This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 23, 2007 7:41 PM. The previous post in this blog was Mark & Dave are still getting pounded. The next post in this blog is Welches con man -- now in Beaverton?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Grieved at their hardness of heart

I stopped going to church back in May. The despicable conduct of the Archdiocese of Portland in the child sex abuse scandals just got to be too much. Bankruptcy, jerking people around, holding back documents -- this is not the conduct of an organization that is truly sorry for the harm it has caused. Spare me the crocodile tears, but I can't give any more money to that. We're going to have to come up with some other way for our kids to learn about God.

Sometimes I wonder whether I've done the right thing by dropping out. But when I read garbage like this, I know that the divine Spirit is confirming for me that yes, of course I did.

The Catholic Church has been a sordid, international child sex abuse ring for years. Even if the priests have stopped having sex with young boys, the abuse continues. I'm glad I'm not bringing my kids in there any more.

Comments (14)

Jack, that certainly is a sad development -- pathetic, even -- but don't forget that the same Spirit also urged Christians to "not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another".

Hearing God's word and learning it are important, both for you and your children. Fellowship is good and right with other believers.

Maybe the Episcopalians.

BTW, I like the people in the parish I was part of. But if you're in there and not raising heck over the conduct of the top brass in the Chancery Office, you're part of the problem.

Jack, not sure if that last one was directed at me, but my people (the Lutherans) thought the Catholics were doing things wrong and left over 500 years ago. I'm afraid my opinions don't matter much to the Catholic hierarchy.

I gave up on Catholicism a long time ago. I miss it, even though the Church makes a lot of inexcusable ethical blunders. Despite missing the Church and its strangely alluring rituals, I don't regret leaving it.

Maybe someday the Church will wake up. I doubt that will happen in my lifetime.

I stopped going to church in the US a long time ago for different reasons. I will forever be grateful for an awesome Catholic education I had in HK when there were still plenty of priests, nuns and brothers teaching as well as practicing target practice with chalks and erasers. Of course there were also the occasion knock on the heads with the knuckles and the ear twisting exercises among other fun teaching methods.

My experience with the Catholic Churches and Catholic schools here in Oregon gave me the impression it is a very materialistic organization. It is so contrary to my experience with the real Franciscans and the Jesuits who taught me.

Many years ago, the priest who baptized me visited me here in Oregon. He reminded me that God is everywhere and so long as I believe and follow my faith, I will always be a Catholic. I hope you feel the same way.

My wife's mother was a Christian minister. She thought the Catholic Church was a cult.

Amy Berg was a journalist who investigated the LA scandal for four years before making a breathtaking documentary on the subject, Deliver Us From Evil. Required viewing for anybody wishing to educate themselves on the scope and mechanics of institutionalized abuse, not to mention the devastation inflicted on children—boys and girls—and their families.

As an aside, the film's trailer disappeared from circulation for some time as the MPAA and the film's distributor disapproved it for its overt references to child molestation. But it's now back up at www.deliverusfromevilthemovie.com and is a real work of art in and of itself.

And as a legal aside for those curious about who can be accused of conspiracy to cover up sexual abuse, it is interesting to note that, at the Vatican's request, President Bush has granted Pope Benedict XVI immunity from prosecution in the United States.

I left the Catholic Church when my wife and I wanted to get married in it, but they wanted her to get her marriage to a Catholic (she's not) annulled. It quickly became evident that we didn't have the "resources" to get the annulment. However, my coke-snorting, playboy ex-uncle got his because he's a banker. My aunt received her annulment in the mail without warning. I think she and her son were quite surprised the marriage never existed. My wife and I got married in a Lutheran Church more than 15 years ago and I'm very grateful for that final push the Catholics gave me to leave. If I hadn't left then, the same disgust you have for the pedophile ring they've become would be enough.

Then there's this creep.

Telecom, Bush can't grant "immunity from prosecution" (though perhaps he thinks he can). The DOJ dismissed a lawsuit against Ratzinger in 2005 because he was (that is, had become) head of state (of the Holy See). This would be true of any head of state.

The Amy Berg movie is excellent.

I would also recommend Jason Berry's two books, "Lead Us Not Into Temptation" and "Vows of Silence." Berry was/is a Catholic and an investigative journalist, and his first book (which came out in '92) should've been a bellwether for the entire Church.

Thank you. I was being deliberately coarse in my description. Heads of state do automatically have diplomatic immunity for the duration of their term in office, which in the Pope's case is the remainder of his life. The Vatican did not have to request immunity and the administration did not have to grant it. This was more a sort of political theatre: a public declaration that the case was not going to get anywhere and should be abandoned and ignored.
It is also worth pointing out that the suit was filed in 2004, before the cardinals elected Ratzinger Pope. There's no way to know just how worried the Vatican was about it, or if it played a role in Ratzinger's elevation, but the request for immunity following the election sure made it clear that it was not something they were ignoring.

Like living with our current President but staying with the country, I figure that almost anything is a trade off, which means (for me) it's less about the Archdioscese and more about the local congregation and priests (or pastors, depending on the denomination). I think it would be interesting to have a broader forum for people to discuss these kinds of conflicts, and talk about how they resolve them for themselves (who knows, maybe someone has found an easy answer).

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