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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 05, 2019 05:35PM

This clip is worth watching; and the article, worth reading.

In it the Pope acknowledges the accuracy of a new report in the publication Women Church World, which describes long-standing abuse of nuns. In his words, clerics kept nuns "in slavery, even to the point of sexual slavery." Some of those women bore children, others underwent abortions. Also significant is the observation that the Vatican long knew of these problems around the world but chose not to address them.

It is a remarkable admission, probably motivated in part by the #metoo movement and the aggressive legal actions pursued by victims of child abuse and torture in the last few years. Silence is no longer a feasible political strategy. But the path forward is not altogether clear. For the hierarchy includes many who are complicit in the sins/crimes, and there is apparently opposition to reform. The Pope accordingly warns that the Vatican meeting this month on child abuse, which was used to shut down the more ambitious American bishops' efforts last year, will probably not achieve much success. Expectations, he said, should be "deflated."

Perhaps the most important statement the Pope made, however, was one that explained how such horrors were possible. He said that the kernel of the problem is the unchecked power of the clergy abroad and the "hierarchy," meaning both regional leadership and the Vatican itself.

That issue of unfettered authority is where the Catholic scandals touch on Mormonism. My view, as I've said before, is that the LDS church is probably not as guilty of covering up clerical abuse as the Catholic church because there is so much change in personnel from the branches and wards up through the lower ranks of the GAs. Such turnover makes it more difficult for abusers to continue their abuse and harder for the hierarchy to keep secrets. Put more succinctly, there are probably more Joseph Bishops in Catholicism than in Mormonism.

But whether or not that surmise is correct, the key is again unbridled power. No one, individual or family, should ever cede moral conscience and moral responsibility to another. When that is done, evil becomes much more likely. And if there is a hierarchy in place that wants to preserve its own reputation and protect its favored sons, coverups too become inevitable.

In that sense the Catholic Church stands as an indication of what the LDS Church would likely have become if it had existed for a few more centuries without today's level of public scrutiny and legal accountability. We can thank whatever gods may be, in other words, that Mormonism has not had the time and the internal secrecy necessary to fully explore its potential for corruption. Thank those gods again for the courageous ones who have shined their lights into the recesses of Mormonism and exposed the rats hiding in the shadows.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/05/2019 06:19PM by Lot's Wife.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: February 05, 2019 07:34PM

I have heard things in the past about this happening.

This is one of those reasons that no matter what religion it is, I don't trust any of them.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 05, 2019 07:57PM

I am not ready to condemn all faiths. I have no time for organized religion (as opposed to practice-based religions like Buddhism), but people find value in all sorts of things.

I do, however, think there is a differentiating factor: authority claims. At one end of the spectrum are social clubs, where no one has any superior authority and hence can't easily pull rank over people whom s/he wants to abuse. Then come religions with pastors who are chosen by the community and subject to its sway--Presbyterians and other relatively egalitarian churches as well as a lot of Jewish congregations. The probability of sexual abuse is almost as low in such places as with secular social organizations.

But as you approach the authoritarian end of the spectrum, where leaders claim unique access to God, the ability to overrule members' moral scruples, etc., the probability of abuse goes sky high. Why? Because humans are weak: power corrupts the powerful, and submission lulls and exposes the vulnerable.

That is why Catholicism and Mormonism and many cults are so dangerous: the women in the synagogue or the elders in the church can hardly demand change or even transparency. Thus the greater the authority claims and hierarchical development, the more profound the risk to innocents.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: February 05, 2019 08:09PM

we've talked a lot about Judaism. I have a very cynical attitude obviously from being raised mormon.

Funny thing is that he attempts sometimes to convince me that it would be a good religion to join. I was the one who wanted to convert him in the 1970s to mormonism. Now he is religious and I'm not. He was I'd say atheist when I dated him in the 1970s.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/05/2019 08:10PM by cl2.

