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BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal

GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com 16 Mar 02 - 06:51 PM
gnu 16 Mar 02 - 07:29 PM
GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com 16 Mar 02 - 07:39 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 16 Mar 02 - 08:42 PM
Ebbie 16 Mar 02 - 09:03 PM
GUEST,repooc 16 Mar 02 - 09:17 PM
hobbitwoman 16 Mar 02 - 09:18 PM
gnu 16 Mar 02 - 10:31 PM
mack/misophist 16 Mar 02 - 11:09 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 16 Mar 02 - 11:19 PM
JedMarum 16 Mar 02 - 11:19 PM
Ebbie 16 Mar 02 - 11:20 PM
GUEST 16 Mar 02 - 11:52 PM
RichM 17 Mar 02 - 01:03 AM
Peg 17 Mar 02 - 01:29 AM
Hrothgar 17 Mar 02 - 03:23 AM
DMcG 17 Mar 02 - 03:51 AM
Terry K 17 Mar 02 - 04:00 AM
Hrothgar 17 Mar 02 - 04:10 AM
Les Jones 17 Mar 02 - 04:27 AM
gnu 17 Mar 02 - 07:16 AM
harpgirl 17 Mar 02 - 10:11 AM
JedMarum 17 Mar 02 - 11:02 AM
GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com 17 Mar 02 - 12:18 PM
katlaughing 17 Mar 02 - 01:00 PM
SINSULL 17 Mar 02 - 01:16 PM
nutty 17 Mar 02 - 02:04 PM
GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com 17 Mar 02 - 02:16 PM
DMcG 17 Mar 02 - 02:34 PM
mack/misophist 17 Mar 02 - 03:26 PM
Penny S. 17 Mar 02 - 04:57 PM
Amos 17 Mar 02 - 05:24 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 17 Mar 02 - 07:53 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 17 Mar 02 - 08:26 PM
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DMcG 23 Mar 02 - 03:45 PM
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Peter K (Fionn) 24 Mar 02 - 08:51 AM
GUEST,johntm 24 Mar 02 - 11:19 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 24 Mar 02 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,johntm 24 Mar 02 - 07:45 PM
Rick Fielding 24 Mar 02 - 09:45 PM
GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com 24 Mar 02 - 10:05 PM
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*#1 PEASANT* 25 Mar 02 - 09:13 PM
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InOBU 26 Mar 02 - 04:24 PM
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Ebbie 26 Mar 02 - 09:23 PM
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Subject: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com
Date: 16 Mar 02 - 06:51 PM

I really need to figure this out. I am a lifelong Catholic..not an overly good one...but I still am one. I am blindsided by the extent of this problem. I do have a song in the works..to the tune of Star of the Sea...Could it have happened at Star of the Sea. If anyone wants to add some lyrics for possible inclusion, just pop them in. Anyway, the response of the bishops and that awful Cardinal Law and even the Pope himself has been shocking...

It's no secret that the Catholic church isn't exactly an incubator of a healthy sexual morality and I guess this is the result..what I really think is that they think the real sin that they have avoided is contact with a woman. By abusing children they have somehow kept their vows with a far lesser sin...and some of their excuses..Masters and Johnson wanted us to get in touch with our sexuality..from a bishop (I think) who had been in bed with a boy....Bullshit.

This has the church reeling. It has been on the burner for a while...but then it fades...I think Sept. 11 has a factor in this because so many Catholics lost their lives and such good families were profiled...I don't know....I try to make sense out of it...and of course in the back of every Catholic's mind..."Could it have happened at Star of the Sea."

mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: gnu
Date: 16 Mar 02 - 07:29 PM

"....By abusing children..."

Fuck off asshole ! Not too often I respond to an insignificant, slimey piece of FUCKING crap like you, but to say something like that in a public forum deserves almost an equivalently disgusting response. I wish I was within arms length of you because you would be going home to mommy with a tear in your sad eyes. You are one sick individual.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com
Date: 16 Mar 02 - 07:39 PM

huh??? Perhaps I didn't word this right...I mean in their minds it is a lesser sin...mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Mar 02 - 08:42 PM

MGarvey, this is a difficult situation to discuss without raising kneejerk reactions from the overly emotional, especially from those who do not seem to understand simple English. It has been a serious problem here in Canada as well, among protestant clergy as well as Catholic. These individuals should have left their positions in the Church if they could not fulfill their vows. I am not a Catholic, in fact I am atheistic, but these men have serious responsibilities to their parishioners and to society as a whole. I think the Catholic Church stand on celibacy for priests (as well as the stance against women priests) is antidiluvian, but that does not mean that I would in any way excuse these men for their crimes.
I really see little to discuss. These men have proven themselves beyond the pale, and whether they are in or outside of any church should have little bearing on the matter; they must be treated like any other sex offender and kept apart from the young.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Mar 02 - 09:03 PM

I agree with mgarvey. On the other hand, the other night ABC Nightline (I think it was) interviewed 4 or 5 seminarians and I think there is hope there. These young men when forced to articulate their stance did so very well.

One of the men said that if he learned of an abuse he would first talk to the alleged abuser, ascertaining if it were true. He would then tell the person that if he did not turn himself in to the police, he would go to the police himself.

So many agencies and organizations -from the medical and the legal professions to non-profits to tribal disputes- over the years have had a policy of 'internal' sanctions and penalties that they deem applicable.

It seems simple- if a crime has been committed, it should be prosecuted.

I suspect that gnu misread mgarvey's post.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,repooc
Date: 16 Mar 02 - 09:17 PM

I am a Catholic who is outraged that money I have placed in the collection plate to support the work of the Church has been used to silence victims of sexual predators. Centuries of cover-ups & pay offs must end. Priests who abuse children & the bishops who protect them must be treated for what they are...criminals. There is a great opportunity here to bring the Church into the 21st century. Perhaps a boycott of the collection plate will get the attention of the powers that be!


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: hobbitwoman
Date: 16 Mar 02 - 09:18 PM

I suspect gnu misread mgarvey's post, too. It was obvious to me he was being sarcastic in his comment that pedophilia was a "lesser" sin. The scary part is, I wonder if in the eyes of some of the Church hierarchy, it is. I think some of these guys tend to look upon women as being evil, leading men astray and all that rot.

The question I have is not why there is so much pedophilia in the Church, but why so many pedophiles become priests? Do they see it as a rich harvest? All those innocent little altarboys who would be too afraid to tell? Scares the hell out of me, as a lifelong Catholic who still goes to Mass every Sunday.

Something has gone seriously wrong somewhere. Wish I knew what it was, and how to fix it. I'd love to say letting priests marry was the answer - but it's not. It might be the answer to the shortage of priests- but marriage is no answer to pedophilia. Any more than trying to eliminate homosexuals from the priesthood would be. In fact, the best nun I know is a lesbian who figured that, because she accepted the Church's teaching on sex outside of marriage, she would have to be celibate, and if she was going to be celibate, she might as well make it count for something!

Just one person's opinion!

Annie


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: gnu
Date: 16 Mar 02 - 10:31 PM

...."I suspect gnu misread mgarvey's post, too. It was obvious to me he was being sarcastic in his comment that pedophilia was a "lesser" sin. The scary part is, I wonder if in the eyes of some of the Church hierarchy, it is."

And how is that statement any less pathetic ?

While I agree that such abhorent behavior as is being discussed should be routed out and dealt with in the harshest manner, I can't stomach some of the outright bullshit and bigotry that you people toss off. Choose your words and your targets carefully, lest someone single you out with innuendos and accusations without merit.

agnosticgnu


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: mack/misophist
Date: 16 Mar 02 - 11:09 PM

The real (read internal, here) is not so much moral as administrative. There is a great shortage of priests, to begin with. Doctrine from the Early Middle Ages states that a priest is only a man, no more moral than any one else; that a vocation is a gift beyone merit. Add to that the fact that, for decades, the Curia has been nervous about it's diminishing moral authority and you have a situation where head in the sand blindness becomes almost mandatory. The Church likes having people look to priests and has done it's best to promote this attitude. Unfortunately, that included turning a blind eye to felonies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Mar 02 - 11:19 PM

The tenor of these posts seem to suggest that the problem is confined to Catholic priests. At least here in Canada, the problem extended to Anglican and Methodist church schools. The suits, if upheld on appeal, would bankrupt these churches as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: JedMarum
Date: 16 Mar 02 - 11:19 PM

Catholicism doesn't create these deviants ... the church, finding it difficult to recruit men into the life of a priest turned a blind eye to the deviants who found the influence of a priest within a community, to close proximity to their prey, and the 'excuse' for not leading obviously hetero lifestyles attractive. A generation or two of taking perverts into the priesthood is taking its toll.

The insult to injury is that many many in the church have known about it for years; lay and clergy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Mar 02 - 11:20 PM

what I really think is that they think the real sin that they have avoided is contact with a woman. By abusing children (they think) they have somehow kept their vows with a far lesser sin...and some of their excuses..Masters and Johnson wanted us to get in touch with our sexuality..from a bishop (I think) who had been in bed with a boy....Bullshit.

I mean in their minds it is a lesser sin...mgarvey

"These men have proven themselves beyond the pale, and whether they are in or outside of any church should have little bearing on the matter; they must be treated like any other sex offender and kept apart from the young." (Dicho)

"It seems simple- if a crime has been committed, it should be prosecuted." Ebbie

"Priests who abuse children & the bishops who protect them must be treated for what they are...criminals. "Guest/repooc

"Scares the hell out of me, as a lifelong Catholic who still goes to Mass every Sunday." hobbitwoman

I can't stomach some of the outright bullshit and bigotry that you people toss off. gnu

Any explanation, gnu?

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Mar 02 - 11:52 PM

RE: >I am a lifelong Catholic..not an overly good one...but I still am one.

The fault lies with YOU!!!

If you, and 62 million others, had been more active and better Catholics, your children would not have been turning to "professionals" for spiritual counseling and guidance; they would have found it at home.

Because you failed the church, the church "failed you."


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: RichM
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 01:03 AM

I've known good priests, and bad ones.
There are bad ones, like the one that chased my mom up a tree when she was ten years old. She climbed to get away from him because he was fondling her genitals. He said it was alright, because he was a priest and God allowed it.

Religion is a crutch.
Learn to walk on your own.
Don't give any other human the right to dictate your spirit path.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Peg
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 01:29 AM

when I was a catholic, the head priest of our church was just a drunk...now looking back I wonder if any of those guys were doing anything inappropiate with kids; but I have never heard of anything improper.

I live in Boston which is currently the center of all the controversy at the moment. The worst thing here is that Cardinal law will not resign, even though many are calling for it. He covered up for Geoghan for years, and continued to allow him to be a priest, and to me this says he was complicit in the child abuse. He knew the man needed help, and just kept putting him back in situations where he would have contact with kids.

