Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Part of the Problem

Appropriately, along with the last question and Easter week, comes the explosion of controversy against the Catholic Church's Pope made worse this week by one spokesman claiming the accusations against the Pope compare to the Holocaust, something that made most thinking people, Catholic or not, gag.

The abuse of children begs any possible justification for why the church steadfastly tried to hide the crimes and protect the priests. It was said for awhile it was just the US, nobody else is as decadent as the US, but then it turns out (not surprisingly) that it was around the world.

Sometimes you would say the cover-up was worse than the crime; but in this case, both are equally revolting with no way to justify either. I do not think though it is just about religion but more about an aspect of religion as in the inability to admit to being less than godly. This particular crime is also not about sexual orientation but about criminal abuse.

Years ago, many many years ago, Father Greeley said that the church was overlooking this kind of abuse because it could not get enough good people given the celibate rule. Some say that the church cannot afford to pay their priests if they are not celibate. Well paying off the victims of abuse hasn't been cheap.

Besides actively helping with the criminal prosecution of abusive priests, the church could stop the demand for celibacy which can only be an economic one as it makes no sense in any other way. It's not that celibacy leads to pedophilia, but it would allow good people to enter the church who do not want to live cloistered lives.

Despite the Pope supposedly being omnipotent where it comes to the church's religious teachings, the truth is dogma changes have happened before and for materialistic reasons. Popes have had scandals, have done terrible things, and if the church became more realistic about celibacy and things like birth control, it might find it became more of service to the world than when it tries to remain apart.

The Vatican, with its wealth beyond measure, is funded by the faithful's donations. Withholding those donations, giving them to other worthy causes, could impact what they do next. If people keep giving to an organization that has covered up these kinds of crimes, that seems to still be more interested in public relations than what happened, then they are encouraging policies, including cover-ups to stay the same, aren't they?


Parapluie said...

I am not Catholic and do not have any personal experience with going to confessions. I wonder if the confessions priests hear sexually stimulating seeds. Their hormones start kicking up an appetite for real experience. I think the problem could be systemic beyond not allowing priests to be family men.
You have brought up the economics of sustaining the church that I have never thought about.

mandt said...

A wealthy, wealthy church and a plug nickel Pope. Figures. X-monk feeling sad.

Ingineer66 said...

There is a big difference between being horny and being a child molester. And some of these dirt-bags molested both boys and girls. If a priest has an affair with an adult then that is something for the church to deal with. But if they are attacking children they should be locked up and the key should be thrown away. No excuses. The Catholic Church has done a huge disservice to its congregation by covering all of this up.

RobbinMT said...

, Rain- very thoughtful. These revelations seem never ending - and therefore indicate a deep and ingrained "sickness" in the body of the church.
How unfortunate that many people excuse this as a problem of "homosexuality" -these perpetrators are pedophiles - almost universally agreed on as "sin" or "evil" or at the very least, "wrong".

Darlene said...

Not only is celibacy unnatural, it prevents the priests from understanding the problems facing families as they seek to council them.

I don't believe celibacy causes pedophiles, but it creates a perfect place for pedophiles to hide and practice their deviant behavior.

Kay Dennison said...

As a Catholic, I can tell Diane that when one goes to confession one does not have to give all the gory details -- just the sin and number of occasions it was committed. Few priests ask for details. Only rarely do they ask questions.

I am ashamed and disappointed in my church.

The way the media is acting, it sounds like ALL priests are involved in these horrifying things. I still believe that most priests are good men who keep their vows.

And no, the Vatican should not be covering it up or hiding but taking measures to clean up this mess.

Rain said...

From what I have seen on MSNBC or read, I didn't feel it was suggested all of the priests (many like Christ Matthews have said the opposite) but what it is is that the cover-up was widespread. This kind of thing does not just happen in the Catholic Church, as I have seen it myself happen in small country churches. What believers must do is demand more.

I just finished watching 'Goya's Ghost' tonight (may write about it later) which is a reminder of the past of the Catholic Church. One would like to think things have changed. I think with power, nothing has changed in regards how religion (many of them) misuses power and that's said very sadly.

wally said...

Any priest or minister who sexually abuses anyone is not a Christian. I don't know what is worse, a minister who uses his position to prey on the innocent, or the church hierachy who, instead of getting rid of the offenders, covers up the scandal.

Alan G said...

Rain, I thought this might be of some interest with regard to your subject matter…..

Keeping solely focused on Christianity due to the Catholic connection and transgressions being discussed I would like to point out information regarding a man named Origen Adamantius (185-254 AD) who was one of the early Christian scholars and theologians. It was written by yet another well known historian of that era, Eusebius, that due to the Scripture noted in the Book of Matthew (Chapter 19, Verse 12), that Origen had himself castrated in order to worthy himself to his God and protect himself from partaking in any sort of sexual sin. The subject verse guiding his act of castrating himself is attributed to the words of Jesus and the verse reads as follows:

“For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from [their] mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive [it], let him receive [it].”

The Catholic forbearers have chosen to reject this reported history regarding Origen's actions as simply fiction but many historians and theologians believe it to be fact primarily due to the fact it was reported by Eusebius, another of the most respected early church historians.

Nevertheless, there were some in the early Christian church who believed that castration eliminated a major source of sexual sins.

I submit this information with no intent of suggesting that perhaps such practices should be considered in the Catholic Church, but rather simply for informational purposes.

Annotated Margins said...

One must lie to hold power, because to hold power is to lie.

Paul said...

The Catholic Church has to address the issue of child abuse by priests. Most priests, I feel, are good men;however, if a priest has hurt a child he has to be brought to justice and the Pope needs to make this a priority.A true Christian can never let this go unaddressed !

Anonymous said...

I am at a loss for words as to why the Pope has NOT addressed this properly yet. I was raised Catholic and it makes me ill anytime I hear about a priest molesting children. Priests are no different than you or I when it comes to the law. Really makes a person scratch their heads!
And Blogger is not letting me leave my username.