Inflammatory Statement About the Pope (WARNING DO NOT READ IF YOU LIKE THE POPE)

  1. Under John Paul II, the church presided over the rape and molestation of thousands of children and teenagers.
    The church at first did all it could to protect its own and to impugn and threaten the victims of this abuse.
    Rome never acknowledged, let alone take responsibility for, the scale of the moral betrayal.
    I was staggered to see Cardinal Bernard Law holding press conferences in Rome this week.
    This pope sided with the perpetrators, because they were integral to his maintenance of power.
    When it came to walking the walk in his own life and with his own responsibility, he walked away.
    He all but ignored his church's violation of the most basic morality - that you don't use the prestige
    of the church to rape innocent children.

    --Andrew Sullivan, Catholic
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  2. 30 Comments

  3. by   jnette
    You know, Tweety, as a former Catholic, and as a Christian in general, I, too, have really struggled with this over the years, and still do.

    While I think John Paul had so very much good in him which he freely offered, I still cannot get beyond this, and it bothers me deeply.
  4. by   leslie :-D
    THAT is something i will never, ever understand either. you just have to wonder 'what was the Pope thinking, the rationales????'
  5. by   prmenrs
    A lot of the abuse happened on other Pope's watches: Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI. I think Popes, and other church hierarchy have a real problem dealing w/reality. Call it denial, head in the sand disease, whatever.

    They can, and do, good things in the world, but tend to look @ the bigger picture. More spiritual, or something. PJII was not know as a 'micromanager'; he barely managed at all, in a beaurocratic sense. That said people loved him, and he sure knew how to make contact.

    He had to practically be hit over the head w/the child abuse scandal before he even acknowledged the situation.

    I believe there is a serious gap in the education of priests: the psychological impact of abuse in children. For all their piety, that info is not going to come w/o help. Even understanding doesn't help child predators. They seem incapable of "getting it". Until psychologists figure out how to overcome that problem, child abuse will continue. At least, priests ought to have the intellectual and spiritual where-with-all to understand and resist.

    Having priest marry will NOT help the child abuse situation: supposedly happily married people, some professionals, with children of their own abuse others, indulge in child pornography, take special "vacations" overseas and all other sorts of other reprehensible behaviors.

    If this seems like a disorganized and confused post, it's because it's a disorganized and confusing situation. It's not just priests that abuse. It's not just men, either. I doubt there's a simple solution.

    I am well aware that there are child abusing priests out there; they are mere men, and I refuse to concede to them my faith or my relationship w/God and my religion. They do not deserve that power, and they can't have it from me.
    Last edit by prmenrs on Apr 9, '05
  6. by   jnette
    Quote from prmenrs
    A lot of the abuse happened on other Pope's watches: Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI. I think Popes, and other church hierarchy have a real problem dealing w/reality. Call it denial, head in the sand disease, whatever.

    They can, and do, good things in the world, but tend to look @ the bigger picture. More spiritual, or something. PJII was not know as a 'micromanager'; he barely managed at all, in a beaurocratic sense. That said people loved him, and he sure knew how to make contact.

    He had to practically be hit over the head w/the child abuse scandal before he even acknowledged the situation.

    I believe there is a serious gap in the education of priests: the psychological impact of abuse in children. For all their piety, that info is not going to come w/o help. Even understanding doesn't help child predators. They seem incapable of "getting it". Until psychologists figure out how to overcome that problem, child abuse will continue. At least, priests ought to have the intellectual and spiritual where-with-all to understand and resist.

    Having priest marry will NOT help the child abuse situation: supposedly happily married people, some professionals, with children of their own abuse others, indulge in child pornography, take special "vacations" overseas and all other sorts of other reprehensible behaviors.

    If this seems like a disorganized and confused post, it's because it's a disorganized and confusing situation. It's not just priests that abuse. It's not just men, either. I doubt there's a simple solution.

    I am well aware that there are child abusing priests out there; they are mere men, and I refuse to concede to them my faith or my relationship w/God and my religion. They do not deserve that power, and they can't have it from me.
    Lovely post, prmnrs.
    Thanx.
  7. by   prmenrs
    Just added the "bold" for emphasis!
  8. by   Tweety
    prmenrs, indeed an excellent post. It certainly isn't a judgement on the faith and I'm glad you said it, and can separate it.

