"It's a child, not a choice--besides, I need a date next Saturday night...."

It doesn’t condone it, but it sure as hell doesn’t actively prosecute or remove priests who are child molesters either.

Due to the whole “seperation of Church and State” thing, the Catholic church doesn’t have a whole lot of authority to step in and act as a State or Federal Prosecutor in cases against child molesters. And I would really like to see an instance where a convicted child molester has been allowed to remain as an active member of the Catholic clergy.

Jeeeeez…ya’ start a perfectly nice little Pit thread for the purpose of having everyone kick some loser while he’s down, and the next thing you know you’re in fuckin’ Havana.

While I suspect they are outnumbered by loon Protestants, there have been a number of loon Catholics in the ranks of anti-abortion extremists. (By “anti-abortion extremists” I mean people who advocate or carry out violence against doctors and clinics, up to and including murder.) For example, there is Father David Trosch from Alabama, a vocal proponent of killing abortion doctors. This and a number of Trosch’s positions are at odds with the official teachings of the Catholic Church (to put it mildly); sources differ on exactly what his status within the Church is (he’s a “former” priest; a “defrocked” priest; an “all-but-defrocked” priest; he’s been “relieved of his pastoral duties” but not defrocked or excommunicated). Perhaps there’s some temporal progression there.

If you search for information on this sort of thing you get a lot of hits from people with a lot of axes to grind (which is not to say that some of them don’t have legitimate complaints). Herewith, a couple of reports from reasonably objective sources:

From an article in the Guardian (UK):

From a CNN story:

Nobody said it was. It’s amazing how sensitive some people are on this issue - simply mention the instances of paedophilia amongst the clergy and all of a sudden you’re Jack Chick or Ian Paisley or something. Overreaction doesn’t help, folks.

The simple truth is that several (I don’t know how many, and I probably don’t want to know) paedophile priests have been kept at their duties and effectively allowed to continue abusing children because Church officials turned a blind eye to what they were doing. FACT. Does anyone seriously dispute this???

(And please don’t say “I don’t dispute that, but I do dispute blah blah blah” and then claim I said something I didn’t.)

I’m also not about to estimate how many Catholics have lapsed, in part or in total, over this issue but here’s a little Reuters item for you:

Clearly, this kind of thing has had some negative effect on believers, at least over here. Deny this and, well, you’re just in denial, basically.

And FTR, yes I am a she, and a (lapsed, but still self-identified) Catholic.

*Originally posted by ruadh *

One salient point is that the integration of Catholicism into society differs widely by country. In Ireland, the church has played a huge role in shaping the fabric of society, politics and even entertainment…much more so than in the states. Divorce was only recently (1995 I think) legalized…the church essentially banned many forms of traidtional Irish dance earlier in the century…the schools are primarily church run.

Things like the Casey scandal (had a mistress on the side) tend to be seen as much more of a national issue than similar cases in the states.

For example, Cardinal Cook (predecessor to Bernadin in the Chicago Archdiocese) had many serious financial and ethical problems (in addition to being a general prick)…and while that got a lot of attention in the Windy City, I doubt that a lot of California Catholics even knew who he was.

While there are pockets of clerical pedophilia (and cover ups) in the states, I don’t think that (at least now) your average Joe Sixpack Catholic sees it as a national issue. Perhaps more than any other denomination, the RCC is about as pluralistic as you get in terms of the attitudes and beliefs of the laiety.

see Fr Andrew Greeley’s take at http://www.agreeley.com/articles/recaclt.html

He also looks at religion in Ireland http://www.agreeley.com/articles/relirel.html

Thanks for the Father Greeley link-I’ve read essays by the man, and he seems a reasonable chap.

I would like to point it may be that when our pastor was found to be embezzeling funds from our church and other parishs he had been at (over a million, that’s all I can remember), there was serious action taken. Unfortunately, by the time they had found all the evidence able to prosecute, the bastard has slipped into a coma. Now his “secretary” goes around spreading rumors-she plea bargained and got off easy. Bitch.

*most people think she was his “mistress”, but I don’t know if that’s exactly the case. More like his partner in crime. Yeah, that’s you Albaugh, you bitch.

Well, I’d have to say that I don’t think slipping into a coma is quite the same as taking the loot and skipping out to Rio (although since I’ve never been in a coma I guess I can’t be sure).

Had he not slipped into a coma, he probably would’ve. Actually I think he confessed right before he became unconscious. He was on death’s doorstep anyways…

The thing is, I never liked it when he had Mass, because all he did was tell the people how they should keep donating more and more to the church…funny!