda - and that the church's scribes records are the true word on the matter and 100% factual, honest and leaving nothing out.

        what a load of crock. what's the popular myth then if not spanish officials killing people based on hearsay? that torquemada ate still beating hearts??

        • Re:So, how long (Score:5, Insightful)

          by swalve (1980968) on Friday July 12, 2013 @07:53AM (#44259837)
          I think the popular myth was that it was the Catholic church who was behind the killings, when, apparently, it was the Spanish government.
        • Re: So, how long (Score:2, Redundant)

          by nospam007 (722110) *

          "I think you should somehow establish what the "myth" is, since the article despite being pro-catholic, clearly establishes a persecution and burning documentedly 2000..."

          It has already been made abundantly clear on these pages, these people had, besides their almost fanatical devotion to the pope, 3 weapons, no, 4, let me rephrase ...,

      • Re:So, how long (Score:5, Interesting)

        by khallow (566160) on Friday July 12, 2013 @08:58AM (#44260195)
        So why wasn't the King of Spain threatened with excommunication for this grievous abuse of power in the name of the Church? Why didn't the Church just nip that in the bud and refuse his requests for an Inquisition. Because his military support was necessary to keep Rome from being overrun by the Ottomans. They also had centuries to reverse that mistake and yet the Inquisition lingered until the mid-19th century.

        Just because the Spanish Inquisition was run by the King of Spain doesn't absolve the Roman Catholic Church of its role in creating, legitimizing, and maintaining that odious organization.

        Also, wouldn't you think that an actual Catholic education service would have better things to do than act as apologists for tyranny and terrible mistakes of the past?
        • by buntsai (1195905) on Friday July 12, 2013 @10:02AM (#44260851)
          The Kings of Spain were threatened with excommunication on multiple occasions.

          There was a huge tussle between the various catholic monarchs of Europe, including the English, French and Spanish Kings and the Holy Roman Emperor over who should decide things in the Catholic Church. There was a power grab at the time, and much of the particular viciousness of the Spanish Inquisition can be attributed to the pride, paranoia and desire for independence of the Spanish King.

          Parallels can perhaps be drawn with the USA where the scale of slaughter of the native populations also increased rapidly with independence.
          At one point, for example, even the Primate (head bishop) of Spain, the Archbishop of Toledo, fell out with Philip the II (King of Spain) and was arrested by the Spanish Inquisition in 1558. He was accused of heresy mainly on the basis of his book (Commentary on the Christian Catechism). However, this same book had been presented to and approved by the (counter-reformation / anti-Protestant) Council of Trent to which he had been the official Spanish envoy... The pope sent an ambassador ("nuncio extraordinary") with powers of excommunication for everyone involved and orders to physically extract the Archbishop. This didn't work. The king demanded a trial in Spain so the pope sent four bishops as the judges (each of whom later became popes themselves), but they were not accepted. The Spanish Inquisition were desperate for the bishop of Toledo to die, and he only survived because he was accompanied night and day by at least two members of his loyal staff (i.e different ones went at different times, on rotation).

          After 7 years, the pope managed to extricate him following more threats, this time to excommunicate the whole of Spain. His trial was reconvened in Rome with the pope expecting a quick exoneration. However, important papers kept getting lost in Spain. Eventually Philip outlasted the trial, with the suspicious death of Pope Paul IV. There is no proof as such that the Spaniards killed the pope only conjecture: i.e. letters have been found in the historical archives in Valladolid, Spain explaining the great dishonour the pope had brought upon the Spanish Inquisition and how convenient it would be for the pope to die, etc...

          Unfortunately for the Spanish Inquisition, the next pope lost patience and the Spanish Primate won his case.

          Dubious justice but still better than Guantanamo...
          • by khallow (566160) on Friday July 12, 2013 @10:45AM (#44261263)

            The Kings of Spain were threatened with excommunication on multiple occasions.

            But were those threats conditioned on the ending of the Spanish Inquisition or mere power plays? You give an example of a power play and it ended with the next pope.

            Dubious justice but still better than Guantanamo...

