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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Maureen Dowd, "A Saint, He Ain’t": Kicking the Vatican Where It Counts

Maureen Dowd never gets tired of kicking the Vatican where it counts.

In her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "A Saint, He Ain’t" (, Maureen Dowd recalls how she nearly rolled off the alter during her christening, then rips into the forthcoming canonization of Pope John Paul II, whom, she says, ignored child molestation within the Catholic Church. Dowd's conclusion:

"The church is giving its biggest prize to the person who could have fixed the spreading stain and did nothing. The buck, or in this case, the Communion wafer, doesn’t stop here. There is something wounding and ugly about the church signaling that those thousands of betrayed, damaged victims are now taken for granted as a slowly fading asterisk.

John Paul may be a revolutionary figure in the history of the church, but a man who looked away in a moral crisis cannot be described as a saint.

When the church elevates him, it is winking at the hell it caused for so many children and young people in its care.

A big holy wink."

The war against child molestation? I spent some five years of my life trying to fight it, and I watched with revulsion as as many people I knew looked the other way.

Expect the church to actively combat this plague? Sorry, but I have no expectations from organized religion of any kind.

Saints? There have been a few in my lifetime. Irena Sendler (see: certainly deserves to be canonized. But heck, she was only a Polish nurse who saved thousands of Jewish children during World War II and not a pope.


  1. I don't expect any sane, moral behavior from the Catholic church either. Living as I have the past two years in Germany and visiting some of the abbeys and cathedrals, I have been overcome with disbelief at the ostentatious wealth, the waste, the hubris. Just a week ago, I visited a MONESTARY of such grandeur, with a chapel so encrusted and overlayed with gold, that one can only conclude that the Catholic church is the biggest hoax, the grandest and cruelest hypocrite of all time. And let's not forget the Bishop of Limburg who managed to build for himself a small castle to live in (near to where I've been living temporarily) before his actions were discovered to have cost the church 3 millions euros. Funny that the congregation of the town were disenchanted with this discovery well after it was finished. That more folks have not left the church (though there is clearly an ongoing exit), is incomprehensible to me.

  2. Jeffrey, I would like to mention Jan Karski who would be 100 now as a courageous and compassionate human being. I don't know if he qualifies for sainthood (there are elaborate and probably absurd rules), but most certainly he is qualified for admiration.
    See, for example, David Harris's article in the Jerusalem Post.

  3. "I watched with revulsion as many people I knew looked the other way."

    It's gotten so bad, that even Netanyahu's driver has been accused of serially raping young girls under 12.,7340,L-4512792,00.html