By Gregory Paul | 6 November 2010
As the Nathan character said in The Searchers, that tears it. The last shred of the Catholic claim to being an ethical institution has been eliminated by the cruel perfidy of its clerics. It is time for all decent people to demand that the institution no longer exist as an organized entity, and for all upright people who belong to the body to leave in disgust. It is not just the pedophile scandal. It is because core Catholic doctrine is outright evil. Here’s why.
Although he may no linger be sheltered from secular prosecution, a Catholic man who makes his living as a priest can bugger all the boys he wants and he will not receive the worst retribution the church can deliver, excommunication. Same for bishops have who engaged in racketeering by covering for pedophile clerics. Sister Margaret McBride is a law abiding Catholic woman who works at the Catholic St. Joseph’s Hospital in Arizona. A patient with a heart condition too grave for her to be moved was informed that her early term pregnancy was going to be 100% fatal for her and the fetus. McBride exhibited sufficient decency and basic ethics to assist the woman in saving her life via an abortion. The caring nun who did her duty as a medical caretaker has been excommunicated by the man organization for saving the life of a fellow human being.
The medical ethics director of the Diocese of Phoenix stated that McBride “consented in the murder of an unborn child. There are some situations where the mother may in fact die along with her child. But — and this is the Catholic perspective you can’t do evil to do good. The end does not justify the means” — we’ll get back to that particular example of shallow cynical hypocrisy later.
The Catholic clergy that protects its own men is abusing the women. It is the long-term aim of the Papacy to increase the abuse by making it ever more difficult to obtain an abortion until it is impossible (info here). Until the mid 1800s early term abortion was tolerated. In the USA a current directive supposedly allows abortion to save the life of the mother, but the action of the Arizona bishop indicates this is merely a transitory phase. What the Vatican really wants is already in force in El Salvador, where the church backed a total ban on abortion with absolutely no exceptions. There women are being prosecuted and jailed for performing abortions on themselves after they show up for emergency medical care following their desperate acts. The need for this hard-line policy is logical Catholic theology wise the mother has been baptized and will arrive in heaven, because fetus has not been so graced it must have priority. Catholic doctrine is so execrable that it demands that once a woman is pregnant she is along for the ride even it means her death. If she got that way by being raped, that’s just too bad. It is in no way an exaggeration to state that that is the barbaric, pitiless world these man brutes want to bring to us here and abroad.
To force a person to undergo death when a medical procedure that does not increase the probability of the death of another can cure the problem is outright murder. To prevent a women who needs an abortion to save her life when failing to perform the abortion will not save the life of the unborn is premeditated homicide. Ergo, the Catholic Church is not consistently prolife as it boasts, it is as antilife as is possible under a particular circumstance. Specifically for sexually mature women. There is no situation that a modern man or child can get into that demands his death (the divine organization no longer being involved in exterminating atheists, heretics, witches, Jews and Muslims). The ongoing war on women is sheer evil.
Atheistic antiabortionists are a rare species, so ~99% of those who oppose abortion claim that their deity is prolife (at least when it comes to the unborn). This is a lie as big as they get. Assuming for the sake of discussion that a creator deity exists, the Bible at no point condemns abortion. It does not do so in the Hebrew Testaments, which is why there is debate among Orthodox Jews about the procedure. Jesus had nothing to say on the issue, nor does it come up in the rest of the New Testament. The absence of an injunction against abortion in the book that goes to lengths to specifically ban a whole lot of things explains why the Roman church did not get around to an outright ban until the 19th century (in response to the advent of democratic modernity), and has even inspired a few fundamentalists who take the Bible literally to deny that abortion is a grievous wrong in the eyes of God (the rise of conservative Protestant opposition to abortion got underway some years after Roe v Wade in response to the continued rise of cultural secularism).
Nor does the real world provide evidence for a prolife creator. Quite the opposite. I laid out the stark facts in a ground-breaking paper in the journal Philosophy and Theology. About 100 billion people have been born. The human reproductive system is so badly designed that it is more death machine than source of life. It appears that a majority, perhaps three quarters, of conceptions have failed to come to term. A large portion of embryos are too genetically defective to successfully implant, or they spontaneously abort shortly after implantation. It may be that such abortions, rather than failures of conception, explain why most acts of sexual intercourse during a woman’s fertile cycle do not result in pregnancy. The number of unborn who have died due to the creator’s incompetence is in the area of two or three hundred billion. Matters following birth do not improve. About half of the children have died while children, the great majority from torturous diseases, most of the rest from malnutrition and other natural disasters. That’s fifty billion dead kids. The earth that many believe a loving God created is a death trap that manages via assorted ruthless methods (detailed in the PT paper cited above) to kill off most of the young. So many die that matters could not be worse, a higher juvenile mortality rate would have crashed the population.
