From The New York Times we learn that the Catholic Church has decided to drop the legal hammer on those irritating little types who dislike conspiracies to cover up child rape:
The group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, is neither a plaintiff nor a defendant in the [Missouri clergy sexual abuse] litigation. But the group has been subpoenaed five times in recent months in Kansas City and St. Louis, and its national director, David Clohessy, was questioned by a battery of lawyers for more than six hours this year. A judge in Kansas City ruled that the network must comply because it “almost certainly” had information relevant to the case.
The network and its allies say the legal action is part of a campaign by the church to cripple an organization that has been the most visible defender of victims, and a relentless adversary, for more than two decades. “If there is one group that the higher-ups, the bishops, would like to see silenced,” said Marci A. Hamilton, a law professor at Yeshiva University and an advocate for victims of clergy sex crimes, “it definitely would be SNAP. And that’s what they’re going after. They’re trying to find a way to silence SNAP.”
The church denies any attempt to intimidate, browbeat, or simply overwhelm SNAP out of business. But that noted Catholic thinker, William Donohue blows the gaff:
Lawyers for the church and priests say they cannot comment because of a judge’s order. But William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, a church advocacy group in New York, said targeting the network was justified because “SNAP is a menace to the Catholic Church.”
Mr. Donohue said leading bishops he knew had resolved to fight back more aggressively against the group: “The bishops have come together collectively. I can’t give you the names, but there’s a growing consensus on the part of the bishops that they had better toughen up and go out and buy some good lawyers to get tough. We don’t need altar boys.”
He said bishops were also rethinking their approach of paying large settlements to groups of victims. “The church has been too quick to write a check, and I think they’ve realized it would be a lot less expensive in the long run if we fought them one by one,” Mr. Donohue said.
A coordinated strategy? Unpossible! says a church spokesperson. Which makes it just a trifle hard to understand this:
While Mr. Clohessy was being deposed, another network employee in St. Louis, Barbara Dorris, received a subpoena involving the case of Jane Doe 92 v. the Archdiocese of St. Louis, et al.
That subpoena was nearly identical to the one issued to Mr. Clohessy, said Ken Chackes, the attorney for Jane Doe. It requested all correspondence about repressed memory even though the Jane Doe case does not involve repressed memory.
Mr. Chackes said, “I assume there’s some kind of communication” between the church lawyers in the two cities.
Also: the location and timing of these moves are, shall we say, a little fishy:
The first indication that the network would be caught up in legal proceedings came from Kansas City, where Bishop Robert W. Finn last year [October] became the first American bishop ever to be criminally indicted for failure to report suspected child abuse.
Mr. Clohessy received a subpoena in October…
And, speaking of fish, how about what the church actually did with its subpoena cudgel. Attempt to gain insight into the events that led its
members employees to rape children and then receive protection from the institution? Not exactly:
Mr. Clohessy was deposed in January by lawyers for five accused priests and the diocese. In the 215-page transcript, made public on March 2, most of the questions were not about the case but about the network — its budget, board of directors, staff members, donors and operating procedures.
Mr. Clohessy testified that he had never had contact with John Doe.
“It was not a fishing expedition,” Mr. Clohessy said. “It was a fishing, crabbing, shrimping, trash-collecting, draining the pond expedition. The real motive is to harass and discredit and bankrupt SNAP, while discouraging victims, witnesses, whistle-blowers, police, prosecutors and journalists from seeking our help.”
So to sum up: the leadership of a corporate body that for decades abused the most vulnerable among its congregation is now using all the leverage, wealth, power, and residue of reputation it can wield to silence advocates for those victims — which is, of course, their right under the laws of this country. But we should remember this when they tell us that there is no sin greater than allowing a woman autonomy over her own person.
I’m not Catholic, and so some may say I have no dog in this hunt. But when these same church leaders, the Catholic hierarchy, tell me that their views on right and wrong must be given deference in the civil society of which my non-Catholic self is a member, then I — we — all have reason to inquire into the roots of this alleged moral authority.
Which you see here.
I am being as polite as I can be, and this is where I will stop, leaving a more blunt expression of my disgust and revulsion unwritten — but not unthought.
Jean-Paul Laurens, The Pope and the Inquisitor, 1882.
If there was a god as described in their philosophy, they would all have died by now. Where is the deity that would slay the unrighteous priest in his finery right at the altar? Between this and their anti-woman shenanigans, I’d be first in line to end tax breaks for churchs and throw these emeffers into jail.
Please tell me the Ohio chapter is called OH SNAP.
Does SNAP take donations?
@Moik: So good.
Ya know, if we want to stop bullying by teens, maybe the adults should stop showing them how it’s done.
Because that’s exactly what this is. The priests raped children, the church covered it up, and now that those children are grown and “telling on them” the church is getting it’s friends together and threatening payback to anyone who stood up for the victims.
I think someone here recently said the giant asteroid can’t hit us fast enough. After reading shit like this, I agree.
This bit’s also revealing
Nary a thought as to what is morally right: straight to the that which is Caesar’s.
Tell me again why these, uhhh, “people” have a tax exemption?
