Sexual Abuse Files of 42 Catholic Priests Will Be Released Tomorrow; ‘Prepare To Be Shocked,’ Archbishop Says

Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. (Central Time), a new chapter opens in the long, sordid tale of Catholic clergy raping children. That’s the hour when the Milwaukee diocese, which has found itself in bankruptcy proceedings since early 2011, will make thousands of pages of incriminating records available, including personnel files and secret depositions by the highest Catholic Church authorities in Wisconsin. Both the archdiocese’s site and a website run by victims’ lawyers will publish the documents.

There is speculation that the disclosure may be a body blow to New York’s Timothy Dolan (pictured below), the most powerful Cardinal in the United States. Though Dolan denies he did anything wrong, critics say that when he learned the Chapter 11 filing in Milwaukee was inevitable, he had millions of dollars funneled into special trusts, out of reach of abuse victims and their lawyers.

But Dolan isn’t the only one who may be having Maalox moments. Lots of current and former priests will probably not sleep well tonight, reports Milwaukee’s Journal-Sentinel:

“Needless to say, there are some terrible things described in many of the documents,” Archbishop Jerome Listecki said in his weekly letter to local Catholics in advance of the release. To those deciding to read the files, Listecki advised, “prepare to be shocked.

The records will contain parts of 42 priests’ personnel files as well as depositions of former Archbishop Timothy Dolan, now cardinal of New York; retired Archbishop Rembert Weakland; retired Bishop Richard Sklba; and now-defrocked priest Daniel Budzynski… The documents are expected to include… correspondence between the archdiocese and the Vatican, which has the final word on defrocking priests; evidence that the archdiocese under Dolan paid some priests to accept that decision without protest; and graphic accounts of sexual assault of young people.

Listecki’s letter is an odd mix of straight talk and disingenuous blather. “Prepare to be shocked” is an example of the former. As for the latter, he repeats the strategic canard that the disclosure may do further damage to the victims’ psyches. The concern for the beaten and the buggered comes a little late and would draw a chorus of howls in a sexual-violence case concerning “civilian” suspects. Can you imagine a serial rapist à la Ariel Castro stalling the investigation and the legal proceedings as much as possible by arguing that it would hurt his victims if further details of their ordeal surfaced?

The archdiocese has recently begun spinning its opening of the records “as part of our commitment to open and candid communication,” which sounds lovely until you realize that the same Catholic authority long fought the release tooth and nail, again out of ostensible concern for the victims — more specifically, for victims’ anonymity.

Survivor groups aren’t buying it:

“Releasing these documents is not going to hurt us. The damage has been done. We can’t suffer any more than we already have,” said Charles Linneman of Sugar Grove, Ill. ”I haven’t met one survivor who wants those documents to stay sealed.”

Linneman was sexually abused by a pedophile priest when he was a teenager; in a rather wonderful twist of fate, he now serves as chairman of the bankruptcy creditors committee.

The 42 priest files to be released by the diocese will pertain to those whom the Church pretty much knows are lawbreakers — clergy who were the focus of “substantiated allegations” of sexual abuse.

They include some of the archdiocese’s worst sex offenders. Among them: the late Father Lawrence Murphy, who is believed to have molested as many as 200 deaf boys, most during his decades at St. John School for the Deaf in St. Francis; and Sigfried Widera, who was facing 42 counts of child abuse in Wisconsin and California when he jumped to his death from a Mexico hotel room in 2003 as authorities closed in.

And tomorrow’s cache of documents will most likely show that, once again, higher-ups in the church moved pedophile priests from one parish or school to the next — without disclosing their crimes.

Milwaukee’s archdiocese was the eighth one domestically to file for Chapter 11 protection. It may or may not survive financial bankruptcy, but in 24 hours we should find that its moral bankruptcy is no longer in question.

(Dolan image via Jim McDermott; cartoon via Independent Australia)

About Terry Firma

Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder and Main Mischief Maker of Moral Compass, a site that pokes fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards.

  • sk3ptik0n

    How does a priest, Bishop, archbishop or whatever, hides “Millions of dollars”. Where do the money come from? A lifetime of couponing? His DIY skills in fixing his own car? Purchasing off brand products?

    • Michael W Busch

      The money originally came from donations to the church (as most funding does).

      The allegation is that in 2008 Dolan moved upwards of $50 million from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s general operating budget to a dedicated trust for maintaining Catholic-run cemeteries to avoid it being subject to seizure for abuse settlements.

      • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

        Well, that would explain all of the solid gold tombstones.

        • Michael W Busch

          More engraved marble to be maintained “in perpetuity”.

      • Colin Wenger

        Actually no it does not. What most people don’t realize is that while the priests have vows of poverty, the church is actually an umbrella corporation. So it also owns many other corporations that do actually turn a profit.

        If you look deep enough you realize the priests are about as good at keeping their vow of poverty, as their vow of celibacy.

        • Colin Wenger

          the Vatican is also it’s own country (which is a monarchy) and the ‘pope’ is also the ‘king’ of the monarchy of the Vatican.

          • Michael W Busch

            That is true. The Vatican is the world’s only elected theocratic non-hereditary monarchy. But that isn’t directly relevant to where the Church’s money comes from – although the secretive habits of the Vatican Bank make it hard to say where it all is going.

            • Colin Wenger

              I don’t believe that donations explain why all the arch bishops in Africa have multiple private jets and palacial manors.

              • Michael W Busch

                The standard of living for archbishops is too high, but it is not anywhere as high as you said (large houses, yes, multiple private jets for each archbishop, no – although they do often get temporarily loaned private jets by rich people at no cost).

                And while I cannot speak to the detailed finances of the Church in those countries, the Church does do large campaigns in wealthy countries to obtain private donations to fund projects in less-wealthy ones.

              • Frances Penn

                What’s wrong with an African Bishop having a few private jets? Don’t get me started. Are you aware of the historical robbery and pillage of Africa and her people? Disenfranchisement and apartheid all very serious ongoing events that originate from the actions of morally bankrupt, violent and evil WHITE MEN. White Men who would blame most, if not all, past and current debilitating issues on the African People. It was WHITE MEN who forced Catholicism on the African People by way of violence and actual disease, while bamboozling the continent out of precious resources, and hoarding it for themselves only, and people who look like them. Mr. Colin Wenger, please lets stay on topic. Africans are allowed to have MASSIVE WEALTH.. Its AFRICA!! Duh!! And for you to attempt to conflate this very important child abuse issue to down play or, delegitimize a ” Prosperous African” is outrageously offensive and discusting.. You see folks, this notion of “MORAL BANKRUPTCY” has always been running out of control, and is mostly perpetrated by those who suffer from a disease called “WHITENESS” and yes it is an actual term in word. Google it right now, I dare you. Many Books, lectures and other works have been published by very smart men and women of all demographic types on tis issue of “WHITENESS”. I would argue that “WHITENESS” is in fact a major root cause for this ongoing outrage of sexual abuse on children. And once again Mr. Colin Wenger, in the future, refrain from throwing Africa and Africans under the bus.

                • Dan

                  I agree with you Frances, I see nothing wrong with an African Bishop living in luxury, while most of his flock live in poverty. I think it’s great that the black African Bishop gets even with the white man, and that he does so by fleecing the black flock he leads. That;s the way to show those ol’ white guys, more power to the African Bishop, I say!!

                • RuariJM

                  What a load of hate-filled, baseless shit!

                  I almost feel sorry for you, wallowing in your venomous mendacity.

                  However, as you chose it for yourself, I find such inclinations easy to keep under control.

              • RuariJM

                It would be helpful if you provided registration numbers of those alleged jets.

                That may present a bit of a challenge as they don’t exist…but by all means go ahead.

        • Michael W Busch

          At least in the US, the revenues of the various Catholic-run corporate organizations (hospitals and colleges, mainly) get fed back into continuing those operations. They’re classed as private non-profit organizations (which means they should be required to follow the rules that other non-profits need to abide by … but that’s a different problem).

          The Church itself, more narrowly defined, is supported primarily by private donations, with secondary income from interest on investments and leasing of property. The dioceses individually are even more based on donations than the Vatican itself is, and that’s where the money Dolan moved out of the Milwaukee Archdiocese budget came from.

          A good argument can be made that the Vatican should be held significantly liable for the abuse cases, and forced to pay a large fraction of the settlements – which would also be a way of conveying that the Church needs to change its entire culture.

          Hemant did a story on this a while back: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/08/17/the-economist-estimates-the-catholic-church-spent-171600000000-in-2010/

    • JET

      I recall one who was selling drugs out of the church offices.

      • Stev84

        But he kept that money for himself and didn’t send it to the church coffers

    • Troy Hardin

      Religion is big business. Don’t play dumb like they are. Because just like them, you will fail. Christianity stopped being about saving soles and more about savings accounts.

      • Suzy_bean

        Which is one reason why their tax-exempt status is so infuriating.

      • RuariJM

        What sort of soles?

        Rubber soles? Leather? Wooden? Something else?

        well, at least you can describe yourself as unencumbered by any vestige of Christian education. Far be it from you to be polluted by such a thing!

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Good thing Jesus is keeping you in line, or God only knows how much of a snotty liar you’d have turned out to be.

          • RuariJM

            Whereas you have no one to help you either realise what a wanker you come across as or how to reduce the impact.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              Aww, poor wahbaby had to dodge the point to protect his little ego. Him has to project to keep his wittle spud hard.

              Good job representing Christ you’re doing there, Bucko.

              • RuariJM

                who said I was representing Christ, dickwad?

                I was pointing out that the commentary on this blog makes very clear that the commenters’ real motivations come down to rabid anti-Catholic bigotry.

                If they did not, then they would be even more concerned about organisations and institutions where sexual abuse has been more widespread – or, at least, disturbingly present, tolerated, covered up, justified and prosecutions avoided. The foaming-at-the-mouth prejudice allows vastly more abusers to get away than would be caught by the most fine-meshed trawl through the RCC.

                e.g, there were more abusers at the state-run children’s homes in North Wales over a period of 15 years than have been identified among the RC clergy in the whole of England and Wales – and that is before counting similar cases in Leicester, NE England, Lancashire, the West Midlands, and some curious shenanigans in Sussex, which may have involved N Wales in any case. And it doesn’t count Haute la Garenne, either.

                There are more recorded abusers in the American Scouts Association than in the whole RC Church in the USA.

                Heck, it’s beginning to look like there were more identified sexual predators/abusers in politics and the entertainment business than there are actually clergy – blameless and guilty as sin – in the country,

                The fixation on Roman Catholic cassocks indicates a need for therapy, except where manifestly evil prejudice and bigotry is impossible to conceal.

                • RobMcCune

                  Child sex abuse is far too common and should be rooted out everywhere. So why do you insist that no one talk about cover ups within your favorite institution? Why does acknowledgement of the crime enrage you more than the crime itself?

                • RuariJM

                  I agree entirely with your first sentence – indeed, that is the point I have been making.

                  If you believe that sex abuse is entirely the fault of, and totally restricted to, one organisation or institution then you allow the predators who use other routes to run free. Really, if you actually read what I wrote without prejudice, you would see that, clearly.

                  An example of the consequences of the “It’s all the RCC and no-one else”. In the UK last night, on the BBC, there was an hour-long programme exposing the activities of two or three monks at an RC boarding school in Scotland – Fort Augustus, if you want to check. What the victims were put through was appalling. However, some context: the school itself closed down over 20 years ago and at least one of the perpetrators is dead. Another is in Australia, which some have claimed is much the same.

                  Meanwhile, in today’s world, police announced that they had rounded up what they believe to be the biggest gang of sexual predators and abusers ever detected. There are over 40 of them, all known to each other, operating in the Midlands and east of England, primarily. They have jobs that give them access to children, in local government, in taxi services, etc, etc. And not one of them is a cleric, and none is a dead cleric, and none is a dead cleric from an institution that closed down decades ago.

                  Follow your prejudices and today’s ongoing and actual crimes will be ignored, because the criminals don’t fit into your template. That’s why your attitude – and the attitude expressed in this column – is dangerous. You would let criminal abusers go free.

        • Bone Wilder

          And a simple click of the edit button makes you out to look like a fool. Acutally, what am I thinking, you did that yourself. At least when referring to shoes we can say they are real, unlike anything you were taught in your ‘Christian “education”‘.

  • LesterBallard

    I loathe these pieces of shit and their apologists.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

      Amazing that the Catholic church still gets funded by so many people who are otherwise moral.

      • Kristina Johnson

        Catholics otherwise moral? that is a joke right?

        • Artor

          Individual Catholics can be wonderful people, but they’ve been mislead to support an institution that does not reflect their values.

          • hi

            yet they remain proud catholics!? tell me again how wonderful they are??

          • I Believe

            Interesting how very little you people know of the Catholic Church…

            • Artor

              Really? Please enlighten us with your hidden wisdom. What mysterious knowledge are we lacking? And how, exactly, do you know something we don’t? I was raised Catholic, and half my family is still devoutly Catholic. In general, you will find that atheists tend to know more about Xianity than the Xians themselves.

  • Miss_Beara

    There is no word in the English language to describe “booooo same sex marriage, yaaaay hiding pedophiles!” Dolan.

    • 3lemenope

      You’re right. ‘Booooosamesexmarriageyaaaayhidingpedophiles’ is a bit unwieldy.

      I generally would go with ‘great big bag o’ dicks’. Still not one word, but it’s closer I guess. :)

    • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

      Wait, “catholic” doesn’t mean that? I’ve been using that word all wrong then.

    • neil allen

      Catholic means “booooo same sex marriage, yaaaay hiding pedophiles!”

      And Dolan can also be described as a “glutton”

  • JET

    Unfortunately, I won’t be shocked at all by the release of these documents, just very, very disgusted. Even more disgusting are the many Catholics who will profess to be shocked, but who will continue to attend their loathsome churches and pray with their vile priests.
    I hope that those priests who did not already jump out of windows will be indicted and spend the rest of their twisted lives rotting in prisons along with their equally vile protectors, and that lawyers are lining up to file civil suits. May the bankruptcy courts be filled to overflowing until the last diocese falls.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

      It is called guilt. The Catholic church is very good at it.

      • Terry Firma

        Hey Kevin, I want to ask you something on the back channel, as it were. Could you send me a quick e-mail? terryxfirma at gmail dot com. I’ll respond.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

          Been sent.

    • $66176093

      I’m horrified by what some priests have done. I’m angry that there are those who had the power to remove some of these priests and did not. But there are several hundred thousand priests in the world, the vast majority of them decent men who dedicate their lives to the service of others. Child predators are attracted to positions that give them access to children. I worship the way I like to worship (as a Catholic) and I have had a number of dear friends who are (or were, while they were living) Catholic priests, whom I appreciate and admire for the sacrifices they’ve made for others. Teaching and coaching are other fields popular with molesters, but my kids still go to school and still participate in sports. The fact is, I trust no one, ever, anywhere. I’ve heard too many first hand accounts from victims of molestation (none of those ones, happen to have been from clergy) to let my guard down as a parent, but I also don’t condemn good people because of the sick and twisted acts of others.

