14
   

Officer, Arrest That Pope!

 
 
Pemerson
 
  2  
Reply Fri 16 Apr, 2010 11:08 am
@Philis,
Rome announced today "It's necessary to repent" over scandal.

In his most direct reference to his church's sexual abuse crisis, Pope Benedict XVI said that "under attack from the world, which has been telling us about our sins ... we realize that it's necessary to repent, in other words, recognize what is wrong in our lives."

The pope is just now seeing that? Well, well. There are countless rapists in jails today who have "repented." Doesn't absolve them of the crime. Anyhow, I don't really see any mass outcry from the people. The mountain groaned and produced a fart. Kids count!
Philis
 
  2  
Reply Fri 16 Apr, 2010 07:09 pm
@Pemerson,
Pemerson wrote:

Rome announced today "It's necessary to repent" over scandal.

The mountain groaned and produced a fart. Kids count!


That's it, "repent". This has been going on for decades so if this is all he has to say to soothe the masses, this is tooooo little tooo late. I can imagine that absoutley no private action was taken by the pope then regarding each individual priest who was found to be involved.
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Apr, 2010 07:20 pm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8642404.stm

Seems the UK are preparing quite a papal party before they arrest him.
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Apr, 2010 08:00 pm
@Eorl,
The problem is the Catholic Church can not "remove"a priest. They can excommunicate him and prevent him from representing the church, but they can not take away his priesthood. If they did, when did he stop becoming a priest ? Was he a priest in the first place ? What about the marriages and funerals he performed ? The church doesnt make a priest, that comes from God. The church assess him for the priesthood.

Tens of thousands of abused children is nothing compared to if priests could marry and divorces allowed the wives to walk away with church money. These abused children need to sue for some big time money.

A bishop has recently openly confessed to abusing children. If he is not a bishop, what about the priests he ordained ?
plainoldme
 
  2  
Reply Sat 24 Apr, 2010 09:05 pm
@Ionus,
What do you think defrocking is? While the priest's soul will always be marked with the sign of holy orders, he can be removed.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Apr, 2010 10:43 pm
@plainoldme,
Well, that's the deal, that you believe in holy orders. I've known a few people who left, but most of them retained faith.

It's hard for me, now totally not believing in all this to remember from my very believing self.

I figure the marriages were valid. I assume they had civil validation, but that depends on the country. In any case, I think chasing any of that down is a slog into the bog.
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 12:04 am
@plainoldme,
Quote:
What do you think defrocking is? While the priest's soul will always be marked with the sign of holy orders, he can be removed.
He can not be removed from his status as a priest. Defrocking is within the church community, he can not perform any of the functions of a priest but he is still a priest.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 12:29 am
@Ionus,
So, then, are you irish, ionus?
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 03:38 am
@ossobuco,
Quote:
So, then, are you irish, ionus?
Very old english family, third generation australian.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 09:44 am
@ossobuco,
I still remember the horrible bulletin board that greeted my second grade class on the first day of school. The classroom had two very large green chalkboards, one on the front of the class and the other on the left hand side as you entered. Each chalkboard was flanked by a pair of cork boards. On the lefthand, entryside of the room, the nun had decorated the bottom of the bulletin with leaping flames and had a dove for the Holy Ghost high above in the center. At the bottom of the board, were circles that represented the badges of sacraments received by the damned souls. Most badges had a "B" for baptism. Many also had a "C" for confirmation and an "M" for matrimony. One, which she narrated with great relish, also had an "HO (as I write this, I have a terrible urge to say it did not represent a model train scale, so I will!)" for Holy Orders.

She dramatically turned to the class and said, "Even priests can go to hell!"

That sounds like some of the things that have been written about how the fault of the church is its highly structured male only view of the world.
plainoldme
 
  2  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 09:45 am
@plainoldme,
The idea that something like that was considered appropriate for seven year olds still appalls me.
0 Replies
 
Pemerson
 
  3  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 05:21 pm
So, tell me former Catholics, what you think about this column, how does it make you feel?

A CHURCH MARY CAN LOVE, by Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times
Published on Austin American Statesman editorial page on Wed. , April 21.

I heard a joke the other day about a pious soul who dies, goes to heaven, and gains an audience with the Virgin Mary, she always appears in painings as a it sad, a it wistful: Is everything OK?

Mary reassures her visitor: "Oh, everything's great. No problems. It's just...it's just that we had always wanted a daughter."

That story comes to mind as the Vatican wrestles with the consequences of a patriarchal premodern mind-set, scandal, cover-up and the clumsiest self-defense since Watergate. That's what happens with old boys' clubs.

