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Mar. 31 2010 - 8:48 am | 3,035 views | 4 recommendations | 25 comments

Dear Catholic Church: I’m Not Coming Over For Easter Dinner

Pope Benedict XVI        DSC00023-1

Image by Beyond Forgetting via Flickr

I suppose there comes a time in every man’s life when his faith is tested. As a secular individual, that time came for me when I was about seven years old. That’s when I learned that Jesus could not have possibly hopped on a freaking dinosaur.

Obviously, the more I learned about physics and chemistry, the more I viewed the Bible as nothing more than a guidebook for living as a decent person. But I used to really love the Church. Not the “going to Church” part (c’mon) but I enjoyed being a part of the community of Catholics. I enjoyed the tradition. And until I made the mistake of leaving the New York tri-state area, I enjoyed the kind of theological conversations I’d have with other big city Catholics. I even got married in the Church (which is pretty damn expensive), I went through pre-Cana and everything.

Like so many “lapsed Catholics” before me, as I became an adult I began to pick and choose which church teachings I paid any attention to. No sex before marriage? Whatever, just because you can’t get any doesn’t mean you have to cock-block me, Padre. But there was that one time my girlfriend and I had sex on Good Friday (the most awful day on the Christian calendar). Not good times. It’s all fun and games until you and your lady friend spend Easter weekend doubled over a toilet puking your guts out thanks to some mysterious “stomach flu” that afflicted you only after you climaxed while Jesus was dying. I’m not sure if God exists, but he scares the f*** out of me.

But you know who I’m not afraid of? The Catholic Church. Not anymore. They’ve lost their moral authority.

In fairness, the Church probably lost the right to tell me how to live my life a long time ago: you know sometime between the Crusades and its tacit consent to slavery and the Holocaust. But I wasn’t alive for those atrocities. Instead I have had the misfortune of being a Catholic during this period of global boy raping. And it is simply too disgusting, too sad, and too evil to tolerate. You hear that, Pope Cover-Up? You’ve just lost another Christmas and Easter Catholic! St. Peter, please debit my lost soul against the Pope’s account.

And I don’t think I’m alone.

But the real sad thing is that the Church doesn’t even want me, or people like me. Intelligent people who have an education and would like to believe in something are turning away from the Catholic Church, and Church leaders don’t even care. I mean, did you see Archbishop Timothy Dolan’s Psalm Sunday homily? He compared the criticism being leveled at Pope Benedict XVI to the torment suffered by Jesus. Having your hands and feet nailed to piece of wood until you bleed out and die v. being castigated in the media: boy I can barely tell those two things apart! When the Church starts speaking to educated adults like they are five years old  — intelligent people tune out and turn to Star Wars movies for spiritual guidance.

Granted, I’ve got issues with Archbishop Dolan that don’t even involve his defense of a man who couldn’t bring himself to punish child rapists. Dolan is the Shepard of the New York City flock of Catholics, yet all he’s done is spew Vatican hardline dogma since they pulled him out of Wisconsin to teach us city boys just how 5th Century God can be. Somebody needs to take that dude to Chelsea and make him chug whiskey sours until he chills the hell out.

But he and Pope Rottweiler himself are just the latest manifestation of Catholicism’s ancient problems. The larger issue is that the Church has systematically refused to make any sort of peace with the modern world. This isn’t at all new: if Galileo had a blog (and the protection of the First Amendment) he’d have told Pope Urban VIII to come over to his lab and suck on his telescope.

Why would you consistently alienate the smartest members of your faith? ‘Cause let me tell you it, it’s not what the Jews do. No, in reformist fits and spurts, Judaism generally finds a balance between the traditions of the faith and the desire of humans to learn things and progress. You can’t do X or Y after sundown on days A and B. The rest of the time, you’re free to fly your rocket car around the freaking moon and get some spacebabe action if it suits you. And you’ll note, Jews have been able to keep the faithful away from delicious combinations of meats and cheeses for centuries without any kind of outsized concept of eternal suffering in a hellish afterlife.

Meanwhile,  Catholic leaders are perfectly happy to let women and men die from sexually transmitted diseases because apparently our God can have his omniscient plan easily flummoxed by a film of latex.

As a Catholic, I was willing to put up with it. I was willing to feel guilty about using marital “crazypills” (my Priest’s word for birth control) and at least tried to be as faithful as I could without giving up my subscription to National Geographic.

But I can’t get over the kiddie rape. I just can’t. If Jesus walked for 40 days in the desert and saw priests raping children in his house and yet still had faith in his path — well, that must be what makes him Jesus and me just a guy destined to live in Hell with all my secular friends. Because I cannot defend this clergy.

I can’t even conceive of how I could respect — let alone worship — a Pope that did nothing to expose and defrock these pedophile priests when he saw them for who they were. And this recent scandal isn’t even the first time we’ve caught this Pope walking down moral easy street. When we found out that, as a boy, then-Joseph Ratzinger was conscripted into the Hitler Youth, a lot of people defended him. Not me. I thought that if you are going to have the moral authority to lead all of the world’s Catholics as a man, you should’ve had the moral backbone to stand up to the Nazis when you were a boy. There is a long line of Catholics who would sooner die than befoul their spirit. Ratzinger does not belong to that lineage.

You want to call the Nazi thing a youthful indiscretion of epic sin? Fine. But what did he do when he found out (after the fact) that this monster in Wisconsin diddled 200 deaf children? It appears all he did was try to shield the Vatican from further embarrassment. He thought it better to let the man die as a part of the Church instead making a statement that child rapists would not be tolerated? Jesus went apesh** on a temple because people were gambling there; Ratzinger went deaf-mute when he learned priests were molesting children. There isn’t enough Kool-Aid in all of Christendom to wash that taste out of my mouth.

This Pope has a pattern of not standing up to moral leadership when moral leadership is his only job requirement.

I think Kevin Spacey said it best in American Beauty: “No, no, no. You don’t get to tell me what to do … ever again.”


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  1. collapse expand

    Dare I suggest trying the Episcopal church — sometimes known as Catholic Lite? Many Catholics choose it — smells and bells, a familiar (enough) liturgy — but women priests, gay priests and none of this ugliness. There have been terrible abuses of Episcopal/Anglican church power, but (nice excuse, right?) not recently.

    The Episcopal church offers the 3-legged stool: faith, tradition — and reason. If it were not for number three, plenty of argument and questioning welcomed and encouraged, I wouldn’t find it attractive.

  2. collapse expand

    Mr. Mystal,

    Me thinks your problem is two-fold:

    1) Join a Baptist church. Baptists aren’t burdened by this seemingly required, ritualistic Catholic guilt (lapsed or otherwise). Besides that, it’s the right thing to do ;-)

    B) You seem to place more importance on Man’s knowledge and your own desires than the True Ideal. The True Ideal is not the Pope, or a church, or rituals, or a rule book, but Jesus Christ Himself.

    FYI Myopia is treatable. So are errors in your facts.

    I’ll say a little prayer for you.

