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Did the Vatican just equate ordaining women with molesting children?
July 16, 2010 7:57 AM   Subscribe

Did the Vatican just equate ordaining women with molesting children? Sure sounds like it to a handful of women priests. The church is backpedaling a bit today, but not very hard.
posted by willpie (129 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Revised Catholic rules put female ordination in same category of crime under church law as clerical sex abuse of minors

Meaning they are totally OK with it?
posted by DU at 7:59 AM on July 16, 2010 [51 favorites]


Meaning they are totally OK with it?

Or that there has been a systematic cover-up of its existence for years....

Pope Joan, represent!
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:01 AM on July 16, 2010 [30 favorites]


No comparison. Molesting children is a forgivable error, ordaining women is sacrilege.
posted by Phanx at 8:02 AM on July 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


Can' they simply re-assign the women priest to other parishes?
posted by yeti at 8:05 AM on July 16, 2010 [20 favorites]


*sigh* someone get the vatican a foot - they've opened their mouth again.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 8:08 AM on July 16, 2010


What, the Vatican out of touch with reality? Anyone surprised by this, raise your hand.
posted by Melismata at 8:10 AM on July 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


.
posted by ob at 8:10 AM on July 16, 2010


How surprising for such a feminist religion.
posted by mippy at 8:10 AM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


You'd think an all powerful diety could afford a decent PR firm.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:10 AM on July 16, 2010 [22 favorites]


My wife says penises function as prayer antennae, thus making men more spiritual than women.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:12 AM on July 16, 2010 [44 favorites]


Someone needs to stampede some cattle through that place.
posted by bondcliff at 8:12 AM on July 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


The church is backpedaling a bit today, but not very hard

They don't have to - the Roman Catholic Church rides a very old fixie.

With no brakes.
posted by CynicalKnight at 8:12 AM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Christ: what an asshole.
posted by TrialByMedia at 8:16 AM on July 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


My wife says penises function as prayer antennae, thus making men more spiritual than women.

Just make sure you don't hold one with a "death grip," as you'll possibly drop the call.
posted by ericb at 8:16 AM on July 16, 2010 [18 favorites]


You'd think an all powerful diety could afford a decent PR firm.

He's constantly broke. That's why his people are always asking for money.
posted by educatedslacker at 8:17 AM on July 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


> Revised Catholic rules...

I just finished reading Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination With The Afterlife, and I was surprised by how often Catholic rules get revised God seems to change his mind about things, especially things that make the Church look bad in light of changing cultural mores. Maybe one of these centuries s/he'll change his/her mind about female priests.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:18 AM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


same category as clerical sex abuse of minors, heresy and schism.

Schism? Seriously? Isn't that kind of like trying to make suicide illegal? (Note: In most places, it's attempted suicide that carries the penalty) Once you've left their world, it's not like you'd care much what they thought of you. They left for a reason, nyet?
posted by LD Feral at 8:18 AM on July 16, 2010


The Vatican is plumbing new depths of stupid...
posted by djgh at 8:20 AM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wrote the Pope a letter, said the Catholic church should bring back Indulgences. 10 months later they did! Sorry guys, next time I'll ask about the women as priests thing.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:22 AM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


According to Catholic teachings, divorcing and remarrying is a graver sin than killing your spouse and remarrying. Murder is a discrete sin that can be forgiven while remarriage after an unsanctioned divorce is equivalent to bigamy, and is an ongoing sin.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:22 AM on July 16, 2010 [9 favorites]


I'm not religious, even a little, and don't live in a very Catholic area, but how much do modern American catholics care about something like this?
posted by codacorolla at 8:26 AM on July 16, 2010


And some people wonder why I'm an atheist...
posted by jgaiser at 8:26 AM on July 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Murder is a discrete sin that can be forgiven while remarriage after an unsanctioned divorce is equivalent to bigamy, and is an ongoing sin.

I wonder if the Catholic Church would be willing to annul murder.
posted by DU at 8:29 AM on July 16, 2010


My wife says penises function as prayer antennae

Catholic Church: just don't hold it like that, then
posted by shinybaum at 8:29 AM on July 16, 2010 [13 favorites]


I'm not religious, even a little, and don't live in a very Catholic area, but how much do modern American catholics care about something like this?

Wait, do you mean how much do they care about ordained women priests likened to child molestation? Or how much do they care about women being ordained as priests?
posted by elizardbits at 8:30 AM on July 16, 2010


As seems to be usual, the Daily Mash skewers this story.

Outlining the latest sin formulas, the Pope said that child violation equalled three parking tickets or two consecutive weeks of putting paper and plastic in the same recycling bag
posted by seanyboy at 8:31 AM on July 16, 2010


I can't really bring myself to be outraged or even offended by the Vatican anymore. Every article I read results in an exasperated sigh.
posted by almostmanda at 8:31 AM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Either one, I guess. I would assume there's a spectrum of liberal to conservative Catholics, and I was just wondering how some official missive from the Vatican would affect the different sides.
posted by codacorolla at 8:32 AM on July 16, 2010


It's interesting that these two issues are getting mentioned in the same breath; in a sense they both show how dramatically and pathetically behind the times the Church is when it comes to social mores. Of course they need to step up their condemnation of pedophilia, but through some twisted logic this can only happen if they simultaneously take a step backward (or just march in place, really) with respect to women's ordination, reaffirming that what God wants is sexless male priests, equal emphasis on both. It seems like a kind of branding strategy on their part to constantly tread the line between being not-completely-unacceptably-backward and being the last-bastion-of-social-conservatism. As the Anglican church moves one way, they're forced to move another. Fascinating to watch, but of course a few hundred years from now it'll turn out that God didn't really care about the male priests thing the whole time, and we'll be on to something else.
posted by albrecht at 8:32 AM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


> 10 months later they did!:

"It faded away with a lot of things in the church,” said Bishop DiMarzio. “But it was never given up. It was always there. We just want to people to return to the ideas they used to know."


If they really want to go old school they should double down and re-condemn Copernicus and Galileo as heretics.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:34 AM on July 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Anyone out there with some lawyery type experience, can you answer this:

In Canada, could a case be made against the Catholic Church that this law violates a woman's charter rights and cannot apply in Canada? Or would freedom of religion trumpt that ruling?

