Gotta Luv Them Cat’lics Part II

I have to make a comment concerning the controversy surrounding the hiring by the Edwards campaign of two bloggers. First off, congrats to Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan for being selected. It is not only a testament to how good they and their excellent blogs are, it is great to have the blogs publically recognized as a valuable news and information source.

But blogs are not only sources of news, they are platforms for all of us to express our personal opinions as we see fit. The quotes in question are not directed at lay Catholics or their choice of faith. They are directed at the Catholic Church. If the church does not want to be criticized, it should stop doing so many stupid things that invite criticism.

The Catholic church has always treated women as second class and not worthy of anything except having more Catholic babies. It won’t allow them to hold positions in the priesthood and won’t allow them to make choices concerning their families. Thier position is archaic at best and so far out of the mainstream as to make them seem silly.

Instead of taking strong and immediate action against the pedophiles in their clergy, they cover up the problem, going so far as to just relocate known offenders to different parishes where they are free to molest a whole new group of innocent children. The list goes on.

So to you jerkoffs in the Catholic League, before you start throwing stones, clean up your church. Maybe the criticism will stop when there is nothing left to criticize.

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8 Comments on “Gotta Luv Them Cat’lics Part II”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    “The quotes in question are not directed at lay Catholics or their choice of faith. They are directed at the Catholic Church.”

    Actually, lay Catholics are the Church. So the quotes are directed at us lay Catholics. The fact that no Democrats are stepping up bodes poorly for the Democratic party regarding Catholics.

    “The Catholic church has always treated women as second class and not worthy of anything except having more Catholic babies. It won’t allow them to hold positions in the priesthood”

    You seem to lack any study of Church history. Women have been anything but second class for 2 millenia. The Catholic Church made women the equals of men and gave them new freedoms and priviledges that they never enjoyed. Its hard to tell were one is when one doesn’t know from whence one came.

    The fact that God did not create women as valid matter for ordination does not make women second class. God exalted women by choosing a woman to bear His son. No male priest ever comes close to that first class honor. Most of the incorruptibles are women:

    http://www.overcomeproblems.com/incorruptables.htm

    “Thier position is archaic at best and so far out of the mainstream as to make them seem silly.”

    Blessedly, yes. With God’s grace the Catholic Church will remain that way. The world doesn’t need one more permissive church, the world needs a moral Church.

    “Instead of taking strong and immediate action against the pedophiles in their clergy, they cover up the problem,”

    First, most priests (about 98%) were not involved. Second, in most cases, actions were swift and strong. A few priests and bishops were the problem. The Church has been cleaned up, mostly by lay Catholics and a new national training program established, which no other church in the US has since duplicated. Catholics are far beyond other Christian faiths in this matter.

    Also, the problem was not limited to just the Catholic Church, but the media attention largely was. The public never seemed to hear about the 838 Protestant ministers involved:

    http://www.reformation.com

    Then there are all the teachers. Have you written about them and called for action to clean up our public schools?

    “So to you jerkoffs in the Catholic League, before you start throwing stones, clean up your church. Maybe the criticism will stop when there is nothing left to criticize.”

    Catholics did clean up the Church, yet here on this blog we find criticism.

    God bless you…

    – Timothy

  2. expatbrian Says:

    Thanks for the comment. I must say, spoken like a truly brainwashed believer. “Most priests (98%) were not involved”. What a nice way to say that 2%, or literally hundreds and hundreds of not only priests, but higher clergy as well, were involved. Also, as with any other crime, those are only the ones who were caught.

    To say that the church took swift and immediate action is absolutely absurd. This problem has been covered up for at least decades. Your own bishops and cardinals have had to admit that they did just that. To blame this problem and its pervasiveness on the media is also absurd. And do you think the media is out to attack only the Catholics and no other protestant or other religion?
    That’s a good church line and, ofcourse your source for your argumeent is a religious website. But it just won’t hold water.
    This, and your arguement about the church giving equal status to women are not true just because the church says they are true. Their actions do not support the statement.
    It is not up to the Catholic church to “make women the equal of men”. For the church to make such a claim is the epitome of arrogance. WOMEN ARE FULLY EQUAL TO MEN. THEY DON’T NEED A CHURCH TO GIVE THEM THAT.