    • collapse expand

      Aren’t Baptists the ones who publicly decry drinking but secretly do it on the side? Or perhaps you mean to suggest Elie would feel right at home in the Baptists, guiltily partaking of pleasures his religion tells him he’s supposed to deny himself?

      And I think his point wasn’t so much that facts are “more important” than Jesus, but rather that Jesus — at least if he’s a god worth following — was surely a reasonable and facts-respecting kinda guy.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        Uh, OK.

        Your logic flaw is similar to Mr. Mystal’s crestfallen Pope assessment; ie: “Baptists are secret drinkers…, so let’s not focus on Faith in Christ, and call the whole into question.”

        Fair enough. Life’s a journey.

        As for reason & facts, Pilot snidely asked Jesus at his trial “What is TRUTH?” Little did Pilot realize he was staring TRUTH in the face.

        So goes the World.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
        • collapse expand

          There’s a name for the fallacy of literally questioning everything, a practice which many “free thinkers” substitute for actual critical thinking. I wish I could remember what that name is. Anyway, individuals guilty of this fallacy believe that, by relentlessly and cynically doubting the validity of something, they’re fulfilling the duties of a skeptic. In fact, they’re leading with a presumption (e.g., religion has no use in “modern” society) and refusing to stray from it. That’s the opposite of logical.

          Skepticism amounts to “Show me.” False skeptics do precisely what lawfairy did–they lead with across the board accusations, believing it’s your job to disprove them. Again, the critical method, reversed.

          In response to another comment. See in context »
          • collapse expand

            Wait… what? How did you get anything about skepticism from my post?? You clearly have a bone to pick, and I think it isn’t with me.

            I was directly responding to loco’s two points, which were kind of bizarre to begin with since they were only kind of tangentially related to the post. I was simply pointing out that Baptists have plenty of their own hypocrisy issues so that’s not exactly a tantalizing alternative for a disillusioned Catholic. I guess if you’re hyper-sensitive you could see that as “lead[ing] with … accusations,” though I don’t see how they were “across the board” since I see exactly one comment that a thin-skinned type could construe as an attack. So… take your fight somewhere where it makes any sense.

            In response to another comment. See in context »
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            Lawfairy,

            “Aren’t Baptists the ones who….” is across the board. It’s unqualified, in other words. Nothing is true of all Baptists–except, I suppose, that they are, as a rule, Baptists. And there are American and Southern Baptists, for starters.

            (I’m Presbyterian.)

            The previous poster recommends the blogger switch to a Baptist church, whereupon you attack the idea by attacking religion. Oddly enough, I construe an attack on something as an attack.

            If one of that makes sense to you, then I wonder what does? Frankly.

            In response to another comment. See in context »
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            I’m sorry–”if none of that made sense,” I meant to type.

            In response to another comment. See in context »
    • collapse expand

      Joining the Baptist church would not be the best option. Simply visit “Stop Baptist Predators” or Google ‘pastor rape’ ‘pastor abuse’ or ‘pastor arrest’ and it becomes clear that child rape is a big problem in the Baptist Church (although they often prefer little girls)

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  3. collapse expand

    Elie, point taken. For me, it’s as much the pastor, not just the church. Big difference.

  4. collapse expand

    Some quick points that maybe you haven’t considered. . . .

    1. You’ve been brainwashed. That’s not an insult, and I do apologize for the directness of that statement, but it’s true. Over 97%+++ of Roman Catholic priests aren’t guilty of anything. Even the *victims* of pedophile priests don’t argue with that statistic.

    2. Pedophilia, and sexual abuse of all kinds, is a societal problem. The media would like you to believe that these things are strictly Catholic problems. But it’s not true. Over 99% of all sexual abuse, including pedophilia, happens in the home, in public schools, and in places like day-care centers and hospitals — anywhere that children and underage teenagers may be found.

    3. Only hypocrites use the word ‘hypocrite’. Everyone is guilty of extremely serious sin, and usually of mortal sin, too. If you haven’t attended Mass every Sunday, then guess what: You are guilty of mortal sin. The same goes for anyone who has had sex outside of marriage, who has looked at pornography, or even gone to see almost any Hollywood movie produced in the last 15 years or so.

    4. Point #3 above should lead you very quickly to the following conclusion: You can’t base your decision on which religion to belong to, based on the sins of other people. If you do, then you are a. . . .

    Maturity, to a large extent, comes from the quiet realization that one is a grievous sinner.

    5. The most important point: Only the Roman Catholic Church can claim to be the Church created by Jesus Christ in Matthew 16. Only Roman Catholic priests have Apostolic Succession, directly from Saint Peter himself; and therefore, only Roman Catholic priests have God’s Authority to forgive sin. Jesus Christ gave the Keys to Heaven to Saint Peter; and Jesus Christ — Himself — promised that the gates of hell would never prevail against His Church. You can’t be a Christian if you doubt the Words of Jesus Christ. A good child of God believes and trusts his or her God.

    6. Most people aren’t educated about religion. If you want to learn about the Catholic Church, then talk to a Roman Catholic priest, or visit this website: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/j.htm

    7. Following on point #6: Yes, God created a Church and a Religion. The Holy Bible records Salvation History, and yes, that includes ‘organized religion’. If you disagree, then you are enormously ignorant of the Holy Bible. From the very first chapters of the Book of Genesis, the faithful offered sacrifices to God — in other words, they ‘practiced organized religion’. Only the Catholic Church offers an Acceptable Sacrifice to God — the only Perfect Sacrifice that has ever existed — the Eternal Sacrifice that Jesus Christ offerred to God of His own Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity on Calvary. And if the idea of Christians offering Sacrifice to God doesn’t sound at all like what happens in your faith community, or even of anything that you ever heard about the Christian religion, then ask yourself why that may be. And start Googling it.

    7. Study the Holy Bible. Life is short, and none of us knows the day or hour of his death. Yes, Jesus Christ loves everyone. But: “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15). “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them; he it is that loveth me. And he that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father: and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21)

    8. You cannot keep Jesus Christ’s Commandments and remain outside of His Holy Roman Catholic Church.

    • collapse expand

      “Over 97%+++ of Roman Catholic priests aren’t guilty of anything.” This is incorrect.

      As more and more evidence comes out the more accurate percentages of clergy abusing minors appear to be between and 9% and 11%.
      The John Jay Survey 4.3% (this is the figure that the Catholic Church officially acknowledges).

      On July 20, 2007 the LA Times reported that 30% of the Camarillo Seminary graduating classes of 1966 and 1972 have been accused of molesting minors. 11.5 percent of the LA priests active in 1983 were subsequently reported for abuse. 75% of all the LA parishes have had at least one priest-abuser on its staff and some parishes had 5 to 8 on their staff.

      If we accept the Church’s 4%, then if you have met 25 priests, chances are that at least one of them has raped at least one child.

      If we assume 20% that makes 1 in 5 priests child rapists. No other group of men on the planet is this dangerous.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
    • collapse expand

      Wow Robert! That was a huge post. I have some points to ponder on your own points:
      1 and 2- I couldn’t agree with you more on the child molestation percentages. They speak for themselves but when taken as a whole, the incidence of child molestation globally is not as high as it is within the corps of priests within the Roman Catholic church.

