A PROGRESSIVE VOICE FROM THE LLANO ESTACADO

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Pedophiles And The Irish Church


A few years ago, the American Catholic church went through a scandalous period in which it was discovered that the church covered up numerous incidents of child sexual abuse, and even protected the pedophile priests. Instead of turning these vile child abusers over to legal authorities, they just transferred them to another diocese (where many of them continued to commit their crimes).

Once the actions of the church was finally exposed, many priests were finally convicted, the reputation of the American church was severely damaged and millions were paid by the church to settle a large number of lawsuits. Now it looks like the Irish Catholic church is experiencing the same type of thing.

Recently, there have been accusations made by over 2,000 people who say they were abused either physically or sexually while in the care of Catholic-run schools, orphanages and other institutions. Recently the Irish Minister of Justice commissioned a report on the matter. The report was released late last month.

That report calls the matter "a scandal on an astonishing scale" and said "the welfare of children counted for nothing". The report went on to say, "The Dublin archdiocese's preoccupations in dealing with cases of child sexual abuse, at least until the mid-1990s, were the maintenance of secrecy, the avoidance of scandal, the protection of the reputation of the church, and the preservation of its assets."

In other words, the Irish church acted just like the American church. They acted to protect themselves -- regardless of what that meant for children. The report also faulted civil officials like the police, saying they gave the church too much respect and deferred to them too much. It was found that in many cases where a report of abuse was actually made, the police simply reported the accusation to the church and no investigation was conducted. The priest was then transferred and began to abuse a new set of kids.

Five Catholic Bishops were named in the report as being especially responsible for the cover-up. Four of those Bishops have now resigned. The last two resigned in a joint statement read at yesterday's midnight mass. That just leaves one Bishop, the current Bishop of Galway, and public pressure will probably force him from office soon.

I bring all this up just to point out the danger of giving a church or its officials, of any religion, too much respect. Far too often, we consider these church officials (priests, ministers, pastors, preachers, deacons, elders, etc.) to be "men of god" who can do no wrong. This gives them an almost free pass to commit crimes and abuse children and others, if they are so-inclined.

The fact is that all churches, temples, mosques, etc. are earthly organizations run by men -- men (and women) who are generally no better or worse than others. Some are good and some are not, but you cannot assume they are good just because of the religious title they may hold.

There are both good people and bad people in every profession, but some professions are given such respect that much of the bad is overlooked -- such as doctors and police. But no profession gets the benefit of the doubt (free ride) that those in religion get. Many consider these people to be "chosen of god" and therefore incapable of doing wrong. That's just rubbish.

Some religious officials are trying to do good and some are doing bad things (and some are even doing both). But they are all just human, and subject to the same foibles as other humans. We must never forget that.

7 comments:

  1. "jobsanger" don't kid yourself. It's not over here in the United States. People (Victims) are still coming forward and criminal and civil cases are still going on, or are preparing to go forward. In the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, California Msgr. Richard Loomis, one of Roger Michael Cardinal Mahony's Former Chief Lieutenants, has been given immunity in exchange for his testimony about the sexual victimization of children & young people in that diocese.
    So you see, it's not over here in the US, and it will never be over until every clergy pervert and enabling bishop and major superior is gone. The Victims/Survivors Will See To That.

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  2. Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion.
    Steven Weinberg


    What a NON SENSE.

    Stalin, Khruschev and Brezhnev in Rusia, Hitler in Germany, Mao in China, Pol Pot in Cambodia, Tito in Yugoslavia, Hoxha in Albania, Kim Il-sung and his son Kim Jong-il in North Korea, Pathet in Laos, Todor Zhivkov in Bulgaria, Erich Honecker in East Germany, Nicolae Ceauşescu in Romania, Mongolian People's Republic was the ruling party from '1921 until 1996 (with no other political parties allowed until 1990' all of them atheist who did not have a need for religion to persecute, kill, masacre more than 100 millon people.

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  3. You seem to have your facts confused -- Hitler was christian. So was Mussolini, those who organized and carried out the Inquisition, the Crusaders, accusers and judges of Salem witch trials, and many other murderers throughout history.

    You're playing a silly game, but both sides can play it. Just because some bad person is religious or atheist, doesn't mean that all others who believe or don't believe are the same.

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  4. Hitler and Mussolini were born Christians, as were many people. How they live their lives rather than what their parents decided to do when they were born determines whether of not these individuals were indeed Christians.

    "It is false to the point of absurdity to see in a ‘belief,’ perchance the belief in redemption through Christ, the distinguishing characteristic of the Christian: only Christian practice, a life such as he who died on the cross lived, is Christian…. Even today such a life is possible, for certain men even necessary: genuine, primitive Christianity will be possible at all times…. Not a belief but a doing, above all a not-doing of many things, a different being…. States of consciousness, beliefs of any kind, holding something to be true for example — every psychologist knows this — are a matter of complete indifference and of the fifth rank compared with the value of the instincts…. To reduce being a Christian, Christianness, to a holding of something to be true, to a mere phenomenality of consciousness, means to negate Christianness."

    Friedrich Nietzsche. Twilight of the Idols/The Anti-Christ, Penguin Classics, 1990


    Jim McCrea

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  5. You may not consider them to be "real" christians, but they did. I was simply pointing out that it's wrong to tar all atheists with the same brush just as it's wrong to tar all christians with the same brush.

    There are good and bad believers, just as there are good and bad nonbelievers.

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  6. It is about time that the fruits of the Catholic Church are finally being exposed! A true and lasting change in society requires self-analysis. So, before everything is relegated to yesterday’s news, wouldn’t it bring healing to ask the question “why”? Why was such a perversion covered up for so long by an organization that claims to be the guardian of Christian ethics and morals? The harm to society is immeasurable! Who can gauge the crumbling ethics and morals in society and the increasing cynicism because of such conduct? And what about the victims and their families who were deeply and emotionally traumatized?! And let us not forget the alienation from God in society caused by such “bastions” of religious faith! Where does the responsibility lie for all this? Enforced celibacy has no biblical foundation at all! Why was it instituted in the first place?!
    What would Jesus of Nazareth say if He came to the Earth and saw what the church – which claims to speak for Him – has made of His life’s work?
    A move has been made by a small group of people against such shameful sham Christianity. They’ve put out a website and call themselves “The Free Christians for the Christ of the Sermon on the Mount in All Cultures Worldwide.” At this website they announce a lawsuit against the Catholic Church – of all places, in Germany, a bastion of the Catholic institution! And the sexual abuse of young people is one of the reasons they give for having taken such a step. As they put it, they do not want to remain silent anymore on the “brazen labelling fraud,” with which Christ is mocked and His name abused to such an extent. They demand that the Catholic Church no longer call itself “Christian.”
    As a Christian, I fully support this and consider it high time that someone calls a spade a spade. Nothing against the sincere folk and priests who work hard and honestly, upholding the ideals of a Christian life. But as an institution, it has taken on a life of its own, and one could indeed ask if there is anything Christian about it! I commend the courage of these people to call the Church to task. Perhaps your readers would like to check them out: http://www.christus-oder-kirche.de/christ-or-church/index.php. There seems to be a grassroots movement to bring this up for discussion on the internet. Surely this could be very healthy for our society!

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  7. I don't like any organized religions..even my own..Goddess bless.

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