    Your last statement exposes the true weakness of this arguement. Have I written about the teachers? In other words, yes, you admit the problem exists but now try to justify it by saying other professionals do it to. Is that the best the church can teach you as an arguement?
    I have read many reports over the years of teachers making inappropriate advances to students or others. There is no secret there. But there is a difference, even in that.
    The church is supposed to be a sanctuary. A place where people can feel, indeed be, safe. And a priest, more than anyone else, is supposed to be a person you can trust, even with your life and your soul, when you can trust no one else. Priests know this. To willfully violate this trust, especially with children, and especially with male children, is so vile, so dirty, that ofcourse they should be immediately thrown out of the church and severely punished. But that did not happen. The church allowed it to continue, allowed offenders to move to new parishes for a fresh start (with a fresh batch of victims).
    Lastly, priests are supposed to be chaste. What is the churches bullshit excuse for them breaking THAT vow.
    Again, I do appreciate the comment, though I feel it is you that does not understand church history. I suggest you look to sources outside of the church to get a less biased view.
    I would also appreciate it if you would reveal yourself and not use the very convenient “anonomous” to post here.

  3. Timothy Says:

    Greetings! Just dropping by to follow up…

    “…spoken like a truly brainwashed believer”

    Ad hominum attack. Shoot the messenger. Always a popular tactic. Unfortunately, it also diminishes one credibility. What once held promise to be a civil discussion between minds is reduced to baseless name calling. Sigh…

    Most normal folk would shake the dust from their sandals at this point and leave. I’ll err on the side of charity and hear you out.

    “What a nice way to say that 2%, or literally hundreds and hundreds of not only priests, but higher clergy as well, were involved.”

    Correct. Many people are under the impression that a larger percentage or most Catholic priests were involved. Also, keep in mind that over 800 non-Catholic ministers were also involved. This is not a uniquely Catholic problem.

    “This problem has been covered up for at least decades. Your own bishops and cardinals have had to admit that they did just that.”

    Yes, some bishops covered this up. Many others did not. My own diocese has been blessed not to be part of this scandal. We’re talking a handful of bishops and not most bishops.

    “To blame this problem and its pervasiveness on the media is also absurd”

    Don’t believe I ever blamed either the problem or the pervasivness on the media. Just the distorted coverage.

    ” do you think the media is out to attack only the Catholics and no other protestant or other religion?”

    No, but I do believe that the media continually focuses on the Catholic Church because its a dull ‘dog bites man’ story regarding the other churches. Media is out to sell advertisements. Sensational sells. If it bleeds, it leads.

    “It is not up to the Catholic church to “make women the equal of men”. For the church to make such a claim is the epitome of arrogance. WOMEN ARE FULLY EQUAL TO MEN. THEY DON’T NEED A CHURCH TO GIVE THEM THAT.”

    I may be guilty of a poor choice of words. The Catholic Church ‘recognized’ women as peers of men at a time when ancient societies did not. While women were shunted to the back of synangogues or mosques, Catholic women worshipped side by side with men. Both Church and secular histories document this truth, among others.

    Also, when you make a statement like “The Catholic church has always treated women as second class and not worthy of anything except having more Catholic babies”, the burden of proof is on you and not me. You offered zero proof to backup your claim.

    My only burden was to disprove your absolute: “The Catholic church has always.” That I idid.

    “In other words, yes, you admit the problem exists but now try to justify it by saying other professionals do it to.”

    Nope. At no time did I ever seek to justify the problem. However, I do find your original statement to be a bit lopsided in that you only attack the Catholic Church and none of the other institutions who share the guilt and shame.

    “To willfully violate this trust, especially with children, and especially with male children, is so vile, so dirty, that ofcourse they should be immediately thrown out of the church and severely punished.”

    Agree on vile. Agree on punishment.

    Curious about “and especially with male children” after our agreement on males and females being equal. Why are you putting female children below male children? Why would abuse of male children be any worse than abuse of female children? You’re not treating female children as second class, are you?

    “Lastly, priests are supposed to be chaste. What is the churches bullshit excuse for them breaking THAT vow.”

    The Church need not answer or offer any excuse when a priest breaks a vow. That burden rests solely on the individual priest.

    You’d like to hold the Catholic Church responsible for many thinsg that the Church has no control over, such as, individual actions and inactions.

    To the extent that the Church, meaning myself and the other 1.2 billion Catholics, can, the Catholic Church has instituted reforms. I have yet to see similar reforms and precautions in other Christian churches.

    “I would also appreciate it if you would reveal yourself and not use the very convenient “anonomous” to post here.”

    I believe I left my name and was not anonymous.

    God bless…

    – Timothy

  4. expatbrian Says:

    Hi Timothy,
    Thank you for following up. I too may have chosen my words poorly..brainwashed believer. My intent was not to call you names. I am not a believer and sincerely believe that those who are have been brainwashed or “selectively educated”.

    Just so you know, I was baptized into the Methodist church as an infant, grew up in the church, changed to a pentacostal church in my teens and later, in the army, joined a congregational church where I was the scripture reader at every service and a member of the choir (alto). More recently, I have lived for several years in a population that is largely Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim. I have been around the block a bit when it comes to my exposure to various religions.

