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Radix omnium malorum est cupiditas
September 21, 2010 1:55 PM   Subscribe

The Vatican Bank is once again Under Investigation. In 1982 The Vatican Bank was involved in the Ambrosiano Scandal with its associations with Roberto Calvi, Gladius, Opus Dei and the P2 masonic lodge, all well documented.
The story was summarised in a 1982 Time article. The Vatican Bank is also known as the The Institute for Works of Religion and apparently holds 5 billion Euros in complete secrecy (pdf). For further reading there is the book Vatican exposed.
posted by adamvasco (125 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Defending against child sex abuse lawsuits is expensive. And those pointy hats don't pay for themselves.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:58 PM on September 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is one of the underlying scandals that child sex abuse in the Church is both threatening to expose and serving to cover over.

Complicity and leadership by Church officials in murders and human rights abuses on a truly vast scale by far-right regimes in Central and South America is another.
posted by jamjam at 2:17 PM on September 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I have it on good authority that it's a stupid hat.
posted by LD Feral at 2:17 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


CORRUPTION IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH? THAT'S UNPOSSIBLE!
posted by infinitywaltz at 2:18 PM on September 21, 2010


So we're using an alleged violation of some recently instituted disclosure regulations as an excuse to revisit a thirty year old investigation into Vatican finances, and while we're at it, any other conspiracy theories about the vatican that come to mind? Do I have that correct?

This seems just a touch ax-grindy.
posted by longsleeves at 2:35 PM on September 21, 2010 [9 favorites]


It's going to take more than just a sharp axe.
posted by seanmpuckett at 2:36 PM on September 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


In 1982 The Vatican Bank was involved in the Ambrosiano Scandal with its associations with Roberto Calvi, Gladius, Opus Dei and the P2 masonic lodge, all well documented.

I'm tired & skimming Metafilter, and at first I seriously thought that every proper noun in this sentence was a band name.
posted by demonic winged headgear at 2:43 PM on September 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


No no, Opus Dei is the Penguin God.
posted by kmz at 2:46 PM on September 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


Does any other worldwide institution so completely interwoven into various countries also have the diplomatic immunity and sovereignty of Vatican City?

I'm thinking given recent scandals plus this there's going to be mounting pressure to challenge their sovereignty. I'm not to familiar with the Lateran pacts though.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:53 PM on September 21, 2010


And everyone knows that the Gladius is found in the Outer Wall in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
posted by clorox at 2:54 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is less a post about the current investigation (there isn't even a direct link to anything that explains it) and more a post about the case in the 1980s. The lead is misleading.
posted by edgeways at 2:55 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sometimes it seems like the Catholic Church is actually two organizations intertwined. One is a legitimate religion which helps millions of people around the world, and the other is the biggest, shadiest mafia in Italy. The former exists mainly at the lower levels of the hierarchy and provides great (and justifiable, and completely earnest) PR for the Church, while the latter group uses that PR as a cover for its crime syndicate.

What I don't get is how the two factions can coexist in the same structure, with the lower levels oblivious to and defensive about what the higher ones are up to, however opposed it may be to what they themselves believe. It's a mystery to me how the Pope can be both a great holy man and Don Corleone at the same time. I guess after centuries of practice the Vatican has perfected the science of promulgating doublethink.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 3:06 PM on September 21, 2010 [10 favorites]


No no, Opus Dei is the Penguin God.

To Whom We Sacrifice Herring Snacks
posted by zarq at 3:07 PM on September 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


TWPL, have you ever debated a Jesuit?
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:22 PM on September 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Not about the Church. Probably not at all, but I don't know the backstories of all the opponents I faced in my college debate days. ;-)
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 3:25 PM on September 21, 2010


What I don't get is how the two factions can coexist in the same structure, with the lower levels oblivious to and defensive about what the higher ones are up to, however opposed it may be to what they themselves believe.

I'll check with some Democratic organizers and get back to you.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:26 PM on September 21, 2010 [13 favorites]


It's god's money, he banking system works in mysterious ways.
posted by Elmore at 3:27 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


he - his
posted by Elmore at 3:27 PM on September 21, 2010


- =

Stop fucking with my posts God. <-- LOOONY
posted by Elmore at 3:28 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


best of the web? a piece from AOL, a 1982 time article and a referral link to amazon? you could have linked the movie at least..

PS: the investigation discussed in the first article is a few months old now, and if memory serves me well, it was due to wire transfers that were incorrectly not specified as transnational.. more like an accounting snafu than a scandal.
posted by 3mendo at 3:36 PM on September 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


What I don't get is how the two factions can coexist in the same structure,

One operates without believing the other exists. To the clergy that really believe, nothing coming down from the Pope can be suspect and anything said against the Pope are the false ideas of worldly sinners, lost in their ignorance.

Scientology uses more or less the same system and it's probably a much older scam than the Catholics. Almost any system that promises initiation/anointment is running the same scam.
posted by doctor_negative at 3:57 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Five billion euros? I would think the Vatican would be worth a lot more then that.

a referral link to amazon

Metafilter adds those automatically.
posted by delmoi at 4:00 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was watching The Pope Must Die(t) just yesterday, talk about synchronicity. Basic plot is corruption in the Vatican Bank leads to an arms dealer trying to sponsor a pet pope, but getting bumbling do-gooder Robbie Coltrane instead.
posted by nomisxid at 5:39 PM on September 21, 2010


Longsleeves, are you suggesting that the P2 scandal and the child abuse scandals are "conspiracy theories?"

If so, you sure buried your head deep in the sand. These aren't conspiracy theories, they are stone cold facts.

There's probably all kinds of unfettered evil yet to be rooted out inside the Church. Let's focus our use of the term "conspiracies" to the deeds involving Jesuit infiltration, Serbian genocide, Mother Theresa's death house of isolation, and the other evils that haven't really been paraded before the world.
posted by Sukiari at 5:43 PM on September 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


When used in reference to documented events and conspiracies, "conspiracy theory" is a term of art meaning "I don't want you to think about that."
posted by Jimmy Havok at 6:02 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I suspect Longsleeves use of the term conspiracy theory might refer to the second link's contention that "OMG FREEMASONS, THE MAFIA, SOVIET SPIES, THE CIA, FORMER NAZIS, KNIGHTS TEMPLAR AND EVIL BANKERS KILLED THE POPE!!!"

Or at least that's what I took away from it. I probably should go back and check (though I won't because it was a crappy enough read the first time round) but I don't recall any of the claims in that article being well documented.

That said, there is an interesting question here, and it's the one raised by The Winsome Parker Lewis and doctor_negative:

What I don't get is how the two factions can coexist in the same structure,

One operates without believing the other exists. To the clergy that really believe, nothing coming down from the Pope can be suspect and anything said against the Pope are the false ideas of worldly sinners, lost in their ignorance.


In my experience (which is limited by the fact that I'm not actually a Catholic, yet is extensive in the sense that I've done quite a bit of time in Catholic organizations), it's not as simple as the strong religious belief of junior clergy overcoming their doubts about the integrity of senior members of the church.

Most low to mid level clergy I've talked to are well aware that the church is simultaneously an organization that serves (and receives service from) the poorest of the poor and one that can and sometimes does kick heads at the international level (support for Solidarity is a good example). They know that being effective at both those levels, as well as all of the ones in between, requires radically different approaches from people working in different layers of the Church.

So, yeah, you do get grumbling from (for instance) Jesuits working on education projects in Zimbabwe about how few resources they have in comparison to your average Italian suburban church. But there's also an acceptance that a) that's how things have shaken down after 1700 years of internal bickering and struggle; b) to some degree winning the souls of the rich costs much more than winning the souls of the poor (seriously); and c) there might be a whole lot that needs changing, and a little bit of redistribution of wealth might go a long way, but changing the course of a ship as large as the Catholic Church is a slow and delicate process.

In saying this, I've no desire to defend those within the Church who've done genuine evil on any front. I'm just saying that the things that those of us outside the Church criticize it for, are often very vigorously debated within it, too.
posted by Ahab at 7:10 PM on September 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


There's actually a far better post not very far away from this one, figuratively. It is about Geoffrey Robertson's recent book, The Case of the Pope.
posted by wilful at 7:48 PM on September 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


In saying this, I've no desire to defend those within the Church who've done genuine evil on any front. I'm just saying that the things that those of us outside the Church criticize it for, are often very vigorously debated within it, too.

Ahab, can I hug you?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:13 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ahab, can I hug you?

Sure. Big hugs to you to. :)
posted by Ahab at 8:35 PM on September 21, 2010


FWIW, Propaganda Due was a "masonic lodge" only if having a big G over the door is all it takes to make it official. By 1976, P2's charter had been revoked by the Grand Orient of Italy, which itself had been disowned in 1972 by the United Grand Lodge of England. It's called a front, folks.

The Vatican Bank is also known as the The Institute for Works of Religion and apparently holds 5 billion Euros in complete secrecy

If it's apparent, it's not really much of a secret, is it?
posted by Sys Rq at 11:05 PM on September 21, 2010


I'm just saying that the things that those of us outside the Church criticize it for, are often very vigorously debated within it, too.