Along those lines, could a woman take the Catholic Church in front of a Human Rights Tribunal (as ill advised as those bodies of 'law' are)?

I just thought (hoped) maybe we had set up our country to not allow backwards ideas like this.
posted by dogbusonline at 8:34 AM on July 16, 2010


In related news, the right to speak and not be silenced by the State is on equal standing with the State not being able to put soldiers in your house as tenants in a time of peace.

At least in the US.

FASCISTS!!!
posted by Dagobert at 8:35 AM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]



Religion is like a house of cards, each card one of it's many rules / beliefs. Pull out one card and the whole thing tumbles down. Hence the reluctance to change. Most change that does occur is either to reinforce the rickety house of cards, or to introduce a new card that doesn't contradict any other card.
posted by njohnson23 at 8:36 AM on July 16, 2010


I don't think the average Catholic really cares. The second link in the FPP talks about a protest by five women.

Catholics I know aren't interested in changing the Church. The Church is what it is and always has been, at least within their lifetimes.

If you are a Christian and want your Church to do this or do that, you're better off considering changing to another denomination. If you are a woman and want to become a priest then become an Anglican, for example.
posted by vacapinta at 8:37 AM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


My wife says penises function as prayer antennae

Catholic Church: just don't hold it like that, then


The hell I won't.
posted by grubi at 8:38 AM on July 16, 2010


This story was shocking. No, not because the vatican said something stupid, but I had no idea there were already women priests.

I'm probably not understanding their background, being raised non-religious an all, but why wouldn't they choose a more female-clergy friendly religion? Isn't that kind of like joining a Defend the Family group as a gay man?
posted by fontophilic at 8:38 AM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jesus wept.
posted by General Tonic at 8:39 AM on July 16, 2010


The AP article I read reported that The Church attacked child abuse, female priests, and also, "for the first time heresy, apostasy and schism." For the first time? Really? This is one of those theo-legalistic parts of Catholic doctrine I will never understand. A Monisignor Scicluna goes on to clarify that "attempted ordination of women" and child abuse are both grave wounds to the Catholic faith, but "on different levels."

But, as far as reading the headlines goes, child abuse and woman priests are formally announced, together, as BAD. So, The Church comes across as one of those asshats who equate homosexuality with bestiality or incest.
posted by kozad at 8:43 AM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm probably not understanding their background, being raised non-religious an all, but why wouldn't they choose a more female-clergy friendly religion? Isn't that kind of like joining a Defend the Family group as a gay man?

Well, assuming you meant religion when you said religion, that's sort of like saying 'Why don't they just have a different favorite flavor of ice cream, if that one's so expensive?' Changing religions isn't really a simple act of will or function of consumer choice. There are a lot more levels and nuance and considerations like community, family, personal beliefs, aesthetic preferences, etc.

If you meant denomination when you said religion, same story, but significantly easier (you still get to believe in the same god, at least).
posted by shakespeherian at 8:45 AM on July 16, 2010


Religion is like a house of cards, each card one of it's many rules / beliefs. Pull out one card and the whole thing tumbles down. Hence the reluctance to change. Most change that does occur is either to reinforce the rickety house of cards, or to introduce a new card that doesn't contradict any other card.

There are a number of religions that believe in some form of continuing revelation, you know. That don't believe the word of god was written down one time in an inerrant form. That try to balance scripture with contemporary understanding.

Likewise, there are lots of religious folks who understand that you can actually live with complexity and contradiction. Many Catholics who disagree with the church's teaching on birth control, for instance, fall into this category. (Though I recently read an interesting blog post I wish I could find again, about a woman's deconversion experience--she was just walking along, pushing her little kid in a stroller, and suddenly knew that she could no longer live with the Catholic Church's teaching on birth control, and that was it.)

I'm not an apologist for the Catholic church--or any other church for that matter, not even my own. It just makes me weary when people talk about Religion like it's a monolith.
posted by not that girl at 8:45 AM on July 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Catholics I know aren't interested in changing the Church. The Church is what it is and always has been, at least within their lifetimes.

Alas, I think this is true. Catholicism is seen by (and appreciated by) most of its adherents as an immovable bulwark against change and tumult, not something to be added to the long list of tumult that is going on in the world. Oscar Wilde did not convert to Catholicism in his last days because he thought the Church would be a fabulous place to try out his latest witty epigrams.
posted by blucevalo at 8:47 AM on July 16, 2010


If you are a Christian and want your Church to do this or do that, you're better off considering changing to another denomination. If you are a woman and want to become a priest then become an Anglican, for example.

It's more complicated than that -- I'm not Catholic myself, but I have friends who are, and we have talked extensively about this. There is more to belonging to the religion than just the "rules" (especially rules that are essentially elaborations or applications of other teachings); there is a whole world of identity, family belonging, cultural identification, and so on that makes "jumping ship" more difficult than it seems.

They mostly duck their heads and hope for a better pontiff, as far as I can tell. They also do what they can to protect the more liberal priests of their parishes.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:48 AM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I can't believe I'm saying this, but I miss the "what would Jesus do?" fad. Jesus would go out of his way to make women feel included.

I believe it was Margaret Cho who said, "I want Jesus to come back and say: 'THAT'S NOT WHAT I MEANT!'"
posted by giraffe at 8:50 AM on July 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm probably not understanding their background, being raised non-religious an all, but why wouldn't they choose a more female-clergy friendly religion? Isn't that kind of like joining a Defend the Family group as a gay man?

This is a really interesting question. I have a friend who is a Lutheran pastor, and when she left called to be a minister, she had to change to a different strain of Lutheranism in order to be ordained. And then she got to seminary and fell in love with another woman. She has chosen to stay in her denomination and struggle within it rather than change to, say, United Church of Christ where lesbians can be openly ordained, a choice many of her non-religious friends find strange and mysterious. But she and I have talked about it, and one of the mysteries of faith is that you kind of are what you are--it's definitely a non-rational way of making decisions. And God, for whatever reason, made her a Lutheran, sent her to seminary to meet her life partner, and then sent her out into the world --female partner in tow--to wrestle with that mess.

Mary Karr (author of memoirs The Liar's Club and Lit) talks about her conversion to Catholicism and how completely life-wrecking and deranged it was, at the same time that it was sort of inexorable and irresistible. It changed her life dramatically for the better and helped her get sober, and at the same time she totally understands why people think she's a complete moron for converting to Catholicism in the middle of the pedophile priest scandal. I saw her speak in April and she was absolutely hilarious on the subject.

