In a 1997 letter to Ireland’s bishops, Archbishop Luciano Storero wrote concerning the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Advisory Committee plan to notify law enforcement when abuse occurs,
...procedures and dispositions which appear contrary to canonical discipline and which, if applied, could invalidate the acts of the same Bishops who are attempting to put a stop to these problems. If such procedures were to be followed by the Bishops and there were cases of eventual hierarchical recourse lodged at the Holy See, the results could be highly embarrassing and detrimental to those same Diocesan authorities.
In particular, the situation of “mandatory reporting” gives rise to serious reservations of both a moral and a canonical nature.”
I can confirm that the rape and abuse of children is indeed embarrassing and detrimental to Diocesan authorities, not to mention not a picnic for the children who have been raped and abused.
How will history look on a church that made a saint out of a Pope who ignored, suppressed, and had underlings covering up the rape of countless vulnerable children? In Ireland, the abuse was so severe, so long-running, so protected by a vile collusion between church and state that the attempt to hush it up is damning. It seems to me a stretch to argue that the Church under John Paul II returned to a very papal hierarchical structure and simultaneously say the Pope has no responsibility for the mass rape and abuse of children he so blithely presided over.
I wrote about this before. I don’t believe in God or Hell; and John Paul, Benedict, and Sortero all better hope that I’m right.