Miami Auxiliary Bishop Peter Baldacchino sits with fellow members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops during a session at the USCCB's annual fall meeting in Baltimore, on Nov. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

US Catholic bishops to pray over clergy sexual abuse scandal

DETROIT (AP) — U.S.-based Roman Catholic bishops begin gathering Wednesday (Jan. 2) for a weeklong retreat near Chicago on the church sexual abuse scandal that organizers say will focus on prayer and spiritual reflection and not on formulating policy.

The retreat begins a day after The Associated Press reported that the Vatican blocked U.S. bishops from taking measures last year to address the scandal because U.S. church leaders didn't discuss the legally problematic proposals with the Holy See enough beforehand.

The rebuke from Rome was contained in a letter from a Vatican official before the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops met in November. The move stunned abuse survivors and some other Catholics demanding actions.

The retreat also is a prelude to a summit of the world's bishops at the Vatican next month to forge a comprehensive response to the crisis that has lashed the church.

The meetings follow two blistering reports during 2018 from state attorneys general — in Illinois and Pennsylvania — alleging negligence by state church leaders.

Here's a look at the retreat.

What's on the agenda?

This is about prayer, not policymaking, organizers say.

According to Archdiocese of Chicago spokeswoman Anne Maselli, bishops gathering at Mundelein Seminary will be praying, fasting and participating in spiritual lectures.

And they will be alone: No staff members, other priests or members of the public or media are invited. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a news release that they are convening "to pray on the intense matters before us."

The Catholic seminary at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, 40 miles north of Chicago, is the largest of its kind in the U.S. and home to roughly 200 seminarians from about 40 dioceses across the country and globe. According to its website, the lakefront campus blends "Colonial Revival and the architecture of Renaissance Rome, joining the Roman traditions of Catholicism with American cultural traditions."

Who are the main players?

Pope Francis has dispatched the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, the official papal preacher, to lead the retreat. And it's no accident that it's being held in Chicago, long considered a center of American Catholicism. The hosting Chicago archbishop, Cardinal Blase Cupich, was Francis' first major U.S. appointment and was picked by the pope to help organize the Vatican summit.

Cupich, who is considered a moderate, was the lead signatory on a recent letter to bishops around the world warning that a failure to deal with abuse now will jeopardize the church's mission globally. It also urged summit attendees to meet with clergy sexual abuse victims "to learn firsthand the suffering they have endured."

Cupich issued a statement expressing regret for "our failures to address the scourge of clerical sexual abuse," after Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's report in December alleging that the church had failed to disclose the names of at least 500 clergy members in the state accused of sexually abusing children.

A Pennsylvania grand jury report early last year alleged that hundreds of priests abused at least 1,000 children over seven decades in that state.

What can it really accomplish?

Potentially a good deal, according to Notre Dame researcher and teacher Timothy O'Malley. He says one of Francis' biggest concerns has been that the bishops experience a spiritual renewal — and "a spirit of penance" — along with regulations governing their behavior.

"When the bishops meet in public to discuss these procedures, there is a danger that it's less an act of contrition and more an occasion for scoring political points," he said. "Part of the corruption is based in a certain clerical culture where bishops pursued self-interest, whether their own or their diocese's, at the expense of listening to lay victims. This retreat ... is a first step toward a renewal of the (church leadership) as a whole in the United States."

O'Malley added that it only works if they recognize that their office isn't about accruing power but becoming "a shepherd," or "someone who is willing to engage in self-sacrifice for the sake of the church."

How do abuse victims feel about it?

Many are dismayed that it has taken so long for the church leadership to meet and act after so many years. Two advocacy groups, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and Ending Clergy Abuse, plan to hold a public demonstration Wednesday in Chicago.

SNAP says in a statement that it wants Cupich removed from his prominent role in planning the papal summit and that DiNardo should not lead the U.S. delegation to the Rome summit.

Zach Hiner, SNAP's executive director, said he's glad leaders are gathering "to find ways to address this crisis, but a week spent in silent prayer is not the response the public is looking for."

"If church officials truly want to do what is best, then they should be spending this week discussing how they can best comply with independent investigations by law enforcement, or how they can compel law enforcement officials in their state to act if no such investigation has begun yet," Hiner said. "At this point, regardless of what bishops decide to do in the first week of January, we are placing our hopes for reform in the hands of secular, not church officials."

(Jeff Karoub writes for The Associated Press.)

Comments

  1. Whew! I was sooooo worried for a while there! I’ve been hoping they’d pray on this. I mean, it’s not as though they should, like, actually have to do anything about it, or — like — change their ways or anything. Or even (gasp!) admit their complicity in what went on for so long. 

    </sarcasm> 

  2. Their thoughts and prayers will be about as effective on sexual abuse as are thoughts and prayers on gun violence. Get off your butts and actually do something effective.

  3. So you’re on the record as being against clergy praying?

  4. If prayer worked, would such an assembly on the subject be necessary? Weren’t prayers for a solution to this subject being said and offered for years now?

