It seems very clear to me that the sexual perversions of the Catholic Church are systematic, of their own making, and that they are powerless to fix them. Let’s take a look at the contributing causes.
- Sexual control. The Vatican would like to control everyone’s sexuality. Most people don’t like to be controlled and people will be sexual despite attempts at control. One of the side effects of abstinence-only sex education and virginity pledges, for example, was that teenagers opted for “porn star sex,” to circumvent the control. The Vatican has mandated the missionary position and prohibited condoms for its laity to increase the number of potential future tithers. In the US, most Catholics ignore such mandates. Priests don’t get to ignore the Vatican, so they have to find their outlets somewhere outside the realm of normal sexuality.
- Guilt. Promoting guilt has been a holy cash cow for the Vatican. Believers are held to an unreasonable standard of being “without sin.” They fail by design and have to confess their sins and receive penance. The mechanism reinforces the guilt and binds the believers closer to the church. The vicious cycle perpetuates with the church gaining control over the believer. When guilt is combined with sexuality, it can become part of the fetish. Forbidden fruit is sweeter and the more forbidden, the better. Promoting guilt about sex has the inevitable consequence of warping sexuality.
- False hope. A person who is aware he has a problem will gravitate to an institution that purports to have a solution. By promising an omnipotent entity that can solve any problem, the Vatican draws in the people who are most desperate for a “cure.” Such people are most likely to embrace the dogma and blame themselves when it fails. From an outside perspective, it is clear that the Vatican has yet to “cure” anyone.
- Convenient cover. Positions of authority and trust provide the best cover for someone who should not be trusted. Such a person can abuse the authority while publicly condemning exactly what he is doing in private. If a predator has risen high enough in the ranks, he can even use his authority to ensure he will never be investigated or, if he is, avoid damaging penalties. The recent case of Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado is just one example.
- Temptation. Any organization playing a public service role will provide many opportunities for interaction with people who can be easily persuaded to “return a favor.” Service organizations that focus on children are naturally going to attract pedophiles.
- Abuse of power. By playing the role of “father” and “the representative of God,” priests have a variety of ways of manipulating the victim. Threat of God’s wrath can make a potent silencer. Most victims have already given the church a great deal of control over their lives. It is very difficult to extract ones self from such a web. Even if a victim is steadfast in defending himself or herself, he or she can be bullied by agreeing to be silent in exchange for a payoff. A less powerful organization would not have the luxury of this bullying. Most people who donate to a church are not aware of the percentage of their “charitable donations” are used to perpetuate abuse. Moving abusive priests between churches is an obvious abuse of power. So is actively obstructing investigations, as the Pope has done. He even claimed diplomatic immunity as head of the Vatican to evade a lawsuit.
- Evasion of responsibility. The Vatican’s response to the pedophilia scandal has been a long study in the art of responsibility evasion. The Vatican has blamed the victims, gays, the “permissive culture” of the United States, gays again, the devil, and gays. They have whined that the abuse scandal interferes with their “charity work.” They have whined about the cost of reparations and how they can’t afford it and they will go bankrupt. They have insisted that church-state separation allows them to do anything they want without consequences. They have said they were unaware that pedophilia was harmful to the victims. They have blamed the moral character of the priests (deflecting from the systematic cover up). They have pretended to self-police. They have prayed, confessed, and invoked God. They have cried “religious persecution.” They have claimed that other professions have just as many pedophiles. I don’t know of anything they haven’t done or said to deflect responsibility for their problem. The Vatican is quick, however, to make pronouncements about sex or condoms while claiming moral authority from God. Such ballsy displays of hypocrisy should lead to worldwide ridicule – not blind subservience.
- Complicity of the laity. Despite decades of controversy, Catholic laity still funds the church. Such people clearly care more about magic crackers than their fellow human beings. Non-Catholic Christians have also abetted the crimes of the Catholic Church through the bogus concept of religious tolerance and “thou shalt not judge.” This complicity has meant that the systematic abuses of the Catholic Church in the US have gone largely unpunished by the US legal system. Fortunately, other countries value their citizens above long-standing pedophile rings. Perhaps some justice will come from Europe.