Dante would have needed a deeper circle in the Inferno for these jackanapes.
This happens when ever a church obtains political power (see Ireland!) These sick monsters are moral perverts and need to be destroyed financially.
But but charity!, tradition!, death penalty!, it comforts me!, liberation theology!, my whole family is catholic!, its just like donating to the DNC!
I wonder if the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights was inspired to take its name from the Catholic League of the Thirty Years’ War. I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case.
They’re being careful to only do this in states without applicable anti-SLAPP legislation, I’d bet. Publicity and donations are probably the only hopes SNAP has for survival.
Reading this stuff of course makes me intensely enraged at these sacks of crap…but it also just breaks my damn heart for the victims. It feels like pouring gallons of salt into their wounds. :(
@Tom65: It makes you sorta wonder why everything these guys say turns out to sound stupid or evil. Think about that. Could there be a reason? Just think about it.
ratzie has deployed his
US bishopsarmy of minions to interfere in this year’s presidential elections. It will probably be the mother of all ugliest elections anywhere.
Apparently the Catholic Church is not content with a mere one example in “The March of Folly”. (How a Borgia pope and years of Church excesses made the Protestant Reformation inevitable.)
RIP Barbara Tuchman.
The woman would never get up from her desk with all the new material since she published. She’d be blogging. Elegantly.
@TheOtherWA: All along I’ve been saying it’s unfair to chastise teen bullies who are saying what their parents and clergy are teaching them.
ETA: I’ll just say what I said in the other thread. If the “specialness” of a religious institution means the state can’t deal with them effectively, the membership must. Unfortunately they’ve been mostly scapegoating gays rather than dealing with the pedos in their midst.
The Ancient Randonneur
If only the Romans lions had been just a little hungrier we wouldn’t have to put up will this band of child molesters and their enablers/protectors.
We and our dogs are all in this hunt, because the church has been acting as a criminal syndicate for decades (if not centuries) and hiding behind their special status as a large and powerful religion while committing detestable acts against our most vulnerable fellow citizens.
Yet the still have the chutzpah (irony intended) to pop up before congress and lecture us on the supposed immorality of contraception and the threat to their precious Freedoms(tm).
Nice work if you can get it.
As to Donohue–something, something, rusty axe.
Culture of Truth
[ raises eyebrow ]
Apparently the Romneytron 2000 is literally speaking in my backyard today…
It’s difficult to comprehend just how despicable the Catholic hierarchy is. What terrible, terrible people.
Perhaps we need to reintroduce the grand old tradition of feeding Bishops to Lions.
/no offense meant to animal lovers or any cruelty intended towards lions.
Culture of Truth
The Church is the defendant. SNAP is a third-party, not being sued. (Yet)
As I recall, in the majority of these cases, the Church dragged its feet, impeded investigation, and then wrote a check when it appeared that they would clearly lose the court case because of overwhelming evidence against them.
But, hey, they might as well resort to lies and subterfuge.
They need another Counter Reformation.
Public Religion occupies an odd niche in US political culture, as an empty sentimental greeting card style formulation of conventional morality and hypocrisy in the worst sense of both those words. So, I am not sure what Reformation can spark a Counter Reformation these days.
Edit: and we observe this empty rotten sanctimonious hypocrisy as our unofficial ‘official religion’.
One thing I am with ol’ John Adams on is that organized religions, all of them, throughout history, all over the world, eventually are corrupted by power and privilege, and go rotten. They need to be periodically humbled and reformed.
Not sure how that can happen with organizations like like R Catholic Church and the fundamentalist political Xtianists, though.
Also, why the fuck aren’t clergy mandated reporters? How is it that only the perps get in trouble and not the people who have been taking field notes on the North American Child Fucker for years and years?
Just a slight correction:
The priests who did this are not church members — that’s the parishioners (aka the laity). They’re the church leaders or, if you prefer to keep it in corporate terms, church employees. The RCC is not closing ranks to protect its members, it’s closing ranks to protect its hierarchy.
The church members are the ones who were victimized by its leaders.
I’ve told this story here before, but it just so beautifully encapsulates the mendacious venality of the Church:
My sainted mother was a devout Catholic when she was young, to the point of seriously considering taking holy orders. The next-to-youngest of nine children, she was 14 years old when her own father died. The family was living in Church-owned housing at the time, and she came home about a week later to find their belongings in the street. The monsignor thought it unseemly for a “single mother” to be living on Church property.
But as it happens, it’s a good thing she had the disillusionment when she did. In 1961, after my oldest two brothers were born, but before my next brother and I came along, she had a septic miscarriage. Had she still been a devout Catholic, she would have died, leaving two young sons motherless, and my brother and I would never have been born.
The Catholic Church — they are who we thought they were, after all.
Villago Delenda Est
The vile maggots that are the red beanie brigade, and their lackies like the loathsome shitstain Donahue, deserve no quarter.
Well, I am Catholic, or should I say, I was raised that way, because the last couple of years are a pretty good argument for never going back to that church.