  5. A retreat is a good first step. In fact, it is what should have happened before the recent USCCB meeting, if they had any thought to really addressing the huge problem of sex abuse by priests and religious and their own role in covering it up time after time after time. They have made steps over the years but have still failed to bring truth and transparency to their own processes. So, no more business as usual until they get their minds and hearts in the right place.

    And then, off to Rome. I sincerely hope that Pope Francis has already done his homework on addressing this issue from the perspective of a global church. He really needs to loosen the reins on trying to make limited and fixed rules that apply all over this world on how bishops will interact with legal authorities in countries with vastly different cultures and legal apparatus.

    I do think he needs to make it possible for national or regional bishops conferences to come up with solutions that fit their own societies. And, he needs to make it possible for a bishops conference to hold member bishops accountable for following the plan. Or, even better, set up some sort of lay oversight board that reviews a bishops performance and then be sure there is some body, somewhere. that is actually held responsible for responding when a bishop fails. (Well, that is a dream, but why not?)

  6. …as in sex abuse action. More grand jury action is what needed.

  7. What good does it do for pedophiles and their supporters to “pray”?

  8. Just another big red billboard indicating that the priesthood is filled of people who are so clueless it’s dumbfounding. It’s like knowing 1+1=2 and they cannot grasp the concept even though they are the ones teaching the class. This is why I no longer have any respect. If they cannot grasp the evils of child sexual abuse then they cannot teach anything else.

  9. The grand juries resulted in zero indictments.

    How does that improve things?

  10. What harm does it do?

    In fact you’ve prayed more and snarked less you’d probably improve and the rest of us would be better off.

  11. Only actions matter now. No prayer, reflections or conferences.

  12. “If prayer worked, would such an assembly on the subject be necessary?”

    If prayer worked, why did Jesus died on the Cross?

    “I repeat what I have written before.”

    Ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

    “The abuse by the clergy and the cover-ups by the bishops seem to be systemic and systematic.”

    That explains the dozens of convictions for conspiracy.

    Wait, there aren’t any.

  13. “So, no more business as usual until they get their minds and hearts in the right place.”

    Except, of course, there is no way to determine if their minds and hearts are in the right place except by what they do, as Rembert Weakland and Theodore McCarrick demonstrated.

    “He really needs to loosen the reins on trying to make limited and fixed rules that apply all over this world on how bishops will interact with legal authorities in countries with vastly different cultures and legal apparatus.”

    The reins could hardly be looser.

    Canon Law does not specify precise legal steps required.

    “Or, even better, set up some sort of lay oversight board that reviews a bishops performance and then be sure there is some body, somewhere. that is actually held responsible for responding when a bishop fails.”

    You’ll never get over Call To Action, will you?

  14. There are actually so many OTHER things which need prayer more than this. Seriously, our Catholic hierarchy is mired in THIS? Can anybody call the real St. Peter and ask his opinion on this ditch his church has fallen into? Maybe get his suggestions on how to get his church back onto more important musings and public fare?

  15. Adding my proposed actions:

    Money and prayers wasted as the “vomit-inducing” pedophilia and cover-ups will simply hasten the decline of all religions as they finally go extinct from their own absurdity.. It is time to replace all religions with a few rules like “Do No Harm” and convert all houses of “worthless worship” to recreation facilities and parks.

  16. You underestimate both the heavy difficulty and the heavy division. Even the fact that SNAP is against Francis’s favorite guy Cupich is telling.

    Francis could personally arrest & jail 100 clergy tomorrow, but it won’t work.
    There’s nothing that will overcome the public hatred and bitterness. Even Francis is tarnished.

    There’s just too many millions, whether Chile, Ireland, or USA, who know they will never get closure & justice via human methods. Only God can stop the bleeding now. Prayer is the correct gig.

  17. The grand juries resulted in hundreds of unreported cases. How does that improve things?

  18. No, the Grand Juries handed down no indictments and led to no trials.

    “Cases” involve a reported or apprehended crime, a trial, and either a conviction or acquittal.

    What these political stunts actually were was Prosecutor’s reports on a Grand Jury that indicted no one.

    Prosecutors’ reports are invariably one-side.

    Prosecutors pick the witnesses they present to the Grand Jury.

    Defense lawyers are not allowed to appear with their clients, or to present witnesses they might contradict the prosecutor’s witnesses or arguments.

    Prosecutors are not required to provide exculpatory evidence, even if they are aware of it.

    Nor need they interview witnesses that might contradict their narrative.

    That is why it is generally considered unfair for prosecutors to issue “reports”.

    Normally prosecutors announce a subject has been indicted, or not, without further comment.

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court quashed sections on a number of individuals still alive because they had not had a chance to defend themselves.

  19. So, you’re doomed to continuing to be a snark and the rest of us are doomed to putting up with it.

  20. I never thought so concerning this denomination or any of the others in organized religion. It was my opinion that Christ’s church is the invisible, borderless, mystical sum of all the people whoever privately and personally asked Jesus to be a personal Savior. It does not have a hierarchy, any clergy, any buildings or any meetings. My reference to Peter is based on the belief and claim that he is the founder of what is now called The Catholic Church. But opinions vary, of course. We each can have one.

