Hey! Thanks for reading! Just a reminder that I wrote this some years ago, and may have much more complicated feelings about this topic than I did when I wrote it. Happy to elaborate, feel free to reach out to me! 😄
If you aren't head-explodingly outraged with the Catholic church, you aren't paying enough attention (or, alternatively, you're incapable of independent thought).
With that in mind, this video tickled me (language NSFW).
Unsurprisingly, I agree with the Hitchens/Dawkins initiative to have the Pope brought to court.
Edit: I realize this was an inflammatory post, especially since I don't provide any links to what's going on, or the conversation in place. Here are a few articles that guided my understanding:
Andrew Sullivan in invaluable in this discussion, as a compassionate Catholic who isn't afraid of following the truth where it lies. He's written a great article for The Times that lays it all out pretty well.
Sullivan continues with more damning (literally, I hope) facts. The Vatican's response so far has been along the lines of calling this 'petty gossip,' seemingly unaware that the documented rape of hundreds children (and documented ignoring of calls for help) does not constitute gossip. It is fact, and there is a difference.
This has raised the question, can the Pope be fired? As in, suppose tomorrow we find out he also burned orphanages, uses performance-enhancing drugs, was in Arizona illegally, and was actually not even Catholic. Could the Vatican defrock him? Turns out, they can't. Surprisingly, the Catholic hierarchy has no real systems for accountability.
Some bishops do step down, however. The timing suggests they're not so sorry that they did it as they are that they got caught.
Christopher Hitchins was on Bill Maher's show, and while both are polarizing atheists who don't generally resonate well with believers (they're pretty inflammatory), this video lays it out pretty simply: would you accept a child molester (or someone who aided one) in your company? In your country? Then why is this any different?
The Onion, a satirical publication, wins with the best headline though: Pope Vows to get Church Pedophilia Down to Acceptable Levels. The funny thing is, he hasn't even done this.
In a major breakthrough, however, the Vatican _may_ apologize in some way shape or form in June. Again, I have a feeling this is only happening because we're making such a big stink about it, since the abuse has happened over the last century (at least) and nobody from their end has said a peep about it, other than blaming.
The Vatican, like Phil Donahue and most other shills, have demonstrated themselves to be incapable of owning up to this, and have only shown their incompetence by blaming others. The best defense of the Catholic Church came just this morning, by Nick Kristof of the New York Times.
He basically says "don't mock so hard or cruelly, because these idiots in the Vatican aren't the entire Catholic church; many priests and nuns on the ground give their lives selflessly in the true spirit of the organization, and the mockery/criticism belittles their unmatched generosity."
Dan Savage addresses this, and I more or less agree. Standard accountability models are necessary, but mockery (especially honest and well- produced mockery, as in the video at the top of the post) will accelerate the response from the Church while they continue to earn it. Until that response comes, the good, "real" representatives of the Catholic faith will not be represented by the organization they deserve to be, and the churchgoers will suffer as they always have.
Until then, regarding Ratzinger, fuck the motherfucker.
Edit 2 (5/3/2010): More from Andrew Sullivan, reflecting on the NYT summary published yesterday. I also left out the reporting on Marcial Maciel, the Legion of Christ, and other establishment blights that further illustrate how horrible the whole situation is (Sullivan, National Catholic Reporter).
Edit 3 (5/11/2010): Ratzinger finally says something more substantive. This doesn't put him off the hook for the scandals he's been a part of, and I'm still waiting for him to do something. Took long enough, but it's better than blaming outsiders or the victims.
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