The Catholic Church Should Burn

Innula Zenovka

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Judaism doesn't have a concept of heaven or hell, nor repentance. Rather, God handed Moses the rules to follow, and he passed them on to the 12 tribes of Israel. The Israelites were the "chosen people" and had a special relationship with God, but that relationship was God saved them from slavery in Egypt and led them to the Promised Land. In return they worship the one God, and follow his rules. What you do with a sinner is stone them, or whatever other punishment is laid out in in the Torah (five books of Moses, which are the first five books of the Old Testament). Modern Jews mostly let the State handle punishment, which are much less severe.
Certainly in London, and I think I remember reading about similar cases in New York, particular Hassidic communities have come under severe criticism for the way the local rabbinical authorities have handled similar cases -- transferring rabbinical students accused of abuse to other cities, for example, rather than encouraging the parents to report the matter to the police (indeed, actually discouraging them from involving law enforcement).

As I keep saying, I don't think this is particularly to do with the teachings and practices of particular religions and sects. It's more to do with how power relationships work out in insular communities with a strong hierarchical structure.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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I've mentioned widespread abuse in the state-run Children's homes in the area where I'm originally from. A former resident describes her experiences in one:

Warning -- the report is distressing enough for anyone, and doubtless particularly so for any survivors of sexual abuse who may be reading this.


No particular religious connections in this case -- just an abusive environment of the kind that was able to flourish before the authorities started taking the victims' complaints seriously, this time in a wholly secular institution.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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I'd not seen this before. I remember seeing their bus quite regularly up until a couple of years ago, along with one of their mobile soup-kitchens for feeding homeless people that used to park up quite near where I live.



Though, in the interests of fairness, I should add that not even hierarchical, authoritarian organisations that believe not in God but in dialectical materialism are necessarily free of this kind of behaviour





I'm sure this is more to do with particular sorts of men finding that, given a position of power and authority in a particular kind of organisation, they can get away with pretty much whatever they want to than it is to do with any beliefs on which that organisation is founded.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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To be fair, Bishop DiMarzio denies the allegations and has yet to be charged with anything (indeed, it's not clear if a criminal investigation has yet even started) and it's regrettably true that false accusations of historic sexual abuse are made, though mercifully rarely, and sometimes with devastating results.

This is very much on my mind at the moment because of the outcome of this recent case, which has been in and out of the headlines for years in its various developments, with devastating results for the elderly men who were falsely accused



The judge's sentencing remarks are worth reading for a dispassionate account of the full background and extent of Beech's wrongdoing:


I don't deny it's perfectly possible Bishop DiMarzio is guilty, but even Roman Catholic clergymen are entitled to the presumption of innocence.

On this general topic, I see from the AP report that the diocese have forwarded the allegations to the police, which is precisely what they should do. Presumably the civil action will be stayed pending the outcome the police investigation and any subsequent trial, and the law will take its course.
 

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Brenda Archer

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Bloomberg - Are you a robot?

Catholic Church Shields $2 Billion in Assets to Limit Abuse Payouts

Dioceses are aggressively moving and reclassifying holdings to shrink the value of their bankruptcy estates.

In many cases, churches precede bankruptcy by transferring and reclassifying assets. The effect is to shrink the pot of money available to clergy abuse victims. That and Chapter 11’s universal settlements and protections from further claims have been an effective one-two punch for limiting payouts. A Bloomberg Businessweek review of court filings by lawyers for churches and victims in the past 15 years shows that the U.S. Catholic Church has shielded more than $2 billion in assets from abuse victims in bankruptcies using these methods. “The survivors should have gotten that money, and they didn’t,” says Terry McKiernan, president of BishopAccountability.org.
 

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There are a lot of extremely solid and far more meritorious reasons to want the Catholic church abolished.

But one of mine is petty af, and that's that people keep assuming that I'm Catholic (I'm an agnostic-atheist and usually p quiet about it) when they find out I'm a pastor's kid.
 
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I kind of wish all religion would burn.

What God would be stupid or malicious enough to give the enormous power to represent His Will to a creation he designed to be corrupted by power?

One not worth believing in.
 

Innula Zenovka

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Police say they are uncovering a hidden “epidemic” of paedophile abuse in the 1970s and 1980s, with thousands of allegations leading to convictions against people who abused their power to attack children.

New figures seen by the Guardian show that 4,024 allegations led to guilty verdicts at court after police investigations since 2014 into decades-old child sex offences.

[....]

Chief Constable Simon Bailey, the national lead for child protection and abuse investigations, told the Guardian: “We are now having to come to terms, as a society, and we are going to have to recognise and accept, that during the 1970s and 1980s in particular, there was widespread sexual abuse of children taking place.

“These allegations and the vast majority of cases were never reported to the authorities. Some victims did not think they were going to be believed. There was one constant factor: there was an abuse of power … to satisfy their sexual desires.”

Among those convicted were care home boss John Allen, 78, jailed for 14 years for attacking five child victims between 1976 and 1984, Timothy Mawer, 51, a badminton coach jailed for abusing seven victims in the 1980s and 90s, and John Clifford Davies, 61, a children’s home worker jailed for 24 years for a string offences in the 1970s and 80s.