I know there are people here who are going to take everything I have said as confirmation of their own rational contempt for all things religious. But, you know, it's a mystery how it works.
posted by not that girl at 8:51 AM on July 16, 2010 [9 favorites]


"felt called." I could swear I fixed that in preview.
posted by not that girl at 8:52 AM on July 16, 2010


Its very simple. For the Church to get past this, they have to make a simple rule. Any credible information that they obtain from a source outside the confessional that a priest has molested a child needs to be turned over to the civil authorities. This isn't 1400, and priests have no right to avoid regular criminal investigation and prosecution. That is what this document lacks.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:53 AM on July 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


They mostly duck their heads and hope for a better pontiff, as far as I can tell. They also do what they can to protect the more liberal priests of their parishes.

Yeah, this is also sort of like 'Well if you don't like George Bush, why don't you leave America?' I think a lot of Catholics feel that whichever Pope happens to be in power doesn't get to define for them what it means to call themselves Catholic, and that to abandon the Church because of some fucked-up shit higher up is to surrender their beloved (and holy!) Church as well as their own identities to the perpetrators of the fucked-up shit. Better to soldier on and attempt to prove through your own living what being Catholic means than to allow Ratzinger to define it for you.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:53 AM on July 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


There are other Catholic Churches out there. If you want to remain a Catholic but can't stand the scandal mishandling by the RCC, why not investigate your options?
posted by grubi at 8:55 AM on July 16, 2010


Yeah, this is also sort of like 'Well if you don't like George Bush, why don't you leave America?'

Except America isn't an organization of belief and ritual. (Contrary to popular... y'know) You essentially, by adulthood, volunteer to be a part of it. Leaving the RCC is waaaaaaaay different from leaving the US.

At least in the US, child molestation is a prosecutable offense.
posted by grubi at 8:56 AM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


In Canada, could a case be made against the Catholic Church that this law violates a woman's charter rights and cannot apply in Canada?

I am not a lawyer, however this question does not require a lawyer. The catholic church is not bound by the Charter. Only governments are bound by the Charter. That's how constutions work; they outline the functions of government including what powers they have and what they are and are not allowed to do.

Non-government organizations are bound by human rights laws, of course, which also forbid employment discrimination based on sex and on gender. However, religious organizations have exceptions. From the Ontario Human Rights Code:

24. (1) The right under section 5 to equal treatment with respect to employment is not infringed where,

(a) a religious, philanthropic, educational, fraternal or social institution or organization that is primarily engaged in serving the interests of persons identified by their race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, creed, sex, age, marital status or disability employs only, or gives preference in employment to, persons similarly identified if the qualification is a reasonable and bona fide qualification because of the nature of the employment;


Also, being a priest isn't really employment. Priests have jobs, but the priesthood itself is not a job. Some priests don't even work for the church.

That said, let me add, the catholic church is an embarrassment.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:56 AM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is absurd. Women priests are already excommunicated. It doesn't get much worse than that. This doesn't equate them with child molesters at all, people are just reading into it for the sake of drama.
posted by brenton at 8:57 AM on July 16, 2010


I'm really glad that my parents never took me to church as a kid.
posted by codacorolla at 8:57 AM on July 16, 2010


Leaving the RCC is waaaaaaaay different from leaving the US.

It is, and I am certainly not attempting to defend the RCC, and I am not Catholic. But as others have also said, leaving a church is not comparable to changing gyms.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:58 AM on July 16, 2010


I think its important to point out that, in fact, the Roman Catholic Church makes ordaining women a significantly worse crime than raping children.

Ordaining women results in automatic excommunication.

Raping children is not a crime the Church considers bad enough to merit excommunication at all, much less automatic. So far there have been exactly zero excommunications of child raping priests.

What's really revolting is that the headline is wrong, but wrong by being too generous to the Church. If the Church were to equate the two it would have to reduce the penalty for ordaining women....
posted by sotonohito at 9:01 AM on July 16, 2010 [23 favorites]


God should really hold a webinar and sort this whole mess out. Also how about a website with an FAQ or something. Maybe post something to YouTube. Seriously WTF God, you made the whole world in 7 days, but you cant be bothered to record a couple of podcasts? Oh maybe you bothered to tell Moses or Mohamed or some other guy in a cave or a mountain top but that was thousands of years ago. We've been busy having billions of kids and wars over all the confusion over some lack of clarity in the original texts. It would help us all out if you know you could send out a video or something.

As I was about to submit this I had a vision. It seems that since Jesus is sitting on the right hand of God, God has to hold his iPhone in his left hand and can't get a signal.
posted by humanfont at 9:02 AM on July 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


I know it's fun to rag on the RCC, but from a purely Catholic theological viewpoint from the Vatican, this makes sense. Ordaining woman priests is, according to current canon, heresy, hence the gravity of their statements. It's not about equating female ordination with pedophilia, but rather that heresy is about as bad as you can get because it separates one's soul from God. According to the Church at least.
posted by jmd82 at 9:02 AM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


So, The Church comes across as one of those asshats who equate homosexuality with bestiality or incest.

"Comes across?" They don't need any help in that regard. Their own inexplicable fixation on smearing gays and fighting against the codification of gay rights has been covered extensively in the media quite objectively.

The Vatican's Secretary of State conflated homosexuality, incest and pedophelia recently. The Vatican amended his comments by trying to provide data that supported his bigotry.

Catholic schools are choosing to bar admittance to children of same sex couples.

Quebec City Cardinal Marc Ouellet: Equating Marriage and Homosexuality in Schools is 'Harmful to Children'

I'm sure google could provide dozens of additional examples.
posted by zarq at 9:05 AM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


As far as I can tell, the RCC is all crufty with ancient edicts and cyclicals and pronouncements. Maybe it's time for a constitutional convention? Scrap the current structure and build something more sensible.
posted by grubi at 9:05 AM on July 16, 2010


Leaving the RCC is waaaaaaaay different from leaving the US.

It is, and I am certainly not attempting to defend the RCC, and I am not Catholic. But as others have also said, leaving a church is not comparable to changing gyms.
posted by shakespeherian


Yeah, I know. I come from a huge Catholic family. My comment was meant to emphasize that the dissenters are few. Most Catholics accept that women can't become priests. It is nothing new. There aren't huge lobbies out there, as far as I know.

