Sunday, July 22, 2007

My feelings about the Catholic Church

As most of you know, I grew up in the Roman Catholic faith. Despite the fact that I'm an atheist, or maybe because of it, I have to say that this is the hardest post I've ever made. For the last few months, I've been closely following the Catholic Church's pedophile priest problem. What I've found has repulsed me to the core.

When you're a "good Catholic child", you are taught that the Church is infallible. You're taught that the Catholic Church is the "Bride of Christ". Catholics don't believe their church is a man-made religion, they believe it to be the perfect creation of God and God's gift to Jesus for his sacrifice. That's important to understand - it's NOT a gift to the people and it's infallible. There is no flaw in the structure or ritual of the Church (according to Catholics). When I was a child, I had asked how the Church could be infallible given the fact that man could make mistakes and, on earth, man was "running the show." I still remember the words we, as catechists, were told to hold up; "And he said to his disciples: "It is impossible that scandals should not come: but woe to him through whom they come. It were better for him, that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should scandalize one of these little ones." (Luke 17: 1-2).

When you're a good Catholic, in perfect communion with the Church, it really never occurs to you that the priests, bishops, cardinals, and Pope, might be merely human. Because, when you're a Catholic, you're taught that they, the priests, are God's chosen. They are better than human. They, as a group, have sole discretion and power to perform earthly miracles. They can turn the bread to Christ's body. They can turn the wine to Christ's blood. They can intercede on your behalf through the sacrament of confession. THEY can pray directly to God. I don't think most people understand that the Catholic parishioners hang on the notion that they can not obtain salvation without the help of a priest or the Catholic Church. You DO NOT go to heaven without forging a relationship between yourself and your parish priests. They, and they alone, have the power to give you the sacraments.

So, what happens when that trust is misplaced? What happens when the priest is mere human? What happens when those in perfect communion with the Church are blinded by their faith; when they can't see the abuses that are tolerated because of the desire to protect Christ's Bride? What happens when you tell children that priests and nuns are inherently trustworthy and the only way?
Simple... the Catholic Church has, willingly or not, created a place where children are groomed for abuse. If the Catholic Church is truly the "beloved bride", then why is God allowing his wife to promote an environment in which children are groomed for abuse? Ever heard the phrase, "Holy Mother Church"? That's what the church is supposed to be for the people- a HOLY MOTHER. What kind of holy mother condones the abuse of a child and destroys families. Furthermore, what kind of mother allows her favorite sons to carry out abuses and then provide them with shelter and protection?
I posed this question to four, die hard Catholics that I know. Their answers were as follows;
1. "Elementary. God does not intervene because of freewill."
2. "Those abused will be offered restoration in salvation. The abusers will answer to God."
3. "God won't over power the freewill of the priesthood. They're human too."
4. "These are mysteries that we can't know the answers to. We have to trust that God is using the Church for a higher purpose and we might know the answer in heaven."
(POLEMIC ALERT)
FUCK THAT SHIT! That's crap! Utter and absolute crap.
Freewill doesn't enter into the equation AT ALL if you argue that the Catholic Church is an extension of God himself. It's the institution of that extension that primes children to be victims and the priests to have control over the children (and the child's parents). If the pope is chosen by God...and the Pope appoints clergy...and the clergy abuses, then you can't argue that God didn't put those priests in a position to abuse. Especially if God is omniscient and omnipotent.
And, even more disgusting (with regard to the argument that there's freewill involved here...), what about the child's will? If this was a situation where God gave humans freewill to exercise, then there should be a divine pause button wherein God could pause the abuse before it happened and ask the child whether or not they consented to being abused!

The child, in one documented case in this very diocese, was five months old when a pastor inserted his penis into her vagina. If you're a Catholic, did God not care about her will? God would rather let the priest rape a five month old than exert his total and complete power to save her (and her family) a lifetime of pain and torment? And, then God and the Pope operated in tandem with Roger Mahoney to exercise their freewill in covering up the abuse? AND, then God allowed the prison system to exercise its freewill when the paedophile priest (who by that point had 93 accusations against him) to be released after serving seven years in prison whilst the Church, God's Bride; relocated the priest to Ireland, paid his retirement and his living expenses, and did not bother to tell the Irish authorities that he'd been sent to Ireland. It would seem that the only "freewill" God allowed was the priests and those who helped cover his (and many of his ilk's) tracks. Not only allowed them to cover their tracks, but GLORIFIED them by allowing them to be called to higher positions (indeed, the highest) in the Church.