      • $66176093

        I saw this page because a friend shared it on FB. Now I see it is a site for Atheists, so sorry I invaded your space. Although, I must say, “Friendly Atheist” as stated at the top of this column, is certainly not how I would describe the majority of posters here. Some of my closest, life long friends are atheists, and we still manage to treat each other with respect and kindness, regardless of our different life perspectives. So I hope I don’t offend anyone if I say: Peace out, brothers and sisters.

  • Damon Icke

    I wonder if this will make TV news? Is it me or was the recent Philly trial flat out ignored everywhere but the internet?

  • GodlessPoutine

    Somehow I think I won’t be “shocked”. I’ll just be “amazed” at how the nice people I know who say they’re Catholic can continue supporting such an evil institution.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

      Raising your child Catholic is one of the fastest ways to turn them into an atheist. The churches teachings turned my daughter off from religion very quickly.

      • Miss_Beara

        But they are still turning twenty something on to Catholicism, even after all of this. This I do not understand.

        • meekinheritance

          People enjoy community ritual, and are able to believe that the sex scandal “would never happen in my church”.
          What’s that joke? Prayed for a bike, and it went unanswered. Stole the bike, went to confession, got forgiven. Warm fuzzies all around. Who doesn’t like warm fuzzies?

      • Stunthunt

        Same here. My open-minded son went to Catholic school thru grade 8, and he credits that experience with making him an atheist. He says he saw right thru the whole religious charade, and it turned him off completely.

        • Artor

          That’s exactly what did it for me, but I only went through the 6th.

        • tijeffe

          Too bad your son’s parents couldn’t see through that same charade. They could have saved a lot of money and guilt. My nephew went to catholic school until grade 6. Today he’s a junior at college and a fine upstanding atheist.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            Stunthunt didn’t say what his/her beliefs are. The implication, though, is that he/she is not a Catholic.

      • Michael W Busch

        I had a somewhat similar experience (Catholic school thru 6th grade), although it took me a rather long time to leave the culture completely.

        But it appears that, at least for US Catholics, roughly 2/3 of people raised Catholic remain Catholic as adults. Not quite the most efficient way to make people understand that religion is wrong. I’d go with science education.

      • indorri

        Honestly, while the hierarchy is rather wretched, I think most of the lay people (those who would be doing the “raising Catholic”) tend to not invoke such reaction. For me, it was actually Evangelical/Fundamentalist decrepitude that turned me off of Christianity. Catholicism just made me apathetic to it.

  • Hero

    This. Is. Awful.

  • tigerlily55

    I live in WI. It felt really creepy to find out the pastor who baptized my daughter was a pedophile.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

      The guy people was the DJ for all the father daughter dances I took my daughter to and he was the DJ for many of her school dances. Granted, he never physically harmed any children but when I found out the news it turned my stomach.

      http://bangordailynews.com/2013/05/23/news/bangor/trial-of-hall-of-famer-wilson-on-child-pornography-possession-charge-to-begin-thursday/

      BANGOR, Maine — Maine Sports Hall of Famer and local DJ Dana Wilson pleaded no contest Thursday at the Penobscot Judicial Center to possessing child pornography.

      Wilson, 62, of Brewer decided to plead no contest to one count of possession of sexually explicit material, a Class C crime, as his jury-waived trial was scheduled to begin.

      There is no plea agreement, according to Michael Roberts, deputy district attorney for Penobscot County. A sentencing date was set for July 16.

    • RuariJM

      ‘pastor’?

      Not a Catholic, then?

  • catherine b

    Why the hell can they claim bankruptcy? They answer to the Vatican.

    • Artor

      Because it’s overseas and considered a sovereign state. Can’t touch that.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    The archdiocese of Milwaukee, did you say? Hmm. That’s the place where Rembert Weakland was archbishop, from the late ’70s to the early ’00s. He admitted, several years ago, that he’d been unaware that there was anything wrong with child abuse. So really, are we to be surprised?

    Lest anyone think Weakland was the only Catholic hierarch to think this way … erstwhile Cardinal Roger Mahony of L.A. recently said pretty much the same thing.

    Yeah, this is going to be messy. But count on the R.C. Church to continue acting as though nothing was wrong with anything they did.

  • imjustmusing

    Why don’t we ever hear outrage about all the pedophile public school teachers? There are way more of them than pedophile priests?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

      Because they, at least, sometimes get arrested and tried.

    • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

      We’re allowed to be outraged about both. Are you trying to say that we’re not allowed to be outraged over pedophile priests while other pedophiles are out and about?

    • David S.

      Even if they are, the school district absolutely does not transfer them between schools and certainly doesn’t dodge the police when they come calling. It’s not really the molesters that get the attention, it’s the fact that the Catholic Church institutionally knew of them and covered up for them.

    • smrnda

      Because they usually get busted and go to jail, and because, so far, no head of any department of education has been caught obscuring such a massive number of abuse cases.

      • Artor

        Except for Joe Paterno, and we’ve all seen how that worked out.

    • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

      Is that true? Do you have a source for that?

      And if so, are there cases of school districts covering up for pedophile teachers and sending them to new schools where they raped even more children?

      • Andrew T.

        “But everyone else rapes children too!” is the standard way for Catholic Church apologists to deflect criticism without addressing the point.

        • Miss_Beara

          It is such a sickening defense. “But.. but… but… other people do it, you are just anti Catholic bigots!” It is amazing how they continue to follow the church.

        • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

          It’s hard to imagine a more morally repugnant argument. “Everyone else was raping children too!” Sick.

        • Andre Villeneuve

          That’s incorrect. The abuses that have been committed are heinous crimes. Nobody denies that. The hypocrisy is found in those who just zero in like vultures on Catholic perpetrators while ignoring all the abuses committed by non-Christians, atheists, etc… It seems to indicate that such people are more interested in Church-bashing than in actual concern for the victims and for justice.

          • Andrew T.

            The abuse is heinous, but it isn’t the scandal.
            The across-the-board cover-up of the abuse and sheltering of the abusers, by all levels of the Catholic hierarchy itself, is the scandal.

          • Carmelita Spats

            Holy Guacamole! Let me modify the instruction for you. Do you know what the difference is between a party clown and a Catholic priest? Party clowns have background checks and they advertise this on their sites. Meet Penny the Clown. Penny does children’s parties and she’s happy to share her background check and her fingerprints are on file. See Spot run. See Penny’s criminal background check:

            http://penneytheclown.com/

            If Penny pulls a little boy into a corner and offers him absolution in exchange for masturbation, Penny does NOT have a Party Clown Vatican that will HIDE her for years. Father Marcial Maciel had a habit of masturbating boys and offering them forgiveness for their sins. Maciel was tucked away in the Vatican by Karol Wojtyla until his crimes were made public in Mexico. Wojtyla was cynical enough to crown Maciel, “A model for Catholic Youth”. Maciel died in Houston because there were plenty of folks south of the border who wanted to lynch him:

            Marcial Maciel:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqp0GAffu7A

            Runaway Priests:
            http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spe/2004/runawaypriests/priests/

            Teachers have background checks. School districts are LIABLE if they hide pedophile teachers. Superintendents and principals LOSE their LICENSE and GO to jail if they shred evidence or intimidate victims. They have ZERO incentive to hide pedophile teachers. Bishops MUST be held to the same level of criminal liability. Patrick J. Wall is an ex-priest and a canon lawyer who fights to hold BISHOPS liable and protect children from maladjusted virgins. Quote: “A bishop’s ability to oversee or supervise the clergy is reaching a new low. The criminal conduct by priests in 2013 has not abated. Rather, priest arrests are increasing. See the most recent arrests of Fathers Koppala, Guarin-Sosa, Medina-Cruz and Wehmeyer. Worse yet, even though the Dallas 2002 Charter prohibited Episcokopos from having criminally convicted priests in ministry, Archbishops have chosen to continue placing such priests like Father Michael Fugee in
            control over children.”

            Wall’s Blog: http://patrickjwall.wordpress.com/

            Rape is about power and violence. Child rape SHOULD be made into an excommunicable offense. If you desecrate the Eucharist, you are excommunicated but if you stick your penis into the mouth of a five-year-old, you are NOT excommunicated. I’ve always said that rape is about violence and power. I would rather have a priest masturbate on the Eucharist (sex with Jesus: the ultimate expression of power within their own sick delusion) than touch a single HAIR on the head of a child. Cookie-Jesus can take an erotic-yet-doughy encounter with an overstuffed pervert whereas a child CANNOT. Your cult is sick.

            • Spuddie

              There are not enough times I can upvote this post.

              Be warned, I may steal the “party clown” line at a later time. It is too awesome to leave alone.

          • Prezombie

            Considering how the Vatican systematically protects abusers, I think that by their actions, they are denying that it’s a crime.

            • Andre Villeneuve

              There are lots of people in the Vatican. Being completely fixated on the failures of a few members of the hierarchy while completely ignoring the many admissions of wrong, the countless apologies, the meetings with victims, the disciplinary actions taken against the perpetrators, and the overwhelming majority of Catholics (clergy and laity) who are appalled by the crimes hardly reveal any concern for justice and fairness on the part of most commentators on this page.

              • Art_Vandelay

                Indignation from Catholics over the failure of their organization to properly punish their employees for these heinous crimes does not get them a pass because at the end of the day, they’re still funding that shit. They know for a fact that a portion of their donations to the RCC is being used to cover-up pederasty, and they still do it. They are a complicit accomplice in the systematic rape, torture, and subsequent cover-up of sex crimes against children all over the world. This is morally reprehensible and their indignation reeks of hypocrisy.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  Disagree. The hypocrisy is found, rather, in painting wholly black a billion-member organization because of the crimes of a very small minority, while completely ignoring all the good that has come out of the same organization (e.g. hospitals, orphanages, universities, scholarship, art, architecture, etc…). The very foundations of Western civilization rest upon Christianity and the Catholic Church. You should stop reading anti-Catholic propaganda and widen your horizons a little bit to get a more balanced perspective.

                • Nate Frein

                  The very foundations of Western civilization rest upon Christianity and the Catholic Church.

                  *snort*

                  No. The foundations of western ethical thought and civilization have more to do with Greek thought. Our advancements have come in spite of the church, not because if it.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  “Our advancements have come in spite of the church, not because if it.”

                  snort is right. You are free to believe such nonsense if you like. We wouldn’t want any history or facts to disturb your anti-Christian prejudice. Fortunately your path is easy: just continue to narrowly focus on the sinners and stains of the Church while meticulously avoiding and ignoring its countless saints and geniuses and great accomplishments, and you should be good to go.

                • wombat

                  The church has sponsored some great men, it is true. But they also destroyed many of the great writings of the ancient world, and silenced many who did not agree with the doctrine of their age. The church is not wholly evil, but it is certainly not wholly good. Remembering the good the church has done should never exclude remembering what it has damaged and destroyed.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  Could you give me some concrete examples of great writings that the Church has destroyed?

                  “Remembering the good the church has done should never exclude remembering what it has damaged and destroyed.”

                  That’s a fair statement. Now what do you think of this one:

                  “Remembering the sins Christians have done should never exclude remembering what the Church has built and accomplished.”

                • wombat

                  The may have destroyed the Library of Alexandria (this is disputed) but they did destroy the Serapeum, the Great Library’s offshoot. Very few Mayan codices remain due to destruction by Spanish Catholics. What we have left of the ancient world is either preserved by chance, or writings that were considered ‘acceptable’ by the church, as the only organisation keeping records during their hegemony. We lost the secret of Archimedean fire, the writings of Sappho, and so much more.

                  As for remembering what the church has built and accomplished, it is impossible to forget, because the church still holds a degree of dominance. We’re faced with the accomplishments of the church every day. Remembering the sins of the church, on the other hand, is a new fight.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  Christian responsibility for the destruction of the Serapeum is tenuous at best. Just look it up on Wikipedia. The destruction of the Mayan codices is regrettable but such a localized event that occurred in July 1652 hardly warrants blaming the universal Church at large as being a destroyer of world literature when every serious historian knows that the contrary is true – that we owe the survival of many literature masterpieces thanks to the Church.

                  “Remembering the sins of the church, on the other hand, is a new fight.”

                  That statement is completely ridiculous. The Church is made up of sinners; everyone knows and has always known that.

                • Tom

                  “The Church is made up of sinners; everyone knows and has always known that.”

                  It is indeed. But if it’s no better than anyone else, whilst claiming to be no less than the representative of the creator of the universe, no less, then what bloody good is it? Why should it be afforded any respect above anyone else? Why should it have any authority over anyone else? Why should it be trusted over anyone else?

                  If you’re going to act all pious and superior and principled, expect to be bloody well held to it.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  You confuse the Church with the sinners in her midst. If you want to know the nature of Catholicism, then why don’t you look at the lives of those who have lived out her teachings in the best way, the saints? How does it make any sense to pick out those who have failed to live out her teachings in the worst way and then say, “aha! there are the fruits of Catholicism!” It would be hard to find logic that is more flawed. This is the equivalent of singling out all the worst students who ever came out of Harvard in order to “prove” that Harvard is an awful university.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  If the President of Harvard, half the deans, and most of the department heads covered up that some of the professors were illiterate, I’d call Harvard a bad school.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  Again your wild exaggerations are factually incorrect, rendering your argument void: we are talking about a maximum of 4% – FOUR PERCENT – of priests who committed abuses, a lesser percentage of bishops guilty of cover ups, and ONE questionable case that somehow involved Ratzinger.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  You forgot the cardinals- in the US, at least two and maybe more were involved. Or do Dolan and Mahony not count for some reason? You hurt me- I begin to think you didn’t even read the articles I linked, or you’d know that Ratzinger was involved in at least three cases, not just one, of covering for pederasty: a priest in Germany in 1980, Maciel in the 1990s, and the unnamed priest in Wisconsin.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  Sorry about that, I did read the articles, or rather I am still in the process of looking at them (the email notification is still in my inbox). There is no question about Mahony – the serious failure of a cardinal whom we have known to be liberal and problematic for a long time. Dolan is much more questionable, I think, thought I need to read up more on him.

                  As far as Ratzinger’s role goes, here is a good article that draws the big picture, not whitewashing any mistakes the cardinal may have made, but also without falling into the massively disproportionate accusations that you seem to be fond of:

                  http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/will-ratzingers-past-trump-benedicts-present

                • wombat

                  Four percent. That’s sixteen hundred of the bastards, give or take. Four percent of a hell of a lot of people is hell of a lot of abusers.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  Yes, it’s obviously 4% too many and a disgrace. Still, without excusing the culprits, “Catholic priests abuse at a rate far lower than that of other males in the general population.”
                  http://www.themediareport.com/fast-facts/

                • Michael W Busch

                  You are continuing to miss the point, and presenting articles that say things that are not supported by the evidence.

                  The incidence of child molesters in the general population is about the same as in the priesthood. Even the sources that article cites say that – the insurance agencies that handle that sort of liability assign equal risk to the church as to other groups.

                  What the Catholic Church has done is to cover up abuse, enable further abuse, and shield offenders from the law – all while claiming special moral authority. That is the problem.

                  At least 4% of the priests are directly guilty – that’s the reported rate, not the significantly higher true rate. An additional 10%+ are immediately complicit in the cover-up (including the vast majority of the hierarchy), and the entire culture of the priesthood and of the Church are responsible for making a cover-up possible in the first place.