      3- This is an attempt to shut down debate on a serious problem within the church. Hypocrite is a person that says one thing and does another among many other definitions. By that definition, the church has a whole load of hypocrisy. Let us not forget that Christ himself called the sages and Pharisees hypocrites so unless you are intending to call Christ himself a hypocrite, then you need to retract/modify this statement.

      4- I could not agree more about allowing others to fully form your choice of church but I must disagree in a small way: Other people are how we usually collect data that we use to make our decisions. There is nothing wrong with talking to other people to discern which church is best for you.

      5- Apostolic succession: Here you are flat out wrong. Sorry, but lots of other denominations have valid apostolic succession recognized even by the Pope in Rome. I am such a priest. I have valid appostolic succession that I can trace through Scipione Cardinal Rebiba in 1555. This means that I am, according to Roman Canon law “valid but illicit” in my priesthood. I can be legally made a Roman Catholic priest without a sub-conditione ordination if I recant my current affiliation, and I receive absolution from the Pope for my schismatic actions. This will never happen because I will not seek that incardination. So I have provided a counter example to your claim.

      6, 7- The origins of organized religion are not seen in the creation stories of the bible nor until the establishment of the Aronic priesthood since the religion practiced prior to Aaron’s calling was nascent Judaism. That nascent religion was not a corporate worship type of religion since the sacrifices were personal or at most performed by extended family units.

      Calling people that disagree with you “enormously ignorant” is not a polite nor is it often a true claim. I would say ‘ad hominem’ would be the best way to describe that statement and it has no place in civil discourse.

      7,8 – This is an argument that might have been proper from the perspective of the Roman Church prior to Vatican II but it flies in the face of the conciliar documents. The argument that there is no salvation outside of the Roman Catholic church is explicitly refuted in those documents.

      In general, you have stated the party line of Roman Catholics in every point here. You are, I am sure, a devout catholic. I applaud your ability to conform to a church. Not everyone has that ability nor is it required of everyone by your church.

      Fr. Tom Ruppel
      CACINA, O.S.B.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        @Tom Ruppel

        >> Wow Robert! That was a huge post.

        I tend to write too much. Keeping myself to those ten points was enormously difficult.

        >> I have some points to ponder on your own points:

        O.K., shoot.

        >> 1 and 2- I couldn’t agree with you more on the child molestation percentages. They speak for
        >> themselves but when taken as a whole, the incidence of child molestation globally is not as
        >> high as it is within the corps of priests within the Roman Catholic church.

        That simply isn’t true. The percentage of Roman Catholic priests who are pedophiles or who have been accused of pedophilia are almost exactly the same as the percentage of pedophiles in most of society, or in almost any other organization that you’d care to name. There are some organizations, however, that have far worse percentages of pedophiles amongst them — like the public-school system. Even the *enemies* of the Catholic Church can’t argue with those statistics.

        People tend to think: ‘Well, hundreds of pedophiles is certainly a scary thing!’ And they are correct in thinking so. What some Roman Catholic priests have done to children is enormously horrific, criminal, and sinful.

        But when those ‘hundreds of pedophiles’ are compared to the approximately 44,000 Roman Catholic priests in the United States who aren’t guilty of *anything* and have *never* even been *accused* of anything, then we’re talking about a different kettle of fish here. Worldwide — “globally” — the percentages of pedophiles in the Roman Catholic Church are the same as in society at large. The Holy Roman Catholic Church is no different than the rest of society. Pedophilia can never be condoned, but it *can* be expected to happen in America when the United States government, along with most other Western societies — and along with most non-religious people in Western societies — protect access to pornography with free-speech laws.

        I’m not against holding those Roman Catholic priests who have committed such crimes to account; but I *am* against singling-out the Roman Catholic Church as being uniquely at fault in this area. If you want to have some credibility, then show how angry you are about all the pedophile-attacks against children in our public-school systems in America, or show us how angry you are about all the pedophile-attacks against children in homes, and in hospitals and day-care centers. Because otherwise, if you just shriek and wail about those pedophiles who happen to be Roman Catholic priests, than that just makes you look like an infantile bigot, and as someone who has absolutely zero-credibility on the matter.

        >> 3- This is an attempt to shut down debate on a serious problem within the church.

        I’m sure you think it is, but I’m the one who wrote point #3, and I never intended it as an attempt to “shut down debate on a serious problem within the Church.” And that’s a highly uncharitable statement for you to make, chief. Why don’t you try again.

        >> Hypocrite is a person that says one thing and does another among many other definitions.
        >> By that definition, the church has a whole load of hypocrisy.

        We agree — especially on the “among many other definitions” part at the end. My intention in writing the statement “Only hypocrites use the word ‘hypocrite’” is to address those people who think sinners cannot possibly have any credibility, or who think that sinners are beyond redemption, or who think that sinners are hypocrites for simply attending Church in the first place. As a religious person, you should certainly be able to understand what I’m trying to address here — the common misconceptions that many irreligious people tend to have these days, and which they often give voice to in public.

        >> Let us not forget that Christ himself called the sages and Pharisees hypocrites so unless you are intending
        >> to call Christ himself a hypocrite, then you need to retract/modify this statement.

        Good point. Allow me to modify it thusly, then: ‘These days, it is mostly deliberate sinners who refuse to acknowledge their own sinfulness before the Eyes of God, and who therefore tend to mis-apply the word ‘hypocrite’ to those who believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah’.

        >> 4- I could not agree more about allowing others to fully form your choice of church

        I *think* we agree . . . but I think you meant to write something along the lines of: ‘I strongly agree about NOT allowing others to fully form one’s choice of Church’.

        >> but I must disagree in a small way: Other people are how we usually collect data that we
        >> use to make our decisions. There is nothing wrong with talking to other people to discern
        >> which church is best for you.

        I agree. But points #3 and #4 of my original post addressed the fallacy of allowing other’s *SINS* to guide one in their choice of Church or faith community.

        Small word. Big difference.

        >> 5- Apostolic succession: Here you are flat out wrong.

        Hardly.

        >> Sorry, but lots of other denominations have valid apostolic succession recognized
        >> even by the Pope in Rome. I am such a priest. I have valid appostolic succession
        >> that I can trace through Scipione Cardinal Rebiba in 1555. This means that I am,
        >> according to Roman Canon law “valid but illicit” in my priesthood.

        Being “illicit” is not a badge of honor. It is meant to be a temporary condition wherein the sinner discovers the error of his ways, and seeks to become ‘licit’. But on the specific point of Apostolic Succession, I have yet to meet a schismatic who believes all of the de Fide dogmas of the Roman Catholic faith. The very word ’schismatic’ itself means that a disunity of belief exists between the schismatic party and another person or group. How can one be in a state of grace, belong to the same Church, and therefore be a member of the Mystical Body of Christ if one obstinately, pertinaciously, and publically rejects the de Fide dogmas of the Holy Roman Catholic Church?