Before Pope Beenadick was Pope Benedict, he was the Cardinal in charge of the cover-up. He was the Vatican's "expert" on the abuses of the system. As Cardinal, it was supposed to be his job to rectify the injustices and devise a plan that would eradicate the problem. Now...in Catholic speak, what that job description really means is: cover this shit up quick, hide the priests, attempt to pay off the victims, and then pull that big ass hat over your eyes and stick your thumb up your ass. Cardinal Ratzinger not only did all of the above, but he also LIED TO FEDERAL INVESTIGATORS. He LIED to the United States government and many, many investigators, prosecutors, and victims (and pretty much the whole American Catholic public)! In fact, when John Paul II kicked it and Ratface, ooops, Ratzinger, lawyered up and asked the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (Oh, yes...Mr. Decider himself) to grant him IMMUNITY. The accusations the Pope was facing? I'm so glad you asked: CONSPIRACY TO COVER UP SEXUAL ABUSE. So, the President of the United States... granted the one person whose job it was to catalogue and eradicate abuse IMMUNITY. What. The. Fuck? Know what the kicker was?? The Vatican's lawyers didn't even wait for the Prez to grant the immunity, they actually made the statement that asking for the immunity was a gesture, since the Vatican is considered it's own country and, as head of the Vatican, the Pope enjoys diplomatic immunity. To the Catholics that I *know* are reading this...if you think I'm lying, then google that shit.

As to the "it's a mystery" answer...
That's the best answer you've got? Even if it were a mystery... why would you worship that deity who allows such things? There's nothing mystical about a priest forcing himself on a child. There's nothing mystical about infants being molested. There's nothing at all mystical about a system that covers-up the crime? There's nothing mystical about a group of people who want to silence a victim (or MANY victims) because to do so makes their faith look problematic.
If your God deals in such "mysteries", then that God is not worthy of worship. What kind of benevolent deity needs a five month old to be raped, by that God's earthly representative, to make the faith mysterious or prove his power or his will?

These are NOT isolated cases, people. Pedophilia in the Catholic Church is not limited to "just a few bad eggs". I'm going to leave you guys with some statistics.
Since the 1960's, ten percent of the graduates of St. John's Seminary have been, or are currently being, brought up on charges of child abuse or sexual molestation. 10%! If any other university, or place of higher ed, had that kind of problem, you can bet your ass it would be investigated and, most likely, shut down.

In the United States ALONE, there are more than 100,000 claims of sexual abuse that have been brought against the Catholic Church. Have a gander at this wiki.

To my friends who are Catholic, I say this...
I realize that you do not condone the abuse in theory. But, in actions, you are. If you're promoting the Church and asking your deities blessings for the Pope and Roger Mahoney...and if you believe that deity has the power to bless those people, then you are asking for the blessing of people with blood on their hands. AND, you're condoning the "grooming" of generations of children to fall prey to the abuse. A child isn't taught that a priest is fallible. A child in CCD/ERE is taught that God appoints all through a divine plan and purpose. A child is taught that that priest, and their Church, is the ONLY way through which salvation may be obtained. The child is taught to thank this God, who apparently allows the molester to have freewill, for the life they've been given --- the same life that's being made hell by the person to whom they will receive their sacraments. The child is taught that priests and nuns are God's chosen. Your Church has answered the allegations and evidence with lies, cover-ups, and excuses. Your Cardinals and Bishops have committed acts of conspiracy to shelter the abuser...not the victims. Your Pope has done little or nothing to prevent these acts.

