Why do these abuses keep popping up even after earnest vows of reform from the church?
By Sarah Seltzer
March 29, 2011
It’s been years since the massive wave of Catholic clergy-abuse stories began to break, with victims speaking out and horrors uncovered. It’s true that instances of traumatizing sexual and physical abuse from clergy in many other religions and denominations have surfaced in the ensuing years, proving that the problem is hardly endemic to one religion or group of people. But in Catholic strongholds where abuse was widespread, the problem has been systemic, and the coverup attempts by the church are egregious and often premeditated and coordinated. Centralized hierarchies have led to centralized denial–until recent years, when there has been a centralized attempt to clean house.
Nowadays, the subject of child abuse by the clergy is often one broached by standup comedians and cynics. A disconnect is growing between the American Catholic church and its followers, and not just on this issue: study after study shows that Catholic laypeople are aligned with the rest of the American population–and against the church–when it comes to “social issues” abortion, especially birth control (which a vast majority use, directly countering church doctrine) and now even gay marriage.
Yet the clergy abuse stories continue to unfold in the arenas of church politics, law enforcement and the religious landscape. The last big scandal was in Wisconsin, when abuse at a school for the deaf was revealed, and more have surfaced since.
Just this week a record financial settlement was reached with abuse victims in the Northwest, while the Philadelphia abuse scandal continued. Last Friday alone, the New York Times published three separate stories about Catholic clergy abuse cases; a Google news search for “Catholic priest abuse” revealed ongoing or recently concluded cases in Connecticut, California, Tennessee and the Midwest–and these are just domestic cases. In Ireland, the entire nation remains up in arms about a “smoking gun” document which revealed, essentially, that the coverup of abuses there was sanctioned by the Vatican.
And that culture of denial and collusion that has been so slow to change may explain why these stories keep popping up even after earnest vows of reform from the church. A system that worked for decades one way may not be able to transform overnight–particularly when many of the power dynamics remain the same.
However to listen to Catholic organizations one would never guess that the Church has a problem with pedophilia and the sexual abuse of children that rivals that of NAMBLA.
Instead of honest reflection and prosecution of the guilty parties while taking steps to reform itself Catholic organizations are caught up in right wing religious crusades attacking women’s reproductive rights as well as LGBT/T people basic human rights of equality and dignity.
The same week that Alternet ran the above article the following appeared at:
Catholic On Line: http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=40816
Exchanging the Truth of God for a Lie: Transgender Activists, Cultural Revolution
- By Deacon Keith Fournier
- Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
The Gender Identity Movement demands the recognition of a ‘right’ to choose one’s gender and laws which accommodate, fund, and enforce such a ‘right’
The “Gender Identity Movement” is dangerous. It is a part of a broader Cultural Revolution which substitutes an entirely different view of the dignity of the human person, human freedom, human flourishing, human sexuality, marriage and the family and the moral basis of a free society than that which formed Western Civilization.
Anyone who maintains that there is no reference to the rejection of homosexual practices in the Bible has to remove this entire chapter and many other biblical references. They must also get rid of early Church documents which uniformly condemn homosexual practices. Paul refers to these behaviors as resulting from “degrading passions”. He details what happened as a result, “their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity.” (Romans 1:26, 27)
One sign of the decline of western civilization is not only the reemergence of such “degrading passions” and the behaviors which result, but a cultural revolution which now demands that these behaviors be recognized in the positive law and people engaging in them be given an equal legal status to marriage if they so request. Further, that the sexual acts involved in these behaviors, and the lifestyles chosen as a result, be called a civil right which the rest of society is compelled to accept and accommodate. One of the many fronts in this Cultural Revolution is called “transgender activism”.
A Reuters news story of March 23, 2011 entitled “Transgender New Yorkers sue over birth certificates” reported “A group of transgender residents filed a lawsuit against New York City over what they say are burdensome requirements for them to change the gender on their birth certificates. The city’s birth certificate requirements amount to discrimination for transgender residents, said Noah Lewis, an attorney representing the residents in the case. New York’s Health Department requires residents to show proof of surgical procedures in order to change the gender status on a birth certificate.
Continue reading: http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=40816
In short we are expected to tolerate the misogyny and bigotry of an organization riddled with perverts who molest young children but Transsexual and Transgender people aren’t supposed to be entitled to documents that make it easier, but by no means actually easy to live their lives with a modicum of dignity and a chance at equality.
Transgender and Transsexual people have more legitimacy than the Catholic Church.