Remember how the medical ethics director of the Phoenix Diocese justified his abuse of McBride with the seemingly sensible assertion that “you can’t do evil to do good. The end does not justify the means?” It is not possible to overstate how superficial — and how cynically hypocritical — the statement is. According to the dogma of the Bishop’s church, God’s great plan to move human souls to heaven requires them to first dwell on a planet so defective that it tortures tens of billions of children to death [reference is above]; in other words his creator is doing evil on a fantastic scale because his utopian ends justify his terrible means. The hard truth is that there is no evidence that a god has done anything to alleviate the terrible suffering and death of the immature, and to conclude that such an entity is prolife is intellectual and moral madness.
Also insane is the idea that abortion should be rare if it exists at all. When this inanity leads to bans founded on the notion that abortion is murder the result is to only make a lot of women miserable. The research shows that abortion is always common whether it is banned and dangerous or safe and legal (info here). Let me explain why to those who do not understand. You see, women suffer from a serious flaw — they are human beings like the rest of us. So one way or another many find themselves unwillingly pregnant, and a major portion are bound and determined to not go through with it and one way or another don’t. Prohibitions do remarkably little to change this paradigm it’s like outlawing alcohol so abortion bans only serve to torment countless decent women and labeling them as murderers while making the simple procedure dangerous. That is the definition of cruelty.
The core reason that antiabortion Catholics as well as evangelicals wish to force women to bear their babies to the point they die is not morality which their faiths don’t have all that much of. It’s about control. The control includes domination of woman by misogynist, authority obsessed men. But also control of society by brute intimidation. The goal is a global culture where sex is limited to married heterosexuals who are not using contraceptives. It’s a crass power play dressed up in false morality. And if there is one thing the Roman Church is about it is power. Since its take over of the Roman Empire the Vatican has been obsessed about achieving as much dominance as it can manage to gain and then to hold onto. The process has required an amazing series of criminal actions. The excommunication of the good-hearted nun is not the lone act that out of the blue requires the destruction of Catholicism, it is the latest of a long line of bad behavior described in numerous accounts including The Vatican Exposed by Paul Williams — that when put together as a whole condemns the institution.
— The displacement of relatively tolerant polytheism with an unusually (for the time) oppressive single faith theocracy in the Roman Empire.
— Operation of a slave state until the 1800s.
— The invention of anti-Semitism as expressed by forcing Jews to wear identification and live in ghettoes, ethnic cleansing, restriction of livelihoods, forced conversions and executions (based on normal demographic growth rates Jews should currently number a few hundred million, that they are just a few million is largely due to Christian bigotry).
— The continuation of anti-Semitic attitudes up to the 1950s.
— The destruction of the Gnostic Cathar religion of southern Europe by war, forced conversion and execution.
— A series of Crusades against Islam and Orthodox Christians. The wars included mass atrocities and terror tactics against civilians (info here).
— The Inquisition tortures, trials, and executions directed against Catholic, Gnostic, Protestant, Orthodox and scientific heretics and opponents.
— The War Against Women in the form of the terror campaign against alleged witches.
— Aggressive wars against Protestant countries, of which the Spanish Armada was the most spectacular example.
— Participation in the conspiracy to defraud the native peoples of the western hemisphere of their lands and valuables.
— Banning of vernacular language Bibles at the penalty of death (info here).
— The Vatican I doctrine of the late 1800s which opposed democracy and free speech and thought in favor of autocratic rule by divine right.
— Resisting the Italian revolution of the 1800s against the Papal States.
— Opposing the establishment of democracy in Germany after the Great War until the church was offered a tenth of the income taxes of Catholic Germans (this religion tax is still in effect).
— Supporting the rise of Fascism in general, including the early stages of Nazism in Bavaria.
— Cutting a deal with Mussolini in which moderate Catholic political opposition to the dictator was dropped in exchange for massive subsidies, clerical and education privileges, and the reestablishment of a legally immune PapalState.