            Yea right. Guantanamo is still a few centuries shy of the Spanish Inquisition and fundamentally, it's a POW camp. Indefinite imprisonment legally goes with that territory. The war which it's associated with is some nebulous affair that might drag on for generations or it might be ended in a legal sense in a few years. I think the Guantanamo Bay prison is unjust, but it's not at the level of the Spanish Inquisition.

            There's also the matter of number of prisoners and punishments meted out. Current number of prisoners in Guantanamo is less than two hundred. They have yet to execute any prisoners (though apparently the wheels are turning [cbsnews.com]) while the Spanish Inquisition executed people from its founding all the way through to 1826 [wikipedia.org].

          • by Qzukk (229616)

            how convenient it would be for the pope to die

            Will no one rid me of this meddlesome pope?

        • So why wasn't the King of Spain threatened with excommunication for this grievous abuse of power in the name of the Church?

          Because the Popes knew perfectly well that excommunicating the Spanish King would just case said Spanish King to send an Armmy over to Rome to replace the Pope with someone more...amenable to reason.

          Like, oh, the Spanish King's son the Cardinal, for instance. Yes, a lot of the spare Spanish Princes found themselves in the Church, there was usually at least one Cardinal among the lot,

    • Re:So, how long (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Friday July 12, 2013 @09:21AM (#44260403)

      Kind of a tangent, but fwiw the Vatican no longer handles its own prosecutions or imprisonments. Under the Lateran Treaty of 1929 [aloha.net], the Vatican has autonomy in policing, but prosecution is handled by the Vatican handing the prisoner over to the Italian court system and requesting them to be prosecuted:

      At the request of the Holy See, or by its delegate who may be appointed in single cases or permanently, Italy shall provide within her for the punishment of offences committed within the Vatican City, save and except when the author of the offence shall have taken refuge in Italian territory, in which event he shall immediately be proceeded against according to the provisions of the Italian laws.

  • without the leaks (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Antiocheian (859870) on Friday July 12, 2013 @03:17AM (#44258971) Journal

    "But without the leaks, how would we find out about those crimes against children?" -- these are not relevant. Unless you believe that someone would record child abuse on classified official documents.

    • by YukariHirai (2674609) on Friday July 12, 2013 @03:42AM (#44259087)

      Unless you believe that someone would record child abuse on classified official documents.

      I wouldn't bet against it ever happening, but the more likely problem is people reporting abuse internally and the people who are supposed to be responsible for dealing with it doing nothing about it. That's something that leaking official documents could bring to light.

      • You might be overlooking the existence of victim protection laws similar to this guideline:

        GUIDELINES ON THE PROTECTION OF CHILD VICTIMS OF TRAFFICKING [unicef.org]

        2.6 Right to Confidentiality
        All necessary measures shall be taken to protect the privacy and identity of child victims to ensure the safety and security of the victim and his or her family. The name, address and all other information that could lead to the identification of the child victim or his or her family members shall not be revealed to the public or media. Exceptions may be made in circumstances such as to facilitate the tracing of family members or otherwise secure the well-being and protection of the child, with the informed consent of the child. Information about a child victim that could endanger the child or the child’s family members shall not be disclosed in any case.20

        Note what is in the fine article [usatoday.com]:

        The bulk of the Vatican's penal code is based on the 1889 Italian code. Many of the new provisions were necessary to bring the city state's legal system up to date after the Holy See signed international treaties, such as the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Desler (1608317)

          There's a huge difference between protecting the identity and privacy of a child and willfully lying and hiding information about your priests diddling said children. Oh and when those abused children who did speak out later in life they were repeatedly called liars by the church hierarchy until being forced to admit otherwise.

    • Re:without the leaks (Score:5, Informative)

      by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Friday July 12, 2013 @04:29AM (#44259219)

      Unless you believe that someone would record child abuse on classified official documents.

      Actually, this is what did happen in the US. The church kept records of known child abusing priests, and did not report them to the police. The priests were simply moved to new locations, instead. This is why victims were later able to sue the church diocese, instead of just the priest. The church was guilty of hiding the crimes of the priests.

      • by xelah (176252)

        Unless you believe that someone would record child abuse on classified official documents.

