Watch Panorama on a regular basis? Watch it last night?
The programme advertised for Sunday evening was stated to be eye-opening, and so it proved to be! If you watched it, then you would have seen a catalogue of allegations of child abuse, of accusations that there was a systematic cover-up and protection of the Catholic priests involved in this scandal, and that this cover-up extended as far as the Vatican, where the Office run by Cardinal Ratzinger, now of course better known as Pope Benedict, oversaw the authoring of a document which specifically gave instructions on how to silence and delay investigations and allegations of abuse of many natures.
Now I pride myself on keeping, as far as possible, an open mind on programmes which allege wrongdoing, until I get a chance to examine the evidence for myself, so I downloaded the document in question, and had a look!
The one thing which springs forward is the total lack of commitment towards due process, which in my mind states that if someone has suspicions of a criminal act being, or having been committed, besides investigating the allegations internally, is to advise the authorities, so that justice is seen to be done!
This document, while aimed at places great emphasis on the make-up and character of the internal tribunal, and of the absolute secrecy which is to be maintained about the investigation, insofar as accusations against an accused priest of solicitation in the confessional, and the penalties for breaking an oath of secrecy. Nothing about the rights of the victims, nothing about the manner in which the alleged perverts were trundled around parishes, nothing about the trauma suffered for sometimes years by abused children; nothing but a sanctimonious desire to keep hidden from the world a darker truth than that shown as a outer shroud to that same outside world! From Brazil to Ireland, the evidence was presented, and the viewer was asked to make their own minds up on the basis of that evidence.
I honestly don’t give much credit to the charge that Pope Benedict was active in the suppression of allegations, as the document itself is concerned with acts solicited within the confessional, but the very words which threaten grave censure to those who break the wall of silence surrounding these truly evil individuals tend to prove at least one section of the charges made within the programme!