In yesterday’s thread about the indictment of the Bishop of Kansas City — the spiritual leader of 143,000 Catholics in 27 counties in Missouri, and an active member of Opus Dei — on charges of failure to report recent child abuse, some commenters were upset. They argued that it goes too far to suggest that putting money in the collection plate at any Catholic Church finances child abuse, because there are a lot of good parish priests, and that most of that money stays in the parish. Let’s set aside the obvious point that money is fungible and concentrate on the supposed goodness of the parish priest. Most of them are good, I’m sure, but the question is whether a practicing Catholic would know if their priest were a molester. Two recent indictments provide an answer to that question.
First, Missouri. In December, 2010, when a computer technician discovered “hundreds of photographs of children on Father Ratigan’s laptop, including a child’s naked vagina, upskirt images and images focused on the crotch”, Father Ratigan attempted suicide. His parishioners were told that he was a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning. After he recovered,
Bishop Finn sent Father Ratigan to live in a convent and told him to avoid contact with minors. But until May the priest attended children’s parties, spent weekends in the homes of parish families, hosted an Easter egg hunt and presided, with the bishop’s permission, at a girl’s First Communion, according to interviews with parishioners and a civil lawsuit filed by a victim’s family.
Now let’s move to Philadelphia, where another high-ranking church official, Monsignor William Lynn, was indicted earlier this year for conspiracy to endanger the welfare of children. The Philadelphia Inquirer obtained the Grand Jury transcript leading to Lynn’s indictment, and here’s a little snippet of the testimony of his predecessor, Edward Cullen, who became the Bishop of Allentown:
Cullen made a similar point.
“Public relations is in everything,” he testified.
When the Rev. Robert L. Brennan was accused of misconduct with boys, the church sent him to a hospital for treatment. Parishioners were told he was on a religious retreat.
Asked about the cover story, Cullen conceded, “It’s not the truth.”
It was a lie, wasn’t it? prosecutors asked.
“You could call it that,” Cullen said.
Brennan was finally reassigned [pdf] to a position in a convent in 2004, after 16 years of being moved from parish to parish, and 20 different accusations of child abuse.
These are not allegations from the far-off past, and they are not whispered rumors. Even if you think every penny of your donation goes to the local parish, you’ll never know if your money is going to pay the salary of a child rapist.
Isn’t that true of pretty much every dollar you spend on anything?
Im Catholic and I say throw the book and everything else at them.
@Joey Maloney: in the absolute case? Of course. But, if you choose the meander into the messy area of probability and odds . . . they do have form. Look, if you want to support the Church hierarchy, go for it, but do so open-eyed and don’t insist everybody else in the world buy into the line that they are all pure, holy and perfect blue-eyed men that would never ever put PR over all else and, furthermore, there is no other way to be morally correct than by buying their creed (and self-promotion) wholesale.
Good thing we go after any liberal or left group for their horrible violations, such as ACORN, because, you know, ‘they did have some serious problems’ or some such.
The frustrating thing here, and I am not trying to make a joke, is that it is all so unedifying. So, traditionalist Catholic bishop doesn’t really ‘get’ the pedophile priest problem. Evil wins. And the Pope isn’t gay, either, oh no.
Give it up mistermix. Some of these fanatics could have a Borgia Pope for a parish priest and they still wouldn’t open their eyes.
Given that the Church is a human agency, it’s funny how people can so easily admit and believe it is a force of systematic, organized good but deny that it can ever be a force of systematic, organized evil.
@scav: Just making a point. One thing about money (perhaps the thing about money) is that it depersonalizes certain kinds of human transactions. On the one hand, that makes pretty much the entirety of modern civilization possible. On the other hand, it means that everything you do is to some extent morally compromised. Everything.
So the question for the morally-concerned actor becomes not, how do I avoid immoral actions; but rather, what level of immorality am I prepared to accept for any given thing I might do? And how do I decide?
People make those kinds of calculations all the time. E.g., how much more am I willing to spend to buy Fair Trade coffee instead of beans probably picked by impoverished, maltreated workers? How much time am I willing to spend looking into labor practices in country X before buying something made there? Do I buy a ticket to see a play featuring actor Y who is widely-reported to be a terrible parent? And so on.
Look who the church installed in Philadelphia
The same loudmouth who stuck his nose into the Kerry campaign in 2004. Telling catholics nationwide they couldn’t, in good conscience, vote for Kerry. That Kerry wasn’t qualified for communion because his stance on Abortion.
I had 12 years of Catholic education, and I haven’t seen the inside of a church, except for a funeral or wedding, in more than 10 years. Once I realized how endemic the corruption was, there was no way in hell I was entrusting my kid to those people.
If you look at membership numbers all across the U.S., they are dropping, especially in heavily Catholic areas that have been hard-hit by these scandals (Massachusetts, I’m looking at you). I am completely in agreement with Mistermix: If the chances of malfeasance are as high as they appear to be, I cannot in good conscience be involved with that organization. Period.
To be fair, Edward Cullen is hundreds of years old and may find it hard to adapt to our modern society, in which using children for sexual gratification is frowned upon.
But — look! – he sparkles when you expose him to the light! ; )
(seriously, am I the first person to catch the name?)
@El Cid: Yeah, it’s unfair and just like Acorn to criticize an institution with decades of well-documented and admitted child abuse, and recent indictments of leaders.
Check out yesterday’s thread for still more false equivalencies like this one.
When I spend a dollar at Kroger, they have no incentive to cover it up if the store manager is looking at kiddie porn on company time, or institutional history of same. While it is logically possible for them to do so, it would be … uncharacteristic.
The same is not true of the Catholic Church.
@Joey Maloney: Giving to a church is a far different transaction than buying food and clothing. The former is a completely voluntary and totally optional expenditure.
Susan of Texas
Let’s say you discover that an actor won’t let his wife take birth control and insists that she is subservient to him and rapes one of his kids. Do you buy a ticket to see his play?
What amazes me is that the church is still covering this up. Why didn’t the police get involved when the technician discovered the pictures on the computer?
If Catholics don’t want to aid and abet the criminals in their ranks, don’t give them money, period. If you want to go to church they can’t stop you, but instead of money in the basket give them a note telling them you’re not going to support them until they root out all of the criminals. Money’s obviously the only thing that matters to them, because stopping child abuse and rape doesn’t seem to interest them at all.
On the positive side, Ratzie can breathe a sigh of relief that this perp at least isn’t gay or married or gay married, because that would be real, REAL bad.
The Edward Cullen part is awesome.
@Joey Maloney: yes, and I did point out that people were free to make the sort of calculations you describe but I was suggesting that people are perhaps, going a bit overboard in expecting everyone else not only accept but socially validate their personal calculations by applauding them as uniquely and necessarily moral beings because it’s got the religious seal of automatic approval.
@mistermix: How is it a false equivalent? What point was being made? It isn’t a false equivalent. And no, I’m not combing through the prior thread. The point was the instant hypocrisy — I heard over and over in various places about how awful that fake-pimp video maker was, but, you know, they did have some bad stuff going on. It wasn’t a centrally run organization, either. And it didn’t possess the astoundingly massive financial and cultural resources of what is, in fact, a quite centrally run institution.
My guess? Tech was a Catholic, and the Church told him they’d handle it in-house. Possibly also threw in some darkly-worded remonstrances about “scandal” to keep him quiet.