It's time to stop debating and start acting to defend your faith. I realize that the flock is literally entirely powerless over its priesthood, and this is what prevents any real reform, but if you want your religion to survive in any shape you must root out the corruption.
posted by Sukiari at 11:15 PM on September 21, 2010


I realize that the flock is literally entirely powerless over its priesthood, and this is what prevents any real reform, but if you want your religion to survive in any shape you must root out the corruption.

You understand what you typed here, right? I mean, why it's silly?
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:11 AM on September 22, 2010


I realize that the flock is literally entirely powerless over its priesthood, and this is what prevents any real reform, but if you want your religion to survive in any shape you must root out the corruption.

What can people who are by your own admission "literally entirely powerless" DO to "root out the corruption"?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:03 AM on September 22, 2010


Nonetheless, the flock not really powerless over the priesthood, not if it is willing to take drastic measures. I personally would like to see the flock admit that the Church is corrupt beyond redemption, and simply quit. Even though there are still good works being done by the Catholic Church, it's not enough; the corruption has gone too far. Just give it up. No one has to be Catholic if they don't want to be. Why be anyone's flock? Think for yourselves, folks.
posted by grizzled at 5:24 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Spiritually the Roman Church is bankrupt as seen by its late or non reaction to paedophilia within its ranks and by such cases as support of extreme Right wing causes viz Argentina. Temporally its morals are now also seen to be bankrupt. First with Ambrosiano and continuing with this
Maybe time for a schism for those who still want to believe in something.
posted by adamvasco at 6:03 AM on September 22, 2010


Grizzled, the problem is that without a handle on why the Church is corrupt, or how it is more corrupt than any other institution of organized religion, Catholics would just be trading for a similar set of problems in a different community. Meanwhile, they'd have to give up the liturgy, traditions and culture they are used to, and face a small crises over losing 'the unbroken chain of apostolic succession'.

If the parish as a whole left, unless they could bring their bishop with them, the parish would have no assets, including schools, hospitals, etc...

What I'd like to see is the removal of the sovereignty of the church, I think the corruption and arrogance of the church would be a lot easier to address if it weren't shielded somewhat from its own mistakes. I'm not sure why I believe that given the child abuse corruption and cover-ups in other churches (JW, 7th day, etc...), but I think its a factor.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:10 AM on September 22, 2010


BrotherCaine raises legitimate issues in response to my call for Catholics to simply quit the church, however, I would like to point out that there are lots of people in the world (including myself) who are not Catholic and who, nonetheless, have access to schools, hospitals, etc. I could see that in some predominantly Catholic nation, it might be necessary for the state to nationalize the schools and hospitals owned by the church.

It is also true that Catholics who leave Catholicism in favor of some other religion might very well be trading their existing problems for a new and similar (or even worse) set of problems in a different community. I would hardly want them to become Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons, for example. But they don't have to do that. They could become secular humanists and avoid those problems. Or even if they prefer to retain a belief in the supernatural, they could become Unitarian Universalists; that is a very benign denomination.

As for the loss of liturgy, traditions, and culture - they can keep what they like. I don't practice my ancestral religion of Judaism but I do like traditional Jewish food, and I feel free to eat it, with or without the blessing of a rabbi. You don't have to be Catholic to light candles, pray in Latin (which I realize not all Catholics do), hang a crucifix on your wall, or whatever you like.

I do agree that part of the problem is the sovereignty of the church which has long considered itself to be superior to nations or governments. But I also think that people are better off without religion, and some religions are worse than others. Catholicism is a problem.
posted by grizzled at 7:51 AM on September 22, 2010


As Ahab pointed out above Ratzinger has trouble with; and frequently allies himself to his extreme right.
Maybe lobby groups should pressurise their governments to have ambassadors to the Vatican formally protest the actions of this states representatives. That would be a start.
posted by adamvasco at 9:21 AM on September 22, 2010


Maybe lobby groups should pressurise their governments to have ambassadors to the Vatican formally protest the actions of this states representatives.

Huh?

You do know that the diplomatic representatives are accredited as representatives of the Holy See and not of the Vatican City State, right? (With a few exceptions, like the Universal Postal Union.

Adamvasco, if you have a problem with the Catholic Church you could just say what it is. I'm guessing your fundamental complaint isn't "The Pope years ago allowed an essay of his to be included in a book published by right-wingers." I was all ready to believe that God had come down from heaven and founded a Church, but then after an accounting scandal and an essay published 2,000 years later in an essay collection

But it seems like you're more interested in tweaking people's noses with conspiracy theories and shadow power stories than anything else..

Grizzled, the decentralized beliefs and practices of rabbinical Judaism don't really compare to the Catholic Church in the way you're doing. You can't just keep the liturgy, traditions and culture, because those include a liturgy carried out in relationship to a world-wide heirarchy, a culture of belonging to a world-wide Church, etc. and a foundation on belief and practice and not on blood relationship.
posted by Jahaza at 10:06 AM on September 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


A whole bunch of people left the Catholic Church in the 16th century, without losing their religion, and the world is a better place for it. Maybe it's time for another reformation. Or two.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 10:14 AM on September 22, 2010


Jahaza, of course the Catholic Church has a world-wide hierarchy. I am suggesting that this hierarchy does not serve Catholics well (and does not serve humanity well - I don't even want to argue about whether it serves God well, since God is an imaginary being) and Catholics should reject this corrupt hierarchy. If Catholics feel the need for certain traditional elements of Catholicism, they are free to make use of them. Anyone can light candles, pray, own a rosary, or whatever. Everyone is free to invent their own religion. Historically, this has happened several times already, so there is abundant precedent. But there is no real need to found new churches. People should form their own religious opinions without depending upon authority figures to tell them what to think and what to do. To quote the great Leslie Fish, "God will never set you free, for look who speaks for God; the sheppard fleeces every sheep that he's guided with his rod".

Judaism, incidentally, has plenty of beliefs and practices, and although it has evolved as a tribal religion, based as you say on blood relationship, it can still work in a more abstract manner; it is, after all, possible for non Jews to convert to Judaism, although it doesn't happen all that often. Judaism is not just some kind of eccentric extended family. I think that my capacity to take what I wish from Jewish traditions is entirely comparable to what I suggest for Catholics who tire of the Catholic hierarchy.
posted by grizzled at 10:21 AM on September 22, 2010


Grizzled, I know that there is practice in Judaism, but the practice is not what makes you a Jew. Jews who decide not to practice are still Jews and their children are still Jews, and their grandchildren are still Jews (discounting intermarraige).

If Catholics decide not to practice, their children are not Catholics, etc.

Catholics feel the need for certain traditional elements of Catholicism, they are free to make use of them. Anyone can light candles, pray, own a rosary, or whatever.

Sure, but this isn't meaningful in the way it is in Judaism. From the perspective of Judaism, a Jew, who doesn't believe in God, puts on tefillin once, but doesn't otherwise practice, is carrying out the commandment and takes an action in relation with God. If, three generations hence, with no intervening religious practice, his great-grandson puts on tefillin, he carries out the same commandment with the coordinate relationship to God and religious practice.

An athiest who was baptized a Catholic as an infant goes to Mass, he doesn't actually worship. He doesn't by his own action act in a religious way. He may receive a religious benefit, but no action of his is responsible for this, it's entirely one way, which it's not in the Jewish example. His great-grandson with no intervening religious practice, has the same problem and isn't Catholic in any relgious sense.

A religious community forms and selects one of their leaders as a priest, whatever words he or she says, if they're not linked to the institutional Church, from a Catholic perspective, it's not a Catholic Mass.

The institutional element of Catholicism is so strong that I think it's fair to say that you can't toss it overboard without having a different (though related) religion.

and does not serve humanity well - I don't even want to argue about whether it serves God well, since God is an imaginary being

I find it's pretty pointless to argue about whether it serves humanity well from a materialist perspective. It's primary and most important service to humanity is religious, it's not neccesary or expected that it be a net plus from a secular humanitarian point of view, if being a net plus involves somehow "balancing out" against net minuses from waste and inefficiency of religious ritual and practice and social doctrine.

Some materialists see, for instance, the good done by Catholic schools as a net good despite what they must regard as deleterious or at least wasteful expenditure of time and resources on religious indoctrination. Similarly, some materialists could see the Catholic Church as a whole as a net good, hospitals, orphanages, anti-war stances, even promotion of certain moral behaviors (don't steal, etc.), despite what they see as deleterious effects (inculcates false belief in God, wastes money on worship that could be spent on soup kitchens, takes stance on morality of homosexuality that leads to restrictions on the freedoms of homosexual persons), but this kind of argument, however interesting it might be as an intellectual excercise and however neccesary it might be in certain times and places (China, the penal times in Britain) is, today in the English-speaking world, fairly moot. There's a general recognition that people should be free to practice their religion and (despite what some members of Metafilter have publicly sought) a major world religion is not going to be outlawed, so it doesn't make sense to spend a whole lot of time arguing about what is, from a Catholic stance, a hypothetical of little consequence.
posted by Jahaza at 11:03 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Judaism is not just some kind of eccentric extended family.