  21. I do hope you did not invest a great deal of time in composing that particular comment, Señor Vías de Tren Primario.

  22. It certainly stops gun violence. And wars. And your favorite villains.

  23. US bishops will…

    -> “focus on prayer and spiritual reflection and not on formulating policy” — also “Francis’ biggest concerns has been that the bishops experience a spiritual renewal…”

    Whew, glad the Bishops are taking bold action — Prayer! — We and especially the victims can all be sure that will effectively deal with the issue !!

  24. The fact that Cupich is running this event demonstrates that Rome is not serious about addressing the issue(s).

  25. Unfortunately, Jim’s is necessarily the same as Ben’s. Nothing at all. You might get a spoonful of cynicism, but as you can see, Atheists are **completely outta gas** on providing the tiniest solutions to this crisis. The Catholics themselves are way out front on even TRYING to engage it — the Atheists can only snipe from the sidelines.

    Especially in the prayer department. Francis seems to understand this, and hopefully the Bishops will really get into prayer — and NOT as a mere warm-up to yet another abuse confab. The healing of deep wounds and hurts of abused people — people whose names will never reach the media nor the cops — doesn’t take place by assorted committees, press conferences, politics, or even good law enforcement efforts. For true healing and cleansing of deeply buried wounds of the past or present, it’s Jesus or nobody. So the bishops need this prayer gig.

    But atheism can’t heal ANY abuse damage or tragedy. Gotta get Somebody who’s up for the task.

  26. As a matter of fact, I DO know of a couple guys whose lives were spared, unharmed, in Point-Blank-Range gun violence situations, through prayer. No joke. (But I’m sure the Atheist Guild isn’t interested in such things.) Anyway, dealing with the bishops’ prayer gig, I made a few general comments below.

  27. Wait, are they expecting god to tell them what to do, as if they don’t know?! Its like asking god if they should breath air. “Well lord, we think we maybe should breath, but how much and when?” The insanity! They’re going to hoodwink god. It takes an utter idio tto believe they are ‘praying’ and not plotting their ultimate future legal moves. This is becoming HILARIOUS! Sick satire. Just shows how detached they are from god, truth and reality. Their religious and political wickedness has become a plaque on the human species covering the entire planet!
    What can be more Evil than a global Institution of pedophilia and rape hiding under the cover of god?! Perhaps a nation claiming Christ while shipping an unmatched, mind boggling $70 Billion a year in weapons to every conflict of death on the planet? Satan is blushing. He had to move on to another planet, begging god not to send these deathmongering senators and excrement sucking priests to hell. It’s beyond ‘antichrist’ and ‘abominable’. They are a direct enemy of god. There is a lake of boiling excrement awaiting them.
    If hell wasn’t specifically designed for this depraved, godforsaken trash, there is no hell, you can do away with Religions and burn your holy books.

  28. That’s it Goat. Christ said, “God is a spirit”. The spirit of goodness, in all of it’s expressions. Whether it’s helping the old lady with her groceries, feeding the hungry, encouraging your kid, disciplining your kid, putting out the house fire, creating medicines, inventing things that uplift humanity, exposing evil… if it’s good, it’s of god. It’s what it means to be a part of the spirit of god, a vessel of god. That simple. Even good atheists will be in heaven. One does not have to believe in this god of Religion, just simply be a good person. If one doesn’t believe it, then try being an a**hole all your life and see how far you get.

  29. Christ had no compassion on them, for he angrily exposed these evil men, swearing at them, calling them ‘vipers’, ‘broods of vipers’, etc. Which is as low as he could go considering they believed satan was a snake in the garden of eden! It is the equivalent of calling these priests ‘evil, demonic trash’. He even addresses their praying while working evil! In fact, he was killed for exposing these wicked bastards, and breaking their ‘laws’… as were all the disciples and prophets.

  30. He Christ was down on priests, they were Hebrew Temple priests. A different lot.

  31. You’re a-ok with rampant clergy child sex abuse. How special.

  32. Oh, youre right, they weren’t a global Institution of pedophiles chronically raping children, destroying their souls… right, right, I forgot. My bad.

  33. The individuals you’re describing were not clergy.

  34. Oh, youre right, they weren’t a global Institution of pedophiles chronically raping children, destroying their souls… right, right, I forgot.
    My bad.

    After watching you wriggle with your words, fervently defending them for a few years now, I would bet $100 to a peanut you are one of them.

  35. Thank you for this morning’s Nothing Burger.

  36. Canis, there was study done in the 70’s. They took pedophiles and paired them up with churches. A few times a week, the pedophile would have coffee with one of the church members. The rate of recidivism for these people dropped dramatically

  37. You do better at Truthdig where the average IQ is closer to your own.

    I am right, they weren’t a global Institution of pedophiles
    chronically raping children, destroying their souls.