Gnu; read more closely and think before you post; you are overreacting and misunderstanding and not necessarly in that order.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Hrothgar
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 03:23 AM

Somehow the church seems to have got itself locked into the mindset that the organisation is more important than individuals. The same thing happens in police forces and the like, when one of them breaks the law. It is more important to protect the wrongdoer in order to maintain the authority of the organisation than it is to protect "minor" individuals.

We have just been going through a major scandal in Australia, where the Governor-General, who used to be an Anglican (Episcopalian in the USA?) archbishop has protected clergymen who committed child sex offences.

Maybe it's time for another Martin Luther to come along and put a flamethrower through the bureaucracies of the major Christian churches.

It sometimes seems to me that there is nothing wrong with the Christian faith(s), but there is a lot long with the organsations that run i (them).


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: DMcG
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 03:51 AM

I don't think anyone posting here - including gnu - regards this whole thing as anything other than criminal and failure to treat it that way can do nothing other than harm to the Catholic Church. The same applies to any other organisation which condones such behaviour.

So no-one - especially you, gnu! - think I am condoning or belittling the crime by the rest of this post.

What make the matter worse for a Christian is that, to the best of my knowledge, there is only one place in the Gospels where Christ discusses sex at all: namely the stoning of the adulteress, when in fact his response was pretty much "leave her alone - the rest of you have behaved at least as badly in this or other ways". Again, about the only sin Christ condemns strongly and repeatedly is to be a hypocrite.

And where is the Catholic Church now, in the view of the general public? Obsessed with sex (contraception, abortion etc), the priesthood with more than its fair share of sex-criminals and the whole Church heirarchy guilty of hypocrisy.

So what is the practicing Catholic to do? The rest of the world can fume and condemn, but each individual Catholic needs to decide what their relationship to the Church is. This is what makes it such a personal issue for them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Terry K
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 04:00 AM

Hrothgar, having just come back from Oz I thought this whole thread was about the Governor General! Amazing that something so abhorrent is apparently so widespread within the church, all over the planet.

I have to say I'm not really surprised when you consider the problems all over the world that seem to be connected to religion - it seems that "god on our side" is used as an excuse for all kinds of behaviour.

And when you consider that the world has existed for 4,600 million years and organised religion (based on primitive superstitions) for only about 4,000 of them, does it not make you wonder?

When will they ever learn.

Cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Hrothgar
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 04:10 AM

Gee, Terry, you're not getting into that debate about the Anglicans being Catholics while the Micks are Roman Catholics, I hope!


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Les Jones
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 04:27 AM

People declare relgions, see L Ron Hubbard and the thread Blind Faith. Most are not open to democratic forces or in some cases the law. I think that makes them evil or at least potntially evil.

Don't trust any of them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: gnu
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 07:16 AM

Ebbie, when I read, "By abusing children they have somehow kept their vows with a far lesser sin..." and statements like the church "looked the other way" or condoned deviants because of a lack of priests, it turns my stomach because it implies that Catholics and their church allow this deviant behaviour. Where is the explanation, that is, proof, for these accusations ?

I'm going to leave now. I shouldn't have posted in the first place.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: harpgirl
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 10:11 AM

...one thing I think might make religious institutions more accountable to the public, open to scrutiny, and prosocial would be to treat them as sub "S" corporations and require them to pay taxes, file returns, and open their institutional books to the general public.

Another thing we might do is make all clergy subject to the same licensing laws as other medical/mental health professionals.

It is evident as I have said privately, that the requirements of celebacy for male priests has driven healthy males away from the Roman Catholic church in droves.

Bringing women into full partnership in these religious institutions would also help to protect children in these institutions. We need creative and forward looking solutions to these problems...harpgirl


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: JedMarum
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 11:02 AM

right on - let's eliminate separation of church and state - let's federalize and regulate religion!


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 12:18 PM

that is exactly the problem..that they ..we.. have known about it, covered it up, protected the sick and guilty and bought off the victims....and insured there would be more victims by transferring the sick priests to other parishes....all at the same time that the church was still (this goes back a long ways) absolutely horrified by consensual sex between a male and female (in most cases) adult...there is no sense of proportion here...no sense of the harm that has been done..even when the victims have become alchoholics, committed suicide etc...and there is something that not just condones this, but produces it.

Last night, after taking up a second collection for an agency I am involved with that works with sexual assault victims (girls in this case), the priest said sit down...we sat...he said I need to say something about the scandal. I thought, at last. He said.. Don't be too quick to judge. The church has always had scandals. That was about the jist of it. Not one word about the victims.... the people I was with almost got up and walked out..... mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 01:00 PM

Jed said: Catholicism doesn't create these deviants ... the church, finding it difficult to recruit men into the life of a priest turned a blind eye to the deviants who found the influence of a priest within a community, to close proximity to their prey, and the 'excuse' for not leading obviously hetero lifestyles attractive. A generation or two of taking perverts into the priesthood is taking its toll.

Perhaps the church should have figured out WHY it has been difficult to recruit? Also, I hope that you are NOT implying a broad generlisation about gay men.

The church has an ancient and continuing history of putting people in unrealistic, against nature situations: celibacy, never ending childbirth, subjugation of woman, circumventing one's own spiritual sense, extreme control over its parishioners.

The only wonder is why so many intelligent people, including my own in-laws, continue to support such an archaic institution. You each have the power within you to be your own "priest" and know the Truth of whatever religion or spirituality you may choose to embrace.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: SINSULL
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 01:16 PM

I was raised Roman Catholic and remember the priests of our parish clearly. Most were ex-chaplains from WWII. I personally spent many hours helping in the church and the Parish House. And never experienced or even heard of any attacks on children.
It saddens me to think that these men and men like them are now tainted by the crimes of others. It infuriates me that the church chose to cover up the crimes and set perverts loose on me and my family while forcing us to listen to sermons from these same perverts on the evils of homosexuality between consenting adults.
I lived in Buffalo in the 60s and 70s. The police there knew of a Catholic priest from out of state who had been accused of rape, protected by the church, and moved into a local parish. They knew because a concerned former parishioner warned them that they had a rapist in their midst. They could do nothing but wait and hope he didn't rape again.
The Sunday Times has a front page story explaining that the problem in worldwide. There are similar cases in Ireland, France, Poland, etc. Millions have been paid out in secret settlements. How does the Pope expect to be taken seriously in the Church's stands on abortion, homosexuality, divorce, or any moral issue when he has been actively participating in a worldwide cover up of the sexual abuse of children?


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: nutty
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 02:04 PM

If someone who has commited a sin ..confesses to their priest/bishop and are felt to be truely contrite and are prepared to do appropriate pennance, then that sin should be forgiven by the church ...... thats how I understand it.
Am I wrong???
By the way I'm not a Catholic or even a regular church goer
But if forgiveness of sin/absolution is something you believe in then you have to apply it to all sins even ciminal activity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 02:16 PM

I'm all for the sins being forgiven..no one has suggested they shouldn't be. They can be forgiven just as well from a jail cell or a mental institution or somewhere where the person can't injure anyone again though. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: DMcG
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 02:34 PM

nutty: As you might imagine the Sacrament of Reconciliation (to use the jargon) is more complex than just being confessing, being contrite and prepared to do penance. There is also a requirement to 'carefully avoid the occasions of sin'. That is, you must do all you can keep out the situations where you might be tempted to sin again. Where the priest is molesting children, there is no way he can avoid the temptation just by being moved to another parish. That is one reason the Church is failing the priest as well as the children by protecting him in this way.

There is also the matter of setting an appropriate penance. Requiring him to turn himself in at the local police station seems the right start to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: mack/misophist
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 03:26 PM

There is an interesting article at salon.com - "Confessions of a Former Celibate". It's germane to the topic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Penny S.
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 04:57 PM

There was a program on TV last week about problems at British mosques. Part of it was about financial difficulties where an imam takes over an asset provided by the congregation. The other was about child abuse. Same problem in different circumstances, with no celibacy to disguise the issue. Is it a power thing?

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Amos
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 05:24 PM

Personally, I think it is symptomatic of a deeper situation: pathetic, ineffective religions with no more grasp of spirtuality than a dog has of house-wiring.

If religions were capable of resolving spiritual difficulties effectively, would they breed bizarre sexual consuct?

Instead they rely on authoritarian mandates , doctrines demanding blind adherence to impossible models of the world with only the most superficial routines for providing spiritual help.

What they DO have in much larger degree is ordinary human kindness, but that is not the same thing. And you don't need religion to practice that, for cryyii!! .

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 07:53 PM

So maybe this issue is not confined to the catholic, nor even the Christian church. But what is so particularly despicable about the catholic church is that (contrary to what Misophist said in respect of churches in general) it does indeed set its clergy apart.

They are elevated to a supra-human level as agents of Christ, so much so that women are deemed unfit to do the job. (Except that in the face of a desperate shortage of clergy, women are now allowed to ferry the precious flesh around in their handbags and minister it to those who can't make it to mass.)

Most obnoxious of all, the laity of the catholic church is required to disburden its most intimate transgressions to these people, in the sacrament of confession. Truly a pervert's paradise.

It gave the church fantastic leverage in mediaeval times, an effect still in evidence as recently as 20 years ago in some primitively catholic communities, not least in rural Ireland.

Fortunately episodes like the exposure of Bishop Eamonn Casey and the convicting of Father Brendan Smyth have changed all that. (It was procrastination in sending Smyth north to face justice for 30 years of abuse that brought down the Irish government in 1994.)

The other thing that sets the catholic church apart is the truly fantastic efforts it has made to protect the guilty, and even facilitate their abusive behaviour, usually by moving them quietly to new parishes where their perversions are wholly unsuspected.

Witness the case of Dr Ward, the forcibly retired archishop of Cardiff, who appointed a priest in the full knowledge that he was an abuser, and who was himself under police investigation for about a year. In a touching show of loyalty, the pope moved heaven and earth to avoid sacking him.

And Sinsull, the problem is not new. What is new is that people have been brave enough to speak out, and stick to their guns, even in the face of the sactimonious arrogance, indifference and even contempt with which their complaints have been met by the catholic hierarchy.

Thanks largely to that brave few, it has become much easier for others to speak out, and now the floodgates are wide open. In Ireland the catholic church has recently offered to pay out £70m (yes, seventy million pounds!)to victims of abuse and their families. Many families are outraged even by this gesture, because of the strings attached. It is, in efect, a grubby bribe, to keep the whole pile of shit from getting into court. (Does that answer your question gnu?)

each individual Catholic needs to decide what their relationship to the Church is - well fair enough, DmG, but for my money anyone who stays within the fold does so knowing full well what kind of a hierarchy they've got. Since catholics by definition believe in God, why not settle for a relationship with God and let the churh take a back seat?


