Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Holy Walkout

Calhoun's Cannons for March 5, 2013

The worst crimes were dared by a few, willed by more, and tolerated by all.

In a just world, every Catholic and non-molesting priest and nun in the world would walk out of the church doors and stay out until the former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith agrees to start a publicly transparent, world-wide investigation and open the child abuse files.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith has the complete paper record of the systematic cover-up by the church of molesting priests and the decades-long obstruction of justice.  So The Congregation is uniquely suited for just such an investigation both because it has all the evidence in those files (which it kept buried for years) and because it has conducted many, many such investigations to  root out sin and sinners throughout Europe.  After all, in the 16th century, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which  was also known as The Inquisition, was a very effective tool to root out and punish the wicked. Plus, as an added bonus in seeing justice done, the former head of the Congregation, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the man who knew all the secrets for years, is now Pope Benedict XVI.

Who better than the one man with access to all the evidence and the power to see that justice is finally done?

You're laughing.  Yes, of course. The days of righteousness in a religious organization that has systematically corrupted itself from the lowliest priest up to bejeweled and red-shoe clad Pope himself is over.  Instead, as a template of behavior, we have to settle for  the arrogant Cardinal Mahony, proud master of the enormous, glittering Los Angeles Cathedral that looms over the number 10 freeway.

For years, Mahony fought a rear-guard action to protect priests, protect the documents, all the smoking guns while making conciliatory noises in public.  Until a recent court ruling by a courageous judge forced the church to disgorge the beans.  Twelve thousand pages worth of beans, now posted for all to see, names named, paper trails heading through Mahony, up the line and straight for the Vatican.  The public stench got so bad that even though Mahony had recently been retired with all honors to a nice cushy life, still a priest in good standing (?), his superior, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, felt he had to publicly censure his predecessor.

Did Mahony acknowledge his sin and slink away to spend the rest of his life in humble and sincere atonement, perhaps working anonymously in some poverty-stricken corner of the  globe as penance for his sins?  He did not.  Instead, he went to his blog to whine about being unfairly picked on, defend his record of being in the forefront of the reforms (while his lawyers battled behind the scenes for years to keep the real record hidden), and then go on to reproach the reproaching  Archbishop Gomez  by reminding him that even Gomez ignored the issue for years himself.  It was all whining pots and finger-pointing kettles in a filthy kitchen that stank to high heaven.

So much for righteousness.  So much for accountability.  So much for justice when all the chickens have been eaten and the feathers buried deep in Vatican vaults, safe -- for now -- from secular law by means of a claim of  sovereign "statehood" for themselves, a dubious "statehood" crafted out of a special deal Pope Pius XI cut with the fascist dictator, Mussolini in 1929.   

Well, lay down with dawgs, git up with fleas.  In a just world, this structurally and internally infested cur would be brought to heel.  But we don't live in a just world.  We live in a world of perverted power, self-serving omerta, corrupting money, corroding apathy, fierce superstition and fear, all bending the arc of justice away from heaven.

Jesus surely weeps, but on this issue, only the Catholic laity and the non-molesting priests and nuns have the power to stop the need for His tears. There is the front door of the church.  It only takes one step.  


Billy Dunne said...

Ann, Roger Mahony himself is named on line #52 of "The List," accused by 2 people of sexual abuse.

The Catholic Church was, and continues to be, a sick institution. Their arrogance and hypocrisy know no bounds. Their lawsuits against the birth control provisions of Obamacare, while admitting 99% of American Catholics practice birth control, proves this unbridled arrogance.

The old-timers left in my family, though acknowledging the terrible nature of the abuse, still show an almost surreal and unbelievable desire to absolve the church. It's one of the most unbelievable things I have ever seen. My mom, my aunt, failing now physically and mentally in their late 80's, were 2 of the most loving, decent, hard-working, caring, giving, rosary bead-carrying souls I've ever known. But when discussing the systemic abuse in their church and the accusers, they say things like "Alot of them are making it up" or "They asked for it" or "Why say anything now. They have good lives. They're married. They're fine." The callous disconnect is beyond anything I will probably ever comprehend.

Jesus surely weeps. But my guess is this archaic, stubborn, arrogant, blind, corrupt, church will never learn His lessons.

Churadogs said...

Billy, Denial is certainly not just a river in Egypt, that's for sure. But the real problem lies at the heart of Catholicism itself: the semi-deifying of the "sanctified, demi-god" Priest. The church teaches that once ordained, these folks are somehow special and given special powers not reserved to regular mortals, they are ordained by God, sanctified and special, a conduit to God, with the power to absolve sins, etc.

When you teach kids that the Priest is, indeed a demi-god, you're in trouble. It makes kids triply at risk and even when they're grown up they're particularly vulnerable, fearful to speak up and out, because to do so would be to challenge, not a mere mortal, but a sanctified demi-God (which would be akin to defying God himself). So we have utter denial, cover ups, silence, and a whole lot of destroyed kids, while the corruptors protect one another and nobody is really held to account.

Until the sanctified nature of the Priest is removed and a revised church dogma makes clear that Priests have no "special powers" over anyone, these kinds of abuse and cover up will continue. (Fueled by the unnatural all-male, celibate, isolated and isolating priest-system that too often attracts and shields and nurtures pedophile sexuality and other forms of twisted sexual sublimations.)

It really is a sick system but until a guy named Luther comes along with a hammer and a sack of nails, or everyone sane Catholic walks out on strike, this abuse and cover up will continue.

Sandra Gore said...

The Church had no problem burning witches to root out the evil. Oh oops, that's right. The witches were pretty much all women.

Why everyone doesn't walk out the door of every church, mosque, and synagogue is beyond me. I suppose they have come to accept that the gods and their worship are one thing, and human frailty is another. Suppose the logic is that it's not the Church that's corrupt, it is the men who govern it.

Churadogs said...

Sandra, True. Oddly, few people make the connection between the two when "semi-deification" is part and parcel of the religious belief. (Same sad confusing with "Muhammad" (the very human man) and the weird deification of him (no graven images, cannot say any disrespectful because the man has now become confused with "God", etc.) Churches that constantly stress individual conscience rather than mindless, unquestioning obedience, likely have a better chance of raising up "believers" with a better sense of skepticism and willingness to do reality checks.

Alon Perlman said...

Well said and on one tablet.
The Documentary on HBO, “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God.” Pretty much lays it all out. And it does show that it took one or four adult deaf men to be in touch enough with their anger to start the snowball rolling. It could had easily remained hidden. It may had even been quashed at the “it’s an American problem” stage.

As for the institution of “the church of the people”- changing, that is guaranteed not to happen. Former Grand Inquisitor Ratzinger has already issued the too late damage control general statement. The one that accepted the minimal amount of responsibility needed to say “well we admitted, let’s move on, anything more would be victimizing us.”
Those remaining have selected the absolute mental comfort of a paternal hierarchical church. Overarching rigidity, the clockwork of heavens as seen through colored glass.
And as for the reformers within? There was a couple in the documentary. Doyle?. Another Identifies the Inherent structure as one making both the original sins and the cover-ups into inevitable consequences
Martin Luther was not the first to rile or be adept with a hammer and nails. There was once one archaic figure who challenged the authority of the high Priest and the structure of the Sanhedrin. He even chased the money lenders from the temple.
But this has always been and is the Church of Paulus. Damage control and the framework of secrecy and central control were enshrined centuries ago. Now the monies are being squirreled away, following the paths of drug and arms merchant’s monies, to be protected from victim’s lawsuits.