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Well, maybe a little fallible
February 18, 2014 4:38 PM   Subscribe

The Canadian government is taking the Catholic Church to court
posted by anothermug (31 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Like Method Man once said, "Cash rules every around me, C.R.E.A.M., get the money, dollar dollar bill, y'all."

It seems that the Church is more interested in protecting its bottom line than in helping the victims of its practices. That's not a religious institution; it's a corporation.
posted by reenum at 4:52 PM on February 18 [4 favorites]


You have to be pretty damn reprehensible as an organization to make the Harper Conservatives the good guys.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:56 PM on February 18 [32 favorites]


So the Catholic Church isn't a single entity when someone wants to sue them but it is a single entity when they want to sue to micromanage the medications that their employees need.
posted by bleep at 4:58 PM on February 18 [22 favorites]


Jeepers, how many bake sales did the United Church have to run?
posted by angerbot at 4:58 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


the Roman Catholic church – considered one of the richest organizations in the world – successfully argued that it was not “one entity” capable of being sued.

It's sickening that the catholic church cares more about limiting their liability, rather than helping people hurt in their name.
posted by Harpocrates at 5:07 PM on February 18 [2 favorites]


Shit just got real.
posted by mazola at 5:23 PM on February 18


It almost sounds like government is standing up for the little guy against the rich & powerful.

What am I missing?
posted by Salvor Hardin at 5:24 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


Well, I guess what I'm missing is that they're not really standing up against the Catholic Church - the Vatican got away scot free, and it's smaller less powerful organizations the government is pursuing. The system works after all.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 5:27 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


Jeepers, how many bake sales did the United Church have to run?

For their role in activities that met the UN's criteria for genocide? How many bake sales would be too many?
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 5:34 PM on February 18 [2 favorites]


Shit just got real.
posted by mazola at 1:23 AM on February 19


Well, that will make a change for Catholicism.
posted by Decani at 5:47 PM on February 18 [3 favorites]


“Under the agreement, the healing foundation has no standing to pursue its own receivables...But it’s like blood from a stone.”

Could be worse.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:52 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


To anyone else who might waste their time looking for a primary source like I did: this isn't an official announcement or, apparently, the start of anything new. There is nothing on any official site or media outlet about this. Apparently, the minister just made an offhand remark in a letter to an individual last month. I'm guessing the individual sent it to The Globe and Mail and they tried to make a story of it.

In case anyone else wants to look:

http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1335272517333/1373460690399?t=catholic&lang=eng&gcwu-srch-submit=Search

https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1356706270032/1356706322070

https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=ottowa+catholic&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8#q=ottawa+catholic&rls=en&tbm=nws

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Indian_residential_school_system

https://www.facebook.com/AANDCanada


posted by michaelh at 5:54 PM on February 18 [4 favorites]


For their role in activities that met the UN's criteria for genocide? How many bake sales would be too many?

Are we including pancake dinners?
posted by angerbot at 6:05 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


it’s like blood from a stone

You can't get blood from a stone because there's no blood in a stone. There is money in the Catholic Church.

Are we including pancake dinners?

Separating children from their families, holding them in inhumane conditions, physically abusing them for speaking their own languages... it's really not funny.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 6:27 PM on February 18 [7 favorites]


'Bout time somebody held the goodhearted christians accountable.
posted by BlueHorse at 7:16 PM on February 18


The Catholic powers are in no way "good hearted", as evidenced by the oh-so-many harmful things they have done and have permitted.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:16 PM on February 18


The Catholic Church actually professes to dictate what individual member congregations and even individual members can and cannot preach and believe and still qualify for membership. I have no idea how you can have a process of excommunication and then claim that you don't have any control over your membership. If those same churches had started marrying same-sex couples, you can bet the larger organization would have done something about it.

At least some denominations do have grounds to say that no, they don't really have that level of control and that member churches should be individually responsible, but the Catholics are definitely not one of them. The United Church actually had, I think, an argument they could have made about not having that level of authority--and yet they seem to have paid up.
posted by Sequence at 11:32 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


Wow, the complete lack of anything here but Catholic flavored, Canada absolving, button pushing is impressive. There is no substance to this article, this is the platonic form of linkbait.