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Posted by: anono this week ( )
Date: February 05, 2019 11:00PM

(anono this week)
Thanks Lot's wife for tackling this difficult subject and bringing up the whoring-whore-mongering-horrible Catholic Church. What's been going on in the bedroom for centuries is truly disgusting. I heard a report recently that over 30% of this American country is part of the cult, and growing. pardon me while I barf,

The good old wholesome days of Norman Rockwell America are gone, that's why we were so great, because we were not ruled by the Perverted Catholics Priests (like other places on this continent that shall go nameless). And now our enlightened ways (of individual salvation or destiny, and personal responsibility) could be turning south.

The trouble obviously with Catholics is that the Priests have in the past been willing do anything for a dollar, tell any lie, make up any story to dupe poor ignorant people, and then steal everything. They supposedly live in an unnatural state of celibacy that doesn't bode well for most people. (though some singles manage just fine). These priests choose to be peculiar.

Protestants on the other hand have fared better because they expect their leaders to marry and to be faithful to their wives. They just aren't as odd. Any religion run by oddballs is going to have it's issues.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 12:31AM

anono this week:

The Catholic Church cannot be broad-brushed with negativity, certainly not in the way you are doing here.

Yes, in the many centuries of Catholic history, many sins have been committed in Catholic countries (Spain, Portugal, and Ireland come to mind), as well as in Catholic areas of predominately NON-Catholic countries (in what is now the USA, as well as in many of the islands of the Caribbean). Whether these past negative actions were approved, or not approved, by whoever was in the power positions of Catholicism, they never, ever should have happened, nor should they have been tacitly approved of as the crimes became known.

Throughout all of this, though, there were many Catholics who devoted their lives to making the world a better place, by their own understandings of what this meant.

Crimes committed by the Church have, and are now, being discovered--and there have been efforts made by the Church to try to make up for both the forgivable, and the unforgivable, past acts which are now history.

The world has changed, societal perceptions have changed, and the Catholic Church has been making efforts to change for many decades now. Increasingly around the world, wherever the Catholic church has adherents, things now are not like things once were, and this is very often for the good of everyone (Catholics and non-Catholics alike).

The good old days of Norman Rockwell were, for the most part, a snapshot of an idealized world which existed for a relatively brief period, and for only a small number of American citizens: those who were middle-class, fairly affluent, were white, and who were usually Protestant, with some Catholics mixed-in here and there.

Towards the end of Rockwell's career, there were a few black people included in his paintings who were, each in their own ways, working for universal American civil rights for everyone.

The Catholic Church has a lot of history to answer for, but they ARE doing this--now, at this time in world history. Give them credit where credit is due, because credit is, increasingly, deserved.

For the rest, find an inter-faith group where you feel comfortable, and where you can do YOUR bit to make this world a better place for everyone.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/06/2019 12:37AM by Tevai.

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Posted by: bona dea unregistered ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 12:37AM

Thank you, Tevai, for not allowing Muslims and Catholics to be broad brushes in the way that some posters like.

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 08:11AM

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 12:53AM

I'm appalled at the glacial pace the Catholic church is moving at in trying to rectify these wrongs. As for the abused women, I feel that a church structure in which women are inherently unequal makes for situations that are ripe for abuse.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 01:24AM

Agreed. Men comprise the hierarchy, so they have the power. Women and children are second-class citizens, and as you note it is precisely the gulf between the former and the latter that enables, and drives, the abuse.

Jumping back to Tevai's post above, I understand your point but differ in nuance. The distinction is not, in my mind, between the past church and the present church but rather that between the hierarchy and the believers. There are many, many honorable Catholics; there are also many good priests. But the higher one goes in the power structure the more "taint" there is from decades of crimes and coverups.

The Pope acknowledged that the other day, when he said the Vatican has known about the sexual slavery for a very long time. With knowledge comes responsibility; with power, culpability. If there were a just God, she would damn anyone who failed to help the children.

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 11:16AM

Interesting mormonism parallel:

When I was a mishie in France, we did the Paris "catacombs" tour. On the tour, someone asked the guide if this was where the nuns would come and hide the skeletons of the babies they had when raped by priests.