(For those not in the know, “scandal” is a bit of a term of art among conservative Catholics.)
Perhaps those still contributing to the church are just trying to help out the victims of the abuse by helping the church pay for the compensation to them.
@scav: Agreed. I mean, to be clear, I’m not a Catholic, I’m not a believer, and it seems to me that if the Throne of St. Peter was going to be true to its founding principles it would be spending its vast investment income to support individual parishes, not the other way around.
And yeah, large chunks of the hierarchy have, for decades, been involved in a criminal conspiracy to cover up, not just child abuse, but war crimes, embezzlement on a vast scale, and all manner of corrupt practices. I have no use for the Church as an insitution. But if I were inclined to give my money to the local parish because, say, they ran a soup kitchen, it’s not persuasive to argue that I shouldn’t because the local priest (in the absence of specific evidence) might be a bad person. Because that could be true of everyone, everywhere that I don’t know intimately. For that matter, in my life it’s proven to be true of some people that I did know (or thought I knew) intimately.
It is time for the Roman Catholic church to acknowledge that their 1000 year experiment with celibacy needs to come to an end (they really only got serious about this during the late 11th century reform movement).
Second, the leadership of the church need to make a full confession about their complicity in these monstrous crimes.
Beyond that, the balancing act in addressing this issue with those who truly are innocent (a great many priests, especially those that are not part of the grand hierarchy who has been in the business of attempting (and usually succeeding) to cover up for the abusive priests, should not be tarred with the same brush) and those who are guilty needs to be tended with no mean amount of careful thought.
This isn’t about a particular faith tradition, but about an institution. The institution of the RC Church made this problem worse by trying to protect itself – so smearing the faith behind the tradition makes little sense. Cut out the true rot, leave what is decent (and yes, there is still some there).
@Joey Maloney: The argument may not be persuasive to you (in this instance), but it is an argument and it’s made all the time and some find it valid. Not giving money is an explicit means of voicing disagreement. (There are other soup kitchens that could be supported) One could alternatively give money but explicitly and vocally oppose the practices of the hierarchy from within the church.
@Joey Maloney: That may be true but few of those looking for your money claim to be your final word on faith and morals. If you look back on the history of the Catholic Church you see long history of claims to be outside of or even superior to civil law. This is just another chapter in that history in which the individuals involved are less important to the RC Church than this protecting their supposed prerogatives. Soon, maybe now, catholics in the US need to decide if they truly believe that this church is acting in the interests of the people. My late father was a very devout catholic but even he later in his life could see that the RC model, based as it is on privileges that are more at home in medieval Europe, didn’t work with American concepts of law and thought that one day there would be a split from Rome. If he were alive today to see this horror he would have torn down the church he helped to build with his own hands.
@hildebrand: This abuse has nothing to do with the church’s stance on celibacy. If it were, those pictures would be of grown women and men, not children. And the abuse wouldn’t be abuse, it would be breaking vows of celibacy.
@El Cid: Ah, I didn’t get that your comment was snark.
Not that I disagree, but why is this relevant? You think that clerical child abuse would be less frequent if priests had families of their own? You think institutional coverups wouldn’t happen?
Just as during the Bush years (and even today) you don’t know if your tax dollars are going toward torturing people, some of which may be innocent.
Yes, I’m catholic… raised it, at least. 16 years of catholic school and have always been critical of the church, not just for the molestation cases. But people who say most of the people most of the priests and people in the parishes are good, decent people are right.
The “you don’t know if you’re money is going to protect molesters” line is, sure, accurate, but what’s your point? Everyone knows what the church has done is wrong bordering on evil, but what’s your advice to the people who belong to a parish, have good relationships with the priests and everyone there and get a strong sense of community and spirituality from it? I guess I’m asking, what’s your point?
Yep. Not that I think it’s likely to happen. It’s too ossified, too much of a gerontocracy, and Pope Ratz has moved too many cronies into top positions. It needs a Reformation-level crisis to force a housecleaning. I don’t know what that would look like, though, in a world where the Church no longer has enough temporal power to inspire a fight.
Absolutely. Not that it would change the current priests who have these tendencies, but it would open the priesthood up to more well-adjusted people. The idea of suppressing one’s sexuality to follow the lord may work for some, but I think it ends up drawing people who want to suppress their sexuality because society frowns upon their sexual desires (men attracted to little boys, and back in the day, gay men).
can we haz an OWS thread this morning? today is a big day! check the newz.
I am not a practicing Catholic nor is anyone in my immediate family, and I have absolutely no argument with any of the criticisms of the Catholic church raised here. All valid.
But to tell every member of the Catholic religion that they have to stop putting a dollar or two in the basket each Sunday (Catholics ain’t 10-percenters) the way many of them have all their lives, or they might as well be “including the lube” along with it, is a bridge too far. It was a pretty high-and-mighty judgment, and nasty comment, about a very large, diverse swath of people.
There are lots of ways to attack the Catholic church, all too many of them all too valid. Why go there?
This. I think a better argument against giving money to a church is, “You’re giving your hard-earned money to a church?? A CHURCH????”
don’t make me go over to hullaballoo
Seems to me The Vatican is forgetting that while they may be a nation-state, their holy-men are not diplomats, and are subject to the laws of where they ply their trade. And to quote their kairosian chief: “Render unto Cesar which is Cesar’s”.
Now, if y’all excuse me while I do The Vatican Rag
@cathyx: @Zagloba: When you will only accept individuals for inclusion in the priesthood who need to take vows of celibacy, after a while you will attract a higher percentage of people who have interesting issues with their own sexuality. Sexuality and our desire to have close human contact does not disappear simply because we take vows. The desires are still there, and some people simply cannot go without. If traditional outlets for such activity is denied, then illicit outlets are the only avenue. Which is why you have had stories throughout the centuries of priests who have mistresses or other partners.
Horrifically, these sexual urges can also manifest themselves in ways that harm children. After having interviewed quite a few priests and monks, I have noted that a certain segment of them entered the priesthood because they feared their own sexual inclinations and thought that the vow of celibacy would be a bulwark against their urges. Not surprisingly, this doesn’t usually work. Even more horrifying, some entered the priesthood precisely because it put them in contact with young children. This is true of all institutions with dealings with children – the others simply were more forthright and honest about actually getting rid of these predators. The Roman Catholic church did not, in some small measure because it is becoming harder and harder to find those who will willingly take the vow of celibacy.
Thus, if you drop the vow of celibacy (which was renewed in the 11th century as both an argument for purity and property rights) you may start to attract priests who have a healthier attitude toward sexuality, i.e. those who are in committed relationships (straight or gay), and you have a better chance of getting rid of the people who are dangerous.
Somewhat roundabout, I admit, but it does start to address the systemic problem.
A friend of mine went to a Catholic prep school in the 60’s. The priest who went on the road trips with the hockey team was always after a player or two. When D was a sophomore the priest attempted to fondle him at the hotel. D beat the living shit out of the priest and was kicked out of school. When D told his good Catholic Mom and Grandmother what happened, his mother slapped him across the face and said “how dare you speak of a priest in that manner”. As D says today, it was tough to be straight, honest and Catholic.
@Emrventures: I’m not Catholic either, but I agree!
I’m sorry but this entire post is utter bullshit. Show me ANY institution that hasn’t been abused — including churches, government, the Boy Scouts, unions, etc. Human nature being what it is, shit can, will and does happen. Institutions are made by humans and humans are inherently flawed. That goes for religious institutions, too. That doesn’t mean that by supporting the Catholic church you are supporting child abuse, any more than saying you support your union means you support graft.