But so long as we're all here,
anothermug: "Well, maybe a little fallible"
The doctrine of Papal Infallibility does not work this way. Repeating tired xenophobic bullshit is not criticism and a little research could have prevented you from coming off as an ignorant bigoted ass.
The linked article: "...the Roman Catholic church – considered one of the richest organizations in the world"

justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow: "There is money in the Catholic Church."
The Roman Catholic church is many things, but rich in an even vaguely liquid sense is not one of them. The church has been barely solvent for two generations now and hasn't really had money to throw around on anything like that scale for half a millennium.

Whatever is going on here with what seems to amount to standard receivables bickering is probably interesting, and may indeed have a lot to say about the state of the Catholic church in Canada, but the author clearly has no idea what that is and thus neither do we. Replacing whatever the story actually is, if there even is one, with whatever everyone would say in any thread vaguely related to the Catholic church is beneath us. Lets do better.
posted by Blasdelb at 2:15 AM on February 19 [4 favorites]


I'd hardly defend the Catholic church as a matter of habit, but it isn't really true that it's immensely wealthy in any meaningful sense. Sure, if you add up the market value of the land that their churches and other buildings are on you get a huge number but they need those churches to carry out their primary purpose as an organisation. Not just that, but this is by far the biggest organised religion in the world. On a per-Catholic basis, they don't really have that much money.

It's like saying that all the NHS trusts put together makes it one of the world's wealthiest. Technically true, but it's not like they could just sell all the hospitals and continue to operate.
posted by atrazine at 2:30 AM on February 19


  There is nothing on any official site or media outlet about this.

Now there is: CBC: Catholic Church withholding millions from victims, alleges government
posted by scruss at 3:32 AM on February 19


I have no idea how you can have a process of excommunication and then claim that you don't have any control over your membership.

I don't see why that's relevant. I've never heard of theological control being a factor in whether a corporate veil can be pierced or jurisdiction asserted.
posted by jpe at 4:30 AM on February 19


Sure, if you add up the market value of the land that their churches and other buildings are on you get a huge number but they need those churches to carry out their primary purpose as an organisation.

Did you not know that the Church owns huge amounts of property that it does not use for religious purposes? There's no way to tell just how much, but there are hints:

NYC Schools Can't Teach Sex Ed on Property Rented From Catholic Church

In total, the Catholic Church owns 20-percent of the total property in Italy, totaling an estimated 9 billion euros. This includes shipping ports, rental properties, and other commercial enterprises.

Preview: who owns the world?
#3 Pope Benedict (The Church) 177,000,000 acres

Etc.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:45 AM on February 19 [4 favorites]


The doctrine of Papal Infallibility does not work this way.

I know that. It was just a silly pun.
posted by anothermug at 4:46 AM on February 19


Sequence: "The Catholic Church actually professes to dictate what individual member congregations and even individual members can and cannot preach and believe and still qualify for membership. I have no idea how you can have a process of excommunication and then claim that you don't have any control over your membership. If those same churches had started marrying same-sex couples, you can bet the larger organization would have done something about it."
Regardless of whether for this purpose it is appropriate to consider the various Catholic organizations involved individually or together with the rest of the church, which is an awfully technical question of Canadian law, this is not what excommunication is for.

Despite popular perception, excommunication doesn't mean 'the most bad punishment', it is nothing more than a recognition that someone isn't Catholic anymore. It is a statement that what the excommunicant believes is not Catholic in some fundamental way and the relationship of the church to excommunicants is also not supposed to end, just change. Doing bad shit, no matter how bad, doesn't keep you from being Catholic, in a weird sense if anything it makes you more Catholic - the general consensus is that the church is not meant to be a museum of saints but a hospital for sinners.