    Thousands, literally, thousands of kids were abused at the hands of priests. They were relocated, "counseled", given "treatment", when they should have been arrested and sent to jail. This is my beef.
  9. by   jnette
    Quote from Tweety
    prmenrs, indeed an excellent post. It certainly isn't a judgement on the faith and I'm glad you said it, and can separate it.

    Thousands, literally, thousands of kids were abused at the hands of priests. They were relocated, "counseled", given "treatment", when they should have been arrested and sent to jail. This is my beef.
    And one certainly can understand that beef, Tweety. I cannot agree more with you on this.
  10. by   barefootlady
    Many people are at odds with this situation. This Pope was the image of what the world thought a Pope should be, but he certainly did allow this situation to go unaddressed, untended, and unmanaged except for threats and lies from the local priests, bishops, and cardinals. I do understand there are a great many wrongs in the Catholic religion, just like all religions. I know someone who absolutely refuses to attend any type of religious service, but they are very much a "christian", they say it is man and organized religion, not God who is responsible for all the terrible things churches do in God's name. She has a good point.
  11. by   barefootlady
    Forgot to add this. We had a child molestor speak to us while we were in school He said NOTHING could stop him from having those thoughts except death. No drug, no amount of behavior modification therapy, nothing. He said he was born that way, acted on his thoughts, and not until his mind was a blank could he be sure he would never molest a child again. He was very scary to listen to. His appearance was normal, he had a decent education, had been married, and worked a job. So we never know what makes a person this way, but after listening to him, I know there is no cure for this but death.
  12. by   KrisRNwannabe
    We have our own "pope" in the orthodox church but I still loved and respected Pope John Paul. The Greek orthodox church is unitied with Rome. That being said, I don't agree with what the catholic church did with the whole situation. I believe these men should be treated just like anyother child molester. they should not get any special treatment. I don't believe any criminal should get special treatment. I don't think Scott Peterson should be kept seperate from the rest of the prison population. he is not special he is a murder. I feel the same way about the priests they are not special. I believe what they do is also a form of murder. they take away the childhood of these boys and that is something none of them will ever get back. I don't know why the higher ups choose to do what they did and doubt we ever will. I feel part of the healing process for victims is the trial and punishment of their accusers and these children will never get that. I believe it is possible to love and respect an individual and not totally agree with everything. Just like there are somethings in my own religion i don't agree with or even though i am a card carrying member of the republician party i don't agree with everything. I would hope if the orthodox church were to face the same scandals as the catholic church that they would step up and do the right thing. Our "pope" equivalent is kinda a no nonsense guy so hopeful he would turn them over to the authorities. I also agree that allowing the men to marry would not make a difference. they are molesting little boys. these same if they were married would probably still molest little boys. I don't think men that are lonely for female attention, rape little boys as a substitute.
  13. by   prmenrs
    Tweety, that is one thing I do not understand. Why, in the name of all that's reasonable, why weren't these priests just sent to jail? That fact that that their superiors didn't just report them to the police [in fact, just drive them over there] is beyond my ken! If they had, and done it from the first incident, we wouldn't be in half this big mess.
  14. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from prmenrs
    Tweety, that is one thing I do not understand. Why, in the name of all that's reasonable, why weren't these priests just sent to jail? That fact that that their superiors didn't just report them to the police [in fact, just drive them over there] is beyond my ken! If they had, and done it from the first incident, we wouldn't be in half this big mess.
    In 2002, the pope met in Rome with a dozen U.S. cardinals after the criminal abuse in Boston and hundreds of priests resigned in the USA..

    The Pope said "people need to know that there is no place in the priesthood and religious life for those who would harm the young."

    Then - NOTHING!

    Here in Los Angeles Cardinal Mahoney has sued to avoid turning over records to the DA. If it were anyone other than the church police would have come with a search warrant and carted off the evidence.

    Personally I think there should be a mandator life sentence for anyone guilty of child sex abuse on any level.

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