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March 22, 2010


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It's stunning, isn't it?

I agree, Bill. Catholics are not fooled.


Employers from every walk of life, in both the U.S. and Europe, have long handled cases of alleged sex abuse by employees as an internal matter.

Bull. I worked in human services for 20 years. If there was ever an allegation of abuse (physical, sexual, etc.) there was indeed a comprehensive internal investigation. If there was any reason at all to believe the allegation might be true a police report was filed. You simply can't handle crimes (and that's what rape, physical assault, etc. are, after all) as mere internal matters within the company, particularly when it's a matter of an employee acting against someone in their care.

Of course Donohue is the same idiot who dismissed the Irish abuse cases with the claim that "they didn't suffer much" (it was only insufficient food and heat as well as physical and sexual abuse) and even if they did they deserved it because they were bad children.

The reason the church is rightly getting all the criticism is that they claim to be god’s representatives on Earth, and they routinely preach their morality to the rest of us

The main reason that the Church is getting criticism heaped upon it is NOT because they have sexual predators in their ranks. That happens. As Donohue pointed out you get them in other religions, you get them in schools, you get them in all walks of life.

No, the MAIN reason that the Church is getting this criticism is because the hierarchy KNEW that they had sexual predators in their ranks who were preying on children and they did NOTHING to remedy the situation. They did not call the authorities. They did not keep these priests away from children. In the best cases they simply MOVED the priest to somewhere else, where he could then assault other children.

That's the problem here - and apologists like Donohue are trying to make it something else. They want to be able to say "look, this happens in other religions and in secular areas" and think that makes it tolerable. But it isn't. When this happens in, say, the Boy Scouts the scouts call the cops in to investigate. When allegations like this happen in a school you bet your ass that the cops are called. Anywhere you have children in the protection of an adult and that adult is alleged to have assaulted them you call the cops and let them sort it out. Hell it's required in most states in the US for a teacher who even suspects that a child has been abused to call the goddamn cops and report it.

What happened here is that the Church found out about predators in their midst and they covered it up. THAT'S what has people outraged. And what's more, the longer the Church refuses to admit that the cover-ups are what is broken about the Church the more their authority erodes. The best thing that the Church could do (for themselves) is come out, admit they were wrong to cover up these abuses, and put into place a transparent system to make sure it never happens again. That's what a school board would do in this situation. That's what the Boy Scouts have done in this situation. That's what any organization that cares about children would do. But since I don't think that trait applies to the Church hierarchy, I'll also point out that that's what any rational organization that is worried about its continuing existence would do in this situation.

The Church, however, can never be accused of being rational. And I think that the current hierarchy would rather see the Catholic Church disappear entirely rather than admit that they were wrong or have to change how they do things to be more transparent. Which is fine with me - as an ex-Catholic watching the current hierarchy destroy the Church from within has been an amusing exercise - they're doing more to destroy Catholocism than any Protestant theologian or atheist could ever manage. Or at least it was amusing right up until the reports of child abuse started to come out. Now I'm just furious.

Bill Donohue is the same thug who got his panties in a twist over "Happy Holidays" (instead of "Merry Christmas") on a White House greeting card. When asked if Jesus would have reacted the way he did, Donohue said he didn't know because he had never met Jesus. I'm sure that's true.

"Public school teachers accused of sex abuse are either transferred to another school district -- it's so common that it is called "passing the trash"-- or they are assigned to what, in New York, they call a "rubber room" (these are places where teachers draw full salary and benefits doing makeshift administrative work)."

Boy he Misses the point here...This is done when they have been ACCUSED! Not when they have been convicted. The big difference is that the teacher that has been accused HAS been reported to police and will eventually be Cleared or convicted. If Convicted they most certainly do not retain there Jobs and will most certainly never be employed as a teacher again.

He Misses the Entire point that the Catholic Church gets all the criticism because they behave as if they are above the Law!

I detest the Arguement that 'So and So didn't do this, or So and So Did that' as justification. Just because someone else did the same thing or even something worse does not make either of them right!

Never mind that the "rubber room" policy would have been just fine for priests. The priests would sit there all day with nothing to do and would have no more contact with kids.

As for teachers its a bad policy as they are relegated to the rubber room for other reasons than being accused of a crime, and can literally languish there for months getting paid to do nothing.