Although it certainly feels that way sometimes.
posted by zarq at 11:18 AM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sure, but this isn't meaningful in the way it is in Judaism. From the perspective of Judaism, a Jew, who doesn't believe in God, puts on tefillin once, but doesn't otherwise practice, is carrying out the commandment and takes an action in relation with God. If, three generations hence, with no intervening religious practice, his great-grandson puts on tefillin, he carries out the same commandment with the coordinate relationship to God and religious practice.

To Jews, Judaism is triune: it is simultaneously a culture, a blood heritage and a religion.

You're right about the difference, Jahaza. I'd like to point out though that Jewish blood heritage is matrilineal. And for most non-Reform sects, a person is Jewish if their mother was Jewish. Period. Level of religious observance, practice and even belief or non-belief in G-d are irrelevant. If a Jew converts to Catholicism, they are still Jewish in the eyes of Judaism. (I commented about that here.)
posted by zarq at 11:32 AM on September 22, 2010


Jahaza, I have not suggested that Catholicism should be outlawed, I merely suggested that Catholics who are not happy with the way their church is run should quit the church. This was in response to the assertion made much earlier in the discussion: that the flock is literally entirely powerless over its priesthood, and this is what prevents any real reform, but if you want your religion to survive in any shape you must root out the corruption.
posted by Sukiari

This assertion immediately leads us to the paradox that you have to root out corruption yet you are powerless to do so. Hence, abandon the corrupt institution instead.

The fact that, as you say, A religious community forms and selects one of their leaders as a priest, whatever words he or she says, if they're not linked to the institutional Church, from a Catholic perspective, it's not a Catholic Mass, does not concern me. There is no a priori requirement for anyone to have a Catholic Mass. I have certainly never felt any such need. People invented these rituals and then pretend that they are in some way intrinsic to the very fabric of reality itself. Not so.
posted by grizzled at 11:33 AM on September 22, 2010


Grizzled, what you are arguing is the choice to leave one's faith or belief, which while it may be necessary, right or just is not the same thing as just leaving a church or community. The hierarchy of organized religion is to some extent part of the culture, and almost all religions, ideologies, and cultures that elevate someone to a position of moral authority are going to have similar issues to the RCC, no matter how many or few tiers are in the hierarchy. In many ways, the RCC inculcates people less to a blind obedience to moral authority than many of the mainline protestant sects, which also all have issues with child abuse and cover-ups.

I can't have an argument with you about the importance of eschewing unthinking submission to a higher moral authority, because as an ex-Catholic atheist I suspect we'd be in agreement.

Also, there are plenty of Catholic churches not in full communion with Rome, but even that move is hard for some.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:12 PM on September 22, 2010


Jahaza; you are correct. I have a huge problem with the Catholic Church and the Vatican, a problem which you don't apparently have.
It is a state founded with the help of the Fascists in exchange for huge concessions and financial initiative,
with an figurehead chosen by unelected cardinals.
It is an organization which is as far removed from the original teachings of their hero as is possible. An organisation which systematically covers up pedophilia within its ranks which it was warned about 50 years ago.
It has severe fascist leanings which it does not apologise for and is totally misogynistic.
If the Catholic Church was so concerned with poverty and well being of the laity it would be a nice gesture if they sold at least some of their property and art treasures and practiced what they preach, a little bit of Charity.
But I take it you have no problem with this.
In regards to conspiracy I suggest you read some of the facts about Banco Ambrosiano and "Gods banker" Roberto Calvi as well as general opinion about then Vatican Bank Chairman Paul Marcinkus and Operation Gladio. Here is a further article about this scandal. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction especially when there are a lot of shady players.
The Catholic Church hierarchy is all about power and trading on guilt and this should be curbed. The sooner the better as far as I am concerned.
posted by adamvasco at 1:13 PM on September 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I understand, BrotherCaine, that leaving the Catholic Church is not just a change in one's religious belief, it is leaving a community. So, it's difficult. But not impossible. After all, you did it.

There are terrible problems with the Catholic Church, which leaves two obvious options, to make the church better, or to give up on it. I was merely replying to the previous comment that the flock is powerless over the priesthood. If that is indeed the case, then the only remaining option is to give up on the church as a hopelessly corrupt organization - however difficult it may be to leave the community, and whatever the problems may be of finding some other, better community to belong to.

The United States of America is also an organization which is subject to severe criticism on this site and elsewhere. It has committed many errors and many crimes. Yet, we cannot say that the citizens are powerless over their government. There are still elections (which are also not perfect, but which are still honest on the whole) and the public can still vote. So there is an option of making America better, rather than giving up on it. With the Catholic Church, which is ruled by a self-perpetuating oligarchy, there is no such option. So I would advise people to give up on it.
posted by grizzled at 1:57 PM on September 22, 2010


Longsleeves, are you suggesting that the P2 scandal and the child abuse scandals are "conspiracy theories?"

posted by Sukiari at 8:43 PM on September 21


I guess I was just trying to point out that the poster had thrown together an omnibus Bad Stuff 'Bout the RCC post to try start some crossfire about any old aspects of Catholicism, and that's fine I guess.

I'm no fan or defender of the Church I was raised in, for all of the obvious reasons and some personal ones as well.
posted by longsleeves at 2:38 PM on September 22, 2010


The Catholic Church hierarchy is all about power and trading on guilt and this should be curbed. The sooner the better as far as I am concerned.

It sounds like the entirety of your objections to the Catholic Church are made up of its current power structure. I see you mention the existance of the Vatican itself and its past political dealings in your objections -- none of which go past the 19th Century, I notice -- but I don't see that you have raised any objections to its dogma, its beliefs, its traditions, or the like. Hey, for all I know, maybe you do -- but these do not seem to be the core of your strongest objections to the Catholic Church.

Consider, however -- that the Church's power structure is not the church ITSELF. In a sense, you are objecting not to the church itself, only the way in which it is governed.

In a sense, you're advocating that people who aren't happy with the way the United States is run should just all up and move to Canada. But such a move is not easy for people to make. Many of them -- and I'm sure you could understand -- would prefer to stay here and change the government. They vote, they practice political activism, they demonstrate...but such change also takes time, and often meets with resistance from others who aren't as convinced things need to change.

But change it does. It just take enough people to want it to change continuning to work. Some no doubt do just give up and move to Canada, but the more people we have doing that, the longer it takes that change to happen.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:07 PM on September 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


The power structure of the Catholic Church is dangerous in that it serves no purpose but to promulgate itself.
It is a right wing reactionary beast getting further and further removed from real life as experianced by its laity.
EmpressCallipygos; I'm a trifle confused by your statement. The Lateran treaty was signed in 1929. I alluded to nothing prior to that. All the scandals mentioned are modern and relevant.
I have no beef in what people want to believe in if it keeps them sane and happy. If people need a god who am I to stop them believing and creating a fiction about them as long as no harm is done to them or others. My argument is with the exploiter; The Power structure; a small elite of perversity. As to US vs Canada I have no dog and less interest in that race. I am happy to live in Europe where organised religion becomes less relevant every day and does not impinge on our political system ( apart from the mad messaionic war monger Blair and he is now history). Fundamentalist Islam is a different problem.
The Church of Rome; organisation and state is like an octupus whose cancerous tentacles invade into the lifes of ordinary people worldwide and which has zero accountability. I think this should change. One way for this to happen is for the electorate in democratic countries to approach their local politicians and request them to urge their leaders to apply pressure through their diplomatic embassies. A long process but how democracy works. The other is by direct in yer face action.
posted by adamvasco at 1:10 AM on September 23, 2010


EmpressCallipygos; I'm a trifle confused by your statement. [...] My argument is with the exploiter; The Power structure; a small elite of perversity.

That was my statement -- that your argument is with the Power structure, not the Church itself. However, you were encouraging people to abandon the church itself rather than seek to change the power structure.

I brought up the US and Canada as an analogy -- a similar case in which people could dislike an institution's power structure but still cherish the institution. I was trying to explain to you why encouraging people to abandon the institution if all that was at fault was the power structure might be beyond what many people could do, and that there was an alternate solution.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:03 AM on September 23, 2010


Ah yes, you object to the Lateran treaty because it was made with the fascists, but you'd like to see in your face direct action against the Catholic Church.

Have you considered what color shirts your anti-clerical party will wear when they take direct action in the streets of Rome?

Do you really mean to suggest that the Pope is a figurehead (i.e. powerless) and that international financiers and freemasons are the real power behind the Catholic church? That suggests you've just taken leave of your senses and will soon be telling us about the Bilderburgs and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

As for departing far from the teachings of their hero, if you throw overboard the 2,000 year history of the Catholic Church in grappling with these issues, you're going to have a hard time establishing what those teachings are, let alone whether the Catholic Church has departed from them.
posted by Jahaza at 4:04 AM on September 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think they should probably wear this on their multicolored shirts.
Jahara do you shill for Rome? I have not advocated anything. Nor have I suggested the lizard people control Ratzinger et al. I have suggested that one option is for those who want to believe and have moral credence is a schism; but that is all for the believers to sort out.
Me: - Last king, last priest strangulation, entrails etc.
Maybe you could give us your views on how well the Catholic Church as an organization is behaving.
posted by adamvasco at 7:21 AM on September 23, 2010


Jahaza - z not r apologies.
posted by adamvasco at 7:23 AM on September 23, 2010


The power structure of the Catholic Church is dangerous in that it serves no purpose but to promulgate itself.