    My wife was Catholic who later, along with my children, joined the Mormon church (another story altogether). I was well into my 30’s when, after much study, travel and soul searching, came to believe that this was simply not true.

    Anyway, this particular post, as I said in the first paragraph, was about an attack by the Catholic League on the Edwards campaign because they hired two left leaning bloggers who had, in the past, criticized the Catholic church. That is why it is about catholics. If you scroll back thru my posts you will see that I am not too selective about who I criticize.

    I disagree that the media focuses on the Catholic church. They had a field day with the Jimmy Swaggart scandal, seem to keep thier ears open for the latest Pat Robertson gaffaw, and more recently gave plenty of column space to the Haggard fiasco.

    As far as the issue of women, is the only justification for the church not allowing women into the priesthood a biblical one? Not valid matter for ordination? Sorry, sounds like a bunch of crap to me and I invite other readers to comment on the description of women as “not valid matter”.

    I never said females were “below” males when refering to the incidents of child molestation. Those are your words. My point was, not only did these so called clergymen violate the faith and bodies of children, most (at least those who have come forward) were boys which makes the contact a homosexual one as well. Last time I heard, the Catholic church frowned upon homosexuality. I don’t think there is a substantial difference between the damage done to those children, male or female. I think a certain part of their life was destroyed by these “men of the cloth”.

    It is the Catholic church that ordains its priests and promotes them. I assume there is some type of screening process. If they are not responsible for the behaviour of these men they damn well should be responsible for taking swift and decisive action against them when they violate the trust and do so in every case. By the way, the law does not agree with that limit of responsibility. The accused priests are not paying the settlement amounts, the church is.

    I didn’t ask that you prove or disprove anything, nor do I think you have. Quoting scripture or church doctrine is no proof to me. Lastly, I understand that the church is struggling to attract new young men into the priesthood. What is your take on that? Do you think that, if it gets really critical they will lower the entry standards or eventually allow women in? Kinda like the “can’t eat meat on Friday thing?

    Again, enjoying the debate.

  5. Timothy Says:

    Greetings!

    First, thought I mention that the Bishop of Rome’s sermon today was on the status of women in the early church. You’ll find a synopsis, should you be interested, at Amy Wellborn’s Open Book blog:

    http://amywelborn.typepad.com/openbook/2007/02/discipleship.html

    On to the discussion in progress…

    “I have been around the block a bit when it comes to my exposure to various religions.”

    Your story reminds me of something that Augustine once wrote. He said that sometimes God allows us to “bottom out.” Perhaps God has allowed you wander to the point of “not a believer” as part of His perfect plan for you.

    “this particular post … was about an attack by the Catholic League on the Edwards campaign …That is why it is about catholics.”

    So, because a private US non-profit was fussing at at political organization, you’re hereby authorized to criticize a third-party not involved in the conflict? I see…

    “They had a field day with the Jimmy Swaggart scandal,… Pat Robertson gaffaw … Haggard fiasco”

    I wasn’t aware these folks had been accused of molesting minors.

    I did not say that the media only singles out the Catholic Church in regards to religious scandals.

    However, I did say the media’s coverage of the problem of ministers and teachers molesting minors was fairly lopsided in focusing almost exclusively on the Catholic Church.

    “…is the only justification for the church not allowing women into the priesthood a biblical one? Not valid matter for ordination? Sorry, sounds like a bunch of crap to me”

    That’s pretty much the problem. Had Jesus incarnated Himself as a woman or chosen just one woman as an Apostle, women’s ordination would be a moot point in the Catholic Church.

    As water is the only valid matter for baptism, and unleavened bread and wine the only valid matter for the Eucharist, male humans are the only valid matter for ordination.

    No one in the Catholic Church has the authority to change the doctrine. No one.

    Unless God chooses to deepen the Church’s understanding regarding the Sacrament of Holy Orders (ordination), the Catholic Church is stuck with an all male priesthood.

    “I assume there is some type of screening process.”

    Yes. However, there is no screening process that is 100% effective.

    “The accused priests are not paying the settlement amounts, the church is.”

    How would a priest pay when they have no salary? Priests are not hired. We, the lay Catholics, provide our priests with living quarters, food, a vehicle allowance, and a small personal allowance. Many Catholics priests are impoverished in their old age.

    The lawyers are using the concept of “deep pockets.” Anyone conected to a case with significant assests is named as a party to the suit.

    “Lastly, I understand that the church is struggling to attract new young men into the priesthood. What is your take on that? Do you think that, if it gets really critical they will lower the entry standards or eventually allow women in? Kinda like the “can’t eat meat on Friday thing?”

    Let’s take last things first. Abstaining from meat on Fridays is a discipline and not a doctrine. The Church can change disciplines, but can never change doctrines.

