The Catholic Church Should Burn

mikka

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All religion == Bollox
All followers == weak minded
But of course - mental illness is a thing so treat them with kid iron gloves.
Turned upside down a snippet (ta Billy)

They make the laws
To chain us well
The clergy dazzle us with heaven
Or they damn us into hell

We will not worship
The God they serve
The God of greed who feeds the rich
While poor men starve
 

GoblinCampFollower

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Part of what makes the abuses so heinous is that they're committed by men who claim absolute moral authority over all other people. They use their privilege to both protect themselves and to prey on others. Such a tidy little package of cruelty, hypocrisy and arrogance.
This is what I came here to say. Any level of power can be abused, but the religious claim of moral authority really is a bit different. Priests and nuns often get away with claiming moral superiority in a way that corporate executives can only dream of.

I also agree with what others have said that decentralizing churches doesn't seem to work very well. My friends who grew up "in the middle of nowhere" rural areas often had scary stories from the small town churches. I think we only hear more about the catholic church because it's big and actively pushes across boarders. Small churches that don't try very hard to reach out to outsiders produce at least as much nightmare fuel per capita.

The catholic church has a horrifyingly long legacy of always being on the wrong side of history. They fought to preserve feudalism on top of everything else people here mentioned. It's kind of amazing anyone who can read still sees them as a moral authority on anything.

I don't really see any magic bullet solutions. I think much of the population will always believe in god, and many of them will want to see some sort of structure in their religion like everything else. Maybe the best thing is to make sure kids get educated on the history of cults, so it's harder for others to act like they are the only one ever to claim they speak for the one true god.
 

Arilynn

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I think I may have found the name of the person I had mentioned at least once in these discussions on SLU: Richard Sipe. He was a Catholic monk for 18 years, quit, married an ex-nun, became a psychologist, and counseled hundreds of abusive priests.

He wrote the book “Celibacy in Crisis”, which has a forward that summarizes Sipe’s thesis. The forward was written by Father Richard McBrien, who is/was a professor of theology at Notre Dame. Here’s a quote:

“Obligatory celibacy and the church's official teaching on human sexuality are at the root of the [Catholic priest child rape crisis].....There are some healthy people who practice celibacy. But that requirement of the priesthood will attract a disproportionately high percentage of men who are sexually dysfunctional, sexually immature, or whose orientation will raise the question - are they attracted to the priesthood because of the ministry, or because it is a profession that forbids one to be married?"

Sipe’s research lead him to believe only 50% of Catholic clergy are actually celibate. Along with attracting sexually immature or troubled people to the priesthood, Sipe maintained that the celibacy requirement created a culture of secrecy and deceit. He said it started in the seminaries, many of which had student-student and student-instructor sex as open secrets. This, he said, helped select as successful seminarians those who could maintain secrecy and/or feign ignorance. This then caused problems when a senior, secretly sexually active cleric would be informed of a priest’s abuse.

Sipe also believed the Catholic Church was weakened by its refusal to ordain women.

Unfortunately, Sipe died a number of years ago, but his writing and interviews are easily found on the net.
 

Jopsy Pendragon

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It's not just that there are more (or less) pedophiles on average among Catholic Clergy than other denominations, abuse is abuse... it's the vast institutional conspiracy to protect the guilty from justice that makes it worse.

And given the disturbingly apparent blasé attitude of conservatives towards Donald Trectump's rampant, unapologetic and overt 'obstruction of justice' ... people need to be reminded that those that protect monsters from justice are JUST as heinous as the monsters they protect.
 

Jopsy Pendragon

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The catholic church has a horrifyingly long legacy of always being on the wrong side of history. They fought to preserve feudalism on top of everything else people here mentioned. It's kind of amazing anyone who can read still sees them as a moral authority on anything.
The Vatican, imho, was basically an early version of modern advertising/marketing. They had wide-ranging voice and audience, but they relied on charity to operate. And it would not surprise me in the least if most of that came from history's one-percenters, instead of the common folk.

So, it seems reasonable, to me, that their mission/message has been corrupted to appease various wealthy interests. They had no army to enforce or seize assets, they had to compromise to survive.