I'm certainly no fan of the Church. I've ranted about it here at length. But are you really saying that the extensive charitable works established and performed by the Church serve no other purpose than self-promotion? Really?
posted by zarq at 7:33 AM on September 23, 2010


Have you considered what color shirts your anti-clerical party will wear when they take direct action in the streets of Rome?

Yes, it's the people who are against authoritarianism and fascist collaborators who are the fascists, not the authoritarians and fascist collaborators. Good call there, not knee-jerk authoritarian leg-humping or anything.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:52 AM on September 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oooh... yes, you don't agree with my opinion so it must knee-jerk.

If the authority being opposed is clerical authority, yes, anti-clericalism is completely compatible with being fascist, though I'm not applying that term to Adamvasco, just pointing out the irony of his stance.

Yale political scientist Juan Linz has written that: "Anti-clericalism ... is a more or less central component [of fascism]..."

Adamvasco wrote this:
The Church of Rome; organisation and state is like an octupus whose cancerous tentacles invade into the lifes of ordinary people worldwide
This is shockingly close to Mussolini, biographer Denis Mack Smith writes of Mussolini's view that: "the papacy was a malignant tumor in the body of Italy and must 'be rooted out once and for all'". When he's picked the same metaphor as Il Duce for the Catholic Church endorsed "direct action" and described his personal views with violent metaphors: "Me: - Last king, last priest strangulation, entrails etc."

At the very least, it's a striking example of the paranoid style of politics, afraid of fascism, we now endorse something strikingly similar to its beliefs and methods.
posted by Jahaza at 9:34 AM on September 23, 2010


When he's picked the same metaphor as Il Duce for the Catholic Church endorsed "direct action" and described his personal views with violent metaphors: "Me: - Last king, last priest strangulation, entrails etc."

He's actually referring to left-wing anti-clericalism with that quote, but hey, let's use the fact that Mussolini didn't like the threat to his authority within Italy that the Church constituted and ignore the Church's complicity with Franco and Hitler to pretend that anti-clericalism is a right-wing ideology.

afraid of fascism, we now endorse something strikingly similar to its beliefs and methods.

Every political position other than childish pacifism endorses the use of violence to acquire its ends. Every single one.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:49 AM on September 23, 2010


Yeah, that Gandhi bloke liberatin India. Childish pacifist he was..
posted by Ahab at 11:50 AM on September 23, 2010


What can people who are by your own admission "literally entirely powerless" DO to "root out the corruption"?

Stop trying to cure the system from within the system. Push for criminal prosecution and stop going to your church. Stop giving them money. Stop sending your kids to Catholic school. Stop falling over yourselves when the Pope comes 'round, just ignore him. Write a angry letter to lil papa, asking him to give out the entire list of pedo-priests, worldwide, so you can research your local church and avoid it if it is a haven for pedophiles.

Just sitting on your hands, "debating" the problem isn't going to get you anywhere. The powerless of the flock is an illusion that Catholics are only too happy to perpetuate. Or at least, that's what it looks like from where I sit.
posted by Sukiari at 12:13 PM on September 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, that Gandhi bloke liberatin India. Childish pacifist he was..

The idea that Gandhi liberated India from British rule is ignorant and ahistorical. It promotes pacifism, however, so it gets pushed as the dominant narrative because narratives that promote pacifism serve the interests of the powerful.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:29 PM on September 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I should clarify: Gandhi contributed to an environment in which the British viewed continued colonization of India to not be worth the costs attached. There were many factors, which included but were not limited to an ongoing armed insurgency within India, increasing anti-colonial sentiment among Britain's allies and population, and declining profits from colonial rule. Gandhi was one element in that, but neither the only nor the most important one, and the popular historical narrative in which Gandhi and his followers bravely stood up and spoke truth to power and somehow (the narrative gets a little vague as to the specifics) liberated India through peace is a fraud, propagated both by cynical authoritarians and credulous pacifists and liberals.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:47 PM on September 23, 2010


Jahaza please stop being a dick. You accuse me of fascist leanings; Well then It's up against the wall for you motherfucker.
You refuse to engage in this thread so I ask again : Maybe you could give us your views on how well the Catholic Church as an organization is behaving.
zarq some of the kindest people in the world are involved in Catholic Charities I'm sure. I'm also sure that every "free meal" comes with a message however subtle; so yes I think the Roman church seeks to promulgate itself. In your country it raises the question of why does not your government do more for the vulnerable, but that is a separate discussion.
We who are not involved in this organization can only view from the sidelines and encourage, if we feel like it, those within to find within themselves the moral strength to do something as Sukiari so correctly points out. Good Luck to them.
With this I am leaving this thread which I started and have commented in far too much.
It's a pity that more believers didn't call by to give their opinions about how to fix the rotten state of affairs and the corruption.
posted by adamvasco at 12:51 PM on September 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's a pity that more believers didn't call by to give their opinions about how to fix the rotten state of affairs and the corruption.

When the room they're about to walk into is filled with people saying that they belong to an entity that was basically sleazed into existance by Mussolini and they should just quit, why do you think they'd WANT to talk to you?

Shit, I'm not even Catholic any more and even I get sick of the flak sometimes.

You want to hear from more believers? Start by showing them at LEAST the modicom of respect to NOT recommend giving up on their church right out of the gate. Respect that THEY respect their faith, even if you don't. Confine your remarks to the part you really object to -- the corruption in the leadership -- without slamming the entire rest of the institution in the process.

Come ON, people. If you really do welcome opinions from people within the church, BE MORE WELCOMING.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:52 PM on September 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


When the room they're about to walk into is filled with people saying that they belong to an entity that was basically sleazed into existance by Mussolini

I know you don't even pretend to be objective about this but Catholics are members of the Catholic Church, not the Vatican. Please be honest about peoples' arguments.

You want to hear from more believers? Start by showing them at LEAST the modicom of respect to NOT recommend giving up on their church right out of the gate. Respect that THEY respect their faith, even if you don't. Confine your remarks to the part you really object to -- the corruption in the leadership -- without slamming the entire rest of the institution in the process.

In other words, be disrespectful of believers. Gotcha.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:19 PM on September 23, 2010


Start by showing them at LEAST the modicom of respect to NOT recommend giving up on their church right out of the gate.

Shoot, it's not as if this is the first large scale criminal action by the Church. They obliterated all the natural religions in Europe by genocide. This was public policy - "Kill them all, let God sort them out." Yet, people want us to believe that Rome is somehow kinder and gentler now. It's not.

Why don't you guys show the rest of the world some respect and start by giving back the stolen gold, the stolen land, and allowing access to your vast libraries of stolen and hidden knowledge.

You guys are not victims - you are perpetrators and willing supporters and apologists for criminals. You are owed no pity or understanding.
posted by Sukiari at 11:26 PM on September 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Pope Guilty, if you really think that Gandhi's (and consequently the Congress's) strategy of nationwide non-violent civil disobedience between the 1920s and the 1940s was not a highly significant factor in the fall of the Raj, you're just plain wrong. It often made it nigh on impossible for the British to administer civil society. It forced them to the negotiating table time and time again. And it contributed deeply to the international anti-colonialism and sharply declining colonial profits that you mention. One can't use these as counterpoints to the efficacy of non-violent struggle in India, because international distaste for British colonial rule and decreasing financial viability were themselves products of non-violent civil disobedience.

At this point it's worth emphasizing the finer detail that Ghandi's satyagraha was a carefully developed theoretical position fundamentally based upon pacifism, which was implemented in a deliberate and coordinated program of peaceful mass political resistance. On occasions when the resistance struggle became violent, Gandhi and other INC leaders did their damnedest to moderate or stop that violence. As such both Ghandi's theoretical position and his practical politics more than clear the hurdles you set with the comment:

Every political position other than childish pacifism endorses the use of violence to acquire its ends. Every single one.

Tl;dr? Here's the long and short of it. Satyagraha was a body of theory and practice that was neither childish nor endorsed violence.

As for whether the narrative does get a little vague as to the specifics of how the Indian independence struggle was won, you're wrong again. The history of the Indian independence movement is a well researched and comprehensively written field. The details and specifics are readily available to you if you feel like seeking them out. In that context, to deny that the historical evidence exists, and slate one of the more widely accepted viewpoints within the historiography of the independence movement as

a fraud, propagated both by cynical authoritarians and credulous pacifists and liberals. [sic]

suggests that either you haven't done your reading, or that this was the second time in this thread that you've gone way overboard with your final rhetorical flourish.
posted by Ahab at 12:56 AM on September 24, 2010


Sukari and Pope Guilty, thank you for being such wonderful examples of "why believers don't want to come into threads like this."

By the way, Sukari, I see you quoted a lot of what I said -- but it seems you missed the part where I said I'm NOT Catholic. But let's examine the past sins of YOUR faith, since you want to compare notes, eh? Is YOUR own creed so flawless?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:21 AM on September 24, 2010


I belong to no organized religion of any kind. I am blameless. I don't put money into the hands of pedophiles and murderers.
posted by Sukiari at 4:25 AM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do you vote? Pay taxes? If so, you put money and power in the hands of murderers.

