Touched by the Pope

pope-benedict

Good news! Today the Pope will be issuing a letter that he hopes will help “repentance, healing and renewal” in regard to the hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of sexual abuse allegations against the Catholic Church.

In particular, M.C. Pope is responding to two relatively recent reports. The first, from four months ago, accused church leaders in Ireland of covering up decades of child sexual abuse by priests. Another, released last May, reported of the seemingly ceaseless sexual, physical and emotional abuse of children by priests and nuns in church-run schools.

And now—a letter.

I have many Catholic friends, so please don’t take this as an anti-religion or anti-God rant. It is, instead, an anti-Catholic Church rant.

A letter? A fucking letter!? Are you kidding me? Are you serious? Were he not The Pope (all bow), this guy would either be laughed off the international stage or—perhaps—arrested for being complicit in a major, major sexual abuse scandal. Seriously, how do we allow this stuff to fly?

And, equally important, when is the church going to wake up and realize how wrong the whole abstinence thing is? It’s sadly ironic–all this slamming of “the sinful, unnatural homosexual lifestyle” when the truly unnatural thing is expecting adult men and women to never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever respond to their sexual needs and desires and impulses. Hell, it’s the church itself that stands largely responsible for the horribly repressive way people live; the sex-is-bad-and-taboo-and-only-to-make-babies thought process that has helped corrode our culture. Truth be told, free sex is significantly more natural than no sex; masturbating is more liberating than a cold shower; admiring a beautiful body is better than admiring a beautiful painting.

I can’t say that priests molest kids because they’re sexually repressed, but … wait—scratch that. I do believe priests molest kids because they’re sexually repressed. And emotionally stunted. I have a very close friend who is an ex-priest; who was dragged off to the church at age 14 and told, “This is your future.” He missed out on proms and first kisses; making love in the back of a car (or the front) and the different levels of emotional and physical maturation that we all need to go through.

I love Catholics—I really do.

But the Pope and the Catholic Church—to hell with ’em.

To hell with ’em.

23 thoughts on “Touched by the Pope”

  1. Michael Brendan Dougherty

    Ignorant.

    Tell me. Do “free love” types start desiring children when they are going through a dry spell?

    No they don’t. If a friend’s wife were horribly injured and unable to “perform” would you hesitate letting your children visit his house – because he might try to bone them since his desires are so frustrated?

    And we’re all really thankful for this more liberated culture where kids grow up without a father because people decided that sex doesn’t imply some kind of responsibility.

  2. Michael Brendan Dougherty

    P.S. It was this pope who reopened the investigation into Fr. Maciel, and is doing the very unpopular thing of totally reorganizing one of the largest and most popular religious institutions within the Catholic Church: the Legion of Christ.

    Just because you ONLY heard about a letter, doesn’t mean that’s the only thing that happened.

  3. I wonder if our conservative friends like Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and friends will be as aggressive going after the Catholic church as they were in their fight against ACORN.

    I mean, a wrong is a wrong. Why should the Catholic church continue to be tax exempt when they are guilty of such crimes?

  4. one would think that being a hitler youth would exclude anyone from any position of power and leadership… imagine if obama was a member of hitlers youth… yet one can grow up to be a religious leader! god, somethings fucked up about that, dont you think?

  5. I have plenty of problems with this Pope and the church (and I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic High School and College), BUT the Hitler Youth thing is a below-the-belt cheap shot and hollow talking point.

    Yes he joined the Hitler Youth following his 14th birthday…as did every other German boy of “Aryan” blood as it was required by law.

  6. I don’t think he gets a free pass on the Nazi thing just because he was forced into it. The fact that his participation wasn’t voluntary doesn’t mean he wasn’t influenced by it. Not saying he was, but it’s something to consider.

  7. [8] as tempting as it is to give into the Rumsfeldian logic of “The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence” I’m comfortable with assuming that a 14 year old kid who was forcibly conscripted into a political organization under the threat of imprisonment or worse wasn’t exactly a true believer in that group’s views.

  8. No. He may have been baptized, but doesn’t automatically make him a Catholic. One has to go through a few more sacraments (First Communion, Confirmation) before one is a Catholic.

    Furthermore, one has free will if the Pope didn’t want to be Catholic, he didn’t have to be a Catholic.

    That wasn’t true in the Nazi regime. You were forced to join the Hitler Youth as a 14-year-old, no questions.

    So your argument equating the Catholic church to the Nazi party is pretty stupid.

  9. Hey Byron, I was just playing devil’s advocate and having a little fun. But to your first point, you join the Catholic church as soon as you are baptized. So be careful throwing around the word stupid.

