I have a question for practicing Catholics: what will it take for you to decide to leave this grotesquely corrupt institution? What would a priest, Bishop, Cardinal or Pope have to do (or not do) -- exactly what -- for you to say: enough, I am out of here?
Being a non-believer I am not authority on Christianity or the Catholic Church but I recognize a preponderance of evidence when I see it and read it. I am having trouble avoiding the conclusion that the whole rotten establishment is little more than an organized pedophile ring.
Is this where pedophiles go when they are thinking of a career? Let's see, how can I get close to the children I want to sodomize or give me blow jobs but be virtually immune from criticism, let alone criminal prosecution? I know! I'll be a Catholic priest. My stature in the community is as high as it gets, parents will trust me with their little ones, and I know that the church protects itself and will protect me if I get caught.
The whole sickening scandal is more evidence yet that the Vatican and all its churches should be closed down, their assets sold and distributed to various worthy causes -- starting with the distribution of condoms in Africa to combat AIDS (which the church forbids). It is too profoundly sick to be capable of redeeming itself.
There have been some interesting comments from Catholics and others about the whole criminal conspiracy run, it now appears, by the Pope himself. He being the same man who effectively pardoned one of the worst pedophiles of all, the priest who assaulted 200 deaf boys in Wisconsin -- because the monster wrote to him and asked for lenience. Unbelievable.
One writer asked whether or not the priests involved actually asked forgiveness in the confessional booth of other priests -- part of their duty as good Catholics. Why does this make a difference? Because, according to church doctrine, giving communion without having confessed your sins is one of the gravest misdeeds a priest can commit. And if they did seek forgiveness - what about the priest giving the absolution? Or was he diddling boys, too, and saw nothing to forgive? I guess they could confess to, and absolve, each other. Imagine, as well, these criminals forgiving the sins of others.
No matter where you turn, your stomach turns with you.
It seems clear that no one in authority in the Church actually gets it. On Monday news of the Vatican going on the "offensive." Interesting word. But I guess the odd Freudian slip is pretty much inevitable from this crown of incurable politicians and power brokers. I have not read a single story over the past 20 years of these outrageous stories of ruined lives where I got the sense that any Catholic spokespersons were genuinely remorseful. That it because there is a core moral failure here at the very heart of the Catholic Church: they really do not understand what they have done.
And so there will be no redressing of the horrific wrongs committed -- just spin from the Vatican public relations machine.
The Pope, when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, covered up and condoned. He lied when he said to the Irish abused, implying he had only just found out: "I can only share in the dismay and the sense of betrayal that so many of you have experienced on learning of these sinful and criminal acts and the way Church authorities in Ireland dealt with them." Really? And what was he sharing when he sent out the infamous letter across the world in 2001, ordering priests and Bishops to keep sexual abuse allegations secret or face excommunication?
Of course because these crimes (they are now being revealed in more and countries in Europe, including Germany where fewer than 17 per cent of Germans trust the German Pope) are so unimaginable we tend forget that they are only one third of the crimes committed against children. As Sinead O'Connor, who once famously ripped up a photo of Pope Paul II on Saturday Night Live, pointed out there's still the physical abuse meted out by nuns and priests which has never been genuinely dealt with. And when that is truly accounted for we need to turn to the psychological abuse by priests and nuns telling five year olds that they will go to hell if they don't confess and there they will experience an eternity of worms eating their eyeballs.
Pedophiles and sadists. If there was a vengeful God all of these monsters would have been struck dead by lightening long ago, the Pope among them.
Catholics can do their part by refusing to attend mass until the Pope fires dozens of criminally complicit Bishops implicated in the cover up and then resigns himself. If the church cannot do this, it should be condemned once and for all. Catholics should leave the church for good and find spiritual meaning elsewhere. At that point, staying would equal complicity.
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