        ‘Apostolic Succession’ doesn’t merely convey distinction in lineage or genealogy of Holy Orders, it also conveys authority in faith and morals — a oneness of belief — that you believe what the Apostles believed. Jesus Christ Himself, in His Discourse To His Disciples, called the Apostles “mine” (John 16:14). To think that some Apostles believed differently than the others about matters of faith and morals — the Religion of Jesus Christ — is preposterous.

        How can one claim to belong to the same Church and yet believe different things? Is Christ’s Mystical Body ‘many’, or is it One? What do you think is meant by the phrase: One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church? To reject that phrase as a definition of Christ’s Church is to reject the writings of Saint Ignatius of Antioch in the 2nd-Century, and the Nicene Creed of 381. If you have no problem rejecting the Holy Roman Catholic Church because you believe that YOUR faith community is the ‘One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic’ Church of Jesus Christ, then you also have to reject all other Orthodox faith communities as being false churches, because they also make the same claim.

        Isn’t it simply best to trust Jesus Christ in the Gospel of Matthew 16:18 when He says: “And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” ? To oppose Jesus Christ’s Church is to oppose Christ Himself.

        To all that are at Rome, the beloved of God, called to be saints.
        Grace to you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord
        Jesus Christ. First I give thanks to my God, through Jesus Christ,
        for you all, because your faith is spoken of in the whole world.

        – The Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Romans 1:7-8

        It is a de Fide dogma of the Holy Roman Catholic Church that Jesus Christ appointed the Apostle Peter to be the first of all the Apostles and to be the visible head of the whole Church, by appointing him immediately and personally to the primacy of jurisdiction.

        It is also a de Fide dogma that “The Church founded by Christ is unique and one.”

        It is also a de Fide dogma that all who wish to be saved must be subject to the authority of the Roman Pontiff: “Now, therefore, we declare, say, determine and pronounce that for every human creature it is necessary for salvation to be subject to the authority of the Roman pontiff” (Porro subesse Romano Pontifici omni humanae creaturae declaramus, dicimus, definimus, et pronuntiamus omnino esse de necessitate salutis) — Pope Boniface VIII, Papal Bull ‘Unam Sanctam’, November 18, 1302

        It is also a dogma of the faith (Sent. certa.) that “The members of the Church are those who have validly received the Sacrament of Baptism and who are not separated from the unity of the confession of the Faith, and from the unity of the lawful communion of the Church.”

        In all charity — I think you should quietly spend some time discerning exactly *why* you disagree with the Holy Roman Catholic Church, and see if the reason is not, in actuality, merely misplaced anger at the sins of others — and if it is not, therefore, *rooted in pride*. And I say that with all charity.

        For we have not by following artificial fables, made known to you
        the power, and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ; but we were
        eyewitnesses of his greatness. For he received from God the Father,
        honour and glory: this voice coming down to him from the excellent
        glory: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye
        him. And this voice we heard brought from heaven, when we were with
        him in the holy mount. And we have the more firm prophetical word:
        whereunto you do well to attend, as to a light that shineth in a
        dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your
        hearts: Understanding this first, that no prophecy of scripture
        is made by private interpretation. For prophecy came not by the
        will of man at any time: but the holy men of God spoke, inspired
        by the Holy Ghost.

        – The Second Epistle Of Saint Peter 1:16-21

        >> I can be legally made a Roman Catholic priest without a sub-conditione ordination
        >> if I recant my current affiliation, and I receive absolution from the Pope for my
        >> schismatic actions.

        You yourself just identified your actions as “schismatic.” On whose authority do you oppose God? Why would anyone wish to be in a schismatic faith community? Are souls to be attracted to positions of protest, or to the True Church — to the Infinite Love of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist?

        >> This will never happen because I will not seek that incardination.

        Give it some more thought. And contact me at robertusa19@gmail.com if you want to discuss this further.

        >> So I have provided a counter example to your claim.

        An example that freely admits of baseless schism. That’s a rather troublesome counter example, friend.

        >> 6, 7- The origins of organized religion are not seen in the creation stories of the
        >> bible nor until the establishment of the Aronic priesthood since the religion
        >> practiced prior to Aaron’s calling was nascent Judaism. That nascent religion was
        >> not a corporate worship type of religion since the sacrifices were personal or at
        >> most performed by extended family units.

        The Book of Genesis is a canonical book of the Holy Bible. The Sacrifice offered to God by Abel is remembered in the Canon of the Mass of the Holy Roman Catholic Church in the ‘Supra quae propitio’: ‘Deign to look upon them with a favorable and gracious countenance, and to accept them as Thou didst accept the offerings of Thy just servant Abel, and the sacrifice of our Patriarch Abraham, and that which Thy high priest Melchisedech offered up to Thee, a holy Sacrifice, an immaculate Victim.’

        These holy sacrifices in the Book of Genesis are a type and a foreshadowing of the Perfect Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary, and therefore do not merely belong to “nascent Judaism.” Nascent Judaism ITSELF is a foreshadowing of the Holy Roman Catholic Church — the Bride of Christ. The idea of ’sacrifice’ belongs to the earliest pages of the Holy Bible; and therefore speaks against the position of those who, in so many ways, prefer (or just claim) to do nothing more than independently worship at home as the summit of their position on what ‘religion’ should entail, and ridicule Roman Catholics and those of other faith communities as partaking in some sort of weird ‘organized religion’ — as many folks do today.

        >> Calling people that disagree with you “enormously ignorant” is not a polite nor is it often a true claim.

        Yes, I agree — I should have used more polite terms.

        But I disagree that such a statement is not often a true claim. You are forgetting the day and age in which we live.

        >> 7,8 – This is an argument that might have been proper from the perspective
        >> of the Roman Church prior to Vatican II but it flies in the face of the
        >> conciliar documents. The argument that there is no salvation outside of
        >> the Roman Catholic church is explicitly refuted in those documents.

        You couldn’t be more wrong. And you couldn’t be more wrong about a more important issue.

        So, since you think the documents of Vatican II agree with your position as stated here, go and produce the documents and statements that you think agree with your statements. However, let me first remind you about something: This discussion is in the public domain. If you think it wise and proper to lead souls in the direction you are about to lead them, you might want to have a second thought.

        De Fide dogmas do not blow with the wind. They do not change with the times. Ex Cathedra statements are for all people, for all times, and for all eternity. The Holy Trinity created the Holy Roman Catholic Church, and He created the Holy Roman Catholic Religion. Noah’s Ark is a type of the Church, outside of which none at all were saved. Noah is himself a symbol of the head of the Roman Catholic Church, who is the Pope. Saint Peter, whom Noah prefigured, is the Rock on which Christ built His Church, which Church continues to exist to this very day.

        And it came to pass on the morrow, that their princes, and ancients, and scribes, were gathered together in Jerusalem;

        And Annas the high priest, and Caiphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest. And setting them in the midst, they asked: By what power, or by what name, have you done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said to them: Ye princes of the people, and ancients, hear: If we this day are examined concerning the good deed done to the infirm man, by what means he hath been made whole: Be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God hath raised from the dead, even by him this man standeth here before you whole.