                  Stop complaining when people point out the problems with the Church, and go work on fixing them.

                • Michael W Busch

                  Wrong. For each priest who committed abuse and was accused of such, several were complicit in the coverup – that gives at least 10% directly involved. We know that because there was always at least one priest involved in reviewing the complaint, in many cases that have been investigated it is clear that the offender’s actions had been known to others, and if the priests were being honest their confessors knew too (and didn’t order them to turn themselves in as penance).

                  And 10%+ that includes the majority of the bishops. See my earlier comment.

                  And the entire culture that made the cover-ups something that was considered by anyone in the first place is the collective responsibility of the entire priesthood and of all members of the Church.

                • Artor

                  I like Saint Olga. She was beatified for murdering entire villages of peasants who didn’t want to convert, and using some amazingly inventive methods.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  Source? Facts?

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd
                • Andre Villeneuve

                  ABC of Catholic sainthood: where sin abounds, grace abounds the more. She was not beatified “for murdering” but rather for her repentance and life *after* her conversion.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Right, because Jesus forgives everything. She turned Christian, so the fact that she was a brutal mass murderer is totally unimportant next to that all-important fact. After all, there’s no evidence she ever felt sorry for any of it. She was the first Russian ruler to become Christian, so the RCC gave her its highest honor.

                  And you wonder that we call Catholicism immoral?

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  Wrong again. The Church teaches that there are always consequences for our sins. So yes, it’s possible that even a mass murderer be forgiven if repentance is sincere; but reparation for sins remains necessary, and if it’s insufficient in this life, then it will continue in the next (purgatory).

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Then why was she a saint? Aren’t saints supposed to be examples? She was, at least according to the sources I could find, never sorry or repentant at all. She turned Christian, sure enough, but not because she felt bad about anything. It was a power play, like most of her actions.

                  I find someone who tricked thousands of people into fiery death not precisely a wonderful role model.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  You’re right that her former life is far from that of a role model. I know next to nothing about her, so unfortunately I can’t fill you in. But there are plenty of notorious examples of conversions, from Mary Magdalene to St. Augustine, the promiscuous Manichean heretic turned bishop. Isn’t it a good thing that God loves us so much that He is willing to forgive even the worst of sinners? (though again temporal consequences/punishments may well remain)

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Mary Magdalene was never a whore- that’s a translation error. St. Augustine was horribly wrong about just about everything; he’s illogical and misogynistic (gee, you keep helping me make that point!). And really, you think that prostitution is one of the worst sins? What’s wrong with you?

                  Is that the best you got? Isn’t it good that there is no God, because any God that would send or even just allow any person to go to eternal torture is inherently evil?

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  I wasn’t comparing the gravity of sins, I was just making the point that great or notorious sinners can make great saints when they experience the all-surpassing grace and love of God. “Eternal torture” is not God’s desire but rather man’s choice to choose evil and persistently and stubbornly reject the good until the end.

                  A moment ago you were upset that Hitler could make it to heaven, and how you are upset that anyone at all might go to hell. A little inconsistent? What is your preference? Equal annihilation for everyone?

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  I don’t have a preference. None of it exists. I’m merely pointing out the inconsistencies in your position. My point is that any being that allows for eternal torture and could stop it is an inherently evil being. No being who could stop eternal torture and doesn’t can be considered good by any meaningful definition of the word.

                  By Catholic doctrine, God created Hell. God knew some people would go there. God made Hell anyways, and then made not going there conditional on believing a truly ridiculous story (I mean, seriously. The Christian stories, on face value, are not realistic at all. Man and woman in a garden with a talking snake and a magic apple tree, some stuff about sin, God knocked up a virgin with a son who was also himself and then had himself sacrificed to force himself to forgive us, but only conditionally, since we have to believe all this to be forgiven so it’s not actually total forgiveness). That makes God quite evil by any standard of moral behavior I can come up with.

                  Who cares if God desires eternal torture or not? He could stop it and he doesn’t. That’s enough to call him evil.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  More misconceptions and caricatures. To say that God “created” hell is not quite correct. Hell is more an absence than a presence – the freely chosen, eternal rejection of God’s love. Of course the “Christian stories” are not realistic. Why should God fit into your narrow secularist mold? You describe the Christian doctrines in a crass, materialistic way that no Christian would hold. Gen 1-3 tell a truth in symbolic language that need not be interpreted literally (snake, etc…). Of course your ridiculous caricature makes God look evil. You will be hard pressed to find anyone at all who believes the things as you describe them.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Untrue. Lots of people believe in a Hell of fire and burning and whips and demons and lots and lots of torture. You have your personal conception of what Hell is, and it’s not as bad as many, but you have exactly as much evidence as anyone about Hell’s existence or attributes- precisely none.

                  Well, if God wanted to be universally worshiped, why would he hide his glorious presence in fairy tales and myths? If God wanted me to believe, he’d make it damned clear through falsifiable evidence that he existed. Obviously he just doesn’t care about me going to hell, since he knows exactly what evidence would convince me and isn’t showing it to me. Clearly he wants blind faith, which is the practice of believing in things without evidence. And frankly, I try not do that, because I’m not an idiot.

                  It’s not a ridiculous caricature to present your doctrines in plain language. You even admitted that my synopsis was accurate. What do you call a God that demands that people worship him without any evidence at all that the things in his holy book actually happened, when he says he is both all good and all powerful yet will condemn some people to eternal torture for having the audacity to use their (apparently God-given, if you buy the whole thing) brains? What can he be but evil?

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  No, He doesn’t want blind faith at all. God does not need our worship. The idea of worship seems perverse to you because you have a warped idea of God: you think of Him (or at least the Christian concept of Him) as evil. So obviously the idea of worshiping such a deity is abhorrent. But when we discover God in His truth, goodness and beauty, thanksgiving and praise are the natural response, just as if you love someone you don’t feel it’s a burden to express appreciation, affection and love.

                  Yes, God is somehow hidden but He promises that He will be found by anyone who genuinely seeks him. It is mostly an interior search: whenever you move towards what is genuinely true, good, and beautiful, you move towards Him. Whenever you turn away from what is evil, you turn towards God even if you don’t know it.

                  So it must be a double search – of the head and of the heart. The head alone will not cut it. You have a good mind, but that’s not enough. Also the heart alone is not enough. He does not require ‘blind faith’ but faith that seeks understanding. “I believe so that I may understand” said St. Anselm.

                  By the way, out of curiosity, where do you live?

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  I can only judge people (and beings) by their actions. Anyone can say they’re a wonderful person, but if that person also murders people, I’m going to have to disagree with their self-assessment. You say God is full of truth, goodness, and beauty- prove it. I can point to any number of monstrous things God supposedly said and did; if a human said and did those things, I would call that person an evil human, or at least not a good one, no matter what good things they might also have done. Why does God get judged by different, lower standards?

                  I have looked for God(s). I looked in different ways than many, perhaps, because I’m wired to be and/or socialized to be more logical and less emotional. A genuine search for evidence apparently doesn’t count though; only an “internal” search for warm fuzzy feelings counts? I know too much about how the brain works to trust that sort of experience, even if I’d ever had one. My emotions are engaged in ethics and morals, of course, but in questions of fact I try to keep them out. It doesn’t matter if I want something to be true or feel it to be true- if the data shows otherwise, the data trumps my feelings. The existence of a deity is a question of fact; there exists no evidence for any, so it doesn’t matter if I want it to exist or would be happy if it existed. It doesn’t. Faith that seeks for understanding is faith that will eventually shatter on cold, hard ground of reality. The only way to keep faith is to ignore the world around you, and that’s just selfish, short-sighted, and really quite sad. Remember, “science adjusts its views based on what’s observed. Faith is the denial of observation so that belief can be preserved”. (Tim Minchin, from his work Storm)

                  I live in Texas, USA. Why do you want to know?

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  I was just curious as to where you are from.

                  I’ll start with your second paragraph.

                  “Faith is the denial of observation so that belief can be preserved.”

                  I could not disagree more. That is a completely erroneous definition of faith – really a caricature more than anything – and a complete misunderstanding of the relationship between faith and reason. The Catholic tradition rejects both fideism (blind faith & distrust of reason’s natural capacities) and rationalism (overconfidence in natural reason and the presumption that it can attain a knowledge which only the light of faith can confer). Faith does not contradict reason but builds upon it; it does not ignore the world around us but rather confirms it.

                  So on the one hand, the Catholic tradition rejects the idea of a faith based on “warm fuzzy feelings,” like you say, that would contradict reason. At the same time, it also rejects the presumptuous idea that we could figure everything out by just thinking it through. If there truly is a transcendent dimension to reality, a spiritual world beyond what is available to sight and to the plain senses, then the first requirement is yes to engage our reason to its fullest in trying to understand it, but also to be humbly aware of the great limitations of our mind and powers of cognitive reasoning.

                  This is why the search for truth must involve the whole person, not just the mind but also the heart. There is great profundity and truth in Jesus’ words “blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

                  Nevertheless, since faith does not oppose reason but builds upon it, I find myself in total agreement with your statement:

                  “It doesn’t matter if I want something to be true or feel it to be true- if the data shows otherwise, the data trumps my feelings.”

                  I share your understanding of truth based on objective fact and not subjective wishful thinking. However, your very next statement does not follow:

                  “Faith that seeks for understanding is faith that will eventually shatter on cold, hard ground of reality.”

                  If that were true, how do you explain the fact that many very well educated and intelligent people, including scientists, always have and continue to believe in God? You don’t have to go very far… are you familiar with Leah Libresco, very smart atheist turned Catholic on this very forum? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unequallyyoked/

                  “The existence of a deity is a question of fact; there exists no evidence for any, so it doesn’t matter if I want it to exist or would be happy if it existed. It doesn’t.”

                  Yes, the existence of a deity is a question of fact independent of your wishes. However, there is actually plenty of evidence for it. As a self-declared atheist, you are the one who must resort to “blind faith” in order to explain the origins and existence of a complex, beautiful, changing and contingent world. Massive cosmic explosions caused by nothing at all, followed by some blind and random process of evolution don’t logically end up with intelligent, rational beings with a longing for truth, goodness, and love discussing philosophy and ethics. This is a metaphysical impossibility. It is much more reasonable to posit the eternal existence of a non-contingent, spiritual, infinite being that caused the world to be.

                  I forget if I posted this link in a conversation with you a few weeks ago (if I did, sorry about the repetition), but I find this useful: http://goo.gl/uOV6E

                  Now, onto your first point.

                  “You say God is full of truth, goodness, and beauty- prove it.”

                  First, the demand to “prove” things pertaining to God is unfair. You can ask for evidence, clues, indications, but not, strictly speaking “proofs” for a spiritual, infinite being.

                  Still, very briefly: we find objective truth, goodness and beauty in the world around us. We also find a longing for it in our own hearts. An effect cannot be greater than a cause. If we find these immaterial transcendentals in the effect (the world), then they must also be present in the cause (God).

                  “I can point to any number of monstrous things God supposedly said and did; if a human said and did those things, I would call that person an evil human, or at least not a good one, no matter what good things they might also have done. Why does God get judged by different, lower standards?”

                  To answer briefly this complex question, I would point to the two main attributes of God’s character: justice and mercy. God grants us the great gift of life. He is the source of all life and goodness. Sin is incompatible with life and goodness, indeed incompatible with God’s very character, and so all sin will be judged. At the same time, He provides superabundant mercy in forgiveness, healing, conversion and the power to be transformed from our lowly state of sinners to fulfill our high calling to be saints. If we resist this calling which is actually to live out our true nature, if we turn away from the source of life and goodness, then there will be judgment. Obviously the forms of judgment we see in the Old Testament seem crude and harsh, but if life is truly a gift from a good Creator, then logically He would have the right to take it back if we persist in rejecting the good and the true.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  I’m going to go in sort of a random order, as things come to mind.

                  Why do lots of smart people believe in God(s)? Well, because they got told about them when they were young and credulous and got indoctrinated in ways of cordoning off that aspect of their beliefs from rationality. The amount of cognitive dissonance required for people to be both educated and religious is tremendous; I have seen it many times, the blank star as the brain hiccoughs and then just rejects the contradictory evidence. It’s a learned response. You can watch it happening. The Daily Show has an excellent example of this here: http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/04/12/the-daily-show-reveals-republican-hypocrisy-over-womens-reproductive-rights-must-see-video/. Watch Mr. Shortey’s face right Al Madrigals asks him, “And who are women to think that they can control our bodies?” Mr. Shortey then says, “Right, just like there isn’t a man who thinks they can control a woman’s body” and Al Madrigal responds, “You?”. Mr. Shortey goes blank while he tries to process this and comes out of it having resolved his cognitive dissonance by literally rejecting the contra-information. Religion does that to people.

                  If there truly is a transcendent dimension to reality, a spiritual world beyond what is available to sight and to the plain senses …

                  … there would be evidence that it exists. It would have effects on our reality even if we couldn’t see it or otherwise measure it. We see the effects of gravity and the electromagnetic force even though we can’t see them or measure them through plain sense, thus we are quite sure those forces exist. Why would you ever believe in something like a spiritual realm for which not only is there no direct evidence, there isn’t even circumstantial evidence?

                  Still, very briefly: we find objective truth, goodness and beauty in the world around us. We also find a longing for it in our own hearts. An effect cannot be greater than a cause. If we find these immaterial transcendentals in the effect (the world), then they must also be present in the cause (God).

                  You’re missing the fact that you must also prove that God is the cause of everything. I reject that assumption/premise because it, too, lacks any evidence. It isn’t reasonable to postulate that something kicked off the Big Bang, but even if it was, it’s even less reasonable to postulate that it’s the Yahweh/Jesus version of God as opposed to any other. Even if you can prove there was a First Cause God (good luck with that, btw), you still have a long, hard slog to prove it’s your god.

                  The rest of your assertions can be easily dismissed because of the above paragraph. Prove a deity exists, prove that deity created everything, prove that deity is your god, and prove that your god is not an evil, sadistic bastard. Prove he has justice and mercy. He says so a lot, but his actions speak differently. The forms of judgment in the OT, as horrible as they are, pale in comparison to eternal torture. Seriously. How can you square that with a good creator deity? How can you argue that slavery, genocide, and rape are ever acceptable or even good? Yet God specifically orders them to occur. If God was a human being, he’d probably be locked away in either a super-max prison, on death row, or in an insane asylum for egomania, psychopathy, serial murder, and serial rape.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  I find your reply disappointing. A video with some odd and awkward dialogue? Frankly, your casual dismissal of many of the greatest minds in the history of western civilization (who happened to be Christian) as unfortunate victims of “cognitive dissonance” is rather hard to take seriously. As I said, humility is the first prerequisite in the search for truth…

                  The transcendent *does* have an effect on reality. Lots of people see it. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” I sent you a link with 20 arguments for the existence of God. You don’t seem to have read it. Again: to postulate that the world exists as the result of a Big Bang caused by nothing is an act of blind faith on your part. It is a metaphysical impossibility.

                  “It isn’t reasonable to postulate that something kicked off the Big Bang”

                  Why not?

                  As for who might be the “right god” once we have determined that there must be some kind of a prime mover, that is another question.