What Catholics in Canada did with the support, supervision, and instruction of the Canadian government was, according to Catholic theology, sin and not the apostasy that excommunication addresses. Excommunication is totally irrelevant.
posted by Blasdelb at 4:52 AM on February 19


I have no idea how you can have a process of excommunication and then claim that you don't have any control over your membership.

There's two thousand years of precedent for what you can force catholics to do with the threat of excommunication. Cough up money to pay legal settlements isn't on the list.

NYC Schools Can't Teach Sex Ed on Property Rented From Catholic Church

These properties are usually rented from a parish which owns them owns them and not from the diocese. The diocese usually can't access the funds represented by the value of the property as it is part of the patrimony of the parish, which is a separate ecclesiastical person (the Canon Law equivalent of a corporation) and in New York State a seperate corporation under civil law. If the property is sold the money goes to the parish, not the diocese. Even if the parish is closed, the money is supposed to go to the parish into which the territory is merged and not the diocese. (That these rules are not always followed is currently a matter of litigation and threatened litigation in canonical courts. We'll be able to tell you the settled outcome in, oh, about two hundred years, given the time scale on which these things typically operate.)
posted by Jahaza at 5:40 AM on February 19


scruss: "Now there is: CBC: Catholic Church withholding millions from victims, alleges government"
OK, so if I've got this right, the half billion dollar Aboriginal Healing Foundation lost the ability to legally consider the various Catholic entities at the center of this collectively with the global church for the $29 million judgement according to Canadian law and, now that some combination of Holy Sisters of So and So's have run out of assets with $1.6 million left on the total, they want the us and the Canadian press to consider the global Catholic Church collectively responsible to shame them into it somehow. Leaving aside how categorically ineffective shame seems to be at producing positive effects within Catholic contexts, if the Catholic church's institutions aren't a collective entity for this purpose according to Canadian law why should we consider them as one in a moral context?

That the lawyers' fees, thus far, are such a high percentage of the total judgement to begin with, much less that they're still being contended, doesn't speak highly of any of the Foundation, the church, or their lawyers' commitments to Native rights. Those fees are not going to go down by fighting over them. This all seems like something Canadian lawyers, and perhaps better ones, should be figuring out for both parties - not us or the press repeating the same tired and irrelevant bullshit.
posted by Blasdelb at 5:47 AM on February 19


..if the Catholic church's institutions aren't a collective entity for this purpose according to Canadian law why should we consider them as one in a moral context

The catholic church most certainly does not consider the law the guiding light for morals (divorce, abortion, gayness, you think of it, it is likely both legal and immoral), and I rather doubt most people do either.

Law is not morality and, very thankfully, morality is not law.
posted by Bovine Love at 7:49 AM on February 19 [4 favorites]


The doctrine of Papal Infallibility does not work this way. Repeating tired xenophobic bullshit is not criticism and a little research could have prevented you from coming off as an ignorant bigoted ass.

You're pulling out "xenophobic" and "bigoted" in a conversation about white Catholics in Canada abusing aboriginals? Truly, some stupid pun about a Catholic doctrine is the real crime here.
posted by ODiV at 8:24 AM on February 19 [10 favorites]


The Church has no money, but the Vatican has been involved in at least two money-laundering schemes worth tens and hundreds of millions of dollars. Laundering is a cash business.

The Church has no hold over the diocese, but regularly shuffled the kiddy-fuckers into Vatican City to protect them from the law.

Roman Catholic apologists are just awful. Awful at arguing the innocence of the church, awful at morality, and awful at responsibility.

The undeniable fact is that Roman Catholic clergy abused children horrifically. The Roman Catholic power structure does everything it can to deny responsibility.

Fuck 'em. Expropriate their holdings to pay what they should be paying.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:26 AM on February 19 [4 favorites]


A Church So Poor It Has to Close Schools, Yet So Rich It Can Build a Palace
posted by homunculus at 11:23 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


Secrets of the Vatican: An inside look at the scandals that rocked Benedict’s papacy -- and the extraordinary challenges facing Pope Francis as he tries to reform.
posted by homunculus at 9:37 PM on February 25


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