        Actually, this is what did happen in the US. The church kept records of known child abusing priests, and did not report them to the police. The priests were simply moved to new locations, instead. This is why victims were later able to sue the church diocese, instead of just the priest. The church was guilty of hiding the crimes of the priests.

        Hmm, are you sure it requires that? I thought it was fairly widespread common law thing that employers could be sued for things their employees did whilst doing their job, even if there was nothing the employer could have known or done about it. (Which is something it can occasionally be rather important to know, especially if you're an employer). Of course, hiding it might make the church guilty of a crime, too.

        Presumably lawyers have lots of fun making up puns on vicarious liability, too. Except that vica

      • by FreeUser (11483) on Friday July 12, 2013 @08:59AM (#44260199)

        Actually, this is what did happen in the US. The church kept records of known child abusing priests, and did not report them to the police. The priests were simply moved to new locations, instead. This is why victims were later able to sue the church diocese, instead of just the priest. The church was guilty of hiding the crimes of the priests.

        The same thing happened in the United Kingdom, Italy, Ireland, Germany, and a whole host of other countries. This is not a US problem, it's a world problem. The timing of the last pope stepping down was quite interesting...a week after an HBO documentary "Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God" was released for general consumption, linking both the current Pope and his soon-to-be-sainted predecisor directly to the pedophile coverups and worse. In fact, Pope John-Paul II covered for his good pedophile friend up until he died and passed the mantle on to Ratzinger. I wonder if they'll make St. Pedo, I mean John-Paul II, the patron saint of children and knock the other guy aside?

        One thing is sure, mothers will still be carting their kids off to the churches, never mind the danger to their offspring. That, more than anything, illustrates the power of indoctrination and denial.

        http://www.hbo.com/#/schedule/detail/Mea+Maxima+Culpa%3A+Silence+in+the+House+of+God/562415 [hbo.com]

        • by FreeUser (11483)

          *sigh*

          Fucking slashdot won't let me post this in a timely manner. We really need an edit function, or a better preview mode.

          "linking the current pope" should read:

          "linking the then-current pope", i.e. the Pope who stepped down, not the one who replaced him.

        • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Friday July 12, 2013 @10:34AM (#44261165)

          Actually, this is what did happen in the US. The church kept records of known child abusing priests, and did not report them to the police. The priests were simply moved to new locations, instead. This is why victims were later able to sue the church diocese, instead of just the priest. The church was guilty of hiding the crimes of the priests.

          The same thing happened in the United Kingdom, Italy, Ireland, Germany, and a whole host of other countries. This is not a US problem, it's a world problem. The timing of the last pope stepping down was quite interesting...a week after an HBO documentary "Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God" was released for general consumption, linking both the current Pope and his soon-to-be-sainted predecisor directly to the pedophile coverups and worse. In fact, Pope John-Paul II covered for his good pedophile friend up until he died and passed the mantle on to Ratzinger. I wonder if they'll make St. Pedo, I mean John-Paul II, the patron saint of children and knock the other guy aside?

          One thing is sure, mothers will still be carting their kids off to the churches, never mind the danger to their offspring. That, more than anything, illustrates the power of indoctrination and denial.

          http://www.hbo.com/#/schedule/detail/Mea+Maxima+Culpa%3A+Silence+in+the+House+of+God/562415 [hbo.com]

          It's also a problem in public schools, boy scouts, universities and just about every church and institution. It's not specific to the catholic church. Pope John Paul II didn't cover for the priests, he actually instructed the US bishops to quit using canon law (church law) as a defense for their actions and to cooperate with the civil authorities.

          You also leave out of your synopsis that up until the late 1980s, pedophilia was considered curable and many of these priests that were transferred were done so after they had been pronounced cured. It turns out that they were situational abusers and only appeared safe until some stressor or trigger presented itself.

          None of this excuses what happened in the catholic church, but perpetuating the myth that it is just a catholic church issue is dangerous as the sexual abuse of minors is rampant and widespread in western culture.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 12, 2013 @04:30AM (#44259221)

      The Catholic church documents EVERYTHING. One of the saddest stories I've ever read was one about a man who won a court case in California and was handed the internal records of that diocese that proved it after years of being told he was lying, AND that many others in the church knew that it was true, and then finding his younger brother's name on the list of molested children as well.

