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The Roman Catholic Church is a criminal outfit

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It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the Catholic Church is and has been for a long time a criminal organization of pedophiles.

Harsh language, yes. But after this latest report that hundreds of Pennsylvania priests molested “over 1,000 children,” what other conclusion can we reach? And that was just in one state!

Beyond America, we know that Catholic priests have sexually molested children in dozens of other countries. Wikileaks has reported on priestly pedophilia in at least 28 countries, including a significant number of cases…in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and countries in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.”

There are 1.2 billion Catholics in the world and obviously most of them are law-abiding people. On the other hand, there are 414,000 priests in the world, according to a 2012 report, and while we don’t know the exact number of them that have abused children, or protected those who did, it’s not hard for me to imagine that the number is in the tens of thousands. If we had another organization with the size and clout of the Catholic Church—the Boy Scouts, say, or the YMCA—that harbored so many sexual criminals, we would probably outlaw it.

I admit the Catholic Church has done some great things. It helped civilize Western civilization and was largely responsible for shaping our culture and heritage. (As a wine lover, I salute the Church for its role in developing Europe’s wine industry.) The Church fostered our traditions of music, art, architecture and literature. And obviously, the Catholic Church has been a continuing source of solace and faith to hundreds of millions of human beings.

But we really have to come to grips with the extent of the criminality the Church has aided and abetted. And we have to remember the Church’s crimes each and every time a Catholic says something nasty about homosexuality, or same-sex marriage. How dare these people criticize two people who dare to love each other, when so many of their priests are sexual perverts? How can we not assume that every priest or Cardinal who condemns LGBTQ rights has not himself had illicit sex with a child, or has not protected the identity of a criminal priest?

Here’s the Church’s official position on homosexuality, in part: Homosexual desires…are not in themselves sinful. [They] do not become sinful until a person acts upon them, either by acting out the desire or by encouraging the desire and deliberately engaging in fantasies about acting it out. People tempted by homosexual desires, like people tempted by improper heterosexual desires, are not sinning until they act upon those desires in some manner.”

How the Church, which is led by Pope “Who am I to judge?” Francis, can possibly say these words with a straight face is beyond me. Let’s paraphrase the statement: “Pedophiliac desires are not in themselves sinful until a person acts upon them…”. Well, we know that Catholic priests have “acted upon” their pedophiliac desires for centuries. We also now know that some priests even ran “child porn rings” in their dioceses!

These so-called men of God are monsters. And we have no reason not to believe such “sins” are not ongoing even now. So I fail to understand why society continues to cut the Catholic Church slack. At the very least, the U.S. government ought to suspend the Church’s tax-exempt status, until such time as society is convinced the Church has entirely reformed itself beyond the shadow of a doubt, and all the pedophile priests and their protectors have been brought to justice.

Beyond the Catholic Church’s criminality, we have to address the larger issue of the role of religion in U.S. society. We have in America a Constitution whose First Amendment clearly states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” etc. The fact that this was the very first Amendment the Founders wrote shows how seriously they took it.

And yet, today we see an encroachment upon governance by religions, particularly Christianity (Catholics and Protestants), that is driven by radical fundamentalists who do not like the First Amendment, and wish to see an America governed as much by Biblical authority (or their version of it) as by established law. They have no respect for democracy, or for our traditions of representative government, or for the values of the Enlightenment in which the idea of America is grounded. There is really very little difference between these sorts of Christians and religious theocrats abroad, such as Iran’s Ayatollahs or the Taliban. It starts with haters like the Colorado baker who wouldn’t serve gay people and now is refusing to serve transgenders.

And it ends—where? Can we assume that if Christian theocrats seized control of America—as they are trying hard to do—that we would not see hands chopped off, women in veils, forced conversions, stonings, beheadings? Can we assume we would not see the teaching of real science prohibited? We cannot so assume, especially among the Biblical literalists, who believe in all those insane death penalties in Leviticus. The history of religions that gain absolute power tells us that most of the time, the most dire consequences ensue.

 

  1. Bob Rossi says:

    ” haters like the Colorado baker who wouldn’t serve gay people and now is refusing to serve transgenders.”
    I wonder how he’d feel about making a cake for a pedophile priest?

  2. Bob, I believe if I were a shopkeeper, I would serve anyone who came into my store to buy something. Why else would someone go into business?

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