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Friday Morning News and Views

Good Morning Conflucians! We had a brief two-day break in the gloomy weather, but the dank, foggy stuff is back and today we’re getting a mixture of snow and rain. I still have a cold and the worst sore throat I can remember having since I was a kid. But all that pales in comparison when I reflect upon what Barack Obama has managed to accomplish during such a short time in the White House.

More than 40 years ago, when I moved to Boston, the Catholic Church controlled the government of Massachusetts. Now, thanks to our “progressive” President, the Catholic Church controls our federal government! That Koolaid is some amazing stuff! In just a little more than a year, Obama and his Democratic Congress have managed to wipe out 40 years of advances in women’s rights! Now they are setting their sights on destroying Social Security–and accomplishing that will create new jobs too! We’ll need a lot of government workers to pick up and dispose of the bodies of elderly and disabled people who have starved and died on the street or in their homes.

What’s next? How about getting rid of DADT and restoring the old policy of no tolerance whatsoever for gays in the military? Let’s create more low-paying jobs by building debtor’s prisons, poorhouses, and orphanages where the unfortunate poor can be warehoused so the wealthy don’t have to look at them. The possibilities are endless! Ain’t it great living in a third world country?

I’ve decided to focus this post on Catholic Church news–because there is just so much of it. The Catholic Church that controls our government is embroiled in an slowly unfolding scandal that looks to be literally global. The abuse of children by Catholic priests is coming to light all over the world. Why are these people allowed to tell American women what we can do with our bodies?

NYT: Pope May Be at Crossroads on Abuse, Forced to Reconcile Policy and Words

“He is at a crossroads,” said Marco Politi, a veteran Italian Vatican journalist. “What’s extraordinary is that the scandal has reached the heart of the center of the church. Up to now it was far away — in the States, in Canada, in Brazil, in Australia. Then it came to Europe, to Ireland.

“Then it came to his motherland,” Mr. Politi added of Benedict’s native Germany. “Then it came to his diocese, and now it’s coming to the heart of the government of the church — and he has to give an answer.”

In Ireland

Irish Bishop John Magee has resigned.

Boston Herald: Irish bishop steps down amid pedophile scandal

DUBLIN – Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of an Irish bishop yesterday for his failure to report child-molesting priests to police, amid ever-unfolding accusations that church leaders have protected child abusers for decades.

Bishop John Magee – a former papal secretary – apologized to victims of pedophile priests who were kept in parish posts during his 23 years overseeing the southwest Irish diocese of Cloyne.

“To those whom I have failed in any way, or through any omission of mine have made suffer, I beg forgiveness and pardon,” the 73-year-old Magee said.

And another Irish Bishop, Sean Brady, may have to resign next.

Yet another Irish bishop admits child abuse failure as Vatican may force Cardinal Brady to resign

Speculation is mounting that Pope Benedict may seek the resignation of Cardinal Sean Brady as the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland as another Irish bishop admits he failed to handle a sex abuse case properly.

This comes amid fresh scandal in Ireland, with the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, Dr William Lee, admitting he managed a sex abuse allegation case in the 1990s in a “seriously inadequate” fashion.

Lee waited two years before divulging the information he had about the priest to the relevant authorities.

Activist Irish pop singer Sinead O’Connor speaks out.

Sinead O’Connor: ‘There should be a full criminal investigation of the pope’

She shot to fame 20 years ago with her shaved head, chiseled cheeks and haunting rendition of the song “Nothing Compares 2 U.” Then she gained notoriety when she tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II on American TV, calling him “the enemy” and urging people to fight child abuse.

Sinead O’Connor is still singing. And she’s still speaking out against abuse — only now her 1992 stunt on “Saturday Night Live” almost seems prescient as the Roman Catholic Church faces a growing catalog of complaints about child sexual and physical assault by priests in her Irish homeland and across Europe

In the US

NYT: Vatican Declined to Defrock U.S. Priest Who Abused Boys

Top Vatican officials — including the future Pope Benedict XVI — did not defrock a priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys, even though several American bishops repeatedly warned them that failure to act on the matter could embarrass the church, according to church files newly unearthed as part of a lawsuit.