                  Regarding the moral issues that so disturb you:

                  Slavery was an established practice in the ancient world. The Torah did not introduce this practice but rather limited its abuses. And when does the Bible ever sanction rape? (excluding your bizarre claim that the Virgin Mary was “raped”). The problem of genocide seems to me to be the only genuine difficulty you raise. Let’s try an analogy:

                  Say I’m going on a very long trip and I let you stay in my house, for free. It’s a big gift. You can live in it as long as you want with the only condition that you take good care of it. But not only do you not say thank you, you proceed to trash the house. You throw out all my family pictures, ruin the furniture and leave it out on the street, etc… and then proceed to claim ownership of the house, saying that I am no longer welcome in it.

                  Who could blame me if, hearing of such behavior and after appealing to you to keep the terms of the agreement, I have no other choice but to kick you out and resort to legal means if you refuse?

                  Now, the Old Testament tells the story of a good God who grants the free gift of life to mankind, putting his law on their hearts: do good and you will live, do evil and you will die. If people decide not only to trample on the gift but also to reject the very giver of life, who could blame Him for taking back the gift of life? The same rationale goes for the existence of hell: God is the source of goodness and life. Those who reject goodness and God also reject life. Why should you be angry that they find themselves in a state of “absence” from God? It was their choice.

                  Your anger at the existence of hell is like the anger of a fish who decides to leave the ocean and go for a walk in the desert, and then becomes upset because he is suffocating.

                • Guest

                  test

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Seems to work.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  For some reason your last comment (below) is still awaiting moderation and I wasn’t able to reply to it, so I’ll post my response to it here:

                  The fact that the arguments for the existence of God are ‘common’ says nothing about their validity or lack thereof. If they are so unconvincing, refute them – for example nr. 2 on efficient causality. Why do you refuse to deal with them? An effect cannot be greater than its cause. Universes don’t come into being ex nihilo – out of nothing and caused by nothing. Do you not see the utter logical inconsistency of scoffing at theists for believing in a Creator, on the one hand, while on the other hand making an act of totally blind and irrational faith in claiming that the universe came into being more or less on its own, and after billions of years of random, meaningless evolution here we are discussing philosophy, theology, ethics, and the meaning of life. And then you have the hutspah to say that people of faith are disconnected from reality? To your credit, you now said that you “don’t know” how the world came into existence, which is a fair statement, but then it’s hardly fair to say that theists “say Goddidit and walk away”. For goodness sake, did you ever read St. Thomas Aquinas? Recognition of God’s existence is not the end of thinking; on the contrary, it’s barely the beginning of intensely engaging mind and soul in a very exciting, meaningful and joyful life.

                  Actually, for someone who has such strong anti-Christian opinions, what serious Christian works have you read? I genuinely ask. You are obviously well versed in atheist and anti-Christian arguments, but one doesn’t get the impression that you have a very mature understanding of Christianity.

                  Regarding your rape quotes: I understand that these are disturbing. However, there is a great fallacy here also: judging a text written some 2,500-3,500 years ago by modernist, secular, feminist standards is hardly honest. The OT is not a compendium of perfect morality: it reveals an accommodation to the customs and values of the time in the Middle East, which were indeed brutal and patriarchal. It was standard fare at the time for conquerors to take the women of conquered people. Yes, it seems (and is) offensive to our modern eyes, but it is false to describe these cases as ‘rape’: the Israelites did not rape the women and leave them to die; they took them as wives, i.e. under their protection and taking responsibility for their livelihood (just as slave owners were responsible for providing for them). Again, very far from modern values, and certainly not ideal morality, but not rape by any means and a big step forward compared to the Middle Eastern ethics and customs of the time.

                  You also misunderstand the episode in Eden. The symbolism is not about eating a fruit, but about disobeying and rebelling against the Creator of life and author of all goodness. Your interpretation of the origins of good and evil is interesting but incorrect. The fact that they didn’t have “knowledge of good and evil” doesn’t mean that they were amoral – the unanimous ancient understanding of the text is that the Garden of Eden was a “place” and state of pure and unadulterated goodness and communion with the loving Creator. Yes, the text is brief and one can read many things into it, but it’s important to not read it in a vacuum (the modernist approach) but within the context of ancient Jewish and Christian interpretation.

                  I did not claim that you don’t try to be a good person. I would hope you do. And I continue to maintain that even though you reject God rather aggressively, every genuine movement of your mind and soul toward the True and the Good is actually a movement toward God. However, only God and (to a lesser extent) yourself, know your deepest and most hidden inner motivations and movements of the heart. In all likelihood (because you are human), there are some sincere and some less noble motivations in you. (I certainly detect a lot of malice and dishonesty from other Christian-bashers here). It’s up to you to seek the truth as sincerely and as humbly as possible, and God will respect that, even though you continue to scowl at (your incorrect perceptions of) Him. Blessed are the pure in heart…

                • Artor

                  Official doctrine has been amended, There is no Purgatory. Please try to keep up.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  On Purgatory in the Catechism:
                  http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p123a12.htm#III

                  Since you seem to be unable to make any statement at all without distorting the facts, it is becoming very hard to believe that your ignorance is unintentional. It appears to be intentionally malicious, so I will not waste my time continuing to answer you. God bless.

                • Artor

                  Ah, the Coutier’s Reply. Shall we instead discuss the merits of D&D 3.5 vs. 4.0, and pretend that either has any relevance to the real world? Believe me, I know the feeling of frustration when discussing something with someone factually & logically challenged.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  That is some impressively clever brutality, I must say.

                • Michael W Busch

                  Could you give me some concrete examples of great writings that the Church has destroyed?

                  All but 4 Mayan Codices. Destroyed by the order of the Spanish bishops.

                  Edit: I see wombat got that one.

                • bad to the bone

                  The church has built a massive population of people that believe in fairy tales, promote intolerance and bigotry, and a population of retards that believe the earth is 6000 years old. Nothing more.

                • Michael W Busch

                  Stop it with the ableist slurs. Believing dangerously wrong things is not equal to mental disability.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  Nothing more? It looks like you missed out on the History of Western Civilization course wherever you went to school. Looks like you are more interested in anti-Christian bigotry and prejudice than in facts.

                • smrnda

                  You might wonder how Jews perceived Christian ‘civilization’ in Europe.

                • Artor

                  The Library of Alexandria, the greatest collection of writings in the ancient world, was burned by a mob of Xians and Hypatia the curator, was skinned alive by the mob. This single event marked the beginning of the Dark Ages, which plunged the Xian world into ignorance for centuries, until the Renaissance.

                  If you don’t know any history, I recommend you learn before you try arguing about it.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  Since you claim to be interested in history, perhaps you should brush up on it yourself before hurling baseless accusations:
                  http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2010/06/the-perniciously-persistent-myths-of-hypatia-and-the-great-library

                • Artor

                  Holy shit! Did you actually just pass a link to an Xian propaganda site as a historical reference? Wow! I think I just got BINGO! This is fun! Come on, tell me more!

                  For those that don’t want to follow the link, here’s the place he wanted to reference as a historical source;

                  “First Things is published by The Institute on Religion and Public Life, an interreligious, nonpartisan research and education institute whose purpose is to advance a religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society.”

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  If the facts are wrong then just refute them instead of these antics.

                • Artor

                  Assertions made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. Scholasticus, who was there, says Hypatia was murdered by an Xian mob. The academic dispute questions whether they uses sea shells to skin her or did they use cobblestones. David Bentley Hart, the author of “The Perniciously Persistent Myths of Hypatia and the Great Library,” does not have any more credibility on the subject than you. Refuted, biotch!

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  “Hypatia was murdered by a Xian mob”. The article admits this. Apparently you have not read it.

                • bad to the bone

                  Ha, the words “genius” and “religion” are at complete odds. Pardon me while I focus on the hundreds of thousands of people killed over Christianity. You sort of look a bit like a pedo yourself. Go to church much?

                • Michael W Busch

                  Do not throw “pedophile” around as an insult. It is far too serious a problem to be used as a reaction to someone saying something that is wrong.

                • Spuddie

                  N/t Replied to the wrong poster. Corrected.

                • Michael W Busch

                  That is entirely not what I am doing. I am opposed to people using serious crimes as light insults – to do so trivializes horrifically evil things. That is all.

                • Spuddie

                  Misdirected post. My bad.

                • Michael W Busch

                  Okay. That makes more sense. Thanks for catching it.

                • Artor

                  Dude, we’re trying to have a serious discussion here. Lay off the trolling please.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ruari-McCallion/604089387 Ruari McCallion

                  You could give us a few Ames and addresses if here were o many, bttb. Or even list a few genuine wars of religion over the past 500 years? Should be a wide enough time period for you…

                • indorri

                  It is not anti-Christian prejudice to conclude that 700 years after the formation of the church saw the decline of science compared to previous centuries. Even if I were to chalk it up to the upheaval that accompanied the medieval period, the discovery of Greek texts that accompanied the reflourishing of science is good evidence that Western Civilization is more built on Greek philosophy and learning than the RCC.

                  I don’t think the RCC as a whole is anti-science, but it definitely wasn’t pro-science until Scholasticism started taking hold.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ruari-McCallion/604089387 Ruari McCallion

                  The Dark Ages were nothing to do with Viking, Barbarian or Turkmen invasions, then?

                  I must have been misled all these years.

                  Of course, it’s always possible that your blinkered prejudice makes it impossible for you o tolerate he reality that the monasteries kept the light of learning burning while Europe descended into barbarism but I fear you will have o accept that it is true.

                  Just as you will never be able to conceal the fact that Roger Bacon was a monk and the Renaissance was fostered by the Church.

                • indorri

                  Irish monasteries. The rest of Europe pounded sand. (Edit: OK, that was a gross over-generalization on my part. The rest of Europe, though severely lacking in Greek scholarship, still had Latin scholarship. But that was still mostly focused on theological issues. The preservation of works on natural sciences is relatively rare compared to religious treatises, with many works being overwritten to preserve paper.)

                  If you take the time to stop accusing those who draw different conclusions than you of prejudice, you’ll see I took the invasions into account. You’ll notice I never denied Bacon was a monk, nor that the church fostered the Renaissance.

                  That doesn’t detract from my conclusion that the basis of such learning comes more from the Greeks. That doesn’t diminish the Church’s role in bringing such literature back to the west.

                  Also, saying that Europe descended into “barbarism” is a gross oversimplification, if not exaggeration. The loss of knowledge that accompanied the medieval period led into a great sociological and economic upheaval, but in terms of culture it was still rich. Don’t get me wrong, many parts of its culture were morally wretched, but so was many parts Greek and Roman culture. Moreover, Germanic legal systems were also a major influence on our current systems (in common-law countries especially), so even the entire “Greek, Romans Good, Germanic Barbarians Bad” is a simplification and ahistorical.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Aww look, somebody has no idea what the Enlightenment was.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  When you have a hierarchy, it is always pyramidal. There are always fewer members at the top than at the bottoms. One can and must always blame those at the bottom for supporting those at the top when those at the top are reprehensibly immoral; yes, it is the actions of a few to cover up the pederasty, but it is the actions of a few with power, promoted by the organization into positions of responsibility and trusted to be its public faces.

                  What a random Catholic person does doesn’t reflect on the RCC at all. What a random priest or nun does barely reflects on the RCC. What a bishop does reflects a lot, what an archbishop does reflects even more, what a cardinal does is pretty damning, and what a pope does represents the entire organization. When the coverup includes bishops and archbishops and cardinals and the ex-pope, then yeah, the RCC as a whole is culpable.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  How many bishops and cardinals, exactly, have actually been proven guilty of cover-ups? I am asking honestly. Do we have any numbers? And in what, exactly, consists the guilt of the ex-pope?

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  “For 25 years, Benedict, then known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, headed the Vatican office responsible for investigating claims of sex abuse, but he did not act until he received an explicit order from Pope John Paul II.”
                  http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/pope-benedicts-legacy-marred-sex-abuse-scandal/story?id=18466726#.UdDubPnPnTw

                  Ex-pope Ratzinger is living in the Vatican in part to ensure he is not prosecuted for his crimes.
                  http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/15/us-pope-resignation-immunity-idUSBRE91E0ZI20130215

                  Cardinals Dolan and Mahony in the US are being deposed because of their coverups.
                  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/21/nyc-cardinal-dolan-deposed_n_2733340.html
                  http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2009/01_02/2009_02_18_Isely_ArchbishopDolans.htm

                  Cardinal Dolan paid pedophile priests to go away, instead of reporting them
                  http://abcnews.go.com/US/cardinal-dolan-quiet-20k-payments-pedophile-priests/story?id=16467662#.UdDvaPnPnTw

                  Cardinal Mahony was so awful his successor actually stripped him of public, ceremonial duties
                  http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-mahony-20130510,0,2784486.story

                  And that is just the ex-pope and most famous US high church officials known to have aided and abetted the cover-up. That doesn’t even begin to cover what happened in Ireland, Austria, Germany, Mexico, and many other places. I got sick enough just finding those articles- you can surely find more yourself. Just Google it.

                • Amor DeCosmos

                  How dare you attack Catholicism with facts, you bigot?

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ruari-McCallion/604089387 Ruari McCallion

                  How dare you wallow in prejudice, you twat?

                • Michael W Busch

                  Stop it with the sexist slurs.

                • Artor

                  Prejudice is when you make a judgement without considering facts and merits. Sound judgement is when you consider the evidence, and then make a judgement. Looking at this thread, it’s obvious who is looking at real evidence and who is not.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ruari-McCallion/604089387 Ruari McCallion

                  If any of that prejudiced, bigoted balderdash was either factual or true there might be severe issues. Sadly for your bigotry – and that of others – it isn’t.

                  Cardinal Ratzinger did nt head the Vatican office charged with investigating sexual abuse for 25 years – because there was no such thing in existence. The bishops were responsible for discipline in their own areas. Ratzinger, as head of the Congregation fr he Doctrine of Faith, wrested responsibility from the bishops – who he could see were failing in that duty – in 2001.

                  As soon as he was able – I.e., when he became Pope – he stripped Maciel of his position and rivileges and started firing failing bishops all over the world, from Los Angeles to Limerick.

                  Ratzinger / Benedict did more t the I

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ruari-McCallion/604089387 Ruari McCallion

                  To tackle the issue than anyone before him.

                  Inconvenient truths, which undermine your entire thesis, but truth nonetheless.

                  Live with it or be exposed by your own acts as one who prefers lies, bigotry and prejudice to anything resembling truth.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  “In 1980, as Archbishop of Munich, Ratzinger approved plans for a priest to move to a different German parish and return to pastoral work only days after the priest began therapy for pedophilia. The priest was later convicted of sexually abusing boys.” -same article as above, http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/pope-benedicts-legacy-marred-sex-abuse-scandal/story?id=18466726#.UdHh1_nPnTx

                  Can you support your claim that this office didn’t exist for 25 years? I trust ABC News not very much, but that sort of basic fact-checking seems well within their capabilities. Part of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s (also known as the Inquisition, which has existed for centuries) job is and always has been to investigate allegations of sexual abuse, and Ratzinger was put at its head in 1981. He heard the allegations about Maciel in the 1990s and did nothing about them; in 1996 he specifically declined to take any action about a priest who was accused of abusing deaf students in Wisconsin. Ratzinger actually put a stop to an internal secret trial on the grounds that the priest was just too old and sick, so it was unfair to the poor man to drag him through it. In 2001 he took more active control, but only because Pope John Paul II ordered him to. Ratzinger clearly complied only under duress, writing a letter that emphasized that the Church could keep records secret and should handle things internally.