  10. I don’t like the insinuation that not being married somehow turns a guy into a pervert. That is an ignorant argument.
    There are lots of married perverts. There are also lots of unmarried men that would never consider such a thing.

    The problem with the Catholic Church is incompetence.
    The people running the church are not qualified to run it according to the bible.
    The bible lays down the qualifications for those in charge of the church.
    Must be male.
    Married, not divorced. Widowed would be OK.
    Having raised obedient children.

    1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
    1 Timothy 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
    1 Timothy 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

    The term ‘Bishop’ means overseer. Those that look over the church. Be that Priest, Bishop, Cardinal, or Pope.
    The reason is very sound.
    Raising a family and dealing with the issues of family is the training ground, school, that makes church leaders qualified.

    1 Timothy 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

    These men running the church are not qualified to run it. When someone abuses they often told the guy, “don’t do that.” Or send the offender off somewhere else to offend again.
    One of the problems as I understand it is those that are abused as children often abuse when they grow older.
    The RCC hasn’t stamped it out and it continues to grow, it has become part of the institution.
    A good parent has good channels of communication.
    The Pope should have been aware, I suspect he was.

    1. wow. excellent post, though i question why men can only lead the church. whether it says so in the bible or not, just seems off. it’s pretty much fact that men screw things up much, much, much more often than women.

  11. Michael Brendan Dougherty

    To clarify, I don’t have too much confidence in the individuals running the Church at any one time. Though it shoudl be remembered that it has been much worse in the past: the Borgias, or Popes that used to rape pilgrims when they visited the Vatican.

    I’m reminded of Belloc’s description of the Church as “An institute run with such knavish imbecility that if it were not the work of God it would not last a fortnight.”

  12. Jeff there is a biblical reason women aren’t to lead the church but it is off topic.
    Some of my best supervisors have been women and it doesn’t appear the bible has a problem with women supervisors.
    At one time I worked for a married couple she was a MUCH better supervisor than he was.

  13. If the Catholic Church continues to require their priests to abstain from intimacy, then they might as well require their priests to be eunuchs because men will always think with the wrong head!

  14. “Hey Byron, I was just playing devil’s advocate and having a little fun. But to your first point, you join the Catholic church as soon as you are baptized.”

    You should probably tell the Baptists, Protestants, Mormons, etc. that they are really Catholics. I’m sure that they’d be really happy to know that.

    And if your idea of fun is comparing religion to Nazism. Then remind me to party with you.

    And I think that you misused “Devil’s Advocate”. To play devil’s advocate means to bring up another side of an argument that has some semblance of truth. Your argument does not have any truth to it.

    Simply because one person is baptized does not make one Catholic. Like I said, there are countless other sacraments to partake in order to become Catholic.

    That’s like saying once a baby is circumcised, he’s Jewish.

    Furthermore I wasn’t calling you stupid, I was calling your argument stupid. Which it is.

  15. As someone who lives in Ireland, I’ve heard quite a bit about this story. I’m both saddened at what has happened to these kids and enraged by how it was covered up.

    Here’s an article of about Cardinal Brady.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/8569399.stm

    In 1975, he heard the stories of abuse and was part of a meeting to ensure that the kids signed a vow of silence. The offending priest wasn’t reported to the police. He later abused dozens of children, years after the vow of silence. It’s revolting to read about how a child molester was allowed to go free. I don’t know how any of these people can live with themselves.

  16. Byron,

    “You should probably tell the Baptists, Protestants, Mormons, etc. that they are really Catholics. I’m sure that they’d be really happy to know that.”

    Yes, baptism qualifies one as a Christian. But it also qualifies you as a member of the Church you are in (at least for Catholics, anyway). Therefore, if you are baptized into the Catholic Church, you are Catholic…if you are baptized into the Lutheran Church, you are Lutheran, etc. Trust me, I’m a Catholic, and when I was 7 nobody said, ‘oh, he’s not Catholic yet because he hasn’t been confirmed or received communion.’

    “And if your idea of fun is comparing religion to Nazism. Then remind me to party with you.”

    My point was that the pope’s religion was not originally his choice any more than joining the Hitler Youth was.

    “Simply because one person is baptized does not make one Catholic. Like I said, there are countless other sacraments to partake in order to become Catholic.”

    Not true, unless by “countless”, you mean seven. Baptism, confession, communion, confirmation, matrimony, holy orders, and last rites are the seven sacraments. That’s it. If you’re Catholic, you should know this. If you’re not Catholic, you should do a little research first.

    “Furthermore I wasn’t calling you stupid, I was calling your argument stupid. Which it is.”

    I can accept that.

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