The internal correspondence from bishops in Wisconsin directly to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, shows that while church officials tussled over whether the priest should be dismissed, their highest priority was protecting the church from scandal.

Boston Herald: Vatican halted trial for Wisconsin priest accused of molesting 200 deaf boys

On Thursday, a group of clerical abuse victims provided the documentation to reporters outside the Vatican, where they staged a press conference to denounce Benedict’s handling of the case. During the conference, a policeman asked for identification and they were subsequently detained, police said.

“The goal of Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, was to keep this secret,” said Peter Isely, Milwaukee-based director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

“This is the most incontrovertible case of pedophilia you could get,” Isely said, flanked by photos of other clerical abuse victims and a poster of Ratzinger. “We need to know why he (the pope) did not let us know about him (Murphy) and why he didn’t let the police know about him and why he did not condemn him and why he did not take his collar away from him.”

CBS News: Rome Detains U.S. Church Abuse Protesters

Four American victims of clergy sexual abuse say they were detained and questioned by Italian police in Rome after showing photos of the pope during a news conference outside St. Peter’s Square.

Barbara Blaine, one of the victims, said Thursday after emerging from a police station near the Vatican that officers told them a judge will decide if they will be charged. She says they were detained because they didn’t have a permit for the outdoor news conference.

Time: After U.S. Abuse Revelation, the Vatican Fires Back

As the Times posted its story on the accused priest, Father Lawrence Murphy, who died in 1998, the Holy See responded on the Web. In a statement linked on the Vatican’s brand new Twitter account, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Papal spokesman, declared, “By sexually abusing children who were hearing-impaired, Father Murphy violated the law and, more importantly, the sacred trust that his victims had placed in him.” But Lombardi defended the decision not to remove Murphy from the “clerical state,” saying the priest was “elderly and in very poor health” and that he was “living in seclusion, and no allegations of abuse had been reported in over 20 years.”

Grand Forks Herald: Priest in Irish church abuse scandal had ties to North Dakota parishes

A key figure and the most notorious abuser in the Irish clergy sex scandal served as a priest in the Catholic Diocese of Fargo from 1979-83, where he was accused of sexually assaulting altar boys in St. Alphonsus parish in Langdon, N.D., and also served briefly in Park River and Ellendale, as well as other parishes.

The Rev. John Smythe, as he was known in North Dakota, was the Brendan Smyth who sexually assaulted boys over 30 years in Ireland and the United States and whose abuse and the cover-ups surrounding it was credited with bringing down the Irish government in late 1994.

Smyth died several years ago in prison.

In Germany

NYT: Pope Was Told Pedophile Priest Would Get Transfer

MUNICH — The future Pope Benedict XVI was kept more closely apprised of a sexual abuse case in Germany than previous church statements have suggested, raising fresh questions about his handling of a scandal unfolding under his direct supervision before he rose to the top of the church’s hierarchy.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope and archbishop in Munich at the time, was copied on a memo that informed him that a priest, whom he had approved sending to therapy in 1980 to overcome pedophilia, would be returned to pastoral work within days of beginning psychiatric treatment. The priest was later convicted of molesting boys in another parish.

Guardian UK: Pope implicated in allegations over sex abuse by second Catholic priest

Fresh revelations have been made directly implicating Pope Benedict XVI in mishandling the case of a paedophile priest in his former archdiocese of Munich. The allegations come a day after the Vatican responded angrily to the allegation that the former Cardinal Ratzinger had ignored an American diocese’s request that another predatory priest should be defrocked.

According to the New York Times, the former cardinal, as Archbishop of Munich, attended a meeting in January 1980 at which the transfer of Father Peter Hullermann from the diocese of Essen, where his parishioners had accused him of abusing boys, to Munich was agreed.