    The problems were discrete identifiable individuals, and where Canon Law was followed (e.g., Lincoln, Nebraska) they never got in the door.

  38. Yeah, praying will surely do a lot to address this problem….

    If prayer worked, no believer would ever have to go to the doctor.

  39. Give me your name and diocese, and I will rid Religious News Services of your defense of this depravity… and save a few kids in the process.

  40. By being silent and contemplating why you are angry in the first place.

  41. I also find it interesting that those who attack the church proper never seem to go after the individual committing the crimes.
    It’s almost as if by addressing the individual, they would by default have to acknowledge their own behavior.

  42. Pray do not presume to speak for me. As you have demonstrated many times over the years, your knowledge of what I think and feel and the reality of gay, atheist, or liberal lives could be buried in matchbox.

    My position has never been to do nothing at all. That would be the people who are advocating prayer, not me. It would be the people who want to put it into god’s hands, when god is part of the problem.. It would be the people who insist that this most Catholic problem is really a problem with men like me, men who also think that this Most Catholic Problem is horrifying, disgusting, and a product of the minds of the homosexual hating homosexuals and pedophiles that infest this church like maggots, happy to exorcise their own demons by pretending that I have them, too.

    I think that the perpetrators should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. As with murder, there should be no statute of limitations on this reprehensible behavior. I believe that the seal of the confessional is just a way for the church to maintain control over a situation, a situation which makes them look worse than they already do. The church should be required to pay for the therapy for those people molested by its representatives.

    This scandal is over 1000 years old, at the least.there is a reason for that.

  43. I wish “religion” was not in the process of losing the goodness part which you describe. It seemed to me as a kid in the mid-twentieth century that we were just then (finally) coming into that understanding. But, oops, in the latter 20th and early 21st, hard-liners dragged the whole thing back into serial lying on every subject, including the nature and purpose of its own source material. Organized Christianity in America today is a counter-productive mess. As best I can tell, Islam in Islamic places has suffered a similar deterioration back to hardline. All we ever needed or wanted from any of this was Be Truthful, Be Fair, Be Kind, no?

  44. Clergy child sex abuse doesn’t make you angry? That means you’re not normal.

  45. Connelly/Arnzen again defending the indefensible, aiding the coverups.

  46. BS. That does not match the established research regarding pedophilia.

  47. Re: “But atheism can’t heal ANY abuse damage or tragedy.” 

    Neither can Christianity … or any other religion. 

  48. My position on that is well documented here.
    I was speaking about your anger issues in general.

  49. WTF do you know about me? Mind your own business.

  50. Right, “being silent” is what you freaks prefer. God forbid we should speak out against clergy sex abuse and the sick culture which perpetuates it.

  51. We ALL think that ALL the Perps should get “Da Fullest Extent Of The Law.” No news there, though it’s good that you agree with it.

    But that outcome simply ain’t happening, plus there”s a lotta Victims and Perps and Abuse that will never be reported. Plus people are now scared to challenge the longstanding entrenched homosexual culture within the clergy. The whole thing is way too large for human efforts.

    So when desperate (but honest) folks turn to prayer, yet you atheists go on and diss prayer, should you not expect to be challenged?

  52. Clergy child sex abuse in the Catholic Church is anything but a “fantasy”, you goddamned pervert.

  53. “Plus people are now scared to challenge the longstanding entrenched homosexual culture within the clergy.”

    And this is what I said to precisely that point: “It would be the people who insist that this most Catholic problem is really a problem with men like me, men who also think that this Most Catholic Problem is horrifying, disgusting, and a product of the minds of the homosexual hating homosexuals and pedophiles that infest this church like maggots, happy to exorcise their own demons by pretending that I have them, too.”
    And as long as you and your fellow travelers can say things like that, the problem will continue.

  54. Re: “This scandal is over 1000 years old, at the least.there is a reason for that.” 

    Actually it’s a lot older than that! The canons of the Synod of Elvira, which took place in the first years of the 4th century CE, address clerical conduct (among other things), and imply that clergy had used their offices in order to extract sexual favors from congregants. (Again, among other abuses.) 

    Elvira didn’t deal specifically with pedophilia, to be sure, but sexual dalliances and activities by clergy was addressed. 

  55. Too little, too late…the Catholic Church is history, a few more dying breathes are all that remain. After that, a lot of burning to destroy
    the sins against 1000’s of innocent children.

  56. I remember reading something somewhere, but I didn’t save the link or the information, that the child abuse Scandal goes back at least 600 years before Saint Peter Damian. Maybe you know of it. I don’t think this was the one, but it might have been.

    I also wish I had saved the documents I read from the Lutheran Church in Germany at the time of the Holocaust. Basically, they Justified the Holocaust in words that would have been very suitable for Martin Luther himself. Unfortunately, at the time, I didn’t think to save it. I wish I had, because it was truly horrific. I’ve searched many times since then to try to find it, but I have not been able to.