And people give the French Revolution and the pre-Franco Spanish Republic crap for their excessive anti-clericalism. Well, seriously folks: imagine having your country directly ruled by these people for fifteen hundred years straight with absolutely zero constitutional restrictions, religious freedom, separation of church and state and whatnot, and you’ll begin to understand why these things happened.
pseudonymous in nc
And once again, it’s up to the press to put in a call to the beanie brigade and ask whether they endorse or reject what Bullshit Bill Donohue says. Will they do it? Will they fuck.
Either he’s a loose cannon (as opposed to a loose canon) and his statements have no value and thus should be ignored, or he’s the means by which the hierarchy launder their opinions into the public sphere. Which is it?
@Mnemosyne: Right you are. Fixt.
...now I try to be amused
Those tactics are right out of the Church of Scientology playbook. That is all.
It’s mildly interesting that that this is another instance where the underling / ally is going all loose cannon. Rushbo blowing up the this isn’t about the war on sluts it’s about religious freedom(tm) and now Donohue sinking the no, we’re not going after SNAP defense.
@rlrr: Tell him to get off your lawn and mind the rose bushes.
With Finn, you could have the beginning of a RICO investigation. Bad timing.
Shoulda been done years ago.
@The Ancient Randonneur: That’s funny because it’s true.
Isn’t this where someone hops into the comments and wrings their hands at how impolite people are being to the Catholic Church?
Not all priests are bad. I personally know a very nice blah blah. The Catholic Church has done a lot of charitable service blah blah. Statistically, you’re more likely to be molested by your uncle than your priest blah blah.
Why are you oppressing my religion?
I’m Catholic (lapsed) so it counts. Can we move on, then?
Fighting each case might require less upfront money but it will further alienate donation-giving parishioners.
For what shall it profit a religious institution to save money but lose followers? [Apologies, Big Guy.]
Hats off to the NYT for reporting on this. I’m not sure exactly why (or why now), but the bishops obviously have decided to overreach into American secular and political society, much further than they’ve ever done. Whether it’s the pope’s doing, their own decision, or both, I’m amazed that they evidently think they can do this without consequences. It’s not a matter of if there will be backlash, from Catholics and non-Catholics alike, but when, and what form it will take. (I’m betting on nothing more or less than further reductions in the numbers of churchgoers, but I’m on the lookout for legally-oriented crackdowns, which would be awesome.)
@Zifnab: You forgot to call us religious bigots and to insist that the parishioners are the “real church.” Extra points if you hotly point out that the church is a hierarchy, not a democracy, in the same sentence you declare that the bishops and priests have no real power.
@Linda Featheringill: By all means, drag out those accusation in the courts and newspapers. One by one. For years. This will destroy the church faster than the slow swirl they’ve been doing for over a decade.
We need a good Catholic like Kathy Griffin all over this. Kathy’s work-over of the Catholic League and Bill Donahue is both hilarious and enraging. I hear she’s getting a talk show on Bravo – SNAP would be a good source of guests.
The best phrase I’ve seen to describe these bishops (courtesy of the ever-awesome tbogg):
The NAMBLA mafia
I wonder if the bishops are going to regret going drinking with Bill Donohue. He seems to have a small problem ippingzaying the ipslay. Is he one of those overzealous supporters the supported group wishes would just shut up and stop attracting attention?
pseudonymous in nc
The scuttlebutt from the beanies’ recent pow-wows in Rome, based on previous Vatican gossip, is that Papa Ratzi has determined that the US is the place for the pushback to begin against the diminishing influence of the RCC in the developed world — partly because Christian godbothering in general has a stronger presence in American politics.
EJ Dionne’s op-ed in the WaPo on Sunday shows the first signs of him realising that his Holy Mother Church’s hierarchy seems set upon following the teabagvangelical route into electoral politics.
Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods
If they didn’t need altar boys, none of this would have happened in the first place…
You know, if the Church had actually done that, it would be a different landscape altogether. Had they confessed their sins, repented (sackcloth and ashes optional), and ‘cut the check’, I think a lot more people would have respect for the Church.
But it’s always easier to take the CYA approach (and more profitable in America.)
You are Rick Santorum? Good luck in the primaries tonight, and don’t forget to Google yourself.
@Comrade Dread: I think their CYA mania goes well past a) general human nature and b) behavior for which Yanks are particularly noted. It goes to the heart of the rank authoritarianism of the Roman Catholic Church. They truly lose their shit when their power is threatened and their virtue is questioned, and they respond with a viciousness and naked self-interest that ironically further erodes their influence and moral authority.
I don’t think this could have played out any other way for an organization so designed.
I would, but I have to be at work (something Romney is unable to appreciate).
Donohoe is an extremist, but of course our news media would run to him for a statement. Or perhaps Donohoe was screaming at the top of his lungs and the media decided to cover him, but either way the Catholic League does not speak for the Catholic Church or even most American Catholics. Yet the media keep covering him, perhaps because the church hasn’t distanced itself from him vigorously enough.