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 08:26 PM

"each individual Catholic needs to decide..." A millennium ago the Gnostics believed each person had the right to decide and communicate with God without the medium of the Church hierarchy- and they were wiped out for their heresy. But that has nothing to do with the problem of perverts in positions of responsibility, regardless of Church affiliation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,DMG at Work
Date: 18 Mar 02 - 09:00 AM


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,DMG at Work
Date: 18 Mar 02 - 09:16 AM

Whoops, I had decided this thread had about reached the end of its life, so I apologise for sending a blank message and restarting it. But now that I have, one final word from me!

Fionn said each individual Catholic needs to decide what their relationship to the Church is - well fair enough, DmG, but for my money anyone who stays within the fold does so knowing full well what kind of a hierarchy they've got. Since catholics by definition believe in God, why not settle for a relationship with God and let the churh take a back seat?

I agree - that is precisely the sort of decision they may have to make. But many peoples direct experience is more like SINSULLs opening paragraphs. Also, because of the real world we live in, many Catholics' social lives are caught up in this, and leaving the Church could involve, to a greater or lessor extent, cutting themselves off from some long standing friendships when their own local Church may be entirely innocent. It is not easy.

Dicho: I said individual Catholics must decide their relationship with the Church not with God. I reckon I have escaped the Inquistion on this one, but no doubt they can get me for something else!


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Mar 02 - 09:24 AM

The only solution is for Catholics to rise up and insist that from here on, the Church does not 'police' its own. 'Render unto Caeser what is Caesar's' is not just about worldly money but about worldly criminality. It is not up to the bishop what's to be done about such 'sins', it is up to prosecutors. And a bishop who seizes such public authority needs to find himself stripped of church authority.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Amos
Date: 18 Mar 02 - 11:26 AM

That makes a lot of sense, Guest; after all it is patently kinda absurd for a "spiritual" leader to be shielded for the most heinous of fleshly sins, while poppycocking about on issues such as adultery and abstinence. A commitment to sheilding them, I would offer, is tantamount to a commitment to betraying any glimmer of genuine purpose in the institution itself, since what is being so energetically protected is the betrayal of the deepest trust.

Of course this might mean a number of guys in pointy hats end up getting ten to life, but, hey, you take your chances when you opt for a life of crime, no matter how fancifully you pretend it isn't so.

Down deep, even the most violent criminals did what they did believing it was the right choice of the moment, given all factors. The problem was they had no perspective from which to weigh their factors against values or more enduring "truths". This perspective is one of the products of spiritual leadership. When the leaders themselves cannot or will not provide it, it is a clear symptom of deep distress in the premises, practices, and insights of the organization.

'Nuff said.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com
Date: 18 Mar 02 - 08:46 PM

it just got worse..

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20020318/wr_nm/crime_pornography_dc_2&printer=1


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 18 Mar 02 - 09:25 PM

That link above is worth following. Click here for an easy way in. Non-USA catters who, like me, are not fully up to speed with what's going on over there might like to avail themselves of the search engine. I entered "bishop" and "priests" with impressive results.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Amos
Date: 18 Mar 02 - 09:33 PM

Well, it isn't that it just got worse, Mary -- it was worse and to some tiny degree it just got better -- first of all because of the exposure, pardon the term, and second of all because of the busts. I think more people should think about busts and exposure! :>)

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 18 Mar 02 - 10:44 PM

Hi Amos, unfortunately it's difficult for me to think of the Police forces, and Govt. officials, and Children's Aid societies (in Canada) who should have been on the side of the kids, but chose to protect the shamefully guilty for so many years. The perpetrators were driven by hormones, but the rest are always driven by conscious, well thought out decisions. It no longer makes me ill (it used to), it simply makes me have no respect for any and all authority.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Mar 02 - 11:04 PM

The Washington Post article: porn ring
The Washington Post, a fine newspaper, may not be known to many outside the United States. It carries all of the best editorial cartoons from the top newspapers, news of all kinds, many of the daily and Sunday comics, etc. etc. Use their site search to find things. No registration required. Home page: Post
The New York Times home page: NY Times
The home web sites clickies are to www.washingtonpost.com and www.nytimes.com. Much to enjoy on both.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: michaelr
Date: 19 Mar 02 - 01:22 AM

Kat - I hope I'm misreading your post, but I think a lot of people would be dismayed about your reference to gay men. Homosexuality does not equate with pedophilia! These people are perverts, not gays.

Just thought I'd point that out.
Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 19 Mar 02 - 08:05 PM

Point out what you like michaelr, but try reading Kat's post again. More slowly.

In the last hour, BBC TV has broadcast a catholic scandal of horrific proportions. I knew it was coming up and had assumed it was the case that gave rise to this thread. But no, it was a completely different scandal! As usual the arrogance of the seniors, most specifically a Bishop Brendan Comiskey (who is still in post), was breathtaking. And the shattered lives these criminals have left in their wake (at least three of which ended in suicide) was upsetting to behold.

I would urge anyone remotely interested in the catholic church to follow this link to the relevant page on the BBC website. (It's a site that leaves the WP site standing Dicho - and it's their own stuff, not agency copy.*G*)

For anyone who really doesn't want to follow the link, I will just say that the most damning indictment came from a Father Tom Daly who worked in the Vatican's Washington embassy until being shunted out because he wouldn't fall in with the church's cover-up policy. According to Daly the hierarchy was not merely arrogant but actively aggressive, directly and via attorneys, towards victims of abuse and their families.

A Church? It's a ring of paedophiles in extravagant frocks. Daly said that to his own knowledge the pope himself had been briefed on many allegations against clergy in the USA if not elsewhere. One of the victims in the Beeb report is suing the whole damn lot of them, including the pope. More strength to his elbow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Amergin
Date: 19 Mar 02 - 08:30 PM

crap like this has nothing to do with hormones or celibacy or anything sexual.....it has to do with power.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com
Date: 19 Mar 02 - 08:34 PM

I think ;that is nonsense. It has to do with twisted hormones and twisted thoughts and celibacy in the sense that their terror of normal sex makes other stuff almost OK in comparison. But people who want power don't aspire to buggering helpless boys in the confessional. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Amergin
Date: 19 Mar 02 - 08:39 PM

that is pure and simple bullshit, mary.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,Annraoi
Date: 19 Mar 02 - 09:01 PM

What has all this vitriol and venom got to do with Traditional Music?
Annraoi


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Amos
Date: 19 Mar 02 - 09:16 PM

The distortions of power in th espiritual racket are many. It might help to recall that those whose sins are now in the headlines were themselves so violently abused, whether physically or emotionally, that they were able to fall into such a criminal position. This makes it no less forgiveable, certainly. But these are people whose whole sense of power has been deeply twisted and wrenched into a perversion , which they then perpetuate and dramatize.

I think you'll find that celibacy does contribute some part to the syndrome, if I may use that word, because as an authoritarian enforcement it can easily become aperversion of its own no matter how spiritual it may have seemed at first blush (so to speak). But I don't think it is core.

Rick -- forgive me if I implied I feel otherwise about complancency and collusion on anyone's part in such a sordid tragedy. I think they should all be sold down the river and made to wash cookpots the rest opf their days. I was simply glad to see the ugly business opened up to a little daylight.

Regards,

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,amergin
Date: 19 Mar 02 - 10:20 PM

sorry, but I feel that to be an excuse for their actions....I can see it now..."Oh, I could not get fucked so I must go stick it up some child's ass." Bullshit....Is celibacy the reason why parents bugger molest their kids? how about neighour kids doing the molesting?


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: kendall
Date: 19 Mar 02 - 10:49 PM

I'm not big on any organized religeon, if anything, I'm Unitarian, and, I could never stand for the kind of control that most organized religeon churches impose on their "flocks". I am concerned that suddenly thousands of "victims" will come out of nowhere and sue the church for millions of dollars. It could bankrupt the churches. It wouldn't hurt me, but, it would hurt millions who take comfort from their faith. I wonder if they are called "flocks" because they are like sheep when it comes to taking orders from the clergy?


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Mar 02 - 11:26 PM

The archdiocese of Santa Fe, which was my hometown long ago, has paid out some $50 million US so far and the sum will grow. Some years ago, before all of this came out, they sold or leased much valuable church property that now bears highly rated hotels and businesses. I guess that they are losing those profits now. Bankruptcy is becoming a real threat.
I wonder how much of a problem there is in continental Europe? Don't hear much about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Amos
Date: 19 Mar 02 - 11:31 PM

Amergin:

If celibacy is offered as an excuse, then bullshit is a fair call. There is no excuse.

Nor is celibacy a core factor in bringing the crap about. But it probably IS something that exacerbates and reinforcers the deeper stuff. Noone (that I have seen) is proposing a rationalization such as the one you dewscribe which would be unthinkably , unspeakably disingenuous and hypocritical.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Hrothgar
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 03:13 AM

Power has a lot to do with it.

On a small scale it's the power given to priests over their parishoners that is abused by the bad. In an ideal world, this power is supposed to be used to keep the weak parishoners on the straight and narrow, and to encourage the strong parishoners to use their strength for good. Fortunately, most priests are either good or, at worst, innocuous. The bad ones are criminals, and so are the members of the organisation who knowingly protect them.

The protectors are the religious descendants of the people who helped large numbers of Nazis to escape after the Second World War - because they were supposed to be anti-Communist.

On a large scale, there is the power over the individual conscience that Rome likes to wield because they have never worked out any other way to keep people true to the faith. I think many Catholics stay in the flock despite this, not because of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: JedMarum
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 09:46 AM

kat - we were discussing the deviant behaviour of these sexual predators, not homosexuality. And I doubt that the church will ever recognize the issues that keeps its prospective preists so low in numbers. I don't believe that celebacy (though an issue) is the main problem either ... the church is well out of touch with the modern world (its practices NOT its basic theology). The Flat Earth society is finding its ranks dwindling too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: JedMarum
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 09:49 AM

nutty - forgiveness for one's sins is NOT a replacement for responsibility for one's actions. In fact, responsibility for one's actions must come first!


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,amergin
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 10:27 AM

Amos, forgive me but I seem to recall terms such as "unnatural celibacy" and the like being bandied about.....that kind of says to me rationalisation.....but then that was my take....