                  In 2004, Pope Benedict finally started proceedings against Maciel, but he’d covered for him for a decade at that point. He still supported hiding files and dealing with things internally (and quietly) instead of reporting allegations to the police.

                  Accusing the ex-pope of covering up child abuse and enabling the shuffling of pedophiles from parish to parish is nothing more or less than the truth. You want to try again, or are we done with your insults and falsehoods? You’ll also note that the accusations against Mahony and Dolan go unanswered, because they are so clearly in the wrong.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ruari-McCallion/604089387 Ruari McCallion

                  Feminerd – what is this office that Ratzinger was supposed to have been head of or 25 years and what were its duties and responsibilities?

                  May I fondly recommend that you check Ratzinger’s biography before answering, lest you accidentally give the impression that you are an ignorant buffoon.

                  May I also recommend tat you find out where that ‘pedophile priest’ was from? Same reason.

                  I only make these recommendations to save you from yourself…

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  /sigh. I only respond this one last time because you’ve managed to annoy me, and I have the information at my fingertips.

                  what is this office that Ratzinger was supposed to have been head of or 25 years and what were its duties and responsibilities?

                  Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It’s also called the Inquisition. It was founded in 1542. Its duties and responsibilities originally were to “spread sound Catholic doctrine and defend those points of Christian tradition which seem in danger because of new and unacceptable doctrines”. In 1988, Pope John Paul II reiterated that this was its duty and specifically reaffirmed its control over sexual abuse cases, saying “[t]he proper duty of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is to promote and safeguard the doctrine on faith and morals in the whole Catholic world; so it has competence in things that touch this matter in any way.” He reiterated it again in 2001 when he said it was important to define “grave derelicts against morals” in the church as well as the sanctions for them.
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congregation_for_the_Doctrine_of_the_Faith
                  http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_pro_14071997_en.html

                  May I fondly recommend that you check Ratzinger’s biography before answering, lest you accidentally give the impression that you are an ignorant buffoon.

                  Yeap, Ratzinger got put at the head of it in 1981, just like I said. May I fondly recommend you actually do some research lest you come off as a condescending jackass?

                  May I also recommend tat you find out where that ‘pedophile priest’ was from? Same reason.

                  Wisconsin. The one who abused large numbers of deaf children entrusted to his care. Rereading it, I do realize that the pronouns are somewhat ambiguous, but the priest who was just too old and sick to stand trial was the priest referenced in the previous sentence. And again, see prior recommendation.

                  I only suggest you do your own damn research to save you from yourself and your delusions … I won’t always be around to slap you down with facts, after all. Teach a man to fish and all that!

                • RuariJM

                  All you have done is provide a stark demonstration of how little you know and how much inconvenient truth you seek to conceal with prejudice and bluster.

                  The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith – the clue is in the name: specifically, the “Faith” bit. Its job, from its foundation, has been to determine matters of theology, teaching and faith, and to ensure that preaching and publications conform with the orthodoxy. Its only role in discipline has been to rule on whether or not a priest could be laicised. There can be a number of reasons for such a course of action – overwhelmingly, the requests come from the priests themselves, through their Bishops.

                  In the case of abusive priests, the laicisation requests came from the relevant Bishop. The main reason given for refusal or delay has been that, laicisation, the Church would no longer have any control over the individual at all – being completely fired, he was no longer subject to normal employment discipline, never mind Church discipline.

                  The CDF had no responsibility for investigation of sexual abuse and subsequent discipline until 2001. That truth may be inconvenient; you can sigh as much as you want but you should get over it and learn to live with it.

                  Here is an easy bit of research for you to do. Follow up the links for greater detail and stop relying on bullshit, recycled websites and your own circle-jerk prejudice reinforcement.

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Benedict_XVI

                  Just beyond halfway, under the sub-heading “Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church”, you find the following:

                  “Prior to 2001, the primary responsibility for investigating allegations of sexual abuse and disciplining perpetrators rested with the individual dioceses. In 2001, Ratzinger convinced John Paul II to put the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in charge of all investigations and policies surrounding sexual abuse in order to combat such abuse more efficiently.[154][155]”

                  Feel free to read the rest yourself, along with the links to related sites. If you are unable, or cannot bear to, get someone less blinded by prejudice to read it out loud for you.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Jesus you’re bad at this. It’s been public knowledge for a long time. You are, however, apparently quite good at setting yourself up to “give the impression that you are an ignorant buffoon.”

                • RuariJM

                  Bad at what?

                  Joining in with the mental masturbation of prejudice and bigotry exhibited on this and other herd mentality sites?

                  You are correct. I am very bad at that, indeed. You and various others here, on the other hand, are shining examples of unthinking conformity.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Bad at being too stupid to know when to quit after being presented with evidence. Jesus must love your dishonesty. Poor, poor angrums, throwing out every random insult you can think of in the hope that something will stick. The Kingdom of Heaven will not be for you. Poor angrums.

                • RuariJM

                  Honeycutt, you seem determined to wallow in the cesspit of your own ignorance and prejudice, despite all attempts o help you find a way out.

                  It doesn’t matter how many times you repeat the same old shit, it remains the same old shit. And the only people who are taken in by it are the same old shit-heads. All I can do is point it out; the decision to remain is yours alone.

                  PS – have you not noticed that Feminerd has not replied? May be she actually took the time to find out what she was talking about and realised she was wrong…
                  Sssshhh!

                • Pofarmer

                  Bishop in KC just this past summer got 3 years for obstruction of justice covering for a priest making child pornography.

                • Artor

                  He made news because he was the first bishop ever to face sentencing for protecting pedophile priests. Some serious job the church is doing to fix the problem, huh?

                • Michael W Busch

                  Since a couple percent of US priests have had complaints of sexual abuse lodged against them with the Church, most of those complaints were covered up initially, and there is an average of ~200 priests per bishop, we can say that the vast majority of bishops were complicit in at least some part of the cover-up (with an average of perhaps 5 cases covered up by each bishop).

                  The ones I immediately recall and that were particularly horrific: Milwaukee, Boston, LA, Kansas City. Broadening to the global Catholic Church: several in Ireland, others in Italy, France, Canada, and Australia, assorted papal nuncios, and Joseph Ratzinger (see Feminerd’s comment).

                  Also, popes since at least Paul VI have been aware of the problem and therefore at least to some degree complicit. And none of these facts of the history of cover-ups is disputed by the Church hierarchy. Covering up cases of sexual abuse by priests was official church policy since the late 19th century at the latest.

                  Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_sex_abuse_cases and its sources.

                • Artor

                  You have been ranting in support of the church all this time, and you’re just now asking this question? I don’t have enough palms or faces to show how bad you fail.

                • bad to the bone

                  Nope. Religion is for idiots, pedophiles, and bigots. End of story.

                • Michael W Busch

                  You are wrong.

                  The majority of religious people are not particularly lacking in intelligence; nor do they have any mental disability. They simply believe wrong ideas.

                  Only a very small fraction of religious people are pedophiles (pedophiles may concentrate in the Catholic priesthood as compared to the general population – but that is a different problem).

                  Many religious people are horribly bigoted, but so are many irreligious people. And everyone is bigoted to some extent – as much as we can and must learn not to be. One of the biggest dangers of religion is that it is used to give bigotry supernatural endorsement and hold it as being above criticism. But religion does not cause bigotry, although it can and does make it worse.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  Great. You have just called “idiots, pedophiles and bigots” about 80-90% of the world population of all times, people of all cultures, languages, social classes, and levels of education. It immediately gives one the ardent desire to arrive at your marvelously enlightened example of tolerance and wisdom. Who needs Leonardo da Vinci, Shakespeare and Copernicus when we have you to look up to?

                • Hat Stealer

                  You should probably ignore bad to the bone at this point- he’s not acting intelligently, he’s probably trolling, and he’s providing easy fodder for you to attack.

                • saltcay

                  I could agree with your statements if it was simply one priest trying to cover up for another priests “misdoings”. Unfortunately this is the CEO’s of the organization covering up, hiding, protecting their subordinates. Cardinals covering up for the entire archdiocese, the Vatican rewarding abusives by exonerating them, elevating them to a higher position, and moving them out of the jurisdiction where they can’t be legally touched. The Catholic Church needs to clean house from the top down.

                • Art_Vandelay

                  Andre, I can’t for the life of me see what you disagree with me over. I’m fully aware that a large majority of Catholics are anti-pederasty. At the same time, that majority creates an environment where it’s easy for it to breed by funding it and providing a bunch of old, creepy virgins with undeserved authority over their children. You haven’t disputed that at all.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  “that majority creates an environment where it’s easy for it to breed”

                  Your statement is incorrect. A more balanced perspective:

                  http://www.psychwww.com/psyrelig/plante.html

                • RuariJM

                  They aren’t interested in balance, Andre; they are interested in reinforcement of their bigotry.

                  One desires that everyone should be saved but it is ultimately their own choice. See CS Lewis “The Great Divorce”. “That Hideous Strength” is quite good as well; it illustrates that there is nothing new or original in the lines of thought they espouse as if they were so contemporary and innovative.

                • Artor

                  Oh,? Anti-Catholic propaganda like the Church’s own records soon to be released? The original point of the article? The stuff the Cardinal himself says, “Prepare to be shocked,” over? I’m sure it’s all just lies you can discount and still sleep well tonight, right?

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  Once again: there is no question that the abuses were appalling crimes, and I have no problem at all in condemning them. The problem is with a) the completely disproportionate and sweeping accusations against the Church at large, combined with b) completely ignoring or dismissing the Church’s massively positive contribution to society and the world in the past 2,000 years.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  The CEO, CFO, and CTO of Enron were all involved in the massive corruption and cooked books. The minor wage workers at Enron were not. Is it inappropriate to use Enron as an example of corruption? After all, a lot of its top officials were involved in the scandal, though the vast majority of Enron employees were not.

                  The Church at large is rotten. The hierarchy is full of people who have covered up the most heinous crimes and been promoted for putting the good of the Church ahead of the good of people. We don’t have to point to any good works the Church has done when we talk about how the entire hierarchy, all the way up to the top, has systematically covered up the rape and abuse of thousands of people all over the world. Ted Bundy was polite, charming, and highly intelligent. He appears to have been a decent husband. Who the fuck cares? He was a serial rapist and murderer: that overwhelms any good he may have done. Well, the evil of pederasty and covering it up is not mitigated by any good the Church has done. Individual Catholics are no more culpable than Enron’s receptionist was; they are still part of an organization that is immoral.

                • Artor

                  Nobody is ignoring the church’s contributions, we just don’t think it’s relevant. You don’t get a pass to rape children because you inspired some amazing art and shaped culture. And while you say you condemn the church’s crimes, you are ignoring the fact that they continue to protect the perpetrators of those crimes. That’s why there is so much anger against the church. I mainly hold the hierarchy responsible for their actions, but your support of them makes you complicit. If you don’t like it, then work to change how the church works, don’t complain that you’re being persecuted. That shit doesn’t fly here.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  Your words only reveal your total ignorance of how seriously the Church is dealing with the abuses. I am constantly around parishes and priests, and the amount of concern and care to ensure the safety of kids is overwhelming. It is really a shame that the crimes of a few, mostly committed 20-40 years ago, have had such devastating consequences on the pastoral work carried out today by a large majority of faithful workers for the Gospel.

                • Artor

                  There you go again. These aren’t crimes committed 20 years ago. They are still committed today. And how many bishops have been convicted for their part in the scandals? Two? Three? Just today, Cardinal Dolan transferred all his diocese’s cash into untouchable trusts so they can’t be seized to pay settlements. That’s some weapons-grade “dealing with the abuses.”

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  I grew up Jewish. The sum total of the RCC’s contributions to society that I learned involved gross anti-Semitism, stealing Jewish babies, forced baptisms, inciting pogroms and riots, the Crusades, the Inquisition, expulsion from many countries across Europe at various times, corruption, sadism, venality, the papacy being passed from father to son (!!). The RCC created the anti-Semitism that led to the Holocaust with its constant dehumanization and propaganda against Jews. The best physicians of Europe were Jewish, because they washed their hands. The RCC burned them at the stake as witches for enacting cures that verged on “miraculous”, which undercut RCC claims of greatness. You’ll excuse me if I take your claims of Catholic greatness with a giant pile of salt. From where I stand, the RCC is built on a giant pile of blood and suffering.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  I spent many years in Israel and I am thoroughly familiar with the Jewish perspective on Christianity. Much of it is true, sadly, and there is indeed still need for repentance on the part of Christians regarding many ugly chapters of history. On the other hand, the Jewish perspective on Christianity also tends to be very skewed. Focusing entirely on wildly exaggerated negative accounts is not a balanced perspective on history. Fortunately nowadays there are many Jewish historians who have succeeded in taking a more level-headed approach.

                • Artor

                  Go ahead and tell someone whose grandparents fled Germany how the stories of Auschwitz and Dachau are wildly exaggerated. I’ll be right here watching your results.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  Of course you will also blame Auschwitz and Dachau on the Church. Hardly surprising at this point.

                • Artor

                  Of course you would try to deflect responsibility from the Church. That’s hardly surprising either. Anti-Semitism has been a major tenet of Xianity since it’s founding, and endemic throughout Europe. Hitler was Catholic, and worked with the full approval of the Catholic Church. In what way do you imagine the Church does not bear responsibility for the Holocaust? Do you imagine that you are painting yourself as a good, righteous Xian? The mind boggles.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  Factually incorrect. Hitler was indeed born Catholic but he hated the Catholic Church. Here is a selection of quotes from Mein Kampf on his view of Catholicism and Christianity:

                  http://romanchristendom.blogspot.ca/2010/01/for-record-hitler-hated-christianity.html

                • Artor

                  I can quote Hitler too. “I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.”
                  - Adolf Hitler, to General Gerhard Engel, 1941

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  So what? Who cares what he said if he proceeded to violate everything that the Catholic Church stands for?

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  What if he was super sorry about it all before he died? Could he have died a good Catholic? Maybe even been sainted as a deathbed repentant?

                  Now, there’s no evidence of that. I just want to know, if he had repented on his deathbed, with a priest to give him last rites, wouldn’t that be what Good Catholics ™ do? Wouldn’t that send Hitler to Heaven?

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  Under no circumstance could he have died a “good Catholic” or even less a saint. Theoretically yes, it’s possible that he could have repented at the last second, and so theoretically yes, he could have made it to heaven (after a half eternity in purgatory, perhaps). But practically, there is something about evil that so hardens the heart of man that after a certain point repentance becomes nearly impossible. I am fairly convinced that this was the case with Hitler.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  But not St. Olga? Just because she lived about 1000 years ago, you think she magically repented and was a totally awesome person, after all her prior actions? Hitler just gave the orders- Olga saw them carried out with her own two eyes. She probably even personally did some of the killings; she certainly was there when the entire town burned. She saw people burn to death, heard the screams, and enslaved the survivors. You don’t call that enough evil to “harden the heart of a [wo]man that after a certain point repentance becomes nearly impossible”?

