Another Sexual Blackmail Network Uncovered

This is getting ridiculous.  Of course blackmailing priests is not nearly as toxic as blackmailing politicians and military brass.  But it seems the world revolves around sexual blackmail. And this is a generic problem with institutions in general. All hierarchies of power attract blackmailers because some fraction of the population is vulnerable to blackmail. The easiest way to combat this problem would be to only appoint/elect women to such hierarchies. It wouldn’t eliminate the threat, but it would reduce it significantly.

A potentially explosive report has linked the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI to the discovery of a network of gay prelates in the Vatican, some of whom – the report said – were being blackmailed by outsiders.

The pope’s spokesman declined to confirm or deny the report, which was carried by the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica.

The paper said the pope had taken the decision on 17 December that he was going to resign – the day he received a dossier compiled by three cardinals delegated to look into the so-called “Vatileaks” affair. …

In an apparent quotation from the report, La Repubblica said some Vatican officials had been subject to “external influence” from laymen with whom they had links of a “worldly nature”. The paper said this was a clear reference to blackmail.

It quoted a source “very close to those who wrote [the cardinal’s report]” as saying: “Everything revolves around the non-observance of the sixth and seventh commandments.”

The seventh enjoins against theft. The sixth forbids adultery, but is linked in Catholic doctrine to the proscribing of homosexual acts. …

Two weeks ago, [retired archbishop of los angeles] Mahony was relieved of all public duties by current Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez. What The New York Times called “an extraordinary moment in Catholic Church history” occurred after long-sought documents revealed that Mahony actively worked to protect priests who were abusing children from ­police, rather than protect victims from their abusers.

Some 12,000 pages of records revealed that Mahony covered up hundreds of allegations of clerical abuse in the 1980s. Given the revelations of the past decade, that is not news; that is part of a pattern. But Gomez’s bluntness in confronting it is different. As he wrote to parishioners, “The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil. There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children.” …

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