It wasn't inevitable that the Catholic Church would grow so addicted to male domination, celibacy and rigid hierarchies. Jesus himself focused on the needy rather than dogma, and went out of his way to engage women and treat them with respect.

The first-century church was inclusive and democratic, even including a proto-feminist wing and texts. The Gospel of Philip, a Gnostic text from the third century, declares of Mary Magdalene: She is the one the Savior loved more than all the disciples." Likewise, the Gospel of Mary (from the early second century) suggests that Jesus entrusted Mary Magdalene to instruct the disciples on his religious teachings.

St. Paul refers in Romans 16 to a first-century woman named Junia as prominent among the early apostles, and to a woman named Phoebe who served as a deacon. The Apostle Junia became a Christian before St. Paul did (chauvinist translators have sometimes rendered her name masculine, with no scholarly basis).

Yet over the ensuing centuies, the church reverted to strong patriachal attitudes, while also becoming increasingly uncomfortable with sexuality. The shift may have come with the move from house churches, where women were naturally accepted, to more public gatherings.

The upshot is that proto-feminist texts were not included when the Bible was compiled (and were mostly lost until modern times). Tertulian, an early Christian leader, denounced women as "the gateway to the devil, while a contemporary account reports that the great Origen of Alexanderia took his piety a step forther and castrated himself.

The Catholic Church still seems stuck today in that patriarchal rut. The same faith that was so pioneering that it had Junia as a female apostle way back in the first century can't even have a woman as the lowliest parish priest. Female deacons, permitted for centuries, are banned today.

But there's more to the picture than that. In my travels around the world, I encounter two Catholic Churches. One is the rigid all-male Vatican hierarchy that seems out of touch when Vatican hierarchy that seems out of touch when it bans condoms even among married couples where one partner is HIV-positive. To me at least, this church -- obsessed with dogma and rules and distracted from social justice - is a modern echo of the Pharisees whom Jesus criticized.

Yet there's another Catholic Church as well, one I admire intensely. This is the grass-roots Catholic Church that does far more good in the world than it ever gets credit for. This is the church that supports extraordinary aid organizations like Cathlic Relief Services and Caritas, saving lives every day, and that operates superb schools that provide needy children an escalator out of poverty. This is the church of the nuns and priests in Congo, toiling in obscurity to feed and educate children. This is the church of the Brazilian priest fighting AIDS who told me that if he were pope, he would build a condom factory in the Vatican to save lives.

This is the church of the Maryknoll Sisters in Central America and the Cabrini Sisters in Africa. There's a stereotype of nuns as stodgy Victorian traditionalists. I learned otherwise while hanging on for my life in a passenger seat as an American nun with a lead foot drove her jeep over ruts and through a creek in Switzerland to visit AIDS orphans. After a number of encounters like that, I've come to believe that the coolest people in the world may be nuns.

So when you read about the scandals, remember that the Vatican is not the same as the Catholic Church. Ordinary lepers, prostitutes and slum-dwellers may never see a cardinal, but they daily encounter a truly noble Catholic Church in the form of priests, nuns and lay workers toiling to make a difference.

It's high time for the Vatican to take inspiration from that sublime - even divine - side of the Catholic Church, from those church workers whose magnificence lies not in their vestments, but in their selflessness. They're enough to make the Virgin Mary Smile.

ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 05:32 pm
I had read it and agree with it, from my jaundiced perch far far away. But as Finn has harped on, only Catholics can fix the church and I don't myself think there could be enough stamina in whatever might turn out to be a reform movement to counter the very regressive policies of the last number of years, including the conservatism of many appointments made. I'd like to be wrong in that I (generally) agree with Kristof's points re the other face of the church.
Or to put that more temperately, I don't entirely disagree re that aspect.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2010 07:50 pm
i went to a woman's Catholic college where many of the nuns were cool. As I have said elsewhere, my Catholic church was the church of John XXIII and Vatican 2 and the Brothers Berrigan. Mine was the church of intellects who saw sophisticated films and were well read and enjoyed great music.

I left the Catholic church as a 15 year old and left for good as a 21 year old, out from under my parents' thumbs. I became a Quaker because of my social beliefs.

I like this article and I still see some of the church that the author likes. When my son and daughter-in-law were struggling as new parents, a new couple and college students, the local branch of Catholic charities came to see them and brought them food after they paid their electric bill. I still thank what remnant of God I believe in for that help.
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George
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 01:38 pm
@Pemerson,
Thank you
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Eorl
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 04:19 pm
I suppose which kind you are depends on wether you see the great evils in the world as women and sex or starvation and injustice. Sam Harris might argue that the latter more moderate form protects the pious tradionalist core. I imagine the majority of liberal Catholics would protect the catholic church foundation at all costs, and view their own exigesis as a slight variation of interpretation.
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