Hey, would you look at that? In your home state, the death penalty is legal. Isn't that fascinating?
posted by zarq at 8:04 AM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think you are reaching a bit here. The state of Oregon, and even the USA, are mere amateurs at bring evil compared to the Church of Rome.

Down on your belly, snake.
posted by Sukiari at 11:57 AM on September 24, 2010


I think you are reaching a bit here. The state of Oregon, and even the USA, are mere amateurs at bring evil compared to the Church of Rome.

My point is simply that you're not blameless.

Down on your belly, snake.

I assume this is a Talmudic reference intended to be some sort of weird insult?

In the story, the snake revealed knowledge to Adam and Eve and was punished for breaking a directive not to do so from G-d. Considering this conversation, that's a very interesting metaphor, don't you think? One would think the snake would be considered a hero in this context.
posted by zarq at 12:09 PM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


BTW, if you haven't guessed already, I'm not Catholic. I'm not even Christian.
posted by zarq at 12:10 PM on September 24, 2010


It's actually a reference to what Jesus told Peter, the supposed founder of the Catholic Church, when he was denied. Also Gandalf said it to Grima Wormtongue.

Sort of a little bit of a poke at your shameful attempt at moral relativism above.
posted by Sukiari at 4:23 PM on September 24, 2010


Forget it, Zarq. I think we're just dealing with someone who's still having a hangup about Mommy dragging him to church when he was a kid.

Now, that JAPANESE fixation, though, that's the thing that's really got me suspicious -- Sukiari, how can you admire a people that committed acts like the Rape of Nanking and the Unit 731 experiments? And they still haven't apologized for forcing 200,000 women into serving as prostitutes to "amuse" their military during the Second World War.

And you ally yourself with these people?....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:41 PM on September 24, 2010


Sukiari, how can you admire a people that committed acts like the Rape of Nanking and the Unit 731 experiments?

OK, you're in danger of trolling here, and while I can certainly understand why, take a deep breath. The Oregon / death penalty analogy should have been enough, if not, no amount of examples are going to change anything.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:47 PM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now that you 've read that -- think about something, Sukiari.

Why do you think your prejudicial statements sound any less ridiculous?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:48 PM on September 24, 2010


Do you vote? Pay taxes? If so, you put money and power in the hands of murderers.

I will go to jail and face the nightmare of the American corrections system if I do not pay my taxes; no penalty whatsoever accrues to those who do not tithe.

Additionally, pretty close to all of the money I pay in taxes (since I don't make enough to pay income tax) stays local and helps the community. The worst thing that happens with my tax dollars is that they help pay for one of the more epically useless police departments I've ever dealt with. Not optimal, but certainly not as bad as complicity in furthering the spread of HIV in Africa.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:54 PM on September 24, 2010


Also, EmpC, do you know if Sukiari is Japanese or not?
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:55 PM on September 24, 2010


Also, EmpC, do you know if Sukiari is Japanese or not?

Sukiari deliberately chose a Japanese name patterned after a war cry made by the samurai. That seemed a concious emulation.


And in case it REALLY needs to be spelled out, I do not in truth hold any enmity towards the Japanese -- because, unlike others, I don't consider any one group wholly evil or wholly good. EVERY institution has its good and bad.

Also, unlike others, I do not consider an individual person evil becuase they have chosen to ally themselves with any one faith, creed, nationality, culture, political affiliation, philosophy, or what have you. I also do not automatically assume they support the evils of an institution just because they happen to belong to that institution.

I judge all people based on their individual character alone. And by that yardstick, some people in this thread really aren't looking too good.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:06 PM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sukiari deliberately chose a Japanese name patterned after a war cry made by the samurai. That seemed a concious emulation.

I'm just saying that Sukiari is in fact Japanese, you kind of look like an asshole, and that's the sort of thing you want to know before you start yelling at people about their ethnic identification.

Also, unlike others, I do not consider an individual person evil becuase they have chosen to ally themselves with any one faith, creed, nationality, culture, political affiliation, philosophy, or what have you. I also do not automatically assume they support the evils of an institution just because they happen to belong to that institution.

We've been over this before, and it still comes down to the fact that I judge people by their choices and actions rather than by some ineffable "character". When people give money to organizations, and spend time supporting them, I tend to change my evaluation and opinion of them, because what you do is determined by, and determines, who you are. Since you've rejected the idea of judging a person based on their actions, I'm actually pretty curious as to how you determine a person's character in order to form an opinion of them.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:11 PM on September 24, 2010


I'm just saying that Sukiari is in fact Japanese

That should read "I'm just saying that if Sukiari is in fact Japanese".l
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:12 PM on September 24, 2010


You can pick and chose within Catholicism which collections you are going to support, and/or not donate any money at all. Unlike with my taxes.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:38 PM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


The comment I made was not a comparison or an analogy. It a direct response to the self-righteous claim Sukiari was making that "I am blameless. I don't put money into the hands of pedophiles and murderers."

Which is apparently inaccurate.

Claims that I am engaging in moral relativism are deliberate deflections from my point. Sukiari is not blameless.

PG, regardng your tax dollars: If a system is harmful, the determination of whether it is slightly or extremely harmful does not somehow eliminate the fact that it is harmful. You pay federal taxes, so you support the system. Period. So you're not blameless either.

Of course, you weren't silly enough to claim some sort of illusory superiority. Sukiari did, so I called him (or her) on that.

When y'all try to make what I said into more than it is -- when you manipulate what I said into a defense of your own positions in this thread -- it says a great deal about your own motivations, not mine.
posted by zarq at 11:42 PM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


PG, regardng your tax dollars: If a system is harmful, the determination of whether it is slightly or extremely harmful does not somehow eliminate the fact that it is harmful. You pay federal taxes, so you support the system. Period. So you're not blameless either.

If you want to say that there's no difference between 5 and 10, because neither is zero, that's your own business, but it's pretty useless everywhere outside your head.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:53 AM on September 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm just saying that Sukiari is in fact Japanese, you kind of look like an asshole, and that's the sort of thing you want to know before you start yelling at people about their ethnic identification.

You mean, the way Sukiari kind of looks like an asshole for telling anyone who's Catholic that they're "putting money into the hands of pedophiles and murderers?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:36 AM on September 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Weeeeeellllll, if you're giving money to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, you are in fact giving money to murders, and to enablers of pedophilia if not to pedophiles themselves. You can say that identifying and mentioning that fact makes you an asshole, or makes you look like an asshole, but either way, it's fundamental fact. You cannot deny that the Church works to discourage condom use in Africa, thus exacerbating the spread of AIDS, nor can you deny that the covering up of pedophilia among priests and the defense and re-assignment of those priests appears to be policy. Pointing these things out doesn't make you an asshole. Pointing out that giving money to these people makes you a person who gives money to them doesn't make you an asshole.

That you find the facts uncomfortable doesn't make people assholes for pointing them out. Your insistence that pointing out the atrocities and sins of the Church makes a person an asshole does, however, raise questions as to whether your loyalty and sympathy is with the perpetrator or the victim.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:12 AM on September 25, 2010


That you find the facts uncomfortable doesn't make people assholes for pointing them out.

Why is that true of religions but not nations?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:09 PM on September 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Weeeeeellllll, if you're giving money to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, you are in fact giving money to murders, and to enablers of pedophilia if not to pedophiles themselves.

Weeeeeeeeeeelllllllllllll, I never said anything about people who gave money to the Church anyway. I was talking about people's beliefs, not their spending habits.

And unless you are actually saying that EVERY SINGLE LAST PRIEST IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH SYSTEM is a murder and a pedophile, I still don't see how this applies anyway.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:12 PM on September 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you want to say that there's no difference between 5 and 10, because neither is zero, that's your own business, but it's pretty useless everywhere outside your head.

It's not, actually. Sukiari made a sweeping, self-righteous statement in order to claim some sort of moral high ground over Catholics. It was an unequivocal claim. That ridiculous assertion was easily disproven with a simple example. You and he then claimed I was engaging in moral relativism. I was not. You were, when you said that my example was less problematic than his.

I don't particularly care to nitpick with you about this meaningless bullshit. But I will say this:

You will not win hearts and minds of Catholics by proving that you're better than they are. You're not going to win by shaming them, humiliating them, casting them as evil or instilling fear in their hearts. You won't get anywhere with demands or accusations. You're never going to be able to force them to "convert" en masse. The Church perfected such techniques hundreds of years ago. They're better at it than you are.

The way you connect to people who are trapped in a difficult situation with regard to their religious faith and its organizational hierarchy is through empathy, two-way discussion and by example. It's through understanding, support and assistance. The Church is made up of the Catholic faithful as well as its officers. And they're neither as powerless to enact change as they think or as enabling as they're being portrayed in this thread. Think about that please, before you cast them all in sweeping generalizations or try to claim some ridiculous, non-existent moral high ground. Because if there's one argument that is bound to consistently fail when it's posed to someone of religious faith, it's "My way is more right than yours."
posted by zarq at 3:08 PM on September 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Why is that true of religions but not nations?