@pseudonymous in nc: Interesting. Maybe it’s because I’m a godless commie city dweller, but I can’t imagine this strategy not ultimately blowing up in the hierarchy’s collective face. If the USCCB is going to distill the entire RCC in America down to its very own 27%, not only are they going to lose (more) droves of parishioners, but many of the yahoos who remain could very well decide they have more in common with their even-more-wack fundie evangelical brethren and leave the RCC for those churches. And the rest of the wackos who remain will just encourage the bishops to overreach further and further, until someone outside of the church (beginning with an IR and ending with an S) figures they have no choice but to step in.
ETA @ shortstop #57: Yep.
peach flavored shampoo
Ndamukong Suh would stomp on them while they lay prone on the turf.
@pseudonymous in nc: Dionne may have noticed that he got righteously ripped for getting suckered into the dumb side of this whole invented controversy in the first place. But probably not. WAPO pundits are carefully steeped in cluelessness.
@Villago Delenda Est:
Ecrasez l’enfame! and the rest of them too, while you’re at it.
I agree: reading the NYT piece about SNAP made me want to find their site and make a donation ASAP – especially as the Church’s main spokesperson in the article was the execrable Bill Donahue. Seriously: does no one at the Times ever check into the “Catholic League”s actual membership and/or influence? Donahue has been a loudmouthed moral scold and Self-righteous apologist for every single Catholic shortcoming for years, and yet he’s still cited – despite the hugely self-appointed nature of his “authority” – as some sort of infallible Defender Of the Faith pronouncing from on high. Meh.
@shortstop: My thought exactly. Talk about Freudian slips by Mr. Donahue. Apparently one of the civil and religious rights Mr. Donahue imagines his masters in the clergy have is to sodomize and rape the young boys and girls of the parish.
32 @Mnemosyne: & 37 @Tom Levenson: And, go figure, the Church has argued that priests aren’t employees in both the UK and US in order to get out from under having to pay for their abuses. Didn’t fly in the UK, don’t know about here.
Tax all church property (not just talking cat’lic here) Most cities are being killed by tax free school, hospital and church properties, but at least schools and hospitals provide positive goddamned good to the community.
That was an odd turn of phrase. Without altar boys, those bishops probably wouldn’t be getting into trouble.
“We don’t need altar boys.”
No, that’s what got them into trouble in the first place.
Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity
William Donohue is one of the most evil human beings walking the planet today.
@ Nathaniel – Actually, supporting this part of the Church’s mission for repentance, change and reconciliation is quite like donating to the DNC. Not every effort or every dollar is well spent, but they all advance our position more than the other side.
For example, the quoted gas-bag, Mr. Donohue, is a serial culture wars bomb thrower on behalf of partisan Conservatives. For example, Dohohue supported Palin at the expense of 30 years of work by the Church in Africa (by agreeing with Palin’s view that witchcraft is a modern spiritual reality).
To give you some additional perspective, Mr. Donohue is also of the opinion that reports of abuse (like being kissed or fondled) at the hands of Brothers or senior employees at Church run institutions (so not “Priests”) by children who are over 14 is hysterical> and reporting such accusations is “anti-Catholic.” He has many other utterly repellant views.
So, I oppose Dick Cheney and all he stands for – while I love the Constitution and the USA. In the same way, I reject Satan in the form of child abuse and its coverup, but I love the community of the faithful – the Church.
pseudonymous in nc
Yep. And it’s hard to see the emerging Hispanic majority of American Catholicism buying into the sexual revanchism of the white-ethnic hierarchy.
I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one, just because he’s cottoned on fairly quickly — by the standards of liberalish middle-aged Catholic pundits — to how the UCCB has completely overplayed its hand. For someone as meek as him to write this–
That came up before — apparently RICO only applies to crimes where money changes hands, not crimes like rape and molestation. So, running a drug or prostitution ring for profit could subject you to RICO, but not if you’re doing it on a non-profit basis like the church was.
Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor
You can’t carve rotten wood.
Once again, the Catholic Church and everyone associated with it is complicit in every one of these criminal acts. Every single one. No exceptions for being one of the “good” Catholics. There are none, simply because the “good” Catholics are perfectly happy to subsidized this shit, in addition to subsidizing the child raping, forced births and adoptions, and workhouses.
No respect for the church or anyone involved with it ever again. No quarter for any of them.
The Ontario chapter is called SNAP ON. The Catholic Diocese of Ontario is accusing its members of being Snap On Tools.
Threadkiller / Fergus Wooster
There’s a petition on SNAP’s website. You can also flag on Facebook.
A donate button too.
There’s a petition on SNAP’s website, and a Facebook “like” feature.
A donate button too.
Please to be spreading the word.
@22state: How conveinient for you: “I like the warm fuzzies the Church community gives me, so I’ll ignore the continued cover-up and protection of child rapists.”
That’s totally equivalent to donating to the DNC.
This is such a load of bullshit, I hardly know where to start. No one who is still supporting that criminal cabal are victims. They are perfectly happy to overlook the criminality of their “church” and, as such, are not victims of anyone but themselves for being so stupid as to stay in the fold and ponying up the money to keep these diseased and disgusting creatures in their Prada, lace, and vicious lawyers. Fuck them. They are not fucking victims. You demean the experience of every one of their actual, real victims by saying such a load of bullshit.
fuck these pedophile protectors. let’s get rid of the statute of limitations and haul all their asses in front of juries.
