Pedophile Priest Uses a Ticket to Heaven to Manipulate His Victim

This is one of the cases that pushes so many of us from being mere atheists into becoming angry atheists. It’s a case of unadulterated religious abuse — the kind that wouldn’t be possible if we taught our children critical thinking instead of unsubstantiated faith and unthinking respect for authority. This is the kind of thing that lends credence to the argument that “religion poisons everything.”

Like so many others before him, and doubtless many more to come, Belfast priest James Martin Donaghy has been convicted of sexual assault — a total of seventeen offenses against three boys, though he has since admitted to the existence of other victims. These were boys he found and groomed through his work as a parish priest. Tragic, infuriating, but hardly unusual.

The devil, you might say, is in the details.

Father James Martin Donaghy

In one particular case, prosecutor Ken McMahon revealed to the court, Donaghy encountered a particular seven-year-old boy preparing for his upcoming First Confession and First Communion. The child expressed concern about the teaching on Purgatory — the place where those not destined for eternal torment in Hell must undergo a torturous period of purification to be fit for entry into Heaven. He was distressed to think that his deceased grandfather might be in that place, suffering.

Donaghy convinced the child to perform sexual acts on him by telling him the encounters would “get his grandfather into heaven” — and, naturally, “if he told anyone, it would not work.”

The child went along with the plan, but he clearly experienced misgivings; a few days later, he came to confession to speak to a priest about the experience. He found his abuser on the other side of the confessional screen. How trapped the poor boy must have felt! If he turned to his family, though, he might be putting his grandfather’s soul back in torment.

There are all kinds of ways to manipulate children into tolerating and accepting their own exploitation, and abusers are often fiendishly creative. We can’t know exactly what went on in the mind of this unnamed child or hundreds of others who suffered at the hands of pedophile priests.

But this particular story is notable because of the particular way the priest manipulated his young victim. Sadly, it fits neatly into the framework of Roman Catholicism as it’s too often lived and taught, particularly in strict Catholic communities (like, for instance, late-twentieth-century Belfast).

After all, if acts of penance, prayer, fasting, and charitable giving can get Grandpa out of purgatory more quickly (as the Church has always taught), why not sex acts the priest deems pleasing? Don’t forget, a small child has yet to absorb the Church’s negativity on sexual matters; he may not grasp much about human sexuality at all and would not understand that the Church classifies this sort of act as a sin. Thus, it’s hard to see the abuse for what it really is. There are all kinds of weird, unnatural things people do to try to get Grandpa into heaven. (Try kneeling on a hard floor saying the rosary sometime if you don’t believe me.)

Sure, it’s a bit different from some of the more mundane ways we help Grandpa. It might be uncomfortable, painful, scary… but this is a religion built on the idea that Jesus suffered and died as a sacrifice for your salvation. Enduring abuse for the sake of the hereafter fits the underlying logic. In fact, the extra burden makes you special. Catholic children hear plenty of stories of the pain and privation suffered by history’s saints and martyrs, the very best Catholics and also the ones most loved by God. If God has given you the chance to be like those saints, taking on a bit of extra suffering for the sake of a beloved relative, how can you really say no?

Add to that the unquestioned authority of Catholic priests, who say a lot of frankly outlandish things that children are taught to believe absolutely. Add, too, the cultural and historical circumstances of the time. Diversity and pluralism were not exactly community buzzwords at the time; a Northern Irish child might never be exposed to any possible alternative to the Catholic/Protestant binary. Disbelieving a priest might not even occur to a child in this environment as a possibility. It would be like deciding dogs were fairy-tale creatures even though your family had worked for generations breeding terriers.

Religious pedophilia is a perfect storm.

Many Catholics will complain about the focus we place on pedophile priests, especially when we don’t spotlight pedophile teachers or soccer coaches or pediatricians in the same way. There are plenty of reasons for the distinction.

But surely one of them has to be the unique nature of the religious manipulation that takes place, where children are taught to accept authority, embrace redemptive suffering, and unquestioningly obey commands that don’t make a lot of sense when they’re issued in the name of God.

It’s what makes the difference between a harmless worldview that provides comfort to the afflicted and a manipulative belief system that rationalizes abuse and poisons lives.