And,.. as for the inevitable, "Well...the Catholic Church has paid these victims." argument, I ask you to consider where the hell that money came from in the first place? I view the monetary rewards as a giant, fucking refund. The money those people are being paid was given to the Church by their families... people paid for their children to be educated, not abused. The wealth of the Catholic Church has come directly from the pockets of those it has abused.

I've never considered myself to be an "Angry Atheist", but I'm angry now. I know I've said that I would allow my children to choose whatever religion/philosophy they might want to choose, but I will NEVER, EVER allow them to set foot in a Catholic Church again. There are some personal reasons for this, as well as what I've outlined above, but I'm not going into those right now. What I've posted should be enough.

39 comments:

Poodles Rule said...

I agree. My husband is still catholic but he doesn't really go to church much anymore. Over the years through many personal experiences and some of my doing he has learned that you can still be a good person and not put money or time into something that is so full of bullshit.

Bob Kowalski said...

The money paid to the victims of abuse comes in large measure (as I understand it) from tithes.

An unexpected tie-in to Evangelical Christian domestic discipline. The RC institutions were created and the NT was written, it was not possible like it is today to call upon state/secular authorities to intervene.

Consequently, the fact that silence and submission are consensual [meaning that **legally** speaking there are alternatives] means that the NT commandments and RC rules/canon law operate in a different context today.

This means even on its own terms love, authority, discipline, responsibility, "head of household", and other NT concepts work differently today.

AlisonM said...

I thought the payments were coming from the church's special sexual abuse insurance. (Those premiums should be going up rapidly, I'd surmise.) When I read that they actually had a policy to cover sexual abuse lawsuit payouts, I felt almost physically ill. First, who would take out such a policy unless he/she/they KNEW for a fact that sexual abuse was being carried out - and opted to insure against lawsuits rather than root it out and stop it? Second, what insurance company would write such a policy, a policy that covers wrongdoing by an organization that admits the crime is happening often enough to warrant insuring potential payouts? What insurance company says "Gee, clearly this organization has a good deal of illegal activity going on, and knows full well that its employees are committing horrendous crimes against helpless children! Wow, if we keep quiet, we'll make a fortune in premiums!"

No matter what argument anyone makes to justify this perversion, religious or no, that person is, in essence, condoning it. It doesn't matter if you have incredible faith in the truth of the church's teachings, it doesn't matter if your kids are getting a good education in their parochial school, it doesn't even matter if you really, really like all the priests and don't know anyone who's been victim or victimizer. Your money is going towards paying people who commit sexual acts against children, who cover up those acts, and towards paying the victims to keep quiet (or, if necessary, towards paying the damages.) By supporting it financially, you're helping to condone it.

A lot of people are very, very careful to investigate the business practices of companies they invest in or patronize. If they find out after doing so that the company is involved in something offensive to them, they will often change their investments or shopping habits. This is not much different. If you discovered that a company you had invested in, whose products you purchased, had a special program for executives that shipped them off regularly to child brothels in Thailand, would you keep giving them your money? Would you justify the practice? Would you insist that it wasn't important because the product was such a good one, or that they also were supporters of Special Olympics? Would you be able to live with yourself if you did?

The Music Won't Stop said...

And this is why I left Christianity, though my church was Baptist. I didn't have the delusion that my pastor was infallible or ordained by God, he himself admitted he was just a man with a message, but he was an authority and a leader and meant to be looked up to and trusted, and every parent trusted him to be good to their children, and those children trusted him. It's really sickening. And quite frankly, I would rather burn for eternity in hell than worship and give thanks to a god that would allow such horrible things to happen at the hands of one of his "chosen".

Perpetual Beginner said...

One of the most devoted Catholics I knew became an Episcopalean over exactly this issue. Despite his repeated, and very clear, explanations, his parents and siblings not only choose to remain Catholic, but remonstrate with him over *his* problems every chance they get.

Once it became known that the church would protect and cover up the crimes of ordained molesters, it was inevitable that large numbers of Catholic pedophiles would discover callings.

Bob Kowalski said...

alisonm,

I stand corrected about the source of payouts. I'd forgotten about the insurance. But even so, the premiums...

Ginny said...