  57. The astonishing Lord Jesus Christ”s historical miracles and healings notwithstanding, of course.

  58. No one said cured, although in the period they were with the church, recidivism was very low. That says more than you think Canis

  59. Miracles do not happen. Hume explained that a few centuries ago. Please try to keep up.

  60. Clergy child abuse in the Catholic Church is rare, has become rarer, and was the result of a clique of evildoers who formed a Fifth Column in the Church.

    Since you’re not a child, at least chronologically, not a member of the Catholic Church, and not “all there” it is no concern of yours.

  61. I can certainly confirm you post Nothing Burgers.

  62. Flagged – “Threatening content — posted directly threatening content”

  63. Re: “I also find it interesting that those who attack the church proper never seem to go after the individual committing the crimes.” 

    That’s not true. At all. In most cases of “priestly pedophilia” there are actually two crimes … the abuse itself, of course — which contrary to your assertion is never ignored; and then there’s the hierarch who either protected the abuser or had moved him around so he could abuse more kids. 

    As has been said many times … it’s not just the crime, it’s the cover-up. Richard Nixon found out about that, first-hand. There’s no reason the R.C. hierarchs shouldn’t also have to face the same music. 

    Unless, of course, your position is that the hierarchs are, somehow, above the law. 

  64. As long as you and your fellow travelers can say things like that, the problem will continue.

  65. No, the scandal is NOT over 1,000 years old.

    The seal of confession ensures that people will actually confess.

    Statutes of Limitations exist and have existed for thousands of years to ensure that justice is served.

  66. What about the sins of school teachers in the United States against millions of innocent children?

  67. It is certainly more effective than anything you’ve done or said.

  68. You wouldn’t know the established research on pedophilia if it danced by you wearing a sequined red dress, under flashing lights, clicking castanets, singing “Established research regarding pedophilia is here again!”

  69. If a hierarch committed a crime, you’ll point out all the indictments and convictions.

    With 5,500 bishop plus, that should be a piece of cake.

  70. I see you’re trying to introduce Humer into the discussion.

  71. The Church has NEVER claimed its members or clergy are sinless.

    To the contrary, it is a Pilgrim church, and not all will be saved, and the good and the evil commingle in this world, as your posts well demonstrate.

  72. My comment was directed to those on this board that often have much to say (negatively) about the church often in general terms; but fail (or choose) to ignore the crimes of the individual priests.
    My comment was specific to those that wish to isolate the pedophilia problem and ignore the homosexual problem; in which my original comment related to McCarrick and his assault on children and seminarians.
    For the record; I wish to purge ALL unholy priests, bishops and cardinals that have committed any crimes and who have been unfair to the church.

  73. Has prayer ever done anything besides make the praying person feel better? It’s embarrassing when, in the face of a calamity, anyone says, “I’ll pray about it” or “I’ll pray for you.” Uh, perhaps you should do something instead?

    It’s worse when you have well-educated people like these bishops. This is what they want to tell the public? It stopped being the time for prayer decades ago for the clergy abuse scandal.

  74. Re: “My comment was specific to those that wish to isolate the pedophilia problem and ignore the homosexual problem …” 

    It’s not a “homosexual problem.” As explained in the Pennsylvania grand jury report, “priestly pedophilia” is not about supposedly-gay priests molesting boys. Girls were molested, too, and the report explains that pregnancies resulted — and in at least a couple cases the abusing priests pressured victims into abortions. 

    What it is, is a “criminal problem.” It’s a problem of “criminal” priests abusing kids and seminarians, in part because the “criminal” hierarchs know they’ll have the assistance of “criminal” hierarchs covering up for them. 

    As I said, it’s about two separate crimes: Abuse by priests; and obstruction of justice by hierarchs. “Homosexuality” doesn’t figure into that … at all … no matter how vehemently you insist otherwise. 

  75. It’s true Damian wrote about that, in the 11th century, but he dealt with a variety of kinds of sexual dalliances by clergy (such as, priests getting married secretly, taking gay lovers, masturbation, etc.) and wasn’t just about pedophilia. But, the implication behind what he wrote (and presumably the reason he wrote his letter to the Pope about it) is that all of this had been going on for a long time and had even become an “expected” part of ecclesiastical life. So, based on that, it must have dated well before his time. 

  76. Yes, I get angry with sanctimonious a$$holes like you.

  77. Still is a problem for you.
    Let it go.
    2019 is a new beginning.

  78. Millions? Please support with some reliable study references. Face it, your RCC is going down in the flames of justice and 21st century reality.

  79. It was also in Chaucer and Boccaccio as well. No one seemed surprised. The piarist scandals of 400 years ago were more of the same. Edd Doerr has quoted several books written in Spanish on the same lengthy, historical subject. I think it has been a feature of the RCC for a long time, not a bug.

    A former seminarian said this: An all-male celibate priesthood encourages priests to view themselves as a separate tribe, people closer to God, men to be admired. It instills a sense of entitlement, reinforced by the admiration of parishioners.
    This status offers predators the perfect cover. And “alter Christi” makes the whole thing simply…hypocritical beyond words.