Whatever your opinion of Hitchens, this video shows just what a thug Donohue is. Hitchen’s line at 3:21 is one of the greatest burns in history.
@Judas Escargot “….or plaster a wall that’s smeared with shit.” There, I completed the Confucius quotation for you (Analects 5/9).
@pseudonymous in nc:
The fact that Dionne said:
may, as you pseudonymously state, be encouraging. But isn’t it also bullshit? In the Church’s view, isn’t preventing conception (in any case, including with a prostitute) a worse sin than prostitution? It never fails to amaze me when Catholics like Dionne and Sullivan go all astounded to discover that their RCC leaders actually, like, mean what they say. And then jsut ignore it and play Catholic anyway.
Contributions to SNAP are here. If any Catholics were intending to put a little something in the collection plate this Sunday, diverting it to SNAP would be a better use of that money. And when the Peter’s Pence drive comes around in June may I suggest putting a statement of donation to SNAP into the Pence envelope?
We are “oppressing” the Catholic Church by not allowing them to oppress us.
Speaking of values, that guy in the middle here? He’s South Carolina’s brand-new Lt. Governor. Shocking, I know.
On a paralel topic, Virginian women are making the Facebook pages of their Republican legislators werry interesting…and hilarious.
I still somehow suspect that most of the all members are inevitably complicit and enabling and the guilt by mere association arguments are now being made elsewhere against all Americans (for bombings and torture, economic colonialism, etc. . . ) and all staff/alumni/fans of Penn State (for reasons similar to the RC-hierachy). Makes me a little uneasy and some of my best rants have involved the beanies.
@Nutella: That’s a very good idea. And thanks for the link.
Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor
I often wonder what the Master’s position on the use of drywall would have been.
Word. As far as I’m concerned, these types of apologists are just as complicit as anyone in the hierarchy. Just as I have always felt complicit in the torture and abuse committed by the Bushies simply by virtue of being an American, Catholic parishioners who, to this day, have not taken on the hierarchy on this or any other issue are just as guilty as the pope, bishops, and priests. And their whole thing about “my parish gives me comfort” or “I know a priest who is really a great guy” or “Jesuits are really cool and smart!” just goes to show how morally deficient they are. I grew up Catholic and am a victim of these criminals. I know how morally deficient the whole fucking institution is, top to bottom. Parishioners don’t get a pass from me at this late date. They are enablers as much as anyone in the hierarchy.
It drives me nuts that so many people I love continue to enable Catholic Man’s behavior by their membership in the institution.
But I gotta hand it to The Church: They have the indoctrination process down pat.
But William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, a church advocacy group in New York, said targeting the network was justified because
“SNAPanyone who doesn’t kiss my rosy red ass is a menace to the Catholic Church.”
Fixed that for him.
I’m not one for overt silent statements – I have a big mouth, so where I distance myself from the Church, I do so vocally, as my students know by now – but thank you for the link, because I will be donating to SNAP as regularly as I can manage.
@Trabb’s Boy: There are anti-SLAPP laws in Missouri, but none in Ohio.
I think it’s time to start calling the Catholic “church” what it really is: a criminal conspiracy for covering up child rape.
Fuck the bishops; the majority of Catholics will only respect you IF you stand up to their bullshit
There are three types of lay Catholics in the U.S.:
1) Right-wing Catholics
2) Left-wing Catholics
3) Apathetic Catholics
Group (1) isn’t worth worrying about – the Donohueites are barely Catholic and will never side with you; groups (2) and (3) want everyone to tell the bishops to shut the fuck up, and together, (2) and (3) make up the majority
The left has nothing to lose by telling the bishops to shove it
The proper way to frame it, however, is to ask why the bishops are denying the right of American Catholics to practice their faith as they see fit, since American Catholics don’t agree with the bishops
Frame it in terms of First Amendment values and the laity vs. the bishops and most Catholics in this country will choose American values over stupid dull worship of the miter
Certainly I’d fit in there. I don’t understand what the fuck the USCCB thinks it’s getting out of being assholes to their left flank — you might ridicule me for this, but speaking as a man whose Catholic friends, until recently, were to a person hardcore conservative in both faith and politics, I watched them frothing at the mouth about the mere possibility that the USCCB would find it in them to support the ACA.
Well, okay, that’s a lie. I get that the bishops are a reactionary bunch of dickwads — this is not in contention — but I guess I expected them to be politically savvier than this. Guess no one’s ever gone broke underestimating the intelligence of a bunch of men badly in need of a proper sex life.
Uh, geg6, those abused kids weren’t brought in from outside. They and their families were church members. That’s why they were available to be abused. No Baptist is going to be letting a Catholic priest hang around with his kids unsupervised, but a Catholic church member will.
I know this whole thing hits some really sore spots for you, but you need to read more carefully if you missed that I was talking about the abuse victims.