The move was meant to allow him to undergo therapy, but instead he was immediately posted to a parish in Bavaria, where he continued to abuse children.

And In Many More Countries

Swiss Catholic Church investigates 60 claims of sex abuse

The Catholic Church in Switzerland is investigating sixty claims of sexual abuse by priests, the Swiss news agency SDA reported.

Abbot Martin Werlen of the Benedictine Abbey of Einsiedeln told the newspaper Mittelland-Zeitung that the church is looking into the claims. The church itself will not press charges, Werlen emphasized, and intends to advise victims to do so themselves.

Swiss Catholic Church investigating 10 abuse cases

Vatican investigating 14 sex abuse cases in Spain

Abuse cases surface in Austrian Catholic Church

More on priest abuse in Austria

Dutch Catholic Church faces child sex abuse scandal

Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal goes global

Where will it all end? Many people think the pope should resign.

Should Pope Benedict Resign the Papacy?

Pope Benedict Should Do The Right Thing And Resign So Healing Can Begin

I am ashamed – the pope should resign

Good idea, but that won’t end the corruption, IMHO. It is systemic. I would much prefer criminal prosecution. Every state in the US should have required reporting of child abuse for anyone of authority within a church or religious school, with failure to report designated a felony. Furthermore, President Obama should be mandated to stop allowing the Catholic Church to control women’s bodies.

So what are you reading this morning? All rants about anything will be accepted in the comments. Have a fabulous Friday!

242 Responses

  1. And they want to make Pope John Paul II a saint! He’s the one who put Ratzinger in charge.

    • John Paul II was definitely a middle-ages pope. He struck me as a real control freak.

  2. Great links to some pretty disgusting behavior – I just posted a link on my FB account. Thanks for doing all of this research for us and feel better soon! I have a friend who is suffering from the same symptoms…

    • Thanks. I’m definitely improving. What I don’t understand is why the sore throat and coughing gets so much worse at night when I need to sleep.

      • Post-nasal drip.

        • For me, it starts getting worse in the evening–long before I go to bed.

          • That’s how it always is. Fevers spike in the evening for some reason, circadian rhythms or something (?). Hope you feel better soon.

      • Elevating your head a bit more when you lie down may help. I have chronic allergies and use three pillows during cedar and oak seasons.

  3. Great roundup, as usual, bb. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I recall reading that there is no true cure for pedophilia–that, even with counseling, the recidivism rate is still staggering.

    • IIRC, pedophiles that are attracted to boys are the ones with the high recidivism rate.

  4. I think the possibility of abuse is ingrained in the archaic religious construct,the unjustified power over others coupled with the ridiculous celibacy requirements and the hypocrisy inherent in the whole spiel. Sorry, but the whole system is built in such a way, it’s a miracle when abuse doesn’t occur.
    As for Sinead O’Connor – I witnessed that moment on SNL and it made a great impact on me. Where are all those ridiculing her now?

    • Yes. It’s a system that attracts abusers.
      Coupled with the fact that the number of men who want to enter the priesthood is approaching nil — the Vatican is in a real bind.
      They should reform, and one reform would be to ordain women. Which they will never do — I will guess that they will allow priests to marry before they do that.

      • They have special rules for the conversion of Anglicans in which the priests can remain priests and keep their spouses too.

        As to the celibacy of abusive Catholic priests, I hope I don’t get drawn and quartered for this, but I have to say it. I don’t want to see such priests married to women any more than I want to see them abusing children. And as to “children”, the concern is not for the abuse of “children” so much as it is only for the abuse of boys.

        • Oh I agree!!!

          I mean that a lot of religious Catholic men who might want to be priests don’t pursue it when they fall in love. If they allow priests to marry, they may improve on recruitment.

        • Many girls have been abused by pedophile priests. They may have more easy access to boys, but they abuse girls too. Pedophiles don’t always have a preference for gender–they just like having sex with children.