        This is the stone which was rejected by you the builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved.

        – The Acts of the Apostles 4:5-12

        The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the “eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41), unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.

        – Pope Eugene IV, ‘Cantate Domino’, 1441

        >> In general, you have stated the party line of Roman Catholics in every point here.

        I have presented the Holy Faith to my readers — the Holy Faith of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, outside of which none at all are saved. This is no ‘party line’ of some politician, or some political party.

        >> You are, I am sure, a devout catholic. I applaud your ability to conform to a church.
        >> Not everyone has that ability nor is it required of everyone by your church.

        *Every* Roman Catholic is *absolutely* *required* to give the Full Assent of Faith to the Pope’s ex cathedra statements, to the Roman Catholic Church’s Extraordinary and Ordinary Magisterium, and to all de Fide, dogmatic statements of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. The Holy Roman Catholic Church is not some sort of ‘faith-cafeteria’, where one may pick and choose what one wishes to believe.

        And ‘being dogmatic’ is not ‘being uncharitable’. One argues with professors. One doesn’t argue with God.

        A faithful Catholic professes simple love and trust for God when he or she believes that Jesus Christ will always tell us the Truth; and that the Holy Ghost will protect the Holy Roman Catholic Church’s dogma from error forever.

        But I tell you the truth: it is expedient to you that I go: for if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he is come, he will convince the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment. Of sin: because they believed not in me. And of justice: because I go to the Father; and you shall see me no longer.

        And of judgment: because the prince of this world is already judged. I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now. But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth. For he shall not speak of himself; but what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak; and the things that are to come, he shall shew you. He shall glorify me; because he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it to you. All things whatsoever the Father hath, are mine. Therefore I said, that he shall receive of mine, and shew it to you.

        – The Gospel Of Jesus Christ According To Saint John 16:7-15

        And when the days of the Pentecost were accomplished, they were all together in one place: And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak.

        – The Acts of the Apostles 2:1-4

        Yours in Christ,

        Robert

        In response to another comment. See in context »
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    robert, I think you’re missing the point.

    The point is not that some priests did these things; it’s the Church’s reaction to those acts. You don’t address that at all.

    You’re right, people in all walks of life commit these types of acts. but when a teacher does it and the school finds out, that teacher is fired. The school doesn’t simply ship the teacher to another classroom, or send him across the state to a different school. The Church basically did that; rather than casting out those priests, they protected them, while allowing those victims to suffer. That is evil, pure and simple.

    As far as hypocrisy…perhaps you don’t understand the meaning of the word. I am not a hypocrite if I commit a sin. I am a hypocrite if I commit a sin and then stand in judgment of others for doing that same thing. Hypocrisy is not the pornographer; hypocrisy is the person who speaks out against pornography in public but enjoys it at home. Hypocrisy is not the greedy man; hypocrisy is the man who demands that others give but gives nothing himself. That is what the Church has done, on many levels.

    Like Elie, I grew up Catholic and proud of it. Like Elie, I have since decided that I cannot remain a member of a church that shelters pedophiles rather than their victims; a church more concerned with negative press than those children. What is truly saddening is the lack of outrage from most Catholics; rather than holding their Church morally accountable, they toe the party line and make the excuses you made above. I simply cannot believe that such actions find favor with God, and I want no association with them.

    • collapse expand

      And for what it’s worth, I do not believe the Church needs to become “modern,” or change to account for “modern life.” But it certainly needs to be not evil.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
    • collapse expand

      Correct. It is a horrendous crime no matter who commits it. Prosecution is demanded.

      “…when a teacher does it and the school finds out, that teacher is fired….”

      In this you err. The newspapers are full of tenacious tenured teachers that cannot be disposed of due to union lawyers and legal artifice. These preying parasites are simply re-assigned to other districts – known as “pass the trash” – and while away hours in “rubber rooms” consuming coffee, magazines and the taxpayer’s dollars.

      As a matter of fact, if you cull the rap sheets for ’sex offenders’, far more are employed at public schools than the Catholic church, but one doesn’t hear much outcry.

      I call that “hypocrisy.”

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        i’d like to see some of these newspaper articles supposedly detailing the continued employment at schools of convicted child molesters.

        and there is a difference between “employed” and “formerly employed.” if you are saying that a higher percentage of teachers than priests are convicted of molestation, OK, although that’s not the point (and i’d note that the Church’s protectionism surely skews the priest numbers downward, which is the whole point of this). Again, it is the organization’s response to the event, not the event itself, that is in play here. And i’d argue that as a “moral authority,” the Church should be held to a higher standard of morality than a secular educational institution.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
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    Elie, I had the same experience of the Roman Catholic church and I came to the same resolution. Fortunately, about 3 years after I gave up on the church, I found another that was just as catholic and not so hung up about all of the wrong issues.

    If you wish to find out more about this Catholic church which has the same traditions and rituals as the Roman church but none of the same hangups, find out more at http://www.cacina.org.

    I know that you have said that you do not wish to look for a church just now – so I only suggest reading about the various options that are open to you. You will find a very wide array of “independent Catholic” jurisdictions that come from the Roman mold but are variously different in things like the role of women in the church (we have ordained women to the priesthood and accepted women as bishops too) the role of celibacy and the inclusiveness of our rites.

    You may detect a proprietary positiveness on my part in this post. By my post here, I don’t want to suggest that my way is the only way to approach your disaffection with the Roman Catholic church. I wish only to validate what others have said here in that there are other options to look into for a church community and I wish to propose a potential solution in the church that I have joined and which called me to be one of their priests in time.

    We have parishes in NYC and in the surrounding areas that you could contact if you were seeking community in this Lenten season. Look to the web page for more data.

    Peace!
    Fr. Tom Ruppel
    CACINA, O.S.B.

  7. collapse expand

    “That’s when I learned that Jesus could not have possibly hopped on a freaking dinosaur.”

    Where does this happen in the Bible? I’ll have to ask my pastor.

  8. collapse expand

    @mikeb1977

    >> robert, I think you’re missing the point.

    I think you are mistakenly identifying “the point” with ‘what you want to hear’ — or with ‘what you want me to write about’, or with ‘what you want to discuss’.

    So, just to remind you, my first post was in reply to the article. My second reply was to Tom Ruppel, and the issues he raised. I’m not “missing the point” nor am I attempting to evade or dodge “the point.” Now, I don’t mean to take issue with your first statement here in an unfriendly way — I’m simply offering you what I believe to be some much needed clarification.

    Because if I don’t write such a clarification, we’re only going to be ‘talking past each other’, rather than having a meaningful conversation. ‘Having a meaningful conversation’ means that we respond to the points that each other raises. You haven’t received a single reply from me yet, until this moment. Also — I don’t want you to keep the potential idea alive in your head that I might be deliberately ‘missing the point’ just to avoid a discussion that might successfully challenge my arguments and logical positions — which many people tend to believe to be the case as soon as they see someone defend the Catholic Church on these issues.

