A 44-year-old man was acquitted in San Jose today of beating a retired priest in 2010 after alleging that the priest had raped him during a camping trip in 1975. William Lynch did not deny punching 67-year-old Jerold Lindner, who, Lynch said, had violently sodomized him when he was seven ... 37 years ago. Lynch was acquitted of felony assault and elder abuse. The jury was split on a count of misdemeanor assault.
Bit by bit and row by row, the high and sanctified walls of the Vatican give way before the human revulsion at what the Holy Roman Catholic Church has made clear it wishes would magically be forgotten -- the sexual abuse of children by its minions and the cover-ups the church has attempted to hide behind.
Bit by bit the victims are finally being heard after sometimes decades of living with ancient wounds... wounds that are enough to make Christ weep. Testimony, both before grand juries and in open courtrooms, whittles away whatever good name the church once had. It is slow in coming ... but it is coming. Candidates for the priesthood dwindle. Vatican coffers lose vast sums as penalty payouts or hush money is expended. And attendance at church? I don't know.
God is no excuse. Arrogating a powerful throne to yourself is only as good as the belief provided by those who assure that power -- the people ... many of whose children were raped and enslaved. Literally -- no hyperbole necessary -- raped and enslaved. This is not a matter of being against Roman Catholics. It is a matter of human decency ... or, in the case of the church, a vast indecency.
The outrage is no longer limited to self-serving blogs like this. There are accumulating facts now that override and outshine the opinions and gnashing of teeth.
It is just, in my mind, that this institution should collapse. Sometimes I wonder whether the whole institution shouldn't be delivered into the hands of sharia law. And yet, with its billion-plus Catholic membership worldwide, there is something mesmerizing about its crumbling, crumbling, crumbling. It is hard not to be astounded that anyone smart enough to devise these high walls of holiness could be so utterly and profoundly and insanely stupid ... and that's not to mention cruel.
As always, there is the question, "why did they do it?" And the answer now is the same as it has been in the past: "Because they could."
Churches, political parties, banks, corporations, dictators, tycoons ... the much-empowered everywhere: "Because they could."
And as in the past, there are those willing and able to say "no." I am grateful to them.