When I mentioned power I was not talking about the power of their positions.....I was talking about the power they feel when they see the fright and the shame in their vicitms' eyes.....the power they feel from ruining lives and destroying the souls of children.....for molestation does nothing but...and the only way to keep them from doing it again is to either throw them in prison and toss away the key....or to find something more fitting....like burning them at the stake.....gladly would I light the fires.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Pseudolus
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 03:34 PM

Priests, Ministers, Pastors, Rabbi et al are by the very nature of their jobs, role models. Kids are taught (I certainly was) that clergy were to be looked up to and trusted. Breaking that trust is one of the most unforgivable of deeds and yet, we are taught to forgive. Now, I'm all for forgiveness but if you know that someone has a problem, and you not only cover it up but allow that person to continue to have direct access to kids, than I say you are as guilty as the person who committed the crime. A child should never have to stuggle between trusting an adult like they've been taught and knowing that what that adult is doing to them is wrong. I understand forgiveness but whoever said we can still forgive them, we'll just forgive them in jail, was absolutely right.

I am a Catholic but I believe that we (catholics) have failed miserably to change with the times. To be a priest in the Catholic religion a man must give up his entire life to the church. A noble thing for sure but realistically, the pool of men willing to do that is getting smaller and smaller. Frankly,I think it's time we give the women in the Catholic religion a chance to turn this thing around.

My wife and I sing in a contemporary praise choir at a local Methodist Church and that is the only place we go to church.....I'm not saying this is the reason but it certainly is a contributer.

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Desdemona
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 04:16 PM

The bottom line is that it's way past time for the Catholic Church to get a calendar and a clue; the Middle Ages were over a long time ago, and ecclesiastical privilege is no longer an option. The Borgias & Medicis could get away with this kind of shit, but it's 2002 now, and things have changed everywhere except within the Catholic Church.

Until they allow their clergy to have normal, healthy life experiences, they will never attract normal, healthy people (men AND women) to the clergy. So deviant a system can only lead to deviant behaviour, in my opinion. The idea of placing people who are forbidden the ordinary facets of life such as a healthy, mutually consinsual sexual partnership, parenthood, etc., in a position to council real people on anything would be ludicrous if it weren't so disturbing in this day and age.

The fact that the administrative powers-that-be were aware of these situations & not only covered them up but allowed them to continue by reassigning offending priests to places where they could destroy and pollute the lives of new & equally unsuspecting victims is so abhorrent and so far past anything suggested by so weak a term as "criminal" that words actually fail me to adequately express my disgust & loathing for so irredeemably corrupt an organisation.

That a person would so heinously abuse a CHILD whil hypocritically posing as a spiritual guide and leader is beneath contempt. There is no acceptable excuse or apology.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 06:59 PM

Annraoi, I have little but contempt for the papacy but there is no vitriol in my pen. (Did you, living in the UK, happen to see that BBC programme by the way? I ask because it featured a number of the catholic faithful who had good reason to be vitriolic but who were fairly restrained and fair about where they directed their contempt.) And what was it in the thread title that made you think there might be some connection with traditional music?

On the power debate I am inclined to go with Amergin. But I can't say my rationale is scientific.

The same argument has been made about rape, and though my own instinct is to think that rape results from failure to control sexual urges, I readily accept that the evidence points to it more often being about power (ie abuse of power). It seems reasonable to extrapolate from rape to child abuse, because in the latter case the abuser is even more likely to be in a position to exert power over the victim - especially if the abuser wields authority vested in him by the catholic, or for that matter any, church.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: kendall
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 08:03 PM

Two priests in northern Maine were removed and some of their parishoners are pissed at the BISHOP! They want to sweep it under the rug as they have for years. Didn't Martin Luther stand up to the church and demand an end to the corruption?


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Amos
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 08:12 PM

Desdemona:

Beauitifully said.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Desdemona
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 08:13 PM

Weeeeeeelllll.....Martin Luther DID call for an end to the rampant & perverted abuses of the Church when he nailed his 19 articles to the church door in Wittenberg in 1519, but by all accounts, despite his quite right-minded desire for ecclesiastical reform, he was something of a nutter, citing amongst other things his mano a mano fight with Satan in the privy, with merde as the weapon of choice.....(eeeeewwwww!)!


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 09:33 PM

I think almost every Catholic is furious at the bishops..and the pope. And I keep having other questions..like how many priests with this insanity have asked for help, or asked to be released from their duties....and if they didn't how did they somehow know they would be protected, when if they had run off to Vegas for a weekend with the choir director they would have been defrocked just like that....They must have somehow known they would be sheltered...and if they knew that, it must have been even more extensive a problem than we even now know....because the higherups must have had the same insanity/crimes.

Remember, the Catholic Church is not exactly friendly towards the idea of any sex at all...even (maybe it has changed in recent years, at least lip service)...married...that was begrudgingly accepted and there were still all sorts of conditions on it.. So how in the world can they /we tolerate child abuse???????? There is such a massive disconnect here I can't grasp it...and I disagree that the Catholic church doesn't produce these monsters...I think that somehow they do...

And what about some of these parents????????? Even allowing for excessive trust etc...who is going to allow their sons to spend nights at the rectory, which happened in at least one of the cases....

there are aspects of the Catholic Church that are totally irrational...the stance on birth control never made a bit of sense and condemned children to poverty, women to exhaustion and often death, and men to lives as slave laborers practically.

And apart from the mess the church is in...and obviously needs to clean up from within and have people outside the church making sure they do...it is part of an overall message to others that crimes, or hurting people in the name of religion will not be accepted......


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: kendall
Date: 20 Mar 02 - 09:57 PM

At last count, there are over one thousand priests who have been accused of pedophilia. This sort of thing is not something most boys or men would talk about. So, it's easy to think it is an epidemic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Pseudolus
Date: 21 Mar 02 - 10:25 AM

Being a catholic all my life I have met some fine men who were in the priesthood. Men who I would trust to care for my kids. However, I'm certain that some of the parents of these abused kids probably felt the same way. Situations like this make you question everything you believed to be true. It is very sad.

I'm not surprised that some parents allowed their kids to spend night at the rectory. The way some of us (not me particularly but friends of mine) were raised was that it was a special thing and a blessing to have your son choose the priesthood. Many-a-parent has pushed their son to choose the priesthood. To see first hand the life of a priest, in theory, is a good idea if you're considering that choice. For the kids you mentioned, it was the worst idea. I can't imagine allowing a son to stay at a rectory overnight considering all of the things that have happened.

I believe that as a religion, catholicism has it's eyes closed to the real world and it's changes. We have many blind followers that only prepetuate the problem. I would like to say that as big a black eye that this is for the Catholic Church, there are still some fine men and women who show themselves to be leaders every day. Problem is, whether it's an epidemic or not, the folks making the news are the ones creating the stereotype, and it's a strong one.

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: DMcG
Date: 21 Mar 02 - 03:35 PM

A BBC report on the Pope's recent statement on this is here

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/europe/newsid_1885000/1885380.stm


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 Mar 02 - 03:38 PM

Reminds me of that great scene from Start The Revolution Without Me... But I thought we weren't going to DO the monk and the choirboy any more! (Surrounded by sheep) - How many costumes do you think I can pack?


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,Annraoi
Date: 21 Mar 02 - 09:55 PM

Fionn,
And others. I have always treated this forum as one primarily concerned with Folk Music in all its ramifications. This current anti-Catholic rant has nothing whatever to do with Folk Music. On this ground alone I question its relevance. I would also like to take the opportunity to point out that the vast majority of child abuse cases are perpetrated not by Catholic priests but by close family of the victims, in descending order of magnitude: Grandfather, Father, Uncle.
I hear no loud cries for the demolition of the family nor for the wholesale condemnation of fathers . Grandfathers, uncles. Why is this?
I also question the validity of some of these claims, without, I hasten to add, condoning the abhorrent bahaviour of the guilty - when proven in a court of law! Within the last three weeks, a Catholic priest in Belfast was subjected to a *second* court case concerning his alleged abuse of young boys. He was totally exhonerated on both occasions. There was no outcry at the false charges laid against *him*. The headlines announcng his trial (and presuming his guilt!) were not reflected in equally large headlines proclaiming his innocence!
Accusations (within the last year) of murder against the Christian Brothers in Ireland concerning a young twelve year old in their care led to an enormous outcry and Press - and Public - condemnation of the Order. So loud were the demands that an exhumation order was obtained and a thorough post mortem examination carried out. The conclusion was that the child died from natural causes. I, and countless others, are waiting an apology from the accusers. Suddenly, they are silent ! I ask myself why. Annraoi.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com
Date: 21 Mar 02 - 10:32 PM

I am Catholic, as are probably a number of people here. It certainly touches us in Ireland, Australia, and the U.S...We are the protectors of traditional music, and when we die some will be lost. It all ties in to me. Some of these cases have not been proven in a court of law because they have not been referred to a court of law; in fact there has been some obstruction of justice in failing to report crimes of this nature. There will be false accusations, increasingly, as vast sums of money are seen. We'll have to deal with them as well as we can....there will be a tension between protecting the victims and trying to avoid false accusations. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. But we have to err in the direction of protecting children. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,Amergin
Date: 21 Mar 02 - 11:57 PM

Sorry, Annraoi, but I fail to see how condemning this is "anti-catholic"....how dare these fecking priests get exposed for pieces of whaleshit that they are....(I apologise to all whaleshits, do not mean to insult you)...how dare the pope mention this abomination in a few measly sentences in a 22 page letter without even fucking once calling it by name....how dare you whitewash this by calling it anti-catholic sentiment.....have you drank to excess, hated anything and everything, stood on the brink of suicide, bubbled for years with anger and shame (in silence), because some fucking creep stuck his pecker up your ass, when you were but a child? scars that none can see are the deepest one can bear...

This has nothing about folk music you say? How many songs are there about rape?


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Mar 02 - 12:49 AM

As a survivor of rape, I can say I believe it is an act of power. However, I think unnatural repression, i.e. forced lifelong celibacy (talk about a power trip!)can also contribute to such heinous crimes as these.

Michaelr, do please reread my post as Fionn suggested (thanks, Fionn). I was asking Jed to clarify his statement as it sounded to me as though he was implying something negative about gay men. For a fair idea of how I feel on the issue of homosexuality, you might find this thread interesting: Historical gay/lesbian/bisexual songs?.

The Church's modus operandi has always been to deny and obfuscate. Several years ago I did some research and had an article published about how the Church refuses to open records detailing the estimated millions in Nazi gold it still holds. As far as I know nothing has changed on that accord.

As for the current scandal, it is just another brick in the patriachal wall of the Piscean Age tumbling down. The more people who are free of the tyranny of organised religion the better, imo.

The Church says the Earth is flat;
But I know it is round
For I have seen the Shadow on the Moon,
And, I have more faith in a Shadow
Than in the Church.