    And now we have The Usual Suspect showing up to explain how we all sin. You and I had a conversation a few months ago about this rather peculiar defense of the indefensible. There is no morality without religion, and yet, the religious seem to have no more morals- and in this case, spectacularly fewer— than people without religion. No morals without Natural lAw, yet no morals with it, either, even the ones calledto the priesthood by god himself.

    It’s a puzzlement.

  80. It not a homosexual problem, as has been explained to you more times than I can count. It’s a priestly problem, a male problem, a catholic problem, a criminal problem, an institutional problem. Stop trying to lay this problem at the feet of men like myself, and you might find a solution for it. Continue to tell the lie that it is a homosexual problem, in spite of the evidence and the slander, and the Problem Will Continue as it always has.

  81. They weren’t priests at all. They were teachers of the Law who mucked with the Law to make it easier to get along with the Romans, and did not practice what they preached in any case.

  82. You’re the problem. Maybe if you tried harder you wouldn’t be.

  83. I cause your anger?
    Come on…
    You’re angry in all your posts.

  84. Re: “An all-male celibate priesthood encourages priests to view themselves as a separate tribe, people closer to God, men to be admired.” 

    It’s not just “celibate” priesthoods that lead to pride. One of the problems in the early medieval Church that helped lead to the Cluniac reforms which, among other things, brought about an all-celibate clergy, were the antics of the “secular” priesthood, many of which — for a long time — weren’t celibate at all. They had wives, and sometimes took lovers, didn’t take their offices seriously, and (in the eyes of the monks of Cluny and elsewhere) were out-of-control libertines. Couple that with the fact that these secular clergy often were able to arrange for their sons to inherit their offices, and you can see why the Church might want to change that. 

    I point this out because the problem with the Church doesn’t lie just the celibacy requirement. It’s true this leads to a kind of “bachelors’ club” atmosphere, comprised of men whose loyalty is only to the Church itself and the brotherhood of priests (rather than to their families, etc.) but that in itself doesn’t explain a lot of this scandal. In particular it doesn’t explain why the hierarchs would be so eager to let abusive priests off the hook, and actively protect them, in the name of sparing the Church any hint of “scandal.” Think about it: That motivation exists independently of whether or not the priesthood is celibate. 

    Re: “And now we have The Usual Suspect showing up to explain how we all sin. You and I had a conversation a few months ago about this rather peculiar defense of the indefensible.” 

    Yes we did, because I’ve been vocal for a long time about the reprehensible nature of Christianity. The slogan “Chrishuns aren’t perfect, just forgiven” effectively grants them license to do anything they want, any time they want, to anyone or anything they want, and they can’t be held accountable for it. 

    Re: “There is no morality without religion, and yet, the religious seem to have no more morals- and in this case, spectacularly fewer— than people without religion.” 

    That’s right. Atheists (and other non-believers) are amoral, as Chrishuns see it, while Chrishuns are — somehow! — even though they pretty much never feel any need to, like, actually act more moral. Because after all, they’re not perfect, just forgiven. So hey, you have to cut the poor little things some slack. Right? 

    Re: “No morals without Natural lAw, yet no morals with it, either, even the ones calledto the priesthood by god himself.” 

    This whole thing reveals the intellectual bankruptcy of religions, and demolishes their credibility. After all, if a given religion is truly divine in origin, created by an omnipotent deity to make his/her/its creations better and more moral, it would stand to reason that, on average, people who adhere to it would, in fact, be better and more moral than those who don’t belong. That’s not what we see in the real world, however. If a religion can’t make its adherents better than they’d be without it, what good is it? And how “divine” can it really be? 

  85. I didn’t mean to imply that it was just the celibacy requirement, though I think that contributes to the “specialness“ of it all.

    The real question for me is why the Roman Catholic Church seems to attract so many homosexual hating homosexuals, so many pedophiles, so many people that are willing to cover up the crimes of so many other people. I do understand part of the mechanism for that, of course: the homosexual hating homosexuals and the pedophiles want the church to save them from themselves. In fact, in agreement with the usual suspect — I never thought I’d be saying that – I suspect that this problem stretches across a great many religious denominations. But it doesn’t explain everything.

    The Usual Suspect and his enablers want to claim that some bad apples got in somehow, despite the process of Discernment and the necessity of a vocation to become a priest. Of course this is just more of the same trying to shift the blame to the outside world rather than looking at what clearly is a most Catholic problem, one that has been there for 1000 years, at the very least.

  86. Even if that were true, which it isn’t, would it excuse your holy sex offenders and their pimps?

  87. Did I suggest that it would excuse anyone?

    No.

    Nor did I or anyone else suggest that offenders were “holy”.

    Nor is there any evidence of “pimps”, although McCarrick and Weakland’s admissions to ordination of homosexuals might be spun in that direction.