        • Yes, however, the Deacon, enters the priesthood should the spouse die and then remains celibate there after.

    • It’s the power-over more than it is anything else. Pedophiles wind up regularly in youth ministries even in churches with no centralized authority or hierarchy. A year or so ago, a youth minister in one of the local independent fundigelical congregations was arrested and charged for molesting little girls. A bit further back, a youth minister at the oldest, largest Baptist congregation in town was involved not only in molesting boys himself but was involved in actually trafficking kids of both sex and all ages up to mid-teens. None of which came to light until years after one of his victims killed him.

  5. http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1295.xml?ReleaseID=1437

    So the One was wrong, again…and this of course is even before anyone knows what’s in the bill like the removal of tax subsidies for compaines that provide Retiree Drug benefits.

    • Another Obama dead cat bounce in the polls? 😉

    • Rasmussen is showing that 55% still favor repealing the Obama bill.

      OT: Obama For America (campaign arm) is fundraising off the “threats” to Democrats who voted for the bill (even though Stupak’s threats before he switched were coming from Obots).

      One more: Air America, now in bankruptcy, is selling its email lists as “intellectual property.”

      • One more: Air America, now in bankruptcy, is selling its email lists as “intellectual property.”

        That should be illegal, specially if they ever promised to keep it confidential.

  6. Morning BB!

    Most people will remember Joe Dwyer for the famous picture in Iraq. I was shocked to learn that he committed suicide.

    How long is the Iraq war going to devastate and destroy families?

    Why is the entire gang that gave us this nightmare still free to run around and even scare us about how we’re not scared enough?

    Battling the Inner Demons of War
    What Joe Dwyer’s Death Can Teach Us about PTSD

    A photograph of PFC Joseph Dwyer in Iraq made him an American hero, but five years after returning home, mental combat wounds drove him to his death. He is not alone. In 2009, more than twice as many soldiers died by their own hands than were killed by the enemy in Iraq. But new types of therapy are giving others the chance for the peace he never had.

    Btw, Ratzinger was in charge of weening out Liberal priests out of the Catholic Church and impose a “purer” Catholic doctrine: Way to go John Paul II.

    • I’m beginning to believe that John Paul I really was murdered.

      • That’s both of us.

      • Yes, especially after he let the NATIVE WOMEN FOLK ‘spiritually’ cleanse him (Spiritual Limpa via the priestesses) in the Guadalupe Basilica (with the the Guadalupan image on Juan Diego’s apron) alter. He made an apology to all the Native people and welcomed their traditions/cultural rituals for which many had been killed in the past.

        It is too bad that there isn’t a video on youtube of that celebration as it is truly remarkable that he did that. Ever since, you see the Guadalupana at many of the Native events, blending in the background of the Native spiritual dances and in the misty smoke of the priestesses holding their pyres to cleanse and bless spiritually.

      • Yes, especially after he let the NATIVE WOMEN FOLK ‘spiritually’ cleanse him (Spiritual Limpa via the priestesses) in the Guadalupe Basilica (with the the Guadalupan image on Juan Diego’s apron) alter. He made an apology to all the Native people and welcomed their traditions/cultural rituals for which many had been killed in the past.

        It is too bad that there isn’t a video on youtube of that celebration as it is truly remarkable that he did that. Ever since, you see the Guadalupana at many of the Native events, blending in the background of the Native spiritual dances and in the misty smoke of the priestesses holding their pyres to cleanse and bless spiritually one and all.

        • First, Spammy got me, then Spammy post both? Spammy has a love me, love me NOT thing going on here? 😯

        • That wasn’t JPI, that was JPII. JPI didn’t live long enough to visit anywhere as Pope. He allegedly expired of a heart attack, after reading something terribly incriminating for the Church.