    • "Unless you believe that someone would record child abuse on classified official documents."

      This is the catholic church we are talking about. They've done exactly that before.

    • It is relevant and has happened a number of times before. It might not be the only means of exposure but there have been a number of high profile cases regarding this sort of leak proving abuses have happened.

  • Suspicious (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@@@world3...net> on Friday July 12, 2013 @03:22AM (#44258991) Homepage

    I wonder if there is something about the last Pope they don't want leaked. Could it be he stepped down to avoid a standing pope being shown to have committed some horrible crime against children?

    • Re:Suspicious (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sg_oneill (159032) on Friday July 12, 2013 @03:26AM (#44259007)

      Its not even neccesarily the case for it to be the sort of thing that topples popes. It simply needs to be recorded that he was *aware* of specific allegations and refused to act.

      In many ways you can abuse a child simply by refusing to intervene when a child is being abused. As adults we have a responsibility to *all* children. I truly believe that.

      • Re:Suspicious (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday July 12, 2013 @04:35AM (#44259237)

        It simply needs to be recorded that he was *aware* of specific allegations and refused to act.

        I'm too lazy to hunt down a citation but my understanding is that the previous pope was put in charge of the committee to handle all of the internal allegations of pedo-priestiality long before he was made pope. So, basically all of the foot-dragging and cover-ups on that front leading up to the public lawsuits is on his head. I don't think his involvement was a secret though.

        FWIW, it seems like this new pope is actually pretty saintly - avoiding much of the ostentatiousness of the office, washing the feet of a poor muslim woman instead of a priest on Maundy Thursday (a triple break with tradition) and being conciliatory to atheists (immediately disclaimed by the church PR office but not by the pope himself). All of the good stuff he's been doing makes me wonder if there is more to the story of this change in the laws, I am inclined to give the guy the benefit of the doubt pending better reporting.

        • by gbjbaanb (229885)

          which suggests one of 2 things will happen in the future:

          a) he'll accidentally fall down the steps of the Vatican as his reforms start to really change things.
          b) nothing, its all PR.

          I hope the new Pope goes in there and cleans it all up, seems the Catholic church is pretty damn corrupt all the way through at the moment from paedophilia and coverups to financial fraud.

          • by gl4ss (559668)

            which suggests one of 2 things will happen in the future:

            a) he'll accidentally fall down the steps of the Vatican as his reforms start to really change things.
            b) nothing, its all PR.

            I hope the new Pope goes in there and cleans it all up, seems the Catholic church is pretty damn corrupt all the way through at the moment from paedophilia and coverups to financial fraud.

            Or his enemies simply disappear and then appear naked and drugged somewhere in Sicily 5 months later! or dropped out of a plane into mediterranean.

      • Re:Suspicious (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Belial6 (794905) on Friday July 12, 2013 @04:55AM (#44259319)
        Yes, when you know that a child is being molested, and you cover up for the molester, there is a name for you... Accomplice.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Or, if you like, motherfucker. [youtube.com]

        • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

          Yes, when you know that a child is being molested, and you cover up for the molester, there is a name for you... Accomplice.

          If you have evidence that he committed some crime then present it, other wise, you should keep your mouth shut. Contrary to popular belief, the Vatican doesn't control what happens in the local dioceses. The Vatican did refuse to let US bishops resign so that they had to clean up the mess they created and it also issued instructions to cooperate with the authorities on the investigations (at the time various US bishops were hiding behind "church law"). The pope assigns bishops, he doesn't assign priests un

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Its not even neccesarily the case for it to be the sort of thing that topples popes. It simply needs to be recorded that he was *aware* of specific allegations and refused to act.

        It's not going to happen. Ratzinger has already been shown to have willfully relocated child molesters.

        • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

          Its not even neccesarily the case for it to be the sort of thing that topples popes. It simply needs to be recorded that he was *aware* of specific allegations and refused to act.