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  I don’t know. I wasn’t there. I tend to give credence to an ancient tradition attesting to the fact that she repented enough to be recognized by her people as worthy of canonization. What do you prefer? In the case that there is a God… no repentance possible after a certain point? Might you not see the hope that this gives, that no sinner is so bad that he/she cannot turn around and be transformed by the love of God?

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Well, some actual reparation in this world might be nice … you know, trying to undo some of the hardships of those she hurt, paying blood money to the families of the men she murdered, a public apology, something meaningful in the only life we have? When we do bad things to people, they’re the only ones who can forgive us. God doing it usurps those people’s agency and is yet another example of how God is evil. He encourages people to not take real responsibility for the consequences of their actions.

                  Instead of the love of God, why not just a basic sense of empathy to understand that you hurt people? That seems more generally useful and less likely to lead to religious wars.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  The first and last part of what you write sound good to me. Unfortunately, it’s hard to go back 1,000 years in her case. We don’t know what she did or did not do. Ideally, I agree that it is best if reparation be done here on earth while we can. It is said that the suffering in purgatory will be much more painful than our earthly acts of reparation. You keep casting God in the worst possible light, but in the end we will be in awe of both His justice and His mercy toward us.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  I cast the Christian God only in the light his followers say he casts. It’s not my fault that light is almost universally negative when you actually take a look at what it means.

                • Artor

                  Repented of what? Murdering pagans? That was what she was sainted for. Holy shit, you are bad at this. You don’t even seem to know much about the horrible church you are defending.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  No she wasn’t canonized for murdering pagans. It’s really hard to remain patient with all your lies.

                • Artor

                  Actually, she wasn’t present for the burning; that was one of her innovations. She demanded doves from the eaves of the houses of everyone that opposed her as a peace offering. Terrified of getting their asses stomped some more, the peasants did as she commanded, but Olga tied baskets to each of the doves and put a burning coal in them. When released, the doves flew home to their roosts and burned the village to the ground remotely. Pretty saintly, huh?

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Still there with the army camped outside, is what I meant. Ancient sieges were still very close encounters- she would have been well able to see and smell what was going on, she rode through afterwards, she talked the captured elders and gave the orders to enslave people she undoubtedly saw.

                  So no, she didn’t run through town with a torch herself. She was still there, though. And she may well have locked the doors and set the fire for the 20 men locked in a building and burned to death, but there’s absolutely no way to know that.

                • Artor

                  Well, the Pope of his time was happy to take his gold and give him a stamp of approval, so I guess the Pope cares. And you seem to think the church stands for sweetness and light, but as I think you’ve probably guessed by now, most of the folks here don’t. There is way too much evidence otherwise.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  The Myth of Hitler’s Pope: Pope Pius XII And His Secret War Against Nazi Germany by RABBI David G. Dalin
                  http://amzn.com/0895260344

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  None of the death camps are the RCC’s fault. The RCC was complicit in them, and centuries of Catholic anti-Semitism set the stage for such an atrocity, but no, the RCC does not bear the blame for the camps. It is safe to say, though, that if the RCC had never existed, neither would the death camps.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  If the RCC was “complicit” in the death camps, how do you explain that thousands of priests also died in them? Ecclesiastical schizophrenia?

                  http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/NonJewishVictims.html

                  Also, though I will grant you (as the Church grants as well) that centuries of Christian anti-judaism may have prepared the way to Nazi anti-semitism, keep in mind that Germany was steeped in liberal Protestantism for the last two centuries before Hitler, and that the part of Germany that resisted him the most was Catholic Bavaria.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Oh, Luther was horribly anti-Semitic as well. You can trace that all the way back through to Catholicism, but it certainly isn’t only the old Catholics. Just because Protestantism rejected much of Catholicism that doesn’t mean a lot of branches didn’t keep certain unpleasant aspects of the original. The anti-Semitism and misogyny stayed for centuries; the misogyny, especially, isn’t gone from either Catholicism or many Protestant sects.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  “the misogyny, especially, isn’t gone from either Catholicism…”

                  more nonsense. I went to school in a Catholic college (where I am also spending my summer) and I every time I go I see there the most beautiful, amazing, and joyful women who love Jesus and His Catholic Church and are most happy to live out the Catholic faith as the most fulfilling and empowering philosophy of life.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  And who can never, ever have any voice or say in the Catholic church. We’ve been over this. As long as women are explicitly denied power in the Church, the RCC is misogynist. As long as the highest callings for women in the RCC are virgin and mother, the RCC is misogynist. As long as the RCC claims that a clump of cells smaller than the period at the end of this sentence is more important than the life and autonomy of a woman, the RCC is misogynist. As long as the RCC refuses to allow women to control their sex lives and their bodies by fighting against contraception, the RCC is misogynist. I will not get into this again, because you’ve shown yourself to be completely incapable of understanding why telling women they’re not allowed to control their lives, their bodies, or to have a say in their religion is a problem.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  “who can never, ever have any voice or say in the Catholic church”

                  Wrong again. Just read Catherine of Siena (who exhorted and rebuked popes), St. Teresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux, Edith Stein, to name but a few. True, beautiful, strong, passionate, marvelous, joyful womanhood. Holiness is true power, not the sins that you try to defend but that in the end only enslave us.

                • Artor

                  How many of those women will ever be priests?

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  None, and none of them would aspire to such a thing. They understand that true womanhood, though nothing less than true manhood, is simply different.

                • Artor

                  *Facepalm* Can you even hear yourself talking?

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  Yes. People of the world who don’t know God think that success is measured by power. But the joyous life is found in the Gospel, in humility and in holiness, as exemplified in Jesus’ life. The many beautiful and wonderful religious sisters that I know are a shining example of this. The last thing on their mind would be to want to become a “priest”.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Bullshit. There are a fair number of women who want to be priests. Today, the RCC excommunicates priests who try to ordain women, and it has happened. True womanhood is not different from true manhood, for they are both about reaching one’s potential as a person.

                  Why do you see me as subhuman, Andre? Why do you think my voice means less than yours, that I shouldn’t have a say or a leadership role? Because penis? That’s a really shitty reason.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  I know very well that many women want to become priests. And many women don’t.

                  Your second paragraph is so off that I don’t really know how to respond to it. Though I don’t even know your name behind your odd nickname Feminerd, to think that I see you as “subhuman” is not just preposterous, it could not be more wrong. You are a very beloved daughter of God, called to greatness and love, your voice means just as much (or more) than mine, and you can certainly have a say or a leadership role (I see amazing women in leadership roles in the Church all the time). You can’t be a priest/father just as I can’t be a mother. Male and female are not better/lesser, they are just different.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  No, they aren’t. They’re people. The difference between male and female is that a man can write his name in the snow when he pisses, and I can have babies and bleed out my crotch once a month. That’s it.

                  Women have no leadership roles in the Church. They are explicitly banned from having leadership roles in the Church. The only voices that matter on matters of doctrine are the bishops, archbishops, cardinals, and pope. You will note they are all male, because the system is designed that way.

                  If women’s voices mattered, Beatriz wouldn’t have been condemned to die at the RCC’s insistence. She lived because of a “compromise” C-section, performed at great risk to her life when an early abortion would have been quite safe for her, for a ‘baby’ that couldn’t live (it didn’t have a brain). Savita Halappanavar wouldn’t have died. Esperanza wouldn’t have died. The doctor who performed an abortion on a nine-year-old rape victim wouldn’t have been excommunicated, nor would her mother. Instead, her stepfather who raped her would have been excommunicated (he wasn’t and hasn’t been). The nun who allowed an abortion for an unnamed woman in Arizona who would have died without it wouldn’t have been excommunicated. The nuns in the US wouldn’t have been scolded like children for focusing on poverty and education instead of abortion and gays.

                  Tell me again that the Church treats women like people. I dare you. If women want to be priests, why stop them?

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  You dare me? OK: No organization values women more than the Church.

                  I’m too exhausted to get into the tragic cases you name. Again, I can’t recommend highly enough: Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux, Edith Stein. You can find lots of their writings online.

                  Must go sleep, I was in a plane most of the day. Peace & blessings to you.

                • Michael W Busch

                  No organization values women more than the Church.

                  That is an incredibly blatant and offensive lie. If the Church truly valued women, it would advocate for legal and safe abortion, distribute effective contraception freely everywhere it operates, and actually treat women equally to men.

                  Stop enabling misogyny.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  I have a hard time understanding what suffocating and/or dismembering a baby in her mother’s womb has to do with valuing women. Certainly not the women who are being murdered are being “valued”, nor their mothers who will be scarred for life. And you have the nerve to accuse me of misogyny. What an idiot.

                • Michael W Busch

                  Stop the nonsense. Now.

                  And go learn actually learn about abortion. You can start with Libby Anne’s piece at Love, Joy, Feminism: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/10/how-i-lost-faith-in-the-pro-life-movement.html .

                  The main points:

                  Abortion does not “suffocate” anything, nor does it “dismember a baby” or “murder” anyone – abortion concerns zygotes, embryos, and non-viable fetuses. If there is any significant chance of a fetus surviving as a healthy neonate, the standard of care is delivery, not abortion. And forcing a woman to continue a pregnancy she does not want to continue is equivalent to letting someone force you to repeatedly donate bone marrow for several months. Nor does having a clinical abortion “scar a women for life”.

                  It also happens that outlawing abortion does not change the rate of abortions – when people need abortions, they get them. What happens when abortion is illegal is that women get unsafe abortions. And thanks in significant part to the actions of the Catholic Church, over 60,000 women die every year due to unsafe abortions. If abortions were universally legal, safe, and available, that would not happen and there would be not be significantly more abortions than there are now.

                  And, it happens that the only effective way to reduce the rate of abortions is easy access to effective contraception. And yet the Church opposes that. And the Church hierarchy knows contraception brings the abortion rate down and benefits women’s health – a panel of experts explained all of this to the Vatican II Council, and many others have done so since.

                  But instead the Church continues care more about controlling women’s bodies and what sex everybody is having and promotes policies that kill upwards of 100,000 women a year by denying them the health care that they need (a large share of the >60,000 unsafe abortions, plus more preventable deaths from poor health caused by lack of contraceptive use, plus preventable deaths from STIs).

                  You have recited a large number of incredibly inaccurate anti-abortion lies. That compounds your earlier one, and like it or not you are continuing to defend and enable misogyny.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  For someone who claims to be offended by nonsense, you have written a whole lot of it yourself.

                  So legalizing abortion actually reduces the number of abortions? Great. Over 50 million abortions since 1973. It sure makes the “safe, legal, and rare” slogan sound like a joke.

                  Since legalizing a moral crime in order to lower its rate works so well, then following your rationale we should perhaps legalize rape and incest as well – making them “safe and legal” to avoid back-alley rapes?

                  Oh, but abortion is not a moral crime, you will say. It’s only terminating zygotes, embryos and “non-viable fetuses”. Sure, as demonstrated here, it is a perfectly respectable and humane procedure:

                  http://goo.gl/vzv2a
                  http://goo.gl/FIeLU

                  Your discourse on contraception is also factually incorrect. The contraceptive mentality, far from being a solution to the abortion problem, is actually one of its leading causes:

                  http://www.goodmorals.org/smith4.htm

                  For you to defend such morally abhorrent things is a disgrace. And then you try to lecture me that the Church doesn’t care about the dignity of women???

                • RuariJM

                  You are confusing ‘priesthood’ with ‘desire for power’, Feminerd. And I am not in the least bit surprised.

                • Artor

                  Wow! Is that your super power? The ability to read minds and put words into people’s mouths? No, Ferminerd did not in any way conflate priesthood with power. I’m curious where you got that from. Are you reading a different thread than I am?

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Some women want to climb the ranks and have a say. Some want to minister to people as low-level priests. Most women aren’t interested in being priests, just like most men aren’t interested. Women, shockingly enough, have as many and varied motivations as any group of people.

                  You can’t have power without being a priest in the RCC. The two are synonymous. Some priests have no desire for power; they stay priests. Some do- they become bishops and archbishops and cardinals and, occasionally, pope. You don’t ever get that high without playing the political game, and most of them knew they wanted to from the start. For the hierarchy of the Church, priesthood is desire for power. Is it surprising that women, too, have learned that they are one and the same? The men set such a … telling example.

                • RuariJM

                  “The RCC was complicit in them…”
                  “It is safe to say, though, that if the RCC had never existed, neither would the death camps.”

                  Do you think they were built in retaliation for Jews killing Christian babies and eating them?

                  Your comment is on the same level as blood libel.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Yes, actually, I do. The RCC spread the blood libel around, and that history led to the death camps. The RCC also argued the Jews killed Jesus by turning him over to the Romans and not picking him to be freed, making all Jews, everywhere, guilty of deicide.

                  Those lies and propaganda set the stage for people to see a whole nother group of people as subhuman and deserving of nothing but extermination. The death camps are, in fact, retaliation for spreading the blood of Christian babies on matzos. The minor fact that killing Christian babies never happened doesn’t matter to those who hate.

                • RuariJM

                  Are you saying that Auschwitz and Dachau were official institutions of the RCC?

                  Your blind prejudice appears to be eating away at your brain, as the capacity for disinterested, rational thought seems to have been eroded with every passing post.

                • Artor

                  Did I say that? No I didn’t- work on your reading comprehension. But the Holocaust was the result of centuries of anti-Semitism that the church embraced and supported.
                  That’s pretty rich; you disparaging anyone else for lacking the ability for disinterested, rational thought. Pull the other one while you’re at it.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Please tell me how any of what I said was wildly exaggerated, as opposed to merely accurate.

                  When you argue the Church has had a massive positive effect on society and the world, you have to tell us what it did. We’ve hammered, over and over, the bad things the RCC did. There’s a lot of them- millions of people suffered and died because of the RCC. What good did it do? Keep a few texts safe, when the Arab world had more and better libraries? Keep literacy alive in Europe, but only by denying it to the peasantry? What did the RCC do that was so fantabulous?

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  I answered your question on the “wild exaggerations” in another post. 4% of priests. Please go visit some of the other 96% and consider the faithful and hard work that they do at the service of others. Reading your posts one would think that 96% committed abuses.

                  As for the positive effect of the Church on the world… Look it’s a fair question, but in all honesty, I don’t have time to start going over the history of the Catholic Church. We live in the age of information where books are readily available. Just pick up any fair history of the Catholic Church and read. Please avoid the propaganda that everyone on this forum is apparently reading. A good history will not whitewash the sins – everyone is aware of them – but will keep them in perspective.

                  Here is one that has good reviews, written by a non-Catholic (I have not read it admittedly, but have heard about it):

                  How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization
                  by Thomas E. Woods
                  http://amzn.com/1596983280

                  PS: “millions of people suffered and died because of the RCC” – another wild exaggeration!