For the small number of dissenters, then yes, they should consider another Church. It may not be easy, no, but its a heck of a lot easier than trying to change the Catholic church from within.

The Catholic church is not threatened by people who stay within it and "protest." It is threatened most by being abandoned.
posted by vacapinta at 9:10 AM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


As far as I can tell, the RCC is all crufty with ancient edicts and cyclicals and pronouncements. Maybe it's time for a constitutional convention? Scrap the current structure and build something more sensible.

It took them two millennia to come up with Vatican II and the Nostra Aetate. Don't hold your breath.
posted by zarq at 9:11 AM on July 16, 2010


Don't hold your breath.

Try and stop me!
posted by grubi at 9:14 AM on July 16, 2010


I know a nun who has been the head of a church now for several years. There's no priest assigned to her parish and she, in many ways, fills that role for them. However, there are things she is not allowed to do for her community like hear confessions or grant absolution. She has to bring in a visiting priest to do that. She would add that task to how she helps her community in a heart beat if she were allowed. For her, she sees the limitations placed against her as things that prevent her from properly caring for the parish members.

She's a tough nut who I butted heads against in my teen years. However, I've come to respect her and what she's trying to do despite the fact that I'm not a practicing Catholic any longer. She and I communicate a couple times a year now.
posted by onhazier at 9:14 AM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


There was a great article in the New Yorker back in April about women priests and the opposition they face inside the Anglican communion. I was still with my lady-priest exgf when it came out and I was totally fascinated by the discussion it sparked among her lady-priest friends (mostly openly gay and partnered) despite the fact that I basically know nothing at all about church and a lot of this stuff is very inside-baseball. There's a sense of urgency among the progessives in the church as attendance dwindles, seminaries sell off assets and diocese live off shrinking endowments to embrace modern ideas and policies, that has to be tempered so as not to shatter the entire structure by driving the more conservative members out. Basically, her take was, "There will be resistance the entire way but churches will eventually either endorse gay marraige, openly partnered gay priests, women bishops, or they will eventually become nothing more than really pretty museums dedicated to this thing we used to call 'church.'" I was a dispassionate observer without any skin in this particular game but I nonetheless found the whole thing really interesting.
posted by The Straightener at 9:14 AM on July 16, 2010


“The Catholic Church through its long and constant teaching holds that ordination has been, from the beginning, reserved to men, a fact which cannot be changed despite changing times.”

He then went on to say "And anyone who doubts this will be sent to Limbo, which despite having centuries of tradition in our Church, we totally did not get rid of in October of 2006, no matter what that Pope guy might have said." After sneering, he continued:

"Because seriously, we mean this shit. Until a couple of hundred years pass, and we realize that we didn't actually mean it."

Then then concluded by tapping his fist to his chest and pointing to the sky respectfully "My man Galileo knows what I'm talking about!"
posted by quin at 9:19 AM on July 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Religions seem to lag behind most of society when it comes to equality issues. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a religion which caused progressive reform, rather than slowing it?

In fact, this may have been the case in the past - am I being unfair? Not that girl - would any of the "continuing revelation" religions fall under this description?
posted by iso_bars at 9:22 AM on July 16, 2010


There are other Catholic Churches out there. If you want to remain a Catholic but can't stand the scandal mishandling by the RCC, why not investigate your options?

CATHOLICISM DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:27 AM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Religions seem to lag behind most of society when it comes to equality issues. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a religion which caused progressive reform, rather than slowing it?

You're forgetting the important role that 19th century New England protestantism played in the abolitionist movement, and also the role that the African American church played in Civil Rights.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 9:27 AM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


To add to my previous comment: Quaker pacifism and Latin American liberation theology also suggest that religion can sometimes be ahead of the curve on certain progressive issues (albeit admittedly not as often as one would perhaps like).
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 9:34 AM on July 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


HP LaserJet P10006: Thanks. I knew there would be examples, and I also knew that I didn't know them. There are probably many more. I wonder where the balance lies, particularly for the Catholic church
posted by iso_bars at 9:37 AM on July 16, 2010


My great aunt, who was a nun, had this to say to my father when he criticized the Catholic church for being "full of hypocrites": "You know Bill, there's always room for one more"
posted by jivadravya at 9:39 AM on July 16, 2010


There are plenty of progressive Catholics. Jesuists, especially, I have had awesome experiences working with as a social worker.
posted by The Straightener at 9:42 AM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


CATHOLICISM DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY!
posted by txmon at 9:54 AM on July 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a religion which caused progressive reform, rather than slowing it?

The Unitarians try...
posted by njohnson23 at 9:55 AM on July 16, 2010


There are plenty of progressive Catholics. Jesuists, especially

This is true -- my mother was raised Catholic and is now an Episcopal priest; she went to a Jesuit seminary.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:55 AM on July 16, 2010


CATHOLICISM DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY!

He says "He can shout; don't hear you."
posted by grubi at 9:55 AM on July 16, 2010


I understand that Jesus has a cheap plastic statue of a middle class hypocrite on his dashboard.
posted by txmon at 9:56 AM on July 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


Here are four older "delicta graviora":
a) taking away or retaining the consecrated species for sacrilegious ends, or the throwing them away; (my translation: throwing away or misusing the blessed bread and wine)

b) the attempted celebration of the liturgical action of the Eucharistic Sacrifice or the simulation of the same; (my guess: taking the bread and wine without an ordained priest)

c) the forbidden concelebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice with ministers of Ecclesial Communities that do not have the apostolic succession nor acknowledge the sacramental dignity of priestly Ordination; (my guess: taking the bread and wine with non-Catholic priests)

d) the consecration for sacrilegious ends of one matter without the other in the celebration of the Eucharist or even of both outside the celebration of the Eucharist.
A summary of my guesses: mis-using the blessed Holy Communion wine and bread or pretending to be Catholic without agreeing with the main Catholic church will get you kicked out. Now pedophilia and ordaining women have joined this list, and the Catholic Church's addition of these two items to the list of Really Bad Things that will get you Excommuncated is not a simple statement that molesting children is the same as ordaining women. They're both up there with other Really Bad Things (in the eyes of the Church).
posted by filthy light thief at 10:01 AM on July 16, 2010


They're both up there with other Really Bad Things (in the eyes of the Church).