    Catholics are required to continue abstaining from meat during the Fridays of Lent, which start next Friday. Many Catholics continue abstaining from meat on non-Lenten Fridays. Abstaining from meat while fasting is from Daniel in the Old Testament. Early Christians moved the Jewish day of fasting to Fridays to set themselves apart.

    As for the priest shortage, that’s just another myth. While the numbers of priests in the USA are down from their peak in in the 1960’s, there is no shortage. Worldwide there are 4% more priests than in 1978. In fact, there are more priests per capita among the 5% Catholics in the US than in the other 95% of the Church. If anything, we should be exporting our priests overseas to Africa where the per capita atio is much higher. Here’s a good article on the situation:

    http://www.catholic-church.org/stjames/060312ltr.htm

    So, since nothing is critical, I don’t see any standards being lowered, but only increased due to the aforementioned scandal.

    Women priests? Nope. No one has any authority to ordain. No one.

    Married priests? We already have hundreds of those in the U.S. (Celibacy is a discipline, not a doctrine.) I see more married Protestestant ministers converting to Catholicism and being ordained as priests. Particularly, from the Anglican Church. 12 Anglican priests converted last year.

    “Again, enjoying the debate.”

    Me too. Other than your intial “rant” and the “brainwashed” thing, you’ve provided me some wonderful insight in how many non-Catholics perceive the Catholic Church.

    Similar to you, I drifted from actively practicing my faith. Unlike you, I read the early Church fathers (Irenaeus, Justin Martyr and Cyril of Jerusalem) and discovered that the Catholic Church really does has the fullness of truth. God really walked among us. God really established a visible Church for us. The Catholic Church really is the ancient Church established by Christ.

    If you ever change your mind regarding religion, I hope you might pop into a catholic Church and find out what the Church really teaches and practices. So far, most of your examples have lived their faith poorly.

    Best wishes for continued success…

    – Timothy

    ps – sorry about the earlier deletion. The first half of my post was repeated three times. Hard to detect that in these little comment boxes.

  6. expatbrian Says:

    Well, hello Timothy,
    I do appreciate the followup but know I can’t keep up this discussion forever.

    Obviously, I reject the idea of my being a non-believer being part of anyone’s plan except my own. We will agree to disagree.

    The Catholic League was doing more than fussing. They came out publically attacking Edwards and demanding that he fire these two newsbloggers. You choose to call them a private US non-profit. Thier name is Catholic League. If they are not supposed to be associated with the Catholic church, they should not be allowed to use the name.

    I don’t have to be authorized by anyone to write anything here about anybody. I call it like I see it and have every right to do so here.

    You’re “as water” analogy just seems silly to me. Kinda like if you find a watch in the forest, there must be a watchmaker, thus there has to be a God.

    It’s the next point that really peaks my interest:

    “Unless God chooses to deepen the Church’s understanding regarding the Sacrament of Holy Orders (ordination), the Catholic Church is stuck with an all male priesthood”.

    First, I guess that means that the church may not have an understanding of those sacrements yet…after all these years. Second, I will predict right now that the church, in the future, will indeed recieve that understanding because I am convinced that the church will have no choice but to ordain women. Let’s both wait and see.

    As far as the declining membership in the priesthood, I don’t know where you are getting your information but it is certainly inconsistent with various sources I have read over the last couple of days, prompted by this debate. I really am not going to take and trust statistics that come just from a catholic website. I think I will do a post on the issue in the future and I hope we can debate that specific issue more at that time.

    I am happy for you and others who have found peace and comfort in the church, any church. I do believe the church plays a crucial role in society and that is one of the elements of that role. I am not anti-church, Catholic or otherwise as long as they operate independently (outside of matters of state) and within a framework of charity and as a support system, spiritual and otherwise for their memberships. I am a sociologist and that view is widely shared within that community. The problems arise when the church or organizations that speak for the church (or are perceived to)move beyond those parameters.

    Regardless of what is written in religious scripture or is demanded by a churches doctrine, racism, sexism, homophobia and any violations of personal rights and freedoms, are not consistent with modern society.

  7. Timothy Says:

    Sorry for posting after your comments about not be able to sustain this discussion, however I thought this comment deserved an explanation, particularly as you are not Catholic.

    “Unless God chooses to deepen the Church’s understanding regarding the Sacrament of Holy Orders (ordination), the Catholic Church is stuck with an all male priesthood”.

    First, I guess that means that the church may not have an understanding of those sacrements yet…after all these years.”

    Yes, your take is correct.

    While the Church never has changed doctrine, the Church’s understanding of doctrine deepens. This is similar to discovering that matter is composed of atoms, then discovering atoms are composed of electrons and protons, and then sub-atomic particles. The underlying science hasn’t changed, but the understanding has increased in depth.


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