I don't even know what this means.

I was talking about people's beliefs, not their spending habits.

And how is it that you assess a person's beliefs? How do you tell what they believe in order to determine their character? Why do you evaluate beliefs, which can be hypocritical or faked, over actions?


That ridiculous assertion was easily disproven with a simple example. You and he then claimed I was engaging in moral relativism. I was not. You were, when you said that my example was less problematic than his.

Moral relativism is not the refusal of moral absolutism- it is not the assertion that morality is not black and white. Moral relativism is the assertion that what is moral in a given context is determined by the standards of that context, and that the truth values of all moral statements are equal. It's an incredibly obnoxious and self-refuting belief (the short version is that it requires the statements "There is an objective morality" and "There is not an objective morality" to both be true), which makes it tragic that it appears to be a fairly popular viewpoint lately. Furthermore, I've looked up and down this thread, and I don't see anywhere that I've accused you of engaging in moral relativism. Please provide a quote or rescind your claim.

You're not going to win by shaming them, humiliating them, casting them as evil or instilling fear in their hearts.

You understand that the content of this statement is "Catholics are incapable of feeling shame", right?

The way you connect to people who are trapped in a difficult situation with regard to their religious faith and its organizational hierarchy is through empathy, two-way discussion and by example.

What exactly do you see this looking like? What possible progress do you see being made? What do you see the discussion looking like? Without a willingness to admit that giving money to murderers and pedophile enablers is wrong, or that giving money to an organization run by murders and pedophile enablers and whose purse strings are controlled by same, is doing so, I don't see any progress being possible. You cannot make progress with somebody who is doing something abominable when they are unwilling to consider that they might be doing something wrong.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:45 AM on September 26, 2010


"Without a willingness to admit that giving money to murderers and pedophile enablers is wrong, or that giving money to an organization run by murders and pedophile enablers and whose purse strings are controlled by same, is doing so, I don't see any progress being possible."

Oh, I agree that it's "wrong to give money to an organization run by murders and pedophile enablers and whose purse strings are controlled by same", but I don't agree that the Catholic Church is such an organization.

What do you see the discussion looking like?

I see the discussion not involving suggestions (even rhetorical) that Catholic priests be disemboweled. Perhaps you can start the rational discussion by condemning that, not by pointing out that its left-wing hate speech not right-wing hate speech (which is pretty pointless, since the statement predates the invention of left-right terminology).

You could stop it with the ad hominem arguments. In this thread, you accused EmpressCallipygos of being loyal too and sympathizing with child abusers. In a previous thread you called me a shill for rapists. And you can't see how your arguments poison the well?
posted by Jahaza at 2:23 PM on September 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Athiest philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy:
“The Pope’s voice is extremely important,” Levy told Spanish newspaper ABC this week. “And we are very unjust to this Pope. I am not Catholic, but I think there is prejudice and especially major anti-clericalism that is taking on enormous proportions in Europe.”

“In France there is much talk about the desecrations of Jewish and Muslim cemeteries, but nobody knows that the tombs of Catholics are continually desecrated,” he added. “There is a sort of anti-clericalism in France that is not healthy at all. We have the right to criticize religions, but the most attacked religion today is the Catholic religion.”
posted by Jahaza at 2:24 PM on September 26, 2010


Sukiari is not blameless.

Therefore...

I hope you aren't saying that makes it OK to give money to people who are going to use it to put goldleaf all over their safehouse in Rome, and then say "What can I do? I'm only a lowly supplicant with no means of influence over the organized criminals who control my access to God!"

Especially since Sukiari's "blame" lies in paying taxes.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 2:46 PM on September 26, 2010


Ah, so the productive discussion starts with telling people who give money to murderers and pedophiles that they've done nothing wrong. Fuck that. That isn't a discussion. That isn't an argument or debate. That is giving the criminals and their supporters everything they want and simply sitting back. That would make me every bit the monster they are.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:21 PM on September 26, 2010


Or to be a bit less inflammatory, your idea of a productive discussion starts with me conceding that the people I disagree with are right and I am wrong. That is not a discussion, and it is the incredible and entirely unexamined privilege of the religious that they feel entitled to dictate that any discussion begin with the acknowledgment that they are in the right. Completely beyond contemptible.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:24 PM on September 26, 2010


"your idea of a productive discussion starts with me conceding that the people I disagree with are right and I am wrong. "

No, I didn't say that. Though you've used the strawman to launch yet another ad hominem.

I said productive discusion would begin with you repudiating the idea that disembowelling priests was desirable, rather than just recatagorizing it. The normal thing for you to do hear would be to say "yes, of course" I repudiate it, rather than suggesting that by requesting that you do so I am forcing you to acknowledge that I am right.
posted by Jahaza at 5:27 PM on September 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I hope you aren't saying that makes it OK to give money to people who are going to use it to put goldleaf all over their safehouse in Rome, and then say "What can I do? I'm only a lowly supplicant with no means of influence over the organized criminals who control my access to God!"

I'm saying he said he was blameless and he isn't. No more, no less. I'm not defending Catholics, Catholicism, Christians, the Church, pedophile molester priests, *any* Church policies, the Pope or any other thing the Church has done.

I'm not comparing levels of support for the Church and/or any other institution or system, either.

He said he was blameless. He isn't.

If you're interested in my feelings about the Church, feel free to ask.
posted by zarq at 5:52 PM on September 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


You understand that the content of this statement is "Catholics are incapable of feeling shame", right?

I'm really not sure how you drew that conclusion from what I said. No, I'm saying that the Church is better at making Catholics feel guilty about renouncing them than you might be at shaming Catholics for their support of the Church. They're probably better at convincing their faithful that priest child rape is not a widespread problem, too. Ever listened to Bill Donohue of the Catholic League? The guy makes it sound like the Church is being attacked with vicious lies. Despite the victims who have stepped forward worldwide, despite the video footage from Brazil, despite the evidence, assholes like Donohue want Catholics to think it's all a huge anti-Pope/Church propaganda campaign.

What I was trying to convey to you is that putting people on the defense is rarely a good idea if you're trying to persuade them of something.
posted by zarq at 6:08 PM on September 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


And how is it that you assess a person's beliefs?

By what they profess to believe.

How do you tell what they believe in order to determine their character?

I don't even know what this means.

Why do you evaluate beliefs, which can be hypocritical or faked, over actions?

I never said I did.

All I meant was, your basis for objection to the Catholic church is "people who are Catholic give money to support pedophiles."

And....this assumes that all Catholics give money DIRECTLY TO the Vatican. But...not all Catholics DO give money direct to the Vatican. Some of them don't even contribute to the weekly collection plate either. Which means...you're making an assumption about their charitable giving habits based on nothing more than their religious affiliation.

So you tell ME now -- how much sense does it make to accuse someone of questionable actions based solely on knowing what religion they profess?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:27 PM on September 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


The worst thing that happens with my tax dollars is that they help pay for one of the more epically useless police departments I've ever dealt with. Not optimal, but certainly not as bad as complicity in furthering the spread of HIV in Africa.

When people give money to organizations, and spend time supporting them, I tend to change my evaluation and opinion of them, because what you do is determined by, and determines, who you are.

Weeeeeellllll, if you're giving money to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, you are in fact giving money to murders, and to enablers of pedophilia if not to pedophiles themselves.

You cannot deny that the Church works to discourage condom use in Africa, thus exacerbating the spread of AIDS, nor can you deny that the covering up of pedophilia among priests and the defense and re-assignment of those priests appears to be policy.

Without a willingness to admit that giving money to murderers and pedophile enablers is wrong, or that giving money to an organization run by murders and pedophile enablers and whose purse strings are controlled by same, is doing so, I don't see any progress being possible. You cannot make progress with somebody who is doing something abominable when they are unwilling to consider that they might be doing something wrong.

Ah, so the productive discussion starts with telling people who give money to murderers and pedophiles that they've done nothing wrong. Fuck that. That isn't a discussion. That isn't an argument or debate. That is giving the criminals and their supporters everything they want and simply sitting back. That would make me every bit the monster they are.


Pope Guilty, these are your words. They're not particularly coherent in any one instance. In each case, you fail to clearly identify your specific target. I suspect that's because you don't actually understand that the Roman Catholic Church is a truly complex set of communities and structures. But taken together as an increasingly shrill and broadly targeted set of repeated accusations, I think it's safe to say that your statements are aimed at a) the Vatican b) the Church hierarchy c) clerical members of all Catholic orders and organizations d) lay Catholic associates of those orders and organizations e) lay Catholics in general f) Anyone else who has ever contributed time, labor, money or even verbal support to any of the preceding.

With respect to the first five of those groups, you're accusing 1.3 billion people of complicity in murder, murder, enabling pedophilia, pedophilia, and being "monsters."

With respect to the sixth group, you're attacking and abusing me as well as every other non-catholic who has ever seen some good in a Catholic project and decided to contribute to it. It's a total guess, but I'd think there'd easily be half a billion of us in this category. Maybe many more. Think about it. There's a lot of Catholic schools, hospitals, community projects, social work programs, thrift stores, collection boxes, and so on in the world. All of them cheerfully accept assistance from non-Catholics. Many have no objection to returning the favor and hiring non-Catholics.