About Sara Lin Wilde

Sara Lin Wilde is a recovering Catholic (and cat-holic, for that matter - all typographical errors are the responsibility of her feline friends). She lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where she is working on writing a novel that she really, really hopes can actually get published.

  • Rationalist1

    Absolutely appalling. He should be jailed for like and any bishop who tried to cover up his actions should be his room mate. I’m a recovering Catholic too (and a Toronto resident who just dried out after last night). One wonder how many centuries such actions went on and we’re just finding out about them now.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Many Catholics will complain about the focus we place on pedophile priests, especially when we don’t spotlight pedophile teachers or soccer coaches or pediatricians in the same way.

    Because we don’t shuffle teachers and coaches from school to school in order to cover up their abuse. Why is that hard for some Catholics to understand?

  • Art_Vandelay

    My indignation aside…that was just a really well-written post.

  • Andy Gunn

    I live in belfast NI and i have to say. this was very badly covered on local media. its becoming ridicilious when this is not covered on local news but DUP bigots are given all the air time during pride weekends and the 12th celebrations. Also im glad things have changed massivly in the south, but in NI much progress must be made to curtail and demolish the catholic churchs monopoly on parts of society.

  • Rationalist1

    And if schools didn’t report abuse to the authorities, they’d be prosecuted as well.

  • Q. Quine

    No amount of theodicy can cover this up.

  • Q. Quine

    Side note: R1, are you on Facebook?

  • rickflick

    Agreed. I think it read very well.

  • rickflick

    Good luck with that!

  • Rationalist1

    Not really. I have a site but haven’t used it in months.\Just looked at your home page. That’s fascinating.

  • Q. Quine

    Drop me a line, sometime: “Qu Quine” at Facebook.

  • Miss_Beara

    I loathe that complaint. It makes excuses for the pedophile priests, that we should just leave them alone because they are “men of god” and “we are all sinners.”

  • Lynda

    The same abuse is being uncovered big time in Australia. We were rife with it – and probably still are, although I think the threat of being found out is far more real now. It is beyond belief. I cannot understand why people still respect ‘the church’.

  • primenumbers

    But no doubt they’ll try and we’ll continue to call them on it.

  • primenumbers

    Glad you got dried out. We got the rain and the thunder, but no flooding.

  • Jason Koskey

    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you do anything.

  • Carmelita Spats

    If a school district has an organizational document like the Vatican’s
    Crimen Sollicitationis which states, “They will also be able to
    transfer him [the priest] to another place, unless the local Ordinary
    has forbidden it inasmuch as a complaint has already been received and
    an investigation begun”, then every parent in that school district needs
    to be aware of such a document.

  • the moother

    Thanks for the “angry atheist alert” in the first line… I kinda scoffed at that but kept on reading anyway… read a bit…, then got angry…

  • the moother

    gods plan is, well you know…, rather fucked up…

  • the moother

    Any kind of assertion that ‘straya is/was immune to the standard injustices that afflict any other nation is unadulterated ignorance.

    Hello, White Australia Policy!!! (which was essentially Apartheid by another name)

    ‘straya is not only as bad as – and very often much worse than – other countries but suffering an enooooooooooooooooooooooormous case of denial.

  • P.W1974

    If you watch the documentary called Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, pedophilia in the church has been going on practically since the inception of religion.

  • Guest

    Abuse inside and outside religious walls deserve the same attention, not in defense of the prior but simply because all abuse is wrong. This crime is twisted and disgusting but to claim that religious manipulation (as terrible as it is) is of “unique nature” deems that abuses of other types of manipulation is somehow a lesser wrong. When a parent, soccer coach, or a kidnapper sexually abuses a child, you don’t think the victim is traumatized by manipulation, indoctrination, fear, and whatever sick world-view the perpetrator employs to reason and rationalize his or her actions? The fact that most children know their abusers lends to reason that manipulation is used as a trap in order to repeat offense. Whatever type of manipulation one uses is inherently tied to their belief systems, of a religious nature or not. Do you mean to say that other abusers also do not use their authority against their victims? That abusers don’t tailor their manipulations to fit their victim? Read survivor stories and tell me that those outside of religion walls are any less disturbing. Abuse and wrongdoings is present in all communities. The real problem lies when some communities believe they are exempt from it and then try to cover up their messes. I’m not a Catholic and I certainly don’t defend them and perhaps it is out of biases that they complain about the focus of pedophile priests but it is also your biases that encourage you to do so.