    So, rather than start out your post with “I think you’re missing the point,” it would facilitate conversation if you were to instead carefully write things like the following: “Robert — would you please address this point” or “Robert — would you please address the following points and issues.” Also, I think it is fair at this point to say that you HAVE been brainwashed on the ‘predator priest issue’ to some extent, simply because you’ve so egregiously oversimplified the last ~15,000 words that I’ve typed so far in this forum, by dismissing them in their entirety as “missing the point.” My statements thus far on TrueSlant have addressed many different and specific topics, from two different writers.

    However, you ‘come across’ as basically civil, so I’ll address *your* points or topics, as they come up, as civilly as possible. Fair enough?

    >> The point is not that some priests did these things; it’s the Church’s
    >> reaction to those acts. You don’t address that at all.

    O.K. So, this, then, is what YOU want to talk about.

    So let’s talk about it.

    First off: It is of primary importance to refresh our minds about some extremely important statistics that I raised earlier — that 97%+++ of all Roman Catholic priests in the United States are NOT pedophiles, and have never been charged or even accused by anyone of doing *anything* wrong — not even of petty-theft of a paper-clip or a pencil, or of staying up too late to watch TV, or of driving too fast on the highway.

    Now, let’s just add one more statistic for consideration: That the total amount of sexual abuse committed by Roman Catholic priests equates to about 0.001% (or less) of all pedophilia and sexual abuse that has ever occurred in this country. From those two statistics — which are NOT inferential and which NO ONE argues with, not even the *victims* of sex abuse from Roman Catholic clergy — it should be enormously clear that pedophilia, and sexual abuse, are not a *Catholic* problem. They are a *societal* problem.

    Now.

    Given THOSE statistics, is it the case that the Catholic Church protected its few pedophiles in its midst, or ‘covered it all up’, just so that little Catholic girls and boys could suffer from more pedophile attacks from their very own Roman Catholic priests?

    I answer: NO. It is NOT true that Roman Catholic priests, bishops, or anyone else ‘covered-up’ sexual crimes against children. Publically-available documents and court evidence show that the Roman Catholic Church in the United States dealt with these issues in a far more comprehensive fashion than most public-school systems or other organizations ever did with similar problems, to date. Within the Church, every instance of alleged abuse was and is unique, and every one of the accused (or guilty, as the case may be) has faced or is facing different treatments, types of counseling, circumstances, and charges, or is already deceased, or has already been retired, or has already been ‘defrocked’ and laicized. Don’t be so easily fooled and/or brainwashed by the media’s stories that you read. This issue cannot POSSIBLY be discussed or ‘covered’ by 30-second ’sound bites’ on CNN or FoxNews; and they can’t be sufficiently and fairly discussed or ‘covered’ with newspaper or journal articles, either. There are literally millions and millions of pages of personnel files, statements, medical reports, legal testimony, and legalese on these cases. Also, you need to keep people’s general tendencies in mind before you turn on your television and jump to conclusions.

    For example: Let’s say your brother is a guitar-player. And let’s say that the New York Times breaks a story about hundreds of people importing cocaine into the country by hiding small plastic bags of the stuff in their guitars. The story becomes the talk of the nation. It is enormously lampooned on Letterman and Leno. ‘South Park’ picks it up, and creates an episode that has a guitar-playing character who acts drugged-out in every scene. How, do you think, your brother is going to be treated the next time he tries to make some money by playing his guitar at someone’s wedding? And how, do you think, YOU are going to be treated if, say, at a party, you are asked by someone the question of what your brother does for a living? People lose jobs and life-long friendships over such simple-minded generalizations and stereotypes.

    The same thing is now happening to almost every single priest in the Roman Catholic Church. Most folks tend to believe, at this point, that any Roman Catholic priest who faces an allegation of sexual-abuse must in fact be ‘guilty as charged’, and that ALL Roman Catholic priests are guilty by association, and cannot be trusted. And in fact, even when Roman Catholic priests are flat-out innocent of any and all charges, and are pronounced as such by courts of law, they are still often treated as if they were ‘guilty as charged’. And I’ll bet all the money I have that my reporting that 97%+++ statistic here on this website is the first time you ever saw it or heard of it.

    Moreover, keep in mind that there probably aren’t any pschologists, or psychiatrists, or informed people on these topics, who would fault you at this point for being fooled and/or brainwashed on this issue. Few issues of ANY kind, ANYWHERE, have EVER received the sort of incessant media propaganda and onslaught that this topic has experienced. There has been a deliberate and comprehensive effort by the media to brainwash the American public into hating the Roman Catholic Church, and to incite a pogrom against it.

    The Catholic Church, since the 1960s, has dealt with this issue by paying for the counseling, legal representation, and suffering for victims of sexual abuse and their families and loved-ones; by temporarily removing the accused from their ministries and requiring them to undergo counseling and medical care; and in many cases, where it was felt to be warranted, the Church has permanently removed the accused from their ministries and moved them into positions where they cannot have access to children or teenagers. Others have experienced forced retirement and/or laicization. Others, on the advice of Catholic bishops, doctors, lawyers, and counselors, have been moved into isolation where they interacted with very few people at all. And some have faced ‘the music’ in criminal courts of law, have been found guilty, and have been made to serve lengthy prison sentences.

    Now, I know that many people would like to see the guilty in these cases get boiled to death in pits of hot tar, or hung from their necks until they are dead. But that’s not the sort of country we live in. Criminals and the accused have rights. Our prison system is almost entirely designed for rehabilitation — no matter what the crime may be. And our society respects the rehabilitation of convicted felons — there are thousands of bank-robbers, drug-sellers, sexual-abusers, and MURDERERS walking the streets right now, right in your part of the country, right along the sidewalk with YOU because they have served their time, gotten treatment, and have been released into society. Moreover, the law brooks no clamoring crowd, no vengeance-seeking lynch-mob that shows up in the dead of night with torches lit, and with their own piece of rope to enact their own brand of justice. It is a fact that our country has its laws, and that these laws afford every accused person their day in court. Our prison system is humane, because we are a humane people. Roman Catholic priests have an equal right to every presumption of innocence under the law, and the right to a fair trial, and a right to the presumption of their innocence before being found guilty of a crime. If you want to carry a torch, and you want to self-righteously tar, feather, and hang people by their necks until they’re dead, Mikey, then do us all a favor and move to China, or to Saudi Arabia, or to Afghanistan where the government allows such things to happen.

    Over the last 50 years, those who have been accused and/or found guilty of pedophilia in the Catholic Church have been investigated and removed from their ministries and forced to undergo treatment of various kinds; or have, in fact, already seen or are seeing their court cases moved/being moved through the court-system, or are facing/have faced other sorts of censure that is/was considered appropriate for their circumstances. The media didn’t ‘expose’ an issue that the Church was ‘hiding’ — the Church has been dealing with the problem for over 50 years at the parish- and diocesan-level. Similar acts of pedophilia have occurred all over the country in both private and public organizations, and they have, — at times — dealt with the problem by temporarily removing the accused, by finding treatment for them, and/or by moving them to other schools and locations because they thought that after sufficient treatment, these people had been sufficiently cured of their diseases, and allowed them to remain in employment and move on with their lives.

