The Catholic Church Should Burn

Pamela

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I am generic Christian, non church going. I can’t tell you how mortifying, how galling, how enraging, it is to read about this rot among not only abusers, but about evangelical Trump supporters. I think these institutions attract these slick smarmy charlatans that want some way to wrap themselves in moral superiority, to hide their venality. The contrast between what they claim to do and what they do is what makes it so outrageous and newsworthy.
 

Tigar

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I'm sorry if I offended anybody. I just think that if the Catholic Church were to go away suddenly tomorrow because of the abuse it would need to be replaced by *something*; and that *something* would need to offer similar spirituality to the 1.2 billion world Catholics in terms of worship and liturgy, but structured radically different in an effort to chase down current problems. I think the catholic churches current disgusting stance toward folk catholic traditions stems from institutional anxiety over this very thing.


Edit: and the I'm sorry part isn't sarcasm. Seriously, I'm really sorry if my suggestion caused memories of nun abuse pain!
I’m an Escaped Catholic.
I ain’ offended at all.
 

Zaida Gearbox

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In the Orthodox Church, if I've got a problem with something my priest does - I've got every right to call the archbishop and tell on him. Moreover, if I dial the archbishop's phone number odds are that is who is going to answer the phone. Not that I've tested this, but I know others who have. About a year ago, the son of my godmother was being ordained to the diaconate, so we went to the liturgy - and the archbishop was obviously there. He spent the night before at the rectory with our priest and family, and when we drove by the rectory on our way to the church - the archbishop was out in the drive way scraping the ice off his car.

In the Catholic Church, if I tried to contact the archbishop because I was unhappy about something a priest was doing - I'd probably speak to some lower level assistant who would tell me how the archbishop is far too busy and important to talk to the likes of me, and who the hell did I think I was to even try. I've never heard of a Catholic bishop visiting local parishes - anything that involves the bishop requires you go to the Cathedral where he actually serves. But, if he did come out for some kind of special event, he'd stay at a local 5 star hotel, arrive in a limo - and if ice needed to be scraped some assistant would do it.
 

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In the Catholic Church, if I tried to contact the archbishop because I was unhappy about something a priest was doing - I'd probably speak to some lower level assistant who would tell me how the archbishop is far too busy and important to talk to the likes of me, and who the hell did I think I was to even try. I've never heard of a Catholic bishop visiting local parishes - anything that involves the bishop requires you go to the Cathedral where he actually serves. But, if he did come out for some kind of special event, he'd stay at a local 5 star hotel, arrive in a limo - and if ice needed to be scraped some assistant would do it.
It has a lot to do with numbers. There are huge differences between dioceses. For instance the bishop of whole Iceland has about 2500 Catholics to serve. That's a number that every city parish pastor has at least double in his parish here in my diocese Roermond Limburg. Our bishop has about 780,000 Catholics to manage.
So no wonder that the bishop of Iceland will answer his own phone and the bishop of Roermond needs a secretary to do some triage and make appointments if needed.
The archbishop of the Netherlands is head of 4.2 million souls. No way to get him personally on the phone when not relevant to his duty.

I was raised Catholic and a long time I was an active church member. In that period the bishop at least visited our parish more than a dozen times. I've spoken to him 3 or 4 times in person, have been invited to his episcopal palace as a member of a workgroup. Heck, the man even remembered me from an earlier visit. So even the bishop in a bigger diocese isn't that far away. He will call back personally, if you really need to speak to him.
 

Pamela

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Jopsy Pendragon

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Heck, the man even remembered me from an earlier visit. So even the bishop in a bigger diocese isn't that far away. He will call back personally, if you really need to speak to him.
My grandmother was devoutly Catholic, and lived in Brooklyn NY. She'd had health problems most of her life, and the idea of death was something she was comfortable joking about. She'd mentioned several times how nice it would be if the bishop could say her funeral mass when the time came, knowing it was rather unlikely.

She was far from home, visiting us over-seas when she passed. A cardinal happened to be travelling through our area and stepped in to perform her funeral mass in a tiny military chapel. (iirc: bishop -> archbishop -> cardinal -> pope) It was kind of surreal.
 