"The viscous cycle"? I always knew the Catholic Church was slimy!ReplyDelete
Yep, that's the Catholic Church in a nutshell: a hunger for power and influence, but a contempt for ethics or responsibility. The recent scandals don't anger me as much as their cowardice.ReplyDelete
Very nice analysis, Don.ReplyDelete
Though in point of fact, this is nothing new. It looks like the present day Vatican is kicking it old school. Back in the good old Middle Ages, being pope was like being Mick Jagger: all the debauchery you could handle, plus pie. Clement VI (reigned from 1342-52) was a total pimp who loved gambling and throwing elaborate and sumptuous banquets, surrounded himself with an entourage that included musicians and knights, and lived in a vast palace with its own zoo, steam room, and money vaults that probably looked like the one in Harry Potter. His personal wardrobe had over 1000 ermine skins, and he wore enough bling to make every hip-hopper alive commit mass suicide in envy. When some of his cardinals suggested he might be overdoing it, and that perhaps he should be a bit more humble and pious like some of his predecessors, Clement is said to have calmly replied, "My predecessors did not know how to be popes."ReplyDelete
I was quite aware of the scandals here (in the netherlands and the rest of europe) and I am glad in a way (it's all coming out now). In another way I am horrified, not only at the sick abuse so many suffered (BTW there have been quite a few cases of abusive nuns, not sexual abuse, but severe mental and physical abuse about too) but at the reaction of older catholics, because they don't care! just like Don said in his analysis. THEY actually feel insulted by the abuse victims! Because those who were abused are hurting their little magicshow church. They go so far as to suggest that many of the abuse claims probably are false anyway. And these are LAY people.This only goes to show how well the catholic church indioctrinates it's members.ReplyDelete
This scandal is hurting the catholic church in the netherlands bad (good) especially when you add a minor scandal concerning gays just before this whole abuse thing came to light. The church would deny openly catholic gays the piece of bread and wine (I can't think of the proper english term at the moment). For many this new horrifying scandal just puts the nail in the catholic coffin. It's just so sad that many people had to live alone with their abuse for 40+ years. benedict XVI has done nothing to change that opinion either with his weak ass apology which did not include any serious introspection on the church's side. Add to that the fact that Cardinal ratzinger (before he became pope) was the head of the church organisation which was supposed to deal with catholic priests who did some crime/ went against the church. This organisation (which I don't know how to properly translate to english... again) made the policy decision to keep sexual scandals as quite and secret as possible. so not only was the current pope responsible for covering things up in his german diocese, he was actually the head of the church institute, that made it POLICY to cover sexual scandals up wherever and however possible for the ENTIRE catholic church, not just ratzinger's diocese.
Here's something funnier than hell: A column by a Canadian Catholic right-winger.ReplyDelete
What does he say?
Let’s confront the problem of abuse without attacking the Catholic Church
Let's attack organized prostitution rings without attacking the mafia!
As a new survey reveals, only one in six Germans trusts the Catholic Church, and only one in four trusts the Pope.ReplyDelete
Yes, you're probably thinking "wow! that's a lot of people! how can they?"
Well, that's what I thought.
But keep in mind, a third of Germans are Catholic (at least registered, if probably not notably practicing). So, less than half of German Catholics trust their own church anymore.
Official numbers for the whole country aren't in yet, but so far, several Catholic stronghold regions and communities have reported doubled figures of people leaving the Church, compared to the same time frame last year.
The Church has tried every thinkable defence: it's the sexual revolution's fault, it's the liberal's fault, it's a communist/atheist subversion plot, we knew nothing, abuse isn't actually abuse when you look at it properly, all those cases were very long ago, this doesn't happen today anymore, we're already doing everything we can, and finally the old classic: you're doing it too.