          It's not going to happen. Ratzinger has already been shown to have willfully relocated child molesters.

          Citation please, because unless he was their bishop, he had no authority to relocate child molesters. That had to happen on the local level. What he did do, while prefect was centralize where all of the information was coming in to one place instead of the ten different offices so there was once single office responsible for it (much like the US did with its intelligence operations after 9/11).

          But the only priests that Vatican assigns are those that are actually priests of the Diocese of Rome and those assi

    • by shentino (1139071)

      Since the Holy See is recognized as a nation at the UN it could be argued that the pope possesses sovereign and diplomatic immunity.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by Xest (935314)

      Well he was already complicit in working for the nazi regime and has told a number of lies about his association which is always going to raise suspicion that he was more than just a passive participant but this didn't seem to matter.

      No, the rumour is that it's something far more serious to the Catholic Church than something as innocent as being a Nazi, the rumour is that he might have *gasp* been a closet gay *shock horror*. Of course, only in an organisation as backwards as the Vatican could such a harmle

    • I wonder if there is something about the last Pope they don't want leaked. Could it be he stepped down to avoid a standing pope being shown to have committed some horrible crime against children?

      There are several innocent reasons why this could be occurring now.

      New bosses often like to put their stamp on an organization. The new Pope has been updating a lot of policies.
      The old Pope wasn't well, so he probably had a limited work schedule. There has probably been a backlog of business to catch up on.
      It is often easier to do multiple updates at once instead of piecemeal.

      Then there is the information in the fine article [usatoday.com] :

      The bulk of the Vatican's penal code is based on the 1889 Italian code. Many of the new provisions were necessary to bring the city state's legal system up to date after the Holy See signed international treaties, such as the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.

      Others were necessary to comply with international norms to fight money-laundering, part of the Vatican's push toward financial transparency.

      One new crime stands out, though, as an obvious response to the leaks of papal documents last year that represented one of the gravest Vatican security breaches in recent times.

      Now I'm suspicious. Since this information is pretty close to the beginning o

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Xest (935314)

        "I have to wonder if your post isn't just a clever way to libel not just a priest, but a Pope"

        Why is libelling a Pope any more bad than libelling a priest or anyone else for that matter?

        • by denzacar (181829)

          Why is libelling a Pope any more bad than libelling a priest or anyone else for that matter?

          I am not sure, but I think that it has something to do with the size of the hats. The bigger the hat, the more serious the libel.
          Which would also explain many a gunfight in the Wild West as stemming from libel aimed at people who wore big hats.

          • by Xest (935314)

            Interesting theory Mr denzacar. I think this possibility deserves government funding and further investigation.

  • Casting stones (Score:3, Interesting)

    by EzInKy (115248) on Friday July 12, 2013 @03:47AM (#44259117)

    The proverb goes "He who is without sin cast the first stone." The simple fact is there is not one adult person who follows a religion on this world who hasn't broken one of the tenants in which they profess to believe. Yet they are most often the very ones who condemn those who view their faith as superstitius nonesense the most vehemently. I do have to give this to the Catholic Church though, they have become much more maleable when confronted with facts that contradict their beliefs than the sects that spun of from it.

    • Re:Casting stones (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LordLucless (582312) on Friday July 12, 2013 @04:38AM (#44259249)

      And most adults would agree that being deceitful, mean, vindictive, or heartless is wrong, and yet everyone has done something of the kind.

      The fact that you can't live up to moral perfection isn't an indication that your moral code is false; it's an indication that you're not perfect.

      • And most adults would agree that being deceitful, mean, vindictive, or heartless is wrong, and yet everyone has done something of the kind.

        Funny how you're using the language of original sin rather than treating lapses of personal conduct as lapses. Your verb "has done" makes transgression binary. I recently watched a video about violence among children which informed me that the rate of violent acts towards others peeks somewhere around the age of two, and declines from there pretty much for the rest of

  • Some of us want to make money. Some of us want to get people universal health care. Some want to spread the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations. Some want our nations to have glory, and be important actors on the stage of the world. Some want international justice, some trade agreements. Some want nuns to drive old cars to set a good example.