They may seem staunchly intolerant, but they have a long history of making exceptions for the right price. Intolerance is just a big part of their 'art of the deal'. If they weren't so corrupt, the holy city would be long forgotten and little more than any other random neighborhood of Rome.
 
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Brenda Archer

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People are horrified by child abuse, but don't elect enough politicians willing to fund what we already have for a child protection system.

This says something about peoples' attitudes. There are still too many people too concerned with parental rights and institutional reputations and not enough with the atrocities that get inflicted on children.

I take this as proof that many people are primitive on a moral level. When these people are organized into institutions, those institutions follow suit.

Modern people cannot afford institutions that are above the rule of law. If that means organized, authoritarian religion goes away, it's time. Nothing lasts forever.
 

Beebo Brink

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Along with attracting sexually immature or troubled people to the priesthood, Sipe maintained that the celibacy requirement created a culture of secrecy and deceit. He said it started in the seminaries, many of which had student-student and student-instructor sex as open secrets. This, he said, helped select as successful seminarians those who could maintain secrecy and/or feign ignorance. This then caused problems when a senior, secretly sexually active cleric would be informed of a priest’s abuse.
Thank you, that lays out pretty clearly how the institution created a pipeline for abusers and became so deeply invested in protecting them. Given the age of the Catholic Church, this dynamic is so deeply ingrained that I just don't think there's a way to root out corruption. Corruption has become the operating standard.

The Vatican...had wide-ranging voice and audience, but they relied on charity to operate.
Say what?

Nooooo. If only. The church was funded by solid assets of land and monetary wealth brought in by new clergy from the higher classes. In fact, one of the reasons for the celibacy ruling was precisely to keep that wealth in the Church, instead of passing it on to offspring.

People BOUGHT their way into positions of power in the church hierarchy. Poor people who joined the clergy were put in menial jobs.
 

Khamon

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Jopsy said:
The Vatican...had wide-ranging voice and audience, but they relied on charity to operate.
Nooooo. If only. The church was funded by solid assets of land and monetary wealth brought in by new clergy from the higher classes. In fact, one of the reasons for the celibacy ruling was precisely to keep that wealth in the Church, instead of passing it on to offspring.

People BOUGHT their way into positions of power in the church hierarchy. Poor people who joined the clergy were put in menial jobs.
Jopsy also said "And it would not surprise me in the least if most of that came from history's one-percenters, instead of the common folk."
 

Jopsy Pendragon

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Say what?

Nooooo. If only. The church was funded by solid assets of land and monetary wealth brought in by new clergy from the higher classes. In fact, one of the reasons for the celibacy ruling was precisely to keep that wealth in the Church, instead of passing it on to offspring.

People BOUGHT their way into positions of power in the church hierarchy. Poor people who joined the clergy were put in menial jobs.
I should have put "charity" in sarcasm quotes, since that's what the modem wealthy church donors pretend it is, so they can claim tax deductions while paying their church to side with (or at least silently fail to oppose) their particular agendas.

"Indulgences' would have been a better word, though I'm sure the ruling class/wealthy-elites in history pretended it was "charitable" instead of quid pro quo just the same, as far as the public/laity were concerned.
 
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Aribeth Zelin

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i might have missed this, but apparently Francis admitted that there is another sexual abuse problem in the Church; entire orders of nuns used sexually by priests against their will, then punished when they got pregnant, or their orders disbanded, rather then punish a single male in the church.

And the abused have been known to become the abuser, if its bad enough. This admission also makes me wonder at a story where apparently an entire convent was raped and impregnated by Russian troops in one of the wars... womens cycles do tend to match up, but I wonder if any of those happened before or after the attack.
 
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detrius

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Imnotgoing Sideways

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The fatal flaw is that the 'church' is basically untouchable. There is a large community of followers with cult-esque levels of dedication. Rational followers can decide to refrain from giving their dollar-on-sunday in hope to send a message. But, they're genuinely the proverbial drop in the bucket.

The dedicated, I'll call them, attend daily events and often individually contribute no less than half-a-grand each month in basket donations, special donations, "Bishop's Appeal" donations, and what-have-you. These people can't be convinced of the scale of the problem. The church can do no wrong. And, anyone who does wrong deserves being forgiven... Especially if the perpetrators are in the hierarchy.