From Donohue's perspective systematic child abuse is not as bad as PZ Myers sticking a nail through a communion wafer. Here he is last year in discussion with Colm O'Gorman. Donohue is shown up to be a raving psychotic lunatic and O'Gorman destroys each of his arguments. Donohue is of course too busy playing the tough guy to even notice.
I think the catholic church is getting off extremely lightly in all this. As far as I know, no media outlet or journalist has implied that the pope himself is an old pedophile, nor that the upper echelons of the catholic church are populated by an even higher proportion of pedophiles than than the lower. Such suggestions would, without concrete evidence, be unfair, despite probably being true.

I generally agree with you, especially with you dissection of the second and third quotes, but you are clearly misrepresenting the fourth. He is not saying that "they did it, so we can, too". He is saying that this is a matter that is not unique to Catholicism and that far less attention is paid to other religions in this respect.

And (only in this, though) he's right, actually. All the religions that include the clergy spending time with children are potentially problematic because of the potential to be harmful to the child. We should continue to pay at least this much attention to the Catholics, but make an effort to include other religions as well. An excellent point!

By the way, I don't believe that Catholicism is the only religion claiming that they are god's representatives, or preaching their morality to the rest of us, or demanding obedience. It is, however, one of the most powerful, especially in directing public opinion, which is certainly a good reason to pay a lot attention to it.

I love how he says that people should pay more attentions of public teachers accused of sex abuse so as to solve the problem. So he says that publicity and attention help to bring about a solution; why, then, is he saying we shouldn't criticize the church? Does he believe that this "outrage" (when perpetrated by public schools) does not need to be resolved (when perpetrated by the church)? And has he conveniently forgotten that only huge media attention has forced the church to even admit its guilt?

(And I do wonder what he would say about selective justice if it was the local atheist society doing something like this.)

Well, you know that if it was athiests doing it, the cause would be their lack of a moral compass. So it would be a totally different situation (and far more serious).

As for the implication that synagogues "get away with it", he doesn't go as far as to say that the abusers are rabbis - just "members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community".

We aren't talking about random "members of the Catholic community" abusing kids on the street - but ordained priests, whose acts are then systematically hushed up by their superiors all the way up to the College of cardinals, if not the Pope himself.

And it's this second factor that is the real kicker. The Church wouldn't be getting nearly as much attention if it pro-actively unmasked (and defrocked) the abusers and turned them in.

If the Pope got up and said something to the effect of "Sexual relations of any kind between a priest and a child is a complete and indefensible abomination, and any Catholic convicted of doing it can consider himself excommunicated forthwith", I would probably give the Holy Father two enthusiastic thumbs up.

However, his pallid, limp semi-condemnation makes me want to show him two fingers instead, in the time-honoured British gesture.

I agree that we ought to pay more attention to the sexual abuse going on in non-Catholic religious organizations. I know the FFRF maintains a "black collar crime" catalog of these sorts of things, and I seem to recall surveys saying that there's just as much molestation going on in Protestant churches as in Catholic ones.

The difference, which makes the comparison Donohue's trying to draw invalid, is that Protestants and Orthodox Jews and the vast majority of other religious organizations don't have a centralized international governing body with both the resources to obstruct justice and protect criminals and a stated policy to do just that. The reason there's a focus on the Catholic Church's abuses isn't that they are more numerous or more dangerous than other religious groups, but that their official policy was noncompliance with investigations and shuffling accused predators to new hunting grounds. And that policy was developed by the current Pope when he wore a red dress instead of a white one.

Protestant churches are individual entities; at best, you've got synods and conferences, but they don't have the degree of sprawl or control that the Vatican has over individual Catholic churches. I don't think the ELCA has a policy or the means to transfer an accused pastor from one side of a state to the other, nor do I suspect that they have millions of dollars to fight lawsuits with. This is why the microscope is pointed at the Catholic Church, Bill.

Not that he'd listen or understand. Donohue has made a career out of missing the point and being the apologist for everything and anything done by the church.

Bill...........Kill yourself and go to your Geebus, NOW!!!!

What more proof do you need that adherence to religion skews your perceptions.

Clergy sex abuse in perspective:


Oooh, we need “perspective.”  That’s a new bingo square.  One I missed.

Using the bingo squares I did think of, and reading your link, we get hits for:

  • public schools,
  • homosexuals
  • Boy scouts
  • secular society
  • Jews
  • Pornography
  • Abortion
  • Happened decades ago

Good effort – I got a complete line.  Must try harder though.

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