Didn't Know? How old are you?

Sorry, but:

‘the laity knew nothing’ sounds like an echo of the german “we didn’t know they were KILLING them” line c. 1945.

I have been aware of pedophilia (and the practice of re-assigning the creeps) for over 20 years.

Am I the only one?

Willful blindness is NOT a defense.

See, what you didn’t know is that the pedophiles have humongous lobbying power and have been able to keep everything “calm.”

Besides, how comfortable of a topic is it to talk about? Even mentioning it gives me the creeps. That’s not an excuse for allowing it to happen, but it explains why it ain’t been on the news for 20 years.
Where did you get that quote anyway? It fits every case of the public pleading ignorance.

Oh, for Goddess’ sake, FUCK OFF, happyheathen. I feel bad for Esprix…his title of One-Trick Pony (which was laughable anyway, as everyone knows he can never have just one trick) is rapidly being stolen by Mr. Heathen.

I’m not even Catholic anymore and I’m beginning to get more than a little irritated with your constant fucking vile attempts to paint every Catholic in the world as pedophilia enablers. Go felch a sacrificial goat.


kuroashi - the not-exact-quote comes form accounts of Allied troops forcing local germans to view/bury corpses at the death camps. And, it is not a matter of the creeps having a “lobby” - it seems that the protection was a perk of being a member of the ‘club’ - ‘us’ vs. ‘them’, with the concomitant ‘protect your own’ mentality.

jayjay - thank you for your intelligent, rational commentary

I thought I knew what you were talking about, but now I’m confused. (I was joking about the lobby by the way) Are you trying to draw a parallel between the “ignorance of the masses” in the Hitler master plan and pedophile priests? You think most priests knew this stuff was going on - on a nationwide scale at that - for 20 years (as long as you knew about it) and kept their mouths shut?

Oh for fuck’s sake happyheathen! The average Catholic didn’t know dick about what was going on. Of those that did, few knew the scope of the problem.

The heirarchy of the church deserves a good rant against them. A small percentage of Catholics probably deserve a good rant against them too. The average Catholic does not.

I’m a dyed-in-the-wool atheist. I dislike religion. But I just can’t agree with you here.

“dyed-in-the-wool atheist”

ah, so that’s how they make atheists


From context I get that “felch” means something like “fuck.” But in nearly sixty years I never heard that or saw it before the SDMB, where I’ve seen it used now several times. Is anyone aware that Felch is an ancient (and not too uncommon) Welch family name? Just askin’.

As to the OP, nothing much stays secret, even the transgressions of priests. I agree that Catholics who didn’t know just didn’t want to know. This has been on the news from time to time for years. It isn’t as if somebody just today said, “Oh, guess what. Some priests like to fondle and fuck children.” It was covered up by the hierarchy and ignored by the laity for many years. No, I’m not a Catholic. Yes, it is my business, and yours, too.

Since the majority of professing Christians are Catholics, it would be interesting to know how many of them boycotted companies a few years back for doing business with South Africa, all the while paying tithes and/or offerings to the Catholic church. I guess you pick and choose the causes you think are important enough to do something about. Refusing to “support apartheid” over there is a lot easier than confronting your church leaders at home, or even explaining to your priest why there was no check from you in the plate last Sunday.

The fact that the Boston and NY archdiocies (sp) have been able to provide records of pedophiliac behaviour dating back 40 years suggests that, at least at the Bishop level, this behaviour was not only known, but actually tracked.

The question is:

If the Bishops knew, who else did?

Did the parents of abused children “decide” to remain silent? Did they mention it around the parish?

If not, how the hell did I come across it? I had never even LOOKED into the Church when this information came into my conciousness. How far could it have been from the consiousness of the Laity?

kuroashi -
yes, the knowledge existed (or the records would not). The lawyers said ‘settle, with confidentiality agreement’. All others decided ‘not to know’. pathetic and obscene.

for the young Catholics:
ask your parents/grandparents for their memories… quietly

Most of my family is Catholic. We weren’t suprised by this only because we have a very low opinion of humanity in general.

Did we know anything about it? No, not beyond the televised cases. Did we have any kind of firsthand knowledge? Hell no. I’ve personally never met anyone who’s claimed to have been molested by a priest. As far as I know, neither has anyone in my family.

Do you have nothing better to do than bitch about Catholics, happyheathen? I mean, really; comparing Catholics to Nazis, what the FUCK?

::chorus of voices::

Cancer Nazi, Cancer Nazi, Cancer Nazi.

