Abuse is not an opportunity for redemption

The aspect I find the most disturbing of the Catholic faith (and there are many things, let me assure you) is their singular obsession with sin. Since Jesus is supposedly commissioned with forgiving us and, in ritual consumption of his flesh and blood, absorb these supposed sins, it’s a cottage industry of suffering and redemption.

Their obsession with salvation is like a giant set of blinders that makes even the most well-meaning priest unable to see the very corruption and villainy of his own institution. In some cases, the need to defend this organization stretches the limits of imagination, and more particularly, sanity. The National Post (perhaps my least favorite Canadian newspaper) has a resident man of the cloth, Father Raymond D’Souza, that they call upon every once in a while to try and explain away the ludicrous actions and behavior of the world’s single biggest religious organization. As you would expect, it’s a bunch of apologetic nonsense:

Aside from the sins themselves, the principal failing of the scandals is that those who should have been seized with moral outrage reacted instead as bureaucratic managers seeking damage control. The Lord Jesus willed the Church to be governed by bishops, not bureaucrats.

So is “bureaucracy” his way of explaining away the rape of children and the subsequent cover-up of this “boy’s club”? I can assure you in even the most corrupt non-religious organization, it’s doubtful anyone would knowingly protect known child molesters (can you imagine any major corporation surviving such a scandal?). Even in fucking prisons (a place bustling in “sin”), it’s understood child molesters need to be kept separate from the general population, otherwise there’s a chance their stay might be “cut” a little short. But wait, it gets better:

If the Church should be the place where more cases are exposed rather than fewer, that is for the good, for there is the possibility of grace and healing. Consequently, if the Church as a whole feels the pain of shame and disgrace, that can be an expiatory suffering for a sexually dissolute and depraved age. Expiatory suffering is, amongst other salvific things, what the Church exists for.

Let me tell you something: there is no amount of shame or pain the Church can feel that will ever fucking compare to what a child victimized by rape has to go through, not even by a long shot. Even if all guilty individuals were exposed and prosecuted to the full extent of the law, it does not change the fact the Catholic Church systematically protected these men and sheltered them from their crimes. If anything, these scandals have highlighted the fact they have lost all of their supposed ability to redeem anyone of sin. How dare D’Souza call this world “depraved” and sexually dissolute when these are problems in his own Church rather than society at large? The rest of us are not so morally blind as to shelter and protect those who would harm innocent children. So far I find the only thing depraved here is the indifference the author has over the fact that the very institution he is trying to defend is so corrupt as to be unable (and unwilling) to punish known child rapists. How much more scandal do believers need before they shake off their delusional bubble and finally say “enough is enough”?

(props to James for the link)

Comments (7)

  • avatar

    ati

    Without trying to make it look as a separate blog-post, there is a Major thing I want to share here.

    It might seem a bit awkward, but I will argue that this whole situation fits the archetypical Genesis story of the Fall.

    First of all, the ancient story: Adam and Eve were in the Paradise. Then they eat the forbidden fruit. They “were tempted by Satan”. Satan has tempted Eve and Eve has tempted Adam. Then they realised their imperfection and they were ashamed. God has asked them, what happened? Adam’s said, it was Eve’s fault. Eve’s said, it was the Satan, who’s tempted her. The result: all three of them are struck by a curse, they are to leave Paradise and earn their living by hard work.

    The parallel: In the present, the RC Church is very ashamed that some of its priests had abused children. (This would be the forbidden fruit) Also, it is struck by its own imperfection and starts to hide because of the shame (it has a reason why did they cover up the facts ‘de facto’ and why they did not hide it ‘de iure’…). The victims and the secular world asks it: what happened? However, besides feeling ashamed (like this would be enough), the head of the church doesn’t assume responsibility, others accuse Satan, saying that the whole reason this is happening is that Satan is waging a war against the “Holy” See and the Church of “God”.