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That's such a painful article to read on so many different levels. As a gay person I understand the emotional pressures that have tortured gay Catholics, and I can understand how they gravitated toward the safe haven the Church could offer them to play a respected role in society. But the corruption and hypocrisy and sheer cruelty that crawls out of the self-loathing Church hierarchy is like playing out Lord of the Flies for centuries.
 

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As a gay person I understand the emotional pressures that have tortured gay Catholics, and I can understand how they gravitated toward the safe haven the Church could offer them to play a respected role in society.
I've long been entirely convinced that the whole gay-intolerance position of the Catholic Church existed for no other reason than to extort wealth, compliance and service through the threat of both spiritual and physical blackmail.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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It could well be an improvement. I'm a Lutheran, a product of the first Reformation. And, as far as I know, we don't have all of the problems prevalent in the Catholic Church.
So too is the Church of England, of course, but that's not prevented it from having a lot of sexual abusers among its clergy. It's not alone in this, of course:; it seems that Methodists, Baptists and Jehovah's Witnesses over here all acknowledge they've had problems with unrecognised sexual abuse in the past: SEX ABUSE IN CHRISTIAN CHURCHES IN THE UK

Nor is the problem confined to religious organisations. It's certainly recognised as a problem in schools over here.

I think any hierarchical organisation (particularly predominantly or exclusively male-dominated ones) in which adults in positions of authority and trust have long-term close and unsupervised access to young people is likely to prove an environment towards which sexual abusers are attracted.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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Further to my earlier post about sexual abuse not just being a Catholic issue

Southern Baptist Convention grapples with sexual abuse report

he Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), one of the largest Christian organizations in the world, is grappling with allegations that more than 250 of its leaders sexually abused more than 700 congregants over the last two decades.

A months-long investigation by the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News, published this month, asserted that dozens of churches within the SBC knowingly hired sex offenders, silenced victims, neglected to fire sexually abusive leaders and declined to report cases to secular authorities, or even document them within their own organization.

The SBC is the closest thing evangelicals have to a Vatican. That has lead to the two newspapers’ work being compared to the Boston Globe’s 2002 revelations about sexual abuse within the Catholic church, which were retold in the Oscar-winning film Spotlight.
It's to do, I am sure, not with religious affiliation but with power structures and how some people -- particularly men, it seems, but probably that's because they're the ones in power -- behave when they think they can get away with it.
 

Zaida Gearbox

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OH no - they'll cover up in all new ways, so it won't be like usual in the past at all!

It's to do, I am sure, not with religious affiliation but with power structures and how some people -- particularly men, it seems, but probably that's because they're the ones in power -- behave when they think they can get away with it.

Predators know how to choose their prey and unfortunately religious communities, school. community sports leagues - tend to make for fruitful hunting grounds.
 

Innula Zenovka

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OH no - they'll cover up in all new ways, so it won't be like usual in the past at all!

It's to do, I am sure, not with religious affiliation but with power structures and how some people -- particularly men, it seems, but probably that's because they're the ones in power -- behave when they think they can get away with it.

Predators know how to choose their prey and unfortunately religious communities, school. community sports leagues - tend to make for fruitful hunting grounds.
I agree in general with the point that predators know how to choose their prey, but I don't think that can be the whole story.

I mean, how likely is it that a sexual predator will deliberately choose to seek ordination as a Catholic priest (or any other denomination), with all the years of study and training that involves, in order to have access to victims when he could just as easily enjoy similar access in, as you suggest, a community sports league or something?

I think it's to do with some people being unable to resist the temptation, when presented with the opportunity to succumb to it apparently without consequences, to do something they never otherwise thought they might want to do.

For example, I'm sure that a great many men who find themselves convicted of downloading images of children being sexually abused would never have dreamed of trying to seek out such images in the first place unless they'd read about how easy it is to do online, and started to think, "I wonder what people see in that sort of thing" and decided to satisfy their curiosity. If satisfying that curiosity had meant seeking out seedy and threatening sex shops and video arcades, I'm pretty sure most of them wouldn't have done anything about it.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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