    And here’s one more statistic for you:

    17.7 percent of males and 82.2 percent of females who graduated from public high-schools, reported sexual harassment by faculty or staff during their years in school; and fully 13.5 percent said they had sexual intercourse with their teacher. (as reported by Daniel Wishnietsky in the article, “Reported and Unreported Teacher-Student Sexual Harassment,” Journal of Ed Research, Vol. 3, 1991, pp. 164-69.)

    Keep THAT statistic in mind the next time someone tells you that the public-school system in this country doesn’t have a pedophile and sexual-abuse problem.

    Also: No other organization in this country has ever faced the sorts of subpoenas and infringements of their right to due-process by self-righteous journalists and attorneys that the Catholic Church has faced over the last several years. So, if you want to base your claim that the Catholic Church ‘hid’ things from the public’s view because no one in a Catholic diocese ever volunteered their internal records on cases of possible pedophilia to this country’s major-media news sources and the country’s district attorneys, then there are a whole lot of other public and private organizations that are guilty of the same (ridiculous) charge.

    Also, keep in mind that such medically-approved practices of counseling and removal from position/ministry were the RECOMMENDED medical practices which ALL organizations followed when dealing with the problems of sexual-abuse and pedophilia over the last 50 years. The entire medical and mental health profession during the last 50 years believed that pedophilia and sexual abuse were largely curable diseases. The Catholic Church and every other organization involved in these problems followed these medical recommendations — recommendations that were considered to be the best-known practices of the medical industry. And this medical advice, one needs to remember, came at a time before the Internet existed — which has turned-out to be a huge enabling-factor in allowing many a person to indulge themselves in viewing extremely sexually-depraved, pornographic images and videos; and which has changed the way viewers of such things respond to medical treatment; and which has changed the way the medical and legal industries now respond to cases of sexual-abuse.

    Police stations all over the country are now reporting that many sexual-abusers, immediately before committing their act or acts of sexual-abuse, first view pornography on the Internet on their home-computers. The police are able to prove this by obtaining search-warrants for the websites that their arrestees viewed, from their individual Internet-service providers. So, one needs to keep in mind that medically-approved practices of counseling and POSSIBLE removal from ministry came at a time when the world was a fundamentally different place. The Internet isn’t that old. But it has drastically changed the world in a very short period of time; and one can’t fault the Catholic Church for the nation’s legal and medical communities’ failure to rapidly update their legal and medical advice; and one can’t retroactively find fault with medical practices — and the institutions that followed them — that were current in ages past.

    Also: There are many studies and sources of information of which you likely aren’t aware. For example: In the early 1990s, the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago undertook a comprehensive self-study. The survey examined every priest who had served in the archdiocese over the previous 40 years — some 2,200 individuals — and reopened every internal complaint ever made against these men. The standard of evidence applied was not legal proof that would stand up in a court of law, but just the consensus that a particular charge was probably justified.

    By this standard — which went FAR beyond any legal standard for evidence that anyone has ever faced in a criminal or civil court of law — this survey found that about 40 priests, or about 1.8 percent of the whole, were potentially guilty of some sort of misconduct with minors at some point in their careers. These 40 priests, I’m certain, were then dealt with on an individual basis, if possible. But here again, the 97%+++ statistic looms large: In this survey, no evidence existed against NINETY-EIGHT PERCENT of parish clergy, the overwhelming majority of the group studied. And even earlier, in the 1980s Catholic priests themselves brought the issue up for discussion and action to the USCCB — the national (annual) Catholic Bishop’s meeting for discussion and action whose reports are published in public journals. And even earlier than that, in the 1960s a Catholic religious order was uniquely used to deal with priests that had a variety of physical ailments and mental illnesses — including the disease of pedophilia — which involved the documentation of their treatment. All of these actions are not the actions of an organization that seeks to ‘hide’ the issue from any potential external review. These are the actions of an organization that is seriously interested in evaluating the problem, and of taking care of its children, and its priests.

    Amongst people of good will, in my opinion, much of the angst against the Catholic Church at this point is there because they’ve been fed terrific lies by the media that the Catholic Church has ‘done nothing’ about pedophilia within its ranks, and that they ‘hid’ the issue from the public. Also, many Americans are angered because in addition to the treatment these priests received, they weren’t forced to ‘face the music’ in a criminal court of law. But once again — the ‘brainwashing’ issue arises — simple, ridiculous, self-righteous ’sound bites’ are incessantly used by an enormously anti-Catholic press in an absolutely demonic attempt to try and whip American society into a hysterical lynch-mob against the Catholic Church.

    The simple reason why many of these priests never faced any ‘music’ in criminal courts of law and weren’t sent to prison — which some of them certainly appear to have deserved — is because that in decades past, very few people ever got sent to jail for acts of pedophilia or sexual-abuse. Sexual predators who preyed on children back then went to jail because in addition to raping their victims, on many occasions they also murdered them. The act of murder is what got them sent to jail — pedophilia was looked-upon as a disease, or as an ancillary issue, and not as a major crime. It was a problem that people tried to treat. Pedophiles were seen as redeemable; and — lo and behold — probation and/or psychiatric treatment was routinely ordered in legal jurisdictions around the country for most non-lethal perpetrators. Also: There were very few LAWS on the books to even CHARGE pedophiles with crimes in the last few decades. Most of the laws during this time dealt with statutory rape in a way that duly considered evidence and extenuating circumstances, such as the age, behaviors, sexual proclivities, and/or mental capacity of both the perpetrator and the victim.

    Forty years ago, most people could drink themselves half-stupid and then get behind a wheel, cause an accident, and not suffer any criminal or civil consequences other than to possibly pay for the damages they caused with their automobiles and their stupidity. These days, however, if you walk out of a bar after having drunk only ONE BEER, the police are within their legal rights to arrest you as soon as you take your keys out of your pocket, and walk towards your parked vehicle. Like the crime of driving under alcohol-intoxication, new laws concerning pedophilia have only recently been written — with ever-increasing penalties — as the law attempts to address the realization that pedophilia and sexual-abuse are serious and growing problems within our country.

    And one needs to keep one more thing in mind when the subject of pedophilia is discussed: Most people will agree with the statement that the Internet has driven sexual-abuse into never-before-seen rates of occurrence in general populations, and that the Internet has also caused instances of sexual-abuse to become increasingly disturbing and deranged. But the Internet wasn’t around before about the years 1994-1996 — which is a large part of the reason why the legal and medical fields, and the public’s knowledge and perception of these problems — is only now beginning to address and comprehend the issue. But the sorts of technologies one sees around one today were not around twenty years ago.