  • wmdkitty

    *sad kitty*

    My Angry is broken.

    I just has a Sad.

    Sad that some people are twisted enough to manipulate little children into… into performing sexual acts. Sad that some other people are actively covering up these crimes, and enabling the abuser by quietly shuffling him off to another unsuspecting parish where he’ll just go and do it all over again.

    And so, so very disappointed in the people who, despite knowing of all these problems with their leadership, still go to Mass and fill the collection plate and support the Evil Overlords.

  • Houndentenor

    Didn’t we just have a huge scandal involving ONE pedophile at a major university? One. If they have evidence of a child rape scandal not being reported I’ll be happy to be outraged at that one as well. That doesn’t lessen the RCC’s guilt in this matter. “But what about all those other rapists?” isn’t really much of a defense. Actually, it’s no defense at all.

  • Houndentenor

    Sin is something the church made up. We are talking about criminal activities and we aren’t all criminals.

  • Houndentenor

    Are there other cases not receiving coverage in the media and not being prosecuted? Please write about them. We should know about them. But the RCC persecution defense is shameless and sick.

  • Dennis

    We are all sinners not all calling God is here side… Read this binaural beats

  • The Other Weirdo

    I am only a dense Canadian, but what’s DUP?

  • The Other Weirdo

    Da faque did I just read?

  • Mick

    “Pedophile Priest Uses a Ticket to Heaven to Manipulate His Victim”

    In fact ALL priests use a “ticket to heaven” to manipulate ALL parishioners (not just the ones they are fucking).

  • smrnda

    When the scandal broke at Penn state, they removed the statue of Joe Paterno who had covered it up and voided all the wins of the team which occurred during the cover-up. A religious equivalent would be like ex cathedra annulling the Popedom of the previous pontiff and voiding all the miracles and sainthoods.

  • PsiCop

    Re: “Many Catholics will complain about the focus we place on pedophile priests, especially when we don’t spotlight pedophile teachers or soccer coaches or pediatricians in the same way.”

    For me the reason for the emphasis is obvious: The R.C. Church, unlike other types of organizations, claims to be the sole remaining arbiter of morality on earth, and to be carrying out God’s divine mission to humanity. One expects its sacred, ordained agents to be more upright than the “average” person working for some other kind of organization.

    A lot of Catholic apologists say the priestly-pedophilia scandal is no big deal, the incidence of pedophilia among priests is no higher than it is in the general population. That may or may not be so; I have no idea, and I doubt apologists know it for sure, either. They likely are just assuming it’s so.

    But even if that were true … it still doesn’t fly when viewed against Catholicism’s own claims about its divine nature and its supposed high morality. We ought to find the incidence of pedophilia — or any other kind of criminality — to be lower among R.C. clergy than in the general population. The lower, the better for Catholicism.

    Another compelling reason to hammer away at this issue: The Church’s pathetic and delusional reaction to it. They view the scandal not as the product of its own clergy’s wrongdoing and its own obstruction of justice, but rather, as a diabolical attack upon God’s Holy Church. The abusive clergy are the real victims, you see; they were coerced into what they did, by the Devil working through the children they abused. That’s why the hierarchs aided and abetted them. What’s more, anyone mentioning the scandal is doing the Devil’s work, you see. No one can possibly have any legitimate reason to criticize the Church; rather, her critics are all wicked collaborators with Satan, engaged in an insidious effort to destroy the Church and obliterate anything and everything Catholic.

    Put as simply as is possible, this is psychopathology at work. It’s not wrong to continue hammering away at the hierarchs’ insanity. Other organizations don’t labor under this kind of burden and thus are better able to deal with malefactors in their midst. The R.C. Church cannot, and will not, ever do so. Not willingly, anyway.

  • David Mock

    I truly think rape or hurting a child is worse than murder. Fuck disgusting fucked up hypocritical assholes, hiding behind their stupid religion looking for sympathy.

