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Vatican makes arrests in ongoing scandal

by Bridgette Babb - Copy Editor
Tue, Apr 17th 2018 09:00 pm

When an individual hears the word “priest,” one of two things usually pops into their head. They could think of going to Sunday mass with their family, and eating bread and drinking wine at communion. On the other hand, they could think, “what scandal is the church being blasted for today?” Unfortunately, Sunday mass is not going to be the topic of discussion in this article. 

The Canadian Vatican Police Force is being praised after facilitating the arrest of Monsignor Carlo Alberto Capella. Capella held a position of power working for the Vatican Embassy, which serviced both Canada and the United States.  It is sad that we have to add another professed “man of god” to the long list of Vatican officials accused of malicious deeds against children. 

Capella was accused on April 7 of allegedly being in possession of child pornography. According to The New York Times, Capella had a warrant issued by the Holy See’s chief magistrate for his arrest. That means this order came from Pope Francis himself. The New Times also reported that Capella would have to face trial at the Vatican, and could face up to 12 years in prison for his heinous crimes. The craziest part is, he was found because of self-incrimination. Based on information from USA Today, officials only knew this was happening because Capella allegedly uploaded child porn from a social networking site while visiting a “place of worship” during Christmas 2016. The Windsor police accused Capella of accessing, possessing and distributing child pornography. I guess he didn’t realize that the government watches our every move. 

This may not come as a surprise for many individuals, given it has not been the first incident in the Catholic circle. Since the dawn of time it seems that priests have been accused and under suspicion for allegations such as this. This is not the first time Capella has been accused of engaging in these despicable screenings of child porn. In fall 2017, he was recalled back to the vatican for a similar issue. According to USA Today, the Vatican recalled him after the state department notified them of “possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images.” 

What I don’t understand is how you don't learn your lesson the first time you got caught? Why would you continue to do the same thing that just got you called back to the Vatican? 

The Vatican council tried  hard to save him since it was his first incident. They even went as far as to refuse waiving his immunity so that the United States justice system could not get their hands on him. 

While I may not agree with them not having the U.S. or Canada handle the first issue, I understand it. They probably thought if they could just get him back to the Vatican and have him be around other people in the same position as he is, that he could possibly be saved. It could be compared to saving a family member that messes up over and over, but you still stick your neck out to save them everytime.

Some spectators felt, however, that the move was a tactic to keep the business confined within Vatican City. According to a New York Times article written in 2017 by Jason Horowitz, “Some critics saw in the Vatican’s move a reflexive step to protect its own by whisking a priest away from a justice system in a foreign land.” They figured they could handle it without getting others involved.

As mentioned before, these allegations about priests and religious leaders surface every few years.The last case on this level was back in 2013, with former archbishop Jozef Wesolowski. According to The Guardian, Wesolowski got busted for the atrocious act of paying young boys for sexual favors. Along with that, he downloaded and bought child pornography while he was in the Dominican Republic as the Vatican’s ambassador. Wesolowski's victims never got the satisfaction of having him go to jail because he died days before the trial at 67 years old. 

It is a bit baffling that these officials commit to working and following "God's plan," but still make the decision to sin over and over. Earning the title of monsignor cannot be compared to just appling to work at Walmart, but rather a life commitment from birth.

The term monsignor is an honorific title applied to clergy members of the Roman Catholic Church. How dare you disrespect the title bestowed upon you to engage in such an extreme sin. You commit to living your life never being able to get married or have sex, but you can’t commit to not watching child pornography. It’s a case of total hypocrisy. Not only are they betraying their vows but they are doing things anyone would consider the lowest thing a person can do.

Any type of physical attraction from an adult to a child is sick, and the cycle needs to end. What is in the water in the Catholic circle that grown men continue to exhibit? The Vatican needs to start investing in classes, or some type of therapy sessions for these men that have these powerful positions, because a lot of them really have been doing it for a long time and have been getting away with it. 

This abuse has not been limited to the northern hemisphere. All over the world, on every continent, there have been stories of little boys and little girls being abused by the neighborhood priest. According to CNN, 4,400 kids have been victims of sexual assault by members of the Catholic church. Something drastic has to be done about this. This should not be a reputation that follows such an historical dynasty. 

bbabb1@u.brockport.edu

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