    The new story fits almost completely the archetypical story, the only difference being that at the end of the Genesis story they all have to leave Paradise. This is the only scene left. They have to give up their privileges of being “the favourites of God”, and work for their daily income as everybody else.

    Hope it wasn’t too preachy, if it was, forgive me.

  • avatar

    CybrgnX

    Not only did the church cover up what happened to a few kids, it made it possible for the pedophiles to get new victims. Isn’t that aiding and abetting the criminal and also illegal???

  • avatar

    Shamrock

    The catholic priests and their hierarchy acted exactly as they have been trained to and as they have sworn to.

    They swear to uphold and protect mother church above all else – in other words protecting the church is _by their own law_ more important than protecting innocent children.

  • avatar

    Andries

    I’m not an antiest. Actually I’m a christian ,protastant, and no matter how many times I read posts on this site I just don’t get offended or angry or . . .anything really. Understand that human nature causes us to try to gain power any way we can. I have right to apologize for the men that claim to be men of God only to do things like this but I’ll say it anyway I’m sorry that because of hypocrites you don’t believe in a God anymore and I’m not going to get into all that salvation speech ,though eventually I hope you’ll open yourselves to listen to it. I don’t know why your athiest and its not my buisness to ask(mabye you just find us blind stupid and weak, mabye you were betrayed by the very community you trusted) but please try to understand: God will accept anyone who comes to him.

    One last thing since I know athiests are fairly reasnobly may I point out that if you guys are right then 96% of the world is blind.

  • avatar

    Andries

    One more thing Shamrock your right about the priests why do think the reformation happened in the first place?

    Anyone who dares call them selves a christian in this day and age should take responsibility for what they did.

  • avatar

    Jim

    Andries…

    Can you try to speak a little more comprehensibly? I’m struggling to understand you.

    What I think I got out of that is that you don’t understand why people are atheist, but that it might be because they themselves were betrayed by a church? There are FAR more logical reasons to question the existence of god than just one (the fact that a large number of paedophilic priests have been caught kiddy-fiddling).

    But that’s neither here nor there. I wouldn’t describe myself as atheist, it’s impossible to even logically consider the question of existence of an intangible thing as something you will ever be able to ascertain.

    People like you believe in god because you get “feeling” from god. You “feel” comfort, safety, even (often subconscious) superiority over those who don’t believe, which can manifest itself as arrogance, sympathy, pity, or simply an urge to help. All are misguided. You might have started believing in god simply because the concept provides comforting answers, about death, about life, about tragedy, about the suffering you feel… All of it has meaning if there’s a god.

    Essentially the only reason people like you believe in god is that you are at the mercy of your irrational self-contained emotions. They overpower your sense of reason and logic because belief provides you with answers you can never logically have. You are seduced by your own deluded mind.

    So one of the main reasons i don’t believe in god is because i don’t want to be one of the people like you. I want to see the world without a mask of illusion. Does that answer your question?

  • avatar

    Jon

    I’m with Jim (re: Andries)… I think you’ll find that most Atheists (at least the ones who self-indentify as skeptics or rationalists) don’t believe in God (or any religious or supernatural claims) for precisely the same reason I’d imagine that you don’t believe in Leprechauns or the Abominable Snowman: lack of evidence.

    Bear in mind, the burden of proof isn’t on us to say why we DON’T believe… it’s on the claimant (the religious) to provide sufficient evidence to show that their God or Gods do indeed exist. Thusfar, no religion has met that burden of proof.

    That said (and bear in mind, I can only speak for myself here), most Atheists don’t think other people are necessarily *stupid* for their beliefs… and therein lies the peril of religion. It’s a delusion that even the best and brightest can fall for under the right (or wrong) circumstances.

    Anyways, kudos to you for actually coming to a site like this and exposing yourself to other points of view… that’s something many religious people wouldn’t even think of doing, so give yourself a pat on the back for that much!

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