Yes, but it appears that child rape isn't Bad Enough.
posted by grubi at 10:04 AM on July 16, 2010


Just an idea:

It would probably be easier for more people to find Jesus if the Church would quit running interference.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:11 AM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ok, so it's hard to leave one's cultural identity, I get that. REALLY. But here's how I see it-- if you're a member of a huge, reactionary organization, and you don't like and/or agree with its teachings on any number of issues (birth control, the role of women, systematic rape and its cover-ups)-- why are you still a member? It's been well established that this organization is not going to change. If you stick around, you support these decisions.
posted by norm at 10:19 AM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


LOLCatholicChurch
posted by hillabeans at 10:25 AM on July 16, 2010


It would probably be easier for more people to find Jesus if the Church would quit running interference.

But, of course, that is the whole point. The Church and the Priest are the conduits (I think intercessors would be be the theological word) between us and Him. Just wondering...since in a lot of religions it is "too much" (or awe-full, awful, like Arjuna seeing Krishna's real form) to see the Face of God, could the Church be a protector from the sight which is too much for mortals to view?
posted by kozad at 10:28 AM on July 16, 2010


With protectors like these who needs deities?
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 10:30 AM on July 16, 2010


if you're a member of a huge, reactionary organization, and you don't like and/or agree with its teachings on any number of issues (birth control, the role of women, systematic rape and its cover-ups)-- why are you still a member?

Which is what I asked my parents, both devout Catholics. Why belong to an organization whose practices are in direct opposition to your values?
posted by grubi at 10:32 AM on July 16, 2010


norm - because behind all those structural and largely bureaucratic problems lies their faith. My sister-in-law is Catholic, and she attends liberal Catholic churches, who support some outspoken people, including some pretty awesome nuns. Unfortunately, those nuns will never become priests. People aren't religious because of a religion doesn't allow women to lead others in worship or because the organization doesn't do enough to prevent child molestation, people are religious because they believe in the God behind all that. I'm sure some people are sticking things out in hope for change, and things do change within the Catholic Church. The Vatican admitted that Galileo was right in 1992, so it might just take a REALLY long time.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:35 AM on July 16, 2010


if you're a member of a huge, reactionary organization, and you don't like and/or agree with its teachings on any number of issues (birth control, the role of women, systematic rape and its cover-ups)-- why are you still a member?

Because it's not about the man-made rules. It's about certain aspects of the Church some of us strongly believe in, such as the Saints, Mary, & transubstantiation which other denominations do not hold true. It's my opinions that I can hold these true, which the RCC offers, while not exactly agreeing with other teachings (such as woman ordination) that come off as more rules and less theological.
posted by jmd82 at 10:36 AM on July 16, 2010


it might just take a REALLY long time.

Okay, we'll sit a few centuries and wait for rape to be a bad idea.
posted by grubi at 10:38 AM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I know it's fun to rag on the RCC, but from a purely Catholic theological viewpoint from the Vatican, this makes sense.

That the structure makes it possible to equate female spiritual leadership with child molestation, and have it make perfect sense within the structure, is yet another indication that the structure needs to be torn down.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:44 AM on July 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


could the Church be a protector from the sight which is too much for mortals to view?

"Boy, it'd sure be a shame if something were to come into view, capisci?"
posted by Sys Rq at 10:47 AM on July 16, 2010


Because it's not about the man-made rules.

But see, there is no difference between the Saints, Mary, transubstantiation and the teachings on gays, birth control, and women. Right? Saints, the intercessory powers of Mary, and transubstantiation are not discussed in the Bible. Neither are the priesthood of women or birth control. All are man-made teachings (and I do mean man-made). And you agree with the Catholic Church? No, you don't. Just the parts you agree with.

because behind all those structural and largely bureaucratic problems lies their faith.

But why does The Catholic Church, based in Rome, headed by the ex-Nazi, run by pedophile coverers-up, teachers of mean-spirited, anti-progressive doctrine, equal their faith?

I am trying to look at this from their/your point of view. I really am. But I can't see past the cognitive dissonance of trying to reconcile a progressive viewpoint and theology with The Catholic Church. Admitting that Galileo was right is darn sporting of them. Too bad about all the people burnt at the stake in the interim.

One final thought before I get off my soapbox. I'm fine with believers. If you believe in the Church, go for it. Really. But the selective belief just supports these people. Looking the other way on horrible teachings doesn't do anything to change them-- in fact, it reinforces them. They can keep on making horrible doctrine as long as they want while they have the support of the silent progressives.
posted by norm at 10:47 AM on July 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Sorry to drop a comment and leave.

It's hard for me to understand religion outside of the "consumer choice" kind of view, as thats the only way it's been presented to me, but let me frame it another way.

Say you meet a man who, from the very first date makes it clear that he doesn't want kids. In no way will he have kids with you or anyone else, ever. You fall in love with him, marry him, spend many years with him, feel he's your soul mate.

All along you've really wanted to become a mother. Maybe you thought you could change his mind, get him to consider adoption, etc, but it all failed. Throughout it all, you want to have kids. I would say your choices come down to: staying and making peace, or leaving. Staying out of love and continuing your efforts to change his mind might be admirable, but you're not going to get any children out of this choice. The option these female priests have chosen is staying out of love, and conceiving against his will, only to have him divorce you? It just seems like madness-- that's gone past love or loyalty, and into something more like obsession.

I understand that humans are not always logical, unfeeling, decision-weighing robots, but it does come down to choices with known consequences. I don't think I'll understand that decision.
posted by fontophilic at 10:49 AM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sinéad O'Connor for Antipope!
posted by Sys Rq at 10:53 AM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


(The link worked in preview!)
posted by Sys Rq at 10:54 AM on July 16, 2010


Ancient institution has archaic ideas: film at 11.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:57 AM on July 16, 2010


Saints, the intercessory powers of Mary, and transubstantiation are not discussed in the Bible. Neither are the priesthood of women or birth control. All are man-made teachings (and I do mean man-made). And you agree with the Catholic Church? No, you don't. Just the parts you agree with.