I think atheists have every right to be angry when it comes to outrageous bullshit like this. I don't understand why non-atheists aren't frothing at the mouth over it...sickening.

Chakolate said...

In my early 20's a black friend said everybody knew the priest was fondling the girls and sometimes having sex with them. By that time I had dumped the church and religion as well, but I thought she was exaggerating. I went to a Catholic grade school and to mass every sunday and nothing like that happened.

That I knew of.

But now I find that I'm not even surprised by the whole thing. What can you expect when you take fully functional healthy adult males and tell them no sex, then put them in charge of children?

You can bet the farm that it's more than 10%.

Matthew said...

This is obviously sickening and outrageous; anything dealing with children and sex is. It does make me wonder what other slighter injustices and immoralities are also occuring though. Aside from the typical religious stupidity.

I mean let's seriously consider this. Something along these lines doesn't stay hidden for long. I suppose it's possible, although highly unlikely, that everyone acted independantly. But I would put far more stock into the idea that the dirty priests knew each other. That's truly scary.

(First time poster BTW. Loving your blog for months.)

Cairnarvon said...

Only about half of the money comes from insurance, IIRC. Though even if they were forced to pay in full, it wouldn't even make a dent in the Church's bottomless coffers.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

The money absolutely comes from the tithes and special donations of the members. So, even if the Church was relying on insurance to pay off the victims, the policy premiums had been paid for by tithes (and, therefore, some of the victims). Also, the lawyers were paid out of Church tithes...so, victims are essentially in a position where they paid tithes (in the past) to pay lawyers who would stand on the opposite side of the court room to defend their abusers.

Can you imagine if you had to pay for the lawyer of the man-next-door who molested your child? Or, what if you knew that money you had given him had paid for the insurance that would fund your settlement? Sick, sick, sick...

Emma said...

Right on! I totally agree with you on this one, and I'm glad you were able to say it despite having been raised in this faith yourself.
I'm an athiest who was not brought up in any faith, so I don't have any direct insight into this myself, but I've always felt there was something fundamentally wrong with forcing celibacy on people. The sexual repression that the Catholic church induces in it's priests and followers is at best unhealthy, and as you have pointed out, is often very dangerous. I wasn't aware of the extent of the cover-ups, but I am sorry to say I'm not surprised. It's absolutely disgusting that they can get away with this and that children are still being subjected to the brainwashing that conditions them to go along with it.
I'm sure there are a lot of very worthy catholic priests out there, but in my opinion the Catholic Church is one of the most evil institutions in the world today.

Gramomster said...

This whole situation is just so disturbing and sickening. I have often had debates over this, but I feel very strongly that repression breeds perversion, and thus anything that includes imposed celibacy is just asking for this kind of trouble.

I was raised Lutheran by my grandparents while my mother was deeply involved in the Hare Krishna 'religion'. The two siblings after me were raised Hare Krishna. In that belief system, parents were asked to hand their kids over to the temple, to live communally in ashrams. Any love the parents gave to their children, or attachment they had to them, was love stolen from Krishna, or an attachment to maya (illusion), a tie to the material world, rather than eyes on goloka (heaven).

The young 'priests' in this religion were made to take senyas (vow of celibacy). What can we deduce? Yup, institutionalized child sexual abuse of the boys. Not the girls, because they lived with women, who often had families. My younger brother was sexually abused from ages 4-10, when he moved back in with our mom who by that time had left the movement. He was pretty much destroyed. Committed suicide at 27. Not a well boy, not well at all. Bastards.

When this abuse was brought before the leader by a mother, his response was, and I quote, "Sex is sex, stupid woman! How much sex have you had?!" Let me also mention that in this movement one had to seek permission from the spiritual master to have sex within marriage, as it was for procreation only. And the guy who gave the quote above has another good one: "There are three things you beat; your drum, your dog, and your wife." Nice.

As time has gone by, it has been discovered that this abuse took place globally, in almost every temple that had a children's ashram (gurukula, or school). I totally agree that when you take healthy, functioning young men, tell them they can't have sex, and put them in charge of groups of children, while teaching those children to obey unquestioningly these 'holy' men, bad shit is bound to happen.

