Category Archives: Scandals

The Vatican has lost any possible claim of a right to secrecy.

In a recent article from USA Today, we learn that:

Pope Francis overhauled the laws that govern the Vatican City state on [July 11], criminalizing leaks of Vatican information and specifically listing sexual violence, prostitution and possession of child pornography as crimes against children that can be punished by up to 12 years in prison.

… Many of the new provisions were necessary to bring the city state’s legal system up to date after the Holy See signed international treaties, such as the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. [This was signed into international law nearly 23 years ago, and two sets of further optional protocols have since been added, one of which explicitly deals with the sexual exploitation of children.]

… Anyone who reveals or receives confidential information or documentation risks six months to two years in prison and a €2,000 euro ($2,500) fine; the penalty goes up to eight years in prison if the material concerns the “fundamental interests” of the Holy See or its diplomatic relations with other countries.

…[The ]crime of leaking Vatican information never existed before in the Vatican legal system.

I know they say they’re criminalizing child sex abuse, child pornography, and so on. But here’s the deal: these laws only cover the Vatican, which is a miniscule nation. It’d be nothing more than a tin-pot dictatorship, if people didn’t think that this cloister of geriatric celibates had a direct psychic hotline to the omnipotent creator of the universe. And while their legislation has laughably small power, their attempt to ban the leaking of information of interest to the Vatican has a much more wide-reaching impact.

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Good Ol’ Family Values

I can’t say that I take pleasure in seeing a prominent religious public figure crash and burn under the weight of their own hypocrisy.

Wait a minute… yes I can!

Poor Sarah Palin. Everything seemed to be going so well for her. She was living a truly Christian life – getting pregnant out of wedlock and (likely) rushing into marriage to try to cover it up, promoting abstinence while living with proof that it doesn’t work (and teaching her kids to do the same), inspiring fear and hatred in the ‘Other’ who was running for president, attacking liberal comedians as pedophiles who shouldn’t be trusted around children because she couldn’t figure out a joke, firing public safety commissioners out of personal vendettas, and sparking rumors of federal indictments for embezzlement.

You know… the sort of pious moral superiority that can only come with a proper religious background. Oh, well; at least she’ll soon be mostly out of the limelight and won’t have to face that darn liberal media for a while.

This isn’t anything new. Religious leaders and religious politicians who tout their values as a sign of just how gosh-darn genuinely religious they are have a bad habit of violating their values in a very, very public way. Larry Craig, anti-homosexuality polemicist; Ted Haggard, megachurch preacher and moral role model; John Ensign, who said Bill Clinton had “no integrity left” after the whole Lewinsky deal; Mark Sanford, who loves to hike the Appalachian trail; Mark Foley, outspoken opponent of child pornography and the exploitation of children and part-time pen pal of underage Congressional pages; Jimmy Swaggart, who made a habit of exposing the indiscretions of his fellow evangelical leaders; and many other religious and political leaders.

Must be very convenient that you can go out and sin all throughout the week, then come back to church on Sunday and get saved all over again!