  88. Why even attempt to point your stinky finger at anyone else?

  89. Why do bother posting your anti-Catholic venom?

  90. Why not? I think I’ve earned the privilege.

  91. Yes, everyone knows you think you’re privileged.

    You had a bad time.

    The world owes you.

    The Church owes you.

    Everyone who belongs to the Church owes you.

    Etc., etc., etc..

  92. “I didn’t mean to imply that it was just the celibacy requirement, though I think that contributes to the ‘specialness’ of it all.”

    There is not any indication from the research that celibacy has any effect at all.

    “The real question for me is why the Roman Catholic Church seems to attract so many homosexual hating homosexuals, so many pedophiles, so many people that are willing to cover up the crimes of so many other people.”

    The real question is how you can post crap like that with a straight face.

    Just what constitutes “so many” in your fevered little pro-LGBT brain, and where did you find the statistic to support it?

    “The Usual Suspect and his enablers want to claim that some bad apples got in somehow, despite the process of Discernment and the necessity of a vocation to become a priest.”

    Jesus Christ selected 12 Apostles and got Judas Iscariot.

    As far as “trying to shift the blame”, you’ve been doing that non-stop trying to put a fig leaf over the fact that over 80% of the abuse involved homosexual behavior.

    Get a life and some facts to go with it.

  93. Re: “I didn’t mean to imply that it was just the celibacy requirement, though I think that contributes to the ‘specialness’ of it all.” 

    Maybe you don’t think that, but there are lots of folks who do think it’s all about celibacy, and if that policy were changed, “priestly pedophilia” would vanish in a second. It wouldn’t, unfortunately, work that way. 

    Re: “In fact, in agreement with the usual suspect — I never thought I’d be saying that – I suspect that this problem stretches across a great many religious denominations. But it doesn’t explain everything.” 

    Of course it crosses denominations! It crosses religions, too. I’ve said for years that it’s not just a Catholic problem. But Catholicism does work in ways that are unlike other religions/sects, and is much larger than any other single religious institution. In particular, its nature as an institution that crosses international borders homogeneously, definitely makes it very different. That, and its sheer size, makes it rather easy for hierarchs to shuffle accused priests around and keep them away from Johnny Law … for a while at least. 

    Re: “The Usual Suspect and his enablers want to claim that some bad apples got in somehow, despite the process of Discernment and the necessity of a vocation to become a priest.” 

    Yes, it’s interesting how, whenever a priest turns out to be a malcontent or rogue, the metaphysical luster of his “vocation” magically vanishes? Catholicism teaches that being a priest is a mystical, magical experience that one can’t just arbitrarily shoulder one’s way into. There’s praying (lots of it!) and the “discernment” you mentioned, among other things. If those things are divine in nature, why are they so prone to failure? One wonders why. 

    Re: “Of course this is just more of the same trying to shift the blame to the outside world rather than looking at what clearly is a most Catholic problem, one that has been there for 1000 years, at the very least.” 

    Well, yeah, and John Jay College sure helped those militant Catholic apologists by casting blame for it on “the sexual revolution” and on gays in the clergy. But all the investigations we’ve seen from around the world make a few things clear: First, boys weren’t the only victims of priests; and it dates to before “the sexual revolution” (I believe some of the reports out of Europe document abuses going back the 40s). 

    So they can trot out the John Jay Report — bought and paid for, I should note, by the American bishops — all they want, but the facts don’t align with its conclusions. They simply do not. 

  94. Then you’d cease commenting on it and move on with your life.

  95. Your entire spiel “… reveals the intellectual bankruptcy of (atheism), and demolishes (your) credibility.”

    Reading the exchange between you and BiO is like listening to a conversation between two ancient biddies clucking about how everyone else is defective.

  96. “Maybe you don’t think that, but there are lots of folks who do think
    it’s all about celibacy, and if that policy were changed, ‘priestly
    pedophilia’ would vanish in a second. It wouldn’t, unfortunately, work
    that way.”

    Indeed, there really ARE people who disregard the research and facts and believe what they want to believe.

    http://news.yahoo.com/quarter-americans-convinced-sun-revolves-around-earth-survey-062143342–abc-news-topstories.html

    Fortunately they, like you and BiO, are in the minority.

  97. Unlike yourself, he is operating with a positive number.

  98. I know that there are lots of people that think it is about the celibacy requirement, but that’s not how sexuality works. most people don’t abuse children just because they aren’t getting any from adults. Nor does it explain to the pervasiveness of the problem in the RCC, or the propensity towards child abuse, or the willingness to cover it all up. The attraction to the RCC of pedophiles and abusers, and the willingness to cover it all up, or institutional problems, as the last thousand years since peter Damian have shown conclusively.

    The wholee idea I have a vocation is God calling people to the priesthood. He seems to calling off a lot of bad people. It does no good to say that everyone sins, because I thoroughly believe that God seems to be capable of calling the right people to the priesthood – you know, the ones that don’t molest kids, The ones that keep their vows. And to see the discernment process fails as frequently as it apparently does his music to say that it doesn’t work at all.