What idiot thought celibaby was a good idea? Or in any way related to godliness. Stupid stupid stupid...

Janet said...

Hope you don't mind a link. One of my forums has had debates in the past about the Catholic church and the control they exert over people here in the states vs Europe.

I was raised in a religion that protects its child molesters as well. It makes me truly sick.

Lynn's Daughter said...

That answer number 4 always pisses me off. "You must have faith in God's will" is such a cop out. Why not just say, "I don't know, that's pretty fucked up, isn't it?"

eyebeemer said...

Couldn't have said it better myself. I was also raised Catholic and my wife still is although all this BS gives her a lot of trouble. I can tell this infuriates her but she is torn because she tries to focus on the good that the church does on a local level and what prayer has done for her (spiritually, not that they are actually answered by a consciousness). I know that cutting the cord is not always easy (it wasn't for me) so I'm not pressuring her but I have a feeling that her reason will eventually overcome and even if she continues to believe in a god (I'm hoping for something closer to the 'god of Spinoza' or how Einstein characterized it) she will no longer be bound to this corrupt organization.

eyebeemer said...

I feel compelled to follow up on my previous comment and clarify that my wife does refuse to pay any tithes to the church because of this very issue.

Allyson said...

My dad recently converted to Catholicism (b/c his new girlfriend wanted him to), and I was really horrified by this decision. We're from Cleveland, and there was a HUGE abuse scandal here, so he was definitely aware of what was going on. His conversion was really tough for me to deal with because he willingly joined an organization where this abuse is so rampant. (That, and there's the irony of divorcing your wife and then converting to a religion that forbids divorce for the sake of your new girlfriend . . . that kind of makes me laugh, though).

ShadesOfGrey said...

I just want to say THANK YOU!!! for this post. Not that I don't love your other posts, but this one especially touches me because I, too, am a former RC (mom had me baptized and brain-washed as a baby).

Funny (...or not), but the day the news broke about the compensation, I was in Vancouver visiting my folks and watching it on the evening news with them and my sister. I remarked that the church can well afford to foot the bill, but my sister, who is obviously wiser, said, "you know who's actually footing the bill, don't you?" and jerked a thumb toward my mom, a die-hard Catholic who would go to church daily if her illness didn't require her to be at the hospital 3 days a week for dialysis and blood transfusions.

I'm off to pull my hair out now.

H4F said...

Hey there, disillusioned one...

Nice blog; I'll link to it.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

Hey there, disillusioned one...

Just so no one attacks H4F...he's teasing. I know him in real life. We're dealing with a fuck nut on another site that is calling us "disillusioned" and Satan's mouthpieces (or something like that).

H4F said...

Thanks; my bad for failing to consider that the lack of context might lead to misunderstanding.

H4F
http://churchstatewall.typepad.com/

Atheist in a mini van. said...

Emma said...I wasn't aware of the extent of the cover-ups, but I am sorry to say I'm not surprised. It's absolutely disgusting that they can get away with this and that children are still being subjected to the brainwashing that conditions them to go along with it.

I don't think we will ever have the full picture of just how deep this cover-up went...but, at this point, it's a bit irrelevant. There are so many Catholic poobah's buried so deep in the cover-up that I'm surprised they haven't needed more incense to disguise the smell of their bullshit.

Gramomster said...I feel very strongly that repression breeds perversion, and thus anything that includes imposed celibacy is just asking for this kind of trouble.


I think repression is a big part of it. But, I think the bigger issue is that you are grooming kids to think these people are working directly for God. At God's appointment. Strip it of the religious undertone and you just have a bunch of pedophiles. Pedophiles look for easy pickins'...

To all who have said "thank you",...you're very welcome. Thank you for having the courage to "go there" with me.

Erp said...

Insurance makes sense even if a company does everything possible to make sure that sexual abuse and other crimes don't occur. In any large company, a few bad apples will get through. What makes it bad is the cover-up and lack of reasonable preventative measures. I suspect the insurance rates have gone sky-high and the insurance companies will be looking for lack of due diligence on the part of the Church. However the money will come from the people no matter what happens.

