Feel the cops’ breath on your neck yet, Ratzinger?
Father Riccardo Seppia, a 51-year-old parish priest in the village of Sastri Ponente, near Genoa, was arrested last Friday, May 13, on pedophilia and drug charges. Investigators say that in tapped mobile-phone conversations, Seppia asked a Moroccan drug dealer to arrange sexual encounters with young and vulnerable boys. “I do not want 16-year-old boys but younger. Fourteen-year-olds are O.K. Look for needy boys who have family issues,” he allegedly said. Genoa Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco, who is the head of the Italian Bishops Conference, had been working with Benedict to establish a tough new worldwide policy, released this week, on how bishops should handle accusations of priestly sex abuse.
According to investigators, Seppia told a friend — a former seminarian and barman who is currently under investigation — that the town’s malls were the best places to entice minors. In tapped phone conversations the two cursed and swore against God. The priest is charged with having attempted to kiss and touch an underage altar boy and of having exchanged cocaine for sexual intercourse with boys over 18.
At what point do we get to claim there’s a correlation between being a member of the ecclesiasty of a sexually repressive religion, and having a set of sexual proclivities that might be best repressed? At what point do we get to claim that perhaps this correlation is causal? And at what point do we get to say, “look, being a member of a religion does not make you more moral or a better contributing member of society than those of us without religion?”
Update: my original title “Latest Catholic sex scandal: Pope’s adviser arrested” was wrong, it’s a priest under the Pope’s adviser, not the adviser himself. I actually understood this from the original article, but screwed up on the title in my linking post. Sorry if I gave anyone the wrong impression. Said adviser handled the situation thusly:
Genoa Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco, who is the head of the Italian Bishops Conference, had been working with Benedict to establish a tough new worldwide policy, released this week, on how bishops should handle accusations of priestly sex abuse.
Bagnasco said that when he met the Pope this weekend, he “asked for a particular blessing for my archdiocese” in light of the alleged crimes, adding that “like every father toward a son [feels] great pain in seeing a priest who is not faithful to his vocation.”
Oh yeah. REAL tough. Protect the diocese, not the children. And call the priest a bad apple in the meantime. No true Scotsman, you see.