I’m not a Catholic, but I am involved in social justice activities and I can tell you that Catholic organizations have done a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to causes near and dear to progressives’ hearts: immigration reform, anti death penalty, anti-war, you name it.
@Southern Beale: I totally agree.
Mistermix is doubling down on the dumb with this post.
Southern Beale: The Catholic Church, by their nature, protects their priests to incredible degrees that even business, Boy Scouts and governments don’t.
@hildebrand: this is a great analysis and based on personal experience — why don’t they drop the vow of celibacy?? i have never understood this, i believe so much pain and suffering could have been avoided because i think you are right about the individual, disturbed psychologies involved
Ex-Catholic here (not ‘lapsed’ as they like to pretend). Sure, there are lots of good Catholics – unfortunately, the Vatican itself is a hopelessly corrupt institution, going on hundreds of years now (perhaps they are even *less* corrupt given there is no Inquisition or Papal Army today). They have instilled an authoritarian concept of God, where they hold the keys to Heaven, and their dutiful followers obey reflexively.
Don’t forget about what the Vatican did to the Liberation Theology movement in Central America. How dare those people think they can talk to God directly!
@Southern Beale: I agree I think the church has done much more in that regard, especially in comparison to christian mega-churches which are all about sucking money out of their older members and exploiting the time and energies of their young people, but they don’t seem to do anything for people less fortunate than themselves with any of that money — i swear, looking at it, again, from the outside, they just seems use all that money to create slick, rock musical productions (to attract more young people) and make their leaders filthy rich.
And they are preaching praying to get rich kind of stuff. God will favor you with material gifts if you just pray hard enough. It’s disgusting.
I guess I do know a little something about it since I know someone who has children who are completely in the grips of a megachurch right now. And I think, from everything I’ve heard, they are sending a terrible message of selfishness to young people
IIRC that was pretty much the point of the opposition to the Reformation. Clergy as intermediaries between the laity and God vs. clergy as spiritual advisers and teachers.
Amanda in the South Bay
The problem is, the Catholic Church is a packaged deal. Yeah, on the one hand, you have your liberal social stances on a very well defined list, but on the other, you have totally retrograde views on abortion and sexuality. There are times when I wonder if the Catholic Church does more harm with regards to abortion and LGBT rights than the death penalty and whatnot.
The problem is you picked and chose from a list that makes the Catholic Church look good. And there are plenty of conservative/traditionalist Catholics (American bishops, looking at you) who care more about traditional wedge issues, like marriage and abortion, than those issues.
If you’ve ever given money to the Democratic Party, you’ve given money to Joe Lieberman, and a host of Blue Dogs. And John Edwards. Paid your taxes? You help paid Dick Cheney’s salary, the salary of torturers. Good job. You admit to being an American? How disgusting.
I am a former Catholic. I tried very hard to stay, and spent a lot of time with progressive Catholics who were trying to change the system from within. And to my mind, the Catholic Church is not defined by its leaders, it exists *in spite of* its leaders. The Church is the people who belong to it. Finally I couldn’t take the hierarchy anymore, and became an Episcopalian; and while it is a great relief to leave that particular battlefield, I greatly admire the brave souls I left behind.
And so for their sake, “mistermix”, I’m calling you out as a filthy bigot.
Amanda in the South Bay
The Catholic Church has an episcopal hierarchy, and the Bishop of Rome has immediate jurisdiction over every Catholic bishop (Vatican I), except when it makes the church look bad, then Catholicism is congregational?
Why yes, we’re proud to be bigoted against institutionalized child rape. Next?
@Southern Beale: Except, most of those institutions don’t have long, documented track records of covering up criminal activity within their organizations.
You may have a point in regards to immigration, but I’d argue that anti-war and anti-death-penalty are relatively recent developments. They were totally pro-war up to the 19th Century when it served their needs, and they had no problem ‘rendering unto the state’ any person who wasn’t Catholic enough during the Inquisition period.
I still can’t excuse centuries of systemic physical & mental maiming of children because they recently (historically speaking) started to support one or two of my moral causes.
the light of day
Well, first of all, and probably I should be ashamed to admit it, but I am a Catholic priest, and have work with victims of clerical sexual abuse as well as priests who are pediphiles. The institutional sin is horrendous and a betrayal of the gospel, and I apologies to one and all and affirm your decision to withhold money from support of the church for whatever reason. All I have to say, as my two cents, is that in my experience the idea that the great majority of priests, bishops, and lay persons in positions of authority do not take these abuses and the suffering they cause with sorrow, contrition, tremendous seriousness, a desire to make amends, and vigilance that they not happen again, that such an idea is simply not true.
Amanda in the South Bay
Okay, how about this.
Lets say I describe an organization that is officially against the death penalty, and at times has campaigned hard for the poor and workers rights. Said organization also has official doctrines saying that abortion is wrong, and that LGBT people are intrinsically disordered. Also, this organization’s leaders have covered up child abuse in the past, and its leaders also on occasion tend to emphasize right wing issues rather than social justicey stuff.
Would any of us think its worth it to support such an organization? Do the anti-death penalty and pro-worker stuff balance out everything else? Or do people act irrationally since its religion and everyone has to defend their own tribe?
To be fair, Catholics are one of the few groups of Christians who put their money where their mouth is. Yeah, the leadership is fucked in the head, especially with the RW gonna shut down homeless shelter nonsense. But, most Catholics I know and met seem to be decent people who are completely willing to give time and money to help those less fortunate.
Bordering on evil? Bordering?? Jesus.
And about the “a few bad apples” position: It is the long-standing, globally-enforced, standard policy of the Catholic church to protect priests who rape and thereby encourage rape. The protection of the rapists so that they can continue to rape is directed from the top and extends throughout the hierarchy. Those who don’t protect and encourage rapists and try to protect the victims are the ones who have to sneak around because they are going against the policy of the institution.
It is tragic for those of you who have had happy and fulfilling experiences in your local churches to realize this. But the church is a hierarchical organization. Orders do come down from the top that must be followed by everyone in the hierarchy. It’s not the critics of the Catholic church that have done this to you. It is the hierarchy that has betrayed you.
edited for clarity
Here in Iowa, there has been several lawsuits against local Catholic Dioceses for sexual abuse and cover-ups. The Davenport Diocese declared Bankruptcy to protect its assets and then entered into a settlement. I received a letter from my parish with a billing for “my portion” of the settlement. I was outraged and resigned from the parish immediately and decided once and for all that I am out of the Catholic Church. As an attorney that works with victims of sexual abuse (and other types of abuse) both children and adults, I know first hand how life shattering and vile this abuse is. It ruins innocent lives, and tears apart families.
It is the belief of the Correctional field and psychologists that pedophiles and other sexual deviants are not rehabilitatable and here in Iowa we have a process of civil commitment for those who are convicted of multiple sexual offenses that places the offender in a special correctional unit(prison)indefinitely.
The Catholic Church MUST be held accountable for all of this scandal: the cover-ups, the conspiracy, the acts of abuse,the lies, everything. All the way from the local priest on up to the Pope. I agree that priests must be allowed to marry and women must be allowed to be priests. It is the only way the Church can survive.