  • Robster

    When a person looks at, say a bookmaker or used car salesman, the first thing that pops into most people’s minds (at least as far as I’m aware) is that they’re looking at a person of disrepute. It’s at that stage now with the clergy of most popular religious flavours. The first thing that pops into my mind is “Oh, it’s a child rapist”, or the equally likely..”Oh, it’s a liar”. Why those afflicted with the need to tout religious nonsense are held in any sort of respect is beyond my understanding. People that choose the clerical vocation have to be considered seriously compromised in many ways including sexually and morally. Dog collars or not, silly hats, red shoes and colourful robes or not, these are not good people and deserve the respect offered those on the lowest rung. I’m not saying they’re neccessarily evil, just dodgy and deserving of suspicion and supervision when let out.

  • Richard Wade

    Funny how you never see Joe Klein pulling any pedophile priests off of the child they’re raping, choking their fat neck with the chain of their own crucifix, and kicking them in the groin so hard that their testicles lodge next to their tonsils.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Don’t hold back, Richard, tell us what you REALLY think!

  • Guestyschmesty

    Democratic Unionist Party? (That was the definition I found that was most relevant anyway… I’m guessing it isn’t “Direction de l’Urbanisme et des Paysages”. :P)

  • Richard Wade

    No no, that’s not what I want to do, I’m a gentle, peaceful person. I’m just making an observation that we never see Joe Klein doing those things. :)

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Funny how we never see Joe Klein making accurate observations about his behavior patterns.

  • Michael

    Funny how I’ve never seen Joe Klein.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    You mean you’ve never seen him at the same time as Richard Wade. Suspicious, isn’t it?

  • Pam Wilburn Watts

    It is better to live as if there IS a God, and die to find out that there isn’t…than to live as if there is no God, and die to find out that there is!!!!
    My faith in the One True God, has been substantiated many, many times. You teach your children about God and if you are a smart parent, you teach them about the evil that exists in our world, all the while, giving them the love, confidence, support and foundation, to distinguish the difference!

  • wmdkitty

    *opens one eye*
    *rolls over*
    *goes back to sleep*

  • Feminerd

    Oh hey, Pascal’s Wager, fancy seeing you here.

    Which God? Zeus seems cool, though the rapey bits are not. Odin the All-Father sees all and is very wise, so that’s a possibility. Valhalla is also a nifty afterlife. I’d hope it wasn’t Yahweh- he ordered several helpings of rape, genocide, and slavery, so that’d be a kick in the pants to find out he created everything. I’d hate to find out that Inti, Pachacuti, and Viracocha were the actual deities- we’ve been rather remiss in our child sacrifices to them. Same for Tlaloc; he requires the tears of children to let down the rains. We’ve been exceptionally remiss in torturing children before sacrificing them. It could be the Japanese deities- several sets of gods who appeared and then went into hiding, followed by Izanami and Izanagi who, er, procreated and gave rise to the rest of the pantheon. Or … you see my point by now, I presume?

  • wmdkitty

    Well, you could always go with Bast…

  • Scooter Livingston

    Wild Bill Donohue comes to mind….

  • Helix Luco

    you remembered to bury some money and household goods with your dead in case they ended up needing it in the afterlife after all, right? better safe than sorry!

  • Al Wollard

    Here’s a new Atheist idea(l). Lets skip the obvious pedophilia. Lets call this crime something a bit lighter. Lets call it Breaking and Entering, pun intended. Would the church be able to blow it off, or set it aside, or even let it go? NO!!! These are mans laws and they should be followed even closer than your so-called god. I am saying that man is greater than your god because I’m not imaginary.

  • Rationalist1

    I was caught out biking in it. Rather fun on a bicycle.

  • primenumbers

    I was just doing the BBQ for supper. I had to hide inside with the food on low until a lull in the rainfall to bring in the food.

  • ZeldasCrown

    Plus, belief isn’t something you can just switch on and off. You believe or not (true this can shift over time, but it’s not an instantaneous “oh I’m just going to believe from now on”-it’s more of a “I’ve been given new evidence and have been re-thinking my position for awhile”). I would think that an omnipotent God would be able to know the difference, and, depending upon whether this God is benevolent or spiteful, He would potentially not let those who were “faking it” into heaven-even if they followed all the rules-particularly if it was all just a conscious, willful ploy.