- Magellan -


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Jimmy C
Date: 22 Mar 02 - 12:30 PM

I am a catholic and always have been. I totally condemn the bishops and all others who tried to cover these atrocities up, I believe that the guilty parties have to be punished just like anyone else, but they have to be proven guilty first. I feel an awful lot of anti-catholic feeling here in this thread and wonder where all your anger goes when similar charges are made against the Hare Krishna movement, and religous members of other faiths. I am totally outraged and embarrased by these accusations but I do know many priests who are also outraged by them. In agreement with Annroi's observations it does seem to be open season on christianity and the catholic church in general. One example I can mention happened here in Canada, a few years ago a gang of thugs stormed into a church in Montreal during Mass and wrecked the altar and strew the vessels etc across the altar. Out of 5 national newspapers only one reported this, and that was on the inside pages. I bet if it had have happened to a mosque or synagogue it would have made front page in all of them ( as it should ). Most catholics are deeply hurt by these accustations and will settle for nothing less than full disclosure and appropriate action, however if you want to condemn the whole church for the actions of some priests please be willing to condemn the educational system when it happens in schools, or the entire scouting movement when in happens in a few troops, or the medical profession when it happens between doctors/ dentists etc to patients, or condemn the entire polital process when Clinton committed adultery and tried to cover it up as well. Now he gets a standing ovation at every appearance. I will close in saying that I hope the really guilty parties get what is coming to them, defrocked and jail time., but do not judge the entire orchard on a number of bad apples. Now can we get back to music, please.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Amergin
Date: 22 Mar 02 - 12:38 PM

Sorry but I would and am outraged when it occurs period....just like I was and am very outraged when the Mormon Church (the church I was raised in) did the very same thing recently.

I am done in this thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Jimmy C
Date: 22 Mar 02 - 01:03 PM

Amergin, I believe you but my point is this - where is the thread about the Mormon Church ?. Where is the outrage we see on this current thread ?. Why were we not all up in arms about it as well ?. I have gone back 3 years and can find nothing, maybe I am not doing the refresh thing correctly. If so I apologise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Mar 02 - 08:00 AM

For year's Ireland's greatest export to America was its priests

How many of the accused are on Catholic Visas?


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Mar 02 - 12:30 PM

Jimmy C, I think one of the reasons you will see more about the Catholic Church is because it has been a very old and constant entity in the world for so long, with great power throughout.

None of the other things you mention have that kind of history, cohesiveness, nor power, esp. for anywhere near the length of time. The Church also crossed all boundaries, has been in all walks of life, so to speak, so has touched the lives of many more than say, scouting, individual educational systems, etc. The Mormom Church is just not as old, nor as powerful, either.

I, personally, do not condemn the Church ONLY for the latest horrors involving priests. I condemn it for its very long history of abuses, as a major world power. As I said, this is just another tumbling brick in the wall. Perhaps it is finally reaping what it sowed in the dark secrecy of power. IMO, institutions have karma,too. Who knows if the good it has done will be outweighed by the oppression, etc.?

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 23 Mar 02 - 03:31 PM

Annraoi, the catholic church is peculiar in the degree of moral authority it claims for its priests (who are so elevated that mere women cannot be considered for the work). Aas ar as I can see, no-one here is defending child-abusers whatever their faith or lack of faith.

But there is some difference in my book between an abuser and a bishop, archbishop or cardinal who turns a blind eye to priestly transgressors and behaves arrogantly and even aggressively to those in their flock who are stupid enough to complain.

As for your preference for criminal convictions, you are at odds with your own church here, which goes to shameful lengths to keep these matters out of the courts, which was part of the theme of my earlier posts. Neverheless, some do get banged to rights. A French bishop for instance recently got three months for not informing the police about a priest who had confessed to criminal abuse of children. A Polish seminary has recently banned an archbishop (!) from its premises, in order to protect its novices from further assault. Should it have waited for the law to take its course, Annraoi?

Let me ask again: did you watch that BBC programme? I know catholics who did not, claiming to have "heard it all before." In avoiding it, I believe they lost an apportunity to see exposed in front of them the sheer misery and heartbreak that your church is causing every day. I know the pope has now at last acknowledged the problem, but he could have done so 20 years ago. And Vatican guidance still looks to internal solutions and fails to recogise child abuse as criminal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: DMcG
Date: 23 Mar 02 - 03:45 PM

(speaking as a Catholic here, folks)

The recent statement by the Pope did NOT, in my view, "acknowledge the problem". It acknowledged some priests have committed assaults on children (a very oblique acknowledgement at that.) It did not give any indication of whether the Roman curia considered this to be either morally worse, or more extensive, among priests than any other group (accountants, say). I doubt if even Iain Paisley thought the Pope would say anything less, if he could be persuaded to speak at all - he is hardly likely to promote child abuse as a useful hobby.

No, the immoral behaviour that was not acknowledged wasn't the behaviour of the abusing priest: it was that of the bishop and his superiors in dealing with the matter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Mar 02 - 07:45 PM

When I was in seventh grade, a priest from our parish took five of us boys on a two-week trip from Wisconsin to Toronto. We had a great time, and nothing awful happened. I guess it wouldn't be possible for a priest to do that now, and I think that's too bad.

I studied for the priesthood at St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee from 1962-70, ninth grade through college. I had a great time and got a great education, and nothing awful happened. There was a religious order that had a seminary not far from us - I found out recently that there had been sex problems there in the 1960's - priests on the faculty having sex with male students.

I wonder why it didn't happen to any great extent in the Milwaukee archdiocese. I think one reason is that since the 1940's or earlier, Milwaukee has had bishops who have been quite progressive. They haven't been afraid to allow questioning and discussion, and they have never assumed that the Church is perfect.

When I was a junior in college, we all went through a battery of psychological tests and an interview with a psychiatrist. A few months later, a few of my classmates quietly left school, and nobody ever knew exactly why. We speculated that they had been weeded out by the psychiatric examinations, and I suppose that's what happened. I guess it would have been improper for the seminary administration to give us an explanation - but the whole process was a bit spooky. Necessary, I suppose, but spooky.

Now I'm in the Sacramento diocese. I teach and do other work about 20 hours a week in varius church activities, and I think I've had access to "insider" information that doesn't get published in the newspapers. I have friends in the bishop's office, and one friend in the doctrine office in Rome (excuse my name-dropping). We've had a few problems with priests how made improper advances toward women, but no significant problems with pedophelia. The women problems were handled quickly, and serious action was taken against the priests involved. The diocese did not give full information about the problems to the press or to law enforcement, but there was no criminal conduct involved that I'm aware of.

For quite some time, I've been looking for reliable statistical information on the problem of pedophelia in the Catholic Church. Kendall says a thousand priests have been charged, but that's a thousand out of how many and over what period of time? I've read fairly credible sources who say that the percentage of priests involved in pedophelia is no higher than the percentage among men in general - but I'm not completely satisfied with the information I've found on that so far. I think it's quite possible that the percentage of perpetrators is no higher, but it seems likely that priest pedophiles may have a higher number of victims (with a lower number of incidents per victim). Pedophile priests certainly make more interesting headlines than pedophile uncles, so the news coverage may put the problem out of perspective. That's not an excuse - people should be able to expect exemplary conduct from priests. However, people should also be aware that there are always a few bad apples in every bushel.

What I don't understand is the cover-ups, although I have some ideas on the subject. Cardinal Law has admitted that he had known of the Geoghan problem for a number of years - but he hasn't given an explanation for why he failed to take action. Actually, is seems Law did take action, but what he did wasn't effective. I think it may be that Law and other bishops have been very naive, that they were taken in by the very qualities that enables the pedophile priests to charm little boys into having sex.

I think that for most of us, pedophilia is unthinkable, and an automatic first response might be to deny it happened. It just isn't part of reality for most people.

I've interviewed a number of convicted pedophiles who applied for government security clearances - they all were very charming, convincing, and contrite. It was hard for me to believe that they'd do a horrible thing like molesting children. I can imagine it would be even harder for priests and bishops to believe pedophilia charges made against a nice man they've known for decades.

Then there's the "deep pockets" problem. The Catholic Church is a multifaceted organization, with schools, healthcare facilities, soup kitchens, and any number of facilities that provide service to the community. If the Church has to pay millions of dollars in the impossible task of compensating for sexual abuse, all of the good works of the Church suffer. A single accusation of child molestation can cost more than the cost of a soup kitchen that feeds hundreds of people every day, and yet a ten-million-dollar settlement doesn't heal the wounds caused to a single victim of pedophilia. So, what's a bishop to do? Should he close down the schools and soup kitchens and give full information about every case to the newspapers and pay whatever is demanded? It's not an easy question to answer.

I think it's obvious that the Catholic Church has finally realized that it has a problem, and it is struggling to find answers. Nowadays, it has become rare for a pedophile priest to escape church and criminal punishment. I think that's progress, isn't it?

For those who observe from the sidelines, it may seem that there is an easy solution to the problem of pedophile priests, but is there? If you were Cardinal Law, what would you do? It's easy to find fault with him and other Catholic bishops, but the problem is a lot more complex than it first seems. I'm sure that the talk show hosts and callers have all sorts of easy answers, but I'm not sure I'd want to see them dealing with the problem.

There's another misunderstanding that I see in this thread and others - outsiders (and some Catholics) seem to see the Church as a monolithic, obedient body that responds immediately to commands from Rome. Time and time again, I see comments about how the Catholic Church "controls" its members. Yes, as in every organization, some leaders in the Catholic Church are heavy-handed in their use of authority - but I don't see how that constitutes "control." I've been a Catholic for 53 years, and I've never seen or experienced the control that some say that Catholic Church has over its members.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 08:51 AM

Useful,informative and brave post Joe.

On the question of ratios, I've seen the proportion of offending priests put at 0.3 per cent, and that was said to be marginally lower than society in general and significantly lower than in some other movements which are traditionally targetted by paedophiles, eg scouting. But as I think you acknowledge, abuse by a priest is a betrayal of trust on a different scale from almost anything you could think of, and should have been dealt with much more pro-actively and aggressively by the hierarchy.

Joe, if you follow up that BBC link I gave earlier, you will find an edited transcript which includes an interview with a Fr Tom Daly, who was (by his account anyway) kicked out of the nuncio's office in Washington when he failed to go along with a cover-up policy. He said (I know I'm repeating this but it bears repeating) that victims were treated not just arrogantly but aggressively.

I had direct personal experience of the arrogance bit when I tried to raise the question of Archbishop Ward continuing in post in Cardiff, Wales, after two of his priests had been convicted of criminal behaviour that the archbish knew about (he actually recruited one of the two, knowing him to have been kicked out of another organisation for child abuse).