But even that's not the whole of it, is it? "Monsters" by your definition includes anyone who tells Catholics that financial support of their church is acceptable. If I support my neighbors right to tithe or chip in to the collection plate on Sunday, I'm a monster once more. And without any exaggeration at all, I think this category includes most people in the developed world, and a damn high number in the developing world. I'm sorry to have to be the one who tells you this, but most people in most places think it entirely reasonable to allow others the right to freedom of religious practice.

But you feel you've got the right to judge people by their choices and actions (your words again). You've certainly done that in this thread. Shit, you've managed to pass negative judgment not only on the atheists, former Catholics, Jews and Buddhists (and god alone knows who else) who've argued with you here, but also (another numerical guess, but I think a fair one based on a general pattern of religious tolerance in the world) on something like two thirds of the world's population.

Which kind of begs a number of questions.

Firstly, where exactly is this moral high ground that you're judging from? I'm thinking it's gotta be a mighty high and firmly established place. If this isn't all just some troll's game of "my imaginary friend is better than your imaginary friend", you'll no doubt tell us what your theoretical base is.

Secondly, what do you actually believe? I don't mean by that "what video games do you like?", or "what do you find funny enough for a front page post?", "what are you stridently opposed to?" or even "what snippet of theory are you currently plugging into your scrapbook?" I mean what coherent structure have you developed from your theoretical base? What positive, active and action oriented value system have you developed that puts you in such an incredibly superior position to the rest of us?

Finally, I think those of us who've done some seriously good shit in our lives, and have nonetheless been copping your accusations of monsterhood, have a right to know just how practical and effective your beliefs are. Is there some reason you haven't told us the ways in which you've applied that value system of yours for the greater good?

In short, you need to either put some serious shit on the table, let us judge it (and you) as you've been judging us, or you need to pull your fucking head in and get down off your soap box.

At this stage, to do anything else is just going to show you really are the juvenile thug and craven coward that you're coming across as.
posted by Ahab at 10:43 PM on September 26, 2010


What exactly do you see this looking like? What possible progress do you see being made? What do you see the discussion looking like?

Progress: Catholics changing the Church from within and without, either by leaving it or through some sort of reformation. Also, through pushing for Churches to cooperate with law enforcement in local municipalities. If a priest is accused of molestation, Churches shouldn't be allowed to shield them from criminal prosecution. Discussion: an ongoing conversation where these potential goals are weighed and reasoned with clear and realistic goals in mind. Also, (where possible and recognizing that this is a really upsetting and touchy subject,) without anger, vitriol, condemnation or over-the-top accusations that ultimately serve no purpose.

I think a great first step would be to support and promote groups that are already working within Catholicism to do so and aid Catholics who have been affected by the scandal, like the National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC). Browse the links at "Leaving Christianity" and you might find other groups doing similar work. This can help raise awareness.

The decision to leave the Church is not by any means an easy or simple one for most religious Catholics, who often self-describe it as "agonizing" and "a struggle." When one is raised in / indoctrinated in a particular religious system, it can be very, very hard to break out of. In this situation, distinguishing between the Church and the Catholic religion is difficult because the Church has deliberately blurred the lines between the two for a couple of millennia.

Note the quote in that second link in the previous graph:
The recent developments have actually caused me to strengthen my religion as I believe it is under attack. While the actions of these priests and supervisors are deplorable and should be punished by the law, these priests represent a very small percentage of all Catholic priests throughout the world. ... I, along with most Catholics I'm sure, will not waiver from our faith or religion. — Mike Lopez, Santa Maria, Calif.
That blurred line will probably need to be more sharply defined by you if you're going to convince the Catholic faithful that it is possible to abandon their Church without shrugging off the religion entirely.

Without a willingness to admit that giving money to murderers and pedophile enablers is wrong, or that giving money to an organization run by murders and pedophile enablers and whose purse strings are controlled by same, is doing so, I don't see any progress being possible. You cannot make progress with somebody who is doing something abominable when they are unwilling to consider that they might be doing something wrong.

"I cannot do this" is often shorthand for "My way isn't working, but I can't be bothered to try a different tactic." Nothing is absolute in this life. Nothing. People whose minds are closed to new ideas and understanding may open them at a moment's notice. They may just need the right impetus. That doesn't mean they're necessarily going to agree with you, but it's still worth trying.

Do you really believe that all Catholics are incapable of discussing this subject rationally or keeping an open mind? I don't. I have friends who are Catholic who are very conflicted about the multiple scandals. In my experience, it's usually best not to assume everyone's an extremist. Many certainly seem to be willing to talk about it, and I have to assume that some of them are looking for a way to reconcile their religious beliefs with what the Church has been doing.

If you're going to have a discussion on this topic with Catholics, then it's probably a good idea not to put them on the defensive right off the bat. Recognize that the Church seems to be casting outside efforts to call them out as a witchhunt and an attack on all Catholics.

If the subject comes up with my friends, I ask them how they feel about the situation and what they're doing to change things from within. If they say, "there's nothing I can do," I point out that they do have options, even if they just join the growing legions of people who are speaking out. I try to also think in terms of what the Church and her die-hard supporters are saying to their faithful, and acknowledge when it's raised that the Church did take belated action in many cases. But I try to frame that in proper perspective: it happened after decades, during which the truth was apparently covered up.

And we talk about this:
"By 2008, the U.S. church had "trained 5.8 million children to recognize and report abuse. It had run criminal checks on 1.53 million volunteers and employees, 162,700 educators, 51,000 clerics and 4,955 candidates for ordination. It had trained 1.8 million clergy, employees and volunteers in creating a safe environment for children."[72]"
When other arguments (some of which have been brought up in this very thread,) such as the fact that similar scandals have cropped up in other religions, we talk about those honestly, too, although I only know how such scandals have been handled in the Jewish world - with a very mixed track record.

Vilifying all Catholics as enablers while deliberately ignoring or dismissing the very real steps the Church has taken to stop molestation by priests is going to prompt angry defensive reactions from the people you're talking to. Belittling anyone who may feel trapped in a religious system in which they think they have no control is really not going to accomplish much. Accusing them all of supporting pedophiles... well at best that's probably an abstract concept to someone who has no direct knowledge of a priest molesting members of his flock. If you're going to persuade them, you have to make people want to alter the status quo or leave. Either that, or you're going to have to bring down the Church as an institution. They're a pretty big windmill to tilt at.

Please don't fall into the trap of assuming that all people of faith worship blindly. Many of us (myself included) probably question and revise our beliefs quite frequently.
posted by zarq at 12:06 PM on September 27, 2010


On re-read: Nothing is absolute in this life. Nothing.

...is quite paradoxical and kind of a ridiculous thing to assert. But I think you probably get my point. :)
posted by zarq at 3:35 PM on September 27, 2010


I read through the comments posted since I took a break from this thread. To me anybody who attempts to defend or somehow attenuate the severity of the crimes of Rome that have accumulated over the centuries, by shouting "WELL YOU DO IT TOO IN SOME WAY!" is not being intellectually honest.

When somebody points out the fact that Rome is corrupt as hell and acts with impunity, and they are met with attempts at deflection, there is really no point in continuing the debate as debate is not possible without some intellectual honesty. You can, in theory, defend any action or viewpoint with moral relativism. It is the tactic of a lawyer or a sophist, not of an honest person.

Also, I'm not Japanese, pro-death penalty, and now more anti-Catholic than ever.
posted by Sukiari at 5:09 PM on September 28, 2010


When somebody points out the fact that Rome is corrupt as hell and acts with impunity, and they are met with attempts at deflection, there is really no point in continuing the debate as debate is not possible without some intellectual honesty.

When one refers to challenges to BACK UP one's claims of "facts" as "attempts to deflect the conversation", then it was never an intellectually honest debate to begin with. If one is so far gone in one's own bigotry that one cannot meet request for claims of proof, then one has lost the ability to discern fact from opinion.

Also, I'm not Japanese, pro-death penalty, and now more anti-Catholic than ever.

In other words, you're still a bigot. We already knew that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:16 PM on September 28, 2010


Nobody here has disputed the fact that the Catholic Church is an institution that shields pedophiles. Nobody has disputed the fact that they are against condoms, or that they eliminated all the natural religions of Europe - "Kill them all, let God sort them out."

You see, these are facts. They can not be disputed.

I have accused others of intellectual dishonesty for attempting to glide around discussing facts. Hell, nobody here has seriously challenged any of these facts.

And, yes, I guess if being against one of the most disturbing organizations ever to grace the planet, I am a bigot. Seems to me, though, that your name calling is more childish than anything else. It is something you yell in frustration once your quiver of reason is empty.
posted by Sukiari at 5:34 PM on September 28, 2010


Sukiari, I began our conversation by pointing out that "it seems that your objection is to the church fathers and the structure rather than the individual members". But you were the one who dismissed even the individual followers as equally complicit. (Tangentially, that strikes me as being just as "kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out" as the very church hierarchy from the past that you decry -- even more so, because the Church has since abandoned that practice, yet you are continuing to do it.)