I see your point, and I should clarify: I agree with those because it only affect my own personal spirituality. My view of Mary, the saints, etc, does not affect others. It's when the RCC starts tackling issues that directly affect people- such as female ordination and political issues- that they go from an institution of spirituality to one of rules. Put another way, my belief in Mary, et al, is not a rule of how I and others must live my life, but how I, personally & individually, connect with God. OTOH, The rules are just that: how not only must I, but others- even those outside the RCC who are affected (such as abortion, gay rights)- must live their lives outside the context of my personal connection with God.

That the structure makes it possible to equate female spiritual leadership with child molestation, and have it make perfect sense within the structure, is yet another indication that the structure needs to be torn down.

You act like things are any different now than say, the last 2000 years. I'm not trying to defend the Church's practices, but the RCC has at been fairly consistent at one thing: The rules are not that of man or the populous, but rather that of one's soul & salvation. Obviously, people disagree on the path to salvation (and for good reason), but the RCC emphasizes that heresy separates one from God. So does pedophilia. Thus, on a spiritual sense, they are somewhat equivalent, with the point being it's the spiritual realm that the RCC cares about, or at least tries to.
posted by jmd82 at 11:00 AM on July 16, 2010


Yes, I'm pretty sure Jeebus won't let you into heaven if you don't stick with his trademarked corporation that supports pedophilia and hates women.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:02 AM on July 16, 2010


Sinéad O'Connor for Antipope!

But MeFi already has an Antipope!
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:03 AM on July 16, 2010


filthy light thief Except, raping children has not made the list. Rape all the children you want, the Church will not excommunicate you. Ordain one woman and you're out.
posted by sotonohito at 11:20 AM on July 16, 2010


I don't think the average Catholic really cares.

Talking to a practicing Catholic, who lives in Rome, the topic was how carefully planned children are among his peers there. I asked, "how is it possible without birth control?" He wouldn't say anything about that, he just winked one eye.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:23 AM on July 16, 2010


I've always found it really strange that all the stricter Catholics I know are into running credit unions, visiting hospitals, working in women's refuges and generally spending their entire lives doing good things, but all the stuff I've ever heard about Catholicism itself make it seem like they're complete nutbars.

I'm not disagreeing with the complete nutbars thing but how is there such a disconnect between the church and its followers? in other religions there seems to be a general political following of the same cast of the church. But the church does all this evil stuff and the general membership seems quite nice really. Even a lot of the local priests I've spoken to seem pretty liberal, although admittedly they're all running credit unions and that might be selection bias.
posted by shinybaum at 11:37 AM on July 16, 2010


Auntie Pope?
posted by grubi at 12:09 PM on July 16, 2010


One final thought before I get off my soapbox. I'm fine with believers. If you believe in the Church, go for it. Really. But the selective belief just supports these people. Looking the other way on horrible teachings doesn't do anything to change them-- in fact, it reinforces them. They can keep on making horrible doctrine as long as they want while they have the support of the silent progressives.

Can I get an AMEN!...oh wait.
posted by Fizz at 12:23 PM on July 16, 2010


Pope Joan, represent!

Mystery of the pregnant pope: New film reopens one of the Vatican's most enduring wounds
posted by homunculus at 12:43 PM on July 16, 2010


Like it or not, the RCC has always offered the chance for repentance and forgiveness to murderers, rapists, child molesters, and others who have committed grievous crimes. It's hard to argue that they're forsaking the Way of Jesus on that count.

All this policy is saying is that if you want to stand up and put yourself forward as representing the Church, but you want to teach something different from what the church teaches, by ordaining women or teaching some other kind of heresy, the Church feels it must officially declare that you are not speaking for them, that you are separated from them, that you are no longer a Roman Catholic.

A Republican who raped a child would be a bad person who should be removed from office and sent to jail, but (FOX News subtitles notwithstanding) he'd still be a Republican. A Republican who endorses Barack Obama for President is going to be seen by most people as not really being a Republican anymore.

I would say that the bishops who shielded priests who had raped children were committing the same crime of teaching by example something contrary to the Roman Catholic faith, and that they too should be excommunicated, although I guess you could argue that none of the pedophile-shielding bishops has obstinately demanded the right to shield pedophiles when told by the Pope to stop it.
posted by straight at 1:33 PM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Religions seem to lag behind most of society when it comes to equality issues. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a religion which caused progressive reform, rather than slowing it?

In fact, this may have been the case in the past - am I being unfair? Not that girl - would any of the "continuing revelation" religions fall under this description?


Well, my religion is Quakerism and we like to think we were a religion that pushed progressive reform. Back in the 1650s when the religion was founded, women were ministers as well as men, and leaders in the new religion. Quakers declared it unQuakerly to own slaves in the 18th Century (after what looks, in retrospect, like way too many decades of debate about it), and were instrumental in both the abolition movement and the 19th Century women's movement in the United States (though an excellent recent book, Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship, looks very deeply at the complex relationship of Friends to race and racism over the last 350 years, and it's not all "Yay! Look at how right we were all along!" by any means).

Still, even non-Quaker historians will sometimes credit Quakers with driving much of what was politically progressive in the US in the 19th century.

Of course, we've always been a small religion and are increasingly rare and marginal in the 21st Century.

I know (I think) that Lutheranism has an element of balancing scripture with the word of God as it is understood in contemporary times, but really know very little about it otherwise.
posted by not that girl at 1:35 PM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


It would probably be easier for more people to find Jesus if the Church would quit running interference.

This is actually, in a nutshell, pretty much the insight that led George Fox to found Quakerism. It's why the Quakerism of the 17th century (and some strains still today) have no creed, no order of service, no set prayers, no bishops or heads of churches, no paid ministers. Early Quakers were very steeped in scripture but for us liberal types even that has fallen by the wayside in favor of what Fox called, variously, The Seed, The Indwelling Christ, The Inner Light, The Spirit of God Within.

Not that I'm here to proselytize or anything.
posted by not that girl at 1:42 PM on July 16, 2010


You'd think an all powerful diety could afford a decent PR firm.

Sometimes it feels as though the Vatican is the British Petroleum of religion.
posted by sebastienbailard at 2:32 PM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is absurd. Women priests are already excommunicated. It doesn't get much worse than that. This doesn't equate them with child molesters at all, people are just reading into it for the sake of drama.

brenton, you didn't actually RTFA, did you?
posted by IAmBroom at 4:02 PM on July 16, 2010


So let me get this strait, the Catholic Church remains true to their idea that spiritual redemption is possible from any crime no matter how bad. As well as the idea, however silly, that there can only be one true church and that they should be that as best they can even if it means forcing others who disagree about what that means to make new churches.