I think the left is missing an opportunity to have some groups (not all, but some of the groups more on the fringe) enter the First Amendment arena and start making vague allusions to the freedom of individual Catholics to practice their faith without a dictatorship by bishops
Trust me, even most white upper-class Catholics will not get snippy about the theology because they want the same sort of salad bar religion available to Protestants, and everyone else distrusts the Church hierarchy anyway
From someone who grew up in a liberal Catholic family, the above sounds stupid as shit and promises suicide for the left in elections
Catholics are actually starving dioceses of donations in this country over this very issue which is how my mom’s position got eliminated, and it’s most likely why the bishops have decided to start coordinated pushback again
This is more or less saying “fuck all Orthodox Jews because of what their rabbis are helping to cause in Palestine” – except that the Catholics you’re talking about agree with you on this issue as well
Pragmatically, you’re taking a blowtorch to your voter base
Presumably to capture a right flank that is going to be fickle as fuck with what they support and is going to ignore anything the Church says about social justice? Yeah, there’s a winning strategy. The bishops have got to be at least as right-wing as the people they’re trying to “convert.”
Honestly, if this is the way His Eminence Cardinal Dolan wants to play this, I hope the stick up his ass leaves splinters.
The proper thing to do is not to make some evenhanded mealy-mouthed academic “distinction” between lay Catholics and the bishops, but instead understand that there is opposition between lay Catholics (the ones who matter) and bishops
Liberals need to stop pussyfooting around and pick a side
The proper thing to do is not to make some evenhanded mealy-mouthed academic “distinction” between lay Catholics and the bishops, but instead understand that there is opposition between lay Catholics (the ones who matter) and bishops
Liberals need to stop screwing around and pick a side
You presume completely incorrectly
Those people will never join you; they’re a lost cause
People have weird ideas about Catholics in this country because of Donohue and company – we are shooting for the majority of Catholics, not the turdchompers you describe above
The issue is whether you want the Catholics who actually come out and vote to look like the ones who did in 2008 or the ones who did in 2010
It’s really up to you
Sorry, I should’ve specified — I mean are these the people the bishops are hoping to draw back into the fold through pushback?
I read carefully. First, you were not clear in what you were saying. You said the laity were the victims, without specifying that you only meant the ones who had been abused. It’s easy to read the way I read it because of that lack of clarity. Further, you may or may not be aware that not everyone who goes to a Catholic school, and thus to a Catholic Church because that goes along with the education, is a Catholic. I was no longer a Catholic (hadn’t attended church in 3 years) when I was victimized.
Well, this may be well intentioned, but it doesn’t make any sense. For starters, I think the liberals have picked a side, and it ain’t secret. And the RCC, as represented by its actual, you know, official representatives, is on the other side. And I don’t hear any body but Wild Bill and a few folks in blog comments claiming to represent “the laity,” far less any voice publicly dissenting from the bishops on behalf of the laity. The RCC has money and power, both stemming from the laity–contributions, and politicians’ knowledge that lots of people vote with the bishops; ’cause who with any authority says otherwise. You’re not influencing the bishops, you’re just another sinner, with nothing to say about the church policy you violate.
I do think that all of the laity was victimized, and many of them seem to think so, too, since they’re leaving in droves and not donating to the Church anymore. I guess where we differ in is thinking that all of the laity was complicit in what the priests were doing — I think that for many decades, most of the laity was ignorant of what was going on, and they were rightfully horrified when the stories started breaking.
I really don’t get what I said wrong here — I said that the laity was victimized by the hierarchy, which concealed information from them and allowed pedophile priests to prey on them. I was pointing out that calling priests “church members” is inaccurate because they are in a position above the actual church members. What is incorrect about that?
Do all those Orthodox Jews put money in the pockets of the rabbis in Israel? Is the hierarchy of Orthodox Jewry set up the same way as that of the Catholic Church, with a centralized head that is financially supported by Orthodox Jews the world over? No? Well, then your comparison is a pretty poor one. All practicing Catholics put money in the collection baskets. Maybe less than they did previously, but they are still putting it in there. I’m 100% sure that every eye in every church watches to make sure people are putting their envelopes in the baskets. They may no longer publish how much each person gave in the church bulletins the way they used to, but they are watching and paying attention to who does not put the envelope in. The church and its congregations haven’t changed that much since I quit attending. Hell, I’ve seen the exact phenomenon when I’ve gone to masses in just the last few years when friends and relatives were participating in vow renewals during mass.
I don’t have a problem with the idea that priests are employees of the church and not church members. What I object to is that somehow the laity are just as much victims of the church as the real, actual victims are and that there are some poor Catholics out there today who are still unaware of what their criminal church is willing to do. I do not believe there are any practicing Catholics, at this point, who are innocent. At this point in time, with all the crimes that have come to light all over the world in the past decade or so, I consider all practicing Catholics to be complicit in the crimes and coverup. I feel this way because none of them, and I mean none of them, have come out publicly to condemn the church or done anything to try to reform the church. They, in their mealy mouthed way, simper about being powerless to do anything. I don’t buy it.
I think people here seriously underestimate the number of Catholics who would be delighted at this point to see a large number of Bishops hauled away in chains for their roles in aiding and abetting such widespread abuse.
Well, then we agree, and have agreed all along. So I really don’t get why you decided to attack me for it.