Seriously; most Catholics didn’t know. We thought that the only priests who did such things were the ones who had trials publicized on the local news, or articles in Time Magazine and such. I sure as hell thought that it pretty much never happened. That they were few and far between. Cause, I mean, the priest at MY church was ok. Don’t you get it? The people in the heirarchy were covering things up so that the laity wouldn’t find out about the situations.

Christ almighty, find something better to do than to make rash generalizations about a religion which you seem to have undue hostility towards.

I’m really sorry to have to be the one to break it to you, but “felch” means something far, far more… how can I say this…? Far more intimate than mere “fuck”.

cue Gospel Choir


hand claps and arm swaying ensues

checks the Forum name


falls down on the floor and rolls around slowly, laughing like a maniac

How long have you been here?! Starting a flame thread in the Pit does not entitle you to turn it into a Great Debate by fiat once you’ve gotten your innings in. This situation passed the point of rational argument and commentary with you about 10 threads ago. Now we’re just settling in to combat your obviously personal-issues-oriented trollery.


Worse. He thinks most Catholics (laity as well as clergy) knew about the abuse (and the unbelievably huge scale of the abuse) for over 20 years and kept their mouths shut. In other words, he’s basically accusing the entire Catholic Church, from the Pope to my mother (and probably, by extension, me) of being members of a vast pedophilia ring.

Vile, foul, evil accusations worthy of the height of the Know-Nothing movement. Why doesn’t he just accuse the Jesuits of worshipping the Devil and plotting to take over the country as well?

I should have called Godwin’s Law just based on the OP and been done with it…


Let me see if I am getting this right. It’s fairly common knowledge that some priests have molested some children- this much I think everyone can agree on. Up until the scandal broke, though, many people were just running on the base assumption that the problem did not have quite this scope. Which seems, quite frankly, reasonable.

And you? You knew.

Are we to assume, then, that while you knew this information- the astonishing depth of it, how far up in the heirarchy it went, the sheer amount of victims- you did nothing whatsoever?

Great moral high ground. Bravo.

happyheathen–I’ve heard stories about babysitters molesting their charges. Coaches and teachers too. So when I heard similar stories about a few priests over the years I was not shocked. Indeed, it seems that hearing of no such cases among clergy would have been more suspicious than not. Molestation is sick and twisted but we can’t pretend that it doesn’t happen fairly regularly in our society. So unless it happened in THEIR church, to THEIR child–how would the average person know of any vast cover-up? If a case is on the news (as you claim they have been for twenty years) doesn’t that lead to the assumption that authorities are aware of and dealing with it? You’re trying to string up the wrong people here. The blame lays on the molesters, the administrators who covered it up, and the parents of victims who chose not to go to police right away “for the good of the church” or whatever. They were the ones who had an opportunity to stop this but didn’t. I’m as disgusted by this freakshow as the next guy. And for you to suggest–despite so many attempts to educate you to the contrary–that I and every other member of the laity somehow knew about this, and condoned it, and covered it up? Are you fucking serious? I suggest you really think about what you are saying, instead of just spewing half-assed hatred all over a good portion of the population.
Oh–and Nazi’s? Come on now, has it really come to that?

Belladonna, you make a good point. While it’s been more or less common knowledge that pedophelia happens with priests on occasion (and for the sake of bad jokes), there’s a difference between that and actually having some sort of evidence. You could say the same thing for any group that has contact with kids – like teachers, babysitters, and so on. Does that make the community at fault when pedophelia comes to light among these groups?

Put the blame where it lies. Knowing that a process most likely goes on – somewhere, probably not in your town – is a lot different from knowing who are the offenders. If you knew, how can you be less responsible than Catholics who “knew” this information as much as you do? Why didn’t you do something? Answer: you couldn’t. Hearsay and rumor aren’t grounds to do much, and I hardly think they’re a reason to leave your faith.


And exactlly what legal action did you take based on your knowledge? Did you report the abuse of which you had knowledge to either the bishop or to the appropriate legal authorities?

If not, then, by your own definition, you are part of the problem of covering up for the pedophiles.

I’m creating a new branch of the failth called Cthulhu Catholicism. We hold sacred the teachings of Jesus Christ but we sacrifice child molestors and enemies of the church to a giant squid.

Happyheathen, your hostility against Catholicism now begins to make sense – nobody else seems to have noted the comment in your OP…

Let me ask, if this is the case, what did you try to do about it? If you did (as I presume) try to bring it to light, how was it buried?

And there’s a recent column I read, I think by Michael Alvear, on the Abp. of New York knowingly turning a blind eye on a sexually active gay priest (adult gay sex, in this case) contrary to his vows quite a few years ago. At the risk of saying something to dredge out the gay=pedophile idiots, I brought it up because to me it’s symptomatic of the cover-up mentality. I’ll see if I can find a link on it.