Thus when the Catholic Church issues a directive to Catholics saying that when you stop doing Catholic things your not a Catholic anymore, Metafilter is inundated with non-Catholics with little to justify their frothing rage but tone arguments relating to an Apostolic letter, a style of discourse they know nothing about anyway.

Why do we still have these threads?
posted by Blasdelb at 5:20 PM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


So let me get this strait ... Why do we still have these threads?

Because there are indeed many who do not believe that the RCC "can only be [the] one true church."

As well, there are many 'not straight' folks who are active, spiritual particpants in their respected religions, not condemned by their denominations,
posted by ericb at 5:31 PM on July 16, 2010


ericb,

Silent letters sometimes confuse me, I understand misspellings can be jarring and I'm sorry

But if you RTFA this outrage is about the Holy See conflating female ordination and child rape, something it is demonstrably not doing. Besides, isn't something supposed to be wrong when the answer to why we should have a thread has so little to do with the best of the web?
posted by Blasdelb at 6:07 PM on July 16, 2010


Besides, isn't something supposed to be wrong when the answer to why we should have a thread has so little to do with the best of the web

There was a post today about a disgusting meal served at a place in Rochester called the "Garbage Plate." Metafilter does not always highlight "the best of the web," nor should every post be required to measure up to some arbitrary and subjective bar simply because some folks find the subject matter is difficult to stomach.

The actions taken by the Catholic Church clearly affect both its followers and non-followers as well as the secular societies it routinely attempts to influence. As an institution, it has repeatedly tried to alter political outcomes in countries that are not Catholic theocracies -- most recently in Argentina, where the Catholic Church and its followers attempted to prevent the passing of legislation which provided equal rights to gay men and women.

From the Vatican on down through the ranks of Cardinals and Bishops, the Church has been blaming priest abuse of kids and the backlash against it on every scapegoat it can. Further, when the highest levels of the Church protect child abusers within its ranks, that's a matter of human interest, not just Catholic -- even if the only children being molested are Catholics.

Every act the Church takes to minimize and/or equate it's pedophilia scandal with lesser "crimes" against Catholicism, such as violations of religious doctrine, should be called out as such. Why should those attempts to obfuscate reality be tolerated by members of societies that allow the Church to maintain a presence?

The Church's internal battles affect us all, directly and indirectly. So yes, I think they deserve a forum here. And the tolerance and respect they show to others (or lack thereof) dictates how they will be perceived here. They reap what they sow, as do we all.
posted by zarq at 7:04 PM on July 16, 2010


I've been following this for a while, and it seems remarkable that nowhere in the online news items is are the actual "new rules" linked to. The new rules are here: Substantive Norms (vatican.va).

Speaking as a former cradle Catholic with a typical 12 years' Catholic school education, part of me isn't surprised that female ordination is held with such approbation; this has been an issue ever since Vatican II held out the promise of further reform in that department, and the "new rules" simply confirm how verboten the issue is under the current management.

It's also worthwhile to note that the act of ordaining a woman, or being a woman priest undergoing ordination, is subject to automatic excommunication... while priests who force kids to give them blowjobs are still given a little leeway by their superiors.
posted by micketymoc at 7:21 PM on July 16, 2010


zarq: "There was a post today about a disgusting meal served at a place in Rochester called the "Garbage Plate." Metafilter does not always highlight "the best of the web," nor should every post be required to measure up to some arbitrary and subjective bar simply because some folks find the subject matter is difficult to stomach."

The garbage plate thread is not actively misleading. The Catholic Church does conflate consensual affairs and child rape, homosexuality with child rape, as well as all kinds of things separated from reality, but has yet to generate a meaningful connection of any kind between the pedophilia scandal and the question of female ordination. The rules against both are each in the rule book, and both happened to have reason to be edited at the same time. The only reason the links for this post exist is that the news cycle has already played out for the things which are actually fucked up but people are still rightfully angry and willing to read more, even if its pulled out of someones ass and repeated ad nauseum.

All this noise will accomplish is to make Catholic leadership more paranoid and empower Cardinals who already seem to think that this whole business is little more than a media circlejerk.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:50 PM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


zarq, who are you, exactly, to tell the Catholic Church that it must regard violations of religious doctrines as "lesser" crimes?

I don't really see an institution that's lasted nearly 2000 years rolling over.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:16 PM on July 16, 2010


It's more complicated than that -- I'm not Catholic myself, but I have friends who are, and we have talked extensively about this. There is more to belonging to the religion than just the "rules" (especially rules that are essentially elaborations or applications of other teachings); there is a whole world of identity, family belonging, cultural identification, and so on that makes "jumping ship" more difficult than it seems.

They mostly duck their heads and hope for a better pontiff, as far as I can tell. They also do what they can to protect the more liberal priests of their parishes.


And if the 20th century taught us anything, it's that old one about the triumph of evil being linked to keeping your heads down, alas.

Of course, there alternatives.

Of course, [Quakers] always been a small religion and are increasingly rare and marginal in the 21st Century.

"Being a small religion" is probably a pre-requisite for a degree of institutional integrity. One a religion becomes a world-spanning empire (or even tries to) it will have all the other challenges that any other massive, powerful organisation does.

And Blasdelb, when an organisation that claims a billion followers and wields massive influence stops, say, covering for rapists or Nazis, or working for the dmolition of the secular state to impose its religious views on people who hold it in contempts, well, then I'll stop caring.
posted by rodgerd at 9:16 PM on July 16, 2010


zarq, who are you, exactly, to tell the Catholic Church that it must regard violations of religious doctrines as "lesser" crimes?

Someone who has a right to an opinion, just as you do.

I don't really see an institution that's lasted nearly 2000 years rolling over.

There are precedents. Ecumenical councils have been convened in the past to "correct" and clarify Church policies, positions and doctrines.

Such councils have been convened for a variety of reasons. Often, they happen when the Church faces some sort of crisis, as they seem to now.
posted by zarq at 12:10 AM on July 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Catholic Church does conflate consensual affairs and child rape, homosexuality with child rape, as well as all kinds of things separated from reality, but has yet to generate a meaningful connection of any kind between the pedophilia scandal and the question of female ordination.