— Enthusiastic support for a Catholic dictatorship in Austria, and the enthusiasm of Catholic dominated Austria in joining Hitler’s Reich.
— Strong support Franco’s revolt against the legitimate Republican government, and subsequent backing for the Generalissimos’ dictatorship.
— The conspiracy to make heretical church member Hitler dictator via the Enabling Act voted for by the entire Catholic Centre Party in exchange for a Concordat that ensured continued tax income for the church while requiring all German bishops to swear loyalty to the Reich.
— Failure to issue any public condemnation of the “Night of the Long Knives” in which Hitler had potential opponents, including some Catholics, liquidated to consolidate his rule.
— Continued public praise for Hitler throughout his rule combined with acceptance of annual tax payments from the Reich treasury despite some of the monies being looted from Jews and conquered peoples.
— Participation of Catholic clerics in the Nazis military and death camps.
— Use of slave labor at German Catholic institutions during the Nazis reign (info here).
— Failure to profoundly condemn the ongoing genocides and atrocities committed by the Nazis and other fascists.
— The Holocaust of the Balkans in which many Catholic clerics supported and participated the incredibly ruthless Catholic Croat genocide against Orthodox Serbians and Jews that appalled even some Nazis, with deaths in the six figures.
— Post war refusal of the Vatican to make legal and financial restitution to war victims.
— Operation by Vatican elements of the Ratline that secreted many criminal Nazis and other fascists out of Europe to South America after the war.
— Failure to acknowledge the vast financial resources of the global church and Vatican, while pleading poverty as part of fund raising efforts.
— Investments in commercial activities that violate Catholic doctrines.
— Close ties to major Mafia elements, including the employment of Michele Sindona and Roberto Calvi as operatives of the Vatican Bank, both mobsters being murdered under bizarre circumstances after being convicted of murder and/or massive financial crimes (info here).
— Engaging in an international conspiracy to defraud American insurance companies of enormous sums in collaboration with Martin Frankel (info here).
— Collaboration off leading Catholic elements in the P2 effort of the 1970s and 80s to impose a hard right wing rule in Italy (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda_Due).
— Links between clerics and the drug trade in Mexico (info here).
— Operation of forced labor institutions around the globe until recent decades, including the young women laundries of Ireland.
— Cover up of extensive pedophilia by clerics.
— The persistently secretive operations of the church, including the Institute for Religious Works (Vatican Bank), and repeated refusals to respond to charges and criticism with detailed, documented rebuttals.
— Repeated refusals to submit to international lawsuits and criminal charges against the Vatican and individuals by exploiting the sovereign status of the city-state.
— Failure to adopt a nonpatriarchal, nonmisogynist, democratic church structure, and the continued sovereign status of the Vatican.
The Roman Church keeps getting away with its endless transgressions because most of their allies and even many critics take each failing in isolation, limiting their understanding of the pervasive scope of the corruption. The international press has been perpetually slack in putting the string of problems into its broader and damning context. As a result too few comprehend that the Catholic problem is so chronic and deep set that it is incurable. The syndicate is irredeemable because the way it is run is ideal for producing bad results — it is a recipe for perpetual moral and ethical disaster. The reason is simple and obvious enough. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Not only does the Vatican not deny it is a democracy, they are proud of their divine autocracy. What is astonishing is how this is widely passed off as a reasonable consequence of the church’s theology, as though that’s an excuse. Autocratic systems are invariably deeply corrupt because of the lack of either accountability via legal checks and balances, or public demand for openness and redress, as well as the reforming power of the vote. The web of accountability needed to minimize poor decisions simply does not exist. The 1000 Vatican citizens and 3000 day workers who dwell and work in a city-state that being both a autocracy and a sovereign nation is consequently vulnerable to irregularities at all levels to the point its inevitable. Making matters worse is that the Vatican autocracy is a sovereign law unto itself; it’s a country immune to national and international laws. If a Pope shoots and kills a kid in Saint Peters Square there is no legal mechanism for holding him accountable — being a head of state, he may even be safe to commit such a crime in countries that honor diplomatic immunity.