    I say live a moral life-treat others well, cause no harm, etc-and things will work themselves out in the end. If there is no God, then you’ve lived a good life, made the most of your time, and have brought joy to others (as well as yourself). If there is a God, then hopefully He’s benevolent (and if not, I think pretty much everyone is screwed anyway) and you’ll get whatever reward awaits.

  • neil allen

    Because Catholic leaders tell Catholics that organized child rape, in God’s name, is ok, and Catholics believe their false idols.

    God has proven that the Catholic church isn’t God’s a church,

  • neil allen

    In fact, at the exact same time as the Sandusky scandal, the Philly Catholic archdiocese was on trial because they had been hiding the names of 35 known pedophile priests since 1994. See the case of Msgr Lynn, who Philly Catholics paid $11 million in legal fees to protect.

    Catholics were literally 35 times as bad as Penn State, but Catholics in every walk of life and in the media tried to minimize the story.

  • ZeldasCrown

    Exactly. If you’re going to claim to be the moral authority on Earth, then the standards that you are going to be held to are much higher than other organizations in general (which is not to say that it is ok when it happens in other context). Plus, the AMA isn’t hiding pediatricians who molest children by shuffling them to other hospitals (this goes for many of the other organizations that have had members committing this type of crime). Maybe a pedophile from another profession disappears and sets up shop somewhere else if the allegations against them either aren’t proven in court, or there’s no complaint filed, but there isn’t an organization that’s shuffling these guys around.

  • neil allen

    Just so you know, the Catholic church has a MUCH higher child rape rate (by 10 times) than any other institution ever.

    The Catholic church admitted 4,392 substantiated, accused, child sex abusing priests in their own John Jay report of 2004, and NO INSTITUTION IN HISTORY IS EVEN CLOSE TO THIS NUMBER. That was 4%, but it was 8-9% in the 70s and 80s, and that’s just the ones they admitted. Of course, some diocese refused to report, like Cardinal Mahony in LA, who is now being highlighted by God intentionally hiding known child rapists who raped over 500 victims in LA.

    But its much, much worse than that in the Catholic church.

    Its the only institution where:

    - every child rapist admitted every child rape to at least one other priest (in confession)
    - it was organized crime, with bishops and popes hiding the demons and fighting the victims
    - every victim thought they were being raped by “Christ on earth”, which is what Catholic priests call themselves, adding incomprehensible psychological damage
    - the pedophiles and those that protect them are defended by a billion people, and the victims, God’s most innocent children, are bullied and called “Crybabys” by Catholic leaders

    Worst of all, they did it in God’s name, and did it to protect pedophiles and to protect their filthy riches.

    It does happen elsewhere, but the numbers are under 1%. It is MUCH, MUCH worse in the Catholic church.

  • Rationalist1

    I was cycling and took refuge under a overpass near the Don River until the water start rising and then I biked to higher ground and made it home 2 hours later.

  • Rationalist1

    I’m a volunteer leader in a Youth Organization. In our training we are taught to watch our for abuse, always have two verified leaders present at all times when working with children and if you encounter or suspect abuse, make two calls, the first to the police, the second to the organization headquarters. They take child protection seriously.

  • PsiCop

    Re: “Just so you know, the Catholic church has a MUCH higher child rape rate (by 10 times) than any other institution ever.”

    That may well be so. I don’t dispute it’s possible. I was just pointing out that, even if they were true, the claims of Catholic apologists don’t actually support Catholicism. They simply indict it, in a different way.

  • PsiCop

    Re: “Maybe a pedophile from another profession disappears and sets up shop somewhere else if the allegations against them either aren’t proven in court, or there’s no complaint filed, but there isn’t an organization that’s shuffling these guys around.”

    Very true. Some Catholics I know say that, for example, when a public-school teacher is accused of child abuse, his/her union tries to protect him/her … so the Church is doing nothing different. But I disagree. Unions may represent accused or even convicted teachers in a contractual or legal manner, but even then, I’ve never known them to secret those teachers off somewhere else so they can continue teaching (and abusing) with no one the wiser. Generally speaking, just an accusation of abuse can torpedo a public school teacher’s career. This is NOT, however, what happens with Catholic priests. Not even close.