The tour guide, apparently a devout catholic, said that rumors of such things were completely false, that nothing of the sort ever occurred, and that the sources were anti-catholic haters.

And yet here is the pope acknowledging that such things did occur, and still are occurring.

Blame valid criticism on "antis" and pretend it's not valid. Something else catholics and mormons have in common.

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Posted by: jacob ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 12:29PM

A hearty head nod to the pope for his admission. I'll set aside the fact that he had to make this admission or face a #metoo shitstorm. I'll just say well done.


The only thing that is accomplished by this admission is to push the blame to the anonymous individual perpetrators. It seems as if the Pope is asking for absolution instead of trying to fix the systemic issues inside the Catholic church that have allowed for this and other horrible crimes to go unnoticed, unpunished, and covered up. I'm not trying to be a hater, I just wonder at the fake mea culpa that led him to dissolve an entire congregation of nuns.

(Read all caps.) The hell didn't he dissolve the assholes who did this? The fuck is wrong with him that he thinks it's ok to tell the world that these women were sexual slaves but not tell the world who the men were that were enslaving them? How is he not continuing to enable other turdblosums that want to continue this hellacious behavior? Why haven't we heard about the Catholic church handing over the criminals who have been raping these women?

God this is infuriating.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 01:06PM

This kind of thing has been going on for centuries. Even Galileo's daughter wrote about abuse by priests. (See Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel.)

Like the child abuse, you would have to be willfully ignorant not to realize the structure of this smoke and mirror organization enables this kind of power over the trusting god-fearing individuals who somehow make excuse after excuse.

This is an organization that presumes to be a moral authority- and even impose their views on anyone they can. How galling.

The Catholic Church isn't going to do anything until they are forced by external spotlight and outrage. Most Catholics just look the other way because, well, the costumes and stained glass!

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 01:50PM

dagny: "...look the other way because, well, the costumes and stained glass!"

Yeah. Some do say things like that. In other religions too. I appreciate how you said so much so skillfully and short too.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 01:49PM

Sorry, Lot's Wife. I got my reply nuked and so yours to me went also. I regretted posting right as I had such an emotional reaction to the report. I ended up not liking what I had written and wanted it gone. But it doesn't change how I feel about it.

Next time maybe I'll take a breath first before posting.

But yeah. Words cannot always express...

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 03:41PM

No worries.

I merely said (I think I recall) that the imposition of celibacy was a late step and not really about sex or abstinence. In the 12th century, senior clerics were creating nepotistic dynasties. A priest would use his position to earn a ton of money and to install his children in powerful positions; in effect some bishoprics and other local positions became family legacies and the Vatican increasingly found itself functioning as a sort of feudal kingdom, less empire than throne that had to manage corrupt local powers.

Celibacy was implemented to stop the personalization of power. If men could not have (legitimate) children, they could not establish dynasties and they had less temptation to enfeoff their friends and relatives. It was a largely successful policy although a lot of clergy continued to have sexual relationships and sometimes common law wives and illegitimate children. That changed over the centuries.

The bottom line, however, is that even the celibacy rule was not primarily about sexual abstinence.

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Posted by: 3X ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 07:27PM

I personally know of a case where an RC priest "replaced" a deceased (male) spouse, living with the widow (the priest's new "wife") for 3+ decades. No progeny were created, but he became parent to the existing adolescent children.

There is no way this occurred without the knowledge of the priest's bishop - whose apparent acceptance of the situation was always a source of wonder to myself.

Priest and "wife" have been deceased for some years.

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Posted by: Concerned Citizen 2.0 ( )
Date: February 06, 2019 06:47PM simplify..."is anyone surprised here?" All this "new expose", was easily predictable by anyone studying the internal investigations of Diocese' world-wide, and also within the Vatican itself, and then, uncovering the understanding that Bergorglio had a very sordid past as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, but, was not really admitted, or known to the average Catholic...go figure.

...will we see prosecutions and convictions?.....unknown.

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