That Roman Catholic clerics swear absolute and total loyalty to the Pope, and thereby to the Church which in effect is the Pope, is an additional burden because it renders it difficult for men of the cloth who are concerned about illicit church activities to inform secular authorities, media, or the public. Also ethically dangerous is the belief that being the representatives of a moral purposeful God inspires people to avoid the temptations that invariably come with unaccountability. Those who believe they are working for God are in chronic danger of believing that they are where they are because of the deity’s will, and that whatever they do is the result of and expresses his will even if it contravenes human laws and norms. At the same time, the public, media and government often allow religious officials more leeway than is received by the laity or government employees under the naïve presumption that sincere agents of the moral creator are less likely to commit crimes, giving clerics greater hidden space to commit and get away with crimes — therefore religious officials ironically do not enjoy the constraints of law that help the laity stay within the law. Adding to the problem is the difficulty that members of a faith have in accusing their Representatives of God of inappropriate activities, either because of internal fears of contradicting their own confession, or in the face of often intense pressure from the religious authorities to not embarrass the religion. In innumerable cases people, especially youth, who have made legitimate charges against clerics have been accused of lying by relations, other fellow laity, and officials who refuse to believe that God’s servants could be guilty of such inappropriate behavior.
Then there is the men problem. In that men run the church. If there is one thing that should be clear by now it is that males should never ever be allowed to run major systems without a lot of female help. This is being demonstrated by scientific research. The more women executives there are in the higher echelons of businesses the better run and more profitable they tend to be. The best-run 1st world nations have the highest proportion of women politicians.
The more sensible among Catholics — those who roll their eyes at much of what their church is up to but hope to save it — resort to the defense of the positives; the wishful view because the church favors some progressive policies it is ripe for greater reform. And it is true that the church no longer tortures and burns people to death or goes after the Jews, has a generally pro modern science attitude, opposes the death penalty, warns against the dangers of free wheeling private enterprise, provides charity, and so forth. But the attitude of the church towards pregnant women is Taliban level in its barbarity, and its tyrannical all boy structure is medieval feudalism in the 21st century. The positives do not make up for the horrid negatives, and reform is very unlikely to suppress the negatives enough to legitimize the syndicate.
The church must be destroyed because the reforms — an open democracy with women equal in status and authority to men, and the Vatican being nonsovereign property in Rome lacking diplomatic immunity — needed to bring the church close to modern moral standards would so radically alter the system that it would no longer be the Catholic Church established during the Roman Empire. It would be Catholic by name only kind of like how the Chinese government is communist in name only as they operate a state capitalist system.
Many Catholics lay and clerical are fine and decent folk who are opposed to many of the policies of their church. You good people need to take a hard look at your relationship to the organization and what you are going to do about it. If you think that the Vatican can remain a sovereign dictatorship run by a bunch of guys who demand obedient loyalty, and that it will reform in a serious way, you are foolishly naïve. If you continue to support the system by attending services and contributing money you are enabling the dysfunctional autocracy. This is true even if you are working to liberalize the church within the context of its structure since the chance that will work is vanishingly small. And the situation for decent Catholics is grim. Because of the Mussolini treaty it is not obvious how the Vatican can be stripped of its nationhood, or made democratic. The only legal means may be voluntary internal reformation, but the patriarchal power structure is hardly likely to give up its marvelous privileges as long as enough conservative Catholics provide their enthusiastic support (especially the money needed to operate the Vatican as an independent state). One mechanism for destroying the power structure may be the forced legal route. If the Pope and other church leaders are rendered subject to criminal prosecution by and in other nations, then they could end up isolated in the Vatican, leaving the scheme untenable (info here).
Because reforming the church from within not a practical enterprise, caring Catholics should get up and leave. If enough members do so then the institution will become a pale shadow of its former self, impotent to distort modern societies and murder pregnant women, and that would be a good thing.
And before I forget, the existence of Protestant denominations and other religious sects that strive to legally prevent women from enjoying their reproductive rights is similarly dubious.
Gregory Paul is an independent researcher interested in informing the public about little known yet important aspects of the complex interactions between religion, secularism, culture, economics, politics and societal conditions. His scholarly work has appeared in Evolutionary Psychology, Journal of Religion and Society, The Journal of Medical Ethics, Philosophy and Theology. Popular essays are at Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post/On Faith, Edge and one of the most widely read Washington Post op-eds (5/29&30/11). Coverage of Paul’s research has appeared in Newsweek, USA Today, The Guardian, London Times, LA Times, MSNBC, FoxNews.
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