  • ZeldasCrown

    Agreed. We have the right to legal representation in this country. Many unions offer legal services to their members (as an explicit part of their contract or otherwise just have the services available). However, they aren’t protecting or shielding the accused from the charges-these teachers have their day in court, and must defend themselves. They may or may not be convicted, depending upon the evidence in the specific case. This is very different from what the church has done-many of the priests never saw the inside of a courtroom.

  • TheG

    So, telling a child that mom will be mad or he will get an F on his paper is the same as threatening with eternal damnation? The entire authority of the abrahamic religions just went put the window. Thank you. You’ve saved atheists a heap of time and trouble with one argument.

  • Templarii

    He is Gay. thats why the church stopped to take gay man to be priest. And i do not understand why this make atheists angry? What is with the paedophilie on the leftist-atheist site? What is about the pro-padeophilie partys in the shadow of green, leftist and other “progressive” movements?

    Do you know that 99% of this is happening in non-catholic structures like familys, secular schools and sport-clubs? Do you know about the sexual behaviour of Stalin, Mao and others? Do you know the sexuality in Kommunist countrys or in explicit atheistic organisations? Do you know what happened in the hippie communities?

    Are you really seeking for justice and to stop this or are you just looking for things to blame catholics?

  • Feminerd

    I could. I don’t think that one’s real either, though! I call myself atheist for a reason.

    Bast is a pretty cool goddess, though. I like cats a lot.

  • Templarii

    What are you talking? Catholic leaders are telling what to catholics?

    This is not true. Catholic leaders don’t say that and no catholic would listen to this.

    Do you really know what the catholic church made in east europe? How much They helped cultures to survive? You don’t know what you are talking.

    And do you really think that god is cheating us with an 2000 year old organisation who wrote the bible, and is the biggest christian group in the world?

  • Templarii

    Oh, Hippies did that all the time. Because it was “freedom”.. Do you want to know? Just read:

    And they are in charge. and guys like him wrote books about “how cool it was to have an sexual relationship with an 4 year old girl”. But beacuse he is “green” and “pro-environment” noone is blaming him.

    Open your eyes..

  • Ryan Hite

    The first thing I would do if I was pope would be to immediately prosecute all the pedophile priests and completely reform the priesthood to allow for married priests. That should sort out their desire for sex.

  • Templarii

    ” The R.C. Church, unlike other types of organizations, claims to be the sole remaining arbiter of morality on earth, and to be carrying out God’s divine mission to humanity.”

    There are an bunch of Organisations who are claiming the same thing. UNO, Kommunists, Socialists, other Leftist organisations, Buddhists, other Religions and their organisations.

    The difference is that the Church knows that she are full of sinners. Jou just need to analyze the gigantic picture in the sixtine chapell in rome.

    And the stupidity to argue that an gigantic organisation like the Catholic Church has to have everybody under fully control and is totally responsible for EVERYONE in this organisation is just phantastic. Do you really think that this is possible? They are not that 100% Orwell Organisation you think. They are just humans and with this limitations.

    Try to take control about 20 persons. Good luck. And now try to do this with one Million. It is not possible. There is no mind control. The catholic church is not an ubermensch organisation. Sin exists, also in the curch. The church knows that and it knows this since the beginning.

    YOU think that the Church is saying that theyself are perfectsupermoralsuperman. This is an lie. Dont believe lies, believe the truth.

  • Templarii

    no institution in history is older and bigger then the catholic church.

    Do you really believe that all of this victims are victims? Maybe the just say that they are victims because they want money from the church? Never thought about this kind of stuff? Big business…

  • Templarii

    Do you know the History of Mohammed? It would be interesting for you.

    And it would be funny to see how you wold react if you know what he did, he said to do and what the radical muslims are doing.

    Do you have testicles to fight agains old modernist Cardinals or against Taliban and co?

    Read the “Hadiths”. Have fun..

  • PsiCop

    Re: “Maybe the just say that they are victims because they want money from the church? Never thought about this kind of stuff?”

    Of course it’s possible some individual claimants might be manufacturing claims in order to extort cash from the Church. Absolutely it can happen, and I assume it has.

    The thing is, though, that doesn’t explain all of the cases of abuse. Abuse that is worldwide in scope and has been documented as having gone on for decades … before anyone was suing them over it.

    We’re talking about patterns of abuse and cover-up that go far beyond any single case. We’re talking about long-standing policies by the Church that essentially encouraged the abusers to continue doing what they wanted and prevented secular officials from stopping it.

