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Popes lack of action with sexual abuse

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Once again, I want to point out that there is a difference between the Roman Catholic faith and the Roman Catholic institution.

The first is a spiritual belief system and, IMHO, not to be tampered with. It's not my belief system, but that doesn't mean that believers should be mocked. I've addressed that in other threads, so won't waste everyone's time and patience on it. The short form is that no-one needs to explain or justify their faith to me or anyone else. Anyone who mocks it is doing so to gratify their own urge to hurt and humiliate, nothing more.

The second is a human construct that exercises temporal political power ... it is made up of humans who are just as susceptible to corruption and self interest as the rest of us ... and here is where I part ways with loricatus. I do judge the behavior of the men running the institution, who placed the fortunes of the molesters and the church that covered for them above the lives and emotional health of the children they assaulted.

I judge and I do not forgive. I don't have to. Let them take it up with their god. Child molesters belong in jail for a long time, regardless of whether they sport Roman collars and wave crucifixes around. The institutional church carried out a deliberate cover-up and actually facilitated these guys to keep on assaulting children for years.

And ... before we go off on a Catholic-bashing binge ... I need to point out that the Roman Catholic Church has no monopoly on abusive clerics. The use of any spiritual authority to perpetrate assault is blasphemous, criminal and sinful.

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I am astonished on how just one area of corruption (or as some would think of as evil) prevelent in all facets of society is being focused on and chosen to be part of a manipulative directive.

I really have an equally hard time understanding why someone would question the choice of another person's religious faith, just my opinion.

i don't understand these statements.

what is the manipulative directive?

and who is questioning the choice of another's religious faith?

contextually, i very much agree with your post, lori.

i wasn't under the impression that anyone was bashing the catholic faith, at all...

i (and others) are condemning the act of the pope covering up for those who molested these children.

still, i am very much in agreement that Christians need to focus on what Jesus represents to them, and stay true to that.

this would apply to any doctrine/religion/belief.

leslie

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Elvish,

We don't often agree these days, but you did a beautiful job of putting this sentiment into words. I think that speaks to the universality of of flaws in the human institutions of every "Church" representing every faith.

I was raised RC, and like many, left the faith as a young adult. Not so much because of any philosophical disagreement (I hadn't even given much thought to the philosophy of the faith at that point.) But because of youthful rebellion, laziness, etc.

It wasn't until I was expecting my first child that I realized the need for a higher power and positive influence in our lives, in part to help offset the negatives that bombard us every day. I wasn't set on any particular faith, and just started going to local churches to find one that I liked. I visited many that seemed friendly and uplifting, but not quite "right." When I stepped into a little inner-city Byzantine Catholic church, I knew I was home. Not exactly the same Church of my upbringing, but very warm and welcoming. And I found what was "missing" in the other churches I had visited: the Rite of the Eucharist. It was, indeed my belief and faith and I needed to belong to a Church that celebrated it each and every service. Both of my girls were baptized there. We've moved a number of times since then, and one thing I have always found comforting is the consistency of the liturgy, regardless of where in the world we are worshipping at that moment.

I have no doubt that my girls will fall away from our church at some point, also. I only hope that their faith sustains them and leads them to a church home as well.

Jolie, you nailed it right there! :yeah:

That's exactly what brought me back into the fold. No matter if or where I was going to church, the celebration of Eucharist was missing from my life, and I didn't realize how much I missed it until I received for the first time in 15 years at Easter.

Ironically, it was my youngest son who helped bring about, as he came back to the faith as an adult via his fiancee and celebrated his Confirmation and First Eucharist last month. :redbeathe

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Ironically, it was my youngest son who helped bring about, as he came back to the faith as an adult via his fiancee and celebrated his Confirmation and First Eucharist last month. :redbeathe

Congratulations to him!

I admire those who embark on a faith journey as adults, consciously seeking to embrace a faith based upon an adult understanding of its teachings. In many ways, that is far more meaningful than simply following along as a child. Perhaps that is why so many of us need to relearn and regain our faith later in life.

When I was in junior high, a new girl moved into our school. She'd experienced the trauma of losing her father and the upheaval of her mother remarrying and moving to a new town with her new husband. G was incredibly mature and thoughtful for her age. (I realized that even then.) Her family had never belonged to a church or followed a religion, and she suggested to her mother that would be a good way of becoming connected in their new community. Her mother assigned her the task of choosing a faith and church. She spent the better part of that school year quizzing us about our religions and going to church with her new girlfriends. We all wanted her to join our particular church, more as a popularity measure than any real interest in sharing our faith, but she took it very seriously. She chose to become Methodist, and was the driving force in ushering her entire family into their new church. I remember the experience vividly to this day. If only we all had the same grounding and insight as teenagers that G had!

