Now here’s a call for Pope Benedict to resign that I can believe in, unlike that by Christopher Hitchens (see my earlier post, 4/18).
Singer Sinead O’Connor can hardly be accused of jumping on the bandwagon. She was herself incarcerated in one of the Irish church’s infamous Magdalene asylums — forced-labor homes for “fallen” teenage girls. And she was way ahead of the suddenly current pedophilia scandal when she protested Church silence on child abuse by tearing up a photo of the then-pope, John Paul II, on Saturday Night Live back in 1992 . Yes, nearly twenty years ago.
The Sinead O’Connor who appeared last night on the Rachel Maddow show seemed like another woman that that gorgeous, sleek, pop icon. “Dowdy” some reports said, disapprovingly — I mean, how can you possibly pay attention to a woman who doesn’t even bother to tart herself up for the camera? In fact O’Connor was not dowdy; she was real. And what she said was far more forceful because of that reality.
She went further than she did in her Op-Ed for the Washington Post three weeks ago, written after Benedict’s pastoral letter of apology for decades of sexual abuse of minors by priests in Ireland. “To many people in my homeland,” she wrote in the WaPo, “the pope’s letter is an insult not only to our intelligence, but to our faith and to our country.”
“The only thing that I think would make anyone happy,” she told Maddow, “which would honor not only the victims but the Holy Spirit who these people claim to be representing, would be for him to actually admit that there was an orchestrated cover-up and get out of office, and let us have a church which is run by people who actually believe in God.”
Then she called for the pope and the whole hierarchy not just to resign, but to be tried in open court on criminal charges of child abuse and conspiracy to conceal child abuse. And she did it in the name of the Holy Ghost, with the ghosts of all those abused children forced into silence behind her.
Impressive. And far more effective than all the Hitchens rantings in the world. Her clear, calm passion and determination would have me, if I were Ratzinger/Benedict, shaking in my little red booties.
See the whole interview here.