Too bad I don’t see any. The only way to hurt Church Man is in the wallet and pews. My “liberal” Catholic friends fail on that score.
Then why aren’t they doing it? Isn’t it their responsibility to clean up their own house?
I’ve said this before here, but I would be one. I returned to practice for a number of reasons, but I certainly didn’t come back because I thought I should finance systematic coverups of sexual abuse. Until and unless I hear something out of my bishop to the effect of “fuck those guys,” my donations go to SNAP and to other organizations that I think will do more “Catholic” work than my diocese.
Um, we agreed on that one point. We don’t agree on the idea that the people still populating the pews are any sort of victims. You may see them that way. I see them as accessories to the crimes.
Well, the reason we would underestimate that number is because they aren’t making their position public. And as long as they’re in the pews or on the rolls, and donating a penny, they’re politically and financially supporting the hierarchical structure that is the RCC and the positions it takes.
@MattF: Re: “stupid or evil”: Red pill or blue pill? Why not both?
@geg6: No, geg6. It is not, in fact, the responsibility of the Catholic laity to enforce criminal law. Also, a link disproving your suggestion that not a single practicing Catholic has publicly condemned the Church’s handling of abuse.
There is no shortage of Catholic voices condemning how the Church handles this. But yeah, they are unlikely to pop up in places where they’re going to be called complicit assholes just for sitting in a pew.
Right, and your church hierarchy continues to do everything possible to evade criminal justice. So shut up about how much you really wish, really you do, that someone would arrest these guys.
Keep bravely making your voice “publicly” heard within the church, like at “abuse summits” convened by the Vatican (your link does not give quite the message you seem to think it does), rather than turning your efforts to getting the word out in public arenas that aren’t under church control, where you might actually do some good toward effecting some arrests. History shows that a church hierarchy-led “investigation” is super effective at getting those guys “hauled away in chains,” amirite?
pseudonymous in nc
But that’s in the context of fifty years of mutual la-la-la-I-can’t-hear-you: the laity ignore the clergy on contraception, and the clergy ignore the fact that the laity is using contraception. If the beanies’ aim is now to declare that truce over, then priests will have to get used to the echo of empty/emptier churches very very quickly.
It scares me that they’re having to go to pro bono lawyers.
I think it’s wonderful that lawyers are doing it, but these cases are probably all-consuming and intensly emotional and if lawyers are handing them off, they won’t have the continuity and accumulated understanding that the church lawyers have.
The disadvantage worries me. I’m afraid they’ll wear them down, and then out, and God knows the victims need an advocate who is at least a match for the opposition.
Can they fund raise for lawyers who can really devote themselves to this, dive in, for years?
Because that’s what the church has.
Odie Hugh Manatee
Summary of local Catholic Radio:
Pron addiction help, come back to the church!, pray, pray, pray, talk show with host “holding the Bible in one hand and the NY Times in the other”, pray, pron addiction help, pray, pray, pray, ‘… that marriage was defined over 5,000 years ago’, financial ministries advertising, pray, pray, pray, ‘… and forcing the church to pay for birth control is forcing her to accept and assist in a moral evil’, pray, pray, pray, come back to the church! and blahblahblahblah…
and all the while music suitable for background in The Exorcist is playing…
Sane people need to listen to it. Seriously, all they need to do is listen to it to realize how crazy these fuckers are. This happily lapsed RC finds the whole thing repulsive, more akin to a propaganda mouthpiece for a cult than a news source for a religion that wants to be respected.
JR in WV
@Ben Franklin: Yes, but is raping altar boys one of those RICO-eligible crimes?
I suspect loan-sharking, protection rackets, gambling, tax fraud (moving ciggies from NC to NYC for example) and crimes like that are en-RICOed. Child abuse, not so much.
Maybe sex crimes generally are in there, since gangsters do run girls into prostitution – that would be a good RICO rap against the beanie wearing bishops in their red dresses. The screaming in Rome could be heard in Kansas!
No doubt that the RC church is a conspiracy to protect pederasts, the evidence is so strong to any objective eye. I’ve wondered if maybe too many prosecutors are RC of one type of another?
South Park: Parody, or instructional video?
Seriously. Wtf? Why does it seem like a cop-out to you that I really wish that civilian/secular authorities would step in and stop this rampant lawlessness? And how the fuck do you expect any Catholic to speak up in any forum that matters to you when the only guarantee seems to be being buried under an avalanche of bad faith assumptions? I haven’t give money to the Church in over a decade. I don’t even feel comfortable going to Mass anymore. This is actually a whole new layer of awful on top of the horror of the abuse scandals. I can’t even participate in my community of faith in good conscience, but somehow I’m supposed to be magically capable of putting a stop to this shit? It’s ridiculous and wrong of me to wish that secular authorities would step in and enforce secular wrongs?
The suggestion was that no Catholic anywhere had ever condemned the reaction of the hierarchy. The link disproves that. It wasn’t intended to make some larger proof as you are imagining. I see a lot more assuming of arguments that Catholics are likely to make on this blog than I see Catholics actually making those arguments. To the point that it reminds me of Republicans reciting a litany of “liberals and their PC” arguments that no one has bothered to make. It’s not that those arguments are never made. But you should probably wait for someone to actually make them before assigning them those opinions.