I guess we should be grateful to experience it at any age :)

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i don't understand these statements.

what is the manipulative directive?

and who is questioning the choice of another's religious faith?

contextually, i very much agree with your post, lori.

i wasn't under the impression that anyone was bashing the catholic faith, at all...

i (and others) are condemning the act of the pope covering up for those who molested these children.

still, i am very much in agreement that Christians need to focus on what Jesus represents to them, and stay true to that.

this would apply to any doctrine/religion/belief.

leslie

I was referring to the original post & not anything else after that. If you go back and reread it you may see what I saw. ANY person in a leadership postion, with the potential to influence others, has a certain responsibilities... That is all I will say on this matter, except to state my disappointment.

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All these scandals makes me sick to my stomach, I really have a hard time understanding how one can continue to support such an organization, just my opinion.

Anytime a child is molested it is sickening but it is not just one religion or not just one type of person who perpetrates these horrendous crimes. There are ministers and members from all different religions who also molest children as well as non christians. I don't think it's right to say a person should not support their church because of the bad apples.

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this goes beyond unconscionable and disgraceful.

all those involved in the secrecy, will indeed, be judged one day.

and it won't be pretty.

leslie

There is secrecy involved in all walks of life. Politics, Religion, Law, Medicine and yes even nurses hide secrets!

I was referring to the original post & not anything else after that. If you go back and reread it you may see what I saw. ANY person in a leadership postion, with the potential to influence others, has a certain responsibilities... That is all I will say on this matter, except to state my disappointment.

I agree, I was also responding to the OP. Saying he/she cannot understand how anyone could continue to support the RC church was bias IMHO :twocents:

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There is secrecy involved in all walks of life. Politics, Religion, Law, Medicine and yes even nurses hide secrets!

this secrecy has come at an unspeakable cost...

so i'm not understanding your point?

leslie

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I think you may misunderstand what infallibility is. It is not the absence of sin, or the leading of a "perfect" life.

This explains it pretty well: Papal Infallibility

The Catholic Church's teaching on papal infallibility is one which is generally misunderstood by those outside the Church. In particular, Fundamentalists and other "Bible Christians" often confuse the charism of papal "infallibility" with "impeccability." They imagine Catholics believe the pope cannot sin. Others, who avoid this elementary blunder, think the pope relies on some sort of amulet or magical incantation when an infallible definition is due.

Given these common misapprehensions regarding the basic tenets of papal infallibility, it is necessary to explain exactly what infallibility is not. Infallibility is not the absence of sin. Nor is it a charism that belongs only to the pope. Indeed, infallibility also belongs to the body of bishops as a whole, when, in doctrinal unity with the pope, they solemnly teach a doctrine as true. We have this from Jesus himself, who promised the apostles and their successors the bishops, the magisterium of the Church: "He who hears you hears me" (Luke 10:16), and "Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven" (Matt. 18:18).

http://www.catholic.com/library/Papal_Infallibility.asp

That says what infallibility is not, but not what it is. Based on my understanding, infallibility refers to decisions the Pope makes with regard to what the Church believes and therefore teaches.

Infallibility in the sex abuse scandals walks a fine line, especially when the Church in the US deemed it necessary to separate the idea of Canon law from civil law when handling the US cases. Canon law is a doctrine of faith, so it logically extends that the use (or misuse) of it is also within the realm of the infallibility doctrine; however, the US Church never identified it that way. I wonder why....

BTW, I became a Catholic as an adult, and I recently left the Church in the past two years--and now do not believe in God at all. My children still attend along with my husband--and I will respectfully stand by their side when they have Confirmation. I can fully understand my husband's love of the Church. It's rituals, it's tradition, the beauty of Jesus and his sacrifice. (Even if you don't believe in he was who he thought he was, ya gotta admit he was an amazing dude!) I can't seem to reconcile everything, have given up trying, and the only thing that makes any sense whatsoever to me is that there is no God.

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It is OK, Brian. I am Catholic, but since all the sexual abuse in the church and the shuffling of these sexual predator priests amongst our parishes, I have LOST faith in the institution itself. I have not lost faith regarding God or the message of Jesus, but the church (institution) has become a den of hypocrisy.

The thing that strikes me strongly is what Jesus would have said of the Catholic Church, especially when we know his affection for the welfare of children and of the young. What words would Jesus use or say about the Catholic Church and the pope, its cover up (for decades and worldwide) of its own sexual perversion upon children, and its apathy to change this? Would Jesus have kind words for the Church...or words of condemnation?