    While some individual cases might be trumped up for money, these wide patterns — which have been documented in many countries — have not.

    Re: “Never thought about this kind of stuff?”

    I most certainly have. I must ask, have you likewise “thought about this kind of stuff”? Really? Or have you dismissed all the claimants as extorionists without actually taking the time to know what’s going on here?

    Have you read any of the investigative reports from Ireland and other countries, that showed the abuse happened and that it was covered up by the hierarchs? Have you then compared the Church behaviors described in those various reports, to see all the similarities in how hierarchs around the world dealt with abuse (or more precisely, refused to deal with it)?

    Do you have any idea of the scope of it all? Have you even read the John Jay Report, commissioned by the bishops here in the US, released in 2004, which basically let them off the hook — but which also conceded that the abuse actually happened?

    Before you dismiss this scandal as the product of extortionists claimants, it would behoove you to actually know a little about it, first.

  • neil allen

    They don’t come out and say it. They prove it with their actions worldwide, hiding and defending tens of thousands of pedophile priests and fighting the victims.

    God’s church isn’t the one that is the most filthy rich church, but Catholics think it is. It isn’t the one that committed rampant organized child rape, and lied about it, but Catholics think it is.

    God isn’t cheating you. He’s testing you.

  • PsiCop

    Re: “And do you really think that god is cheating us with an 2000 year old organisation who wrote the bible, and is the biggest christian group in the world?”

    The Roman Catholic Church … whose existence dates to the early Middle Ages, is ruled by the Bishops of Rome, and conducts its business in the Latin language … most certainly did not “write the Bible.” The original Bible that the very first Christians had, was the Old Testament, which was written by Jews, not Christians themselves, and which they read translated into Greek (as the Septuagint). The New Testament books were all written in Greek as well. The last of them (probably the Pastoral epistles) had been composed by the middle of the 2nd century. That was centuries before the Roman Catholic Church existed.

    The R.C. Church might be the largest Christian institution in the world, but it’s far from being the oldest. That distinction is hard to pin down, but my money’s on it being either the Armenian Orthodox or Coptic Orthodox churches.

  • allein

    Actions speak louder than words.

    The good they may have done doesn’t cancel out the bad. If I kill someone, the fact that I also save puppies doesn’t mean I don’t have to be held accountable for my crime.

  • Feminerd

    I’m sorry, who are you talking about? Do you have any reason to think anyone here supports such actions? Or does no one mention this person because no one has ever heard of him?

    Weak tu quoque arguments are the last resort of desperate people who are losing arguments.

  • wmdkitty

    You’ll note, once more, that the Catholic Church actively supported, aided, and covered up pedophiles. For centuries

  • PsiCop

    I’m guessing your mother never taught you that two wrongs don’t make a right. Well, that kind of reasoning is fallacious. That some Leftist nut that most Americans have never heard of, may have been a pedophile, doesn’t grant Catholic priests to be pedophiles themselves,

    Oh, and as for “no one is blaming” this guy … I’m guessing you never read the Wikipedia article you linked to, which describes how protesters most certainly have targeted him. Woops. Your bad.

  • phantomreader42

    What would butthurt christianists do without Fatwah Envy?
    The fact that mohammed (shit be upon him) raped a nine-year-old girl does not magically make it okay for your sick death cult to rape children.

  • phantomreader42

    Isn’t that imaginary god of yours supposed to have some sort of problem with bearing false witness? Or do you think it’s okay because you’re lying in defense of your sick child-raping death cult?

  • phantomreader42

    God is imaginary. The catholic cult is an organized criminal enterprise that rapes children and rips off poor people. Other religious cults are not significantly better.

  • Spuddie

    The false equivalence argument is one of the most repugnant excuses out there for discussing abusive clergy. Even more disgusting than your inane, ignorant attempt to link all atheists to mass murdering dictators or pretending that gays and pedophiles are the same thing. I won’t even touch that bullshit.

    In every place where someone uses their authority with children to sexual abuse them, the perpetrators are prosecuted, relieved of their position and the organizations fully cooperate with authorities. That is every place other than a religious organization.