Ward himself had been suspended for a year while police investigated rape allegations against him, and was finally sacked by the pope last year. My journalistic enquiries, supported by two victims and eventually made via recorded delivery and including stamped, addressed envelopes, evoked no acknowledgement at all, either from the primate for England and Wales or from the apostolic nuncio.

Re the "what to do" question, I don't see that the newspapers come into it. Any suspicion of criminal behavioiur should be reported to the police, and if that results in newspaper coverage or encourage civil claims on the church coffers, frankly those should not be factors. Informing the police should be mandatory, yet it is not even mentioned in church guidelines. (In a recent UK case a bishop did indeed notify the police but also tipped off the suspected priest, giving him time to reformat his computer etc. The bishop's action in this case was itself criminal, but again the church guidelines should be absolutely explicit.)

Your point about control is fair enough, Joe. But America is simply not typical in this respect. In what I think I called "primitive" rural communities eg in France, southern Italy, etc, and notably Ireland, the authority of the church has been pervasive. As I said maybe in another thread, Dev actually allowed Archbishop McQuaid to dictate significant chunks of the Irish constitution.

McQuaid in fact effectively ruled the roost for more than 20 years. Perhaps none of his successors would have succeeded (as he did) in getting a public librarian sacked for being protestant, but his baleful influence has been in evidence until very recent times. In Dublin, if not so much beyond the Pale, there has now been a pronounced and I think irreversible reaction against catholic influence. I would guess this is also true in the post-totalitarian regimes of the Iberian countries, but don't know.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,johntm
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 11:19 AM

Had dinner with a friend last night who raised an interesting point about this scandal---how much of the problem is due to the fact that the Catholic Church in America has been shaped largely by Irish Catholics. Then look at the problems in Ireland, and in Canada and Australia where the Irish Christian Brothers (as well as others) have found guilty of abuses.

Some of the comments in here about Anglican and Methodist clergy also being involved in Canada were news to me. Same for the Muslims in UK.

I don't want to get into a trite rant about Irish Catholicism, but I have not seen any discussion about this aspect of this whole scandal. I know not all the guilty clergy are Irish, I know that the Papal press scretary sounded as stupid if not more stupid as any American Bishop in his responses to the press, but most of the scandal does seem to revolve around the US and the most egregious cases seem to have come out of Ireland.

Needless to say my parents were born in Ireland, my relatives live there and several members of my family are members of religious orders.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 04:27 PM

No, Johntm, I don't think this can be blamed at the door of Ireland, and the scandals are not confined to the US. Italy, France and Austria have their fair share, to mention ones I know about - and so too has the UK, which has a tradition of catholicism that is discrete from the Irish variety.

My personal impression, no more than that, is that there is a lower incidence of abuse in latin America. If this is so, I don't know whether it would be connected to the fact that the celibacy tradition has often been flouted there (in full knowledge of the Vatican, which has had to turn a blind eye).


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,johntm
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 07:45 PM

Fionn I think it was you who made a comment early in this thread that it was all about power. Reminded me of something my brother-in-law (an Irish Christian Brother) said years ago about priests. "I feel sorry for them," he said."Everything they do is about power"

He preferred the brothers with their sense of community.

The Irish connections comes to mind because the abuse seems to have worse or more concentrated in Ireland or in communities where Irish prelates had power. (Another horrible story out today about Jesuits in a California school abusing mentally retarded individuals for years.Not pedophiles but damn close. Most of the names --not all--are Irish).

Not sure what all that means, but it is hard to believe it is only coincidental.

Mary Gordon once wrote that Irish men were the only ones who believed what the Catholic Church told them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 09:45 PM

I just watched a program (on Canadian TV) talking about child abuse scandals, and in the last two years there have been major incidents here in

Toronto's most prestigious private school

A pedophile ring at Maple Leaf Gardens (the Hockey rink)

Junior hockey (other coaches and Management protecting some VERY bad apples)

The Boy Scouts of Canada

Three recent cases in public schools

Several very NON Catholic churches (as well as Catholic ones)

It's very disturbing, it's rampant, and it's certainly NOT confined to any one area....EXCEPT any area that has a hierarchy desperately trying to protect itself from lawsuits...at the expense of kids.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 10:05 PM

I concur with the Irish link....I think there are other Catholic ethnicities that don't have the problems..not just the recent ones ...just the generic approach to it all....the whole obsession with sex and punishing it by forcing women to have families that couldn't care for, and men to have families that they couldn't provide for...the veneration of virgins and virginity...the bachelor farmer marrying very late in life...read Anna Quinlin??? (just go to drudgereport.com and click) for the best editorial I have seen yet...and also Peggy Noonan, Maggie Gallagher, John Leo, Pete Hamill...it's a time to stand up and be counted and I think very many of the prominent editorialists who are Catholic have checked in... mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Pseudolus
Date: 24 Mar 02 - 10:32 PM

This is not about Catholics, Irish or otherwise. this is not about bashing any religion. I AM catholic and I'm embarrassed about the things that have been reported lately but it's not about my embarrassment either. It's about the children whose lives have been changed forever, who may never learn to trust again. What's a Bishop to do?!?!? Is that a real question????? Do the right thing! Do whatever it takes to make sure that this individual can NEVER do this to any child again...THAT'S what a Bishop is to do!!!!! Or perhaps that child's life is a worthwhile sacrifice for a soup kitchen or two....please.

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 25 Mar 02 - 09:13 PM

To the priests:

"got sheep?"

I understand that the cover was blow off the churches coverup operations when postal inspectors intercepted a shipment of several hundred blow up adolescent boy dolls headed to the archbishop in Boston....

To those who complain....

"Hey we cant all be the frugal gourmet (a methodist minister who received an end of career based upon similar circumstances..."

To church members....

Hey its a midaeval institution you are lucky they aren't still burning folks at the stake......no they are just ripping folks off for every last penny via church schools, endless bottomless fundraisers and bull roasts....

about seal bait.

If you want to be seal bait why would you live down south? Arent most of the seals in alaska?

CB


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 12:11 AM

Well, Frank - if closing a soup kitchen would solve the pedophile problem, I'd be all for it. It seems that the American way of solving problems is to throw money at the problem until the complainers get fabulously rich, and then hope the problem goes away. Yes, the Catholic Church should take swift action to remove suspected pedophile priests from any possible contact with children and refer the case for criminal investigation. If the priest is not exonerated, he should probably be defrocked if the victim was a child at the time the offense happened, and he should at least be dealt with severely if the victim was an adult. Yes, I think an attempt should be made to provide counseling to both the perpetrator and the victim, but I don't think a pedophile priest should be allowed to return to duty.

Certainly, it would be wonderful if potential pedophiles could be barred from seminary training - but how do you identify a potential pedophile?

I also think that the bishops owe the world an explanation about what appears to be negligent handling of this serious problem, and aso apparent attempts to cover up what has happened. However, I do think that the church has an obligation to protect the privacy of the victims, and of priests who have been falsely accused.

However, I don't think the problem can be solved by awarding huge financial settlements to the victims, forcing the church to close schools and social service programs. There has to be a balance. I'm afraid that the financial aspect has put bishops in a difficult position. We've had some situations in our diocese where money has been awarded to adult complainants who have no proof, and where there has been only one unproven complaint against a particular priest. Admittedly, this sort of thing is difficult to prove - but the church certainly can't advertise that it gives tens of thousands of dollars to anyone who'd like to file a complaint. The issue of financial settlements is very sticky, and it puts church leaders in a very difficult position.

I'm not trying to downplay or excuse the problem - it is a horrible situation, and something must be done about it. However, I don't think that in general, the church was callous about the problem - I think the main reason church leaders didn't take action earlier is that the extent of the problem wasn't known until just recently, and nobody really knew how to deal with it. Church leaders put a lot of faith in some very expensive rehabilitation programs, and the programs didn't cure the pedophile priests who were sent to them.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 04:36 AM

Don't know so much about other countries,Joe,but I'd trust the courts in UK, Ireland and the USA to fix compensation fairly, however many dollars it is. And large awards won't surprise me, because often we are talking about lives totally screwed. Totally.

If a bishop wants to pay hush money to keep something out of court, that's up to the bishop, assuming he can find the cash, which they usually manage to do. For the catholic church to plead poverty is a bit rich anyway, though maybe it would be richer still if it had got away with the Banco Ambrosiano scam. (The Vatican had to give archbishop Marcinkus diplomatic protection from the law over that one.)

Joe, do you have a view about whether Irish influence might be a factor as one or two have suggested? I'm not aware of much evidence to support it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Butch
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 07:43 AM

Hey Kat, do you also curse the Church for two thousand years of charity? For orpahns homes, hospitals, universities, soup kitchens and participation in the labor movement? Do you hate the church for asking memebers to give to the poor?

As a Catholic, I see that the Church has many problems as it is run by men who have the same failings as all men. I believe that the men who, in the name of the Church, should be punished as all men. I believe that the Church was dead wrong to protect those who abused the position of priesthood in abusing anyone. BUT I also see the lives of countless saints who devoted their lives to the betterment of man ( and still do every day). I see the men and women I see in Mass going into the world and making it better one step at a time. You see only the bad - I see the bad and the good. Why are your eyes closed to the good?


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,DMcG at work
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 08:11 AM

Butch: I see a lot of good as well, but the consequences of protecting the bad are severe. Leaving aside the specifics of the pedophile business, there is a tremendous need at the moment for contemplation of the moral issues arising from a whole range of subjects - virtually everything arising from the field of genetic manipulation, for example. In the ideal world I, as a Catholic, would be looking to the Church for a considered reaction on this. But I cannot look for moral guidance to an organisation where behaving in a way I regard as immoral is standard behaviour. In short, I think the Church has squandered its moral authority by its attitude and approach to a whole range of sex-related subjects and the unwillingness to adopt a firm position with the clergy while simultaneously continually condemning the laity for how it behaves.

Now, before we get into too deep a discussion about moral stances, *of course* if the Church decides, for example, that most forms of contraception are immoral, it should not change its view just because 98% of the world disagrees with it. The charge I make, and keep coming back to, is one of hypocrisy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: gnu
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 08:56 AM

mgarvey and others I offended early on in this thread... I have watched the news with sadness and disbelief over the past week or so. I was shocked at the initial post, but, having been more shocked at the lurid details of actual admissions by trusted spiritual leaders, I apologize. I realize this is not the first time this has come to light, but the magnitude is bothersome and can't be swept aside as "a few bad apples".

