anne_mikolay_120There was an alarming news item buried in the headlines on March 25: “Pope Allegedly Knew About Wisconsin Pedophile Priest.” Why wasn't this emblazoned for all to see? Is it because the news concerns the highest office in the Catholic Church? Is it because the Pope can allegedly do no wrong? Or is it because sweeping pedophilia beneath the rug is a common, church sanctioned practice? Whatever the reason for the low-key reporting, this is a shameful, tragic turn of events for the Catholic Church.

For those who did not catch the news of the Pope's great transgression, you'd better sit down for this one. Documents have surfaced that suggest that Pope Benedict failed to discipline a Wisconsin priest who had molested 200 deaf boys. According to a New York Times report, in 1996, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (which decides whether priests will be defrocked) was told by several bishops about abuse perpetrated against young boys by Reverend Lawrence Murphy of St. John's School for the Deaf in St. Francis, Wisconsin. Despite being repeatedly told of the abuse, Cardinal Ratzinger took no action. Reportedly, the incident was not the first time the Cardinal covered up child abuse by Roman Catholic priests.

A BBC documentary, “Sex Crimes and the Vatican,” has exposed Pope Benedict's complicit involvement in sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. According to the documentary, in 2001, while still a Cardinal, Pope Benedict issued a secret Vatican edit to Catholic bishops urging them to put the Church's interests ahead of child safety. Rather than reporting sexual abuse, the document promoted a “Code of Silence” among victims, witnesses, and clergy, and threatened the excommunication of those who did not comply.

In my humble opinion, religion and faith are two separate things, as is God's grace and man's law. Semantics aside, however, there is no room for debate in Christ's Law of Love: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.” Pope Benedict XVI, please tell me how you could have forgotten this! Please explain to me how the man allegedly chosen by the Holy Spirit to lead Christ's Church could turn away from children in peril, how the Church leader could fail to aid souls besieged by evil. Is it not your responsibility, Pope Benedict, to live your life “on the rock,” led by God's grace alone? Tell me, Pope Benedict, when is a lie a lie? When it is uncovered by the news media, or when you secretly bear false witness?

As a Catholic, as a mother, I angrily receive the news of the Pope's transgressions. As a Christian and human being, I am appalled. No “upon this rock” arguments or claims of infallibility will quiet my anger. I am not schooled in theology, but I do know one thing with certainty: Jesus Christ would not turn away from children in need. Jesus said: “Let the little children come unto me, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these...Then He took the children up in His arms and placed His hands on  their heads and He blessed them.” (Mark 10:14-16) Jesus dealt with children with gentleness, understanding, and mercy, and faced down evil without regard for “the law.” Until Pope Benedict XVI can do the same, he has no right to lead the Catholic Church. The Pope, clearly without purity or honesty, should resign. little children come unto me... for the