So in essence, you've dismissed an entire group of people based on the actions of a subset OF that group. If that's not bigotry, I don't know what is.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:52 PM on September 28, 2010


I do not object to the teachings of all the church fathers, nor do I disagree with having your religion structured any way you like. It's your religion - go nuts with it.

What I object to is the idea that tithing Catholics are free from complicity in child abuse scandals. I also object to the legal shield that Rome has built up about itself, being a sovereign nation. Of course, I am not suggesting that all or even most Catholic priests and such are pedophiles.

Again, you like to skirt by the very real, ongoing damage being done to the world by Rome. In fact, whether or not individual Catholics agree with the actions of Rome, if they are going to church, paying them money, or increasing the mind-share of the Catholic Church at all they are complicit in all these deeds.

I retain that the Roman hierarchy is composed of the same types of people who said "Kill them all, let God sort them out." Any claims that actions such as the destruction of much of the culture and religion of a whole continent of people is somehow "in the past" and I should forgive and forget deafen my ears.

There are Catholics who are conflicted by the deeds of the evildoers in the Roman hierarchy, and that's great. They should be, if they are thinking people. However, merely being conflicted, yet continuing tithing and going to Mass, strikes me as a form of cowardice, or at least unwillingness to confront an enemy.

The term bigotry implies an irrational hatred for some group or idea. I am more filled with rationally generated shame and disgust.
posted by Sukiari at 6:02 PM on September 28, 2010


I do not object to the teachings of all the church fathers, nor do I disagree with having your religion structured any way you like. It's your religion - go nuts with it.

...Perhaps you missed it the first time I said it, but -- it's actually NOT "my religion". I'm not Catholic.

I retain that the Roman hierarchy is composed of the same types of people who said "Kill them all, let God sort them out." Any claims that actions such as the destruction of much of the culture and religion of a whole continent of people is somehow "in the past" and I should forgive and forget deafen my ears.

Any claims that my mother, by making donations to her LOCAL PARISH because that's how they keep the food pantry going, is by that act participating in the coverup of pedophilla, raises my hackles.

Since it seems that you are therefore not going to abandon your belief that my mother is somehow guilty of child molestation, I'm afraid I'm going to have to either accuse you of slander, or take a page from your book and "deafen my ears" as well.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:13 PM on September 28, 2010


And to those of the rest of you wondering "gee, why don't any practicing Catholics participate in these discussions on the blue?" -- ask yourselves, why would anyone want to subject themselves to accusations that their mothers are child molestors?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:15 PM on September 28, 2010


why would anyone want to subject themselves to accusations that their mothers are child molestors?

Where did that come from? Is there something you're not telling us? Because that's not anything like what Sukiari said.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 7:10 PM on September 28, 2010


Any claims that my mother, by making donations to her LOCAL PARISH because that's how they keep the food pantry going, is by that act participating in the coverup of pedophilla, raises my hackles.

Yet, if there is a molester in her parish, and he is accused, his legal defense fund will be coming from your mother, more likely than not. Rome has attempted to shield itself from local financial obligation, especially since people started blowing the whistle on the pedophilia.

I would think your hackles would already be raised, knowing that some of her money goes back to Rome, where a portion of that goes toward defending child abusers and lying to Africans about condoms.
posted by Sukiari at 8:26 PM on September 28, 2010


And to those of the rest of you wondering "gee, why don't any practicing Catholics participate in these discussions on the blue?" -- ask yourselves, why would anyone want to subject themselves to accusations that their mothers are child molestors?

Listen, the Catholics have been on the offensive for slightly over 1500 years now. Yet all of a sudden, they are downtrodden victims of a world that doesn't understand them? SERIOUSLY?

My pointing out the very real flaws in a worldwide, insanely powerful organization that has people wrapped around its finger is supposedly indicative of my bigotry? SERIOUSLY?

And then you go and bring your poor mother into this? I mean, come on. Have we descended below the level of cheap sophistication, plumbing the depths of the least reasonable parts of our being now? We have been everywhere else in this discussion so far. Why they fuck not?

I guess the flock of Rome and their supporters and defenders don't like bad news or ugly facts, nor do they want to discuss ways of fixing the ugly criminality inherent in that system.
posted by Sukiari at 8:35 PM on September 28, 2010


Listen, the Catholics have been on the offensive for slightly over 1500 years now. Yet all of a sudden, they are downtrodden victims of a world that doesn't understand them? SERIOUSLY?

As nearly as I can tell, Empress is saying that if Catholics are accused of being directly, consciously complicit in the crimes of their Church then it's not really a surprise that they're uninterested in participating in discussions where they are told that they are responsible for supporting pedophiles and murderers.

So yes, I'd say that her mother seems quite relevant here as an example. She's Catholic. She tithes to her Church to support their food programs. You've said that anyone who gives money to the Church is directly supporting a system which has both protected and hidden child molesters as well as allowed them to remain in positions where they could continue to attack children. The only logical conclusion one can draw from what you have said in this thread is that her mother has therefore knowingly supported the rape of children by Catholic priests.

I'm not entirely sure how that translates into a claim of victim status for Catholics.
posted by zarq at 7:41 AM on September 29, 2010


Yes, I have claimed that tithing Catholics are giving money to defend child abusers. It's true. Pretending it isn't true, not wanting to hear it, will of course lead them nowhere in combating the issue.

Catholics either need to accept child abuse as inherent to the system, or vote with their feet and dollars.
posted by Sukiari at 3:25 PM on September 29, 2010


Catholics either need to accept child abuse as inherent to the system, or vote with their feet and dollars.

I remain unconvinced that acceptance or exiting are their only options. I don't see why change can't be fomented from within, if enough Catholics can be convinced to push for it.
posted by zarq at 3:30 PM on September 29, 2010


As far as I can see the Catholic Church is designed to make pushing from the bottom impossible. The Protestant Reformation was the result of an earlier regime of corruption, and I see no way out for genuine Christian Catholics except another Reformation. They'll have to surrender the illusion of an unbroken chain of succession from Peter to do it, but that illusion has been so abused that I don't see it as recoverable.

I think liberation theology (such as was suppressed in Latin America) is a possible path for those not happy with the structure of the Church.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 7:25 PM on September 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


They must hate reading Matthew 16:23 - "Get behind me, Satan!"

That Peter, you know the theoretical first Pope.

The Vatican recently declared that the Bible is not a good source for Christian thought, though, so I guess if they buy that they have no problem with the above verse.

Anyway, zarq, I don't see an alternative other than leaving or accepting the status quo. As long as Rome gets their money they are happy.
posted by Sukiari at 10:20 PM on September 29, 2010


Some of you may wish to follow this debate as it becomes available in the news. You should be able to find a preview of the negative/defense argument here.

I'm reasonably sure the abc link will work overseas, if not, ask and I'm sure someone can strip the transcript out and send it to ya.
posted by Ahab at 8:03 AM on September 30, 2010


And what responsibility does the Pope himself bear as head of the Church?

Oh, for fuck's sake. Pope Benedict was personally involved in the covering up of child molestation. He personally aided and abetted child molestors. This refusal to acknowledge reality makes me fucking ill.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:15 AM on September 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


I used to watch COPS and almost every time they would arrest a person with either crack, or who was in possession of a stolen vehicle, they would come up with all kinds of excuses as to why they had crack or a stolen car. Some of them were actually pretty good. However, now that I see the Catholic world's non-responses to the problems in the church, in comparison I see all of America's finest crackheads and car thieves as mere amateurs in the sport of shifting blame and making excuses.
posted by Sukiari at 8:52 AM on September 30, 2010


I get my copies of The New York Review of Books kind of late, so this one, Marcial Maciel, is old news, but it seems to me that Catholics must have a very hard time dealing with the deluge of scandal coming down around them.

Actually, the article gives some examples of how Catholics deal with it:
There is something to be said for consigning it to the trash bin and forgetting about it.

The Church did bring justice, and did penalize this man. [They covered up his crimes for decades, then protected him so he could live out his last few years in quiet comfort, once the publicly available information got to be too much to deny]

Patrick Madrid, the orthodox Catholic blogger...warns that enemies of the Church will try to use this case to smear Pope John Paul II.

what can you do to an eighty-two-year-old priest who has been so successful in building a movement of renewal and is strongly supported and repeatedly praised by, among many others, Pope John Paul II? What you can try to do is to filch from him his good name.
What's very interesting about this case is that the group being defended, Legionaries of Christ, was founded as part of a Catholic insurgency against secular government in Mexico. It masquerades as a religious movement, but is in fact a political movement with theocratic aims.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 2:05 PM on October 3, 2010


Blase Bonpane; international human rights activist and excommunicated married priest wrote an article earlier this year
The Catholic Church's Dirty Little Secret Is Out: Now What? in which he pointed out that there was a Grand Inquisitor within the church who frequently attacked liberation theologians. This was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who is now Pope Benedict XVI.
Further news about Catholic interferance now from Manila
A Catholic Taliban rules the Philippines?
posted by adamvasco at 3:15 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think this is an appropriate link to close this thread on. (If you are a sensitive practistising Catholic or easily offended don't follow the link).
posted by adamvasco at 9:27 AM on October 20, 2010


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