If you’d read the comments at the link, you would have seen some people calling the “abuse summit” out as an exercise in cooption and false appeasement. And if your comments had any internal logic, you’d understand how absurd it is of you to criticize me for wanting secular authorities to step up while you note how completely ineffective the Church’s self-policing is. YES! They suck at self-policing! Please police them externally!
From reading the comments here, I gather that the only respectable course of action for a Catholic such as myself is to renounce my faith in some grand fashion that appeals to the sense of dramatics of those who don’t share it and under the underpants gnome theory of change this will cause the deeply corrupt and compromised hierarchy to alter their behavior despite the fact that none of them want a childless liberal feminist in their Church anyway. OK.
@pseudonymous in nc:
The context is larger than that. The US laity’s consistent long-standing practice of “cafeteria Catholicism” with the Dogma Bar has been “ignored” only because the US branch of the Church has been its ca$h cow since 1945 or so.
I don’t think this is “pushback” so much as a recognition by Pope Ratzo & the COMIS (Creepy Old Men In Skirts) that they can’t woo the disaffected laity back without relinquishing their absolute power over the institution. Which is the one thing they will not allow to happen. So what if they piss them off badly enough to leave? They lose a lot of troublemakers & not very much in the way of ca$h flow (since the disaffected are already withholding donations over the Priest-On-Boy scandals). Since all they really care about is money & power, they’re taking the attitude of Fuck ’em, let ’em walk.
(Rolling eyes) That wasn’t the suggestion. The suggestion was that practicing Catholics aren’t doing enough of it to be widely heard. You’re the only one who read that as “no Catholic has ever spoken for the criminal arrest of the guilty,” and you willfully misread it that way so you could produce some pitiful evidence against an argument no one had made. You have no compelling evidence against what people were really saying, which is that if there are so many of you, you’re speaking in mighty tiny voices or in the wrong places. You’d best step it up if you want people to notice you.
Remember that this is in response to your assertion that the practicing Catholic laity is all over this. It’s up to you to back that statement up; cut out the goalpost moving with the hand-wringing “But what can we do? It’s not our responsibility to enforce the law!”
I’m not criticizing you for wanting secular authorities to step in, Einstein. I’m criticizing you for claiming, without much to back you up, that there are tons of Catholics who would love nothing better than to see bishops hauled off in chains by secular authorities. If that’s the case, you can surely come up with better examples of Catholics “speaking out publicly” — to secular authorities — than one Catholic-reported story about Catholics attending a Vatican-sponsored and Vatican-controlled “abuse summit.”
Do you get it now?
I couldn’t care less whether you renounce your faith or change it in any way. But if you want credibility for your claim that there are plenty of Catholics who want civil and criminal justice done here, you might start by producing some evidence of these alleged hordes demanding in non-Catholic, truly public venues that criminal charges be pursued.
@shortstop: I responded to geg6, who has repeatedly stated that no Catholic anywhere has done anything to condemn this behavior. Specifically, this comment:
I obviously should have quoted the specific words I was responding to in order to make that clear.
I’m sorry, but a bunch of people who are eager and ready to shit all over the first Catholic who dares raise his hand in this public conversation demanding that more Catholics try to engage in this public conversation is absurd. You are creating the most hostile climate possible for actions you presumably think are desirable. As in, if more Catholics were yelling in non-Catholic, truly public venues it would be more likely that the Bishops would be prosecuted.
I’m not sure I believe that is true. I do know that my county has a very (urban/liberal) Catholic Bar and political structure and my Bishop is currently under indictment. I don’t think that happens without certain powers that be going along with it. Don’t underestimate the power of quiet disgust. As it is, you expect people to make a public scene so that they can be rewarded with… what? Billy Donohue on the one side and geg6 on the other?
A fair amount of disgust aimed at Catholic laity is pure victim blaming.
@Ben Franklin: The problem is that RICO charges can only be filed by the Department of Justice or a federal grand jury.
The Department of Justice is politicized and generally refuses to prosecute all manner of proven crimes, from the frauds committed by bankers to the torture and kidnappings committed by Bushco — of course they won’t prosecute the powerful Catholic church hierarchy.
This leaves those of you on federal grand juries, if you can convince your fellows to become a ‘runaway grand jury’ and indict people other than those the prosecutors want you do, for crimes other than those the prosecutors want you to indict for. You generally have the right to do so.
OtherWa- Being Jesuit trained one can plainly see the ad hominem logic of their attack: SNAP is the bad ppl encouraging threats to the Catholic Church. Hmm, why is it not the offending priest who’s actions have brought about the suffering of both the touched (or raped) and the tapped (as in the till). Responsibility, Accountability, where art thee? Doesn’t the world wish that all Catholics (heirarchy as well as laity) were represented by the statements of the Catholic Priest whose witness was portrayed in “The Laramie Project.” Bottom line, Jesus said “Shut up, and just love one another, would ya?” (paraphrase added)