Again, my apologies. I had no idea that your postulate was supported by actual incidents, and, apparently, my faith closed my mind to the fact that such could be true. I have not followed this thread, nor will I... it sickens me so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,DMCG at work
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 09:09 AM

Welcome back, gnu! It takes courage to apologise like that and I for one appreciate it (even though you didn't offend me!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Butch
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 09:34 AM

I do not ask this out of any desire to offend anyone, but what in Roman Catholic theology do you find immoral and why? I ask this to learn, not to cause a flame.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,DMcG at work
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 10:13 AM

Butch: Speaking only for myself here - and as a Catholic - I don't think said I had any objection to Roman Catholic theology. It is the way it is put into practice that concerns me, and to find out my concerns about that, I suggest you go back at the top of the thread and start reading again!

Unless there is a major new announcement, I intend to join gnu now in quiet contemplation. See you!


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,johntm
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 10:40 AM

Interesting op ed piece in today's Wall Street Journal by a Philip Jenkins, professor of history and religious studies at Pennsylvania State University. He argues that the problem is largely an American one because vocations are rising in Latin America and Africa, and there have not been same level of abuse in those areas. In USA standards were relaxed in the 70s and 60s to make up for declining vocations. Most cases involve older teenagers and so should be described not as pedophila but homosexual. As global organization, Catholic Church unlikely to change views on celibacy given popularity of its conservative views in third world, while US accounts for only 6% of all Catholics. He suggests the whole issue is being used by liberals and conservative Catholics within US to push their own agendas re celibacy and other issues.

NY Post has an article saying that abuse in Orthodox Jewish communinities is even worse and easier to conceal because it is such a closed society.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,johntm
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 11:06 AM

Ditto this link to an ann coulter piece http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=108&u=/020322/51/1ahfb.html

which includes this

Even in the midst of the Catholic Church's current scandals -- including decades-old cases -- the Catholic clergy has about the same percentage of perverts as the Yale faculty. There are more than 45,000 priests in America and, so far, 55 exposed abusers. There are 836 tenured professors at Yale, and one proved child molester -- convicted just last month.

Maybe the flood of information is distorting our views


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Pseudolus
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 11:28 AM

Joe, Perhaps we agree more than I originally thought and I do apologize for jumping down your throat. I suppose this subject fires me up more than most. In any case I agree whole-heartedly with the compensation part of your post. I believe that justice needs to be done, but in the US at least, folks are so "sue-happy" that millions of dollars seems to pass hands sometimes without any proof......more like quiet money than compensation. I don't know the answer, I wish I did, but I too wish for more balance.

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Pseudolus
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 12:35 PM

johntm,

Um, so percentage-wise we're right in line with the Yale faculty, and that proves.....what exactly? The Yale faculty should be worried? Or perhaps the Catholic church should not consider this a problem considering we're right there with the professors at Yale?

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,johntm
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 01:03 PM

Frank: No the problem is there. The way the hierarchy has dealt with the problem has made it worse. I had suggested in an earlier message that something in the Irish Catholic mindset or the Irish Catholic leadership of the Church might be causing these abuses. The information about Yale suggests that my earlier message wrong. That the issue is as others have said not limited to or peculiar to the Irish "Church".

Obviously a comparison with Yale does not exonerate (sp?) anyone. The article by Anne Coulter and the op ed piece in the WSJ stress that most of the cases involve priests and older teenagers. Pedophiles are a very small percentage, although the grab the headlines. Again I am not excusing the behavior because it involves teenagers, nor am I taking off after homosexuals. I was commenting on my own comments on news. John M


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 03:15 PM

Fionn, I wouldn't pin it directly on the "Irish factor" in the Catholic Church. I think that within the Catholic Church, as within most other organizations, there are two different "models" operating - an authoritive/ideological model, and an individualistic/philosophical model. The history of any organization includes the story of the conflict and change of balance between these two models.

Many people look to an organization for structure, stability, and direction - these people feel more comfortable in life when they can look to a higher authority for direction, to be told what to do in life. There are those who seek positions of authority so that they can give the orders these people seek, and fewer who seek authority so they can guide people to think their own thoughts. People who adhere to this model, both leaders and followers, tend to assume that their organization is never wrong, which is a deadly flaw. I suppose that this model can be more dominant in the Irish Catholic Church, but there is also a strong element of this model among many Catholics in the U.S. I also see this model as dominant in the Roman Catholic Church in Africa, the location of phenominal growth for the Catholic Church in the last 50 years.

Then there are those within an organization who prefer to think their own thoughts, although they may be philosophically in alignment with the general focus and history and traditions of the organization. People who adhere to this model expect to see politics and disagreement and flaws in their organization. The authoritarian/ideologues may see these people as disloyal to the organization, but these people are much less likely to leave the organization in times of crisis. they expect problems, so it's natural for them to want to stick around and work to solve the problems when they occur.

I think it's natural for every organization to have members from each of these perspectives, and it's never a comfortable coexistence. Outsiders and ideologues may look on it as disunity. I look on it as human nature.

Where do the Pope and bishops stand in this picture? I think they're a lot less monolitic than people think. Some hold the authoritarian model, some the philosophical one - but most hold elements of both.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Pseudolus
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 03:18 PM

Clearly I must have missed your previous post, I do apologize....OK, I really need to get a grip on this issue. Two posts, two apologies, I'm gonna start counting to ten first!!

Have you ever heard a story on the news that was horrifying already, and then you find out the perpetrator was a father or mother or uncle or aunt or priest or someone else who the child would blindly trust.....and your heart just sinks even more? I guess that is why the issue is so hard for me. A mother drowns her kids, a priest molests a child or a man kills a child because of his anger towards the childs mother. I am sad when anyone is wronged or hurt but it is especially hard when it's the ones who we are supposed to protect....our children. It's weird because no one in my family (at least that I know of) has had any issues like these and yet it stirs up a fury in me when I hear about it that's hard to describe.

Hopefully this explains the short fuse a little.....

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: InOBU
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 04:24 PM

Hiya Folks... I don't think it is the Irish link, but may be the hierachy link... We Quakers are almost as much Irish as English, and don't have lots of sexual abuse of kids in our meetings, as far as I have seen, and we have teen weekends and lots of other events where kids are with older Quakers at camps of one kind or another. This is why when we were, in my meeting, putting aside the term for our respected members who help advise others, who had been called elders (a term I like) then were called overseers, a term we recently rejected for it's slavery days conotations (not at all concected to our use of it, but we acknowlege in my meeting there is pain associated with the word....) BUT NOW we have what is called a Pastoral Care committee... my great fear is the introduction of the persception of a Quaker cleargy, for the reasons we see above, the perception of power is sometimes abused, and if we have not had that problem, lets not come close to inviting it in... now I don't say this as being anti-Catholic, but it is just a matter of us not messing about with a system that seems to work... I like elders, as a term, as it avoids the fuedal power with cleary may have inherited by historical hapenstance.
Good luck friends, Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 07:36 PM

Thanks for posting again, Joe, and helpfully again. I take all your points, and must learn to temper my histrionic tongue because it must sometimes offend those I don't mean to offend (though you have been graceful enough not to take me to task).

On the question of balance, I suspect that you will be nearly as disconcerted as me that all the cardinals who will decide the next pope have been appointed by the present incumbent. But I should not try to put words in your mouth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 08:02 PM

Sorry to take a second bite of the cherry, but I've been meaning to say that I am not unheeding of the "false claims" problem - though I am pleased that the pendulum has swung at last towards favouring the accusers. But my concern is more for the falsely accused than for the church's ill-gotten riches.

The question of false accusation reminds me of a film I've not seen mentioned in many years, The Loudest Whisper, starring Shirley Maclaine among others. As far as I remember religion was not a factor, but it was a long time ago. (And the subject was lesbianism, not child abuse.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,johntm
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 08:56 PM

Fionn That sounds like The Children's Hour with James Gardner and I forget the other woman star...Remake of an earlier version with Joel McCrae...out of Lillian Hellman I think


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 09:17 PM

All of this stuff and hardly a line of song....surely this issue demands our best efforts at extending the tradition by at least one good song about the scandals....

Give it a try!

Conrad


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Ebbie
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 09:23 PM

Did you see last night's 'Nightline'? A former (defrocked) priest was on- and he's just about the first man that I've heard put the emphasis of harm where it belongs: on the children. (So many of these people who are being interviewed seem to feel something like, 'Yes, it's bad and must not be allowed, but on the other hand the church does a lot of good and we must not impugn the innocent...'And they always seem to imply that 'innocent' refers to a priest.)

This man said that in his own case it was as though he had compartmentalized his being during those years (20-22 of them), which allowed him to do it, and it was not until he was eventually caught and exposed, so to speak, by a nun housekeeper that he changed.

He too made the point, as someone did above, that there's a major difference in the rate of recidivism between pedophiles or those who are merely homosexual. He said that the person who sees a prepubescent child as a sexual object is not a good candidate for reclamation.

So. Why can't pedophiles, at least, be weeded out BEFORE being accepted into the priesthood? As many and subtle personality profiles as there are nowadays, surely there is one designed to show up those seminary applicants who are turned on by the defenseless? (Shouldn't be too difficult, frankly) There are probably a battery of tests already that an applicant takes to establish spiritual, mental and emotional fitness for such a life. There should be, anyway.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 10:36 PM

Ebbie, you ask: "Why can't pedophiles, at least, be weeded out BEFORE being accepted into the priesthood?"

I think that may well touch on why this goes on and on. Think about WHO may be in charge of the "weeding".

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 27 Mar 02 - 05:00 PM

Still no song....

I think what is required is called:

"REFORMATION"

Look up Martin Luther.

I see abuse of power within many organizations and churches of many religions. One example is of my wifes parish -catholic- wherein the assistant priest regularly wins the church lottery numbers game which he infact himself runs.

It is unfortunate that little dictatorships like parishes and churches can exist and thrive in our democracy. The way they are operated is not a good example to the children.

As a protestant I make no claims for the sanctity of any other organization run by imperfect humans however, knowing both churches I can safely say that my wife's parish is more insainly dictatorial than any other Organization that I have encountered. To a certain extent the church should be reformed so that it is more careful across the board to convey fair policys and democratic principals as well as good moral examples to our children.

But come on now....we should have some songs here about this topic.... Conrad


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 11:58 AM

Yesterday's paper had a story about a priest I know pretty well. It was an allegation about something that happened in the mid-1970's, when the complainant was 17 or 18 years old, and the priest was 7 years older. The complaint was filed in 1991, and the complainant was paid $25,000 and agreed to make no public statements. Now that this other stuff has come out, the complainant contacted the newspaper.

There was a $5 million lawsuit filed against the same priest in 1985, which might add a bit of credibility to the other complaint. The diocese settled out of court, and the priest was moved out of the area and given an administrative job for 14 years. He returned to the diocese in 1999, but only after what the diocese claims were extensive psychological testing and examination. He has not been permitted to work in functions where he would have contact with children.

I don't know what to think. I like this guy, and I've found him to be a good man. He's brilliant, and very insightful. The incidents happened 15 and 25 years ago. How long does he have to pay?