Catholic -> Muslim
Church -> Mosque
Rape -> Terrorism
Yes, yes. I know that _your_ Imam is a great guy, but money is fungible. And anyway … how would you really know?
@joes527: It doesn’t work that way, as Islam is not governed in a structured hierarchy as is the Roman Catholic Church. There is no equivalent to the Pope, or Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops. There is barely even an equivalence to the local parish priest.
Do Muslims have a hierarchical organization? Who is the Muslim Pope? That’s the difference here.
Each individual mosque and its leadership and members is responsible for the actions of its leadership and members.
The Catholic church is a global hierarchy. Your individual parish and its leadership is responsible for the actions of its leadership and members and also for the hierarchy it does and must contribute to.
(Note: Did you know that the bishop personally owns all your parish property? You may have a lay board that does all the maintenance work and planning and funding, but the bishop owns the place and can sell it out from under you any time he wants.)
edited for clarity
@Lihtox: I’m sorry but the Catholic Church defines ITSELF by its leaders within a rigid hierarchical structure; and I suspect that if this were not the case you would not have felt the need to leave. The fact is that they are deceiving believers and protecting criminals to preserve their public face instead of abiding by the law, exposing criminals to their legal fate and doing penance for any role they might have played in this abomination.
@Amanda in the South Bay: Also, this organization’s leaders have
covered up child abuse in the pastan institution-wide, rigidly enforced code of silence about child abuse
FTFY. The Church swears its victims to silence on pain of excommunication.
Right. I don’t really disagree. You’re not going to find many (any) catholics who will defend the actions of the church. But, as I asked mistermix, what’s your point? What would you have catholics who do find fulfillment from their church and community do?
The title of the post is “more anti-catholic bigotry.” And, to be honest, this is what it comes off as. It’s just piling on. No one is disagreeing and it just seems like an anger-fueled, merciless rant.
I’m sorry, but your entire post is bullshit. A whole lot of dodging the issue and changing the subject, and pretty much no honest analysis. Institutions are defined by what they are and what they do. The Catholic church protects and covers for child rapists (among many other evil things, like lying about condoms and birth control).
Listing better things they also do does not magically erase their crimes. Nor does listing crimes committed by other organizations (not that you were at all specific about that; your “unions = graft” bit reads like something that could come from Faux “News”). The facts about the Catholic church are what they are, and you’re not going to change them by ignoring them and talking about something else.
I have been having this same internal debate with myself, only in regards to the LDS Church. (And Romney looking more and more like the likely nominee hasn’t cleared anything up for me.) Probably half of my friend group is Mormon. And many of them disagree with the Church’s positions, and often, their actions. But that damn tithe still goes in every week, despite the overwhelming evidence that the LDS Church abused gay men, despite the Prop. 8 crap, despite the continued marginalization of women. And, unlike in the Catholic Church, there’s no “reform wing”, no organized group of progressives. And for even less reward: when’s the last time you saw a Mormon hospital or homeless shelter? So I never know how to fully reconcile the fact that, at least with their money, some of my friends support some truly evil shit.
Hell, I bailed on the Presbyterian Church in which I was raised because they weren’t gay-friendly enough. (Though, last week, they ordained their first gay minister.) I can’t do cognitive dissonance.
This sort of argument isn’t unfamiliar in countries which are overwhelmingly Catholic, such as Ireland. Far fewer people are shocked and view it as anti-Catholic bigotry to point out the systematic criminal nature of the leadership in facilitating, carrying out, and covering up the sexual and physical abuse of children and minors. Or Mexico, another overwhelmingly Catholic country.
It isn’t anti-Catholic bigotry, either, to recall the Church hierarchy’s role in supporting & applauding the worldwide targeting, imprisonment, torture, and assassination of liberation theology Catholic priests, particularly throughout Central and South America.
Nor are they (nor am I, for that matter) unfamiliar with the incredibly positive and helpful role that local and regional and national and international level Catholic organizations play in aiding the poor.
The residents of those countries very strongly understand the differences, and don’t reach for the handkerchiefs and rush for the fainting couch.
This is the same logic that says that funding the non-abortion services of Planned Parenthood is tantamount to funding abortion. It’s a form of composition fallacy.
When someone puts a dollar in the collection plate at a Catholic Church, they have a reasonable expectation that exactly none of it will be spent supporting pedophiles. If someone were shocked to discover that part of that dollar went to fund lobbying against gay rights, contraception and abortion rights, I’d find them hilariously naive.
To say that people should expect that their donations to the RCC intrinsically support ongoing child abuse is an example of a composition fallacy.
Amanda in the South Bay
But is it worth it, for all the other horrible shit they do? Like piss all over women and LGBT people? The Catholic Church plays a pretty important role in the anti-abortion movement.
It’s not up to mastermix or anyone else to tell Catholics what to do about this. They’re the ones in the middle of it, so it’s their call. By pretending that it’s up to the critics to make that call for them, you’re just trying to help them escape their responsibilities here.
And while you say you aren’t disagreeing, you sure seem to be putting up a terrific fight against acknowledging the facts that mastermix is laying out. It is not bigotry to be outraged at the way the Catholic hierarchy abuses children, both with the sexual abuse itself, and then again by covering it up and pretending that the abusers are the victims.
The “anger-filled, merciless rant” you’re self-righteously huffing about is fully deserved, and you know it. That you aren’t equally angry has some unfortunate implications about where *your* mercies lay.
Unless you’re positing that the majority of child sexual abusers are Catholic clergy, then that’s pretty much true no matter where you donate or shop.
A child rapist could be working in your doctor’s office, your lawyer’s office, the Republican House Caucus, your corner supermarket, he could be the woman standing on your corner, he could be the repairman knocking on your front door! (Knock, knock, knock!) He could be the little evil-looking, three foot tall, green smurf that follows wherever you go, urging you to shoplift chicken livers! My GOD, the child rapists are EVERYWHERE!
the whole “the catholics have the pope” thing doesn’t address mistermix’s points.
1) Money moves. Unless your mosque is completely economically isolated (neither giving nor receiving money from any individual or group) The money you give to the mosque will find its way into good and bad activities.
2) There is really no way to know whether your imam is a secret
pedophileterrorist. And since some _are_ terrorists, the safest thing is to shun them all.
Now, if we are going to imagine that organizations that defend child molesters are a “bad thing,” then maybe we should consider teachers’ unions. And since money and support are particularly fungible within the larger labour union movement, lets’ just say unions.
But catholics are somehow different because I don’t like them, so its OK in that case.
How are they in the middle of it?
Look, I haven’t been to church in over 10 years. And even when I did go, before the abuses were uncovered, myself and my family had major issues with the church, most notably how they treat women.
I’ve basically grown up being a critic of the church. I’ve directed a lot of anger toward men and women who have used religion and power to exploit others. And you’re right, it’s not up to you or anyone to tell catholics how they should react.
My point is, this post has no point except to point out the obvious and well-acknowledged fact the catholic church covered up heinous crimes within their ranks. And actually, he doesn’t stop at point it out, he rather smuggly passes judgement on all practicing catholics. To me, it seems spiteful and I question the point of it. I’m wondering what mastermix wanted to accomplish by posting it.
@Swellsman: Probably not. Some of us felt embarrassed to even know the name and where it came from.
There are articles out there about IT techs being fired after finding kiddie porn on executives computers and alerting company higher-ups.
So, no, it’s not restricted to the Catholic Church. No one wants their faith or company associated with kiddie porn, and many of them are just as likely to kill the messenger as act on the message.
