Home > Religion > Still in Denial

Still in Denial

May 19th, 2011

The Roman Catholic Church has a new whipping boy in the ongoing child molestation scandal: loose American mores.

First, the church tried to cover up the sexual abuse, hiding and protecting the priests, and sometimes even threatening the victims.

Next, they tried to blame homosexuality, despite the fact that pedophiles generally do not have any adult sexual orientation and comprise a group distinct from homosexuals or heterosexuals.

Now, with the excuse of “it’s the gays” wearing thin, they have released a new “study” which blames the sexual revolution of the 60’s and 70’s.

Riiiighhht. This is kind of like parents trying to figure out why their kids aren’t the angels they tried to make them to be. It has to be TV, or music, or the teachers, or society–anyone but themselves. We naturally, almost instinctively look outward for blame. However, what the church is doing goes beyond that; it has to be crystal-clear to them that a number of factors played a role, but that they themselves are ultimately responsible, not just for the internal factors contributing to the problem, and not just for failing to quickly identify the problem and deal with it, but especially for their shameful behavior in covering it up and allowing it to continue. And yet they cannot seem to bring themselves to admit to any of that; instead, they seek scapegoats upon which to shed the blame.

I have to say, this more than anything else makes me disrespect the church, and reinforces my general criticism of organized religion: any religious authority large enough, considering its own public image to be equivalent to the legitimacy of the beliefs they represent, will inevitably hold its own well-being as being more important than that of its adherents, and thus whenever there is a conflict, will act against the interests of its own members.

Categories: Religion Tags: by
  1. Tim Kane
    May 20th, 2011 at 05:31 | #1

    Yes, I saw this on the news last night and it brought me to a repulsiveness for the church organization to a whole new level.

    I was perhaps a little more tolerant of the past because I figured there was lots of authoritarian garbage in the church trying to defend itself and a whole lot of denial going on. The sexual abuse controversy has been going on for at least a decade and a half now, the church has had time to clean house, get new leadership, take stock of itself and the situation. And what did they do yesterday? Continue along the medieval if not antediluvian position.

    They did even worse. They labeled anything happening from 10 years old and up as not pedophilia. There’s a reason for that, very few children become alter boys before the age of 10 – so predatory priest would have less access to pre-10 year old boys, by default, and so the incidents of that kind of abuse would be much less.

    Now, a pedophile priest might prefer pre-10 year old boys, but if he has ready access to an 11 or 12 year old, he’s probably going to pick the low hanging fruit, if he can. In my own case, I became an alter boy after I turned 10. Our parish, at the time, didn’t have any bad priest and was uber-liberal to boot. And I didn’t hit puberty until just after my 15th birthday (if by puberty you go by when your voice changes – because I was selected to be Oliver in our high school musical, in between being selected for the part and opening night my voice dropped, which pissed off the director, who was himself a flaming homosexual Christian Brother – who I’m afraid, may, or may not,have been involved with some students he seemed to have took a special interest and involvement in, but that’s another issue altogether). The point being, pedephile type of sexual abuse can occur after age 10, sometimes long after age 10.

    This is a case of the church trying to use authoritarianism to sweep criticism under the rug. Frankly its getting old and beyond disgusting. They simple refuse to modernize any aspect of themselves.

    The understated text of this latest announcement is to claim 1960s liberalism as culturally repugnant, and along with it, Vatican II.

    Vatican II was only half embraced by Pope Paul. Pope John Paul, who embraced that name as a way of suggesting he embraced the works of Pope John and Paul, both liberals, or moderately liberals, but in fact, he sternly rejected Vatican II. He promoted to bishops, then archbishop and cardinals only arch conservatives, which meant only mediocre minds. As a result today’s church hierarchy is made up of neo-medieval minds who long for the good old days when bishops could exercise sanctioning authority. They don’t know or want to realize that the only true authority they can ever have is moral authority.

    This issue is undermining the church with great rapidity. The more the attempt to exercise sanctioning authority the less moral authority they have. When the moral authority is all gone, they’ll be left with nothing but the demented authoritarians.

    People continue to go to church out of habit. At some point, I expect parish’s to break away from the hierarchical organization and form something new that’s organized from the bottom up instead of from the top down – meaning not recognizing the Pope’s and therefore the Bishop’s infalibility. The day that happens, it will spread like wild fire.

    People need community and communitarian structures surrounding them to feel and be healthy. In England, communities organize around the local pub or a cricket club. In Australia it is a beach club. In uber-individualistic America, quite often, the local religious congregation is the only source of community. Local catholic parishes often provide good community. I’ve gone to some parish events with friends to play trivia contests (I’m a geography ringer), men’s clubs events for trips to MLB baseball games, fish fry’s and so on. The Christmas holidays I have great and strong emotional memories. So I hope the bath water (the bishops) get thrown out and they keep the baby (the lay cultural aspects).

    What’s less of the hard core catholic church will be about a half million hard core fundementalist adherents who are all members of Donohue’s Catholic League.

Comments are closed.