    We don't agree on all of this. But one thing we the powerful can agree on is that we can't have the public come in and mess up everything!

  • by Gravis Zero (934156) on Friday July 12, 2013 @04:31AM (#44259227)

    Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. - John 3:20

    just sayin'

  • Let's not forget that the Gospel account clearly illustrates Jesus teaching _against_ formalised self-serving religious elites, and Jesus being executed for doing so.  Can anyone think of an appropriate long word beginning with H?
    • by game kid (805301)

      I say we petition Jesus to get back down here and flip some tables [guardian.co.uk], for this and other things.

    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      Let's not forget that the Gospel account clearly illustrates Jesus teaching _against_ formalised self-serving religious elites, and Jesus being executed for doing so. Can anyone think of an appropriate long word beginning with H?

      Let's not forget that it was the catholic church that compiled what we know today as the bible, so if you are going to use it against them, you should also recognize their contribution to your argument. I noticed in your sig that you are a doctor, so you can thank that same catholic church for the university system they created and all sorts of other things that we, today, take for granted.

      I may not be catholic, but to deny the contribution that they made to western civilization doesn't require a long word

  • Maybe they want to hide that they were against usury (the term was later rebranded to "interest" to make it sound less evil) and they officially stated that "their opinion about it has not changed"?
  • The Vatican is a totalitarian state guilty of numerous human rights violations. I suppose it's a small improvement that instead of just judging and locking up people, they at least try to write down their policies as "laws".

  • Religion = Organized Crime = Mafia..
    • by dbarron (286)

      I agree totally..and I also want to use a quote from Mary Poppins, (the church believes) 'A spoonfull of sugar makes the medicine go down'.

  • Relevance ? (Score:4, Informative)

    Who is the pope, in the world of 2013 ? A quaint old man with a funny hat and a funny stick in white clothes, wielding no power and a waning influence. As Inglehart put it already in 1997: the importance of religion dwindles with rising degrees of industrialization, and disappears with the transition from materialism to post-materialism. 'Nuff said.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by umafuckit (2980809)
      In theory you're right, but in practice the man in the funny hat has a lot of power. His stance on sexual abstinence and contraception, to name but one thing, is taken seriously by millions of people and causes untold harm. There are millions of Catholics around the world, and the Pope's opinions politics influence them via their local Church. Dismissing him because it's 2013 is, unfortunately, not going to work.
  • I mean how out of touch is the Vatican today.

    Lets get something clear.

    I have no problems with people's individual beliefs. If you believe in God, Jesus, whatever, go right ahead. I will defend people's rights to believe in whatever religions they choose, and even claim that the fringe beliefs like scientology are part of what it means to live in a free society, so go right ahead. Feel free to assemble, but also feel free to discuss, argue, and debate the merits of your beliefs and not just assume someone

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      The Vatican is not acting on behalf of any God these days,

      What is it with these "these days" crap? I keep seeing this, as if Il Vaticano had ever been anything other than a political organization designed to commit malfeasance. Read up on the Borgias' control of the Vatican, and then realize that they were only able to gain power there because it was corrupt to begin with.

      That aside, the papacy clearly conflicts directly with the bible in which Jesus speaks out against gatekeepers to god, in a way which leaves little doubt that it is not and has never been godly.

      • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

        The Vatican is not acting on behalf of any God these days,

        What is it with these "these days" crap? I keep seeing this, as if Il Vaticano had ever been anything other than a political organization designed to commit malfeasance. Read up on the Borgias' control of the Vatican, and then realize that they were only able to gain power there because it was corrupt to begin with.

        That aside, the papacy clearly conflicts directly with the bible in which Jesus speaks out against gatekeepers to god, in a way which leaves little doubt that it is not and has never been godly.

        That would be your interpretation from the very bible that the catholic church put together, would it not be? Do you see the irony?

    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      I mean how out of touch is the Vatican today.

      Lets get something clear.

      I have no problems with people's individual beliefs. If you believe in God, Jesus, whatever, go right ahead. I will defend people's rights to believe in whatever religions they choose, and even claim that the fringe beliefs like scientology are part of what it means to live in a free society, so go right ahead. Feel free to assemble, but also feel free to discuss, argue, and debate the merits of your beliefs and not just assume someone else has all the answers for you.