I think I understand the parallel you attempting to make, but it doesn’t work, because the two structures you are examining are completely different. Roman Catholicism is a directed hierarchy where decisions flow from one source down through the system, it is monarchy, and an absolute one to boot. Money is collected, and the king/pope decides where it will be spent. Islam is a diffused congregationalist structure – so the money does not travel, or it does not travel very far unless directed by the local mosque.
I dunno people. It could be worse.
They could still be burning heretics at the stake.
I left the church as a teen when I found out about that and the Witches Bull and the Inquisition and the Albigenses and Giordano Bruno. I thought: This was not God’s church.
Then last century with the Banco Ambrosiano scandal and the Vatican Bank mafia stuff. And then the pedophilia. Well.
I’m just glad I eventually chose atheism when I read this stuff now. I have lived most of my life with no religion and I would not change it.
I am glad they are bringing the conspirators to justice. It was their cover ups that allowed so many more children in different parishes to be abused as they moved the perps from place to place to cover up the ongoing crimes. I think the conspirators in the hierarchy are just as guilty as the abusers. And yes I believe it goes all the way to the top. It always has.
Any imam could be a terrorist or supporter of terrorists. Any Baptist preacher could be a terrorist or supporter of terrorists like Scott Roeder and Eric Rudolph. In fact, it’s more likely that an American Baptist preacher is a supporter of terrorists than an American imam but in both cases if you have no evidence about that particular imam or preacher you don’t know.
But if you’re a Catholic you do know that you are a member and supporter of an institution with a global policy of protecting, supporting, and encouraging priests who rape children. You KNOW that and you know are contributing to that. You’ve got a much more difficult moral decision to make than a Baptist or a Muslim does because you know what you’re a part of and don’t have to guess.
Denying that you have made the decision to stay in and support that kind of institution is wrong and profoundly immoral. If you’ve made the decision to stay and work to make the institution better, you have my respect for trying to change the unchangeable. But if you made the decision to stay because you’re pretending that the Catholic church is not an institution with a global policy of protecting, supporting, and encouraging priests who rape children then you are taking a profoundly and disgustingly immoral stand.
JR in WV
Bigots hate “others” without any logical cause; hating the Catholic Church isn’t hating “others”, nor is it without cause.
mistermix doesn’t hate catholics, he hates the organization, The Catholic Church, and with good reason.
Nope, doesn’t fit the bigot definition, at all.
Wife in the ICU for weeks now, doing, meh, ok, no pastors allowed! Of any flavor.
On the topic of obedience to religious in the face of all logic, I’m surprised that the churches still hold up the story of Abraham and Isaac as one of their main teachings. The story in a nutshell is God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son, and then stops him when he’s right on the point of carrying it out, saying “way to go, you passed the test by obeying me even though the act was terrible.” But by my reading this is backwards; he flunked the test, and he flunked it hard. If you think you here God telling you to kill your own son then the only possibilities are that a) this is not God, it’s a Devil deceiving you, or b) it is God, and he’s actually evil, not good, or c) you’re crazy or high, and just hearing things. Under no possible one of those circumstances should you start sticking knives through the jugulars of live human beings, whether they’re related to you or not.
But this isn’t just some random obscure passage in the bible like the bit about the evils of eating shellfish, or killing your son if he offends you. It’s one of the most prominently famous and widely taught parables in the whole book.
But then I’m not religious, so I don’t think that God is more important than real ruined lives. I’m not sure I can understand how to see it differently, but I guess some do.
Too late to edit the last one for typos and grammar bombs. Ack.
Also of note is the fact that Catholic Charities is about 2/3 taxpayer funded. The tithing plate funds the organization, their anti-abortion and anti-gay campaigns, and the protection of obvious child predators. Lately another thing they’ve spent their money on is hiring experts to hide the money to keep it from the abused kids and lobbying against extending the statute of limitations on abuse cases.
These men, contrary to their claims, do not get their powers from God. They get their powers from the membership. They aren’t objectively pro-child rape. It’s just they are anti-secular rule of law and will go to the mat defending child rapists rather than be subject godless civil law. Church above all. Their parishioners who disagree with much of the Church’s actions on child abuse and social issues but still attend and tithe are likewise putting the Church above all else.
When crimes are committed, criminals should be punished.
But don’t insult my intelligence by suggesting that anti-Catolic bigotry doesn’t play a large role in the way people like you approach this. Anti-Catholic bigotry in America is as old as America. It came over on the Mayflower and has never gone away.
You’re a bigot. Period. Full stop. Don’t bother denying it, because your denials are not the least bit credible.
You’ve proven yourself to be unworthy of respect.
Now, I may not be the typical Catholic (but maybe I am, who knows?), but the old testament should be read as allegorical. And the story of Abraham sacrificing his only son is about how people needs to sacrifice of themselves (what’s a bigger sacrifice than giving your own child) in the service of others and humanity. It shouldn’t be read as instruction that everyone needs to kill their own child to be a good catholic (I don’t recall this ever being the official policy of the church), but they must give of themselves and sacrifice their own ego and self-centeredness in the service of others.
The whole true point of Catholicism (and every religion really) is to learn to give of yourself in service of others in order to become the best person possible. Now, people don’t always practice religion in this way and distort it and use it for selfish and political means, but in its true form, this is what religion is about and why so many people choose to follow it.
And one can be an atheist or agnostic and still follow this path. A formal religion is just one way to do that.
Yes, your local dentist could be a pedophile, but the American Dental Association isn’t going to pay off the victims, cover up the crime and then help the guy open up another children’s practice in another state.
The Catholic Church’s problem isn’t that they have a “few bad apples”, it’s that they protect and enable those bad apples to continue abusing children and then blaming the victims and society when they get caught.
And that mentality starts with the Pope himself and continues all the way down through the senior Catholic leadership.
Bill Maher had a line about how if the Catholic Church was a business like Wal-Mart, they’d have been shut down long ago. Why do we allow these ultimate sins from what is a self-proclaimed infallible organization? Shouldn’t the hypocrisies of these crimes make them even worse? It’s amazing the Church has survived centuries of torturing people, killing people, and now, this century (and probably past centuries), molesting the most innocent among us.
paraphrasing an old trueism: “it’s not the crimes, it’s the institutional coverup.”
Thoughtful Black Co-Citizen
I wonder if any of these bastards were ever denied (or refused to take) communion. Or is that only for people who stand up for gay rights and female reproductive freedom?
@Cat Lady: I don’t know if you’re serious or not but I absolutely love this idea.
I haven’t been to the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception for a while. They also have all those donation boxes were you can light candles.
Well, I know what I’ll be doing today.
It’s just they are anti-secular rule of law and will go to the mat defending child rapists rather than be subject godless civil law.
That was the conflict that got Thomas Becket killed, and the Church made him a saint. (Personally I’ve always thought Henry II has a much better claim to be admired and respected, because he was (a) the man who made secular law a reality in England for the first time and (b) because of that, he actually did penance for the Becket murder even though he was only partly responsible). Point is, the Church hasn’t changed in the 10 centuries since.
Nobody cares about a concern troll’s respect.
Thoughtful Black Co-Citizen
@burnspbesq: Yes and people who speak out against the Klan are the real racists.
But if it makes you feel any better 100% of my anti-Catholic bias stems from growing up Catholic.
