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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 1, 2010 8:18 PM. The previous post in this blog was Portland -- You'll come for the sewers.... The next post in this blog is OMG! Earl the Pearl putting in for money to buy buses!. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Wheels coming off the Catholic Church

Now the Archbishop of Portland is telling the priests (and by extension, their dwindling flock) not to buy the local newspaper because of its editorial stance on sex abuse of children by priests and the hiding of sex offenders by the church hierarchy. Even the infallible Pope has been implicated in the coverups and the enabling, but now somehow the archbishop sees fit to play the outraged victim.

This is the same fellow who told us that the Church was bankrupt, and spent eight figures on lawyers rather than pay the victims their due. And the same shell game is going on right now with the Jesuit order. "We don't own Jesuit High School. We don't own Gonzaga University." It would all be hysterically funny, if it weren't so profoundly depressing.

When I left the church, for the second time, a couple of years ago, it wasn't so much that I couldn't look past the hypocrisy of these men and focus on the sacred message. It was mostly about how tired I had become of handing money over. They never let up with the money pitch, and throwing away the envelopes was the best way I knew to call their attention to the fact that they were behaving like true scoundrels.

May the peace of Christ be with everybody on this holiest of nights on the liturgical calendar, but I'll meditate on what it means at home -- where my children are safe, money isn't everything, we face the truth about what we've done, and we make amends when we've hurt others.

Comments (15)

Well said Jack. Honestly, having represented one of the victims of Father Grammond several years ago(and having taken one of the most pathetic depositions from him in my many years of lawyering) my view is the only thing causing the Pope/Vatican to sound in on this issue is the tireless efforts of Jeff Anderson. I enlisted him as co-counsel on my case and he was a font of information into the skullduggery of the Church in burying the extreme misdeeds of the clergy and systematically transferring the bad eggs from station to unsuspecting station.

I seem to recall an aphorism about it not being a good idea to get into a pi**ing contest with a guy who buys ink by the barrel.

Like so many of his ilk, Vlazny is out of touch with reality and a fool

A friend complains that the church is planning to sell a church in the Valley started by migrant farm workers -- without so much as a by-your-leave from the church parish members ... gotta find the hush money somehow I guess.

Even worse to me is the horrendous treatment of the elder nuns, especially compared to the rather comfortable pastures the pedophile priests get sent to on the QT. Funny how the Mother of Christ is so revered but the Brides -- boy, do they ever get it coming and going.

Why ANYONE would still believe that these people and this organization are some sort of necessary gateway between lay people and heaven is completely beyond me.

Catholics, do yourself a huge favor, tell this organization to eat it, and check out some protestant churches. Want a secret from us outsiders? God doesn't really care how many times you cross your chest, or what you say in latin.

Sad but so very true.

There are usually at least two sides to a story. Regarding attacks on the Pope:

Cardinal Levada -- he ran the pedophile ring in Portland for a while, didn't he?

To make matters worse, check out the head of the Catholic League's response to the crisis by saying homosexuality, not pedophilia, is not the problem.

Also check out the news clip from Larry KIng. He is INDIGNANT when challenged on this point.

Run people, run as fast as you can from the Catholic church. Your version of God will forgive you.

A nice post. And that really is pretty poor editorial. I mean, the point it's pushing is that the church's requirement that priests be celibate is at the heart of the abuse scandals. Or, more precisely, it is suggesting that at least changing the policy could be the effective preventive measure against future abuses. Presumably people who who submit to a vow of celibacy inevitably succumb to the temptation to molest hundreds of boys. Which doesn't seem like a reasonable connection at all. But who knows. I guess we're to know that anybody on the Oregonian editorial board serving a protracted period of celibacy would cave and do exactly that.

The only fair complaint one can make about the editorial is that it is an argument poorly made: it introduces its main argument in the second to last paragraph, which is way lame. Honest rhetoric requires you make an assertion and then back it up. You don't give a recap of current events, pour in sentimental filler and then in closing introduce an unsupported idea on your way out the door. Hey, it might be correct, but the presentation is total BS and reason enough to cancel your subscription. As if anybody still even has a subscription.

Still, in weighing the church's abominable conduct with the paper's shallow and unsubstantiated criticisms and the archbishop's ill-considered and pigheaded outburst, it's clear that the church has some big, big problems. And in this world you have to evolve to survive. Happy Easter!

Cardinal Levada -- he ran the pedophile ring in Portland for a while, didn't he?

That brings up an interesting point: His appointment to office in Rome was a genuine concern at the time, because of the potential impact to the ongoing Portland investigations should he refuse to return to the US to cooporate with investigators. He agreed to return and cooporate if needed, but I've not heard a thing about this happening. Does anyone know?

I wondered if anyone else got the irony of Levada now occupying the post at the Vatican which is 'defending' the various activities of the Church of Rome in simply moving pedophiles around to offend again. Levada has been an arrogant apologist for the priests who are just "needing treatment" for a month or so before they were reassigned to prey on new children.

And now he is a Cardinal. Pardon me as a lifelong Catholic if I don't kiss his ring.

I didn't catch Vlazny's 'call' to cancel the O subscription (and how comforting that it didn't come from the pulpit, only as a suggestion). This is a terrible Holy Week dialogue - or on second thought - a necessary Holy Week dialogue - about who is the "christ" we should embrace now, outside of the politics of the church. Perhaps that is the Lenten and Easter message that should be embraced by the faithful. Certainly the Vlazny and Levada messages are political, financial and not spiritual. It makes me ashamed to be a Roman Catholic.

It does kill this 'mock' outrage at the press for reporting on the failings of the church. We went through this in Canada 20 years ago. If they had just fessed up then and dealt with it it would be different but it just keeps going on and on. I literally have no faith in the Catholic Church to do the right thing.

The whole line of logic that propounds the notion that these priests become pedophiles because of prolonged celibacy is way, way off point. Not that it makes things any better, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least if a large percentage of pedophile priests were molested by their own priests when they were younger. Many of those who abuse and molest children often have a history of it have been done to them when they were children. The dynamic of perpetual abuse may have been fostered by the Church with its cover-ups and secrecy.

It would make an interesting doctoral dissertation to study the dynamic of perpetual abuse within the Church, and it would be interesting to know how far back in Church history some of this can be traced. Perhaps it is incapable of being documented because the cover-ups and secrecy in the old days were far more effective than they have been in modern times because people really believed that their priest was a pipeline to heaven and didn't dare challenge things for fear of being cast into the pits of hell. Also the victims of the distant past are dead and there may be no paper trail.

Maybe this has been going on for centuries...who knows. If the Church really wants to clean up its act, and I highly doubt that it will, it would open up ALL of its archives so a scholarly analysis can be done in an effort to get at the root cause of this scourge so it can be better understood and hopefully eradicated forever.

I have always been thankful to the priest who refused to baptize me. It saved me from directly dealings with the RC church. The leardership of the church are hypocrites, liars, and CYA DBs of the worst kind.

As for those who offer outrage, it annoys the hell out of me that all the focus is on underage boys. There were underage girls who were abused too but no one seems to care so much about that.

And George, spot on comment about how the church treats retired nuns. The facility that used to exist for them in Portland is now something open to the public that the church makes money from.

When I was young, the church got a lot of unpaid labor (teaching in schools and nursing in hospitals and probably things I would not be aware of) from nuns and certainly owes them a decent old age.

Today the Vatican is doing its Wile E. Coyote impression -- off the deep end of the cliff, running in mid-air, about to plunge to the canyon floor:

Pope's preacher: Accusations akin to anti-Semitism


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