Yes, I think this sort of conduct by priests is deplorable and I have sympathy for the victims - but the witch hunt is going on now, and the incidents happened so long ago.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Amergin
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 01:41 PM

maybe they did happen a long time ago...but the pain of those victims do not lessen with age. the scars are still there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 07:26 PM

"...when the complainant was 17 or 18 years old, and the priest was 7 years older. Joe Offer

This sounds like an almost totally different thing from what is currently in the news. Statutory rape, perhaps, homosexual, definitely, but not pedophilic. A child of 12 or 14, not to even mention an 8 year old, is in a very different life stage than is a 17 or 18-year-old young adult.

Sure, it is still an abuse of power and it may still be hurtful, but it's hard for me to see that that encounter will have a lasting effect. The 18 year old is old enough, or should be, to have some insight into the matter.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,Annraoi
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 09:36 PM

A young Catholic priest ordained on March 28th 1997 in Co. Galway.
His first appointment to Uganda.
Shot to death with two companions by two soldiers of the Ugandan Army last week.
Buried in his home village Co.Galway March 28th 2002.
His is the other side of the coin. But who weeps for him, apart from us, his family?
Annraoi


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 09:54 PM

Butch,

I did not curse the Church. I was stating my opinion about organised religion. Of course, the Catholic Church has been THE main organised religion in the western world for a very long time.

Of course there have been many good works by individual members of the Church.

kat


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Subject: ADD: Boston Scandals
From: GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 10:03 PM

here is my song..tune is Boston Burglar

BOSTON SCANDALS

I am a Boston grandmother Catholic as can be
I never thought I'd see the day my church would fail me
My other sons were different hoodlums one and all
But little Aloysius I prayed would hear the call

I can see him on the altar with his bright and shining face
I wish I'd never let him set a foot within that place
What went on in that sacristy was a great and mortal sin
And now they're coming forward our boys who grew to men

Put the priests in jail and slam the iron door
And tell the other prisoners just what they're in there for
Then toss in the bishops and throw away the key
If I had my druthers they would never be set free

We went to our devotions the priest said let us pray
I guess we all know now it could be spelled another way
God protect the faithful who listened to them preach
And God protect the little boys who fell within their reach


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,adavis@truman.edu
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 11:51 PM

Well, I try to be a good and loyal catholic, but there's no reaction but sorrow and horror. The crimes have to be prosecuted as crimes, very publically. And then some seriously overdue housekeeping, with lots of light and fresh air. But for that second part of it -- issues of celibacy, hierarchy, authority that everybody seems to have an opinion about-- I guess I don't appreciate commentators from Time and CNN weighing in with their wise advice on how to run a church whose faith and obligations they have no intention of sharing. Women don't like to be lectured by men about what's wrong with women, blacks don't like to be told by whites how they ought to run their communities, and I'd ask the same thing for Catholics. As has been pointed out, this is not something peculiar to the Catholic church (which doesn't in any way lessen the seriousness of our problem), but lots of folks want to chime in. I sometimes feel, watching media representations and discussions of Catholicism that it's one of the few places where progressively minded people still feel at liberty to exercise the natural human vice of bigotry.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 06:12 AM

Still cherishing the oft-flouted convention that continuation threads should be started when we reach the 100-posts mark, I have posted a response to Joe/Annraoi etc at BS: Catholic Bishop & Priest PART 2.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,BH
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 01:28 AM

the newspapers are reporting that the names of the offending parties were recorded with the appropriate police departments.

All is now Kosher.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 08:37 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Mar 02 - 02:18 AM

In my view, sexual molestation of children is the grossest, most perverted offense imaginable. It's the most severe violation of a young person's respect and dignity, thwarting healthy emotional, psychological and spiritual development, and often causing irreparable damage.

I blame the guilty pedophiles for their heinous crimes. But I also blame the media for making pedophilia seem unique to the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, sexual abuse of children happens in churches, seminaries and offices of virtually all religions and professions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Apr 02 - 06:14 PM

Many years ago I came across a book titled something like "A History of Celibacy in the Catholic Church." The main point I remember was that celibacy for Roman Catholic priests and bishops was made a rule in response to heresy -- not in response to orthodox teachings and tradition. Apparently the Manicheans or a similar group of gnostics were gaining followers by claiming the body and sex were evil while the spirit/soul and celibacy were good. These heretics required their priests to be celibate and attacked orthodox Christianity as being merely disguised hedonism.

Instead of upholding orthodoxy and its affirmation of the body as a wonderful and good part of God's creation, the Roman Church joined the heretics in requiring celibacy for its priests and bishops.

It is my humble opinion that when we stray from God's ultimate purposes, things can go horribly wrong. Celibacy was wrongly imposed on clergy in response to heresy. Thus the problems currently being experienced by the RC Church are a result of that error. Celibacy is a calling which must be chosen and not required. I pray that the RC Church will adjust their ordination policies to reflect orthodoxy and permit its priest and bishops to be married.

The Rev. Fr. John W. Westcott III Anglican Church of the Ascension Bloomfield, Conn.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 01:30 PM

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of the Los Angeles Archdiocese told one of his lawyers in a recent e-mail dated March 27 that the diocese made 'our big mistake' by not turning over three cases involving priests accused of wrongdoing to the LAPD.

"If I recall, of the 8 priests involved, 5 have already been reported to local law enforcement agencies," Mahony wrote. "That leaves 3."

That and other e-mails emerged at the center of an extraordinary legal debate late Thursday night,April 04, 2002, as a lawyer for the archdiocese sought to prevent publication of e-mails between Mahony and his lawyer pertaining to the sexual misconduct of priests.

The move by the archdiocese represented a highly unusual attempt to block publication of information that it considered sensitive. Such moves, known as "prior restraints," almost never are granted by courts, and when they are, they almost inevitably are overturned on appeal.

The e-mails that the archdiocese was seeking to keep secret include communications between Mahony and his staff, including his lawyers.

In one, Mahony urged that his lawyers and aides meet with a police detective and clarify that all priests implicated with possible wrongdoing had been discussed with authorities. In addition to the five priests already reported to authorities, Mahony suggested that three more needed to be discussed with police.

Excerpts from Los Angeles Times 04/05/02


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,adavis@truman.edu
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 02:31 PM

Polish church officials presented charges of sexual misconduct against Archbishop of Poznan, Juliusz Paetz, who resigned last week.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 02:33 PM

A Roman Catholic priest,Rev. Don A. Rooney,48, shot himself to death in his car three days after being accused of molesting a girl two decades ago, authorities said Friday.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 11:12 PM

It has reached to archbishops and cardinals - might it also reach to the Pope Himself?

A PRIEST who died after driving his car into the sea will be buried today in the grounds of the church where he was parish priest for the last seven years. Fr Michael O'Grady, 58, will be buried on the grounds of St Michael's Church in Tubber, Co Clare, two days after he drove off the pier in Liscannor.

The priest left the village, located just five miles off the main Limerick to Galway road in North Clare, for the last time on Thursday morning. He had just finished celebrating the 9.15am mass in his church.

He left Tubber before 10pm and drove his silver Toyota car to the coastal village of Liscannor. His car was seen plunging into the sea one hour later.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,fo
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 01:04 AM

This is getting UGLIER by the hour. Friday 04/05/02v http://www.latimes.com

A series of recent confidential e-mails written by Los Angeles Cardinal Roger M. Mahony paints a picture of a sometimes-agitated archbishop alarmed that he is losing public relations ground in the sexual abuse scandal.

The e-mails, leaked to radio station KFI, which provided copies to The Times, show how pervasively the nationwide child abuse scandal in the Catholic Church has affected the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

Mahony and his inner circle are forced to confront where to place a priest newly accused of molesting children; whether the church should start a victims group; how to anticipate and counteract media accusations; how to give "instruction" in child-abuse law to Los Angeles Police Chief Bernard C. Parks, and how many weeks or months must pass before a "healing" process in the church begins.

Much of the communication focuses on the archdiocese's scramble to cut public relations losses amid growing demands that Mahony disclose the names of all priests he had fired for molesting minors.

In one case, a top Mahony advisor recommends that the cardinal remain deliberately vague about where eight priests served before Mahony fired them in February. While Mahony told The Times in a separate interview that none of the priests were in parish ministries, the e-mail from Msgr. Craig Cox, vicar for clergy, says that some did serve on a part-time basis in parishes.

The e-mails also show Mahony and his inner circle attempting to promptly cooperate with police on new allegations of sexual abuse by priests. The communications also reveal that:

* A Fresno woman has made a "claim" against Mahony, and that a 40-page transcript is in the hands of the Fresno Police Department. The Times on Friday was told by Fresno police Lt. Keith Foster that his department is investigating an accusation involving Mahony. Mahony was auxiliary bishop of Fresno beginning in 1975 and it was unclear whether he was accused of failing to deal with an offense of another priest, or was directly involved in the alleged incident.

* Mahony was so agitated by the archdiocese's failure to turn over some names of several dismissed priests to police that he warned his general counsel that he might be subpoenaed by a grand jury.

"If we don't, today, "consult" with the [detective] about those three names, I can guarantee you that I will get hauled into a Grand Jury proceeding and I will be forced to give all the names, etc.," Mahony wrote to Sister Judy Murphy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,Annraoi
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 06:03 AM

Uglier is right!
Priests are now being pre-judged and - condemned by nasty implication. May I quote Guest (anonymous, naturally!):
"A PRIEST who died after driving his car into the sea will be buried today in the grounds of the church where he was parish priest for the last seven years. Fr Michael O'Grady, 58, will be buried on the grounds of St Michael's Church in Tubber, Co Clare, two days after he drove off the pier in Liscannor."
Given the rabid anti-Catholic tone of this thread which is using - I strongly suspect - the horrendous and disgusting incidents of child abuse as an excuse to attack the Church, this unfortunate priest presumed to have been a paedophile.
The truth is not quite as salacious nor exciting. The unfortunate man had a history of psychiatric disorder and clinical depression. Not the slightest hint of paedophilia had ever been linked to his name.
I now await the apologies from all those on this list who jumped to the wrong conclusion
I won't hold my breath during the wait.
God rest his soul.


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,Annraoi
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 06:50 PM

Refresh

This thread is too long to load, so I'm closing it and will move or delete any additional messages.
Please go to Part 2
Thanks
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Catholic Bishop and Priest Scandal
From: GUEST,de
Date: 14 Apr 02 - 01:11 AM

Messages moved to part 2 of this thread. Can't you idiots read?
If you post any more messages to this thread, I'll not bother moving them. I'll just delete them.
-Joe Offer-


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This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 26 May 9:34 AM EDT

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