@burnspbesq: Methinks mistermix is a great deal more ecumenical in his derision for all things religious.
Of course, the problem arises when mistermix actually hits a legitimate target (as is the case with the clergy abuse scandal) – boy who cried wolf and all that.
@burnspbesq: And you are an apologist for an organization that has beaten and molested children for decades, if not centuries. The contempt of a person as morally corrupt as you is meaningless.
Yes, because choosing to stay with a religion that hides and protects child-fuckers is a much more upstanding quality. I mean, gosh, what would the church do if it had bad PR and had to pay compensation to the victims and had to own up to its criminal practices? Smaller hats?
Pot and kettle, dude. Catholics ain’t all bad. Most of them are decent people. But to say someone is unworthy of respect for pointing out the criminality of church policy is stupid and hackish. These aren’t isolated incidents. This is the shurch, the formal institution, making deliberate decisions to put perception and money over the victims. Then these fuckers have the gall to say they’ll have to close down shelters and street level ministry/ help because of that dark skinned Kenyans soshulism and threaten to excommunicate progressives because they care more about living people than a mass of cells. Fuck them. The congregation can do as they please, but I got no sympathy for anyone involved in the administration.
Yes, because if there’s anything that’s a certainty in this country, it’s that businesses are held accountable for the illegal things that they do that hurt people.
Hey. There’s nothing in the RELIGION about protecting child-fuckers, in fact Paul condemns them harshly.
Keep the froth pouring out your mouth somewhat contained.
Oh puh-leeeeeeze. Make me laugh and gag at the same time, why don’t you? You are making excuses for child rapists by trying to change the subject and pretending the church is the victim here. So spare us your self-righteous indignation.
Except, that is, for the fact that it is official church doctrine, advanced by the Pope himself.
The central organization covered up if not wantonly enabled child abuse worldwide for decades. Maybe that infallibility stuff needs to be rethought.
I don’t think you know what the word doctrine means.
I find this debate analogous to what I used to see on Daily Kos (don’t go there any more.) People would criticize the anti-woman, anti-gay, basically pro-Sharia law stances of most flavors of Evangelicals, and there would be an outcry about “being mean to Christians.”
When, to my mind, who better to criticize those who preach hate instead of love?
Why doesn’t the Baptists speak out against Westboro Baptist Church, whose name is two thirds of a lie? Where are the groups of Catholics who demand the heads of those who aided and abetted child abuse? Where are the Christians who point out demonization and murder of doctors and other sins their churches promote?
I know of people who try to “work from within” and over three decades I haven’t seen a bit of progress; if anything, it has devolved to its present state.
So I can’t help but see the point of the critics; just what kind of religion are these folks running, here?
@Southern Beale: So because the Catholic church spends a lot of time caring for the sick and the hungry, we should give them a pass on raping kids? Because the local parishes provide a community for the lay folk, we should ignore that the bishops are aiding and abetting abuse? Because, honestly, that’s what it seems to me that a lot of people are saying.
Look, it’s not that difficult. If instead of passing these priests from parish to parish (which also gives a lie to the people who feel so secure in their parish; how do you know that nice new priest is not a pass-along?) they would have immediately sent the guy to a cloistered monastery somewhere in a place where they measure the winter snow in feet and subjected him to a 18 hour prayer day, and dealt honestly with the victims, the whole scandal would never have happened. Instead the Church adopted a policy of covering up and passing the priest from parish to parish. Some of these guys have a trail of abuse ten miles long in different parishes.
That’s not only criminal; it’s immoral.
@Lihtox: Oh, for crying out loud. How many people are going to walk around with the fingers in their ears going “lalalalalalala I can’t hear you” about this?
The Catholic Church has an official doctrine of protecting child molesters in the ranks. It has done so for decades. PERIOD. END OF STORY. It’s not bigoted or evil to point it out.
I wonder how many of you would be so sympathetic if it were your child crying every night.
@WereBear: What sort of religion? The sort that has a leader who helped hide and protect child molesters and used to be in the Nazi party.
I find this entire discussion a little bit confusing. I’ve only attended Mass regularly in three parishes, so maybe those aren’t the norm; but in each parish in which I’ve attended Mass, it’s always been made perfectly clear to me where my donations were going when they passed the basket. In fact, Parish Finance Councils met monthly, and one homily of the year was dedicated to going over the annual parish financial report. Invariably, the parish had spent more money than it had had on charity like fuel and rent subsidies to the poor; they actually ended up getting more money from the Bishop Fund to balance their books.
The Bishop’s Fund was the fungible basket that mustering is referring to, but I never contributed to that. If I’ve given any money to the Church in any capacity, i’ve given that money directly to soup kitchens or to poor boxes where I know where it’s going. I know where that money goes because I saw signed financial statements describing where it went. So unless sone serious fraud and embezzlement from the poor box are alleged, or unless allowing money to pass through the hands of someone who might be a child molester on its way to directly help the local poor somehow makes memorably culpable for every action performed by every priest everywhere, i’m really not seeing any reason to stop doing as I’ve done. Nor have I seen anything addressing non-commingled funds (again, maybe I’ve just been fortunate in my parishes, but I’ve always known where the money was headed).
I’m Catholic. I restricted my donations to just Catholic Charities over a decade ago. Starting a little over a year ago, I found myself increasingly bothered by the potential for implicit endorsement of this systemic malfeasance in the act of attending Mass. My faith hasn’t changed. The thought of joining another church is perfectly alien. Honestly, I wish everyone involved in the cover ups, all the way up to the Pope, would be thrown in prison. Then the laity and the good priests could get on with the business of demonstrating to the existing hierarchy just how easily they are replaced.
Also, since I’m the sort of branch that Ratzinger would like to see pruned, I like to think that remaining Catholic is pretty much the only thing I can do to stand up to that particular Man. Unless I get really lucky and get called for jury duty (Finn has been charged in my county).
Again, I don’t think you know what the word doctrine means.
Also, no one is saying it’s bigoted to criticize the church for aiding and abetting child molesters within its ranks.
What I, and others, have taken offense to is the inditement any catholic who gives to their church of being complicate to these acts.
@Tom: Nice way of evading the issue. All right, then. Not doctrine. POLICY. The Catholic Church has an OFFICIAL POLICY of aiding and abetting child molesters.
Does it make you feel better?
@Emma: The Catholic Church has an official
doctrinepolicy of protecting child molesters in the ranks.
The distinction is important. There’s nothing about Catholic Theology that requires the Vatican to do this. It’s a policy choice made by men, not a dictate from God.
Doesn’t make me feel better or worse. It’s just that what you said was incorrect. Yes, policy is a better word.
@Jager: Back in the sixties, beating the living shit out of a guy who tried to fondle you was the only honorable course of action available to an honest, straight hockey player. Nowadays we are more civilized and protect society by putting these fondlers in prison, where they can have their lives literally beaten out of them.
Seriously, things are better now than they were, and the Catholic Church in America is getting better. There are differing degrees of sexual misconduct, though, and beating the living shit out of a priest isn’t always the appropriate response. Turning an attempted suicide in to police for having overly sexual pictures of children on his computer shouldn’t be mandatory either.
Personally, it makes me feel better that protecting rapists is not a fundamental tenet of Catholic belief.
The new advertising campaign for the Catholic church: Child molesting, it’s not doctrine, just policy!