      HOWEVER

      I think that the Catholic Church as an organization is completely out to lunch.

      There is no point to defend anything the Pope or Vatican does these days just because you are Catholic and believe in God and Jesus.

      You can believe in God, you DON'T have to believe in the corrupted state that is called the Vatican. The Vatican is not acting on behalf of any God these days, only their own self interests and preservation as an antiquated entity.

      Once people separate their beliefs from an organization that attempts to form your opinions and beliefs, only then will there be any real reform.

      If you truly had no problem with people's individual beliefs, then you would not have posted what you posted. In fact, you seem very troubled that individuals do put faith in the catholic church and the pope and whatever. You may believe that "you" don't have to believe in the the catholic church or organized religion, but evidently because billions of people on the planet do, you are seem quite upset. OTOH, if you truly had no problems with what other people believed, then why make this post? Or put dif

  • by superwiz (655733)

    How would "we" know? I'll preface this with saying that I am an atheist. But that doesn't mean that I can't entertain abstract notions such as a legal system of a theocracy. In such a system "we" are not entitled to transparency. The legal system of Vatican does not make Vatican or the Pope accountable to anyone. What it considers crimes become crimes against god or the church or even the supreme leader "on earth". The establishment doesn't exist to accommodate "we the people". It exists to accommoda

    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      How would "we" know? I'll preface this with saying that I am an atheist. But that doesn't mean that I can't entertain abstract notions such as a legal system of a theocracy. In such a system "we" are not entitled to transparency. The legal system of Vatican does not make Vatican or the Pope accountable to anyone. What it considers crimes become crimes against god or the church or even the supreme leader "on earth". The establishment doesn't exist to accommodate "we the people". It exists to accommodate the Pope (yes, the claim is that he is to accommodate god). This is premised on Vatican functioning to enable functioning of the church, but that doesn't matter. As a legal system, it exists solely to fulfill the wishes of the Pope.

      Some people might dislike that. I don't really care. Some people dislike families set up with overbearing father-figure influence reducing everyone else in the family to second class because that's how they chose their gender roles. Belonging to this Vatican city state is (at this point in time) completely voluntary. If they sign up for this type of patronage arrangement, why should I care? Why would a non-Catholic care? And why would a catholic expect accountability from the church? Catholicism expect accountability only in the other direction -- to the church (Ok, to "The Church"). The choice to be Catholic is completely voluntary though

      The Vatican is an independent state, and the Pope is the head of that state. Leave the religion aspects out of it and view it that way, they have their laws, Britain has their laws, the US has their laws and it is up to each how they want to hold their leaders accountable. For the record, their pope has to follow their own laws and can actually be removed from office, but like a Pope resigning from office, it is a rarity. But their laws allow for it.

  • For some reason, I'm reminded of Futurama's Robot Santa reviewing his Naughty list:

    "Mobsters beating up a shopkeeper for protection money: Naughty! Shopkeeper not paying his protection money: Equally as naughty!"

  • While /. is obviously anti-catholic, it is important to remember that the Vatican is an independent state with its own laws. So, while the bashing of all things catholic will undoubtedly continue, this is really a non-news item that should have never made it to /. in the first place, unless Nerds (as in Slashdot: News for Nerds) really care that much about what goes on in the catholic church.

  • It seems the media is far more concerned about press releases that they can splash all over the front page than they are with pedos getting 12 years in jail. I love how the gist of the summary is all about the punishment being secret, not that they are getting punished. They really only want the gossip, not justice.
  • Vatican being a sovereign state, it's really none of your business. The Vatican has an astounding total of 450 citizens, i.e. public servants, cardinals, diplomats, and the Swiss Guard. It's also not a Democracy, so even in the unlikely event that you happen to be a concerned Vatican citizen on top of being a slashdotter, it's really none of your business either.

    Faith in Christ does not require you to be catholic, there are lots of protestant people. And being catholic only requires faith in God, Christ, wh

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