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Hierarchy. It doesn’t matter if only 4% of priests are abusers, if the hierarchy all the way up is covering up for them. I do not argue that the RCC has a higher percentage of pederasts than other organizations; I don’t know if it does or not. I argue that the entire hierarchy: the (ex-)Pope, the cardinals, many archbishops, and many bishops have all conspired to cover it up and keep it hidden. It doesn’t matter if the peons, the priests and nuns, do good work; if the bishops and up are corrupt, and they are, the RCC as a whole is corrupt. The official policy of the RCC for close to a century was to hide abuse, cover it up, and lie to and shame the victims to make them shut up. You don’t get to point to official doctrine and policy and say “well some people are sinners”. Any ethical person looks at that and says, that organization is immoral and doesn’t deserve my support. They have shown themselves incapable of basic human decency, putting an organization ahead of the good of children. It doesn’t matter what else the organization has done- many good charities have been brought down by the wrongdoings of their board, and rightly so. The “board” of the RCC is so corrupted that the RCC should be treated like any charity where the President and board covered up, oh, embezzlement on the part of just a few employees. Child rape is much, much worse than embezzlement.

                  Millions died- The Crusades alone killed between one million and three million people. The Black Plague killed millions, and was only able to spread so far because the RCC told people it was cats (those evil witches’ familiars) who were spreading the plague; killing the cats let the rats multiply, who were the actual reservoir for it, though it was of course the fleas who were spreading it. The RCC kept things stirred up in Europe to maintain its power; the wars at a time there were three popes killed thousands. Every war between Christians and Protestants was half the RCC’s fault.

                • RuariJM

                  You grew up immersed in lying, deception, mendacity and distortion, Feminerd. But thanks for the info – it explains a lot.

                  And take some time to study the actual history of Spain and England especially. The Christian kings were rather tolerant of the Jewish community until they found themselves too deeply in debt to them, whereupon they discovered ideology akin to the KKK.

                  Learn to distinguish between the various Inquisitions – there were more than one and they often disagreed – quite vehemently, in the case of two. Almost went to war about it…

                  I don’t know where you got the ‘washing hands’ crap from. First, the Muslim surgeons of Spain and the Turkmen of the Ottoman empire were regarded as the best in Europe during the Middle Ages; their knowledge of anatomy was very advanced – but the basis for their knowledge is best glossed over for fear of offending sensitivities.

                  The stuff about washing hands was primarily an English thing, in the 19th century. The Germans and others had already developed ideas about the origins of sepsis that led to antiseptics. You will have to link to a non-partisan source to support your claims, otherwise it falls under the same heading as ‘Israel is responsible for the majority of the world’s software’; highly dubious, at best (India leads in software development and has done for several years, fwiw).

                  The RCC rarely burned people at the stake, for any reasons other than heresy – and even then, only for a few years during the Counter Reformation. St Thomas More did it to heretics who printed the Bible in English – William Tyndale and his followers, most notably.

                  Burning for witchcraft by the RCC was very rare indeed (don’t give me Joan of Arc until you have read up on the role of the English in France during the Hundred Years War). The enthusiastic witch-burners were Presbyterians. Even the Episcopalians tired of it, rather quickly. Muslims preferred flaying (preferably alive) and the Balkan princes, like Vlad, went in for impalement. But not of Jews, to any significant extent – not as a matter of policy, anyway. The mainstream RCC was much harsher to Cathars and Albigensians, because of their continuing Manicheanism.

                  Again, a dispassionate study of the history will help with understanding and the easing of the burden of prejudice – if you could actually bear such a thing; this animosity becomes like a comfort blanket or even a parasite, after a while. It becomes so close as to mimic symbiosis but the host continues to weaken, all the while protesting and defending that which ends up subsuming it.

                • Artor

                  Where the fuck do you get off declaring that Feminerd grew up immersed in lying, deception, mendacity and distortion? Holy shit, if you are an example of a good Xian, then Xians are even worse than I thought. Fuck off and die, you lying piece of shit.

                • RuariJM

                  From what she said, Artor.

                  read it for yourself.

                • http://springygoddess.blogspot.com/ Astreja

                  André, the “massively positive contribution” of the RCC pales in significance to the incredible amount of damage it has managed to do to civilization over the centuries.

                  Would that we could erase that damage, recover the myriad cultural records that the Church destroyed or concealed in the Vatican archives, and restore to life the many individuals who died because someone accused them of heresy or witchcraft.

                  Barring that, I’ll take “Weregild” for $1,000,000,000,000, Alex — The question being “What is the most harmful religious organization on the planet?”

                • RuariJM

                  Andre, this correspondence serves at least one positive purpose.

                  Now we know what Geneva under Calvin sounded like; Scotland under John Knox; London during the Gordon Riots; Belfast on any Marching Day.

                  Nothing new in anti-Catholic bigotry, is there? Same old mendacity and naked, demonic hate.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  I would like to think that at least Calvin and Knox still had a certain fear of God and respect for truth.

                • RuariJM

                  To be fair, they did, although it was not absolute. They would probably recognise what they see here, though.

                • RobMcCune

                  Don’t forget the Spanish Inquistion, Paris on St. Bartholomews Day, Beziers in 1209, or Belfast the rest of the time.

                • RuariJM

                  Your comment about Belfast merely reveals a bit more of the depths of what is either ignorance or a refusal to allow the facts get in the way of your prejudice, RobMcCune. you really think that Belfast is a hotbed of Catholic theocracy, oppression and domination of a huddled, fearful Protestant minority?

                  All one can say is – ROFL. Ignoramus.

                • RobMcCune

                  I think that in the latter half of the 20th century the IRA carried out numerous bombings there, didn’t know I was mistaken about that.

                  Of course you have nothing to say about the other catholic atrocities I mentioned (only those committed against their fellow christians, or we’d be here all day), so I’ll take that as a sign either that I am right, or you’re too ignorant to google your church’s revision of those historical events.

                • Spuddie

                  But your reaction seems to be to either excuse it or condone it because you claim others are allegedly doing the same. What makes your claims even more repugnant is you don’t even bother to support it.

                  So you are not only minimizing the actions of pedophile priests but you appear to be lying about the conduct of others to do so.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  I neither excuse nor condone any misdeeds. Those who have committed crimes should be brought to judgment

                • Artor

                  And what about those that protect criminals from facing that judgement? They are criminals too, you know. And you have been excusing and condoning misdeeds throughout this entire thread. But we’re all used to liars for Jebus.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  No I haven’t. I think crimes should be punished, and weak bishops should be removed.

                • Spuddie

                  You neither tell the truth nor make a rational argument. Those who do so in support of organizations which enable and protect criminals who prey upon children are reprehensible.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/benedict-and-clergy-sexual-abuse-decisive-and-aggressive-action

                  You are apparently impossible to please, no matter what I say. Once again, the first and only priority seems to bash the Church with gross caricatures. I hope it makes you feel better.

                • Spuddie

                  Of course not. The source is hardly objective and ignores facts that are already apparent in more reliable sources. Such as Dolan’s efforts to shield assets from judgment. It smacks of empty PR efforts.

                • RuariJM

                  See what I mean, Andre?

                  Truth and reality never form part of the equation. Just lies (” They know for a fact that a portion of their donations to the RCC is being used to cover-up pederasty…”), despicable prejudice (“They are a complicit accomplice in the systematic rape, torture, and subsequent cover-up of sex crimes against children all over the world”) and bigotry. It is just the latest manifestation of anti-Catholic prejudice that has been around for centuries, if not Millennia.

                • Artor

                  If you don’t like it, then why don’t you take action to change the way your church operates, instead of complaining how you’re being persecuted unfairly for supporting child rapists? So far, every post you’ve made here has shown you to be morally bankrupt yourself. And you wonder why sane people distrust the Catholic Church? Look in the mirror buddy.

              • RuariJM

                andre, it’s pretty pointless, I’m afraid. These people are hardwired to see all the evil and wickedness in the world as the responsibility of the Catholic Church.

                You can mention the Boy scouts of America and the fact that it was clearly a vastly more dangerous place for young boys until you are blue in the face – they won’t have it.
                You can point out that, proportionately, the Southern Baptists, ultra-orthodox Jews and the Episcopalians are much worse but that won’t get you anything but opprobrium.

                You can even point out that criminal case after criminal case has demonstrated beyond any measure of doubt that children are actually at most risk within their own extended families and they will react with fury.

                The idea that this could be part of the human condition and that pedophile monsters will seek out any means of getting close to children, especially positions of trust, and you will get rage, defiance, disagreement and denunciation.

                You can point out that Pope Benedict, from the moment he had responsibility – which he wrested from the bishops around the world – did more to confront and deal with ‘this filth” (as he called it) than all his predecessors put together, not to mention other authorities including state, and all you will get is screeches of rage as they try to shout you down. Same if you point out that, in Ireland for example, the State was at least as much to blame as the Church.

                They aren’t interested in the reality, they are interested in bringing down the Catholic Church. The snarling, vicious reaction to any defence, any attempt to make the point that this is a human and societal problem, makes that perfectly clear.

                • indorri

                  Bollocks, and you’re using the same “other people do it/are worse”. If you don’t think its a systematic problem that is exacerbated by Church actions, fine. Provide me with cites to how the issues fare in these other organizations as well. I have similar interest in ensuring the perpetrators are prosecuted as much as any priest in the RCC.

                • Hat Stealer

                  Yeah, you can point out those things. I mean, you kinda hafta prove them too, or at least offer some evidence for them. Or, you know, you could just make unsubstantiated claims, and then claim we’re ignoring reality when we provide citations and evidence that show you to be wrong.

                  It’s really not too complicated. If you’re going to claim that something is true, then you need to back it up with evidence. I know that’s a foreign idea for someone who believes in God (“evidence? you just need to have faith!”) but I’m afraid it’s what we require.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ruari-McCallion/604089387 Ruari McCallion

                  Hat Stealer – if you really think that crime, sexual abuse and exploitation are the exclusive preserve of one section of the community then you will allow over 99% of offenders away scot-free.

                  Proven cases of sexual abuse involve less than 2% of the RC clerical population. RC clerics make up less than 1% of the population. Sexual offenders in the broader population are around 2% of it (in line with the RC numbers).

                  The vast majority of sexual offenders are not RC clerics. Your prejudices may be happier if they were but they aren’t.

                  Are you trying to throw up some kind of smokescreen to protect your own actions or those of someone you know? To distract attention? “He can’t be an abuser – he isn’t an RC priest” or something like that?

                • Hat Stealer

                  It’s not the actions of the individual priests that make me sick (although one does have to wonder why so many rapists are Catholic priests, when Catholicism is supposed to make you a better person.) It’s the systimatic cover up of child rape by the RCC that disgusts me and most people on this blog. The RCC does it’s best to protect pedophiles, and put them in positions where they can rape again and again. They are an organized crime syndicate. This is what we object to.

                  As for your last paragraph, the only response I can come up with that does it justice is trololololollololollololololololo.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  [citations needed]

                  Many, many citations.

                • Andre Villeneuve

                  Thanks RuariJM, that was very well said. You are very right about the anti-Catholic agenda of most people here. Obviously most are not in the least interested in balance, proportion or fairness in discussing these issues.

                • smrnda

                  I would like to add that I pointed out a website devoted to Baptist predators, implying that at least a few people here agree that other organizations have enabled child sexual abuse as well. The Catholic Church just happens to be the biggest offender we can find at present. It’s kind of how if I talk about employers that pay shitty wages, I’m probably name Wal Mart but not the convenience store down the street from me.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ruari-McCallion/604089387 Ruari McCallion

                  I see your point, smmda, although I didn’t see the link you mention.

                  However, if that s your point then you should tun your focus more towards the BSA, quite possibly child care agencies and, lord help us, extended families, if your concern is to highlight the leading offender institutions and organisations. However, t must be said that they aren’t such rich pickings for compensation so you’re unlikely to get the same enthusiastic response from lawyers. Which is a shame, as it looks like the peak of abuse within the RCC was 40 years ago, while the other organisations mentioned are much more contemporary and therefore more urgent, IMHO.

              • baal

                Commentators here would like secular government court trials instead of private clerical reassignments for the accused priests.

              • Tom

                This is an organisation that claims to have a monopoly on morality. Its very raison d’etre is basically to tell everyone else how much better than them it and its members are (not to mention siphon off all their wealth and give nothing back but self-loathing and neuroses). If you’re going to pull shit like that, you shouldn’t whine when you’re held to slightly higher standards than everybody else.

          • smrnda

            I will agree – you should google ‘stop baptist predators’ to find a site on some other denominations engaging in cover-ups.

    • Hat Stealer

      One, when teachers sexually abuse children, they go to jail. In the rare cases where schools protect the said teachers, there are massive consequences when the abuse is discovered.

      Two, I don’t think that the Catholic Church just had the bad luck of hiring all the pedophiles to be priests. It was decades of sexual repression, coupled with the unfortunate availability and access to children. The Catholic Church facilitates pedophilia, both by systematically covering it up, and through its unnatural sexual practices.

      Three, you hear more outrage over priests raping children than teachers raping children, because teachers rape children far less than priests.

      • Erp

        Only decades? The church almost certainly has had sexual predators for most of its history though how it has dealt with them probably has varied.

        Well schools have been known to cover up, sometimes for extended periods of time (see Penn State). Also sexual abuse by students, particularly elite male athletes, of other students is downplayed (it wasn’t rape, she didn’t say no [but she was drunk at the time]). Schools probably have done what non-hierarchical churches do; tell the teacher/minister to leave and go a long way away but give them good enough references that they can get a job at another school/church. The Southern Baptist convention has a small group trying to get abusing ministers out. They won a minor victory in that one resolution at the last convention encouraged churches to report accusations to the legal authorities. What they are hoping for seems to be reporting to authorities and also having a central convention database so churches can check whether potential new ministers might be problematic.

        • saltcay

          You bring up Penn State, but you don’t follow up with it. When the cover up was discovered what was the outcome? Did the perpetrators simply get sent to another university? OR did the lose their jobs, go to court and finally end up imprisoned?
          Please site one instance where a school district “told” a teacher to “leave and go a long way away” and PAID for them to do that. The millions of dollars that the Catholic Church has set aside (hidden) in trust accounts for the protection of abusive priests is astronomical.
          Lastly, aren’t priests supposed to be the moral equivalent of GOD? They are supposed to be above reproach.

          • Hat Stealer

            Not to mention that when the cover up that was going on at Penn State was discovered, not only did the perpetrators themselves go to jail, but the entire school received heavy punishments, preventing them from engaging in athletics, stripping them of their victories from the past thirty years, reducing their scholarship program, and fining the entire school millions of dollars. If the Catholic Church was fined $60 million dollars for every child rape they covered up, one would hope they would be broke by now.

            Also, Erp is correct when he says that child rape (and child castration and child killings and sending a fucking army of children to go to war) has been going on for centuries, but I was talking about the decades of sexual repression within an individual priest’s own lifetime.

    • Amor DeCosmos

      Because teachers don’t pretend to be the divinely chosen spokesperson for an infallible God?

    • Artor

      Because pedophile teachers go to jail when caught, instead of having the school board cover up their crimes and transfer them to a new school full of fresh, unsuspecting victims. And when schools do try that shit, you hear plenty of outrage. Need I remind you of Penn State and Jerry Sandusky?Can you really not understand the problem here?

  • Sheila Whitaker

    wheres the like button? I really like this . :)

  • Stunthunt

    Dolan “had millions of dollars funneled into special trusts, out of reach of abuse victims and their lawyers.”

    Really? What’s a ‘holy man’ doing with millions of dollars, I have to wonder? For instance, where did this tax exempt entity get that kind of money?