Actually, the Church has quite clearly said that the attempt to ordain women in the RCC is not an equal crime to pedophilia by priests. The changes in the rules bear this out: the crime of ordination of women will be handled more harshly than cases where priests have raped or molested children.

Which supports the point I made in a previous comment rather thoroughly, I think.

All this noise will accomplish is to make Catholic leadership more paranoid and empower Cardinals who already seem to think that this whole business is little more than a media circlejerk.

That same Catholic leadership is presumably steeped in the history of their own Church? They should be familiar enough with the concept of "witch hunts" to be able to accurately identify one when they see it.

If not... why should we care if they don't like the attention being paid to what seems to be a severely widespread problem?
posted by zarq at 12:38 AM on July 17, 2010


Based on the article I have read, it says there that both ordaining women and molesting a child are crimes.

The fact behind this is that: sexual abuse was a "crime against morality," and ordaining a woman was a "crime against a sacrament,".


In the point of view of the church, they are bound not because of earthly things and they are apt with religious matter while protecting the blessed sacrament. That is why they consider ordaining women as grave condition. However, this doesn't mean that they tolerate molesting a child.

They are both crimes; they just differ in level or severity.
posted by JohnD at 3:11 AM on July 17, 2010


I wonder if I take communion without fasting they will have to excommunicate me for a crime against a sacrament.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:27 AM on July 17, 2010


Catholic Church: just don't hold it like that, then

Because we're sure as he'll not going to be handing out rubber bumpers.
posted by jimfl at 9:28 AM on July 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Actually, the Church has quite clearly said that the attempt to ordain women in the RCC is not an equal crime to pedophilia by priests. The changes in the rules bear this out: the crime of ordination of women will be handled more harshly than cases where priests have raped or molested children."

This is the only quote from the Vatican in the article,

"But Monsignor Charles Scicluna, an official in the Vatican's doctrinal department, said there was no attempt to make women's ordination and pedophilia comparable crimes under canon (Church) law.

"This is not putting everything into one basket," Scicluna, the Vatican's internal prosecutor for handling sexual abuse cases, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"They are in the same document but this does not put them on the same level or assign them the same gravity," said Scicluna, who helped formulate the revisions.

The document was an attempt to update norms concerning "three sets of canonical crimes that are distinct," and whose jurisdiction is reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican's doctrinal department, he said.
"

To say that Excommunication is more harsh is to misunderstand what it is and what it is for. The concept comes from Galatians 1:8 — "But even if we, or an angel from Heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be anathema!" where in both current and past usage it is nothing more than a tool used to recognize that someone who is sowing confusion is no longer a Catholic. One can believe in the Nicene Creed and molest children but the act of ordaining a woman as a priest is incompatible with "We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church." so long as the hierarchy places so much importance on prayer antennas. This is simply not a distinction granting moral weight.

The Church has failed by keeping pedophiles in congregations, failed by working as an accomplice aiding accused priests in the rape of more children, and failed by hiding these crimes from the civil authorities actually equipped to punish them. The Church is also ignoring the prominent role women played in the early church and promoting a perniciously sexist world view out of touch with the spiritual needs of many Catholics. But these articles address none of these things, all this post is about is the willfully dishonest assertion that these two things people feel strongly about have a meaningful connection in this edit or that anything in it is new. We've all been trolled.
posted by Blasdelb at 10:45 AM on July 17, 2010


What exactly does the prohibition for the ordination of women has to do with child molestation? Is it my impression or was the link made by the media in an effort to create some additional drama and because on the manual of style it says that every article mentioning the Catholic Church must contain the words "child abuse"?
posted by falameufilho at 3:15 PM on July 17, 2010


Blasdelb How are they not related?

The Church, like any organization, has limited resources for enforcement, investigation, etc. Putting resources into enforcement of X necessarily reduces enforcement of Y, thus setting priorities is of utmost importance, and criticism of those priorities seems perfectly valid.

Ratzinger has demonstrated that, as far as he's concerned, it isn't a big deal when priests rape children. He's perfectly fine with shuffling them around so they get new victims and his main, indeed only, concern is with maintaining the reputation and status of the Church by hushing up such incidents.

But he finds time and resources to go after any and all women who seek ordination.

The actions of the Church lead to the conclusion that they prioritize punishing women above ending the epidemic of rape by Priest. Heck, last I checked Ratzinger still was of the position that Church officials are forbidden from turning over evidence of wrongdoing by Priests to secular authorities.

I'll also note that Ratzinger seems to think its worth the time and effort to track down and excommunicate uppity women, but not to offer even the slightest rebuke to African Archbishops who lie and claim that condoms are laced with AIDS as part of a diabolical plot by Europeans to exterminate Africans.

Tell me again how this is trolling, because I'm not seeing it.
posted by sotonohito at 9:10 PM on July 17, 2010


Meant to add:

"So let me get this strait, the Catholic Church remains true to their idea that spiritual redemption is possible from any crime no matter how bad."

Well, no, actually. The Church has reaffirmed that some crimes, such as ordaining women, are so bad that they can't be forgiven.
posted by sotonohito at 9:16 PM on July 17, 2010


>> (Though I recently read an interesting blog post I wish I could find again, about a woman's deconversion experience--she was just walking along, pushing her little kid in a stroller, and suddenly knew that she could no longer live with the Catholic Church's teaching on birth control, and that was it.)

not that girl, is this post from The Revolving Floor the one you were thinking of?
posted by vespertine at 2:54 AM on July 18, 2010


not that girl, is this post from The Revolving Floor the one you were thinking of?

Yes, I'm pretty sure it is--thanks!
posted by not that girl at 3:00 PM on July 18, 2010


Well, no, actually. The Church has reaffirmed that some crimes, such as ordaining women, are so bad that they can't be forgiven.

Absolutely wrong. The Church will almost certainly forgive someone for ordaining women if they sincerely and genuinely repent and state their intention to stop doing it.

The issue is that the people ordaining women don't want forgiveness, because they don't believe they're doing something wrong.
posted by straight at 3:39 PM on July 18, 2010


UK government acts to prevent arrest of Pope
posted by homunculus at 7:24 PM on July 23, 2010


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