Gotta go now, laters.
word ver: barkin
"Mr. Churchill, Please tone down your rhetoric! Certaintly we can address the problem in Europe with out attacking Ol 'Rolf"ReplyDelete
Hm, I just watched the latest episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, in which Bill said that the Catholic Church has always been a kind of beacon for sexual deviants to join in, to gain access to victims.ReplyDelete
Surely there's something wrong with these abusers, but somehow I'm having a hard time believing that there's a whole bunch of pedophiles out there who just one day decide to become priests for the rest of their lives, just for the easier access to potential victims.
I guess it would be the logical thing to do, as the famous English bank robbers answer to the question "Why do you rob banks?" was "Because that's where the money is".
Maybe I'm influenced by the Hollywood cliche of the troubled man who slowly descends deeper into insanity, but I've always thought that these sexual problems are something that develops over time, and certainly a Catholic setting would be an ideal catalyst. Some article said that many escape into priesthood so they can avoid dealing with problems in their sexual identity, which could surely mess them up even further in the long run.
It's a kind of a 'chicken or the egg' question, and surely it's incredibly hard to psychoanalyze the reasons behind these sexuality issues, but sometimes I see people trying to argue that these pedophile priests are clearly some sort of deviant "double agents" who've managed to infiltrate the church, posing as "normal" priests.
Or as some of the Catholic priests and cardinals like to say, they're just gays who've become priest because they like to have sex with young boys, which kinda makes it seem like they're still _totally_ missing the point and unable to admit any fault.
I understand you have a right to your opinion. Whether or not you choose to believe in God, that's your decision. However, I think it's truly a shame that in your zeal to discredit God and religion you have to bash all Catholics like this...as if each and every person in the Catholic church is bad. If you were truly interested in truth then you'd realize and report that sex abuse can happen anywhere and with people from all walks of life and all creeds. Indeed, there are probably athiests and agnostics who are guilty of it, too. I think it's cowardly to label an entire group of people based on the actions of a few. In fact, it's more than cowardly. It's called bigotry.ReplyDelete
Nice try playing the victim card, Bella, but it won't wash.ReplyDelete
None of us has ever made the claim that all the Catholic laity are as guilty of the same crimes as the priesthood. None of us has ever made the claim that non-Catholics never abuse kids.
Here's why the RCC pedophilia scandal is so exceptional and causing so much global outrage (you have probably failed to notice, in your rush to carry your own cross to Calvary, that it isn't only atheist bloggers attacking the Church for their handling of these crimes): Here you have a monolithic religious organization that has been granted the same standing as a sovereign nation, with a leader who is treated like a head of state and who is held by believers to be an infallible direct conduit of God on Earth.
It turns out that this organization is responsible for child sexual abuse on an epic scale — we aren't talking a small handful of isolated incidents, we're talking about cases numbering in the tens of thousands throughout the entire global network of the church. In other words, a systemic predilection by church authority figures, whom the laity have been taught to trust implicitly, to abuse that trust with the grossest acts of exploitation imaginable. And a systemic pattern of covering up those crimes, and protecting the perpetrators, moving them around and literally enabling them to continue their pattern of sexual abuse. This isn't "the actions of a few," this is institutionalized. And there is literally no parallel to it among any other group or organization in the world. None.
I take it from the tone of your comment that you are probably a member of the Catholic laity. Perhaps these things are too shocking for you to accept fully, and so it's easier and more comforting for you to deal with them by acting like it's everyone else's fault for being "bigots" ganging up on the Church. Or perhaps you have become so morally deadened by a lifetime of Church indoctrination that you simply cannot see what the big deal is about tens of thousands of human beings having their lives destroyed because in their childhoods, they were RAPED by men of the cloth they were taught were godly, safe and trustworthy figures of authority. Which is it?
Seriously, all I can say to you is WAKE UP. The whole stinking edifice is rotten. And if you're one of the good people among the Catholic laity, fine. But don't become complicit in their crimes by ignoring or downplaying them. Show some courage and strength of character by demanding to know if any priest in your diocese is guilty of any crime against a child. And if so, demand that that person be defrocked, arrested and prosecuted!
Seriously, what's more important to you? The safety of children, or protecting your church?
How you answer that question determines what kind of person you are.
And you call us cowardly?
Go to hell.