    Religious fraud is the worst kind of fraud. These child molesters need to be locked up, and their ‘protectors’ with them.

    • Michael W Busch

      Dolan himself didn’t have the money. People donated money to the church, and in 2008 Dolan moved $50 million plus into a dedicated trust (to maintain Catholic-run cemeteries) from the archdiocese’s general budget. It is alleged this was done to make it unavailable for seizure for fines imposed as punishment for covering up abuse.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ruari-McCallion/604089387 Ruari McCallion

        Alternatively, it could have been to maintain Catholic-run cemeteries.

        • Michael W Busch

          As I said, it is alleged the >$50 million was transferred to make it unavailable for seizure. The auditors and legal experts will decide if the allegation is correct.

          Edit: An update is available from today’s file release.

        • Michael W Busch

          Apparently, the money was moved explicitly to “[protect] these funds from any legal claim and liability”. Dolan sought permission to do this from the Vatican, which approved the plan, and it was documented in the archdiocese’s internal records.

          Ref: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/02/us/dolan-sought-vatican-permission-to-shield-assets.html

  • http://www.dailykos.com/user/shpilk shpilk

    This is the ‘modern, enlightened, Catholic Church’ – imagine all the stuff that has been going on for centuries.

    Centuries of protecting serial child abuse globally, under the rubric of ‘religion’, rarely has anyone been prosecuted, gone to jail and the Institution that provided safe haven for tens of thousands of child abusers continues to ‘do business as usual’.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000473029211 Wyt Raven

    damn, that piece was really well written! “It may or may not survive financial bankruptcy, but in 24 hours we should find that its moral bankruptcy is no longer in question.” -finished the article just perfectly!

  • Keulan

    I don’t think I can be shocked by the awful things the Catholic Church has done and continues to do. I’ve learned to expect the worst from them. Also, I am once again reminded of this excellent song.

  • Gregory Smith

    Unless these documents detail how the whole Catholic pedophile scandal was really just a hoax, that no children were ever raped and no pedophiles ever protected, that this was all just an April Fool’s joke gone horribly wrong, then I sincerely doubt there’s anything in them that’s going to be “shocking”.

  • SeekerLancer

    Every time I hear about the furthering Catholic sex scandal I remember that the priest who interviewed me for my confirmation into the Catholic church ended up being one of the pedophile priests. Though it was mainly fundamentalists that caused me to question my beliefs I’m sure at least somewhere in my mind he was a catalyst to the losing of my faith (or perhaps gaining of my sanity).

  • lynangel50

    Dolan should have to transfer every penny of the money back into the accounts that he transferred it out of. And this is a “creep” they were considering making their Pope. By not allowing priests to marry and have families, they’ve enabled these jerks to continually abuse children and done nothing about it. I’m sorry but I don’t think praying to their local priest is going to get them forgiveness by God. I think you should go directly to the source……………not pray to some priest in confession. Stupidity!!! I remember growing up a young catholic girl I went to school with did somethiing she wasn’t supposed to do and I said to her, “you aren’t supposed to do that”, and she replied, “oh, that’s ok, I’ll just confess it to the priest next confession and get forgiveness”. I was astonished!!!!

  • aaaa
  • Artor

    If there is a settlement resulting from this, I hope it’s very large. And since Cardinal Dolan saw fit to hide all the liquid assets where they can’t be touched, he should have obstruction charges added to his docket, and church properties should be seized to pay their debts. The church still owns vast amounts of real estate, much of it bought with Nazi gold paid to them by Hitler for their complicity in the Holocaust. Yes, that would be gold taken from the teeth of Jews in death camps.

    Damn, it will be a fine day when the Catholic Church finally sees justice for the evil it has done.

    • Michael W Busch

      For what little it is worth:

      The US Catholic Church didn’t get any significant amount of funding from the Nazis and the amount in Europe is a relatively small fraction of the Church’s current assets. The vast majority of the Church’s income and real estate comes from individual private donations (the income from recent donations, the real estate from the last several centuries). And that’s where the focus should be for hitting the Catholic hierarchy in the pocketbook.

      • terpsez108

        it started with conquest — mandatory tithes is not a donation–the Church compelled it’s patrons to make — the church had worshipers killed who read the bible — it’s false monarchy has been a criminal element repeatedly in history– what the poster said about the Pope who was the Cardinal of Berlin when Hitler came to power and how Mussolini got sucked into a bad relationship had plenty to do with salting away confiscated wealth– The Banks who are owned by the same people now as then covet the wealth the Vatican sits upon –this is all about tearing down the Church for the New Age Marxist- fusion of a one world belief –try the criminals not the congregation

        • Michael W Busch

          The Church hierarchy certainly has a long history of committing and enabling criminal actions. But what you have just said makes remarkably little sense.

          Also: periods are your friend.

          • terpsez108

            word police– I guess you write a rough draft and then edit and rewrite that too — you solicited subjective blather without a bit of sourcing for your opinion —

            nor do you define style and content on the internet Mr Hubris — that State University degree doesn’t commission you with half that you think you possess

            a dash is easier than an ellipsis on my keyboard –an ellipsis can be your friend too– it is three periods

            oh geez I just realized I wound up in an atheist webpage–great pseudo intellect that is all subjectivity– the love for Esperanto –explains it all

            –perhaps you missed the post meeting interview with the Sect’y General of the UN and the Jesuit Pope Francis with the Sect’y General gushing how they had met on the 1000 day mark from Soros’s Millennium Project’s full implementation– so I guess Soros wasn’t a Nazi and the UN is an amusement park?

      • terpsez108

        yeah like Obama and Jamie Dimon never once called Pope Ratzenberger a “money launderer”

        • RobMcCune

          [citation needed]

  • Kearnsy

    Howdy folks

    I’ve wrote a song about all the corruption in the Vatican

    Let me know what you think

    Thanks

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7TQcIVCe9U&feature=youtu.be

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ruari-McCallion/604089387 Ruari McCallion

      I have heard better when the cats have been out.

    • terpsez108

      Black Reptilian eyes

  • lester Vlogger

    sadly part!! teachers or priests. all of them are Americans.

    • Michael W Busch

      No. Very far from all of the rapists whose crimes were covered up by the Church are Americans. The rates have proven the same in other countries than the United States – Ireland, France, Belgium, Italy, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Uganda, and pretty much everywhere else.

      The problem isn’t unique to the Church either. Any authoritarian social structure without careful and intelligent oversight is susceptible to the same evil. And all need to be held responsible. The abuse cases in the Church are particularly horrific because of the extent and duration of the cover-up.

  • deadeyeaz

    like many many others i am an ex-catholic and am now an atheist
    i remember as an alter boy being told don’t go to that church and spend the night before a Sunday service never knew why, but now i can guess. the catholic church is evil. i always thought belief in god was misplaced, and harmless but, it’s not and catholicism is just down right evil. they take in billions and destroy lives and claim to have the moral upper hand. i hope it rots and dies the sooner the better.

  • nikkizak

    The catholic church where gay people are considered evil yet pedophiles are welcome with open arms! Tomorrow I guess we’ll find out how disgusting this church really is…..

  • Mario Strada

    I think the list was released today, but I didn’t see this shocking revelation yet. Was it as important as they claimed?

    • Michael

      It’s easy to find on both the linked sites. From what I’ve looked at it’s just more of the same.

  • Robster

    Are these religiots practising sin so they preach about it from experience? I suppose it does help to research the topic. That may explain all the sexual shenanigans the caholics are into, they’re researching.

    • terpsez108

      tell you what Robs— the Jesuits who are the pedophiles support your politics– so hold your bigotry to the things you have in fact researched– demagogue

  • Kristina Johnson

    Why can’t people realize that with priests raping that manychildren all over the place, the parishioners were part of the cover up? You really think this could go on so long without church fathers putting pressure on victim’s families, manipulating them and keeping them quiet? I know for a fact, regular Catholics have had children raped by child molesters; Catholic police included in this sick thing. 4400 priest total US so far found and counting…

  • Jake L

    Sick delusional fucks.

  • Sabrina

    I am in no way defending the priests that did this. Shame on them and they will have to answer to god. I think a lot of them took this vow to get into the church to hurt kids. Not all of them are like this. Pedophiles are everywhere and yes in other Religions as well

  • Jono

    If God was around today , the first thing he would do is abolish the Catholic Church PLC , greed & corruption with power to make its flock (they thought calling them sheep was not good PR) do whatever it was told without question. They are thugs, mafia & im glad im not associated with them. They have secrets in the Vatican that only a handful know, because if we find out , they will be finished. Never be fooled by men in dresses.

  • terpsez108

    too bad the paid for Press will not outline which of the predators are Jesuit Priests and which are from another order –we hear about the Jesuit Pope being no-nonsense in regard to pedophiles yet the lions share of those busted have come from his sinister order

  • RuariJM

    Terry, you describe yourself and call this column “The Friendly Atheist”.

    If one is judged by the company one keeps, you may wish to review the correspondence below and consider renaming the blog. Or at least removing the middle word.

    • allein

      The Friendly Atheist isn’t Terry’s blog. And “friendly” doesn’t mean “never criticizes things that deserve criticism.”

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ruari-McCallion/604089387 Ruari McCallion

        You seem to have a problem with the difference between criticism and abuse.

        • allein

          Where is Terry “abusing” anyone?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ruari-McCallion/604089387 Ruari McCallion

            I referred to “the correspondence below” and being “judged by the company one keeps”. Clear now or do you need more help with comprehension?

            • allein

              I still don’t see anyone being “abused,” though I do comprehend that you’re an asshole, so there’s that.

              • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ruari-McCallion/604089387 Ruari McCallion

                If you don’t see any abuse flying about the place then you obviously can’t read – which would make you an illiterate dick.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  1. Google “tone troll” and then whine more.

                  2. You have lots of time to be offended by people using mean words when criticizing people taking horrible actions… not so much time when it comes to criticizing the horrible actions. You’re an evil enabler at best. Jesus must be proud.

                  3. You complaining at a blog owner because commenters use mean words would be like calling me Jesus an asshole because you read the Bible and talk about it. Your logic skills are broken, which ironically means you can’t understand the previous sentence.

                  4. You’re the dimwit who claimed a week or two ago that Ratzinger wasn’t in charge of the things he was in charge of, made repeated demands, then got all conveniently quiet when it was proved that you were – Oops! – an illiterate dick. Just another one of those dumbasses who thinks if he goes quiet for a while, he can “reset” everything while protecting his ego. Your ilk are pathetic. Also extremely hypocritical. Maybe if you go to confession again, you’ll get that magic reset and can come right back and everyone will have forgotten. This time it’ll work for sure!

                • allein

                  Like calling people names? I guess you fit right in, then.

      • RuariJM

        I fear you have confused ‘criticism’ with ‘abuse’. There are plenty of examples of the latter in the comments contributed but, sadly, virtually no examples of the former.

        • allein

          Such as? I don’t think I’m the one who’s confused.

        • RobMcCune

          Only by your idiosyncratic definition of ‘abuse’, which is all criticism of catholic church’s high level cover up of child sex abuse.

  • Michael Nappi

    I’d say let’s send these “men of God” to Syria, since they like to behead Catholics anyway. but then those Muslims also like to rape and abuse others so it may just backfire

  • Roro

    i think religion its self can easily be corrupted, example, the Vatican. I am not saying all catholics are bad no, im saying there sheep and easily lead. wake up people.

  • Sarah Tobacco

    They should put those priests behind bars so they can experience the same kind of abuse they did on those helpless children. They should pay for what they did. Seek justice. I can’t even read about it, so disgusting.

  • FreshOrganic

    Dolan seems to be just as guilty as the sexual offenders. Odd, long ago he swore to uphold the truth…

  • MS

    I have been a Catholic all my life and known good priests and bad priests. The good priests were the ones who did their work for the love of God and followed Christ’s teachings. The bad priests abused their positions to harm children. I have been an educator all of my adult life and have known good teachers and bad teachers. Good teachers are dedicated to helping children learn and reach their full potential. Bad educators use their positions to destroy children. More children are molested by public school teachers per anum than by priests, but because the media loves public education, they will not report these numbers. They hate the Church, so the stories are repeated and repeated. Your children are in more danger in a public classroom than they are in a Catholic Church. Pedophile priests and pedophile teachers do horrible things and need to be stopped. Their superiors who do or did not act quickly and decisively to protect children and stop the crimes should be punished also. Because there are people who do bad things in these institutions does not mean the institution is bad. If you look at the whole picture, you might find that these institutions are good, but there are bad people.

    • Artor

      You’re missing the point. We know that pedophiles are everywhere children are. The problem is that when they turn up in the Church, they are protected, hidden, and moved to new parishes with fresh victims who know nothing of their earlier crimes. And they do it again, and again, and again…
      Yes, there are pedophiles in schools too. You may have heard of some of them, like Jerry Sandusky. You heard of him because teachers actually get reported to the police and face trial, unlike most priests.
      You’re right that bad people in an institution don’t make the whole thing bad. The question is how that institution handles the bad people. If it embraces them and enables them to continue being bad, then yes, the institution is bad also.

  • I Believe

    I spent some of my valuable time, which I can never get back, reading the posting and comments of people who already loathe the church…What a surprise that you atheists feel like you do….Shocked? Um, not really…I fine that the Atheists’ character and nature always seems so cheerless and empty. Can’t think of anything to say that’s even remotely kind or humanitarian. Talk about disingenuous blather, WOW! I never argue or debate atheism because it’s like having a battle of wits without an unarmed man. I don’t expect anyone to believe anything they don’t want to believe, but it would be nice to see some of you not so nasty…Priests who have been guilty of abuse of children, and even those who have abused adults, are not the church. The members of the Catholic Church despise these acts as much as you do, probably more. You treat the Catholic church as though it’s the only place this ever happens and that it is, in fact, all the Church that participates and agrees with it…really? You know you’re wrong. However, it’s something you like to do. I’ve never even seen a writing or article that doesn’t include something like this from you people. In reality, which is something you don’t admit, the percentage of priests who are accused and convicted is very, very small when including all the members of clergy, which you do not. All Clergy, not including these sick priests, are devout and good men who live good and decent lives in service of people. WE, WHO MAKE UP THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, NEITHER CONDONE THE ACTS OF NOR PUT UP WITH PRIESTS WHO DO. SO, DON’T BLAME THE CHURCH, WHO ARE ACTUALLY THE MEMBER OF THE CHURCH…

    • Artor

      Pardon my French, but you are full of shit. Take your righteous indignation and shove it somewhere it will be of use. If you don’t support the Catholic Church and it’s actions, why are you still Catholic? Why are you defending the Church’s crimes instead of fighting to change it? I don’t give a shit how few priests are child molesters, I care that the Church has consistently acted to cover it’s ass instead of seeing that justice is done. I care that dipshits like you consistently ignore that point and pretend that tu quoque is an adequate defense.
      Your rant is pretty unfounded, but you lost it at the end there. Essentially you’re saying all priests, except the ones who aren’t, are good guys. Do you realize that’s a completely meaningless statement? Also, ALL CAPS doesn’t make your argument any more solid, especially when you are tossing a word salad. WTF does your last sentence mean? You’re typing gibberish.


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