    Now, I’m sure some anti-Catholic bigot will argue with that statement, and point out the fact that several defense research facilities had a basic form of the Internet running on VAX mainframe servers and Cray computers in air-conditioned laboratories around the country in the 1950’s, the 1960’s, and the 1970’s. But the fact remains that almost NO ONE had an Internet-enabled computer in their home in the entire WORLD before about the year 1996. And as soon as the Internet became more mature and large amounts of bandwidth became available to your average Joe and Jane — lo and behold — pornography and pedophilia became an increasingly pernicious issue in Internet-enabled societies; responses to treatment changed; and both legal and medical experts had to play catch-up to deal with these issues.

    But most people who hate the Catholic Church don’t want intelligent arguments getting in the way of their frothing bigotry, or in the way of their ’sound-bite’ enabled, easily-arrived at conclusions. Most Catholic-haters refuse to see a difference between the written laws of today, and the written laws of the last several decades. Most Catholic-haters refuse to see a difference between the medical-practices of the last several decades, and the medical-practices of today. Most Catholic-haters want to believe the media when it tells them that things like ‘counseling’ and ‘removal from ministry’ aren’t adequate punishments because of the “huge percentage of recidivism” (which did NOT occur before the advent of common-access to the Internet) that accompanies the sexual offenses of today.

    A whole sexual-predator-industry has grown up in this country around the supposed fact that most sexual predators are too dangerous to ever experience freedom again after committing a crime — and few have ever thought to consider whether or not that basic statement is even true. The media — along with the U.S. government — has abused the average person’s reticence to even TALK about the issue in order to take the civil rights away from thousands and thousands of men.

    But let’s move on, and address the rest of your statements:

    >> You’re right, people in all walks of life commit these types of acts.

    Glad to hear you admit that, Mikey.

    >> but when a teacher does it and the school finds out, that teacher is fired.
    >> The school doesn’t simply ship the teacher to another classroom, or send
    >> him across the state to a different school.

    That’s simply not true. Public-schools, in addition to giving counseling to their fellow sexual-predators, have in fact attempted to treat them by moving them around to different schools, and by putting them into offices where they may be kept safely away from children, and by ‘hiding’ or refusing to release documents about their cases of pedophilia to any major-media news sources, concerned parents, or district attorneys. But many public-schools have gone far beyond these courses of action, and have resisted parents’ attempts at financial redress through the court-system by claiming that by virtue of their being a public-school, that they are in fact a ‘government office’ and therefore cannot be subjected to civil or criminal lawsuits.

    Consider that the next time you see some Catholic diocese hand over a few hundred million dollars to a bunch of well-dressed attorneys. And by the way, here’s another factoid for you, Mikey: To date, the Catholic Church has paid over $2.5 BILLION DOLLARS over what many consider to be enormously corrupt, deceitful, and falsified claims of sexual abuse. Certainly, a percentage of these claims were real. Many innocent children and teenagers definitely suffered from outrageous and criminal acts of sexual abuse.

    But when one considers all of the claims, and the fact that pedophiles who commit hundreds of criminal acts of pedophilia are extremely rare, many of these lawsuits are a bit too far-fetched to ever be believed by any honest reviewer. The Union Carbide Corporation MURDERED about THIRTY THOUSAND INDIANS in Bhopal, India, a few years ago — and the courts only made them pay $500 million dollars for the enormous genocide they committed in that country. If you think the law in this country hasn’t been enormously circumvented in order to go after Catholics, then you have no idea of the things that have been happening in America’s courtrooms and district-attorney’s offices over the last eight years — and keep that in mind the next time someone around you waxes poetic about ’separation of church and state’, and implies that only ‘organized religion’ tries from time to time to destroy this boundry.

    >> The Church basically did that; rather than casting out those priests, they
    >> protected them, while allowing those victims to suffer. That is evil, pure
    >> and simple.

    That also is simply not true. But it sure sounds like what the media wants you to believe, now doesn’t it?

    In addition to all the actions taken by the Catholic Church over the last 50 years to solve these problems, the Catholic Church did everything it could to protect its children from any kind of future abuse. By generously paying for victim’s counseling, attorney’s fees, and legal judgements, and by removing sick priests from their ministries and getting them counseling, and by following the letter of the law and the recommendations of the medical community, there was nothing else that the Catholic Church COULD have done to protect its children from abuse. And many priests WERE removed from their ministries, and/or laicized.

    In my opinion, what the public-schools in this country have done to their children, and what many attorneys and many district-attorneys have done to the Catholic Church, and what the United States government itself has done to the Catholic Church, is EVIL, pure and simple.

    I understand the desire to want to go back to the year 1950 or 1960, and to change the laws, and to change the policies of the medical community, and to change the best-known-practices of society; but it simply isn’t possible to do that. I am quite certain that there are many people alive today who have lost parents, and brothers, and sisters, and children, and grandparents, and aunts and uncles to drunk drivers; and who wish that there were stricter drunk-driving laws back in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and the 1990s. But it simply isn’t possible to go back to the past and change these laws.

    So, consider what I’ve written here, Mikey. I’m being fair, and I’ve gone to extraordinary efforts to discuss these things with you. I’m not some mindless Catholic drone who seeks to protect the Catholic Church at any cost, simply because it is my Church. I am a thoughtful person who isn’t fooled very easily, and who has studied the issues sufficiently, and has experienced life sufficiently, to know a rabid anti-Catholic pogrom when I see one. Because trust me, Mikey, that’s what this is REALLY about. This whole ‘predator-priest’ scandal is just that — an anti-Catholic POGROM — of which even your *government* involved itself with. And if you think you have nothing to fear from your government and courts of law because you don’t happen to be Catholic, then you might want to stop and quietly reconsider your position. Once ONE pogrom gets the green-light, other pogroms are sure to follow.

    VERY few people are stopping to get the facts straight. VERY few people are willing to listen to reason. The goal of the anti-Catholic bigots in the media, and in many legal offices, and in many district-attorney’s offices, and in the U.S. Supreme Court, and in the government at large, is to destroy the Catholic Church, and I’m afraid THAT agenda has been made abundantly clear to a whole lot of Catholics like me.

    Cheers,

    Robert

  9. collapse expand

    Here’s one you wight try, Elie:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdJB-qkfUHc

    It was good enough for our president.

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    About Me

    My first name is pronounced like Eliot without the “it,” my last name is pronounced like the Crystal I don’t have the “M”oney to afford. I’m an editor of Above the Law, a legal website that covers all of the gossip and business of the legal profession. Prior to that I wrote about politics. I used to be a lawyer, but I quit that profession in lieu of stripping naked and lighting myself on fire. I received a degree in Government from Harvard University because I enjoy pain, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School because I dislike change. I’m also a Met fan (pain + born in Queens).

    I’m African-American thanks to my maternal grandmother (which means there is one word I can use that white people can’t. Mwahaha). My father is from Haiti and my wife is from Zimbabwe, but outside of the northeast corridor I turn into a sniveling idiot. My maternal grandfather is from China, so I can make fun of Chinese-Americans ¼ of the time. It’d be great to go a whole year without embarrassing my mother, as Julia might say “Ye Gods, can that woman wait.”

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    Contributor Since: May 2009