    Time and again churches when faced with such situations obstruct justice, circle their wagons, suppress information and do everything possible to ignore it. By making such excuses like you do, you condone priests to act in such a fashion. You are even worse than the child raping priests. At least they can say that they are compelled by base urges. You have no such excuse.

  • phantomreader42

    Did you just what?
    Is what you yes?
    Did you whatever?
    Whatever you I guess.
    The stalking horse
    Was hides the guy
    In which the pony was a phony was a lie.
    You say
    Stuff is way
    Way to go
    GO AWAY!

  • Spuddie

    I won’t believe in anyone whose faith doesn’t involve ritual orgies and the occasional sacrifice of one’s enemies. Its no fun otherwise.

  • Spuddie

    Cats already think they are gods. Why enable them?

  • Spuddie

    What would be funny is if you could understand the only differences between a Fundamentalist Christian and a Fundamentalist Muslim are the headgear and access to political power.

    We already have Fundamentalist Christians trying their hand at encouraging mass murder in Uganda.

  • wmdkitty


    Try know

  • Feminerd

    Hmm … there’s some ancient Middle Eastern pantheons that might do for you. Moloch demanded sacrifices and some of the female deities had sacred temple prostitutes …

    Picking and choosing from the gods humanity has come up with is kinda fun!

  • Spuddie

    I only wish my little furry god wouldn’t shed so much all over the living room.

  • phantomreader42

    Pascal’s Wager is a worthless load of shit. By using it you’re admitting that there’s actually no good reason to believe your cult’s idiotic dogma, you just pretend to believe it because you’re afraid of the boogeyman. It also implies that your god is incredibly stupid, narcissistic, cruel, and in general wholly unworthy of worship even if it actually existed (which isn’t likely, since by resorting to threats you admit that you don’t have any actual evidence). Your argument is the argument of a stupid, lazy, self-centered, willfully ignorant terrorist. In short, your argument is garbage, and so are you.

  • allein

    They are just humans and with this limitations.

    Well, that’s part of the point here. They are not “Christ on Earth” or morally better as they hold themselves out to be. That doesn’t somehow exempt them from answering for the wrong that they do.

    YOU think that the Church is saying that theyself are perfectsupermoralsuperman.

    They do say this. They – the pope, the priests – hold themselves out as God’s representatives here on Earth. And they commit crimes and hide them, they have aided and abetted criminals, in an attempt to maintain their facade of being perfectly moral and good.

  • C.L. Honeycutt
  • wmdkitty

    Yeah, the Duat.

  • mittendrin

    “It’s a case of unadulterated religious abuse — the kind that wouldn’t be
    possible if we taught our children critical thinking instead of
    unsubstantiated faith and unthinking respect for authority.”

    Let’s not blame the victim. If only the kids had been taught critical thinking, they wouldn’t have been raped! Come on…

  • gimpi1

    If the Catholic Church is so fallible, why should anyone take any interest in what they have to say regarding morality? Why should anyone care what they have to say at all?

  • gimpi1

    Absolutely, Zeldas. I have always been amazed at people who talk about belief as if it was something you could simply decide on. My mind just doesn’t work that way. I believe those things that have been proven through the preponderance of the evidence to be true. I don’t believe those things that have failed to meet the burden of proof. I can’t simply decide to believe in someone’s version of God any more than I can decide to believe in someone’s version of Santa.

    Show me the evidence. Stop with the threats. Stop with the attempt at guilt-tripping. Stop with the shaming. Stop. Just stop all the attempted manipulation, and show me the evidence. THAT’S what will make me believe you.

  • gimpi1

    It’s time to ignore Templarii. He clearly has nothing of value to say. Go away and let the sane people continue the discussion.

  • neil allen

    Ever think there might be 2 to 3 times as many victims as we know about? Most don’t come forward because they know they won’t be believed.

  • phantomreader42

    So, neil, which church is “God’s church”? And when did YOU get appointed the divine arbiter of the legitimacy of churches? Why should we believe YOUR death cult that might rape fewer children than the catholic death cult?

  • Monique Klabis

    I can guarantee you that this doesn’t just disgust and anger atheists…

  • evelyn582

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  • Daddy Love

    I read stories of pedophile coaches, teachers, etc. fairly frequently. They’re not hushed up by their organizations; they are publicly prosecuted.