@Sophia: I never said it was. And if I remember my religion classes correctly, doctrine is not all necessarily dictated by God, either. But that’s not the point. The point is that a lot of people are trying to derail the conversation by complaining about “split infinitives” and “proper technical usage” instead of addressing the facts.
and more from the Serious Psycho Criminals in the Catholic Church
There sre few things sweeter than watching as catholics twist themselves into all sorts of knots in an atempt to deflect attention the moral emptiness this cancer on scoiety exhibits.
The church as a whole is a foul institution and it begins at the top and rots all the way to your local parish. The fact that some fuckwit bishop is able to influence social and political policy based on some fucked up theology is and will continue to be a blight on us all.
You attend weekly mass? You’re a partner in child rape, a explicit contributor to the harm the church does every day in nearly every nation on earth. One doesn’t need to be a catholic (and I got the fuck out the moment I could, particularly because two of my fellow altar boys were victims of molestation at the hands of a parish priest) to feed the hungry or clothe the naked. One need not be a party to the institutionalized hate that lies at the root of catholic theology. You want bigotry?
OK, here’s your fucking bigotry– the catholic church works actively to deny civil rights to members of our society, particularly gay men and women. That’s your fucking church and when the rest of us point out the viciousness, the crime and the intolerance coupled with the supersition, the willful ignorance and the falsity of all the church professes we’re the bigots.
Fuck you. Fuck your pope, your priests and your laity. You work for evil and attempt to cloak it in humility and gopod works and we see right through that shit.
*No, I’m not bitter, why do you ask?
When someone has no argument, they resort to debating grammar and word usage. Someone is splitting hairs to continue to excuse an official policy of protecting child-fucking. If that doesn’t turn your stomach then fuck you.
@Winston Smith: There is also nothing in the religion about closing down shelters because the blackity black Kenyan Muslim Soshulist gave them a sad. Didn’t stop them. So, it would be my thoughts that maybe you and Tom might be a bit more unfamiliar with the doctrine and policies of your religion than you are willing to admit to.
the light of day
Does the Catholic Church have an official policy of protecting child molesters? Unless one is familiar with the Dallas Charter and the legal, canonical, and pastoral issues of its implementation, then one cannot meaningfully discuss that question. If anyone is really concerned about the response of the church to pediphilia among its clergy, one needs to study the Dallas Charter and the history of its implementation. Otherwise one is speaking out of ignorance. And any of you making comments here who don’t know what I mean by the Dallas Charter are probably speaking out of some measure of ignorance. o
I’m not going to be able to respond til much later and this thread may be gone, but what exactly have I said that deserves a “fuck you?” I’ve said much more in this thread aside from correcting someone who said the church’s doctrine is to protect child molesters. I’d be interested in hearing exactly what I’ve said that you take exception to.
Susan of Texas
Bush granted the request.
If an organization has an official policy of helping its employees getting away with rape and molestation, why would anyone continue to financially support that organization? Because they claim to do it in the name of God?
And now we know that the Church is still trying to hide its actions. Why? Church officials said they didn’t want to have the priests arrested because it would harm the Church’s reputation and endanger its job of saving souls but that’s no longer the case. The damage is done. But there is another reason.
@El Cid: I constantly write letters to the White House and Congress asking the same question that you and many others ask.
why does the Criminal Catholic Church get my tax dollars?
that is just a small drop as I bet they get closer to $$$ BILLIONS in federal tax dollars.
@Tom: Between the faux concern and trying to make a criticism of language usage (although policy and doctrine can be used interchangeably) that in the end defends or at least enables a horrid doctrine/ policy of corruption and criminality….yeah, well deserving. That above it all bullshit to make yourself sound objective is just a bit aggravating, especially when it comes to the whole child-fucking thing.
That’s fucked up. Mistermix said nothing bigoted about Catholics. A bigoted statement would have been “all priests are pedophiles.” He said the Church is run by a corrupted authoritarian hierarchy that cares about its PR tack more than the lives of kids. He said the institution of the Church is sick – not Catholics. You’re going way overboard for insinuating otherwise, IMO.
I write the above as one who was confirmed at age 15 and promptly told his parents that now that that bullshit was finally over, I felt that as an adult member of the Church, I didn’t need to go to mass any longer. I couched it that way, but even then, I was already certain I was at the least an agnostic, and certainly that I would never support the Church in any regard, ever again. I was an alter boy from age 9-14. I was not abused but I saw the effects that rotten priests had on individuals and families. I, as a 15 year old, could see that the Church was sick and corrupt, and that was 25 years ago. It’s not that hard to see the systemic issues with the Church. I knew then and I know now that the everyday people in the Church were not all to be described as corrupt and “evil” – but again, Mistermix did not do that, either. Anyway, I never looked back and I never regretted abandoning the Church. While it has and will do good things, it is on the balance much more evil than not. I think that is true of most organized religion, though I realize others’ mileage does vary.
Have a nice day.
So, are you then saying that the term ‘doctrine’ has meaning only with regards to religious institutional policies ? ‘Cause I’ve seen loads of usage of the term ‘doctrine’ completely lacking in any religious significance, yet being perfectly clear in its meaning; to whit, some set of operating principles or policies. Just wondering.
Funny you should mention this. Here is what one community did to try to wipe the memory of a pedophile doctor from the face of the earth.
An interesting precedent.
You know what? You’re right. Vis a vis the explicitly religious meaning of the word “doctrine.”
But you are fucking splitting hairs. And it is a distraction from the point being made. You are free to get pissy about the meaning of words, fine. But “doctrine” can and does also have a secular meaning. Fucking bullshit you are happy to change the word to “policy”. There is no functional difference in the meaning intended by the person who used “doctrine” in a slightly incorrect fashion. Grow up, dude. The point is that the church explicitly taught its leaders to cover up pedophilia and other types of abuse. The lower level managers (bishops) didn’t just develop the policy on their own. Similar to, let’s say, the Monroe Doctrine, the policy was developed by bureaucrats in the Vatican.
Taking away the theological distinction, what is the difference, in real meaning, between using doctrine and policy? I don’t see any.
@Tom: That’s a much better reading. To be fair, I wasn’t suggesting that the moral was “you gotta kill your kid”, so much as I was seeing it as an exercise in obedience – God knows better than you, so trust what he says above all else.”
I find this debate at BJ just amazing. It reads like some kind of struggle between normal people and people who have no long term memory–its like the side shouting “you are all anti catholic bigots” simply can’t remember the facts of the case, can’t remember why this discussion keeps happening, has no memory of the searing testimony of the victims and the continuing struggle of the families to achieve some kind of peace.
Just google Irish pedophile priest scandal and add any year you like–you will turn up a roiling mass of proven accusations and proven coverups. The Irish Government has been fighting with itself and with the Vatican for years to get the Vatican to admit some/any responsibility for the actions of its own membership. Nothing that happened in Ireland, which included rape, threats of excommunication, use of the the confessional as a form of extortion, and huge transfers of money between the government and the church happened without the knowledge and protection of the Vatican. In fact the Vatican pulled out all the stops and threatened the Irish government on a number of times with diplomatic sanctions for interfereing in Church Business.
It is long past time for the apologists on this board to stop acting like their personal religion is anything other than a corporate offshoot of a small, fake nation with political and financial interests that are wholly separable from its many social good works. Despite the art, the music, the storied history the current incarnation of the Vatican and its corporate owners are no more pure and good and holy than L. Ron Hubbard’s Scientologists. If you choose to throw your money in the communion plate you’ve got no more say over how that money gets spent, or who is hurt by it, than the average Joe who pays the Scientologists to give him a “clear” and a mind fuck in a storefront Scientology joint.
