Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Catholic Church Apologists

I received an e-mail from Sebastian, a Catholic priest who is reportedly gay and who has his own blog found here, that tried to defend Pope Benedict XVI - a man that I admit I personally find to be a hypocritical force for evil in the world - for his handling of the sex abuse scandal and took me somewhat to task for my harsh judgments against the Catholic Church. Among Sebastian's comments were the following:
No right thinking person believes that the various parts of the Catholic Church have done all that they should have to clean up the mess of child sex abuse. However, credit should be given where credit is due.
First, Pope Benedict has taken a far tougher stand than his predecessor. As but one example, when Benedict was still Ratzinger, his Vatican office was thwarted in removing the founding head of a large, new, religious order. JPII refused to allow it. When Benedict became pope, the offender - Marciel - was removed from all public ministry and retired (he was then in his 80s and has since died).
Second, the US bishops have been notorious in their blaming of priests and their unwillingness to confront themselves. They have, by and large, contributed to an anti-gay approach to resolving this problem. However, there is now in place -and has been for several years - a "zero tolerance" for anyone credibly accused of child sexual abuse.
There is certainly much work to be done. But it is unfair, and perhaps even bigoted, to write as if no work has been done. To pretend that nothing has changed in the last 15 years is simply not true.
Yes, Benedict XVI has done more than John Paul II. That is because John Paul II did NOTHING except blame the problem on gays (in my view John Paul II is utterly unworthy of the declaration of sainthood that the Vatican seems Hell bent to bestow). And yes, it is true that Benedict XVI finally took action against Marciel. who was a predatory abuser himself. But what about Cardinals Eagan and Mahoney, Bishop Daily, former Supreme Chaplin for the Knights of Columbus, and the 2/3's of the US Catholic Bishops who enabled and/or covered up sexual abuse or threatened and browbeat victims and families into remaining silent? The same goes for bishops in cardinals in other countries around the world. Where is the just punishment of these men? I can think of NO other institution where individuals who so horrifically failed to protect children and minors would not be summarily fired and/or prosecuted. In the Church, they go unpunished and expect to be fawned over and have their asses kissed daily. As a parent of three children, this phenomenon utterly sickens me.
Removing one or two members of religious orders, accepting cardinal Law's resignation so that he could be given a luxurious post at the Vatican, and launching an anti-gay witch hunt in seminaries in my view do NOT begin to represent the house cleaning need within the Catholic Church. No doubt, it is hard for Sebastian to accept that he has dedicated his life to a corrupt and disingenuous institution, but in my view, unless and until (1) drastic numbers of resignations are demanded by Benedict XVI and (2) Catholic diocese stop fighting abuse victims tooth and claw, the Roman Catholic Church deserves no respect whatsoever. Its hierarchy consists of a bunch of corrupt, self-righteous, hate peddling old men who continue to cause untold pain to straights and gays alike. On those occasions when I attend church with my elderly mother, I feel dirty even being in a Catholic Church knowing what I know about the moral bankruptcy of its leadership.


NG said...

Maybe Sebastian ought to hear from a few people, and we/some of us explain to him how catholicism has been nothing more than a detriment in our lives.

The Honourable Husband said...

The Catholic Church is beyond redemption.

Even those Catholic children lucky enough to escape sexual abuse, are subject to horrific emotional abuse.

Belittling, corporal punishment, and stifling of expression all played their part in my Catholic boyhood. And I'm sure in yours, too, Michael.

The Catholic church is an institutionalised machine designed to hurt children. If an individual behaved this way, they would have a restraining order placed on them--as an institution, we should do the same. The Catholic Church shouldn't be allowed anywhere near children.

Anonymous said...

Sebastian thinks there's zero tolerance for sexually abusive priests in the catholic church today?

Why? Because the pope said so?

He's said a lot in the last year or so, but I'd like to know what he's going to DO?

Before becoming pope, when Ratzinger was charged with instructing bishops world-wide on what to do with sexually abusive priests, he did nothing.

Taking action against Marciel was a given, as far as I'm concerned. To "praise him" for that is ludicrous - and an affront to survivors!

The only way the catholic church will do the right thing is if their power (read money) is threatened.

Laity: no donations/money until real change occurs!