Archive for the ‘Priest pedophile scandals’ Category

Unfit and In Denial: A Church That Has Lost All Authority

March 11, 2013

by Kevin McKenna, published on Alternet, 3/3/13

Britain's Cardinal Keith O'Brian

Britain’s Cardinal Keith O’Brian

Of all the theories advanced explaining why the Catholic priesthood attracts so many young gay men, this is the most valid: it is a direct consequence of the church’s official attitude to homosexuality and the way that this has insinuated itself into the fabric of what we might call a traditional Catholic family with its roots in Ireland.

In such an upbringing homosexuality is still treated as the sum of all sins. Catholic families long ago found a way of dealing with abortion, extramarital sex and divorce, the other three horsemen of the Catholic apocalypse, whenever they occurred close to home, but not homosexuality.

The others could all be processed and interpreted as very human failings stemming from the powerful instinct of physical desire and our need for affection and love. The Christian virtues of understanding, compassion and forgiveness are built to outlast initial shock and hurt in these “acceptable” moral failings. Not so homosexuality.

For how many Catholic parents have secretly prayed that their son “does not turn out gay” or obsess about their response if the eldest boy shows no interest in football and insists on taking a shower every day and buying all his own clothes? The church’s pastoral care and guidance for its own gay community is nonexistent. Catholic gays are non-people in my church; they are “los desaparecidos” and one day many of us will be called to account for how we have treated them.

The church has nothing to say to a child reared in these circumstances and who is beginning to encounter issues with his sexual identity. And so, by a perverse irony, the Catholic priesthood becomes a viable option for him. For what better way to submerge your “problem sexuality” than by committing yourself to a life of celibacy and a lifetime of reflection on the burden that God has deemed you must bear for your redemption and his glory?

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Dean Hansen Reflects on “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God”

February 7, 2013

Dean Hansen writes:

What stands out starkly for me in this documentary about priestly abuse in the Catholic church is the willingness of the clergy to believe that being a priest or bishop or high official in the Roman magisterium is somehow a proof of virtue and a protection against its lack. It seems more a protection from those whose compromised virtue cries for justice to the deaf ears of the Vatican. The idea that going through the various religious incantations and mumbo-jumbo of submission, prayer, and works reshapes your human desire nature so completely that you become a “new person” is obviously fraught with many obvious and visible difficulties. It is predicated, at least in Catholicism, on traveling up the river of clerical assignation in the direction of the first pope, whereby you eventually get to kiss the feet of Jesus, and be indistinguishable from him in type. In other words, sainthood. (Think of a Salmon, swimming upstream to spawn closer to Simon).  From the film: “When a man becomes a priest, he is changed ontologically.  He is made a different brand of human being; a little less than the angels.” I love how clerics throw these verbal concoctions around like Molotov cocktails as though they actually meant anything! How else can you fuck little boys if you don’t use a generous dollop of verbal magic combined with absolute power and psychological control? There is no electrical current that connects you by belief to Christ from the top down. If there were, Jesus would have electrocuted most of the church by now in an act of retributive justice. The idea that you are a conduit for the essence of some mysterious nature-changing virtue that travels in a straight line from the fountainhead through the tributaries of faith and manifests by a form of spiritual induction on the initiate, is, judging by the accusations and indictments shown in this film, an outrageous and unmitigated fraud.

“Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God”—Resources

February 2, 2013

Even before its first airing on HBO, Alex Gibney’s electrifying new documentary about pedophile priests has provoked intense discussion about the Vatican’s centuries-long role in covering up the abuses and “protecting” the power and prestige of the Church. Gibney, an impassioned and articulate critic of the Vatican’s policies, does not hesitate to identify Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger—now Pope Benedict—as the man most deeply implicated in the cover-ups.

The Bent Angle will provide links to articles, interviews, videos, and podcasts about Mea Maxima Culpa over the coming weeks.

Resources:

“‘Mea Maxima Culpa’ review: Devastating,” by David Wiegand, SFGate, 2/2/13.

“A Silent Trail Leads Beyond a Cover-Up of Protracted Abuse,” by A. O. Scott, The New York Times, 11/15/12.

“Nostra Maxima Culpa,” by Andrew Sullivan on The Daily Dish, 2/4/13

“Alex Gibney’s Mea Maxima Culpa: Sex, Lies, and the Catholic Church,” David Moynihan interviews Alex Gibney, The Daily Beast, 2/4/13.

“Alex Gibney on Mea Maxima Culpa, and How the Church is Like Enron,” by Alyssa Rosenberg, Think Progress, 2/4/13.

Pope’s Attack on Marriage Equality Will Backfire

December 27, 2012

by Wayne Besen

Instead of using his annual Christmas address to call for unity and peace on Earth, Pope Benedict XVI squandered his big moment to declare war on the gay community. In a mean-spirited and hyperbolic speech, the pontiff tried to whip up fear about the unfounded threat caused by marriage equality. He demanded that the world’s major religions join forces — like a twisted version of the old Super Friends cartoon — to defeat gay marriage initiatives worldwide.

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