We can poke fun, reveal, investigate, and expose the problem all we want. But, their echo chamber is lined with platinum.
 

Brenda Archer

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The fatal flaw is that the 'church' is basically untouchable. There is a large community of followers with cult-esque levels of dedication. Rational followers can decide to refrain from giving their dollar-on-sunday in hope to send a message. But, they're genuinely the proverbial drop in the bucket.

The dedicated, I'll call them, attend daily events and often individually contribute no less than half-a-grand each month in basket donations, special donations, "Bishop's Appeal" donations, and what-have-you. These people can't be convinced of the scale of the problem. The church can do no wrong. And, anyone who does wrong deserves being forgiven... Especially if the perpetrators are in the hierarchy.

We can poke fun, reveal, investigate, and expose the problem all we want. But, their echo chamber is lined with platinum.
This isn’t to convince willing cultists. It’s to give victims and the deconverted somewhere to go, and put the rest of the institution under the rule of law. Some cultists will never be deconverted, so it’s on the larger society to restrain them. Getting the truth out has made a big difference in a lot of places. I don’t feel pity for cultists who feel encircled. That’s their psychological issues and ignorance at work.
 

Imnotgoing Sideways

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What I'm saying, though, is that the cultists are shielding the church from all possible change. Nothing has made a difference, so far. Everything we have seen so far is lip service, at best. If all we want is lip service, then fine. But, I doubt that's suitable.
 

Brenda Archer

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What I'm saying, though, is that the cultists are shielding the church from all possible change. Nothing has made a difference, so far. Everything we have seen so far is lip service, at best. If all we want is lip service, then fine. But, I doubt that's suitable.
Put them under the rule of law and it will be change or jail.

The cult part won’t inherently change, but conservatives tend to be cowards in the face of authoritarian pressure. If that pressure is welded by a democratic state, backed up by popular opinion, quite a lot can come from it to benefit the victims.

The legal and social pressures are not there to cause deconversion - that’s a psychological process and more difficult and complex than people realize. But the legal and social pressures can make a safe space for people who leave. They can be a resource for reformists still on the inside.

If you want to tear down a culture that could tolerate something like that abusive orphanage that was in Burlington, you must apply relentless moral pressure. People can cling to all manner of ridiculousness in theology, but moral pressure hits people at the point where they have to connect to the larger society. Reject that pressure, and your religious community is ostracized. Mainstream churches don’t generally go there - they have to cave.

When scandal hit in Boston I remember churches were closing because the majority of Catholics were disgusted by abuse and many walked out.

The recent legal report in Pennsylvania has given a lot of validation to survivors and is horrifying in its scope.

This is worthwhile. Hem in the cultists. A small but steady stream will either deconvert or be shamed into silence, but that’s not the main goal. The main goal is removing extralegal power from abusers.
 

Sid

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I don't know the situation in the USA, but here everybody falls under the same laws. Religious organizations just like all the rest.
Problem was, that nobody for whatever reasons ever or very seldom pressed charges in the past.
Because of a huge secularization process that has been taking place a lot of old stuff hit the surface during the last decade, but sadly most crimes are barred by time, and most offenders are either old as Methuselah or dead.

Thanks to the secularization process, that went relatively quick in my diocese, the Catholic church has lost its influence on daily life big time over here. They simply don't have the numbers of clergyman and nuns to run hospitals, schools, boarding schools, childcare, hospices, homeless shelters, like they used to do in the pas.
In the diocese I live in (in the youth of my parents a very thriving community, with their tentacles everywhere in society), there are so few clergyman left, that there is only one priest for every two or three parishes.
The handful of convents that are left are homes for the elderly nuns and fathers. Very few convents still have some novices.
Only 23% of the people who are registered as being Catholic have attended mass at least once a month last year.

So the problem has solved itself over here for most part.
 

Kara Spengler

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Why do we even let catholics run schools?

There are a LOT of parallels between catholic boarding schools for the Deaf and catholic boarding schools for Native Americans. Both have some bad things from them, often the same things. Yet non-religious boarding schools for the Deaf eventually became places where the language flourished and the culture thrived. Yes, there are non-catholic schools ran by one church or another but they do not have issues as often.