A few other things to note. First the emphasis in much of the media on abuse of male children but ignoring the female children who have been abused making this seem to be a 'gay problem' which can be solved by banning gays (leaving aside that gays are attracted to adults of the same sex not children).

Second the taking advantage of adult female parishioners which though not illegal also happens (see LA Times column
where the reporter talks, among other things, covering a case where a priest evaded paying child support with the help of some church lawyers).

Third the shuffle game with church assets. In some religious denominations property belongs to the local congregation and relatively little is held by larger entities (e.g., Baptists). In others the property is mostly held by the larger groupings (e.g., dioceses in the Catholic Church) and relatively little or none by the local congregations. The former makes it easy for local congregations to jump ship since they don't lose their church building. The latter makes it easier for the diocese to control the local congregations but also makes them more vulnerable to having to pay out large settlements. Portland for instance is/was trying to claim that some assets are Parish assets and can't be touched by the diocese when it comes to payouts though this tune would rapidly change if a Parish decided to split from the Catholic church.

amarullis said...

I do agree that the main problem is that the children of Catholics are taught that preists are infallible, to be completely trusted. Celibacy of the clergy and the fact that sex, shame, and guilt are so tightly interwoven in Catholicism also make the problem much much worse.
FYI- I was a Catholic for a few years in high school. I tried out all my friends' churches, thinking I would eventually find a Christian church that I could believe in. Ha!

Chris said...

I haven't read the comments yet, but I will. Regardless...

PM, I agree 100%, completely. It's sickened me before, but (and I'm a bit ashamed to say this) I haven't been paying too much attention to this, so didn't know it was this widespread. I mean, I knew it was widespread enough to piss me the f**k off, but reading this and some more research into it...it's even worse.

Ugh.

I had a friend who, for hope of turning it into more than friends, I let convince me to attend one of her Catholic services. Regardless of the situation, I'd have to say that it was one of the wierdest church services ever. It felt more cult-like than other services, with wierd rituals and trance-like repetitions of loyalty and obediance to some imaginary being. **shudder**

I've only been to one service more zombie-like than that, and it was a funeral at some denomination in Wisconsin (don't remember which) that literally had everybody repeat, out of a book, something along the lines of "We are gathered here to pay respects to **insert name of deseased**", all in a monotone voice. Nothing personal in the service, it was all templated, just with **insert name of deseased** sprinkled through it. Still, while it was more zombie-like, it wasn't as wierd or outright bizarre. Or as (when, as I normally do at religious events, think about how it would have been if I grew up in these surroundings) scary...

Berlzebub said...

My wife is RC, but she doesn't buy the bit about infallibility. It will be interesting when my daughter gets older. We've already agreed that we're going to let Munchkin, my daughter, choose her own path. To my wife's way of looking at it, I'm just giving her one more avenue to explore.

However, we're both going to be sure that she understands that even the religious can do wrong and aren't infallible.

It's really funny when my wife hears the latest from Poop Beenadick (thanks, P-Momma. I'll have to remember that one). If it wasn't for her upbringing, I think she'd have been searching for an alternative by now. As it is, she "doesn't think any religion has it right". I told her she seems more of a deist, but I don't think she's looked into it.

JS said...

I suspect that the rampant abuse committed by the Roman Catholic Church has less to do with celibacy than the fact that it is a thoroughly criminal organization that considers itself above the law. Focusing solely on the coverup of the pedophile priests is, in my considered opinion, too narrow. There is a laundry list of crimes that the Papacy and its henchmen should be called to account for. Preferably at gunpoint.

To offer just a brief list:

Providing shelter for and aiding in the escape of vermin wanted for war crimes and other crimes against humanity. This charming tradition began with the Roman Ratlines, a black ops run by the Papacy to whisk high-ranking Nazis away to Latin America following the Allied occupation of Germany in 1945. The tradition is continued today, by the way, as the Papacy is in all likelihood responsible for the 'disappearance' of at least a couple of big-ticket Croatian war criminals.

