German Catholics, It’s Time to Quit the Church

I've been writing a lot lately about reasons to quit the Catholic church, and judging by the demographic trends in many Western countries, there are a lot of people whose thinking runs along similar lines. I didn't think the church would ever deign to acknowledge its apostates, but it appears that I was wrong. I found this out from reading this story out of Germany, which taught me something I didn't know: in that country, if you officially record your religious affiliation as Protestant, … [Read more...]

How to Ruin Your Moral Authority

On Tuesday, Monsignor William Lynn, former secretary of clergy for the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, was sentenced to three to six years in prison for his role in shielding pedophile priests from the law and reassigning them to positions where they could harm more children. At least one boy suffered years of sexual abuse at the hands of a priest, Edward Avery, whom Lynn assigned to duty in the boy's parish without warning any of the parishioners, despite knowing that Avery had a history … [Read more...]

Today’s Reasons to Quit the Catholic Church

Over the last few years, it's become increasingly clear that there's no longer any place in Roman Catholicism for any but the most conservative and doctrinaire members. The signs of a top-down ideological cleansing are too obvious to ignore, including the Vatican hierarchy's using the Eucharist as a bludgeon against politicians who show too much independence and cracking down on nuns for being suspiciously feminist. People, especially young people, are leaving in droves, and the FFRF has been … [Read more...]

My Questions for Leah Libresco

As you may be aware, Leah Libresco at Unequally Yoked had a startling announcement yesterday: she's converting to Catholicism. I have to admit, though others will no doubt chastise me for missing obvious-in-retrospect clues, that this was something I didn't see coming at all. As recently as March, when I met her at the Reason Rally, I had no idea that a shift in her personal views was imminent (if anything, I drew the opposite conclusion from her enthusiastic participation in the rally). But be … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: June 3

There are a couple of stories from this past week that I wanted to mention: • A three-judge panel on the First Circuit Court of Appeals, two of whom are Republican appointees, have struck down part of DOMA, ruling that it violates the Constitution for the federal government to deny benefits to same-sex couples legally married in their home state. • You may remember a notorious net kook named Dennis Markuze, who engaged in a longstanding campaign of harassment and threats against … [Read more...]

The Prophet of Bayside

During my last trip to San Francisco, I reported on my discovery of a woman who receives messages from God in his actual handwriting. I'm amused to report that I've just found out about another holy prophet I thought I'd share with you all, and this one is a local! Her name is Veronica Lueken, and she lived in Bayside, Queens, not far from where I live now. Although most of her prophetic activity took place in the late 70s and early 80s, and she died in the 90s, she still has a cadre of devoted … [Read more...]

The Religious War on Women Continues

It must be a terribly confusing time to be a member of the Vatican hierarchy. In an effort to stem the accelerating exodus of Catholic laypeople, they've been cracking down on suspected heretics left and right - on nuns who help the poor too much, on priests who want to change the rules of ordination, on politicians who don't vote the way the bishops tell them to, on groups that fight bullying of gay teenagers, on ordinary churchgoers who've been divorced or who don't attend Mass every week - … [Read more...]

Rehabilitating the Inquisition

These days, one of the blogs where I spend the most time commenting is Leah Libresco's Unequally Yoked on Patheos. This isn't just because its author has a unique and interesting perspective unlike any I've seen elsewhere, but also because there's a lot more give-and-take between atheists and theists (mostly Catholics) than you find in the comments section of many atheist blogs. And while debating and attempting to persuade believers is a fun and worthwhile pursuit in and of itself, I also do … [Read more...]

The Catholic Crackdown on Feminism, Continued

There are some times when it gives me little pleasure to be right, and this is one of them:The Vatican has launched a crackdown on the umbrella group that represents most of America's 55,000 Catholic nuns, saying that the group was not speaking out strongly enough against gay marriage, abortion and women's ordination.This isn't the result of the "apostolic visitation" I wrote about earlier, but the findings of a separate Vatican inquiry (PDF) into the Leadership Conference of Women … [Read more...]

The Radicalism of Obedience

As I mentioned in my last link roundup, I wanted to discuss in more detail the Pope's latest Easter homily, in which he directly addresses the "disobedience" of priests who are calling for the ordination of women and an end to mandatory celibacy. There are some interesting implications for how the elites of the Vatican see the future of the Catholic church. The background to this story is that Catholicism is in the grip of a slow-motion demographic crisis: their priests are growing old and … [Read more...]


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