Since this whole thing has become more and more to light and thank God for this (for I believe THAT is the will of God...to reveal the Church corruption), I have left the active practice of Catholicism. I have not left the message of my faith...but I have left the Catholic messenger of that faith....Big Difference.

Be of cheer, Brian. The exposure of this corruption is cleansing. Maybe, one day, the Church will be able to redeem itself....not by words...but by action....and that means genuine change.

Peace

Edited by Thunderwolf

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What I do not understand is the double standard instituted by the Church on issues like divorce, abortion, homosexuality and contraception.

It seems like there is no consistency from one year to the next or from one country to another.

I'm in the Philippines and the official church policy is maintaining all of the above as illegal and immoral, yet they support homosexuals in church positions which is contradictory. The church does nothing to educate and minister to the fact of rising numbers of single mothers and "live-in" relationships from those who want to avoid getting married in a land without divorce.

Instead they spend millions of pesos campaigning against contraception and divorce but no time or energy on the radio and TV networks they own here to promote alternatives and encourage or foster relationship building in a Christian way.

What is up with the double standard?

Another thing I don't understand is situations wherein the church sends an official to collect offerings from families in remote places. Each family must pay P200 each week in order for the church to provide a minister to come out and deliver a service on Sunday mornings. We are talking about areas where P200 is a lot of money for these families.

Why would the Catholic Church pull money away from poor families in this manner? It doesn't make sense to me.

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Why do they continue to expect and take money from the poor? Possibly to help settle all the lawsuits. The Church seems more willing to pay out millions in order to protect their sexual predator priests than to turn them over to the legal authorities and/or to kick these priests out of the church once learning of their offenses....and in many cases, repeat offenses.

Hmmm....I sort of wonder HOW the money being collected now during Peter's Pence is actually being used by the Church. It sort of makes you wonder. And to withhold or not offer worship or services to poor folks or peasants unless they cough up 200 pesos is...in my mind...very unchristian. Sort of reminds me of the old practices of indulgences during the middle ages (one could only get into heaven back then IF one was only able to pay the necessary church fee or pay off the priest for absolution...salvation back then came with a very high price). Thanks to the Protestant Reformation, the wrongness of that practice was debated and it stopped. Sometimes protest is needed and is just. So, withholding services from the poor unless they can pay the high price in pesos seems so very wrong.

The offenses by our current day predator priests are not the homosexuality...but the sexual abuse and rapes upon children. And yes, there are priests who have sexually abused and raped girls too...not just the boys. These are sexual predators who are in and given positions of power who prey upon the weak. The weakest are our children. This is the offense, not that priests are men who have a sexuality or a labido.

I liken the eunich-like expectations placed upon priests as being highly unrealistic. Most men (and women) are sexual beings...regardless if they are religious or spiritual. If you are human, you are sexual. The point I am making is that the current man made church law of celibacy is not natural and may actually increase the risk of these men turning into pedophiles. If they can't have sex with women (but some of them do any way and then leave the church afterward to raise a family) or with men (choosing a homosexual lifestyle), what do they have left to express their sexuality or satisfy their normal human sexual urges? All they have left is what is left....and that is our children. The vow and law of priestly celibacy is ridiculous...and the proof proves it out. This celibacy law needs abolished. It places our children at GREAT risk.

Here is a recent article on the continued settlements being paid out to protect the church and its sexual predators. What is wrong is NOT the settlements being paid...that is right and just! What IS wrong is that the Church refuses to change, continues to coddle these criminals (in the not so distant past, the Church denied that this was happening at all :eek: ), and then add insult to injury, continues to hold itself as pious and righteous and fullfilling the spirit of Christ. THAT is wrong!!!!

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington, Vermont, announced Thursday it has settled 26 clergy abuse lawsuits dating back to the 1970s for $17.6 million.

This covers all pending lawsuits of this type against the diocese, according to a letter posted on its website by the Rev. Salvatore R. Matano, the bishop of Burlington.

"I once again apologize most sincerely for the pain the victims have suffered," writes Matano. "I ask that you join me in praying always for these wounded and hurt brothers and sisters. It is my constant hope that one day we will be united in the faith."

In addition, Jerome O'Neill, the lead attorney for the victims, said two other cases that were on appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court involving million-dollar jury verdicts have been settled separately, taking the total settlement figure to more than $20 million.

http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/05/13/vermont-diocese-settles-lawsuits-alleging-clergy-abuse/

Prayer is NOT enough....genuine church action and genuine change within the church will only protect our children. Prayer, in this case, only becomes a religious, if not a hypocritical, cop out.

Edited by Thunderwolf

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