Laundering dirty money. Again a charming tradition that began with the Church's involvement in Nazi Germany - the Papacy helped launder not insubstantial amounts of Nazi gold. I am willing to bet money that this practice continues unabated to this day.

Supporting regimes that all right-thinking, civilized people condemn. Aside from giving full support and encouragement to the Axis powers during the War, the Church also supported Franco, support(ed) the Bush regime, and continues to aid and abet the current Polish regime in their campaign against human rights for homosexuals and women.

Opposition to basic human rights. I don't think I need to expand upon this point, given the present company.

And that doesn't even go into the laundry list of crimes against humanity perpetrated, aided or abetted by the Papacy and their henchmen outside Europe.

I say it's high time we regime change the Papacy.

- JS

aimee said...

My husband posted this on his own blog in response to the same issue.
Truly disturbing.

http://fpffressminds.blogspot.com/

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

It seems the cover ups just keep coming.

This is one of the reasons that I disassociated myself with Jewish-Catholic Dialogue. At one meeting, one of the Catholic members literally screamed at me because I did not "respect the archbishop." But that man had presided over the sale of a popular retreat center used by the people who paid for it in order to pay for the claims here.

He also presided over the firing of a teacher at the Catholic High School because that teacher was disliked by some influential very right wing Catholics. The man's wife was very ill with cancer at the time and he was left with no insurance and no job. He had done nothing wrong and there was no paper trail of any wrongdoing.

I was a teacher there, too, albeit not Catholic. I resigned my contract.

I was not inciendary in my remarks that afternoon, but I made it clear that respect must be earned. This man had not earned mine.

Although I had been in leadership positions in the Jewish Catholic Dialogue, I realized that there can be no real dialogue when one partner positions their institution as perfect.

Joe said...

I've blogged about this a bit as well, so here's my summations.

1) The Church knew and let it happen anyway.
2) They're hiding the truth from investigators and also hiding assets so they can cry "poverty"
3)The Pope is in charge of the coverup.
4) If I were Catholic, I would be having a crisis of faith and wouldn't be tithing a penny to the church ever again.
5) You Catholics who tithe, you're paying for molesters who had church sanctioned free reign over children. And with your willing tithes, you in a sense condone this shit yourself.
6) Did I say that the Church KNEW about this and allowed it to continue for DECADES! THEY KNEW!
7) I'm wondering why more Catholics who participated in the molesting and coverup are not breaking rocks in the hot sun.

Joe said...

And I linked to your post on my blog.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

The principal at my highschool was a Marist Brother. The year after I left he was whisked away one day by Interstate Police. He had apparently molested 4 boys at a school interstate.

Last I heard he had

1)Not served a prison sentence
2)Was transfered to East Timor(where they are very Catholic, under educated, and where there is likely to be no police supervision)

Brother John Dyson was his name:
and thanks to the Glory of google we have

Alice Springs News Article

Peter Mc said...

They made up a doctrine to explain it away too: ex operate operator or something very close(sorry my latin is bobbins).

It means that a priest can rape a child but the sacraments he performs remain valid.

Just how deeply sick is that? The God he was channeling saw fit to transubstantiate a wafer into His flesh for our salvation, but wouldn't or could stop said priest raping children.

Peter Mc said...

erratum...couldn't...

Peter Mc said...

Gramomster: "who thought celibacy was a good idea?"

It was a previous pope (Benedict VIII, 1012-1024) who enforced the rules on clerical celibacy. This one chose his name very deliberately.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

Sean... I'm sorry. I know, personally, how it feels to find out that a priest you KNEW is pedophile. :(

aimee said...

I know this has nothing to do with it, wasn't sure how to email you, but my husband found this on Snopes.com. It is about the "Help my baby live" site. Luckily it was completely false, check it out.
http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/hoaxes/helpmybabylive.asp

AlisonM said...

peter mc, that sounds like "love the sinner, hate the sin" taken a few steps further. And several degrees ickier. How the Catholic Church can condemn premarital or homosexual adult consensual sex, yet operate in such a way as to facilitate pedophilia is beyond me.