I often speak out against the Roman Catholic Church and the utter hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy that now seems to totally permeate the entire Church hierarchy from the lowest bishop to the current throne of St. Peter. I'm outraged that for the most part that these participants in a world wide criminal conspiracy to protect child rapist have escaped being put behind bars where they belong, often because prosecutors continue to give undeserved deference to religious figures. In addition, it sickens me to see young people, gay and straight, being harmed psychologically by the bizarre and warped sexual hang ups of bitter men, many of whom are self-loathing closeted gays who seem obsessed with denigrating all things sexual so as to deprive others of the love and normal sexuality that they themselves have at least in theory sworn off. As Andrew Sullivan - who was also raised Catholic as I was but who has not formally rejected Catholicism as I have - notes, a new documentary, "Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God"has been released. By Andrew's account, it sounds like it should be required that every Catholic who continues to fawn over or even give a shred of respect to the Church hierarchy view this film. They need to understand the evil they help financially underwrite with every dollar they give to their local parish. Here are highlights from Andrew's commentary on the Church that is right on target (note the punishment dolled out by the Church to a 17 year old who dared to believe that gays should be equal under the CIVIL laws):
It's about the Catholic Church's sexual abuse crisis - and the criminal conspiracy reaching right to the current Pope that will one day surely bring the whole house of cards down, so that the church can be rebuilt amid the ruins created by deeply sick and psychologically crippled men at its core. No one is more implicated in covering up this institutionalization of sexual abuse and secrecy than the man who controlled and oversaw every single case of clerical sex abuse in the world from 2001 onwards: Pope Benedict XVI, who knows more than anyone else on the planet about the horrifying psycho-sexual truth beneath the ermined, bejewelled veneer.
One feature of this last election was the complete failure of the Vatican hierarchs to dictate the vote to the flock. American Catholics voted for Obama over Romney. The docile fools in dresses - from Dolan to Chaput - were ignored as they now routinely are, and should be. They actually think they still have moral authority. But moral authority has to be earned with each generation, and the corruption in the Vatican is so deep and so rotten and so incapable of self-reflection it has effectively created two Catholic churches in America: those few in the pews who still listen to the bishops and those who exist almost in a parallel church
In Minnesota, where a third of the population is Catholic, the hierarchy insisted that the state amend its constitution to keep gay couples out of civil society and civil marriage. The hierarchy failed - as miserably as they failed in their trumped up "war on religion" nonsense. The Amendment didn't pass. You cannot be exposed as an institution that is responsible for covering up the rape and torture of thousands of children and have any moral authority when it comes to the constitutional equality of gay citizens or the contraceptives that 99 percent of Catholic American women use at some point.
And so in Minnesota, a 17-year-old Catholic, Lennon Cihack, who goes to mass weekly, and who was diligently preparing for his confirmation, posted on his Facebook page a picture of himself and a poster opposing the Amendment. His mother is then called into the rectory by the local priest and told that the confirmation cannot occur. Then she is told that the entire family is now barred from communion. She appeals to the bishop. He tells her that if Lennon stands in front of the whole congregation and denounces marriage equality, he can be confirmed.
This is where we are. It feels like the last days of the Soviet Union. And I believe the mother, not the priest. Given what we now know about the hierarchy's corruption, isn't that the default position?
One can only hope that the Cihack family walks away from Catholicism - it is the only truly moral thing to do until the hierarchy is removed in total. I'd recommend they check out their local ELCA parish. As for those putting money in the collection plate, they need to remember that under the Church's feudal structure, part of each dollar ends up at the Vatican supporting a man who ought to be behind bars.