Susan of Texas
My comment’s in moderation due to links but I don’t want to wait to agree with aimai. If you want to give to charity use a secular charity that doesn’t tell gays that they’re an aberration, tell women that they’re less than men, tell South Americans that they have to be exploited because the only people supporting them are socialists, or tell their members that they have to get over sexual abuse because only God can judge–which my parish priests did. I stopped donating money to the church at that time and I can’t imagine why anyone would.
And all of this is putting aside the simple fact that there are no gods or goddesses.
@Brachiator: A lot of good land to be used there. Maybe a nice public park or homeless/ women’s shelter.
@aimai: There’s a lot of completely legitimate attacks to make on the Catholic Church, but “the Vatican and its corporate owners”? Seriously? The Vatican got floated on the NYSE, and is now 40% owned by Pepsi and Goldman?
Let’s keep our evils separate here. Covering up child fucking is just a completely different kettle of fish to downsizing your customers/ countries citizens out of economic viability.
It’s always been a bit amazing to me how few Catholic clergy have resigned rather than be connected with such an obviously depraved organization, particularly in areas where pedophilia has been rampant.
It has led me to the conclusion that there are three kinds of Catholic clergy: Those who are pedophiles and sexual preadators; those who have been the victims of clergy pedophiles and sexual predators; and those who have not been victims, but who know what’s been going on and who have said nothing.
It would be interesting to know whether it is the shame felt by those clergy who have been victims, and the guilt felt by those who know what has been going on but who have not had the courage to do anything about it that has prevented so many Catholics in positions of real power from stopping the organization’s sexual abuse epidemic.
Being a former Lutheran, I don’t get the whole Catholic thing about sticking with an organization whose sole reason for existence is to give moral guidance that has so many moral problems. With Protestants, if you don’t like the minister or the church has run off the rails and is working hard to shelter sexual predators, you leave and go somewhere else where the moral compas isn’t so twisted. Bad Presbyterian minister? Go over to the Methodist church. Rotten Methodists? Give the Congregationalists a whirl.
Me, I think it’s all a bunch of hooey, but there are all kinds of options in life that don’t involve giving moral support to an immoral organization.
The problem with the modern Roman Catholic Church is that the hierarchy has forgotten this. Until that changes, any attempts to “change from within” are doomed.
In Massachusetts, after the full scope of the abuse cover-up become clear, some lay Catholics attempted to organize, forming a group called Voice of the Faithful. In response, directives came from Cardinal (Above the) Law and possible higher up, instructing parish priests to refuse the group meeting space in their churches. In at least one case, a priest who refused to comply was pressured until he did, and while I don’t know that it was every conclusively proven, there was some evidence that the pressure was in the form of threatening to close the parish entirely.
That, more clearly than anything else said to me that the hierarchy has forgotten or outright rejected the idea that the Church is its people, and that their role is to guide and facilitate their access to God, not to BE gods.
Nothing short of a second Reformation is going to fix this.
Thoughtful Black Co-Citizen
Now tell us please, how does Cassidy’s misuse of the word doctrine make a damn difference to the fact that the RCC(TM) has regularly and consistently aided and abetted baby rapists and child abusers for at least the past 30 years or so. Actually longer than that because there were those kids they shipped off to Australia.
But I digress. What is your fucking point?
Kathy in St. Louis
@Zagloba: Tech was NOT necessarily a Catholic. He put the pictures on a zip drive and turned them over to the diocese. The Vicar General, supposedly, then ran it by a policeman who is on their diocesan oversight board, just not telling him that there were hundreds of these photos, but telling him abougt one rather innoucuous one. Without seeing it the police official said it wasn’t porno. However, he was not in possession of all the facts when he told the Vicar General this. When the shit hit the fan, the zip drive was turned over, but that was months later, after Ratigan had still been around kids and, in fact, had been a celebrant at some child’s first Communion. It all stinks to high heaven, pardon the pun.
Kathy in St. Louis
@the light of day: Father, with all due respect, let’s just get a timeline going here. Were you to have made that comment after Fr. Geoghan was outed by the Boston Globe, I would agree with you. We are talking about 9 years down the line, when Bishop Finn swept this under the rug, and commented, when asked why he kept Ratigan in parish work, “I didn’t have anyone to replace him.” That is weak and shows a real indifference to the safety of the children this man came in contact with.
If Bishop Finn had just one job, it should have been to be super vigilant for men such as Father Ratigan, root them out, remove them, or send them somewhere where they could harm no child. Instead, if the story that I am reading is correct, he put himself in a position where he could have deniability, blame it on his Vicar General, and keep on doing business as usual. It’s easy to see where people would get the idea that this was some sort of policy. It was either that, or total incompetence. Which do you prefer?
Well, there is of course what’s written on the tin, that is to say, @the light of day‘s Dallas charter wrapped around a can, and there’s what’s hiding inside the can, the accumulated evidence around the world that goes back to the 1940’s at least and up until . . . oh look, the clock keeps ticking. Because there’s really a bit of a whited sepulchre vibe going here. But, really, what are some of us thinking, dragging mere evidence into situations where clearly all that matters is belief.
No one of importance
But you can’t have *that* in the Catholic Church! At no point in its history has it ever had a healthy attitude towards sex, sexuality or the results of it (ie children.)
You’re pissing up a rope, expecting or asking the current Church to change. The current pope is an evil narcissist determined to make sure the church does not and will not change. There’s no one in the upper ecehlons who would disagree with him or take him on. The popes before him in the last fifty years were just the same, just visually cuddlier.
Thank god I’m a fucking atheist. All churches of all kinds can go to hell, and quickly.
No one of importance
Okay, I’ll name a few where they haven’t just not done the lifting, they’ve contributed to the problem – impedence of sexual health, denunciation of women’s rights, anti-semitism, Islamophobia, the spread of HIV by denouncing condoms (and spreading lies about their effectiveness), causing immense third world poverty by banning contraception and abortion, destruction of indigenous cultures and people. Not to mention the church’s interference in Australia and America in the political system, and the support for bigoted politicians and journalists, which has done enormous harm to our societies and bodies politic.
Not to mention that Ratzi the Nazi could instantly fund the solution for and end many of the poor’s ills just by having a Vatican garage sale. Seriously – have you been to the Vatican? It’s one of the most vulgar, angering places on earth – all this wealth and art jammed into the place, because they haven’t got enough space to display all the loot.
Those who talk about the good Catholic missionaries do around the world forget that Catholic missionaries also do a lot of harm, and have certainly done so in teh past in places like Africa and South America – and also like to pretend that secular organisations like Doctors without Borders manage to be just as good or better without imposing an ideological agenda on the people they claim to help.
@the light of day:
Late to the thread, but I know a lot of good people who work in the Catholic church and I am sorry that you are all being tarred as pedophiles.
The Vatican should be evacuated of humanity, and promptly be firebombed from existence. The world would be a better place, by far.
I understand that persistent Catholic faith seems like madness to atheists and protestants, but can y’all engage in some creative imagination space and understand that we Catholics operate within a collective power, we are engaged in our own Cold War, Liberation Theology is actually a great organizing tool and we’re not giving up just because some traditionalist Prada-shoe wearing asshole is in charge.