The top middle center of the front page of Monday, February 25th’s Wall Street Journal featured a photo of the Pope speaking at the close of his clergy summit on sex abuse which was captioned “Pope Vows to Combat Sex Abuse but Critics Say He Falls Short”. Under this color photo was the caption, “Pope Francis closed an unprecedented Vatican summit on clerical sex abuse by promising to protect children and help victims of what he called a plague of clerical sex abuse, but he offered few policy specifics.”
If one began piling up the countless adverse stories which have confirmed Pope Francis recently, it is vaguely possible for a few of his battered parishioners to step back and actually feel sorry for this old man.
You can read this full WSJ account here.
Pope Francis closed the unprecedented Vatican summit by promising to protect children and help victims of what he called a plague of clerical sex abuse, but critics say his words fell short. https://t.co/owRraIjadS via @WSJ
— Pietro Lombardi (@PietroLombard10) February 25, 2019
But then by reading in the mass media the unavoidable stories about the voluminous number of sexual sins against young parishioners and many nuns perpetrated by his colleagues one is certainly not tempted forgive nor forget!
Francis talks about mounting an all out battle, broadening his target to “The abuse of power is likewise present in the other forms of abuse affecting almost 85,000,000 children, forgotten by everyone: child soldiers, child prostitutes, starving children, children kidnapped and often victimized by the horrid commerce of human organs or enslaved, child victims of war, refugee children, aborted children and so many others,” the pope said.
All his faithful were doubtless particularly drawn to his defrocking of the DC based ex Cardinal, ex priest Theodore McCarrick who is doubtless not the only red hat in the wrong, and bishops and the priests! Many of them have been “saved” (do they go to Hell?) by death from earthly prosecution. This action by the Pope with McCarrick surely suggests that others of similar rank could follow.
I have yet to read what secular punishment will be inveighed against McCarrick. We know that earlier incidents of priestly pedophilia received prison time. In one case I recall a ex-priest’s murder by an inmate in prison.
Simply being ousted from one’s exalted red hat doesn’t seem adequate for the offenses described over decades.
This web site has been particularly effective in documenting this sad history which obviously goes back into much more ancient history, much of which may never be known.
In reading the myriad of solid articles on this site, one particular one entitled “You Need To Consider The Possibility Your Religion Is Mythology” addresses an age old question about why people believe in religion faced with its utter unprovability?
Its author, Travis Haan, editor of The Wise Sloth blog poses the old question neatly:
There are at least 4,200 religions in the world today, and countless more have been lost to history. It’s obvious there’s a 0% chance all of them are the true word of God. Some thinkers have speculated that each religion is at least a little divinely inspired and holds a piece of the puzzle left to us by God to put together. But the only way to come to that conclusion is to ignore huge tracts of doctrine in each religion. Ultimately, none of them are compatible. If any religion is true, there’s only one.
This means at least over 6 billion people alive today believe in a religion that was written 100% by human beings and 0% dictated by the creator of the universe. A belief system written by human beings that has no bearing on the factual nature of reality is mythology. The cold, hard truth of reality is that the vast majority of the people alive today believe in mythology and dogmatically refuse to even consider the possibility that’s true. So if you believe in religion, there’s automatically a 99% chance you believe in mythology. If you refuse to question your beliefs, there’s no way for you to know if they’re true, which increases the chance that you believe in mythology to 99.9%.”
You can read his article here.
The pope has said those who regularly criticise the Catholic Church are "friends of the devil". This isn't the language of someone who appreciates the severity of the abuse crisis, or can be trusted to deal with it https://t.co/mlwzPE0ZVm
— National Secular Society (@NatSecSoc) February 21, 2019
Now to my main point: The RC hierarchy, wealthy, sophisticated, well read, highly educated, can surely not have these same questions.
We know from the departure of many from the Church that they honestly could not embrace its orthodoxy or its politics or its validity. Much has been published by these defectors.
What about those who still serve? Given their record of abuse of their parishioners by so many of these remaining officials, their behavior and their morality was certainly not in keeping with the stated religious principles of their religion.
Given the power and status accorded those members of the RCC hierarchy, we can assume that many in those elevated positions fully understood the absurdity of their faith. It is clearly possible and likely that widespread cynicism must prevail among those leaders around long enough to realize the thinness of their orthodoxy! Continuing after thus coming to such a belief must be added to the list of their reported crimes of pedophilia, etc.
This presumed failure of belief among some at RC’s highest levels is perhaps their greatest sin of all. Could that have helped lead to much bad behavior?
If there were openness and honesty about human sexual versions, homosexuality would be adjudged normal, as it certainly is, and marriage within the institution could be widely adopted.
Belief in any religion I presume could be condoned so long as its tenets were not allowed to intrude on the conduct of secular governance. But this religious cynicism and indifference could have helped pave the way to the Church’s current troubles.
From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013
By Donald A. Collins
Publisher: Church and State Press (July 30, 2014)
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