    Casting the blame on the social aspects of the sexual revolution simply begs the entire question. The sexual revolution is the “go to “for people who wish to playing the bad behavior and other people, Amorphous things that of been going on for centuries, Just like blaming “the gays” for child molestation when it is clearly primarily a familial problem from the start, which also says that it is an access problem. I always like to point out the Boy Scouts, Which is had a similar problem for decades with Heterosexually married scoutmasters. It simply does no good to say that they are closet homosexualS, though it is concevenient to say so. All that that really says is that the problem is far more complex than the black-and-white solutions of the usual suspects.

  99. Re: “He seems to calling off a lot of bad people.” 

    If you listen to a lot of Chrishuns, you’ll hear that’s a feature, not a bug, in their religion. Everyone, you see, can be redeemed — no matter how vile. Isn’t that wonderful, knowing no matter how bad someone is, Christianity is there to make everything better? 

    I note, this leaves them wide open to scams such as those of Mike Warnke and Ergun Caner, among others. But hey, no problem … right? 

    Re: “It does no good to say that everyone sins, because I thoroughly believe that God seems to be capable of calling the right people to the priesthood – you know, the ones that don’t molest kids.” 

    The reason “it does no good to say that everyone sins,” is because it makes everyone the same. And everyone has done something (or more likely, many somethings!) they’re not proud of. Knowing everyone can be “redeeemed” and even “welcomed” by the community of believers is a comfort to them. So they embrace this wholeheartedly. 

    Regarding those priests who “keep their vows” … yes, indeed, the Church’s treatment of abusive clergy cheapens their own loyalty to their vows. But, this is the religion that gave us “the Prodigal Son.” No matter how far afield someone goes, everyone is precisely the same as everyone else. Being faithful to one’s vows is not an achievement to be rewarded — and again, that’s by design, it’s not a flaw in Christianity. 

    Re: “Casting the blame on the social aspects of the sexual revolution simply begs the entire question.” 

    Of course it does. It also implies people are helpless in the face of what happens societally. Note, one of the Church’s tropes is that abusive priests are actually victims — whether of “the sexual revolution,” or the Devil, or even the victims themselves. (Yes, more than once, Catholic apologists have claimed the victims compelled the poor put-upon little abusers to abuse them.) 

    Re: “All that that really says is that the problem is far more complex than the black-and-white solutions of the usual suspects.” 

    Yes it is. A number of elements contributed to this. One of these is the Church’s own propensity toward protecting abusers and shielding them from the consequences of their actions. It’s a well-known strategy that was faithfully followed by numerous hierarchs … diocesan bishops and preceptors of religious orders alike … around the world, for many decades at the very least (in all probability it goes back many centuries, possibly all the way back to the 4th century or even earlier). Someone who wants to prey on children can’t help but be aware of this, and wish to take advantage of it. The Church’s vast size, and these policies, practically incentivize malcontents wanting to become priests. This is undeniable. Yet … the Church petulantly refuses to admit it. 

  100. Sin leveling. It’s a get out of hell free card. It’s only purpose minimize the sins of the faithful while maximizing the sins of the people the former wish to condemn.

  101. Whenever you decide to cease commenting, then I may consider it.

  102. No, it is not “sin leveling”.

    It’s the rational response to allegations by anti-religionists like yourself that religious people are particularly evil, naughty, and otherwise as bad or worse than you are, which is itself “sin leveling”.

  103. “most people don’t abuse children just because they aren’t getting any from adults”

    And most men don’t try get some from other males. 80% of the abuse being discussed was male-on-male.

    There’s a message in that, a message you keep trying to bury.

    “And to see the discernment process fails as frequently as it apparently does his music to say that it doesn’t work at all.”

    With abuse rates at 2%=/-2%, the correct conclusion – even Captain Obvious would reach it – is that the discernment process works.

    That seems to support the conclusion that you spin the facts to grind your axes, something any fair and objective observer would conclude.

  104. You were emitting your anti-Catholic unproductive bloviations long before I got here.

    No, you’re an angry individual with an axe to grind, an anti-Catholic axe, and that’s the entire explanation.

  105. Oooo, someone’s having a girly hissy fit.

  106. Yes, and it provides instant ammunition to use against one’s opponents (“So what? After all, you’re a sinner!”) and simultaneously disarms them (“So what? After all, you’re a sinner!”). The message is precisely the same, the difference in outcome lies solely in the context and in the identity of whoever one is speaking to. 

  107. And the theological/dominionist/theocraticxintention advantage. Never forget those. 😬😜🤪

  108. What do you expect from people who believe in the wisdom of Solomon? How many who will read this will think that it is ok for a grown man to grab a baby by one leg with a sharp sword in the other hand and threaten to cut that baby in half to resolve a dispute between two women. Not only that but to have the arrogance to think that he could truly know what was going on in either of their minds and which one was truthful. That is what Christians think is wisdom, really.

  109. I don’t want to talk while Paul is here, for obvious reasons. Tuesday morning would work.
    B

    Ben Janken 510-482-9041

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