          The Virgin of Guadalupe has always been present at NA events, at least as far back as my memory goes. In my area, we have the matachin dancers, who are especially dedicated to Her. (Our local Lady of Guadalupe Church sponsers a dance group of its own.) One of my best students, a Catholic herself, once wrote a research paper arguing that La Guadalupana and the Lakota Ptecincala Ska Wakan Winan ( White Buffalo Calf Woman) were manifestations of the same Divine Feminine. (It was the only research paper I’ve ever given a grade of 100–not only was it documented out the wazoo and persuasively written, it was techncally perfect. If I’d had more students like that, I’d still be teaching.) She’s very much a part of the Native tradition throughout the Americas.

    • Wonderful piece from Der Spiegel. I hope all the returning troops can get the help they will need.

  7. Do you think Obama likes unicorns or ponies more?? – Yahoo! Answers

    Not Found
    Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn’t here.

    Obama’s Strength Among Independent Voters Makes Him More Electable …
    Apr 27, 2008 …
    CNN Political Ticker:
    Mar 25, 2010 … “Independents currently favor the Republican by 11 points.”.
    A new CNN / Opinion Research Poll out this afternoon of 953 registered voters nationally finds Obama tied at 47% with any Republican candidate. Gee, if only Wendell Willkie was still around.

    The same poll also finds a clear majority of Americans now believe that Obama is a one-term president.

    Memory Lane:

    Headline JANUARY 17, 2001 :

    ‘Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over’

    • And that’s a CNN Poll, not Fox.

      CNN was a major Obama supporter in the primaries—-it employs Donna Brazille.

      Maybe she could go “make her Momma’s beans.”

  8. Not only should the Pope resign, he should be locked up. As a victim of the Catholic Church myself, I hate the influence the church has with political and media people alike. I applauded Sinead OConnor when she tore up the Pope’s pic on TV. What was shocking was the general public outrage. People who naren’t even Catholic were calling for her head. What is the Pope to those people. Even if you’re Christian, the Pope has nothing to do with any other religion except Catholicism. What was it? Because he believed in the baby Jesus too? Sinead didn’t object to that belief, she objected to the medevial stances of the Catholic Church regarding women. Now, we see the true Mafioso aspect of the Catholic Corporation. My objection was the obscene wealth of the church and how they covet that wealth when people are starving. As far as the pedophilia scandal. We haven’t seen anything yet. I heard on NPR (so disappointed in them) that 2/3 of Catholics are in the Southern Hemisphere and we haven’t heard anything yet from them. The Pope originally said it was an American phenomenum. Now we see its widespread in Europe. Just imagine the third world countries where families depend on the church for charity, etc. Bet they are paying with their children without knowing it. Its only a matter of time. Its about time we start mocking the Catholic Church. They are the hypocrites, the pedophiles, the theives. How dare they tell women to obey, how dare they condemn homosexuality. Why is our government being influenced by them? The Kennedys? The power? The wealth? Or stupidity.

  9. Following the Catholic theme today, here is an interesting article from the Globe yesterday on Cerberus buying Caritas hospitals, a group of Catholic hospitals. Authoritarians unite! BTW, Cerberus has exquisite Republican credentials, another sign of how much secret Republican love there is for that awful bill and how much they plan to use it for their own ends .

    Cerberus buys Caritas Hospitals… Equity firm set to buy Caritas http://www.boston.com/business/healthcare/articles/2010/03/25/equity_firm_set_to_buy_caritas/?page=full
    Catholic identity will be retained Hospitals to shift to for-profit status

    Interesting timing as the health insurance bailout bill had just been passed, so the stage is set for more looting and domination.

    • I heard that on the radio yesterday. That is very creepy, and they will still be allowed to refuse treatment to women, rape victims, etc., according to Cerberus.

      • Yeah, they didn’t mention those things in the article, but I knew that was going to be the result… so I was majorly creeped out by that seemingling normal business tone of it.

        The other thing that majorly creeped me out yesterday about the health care situation was this article at FDL, and I have included the key excerpt…

        Self-Interested Veal Pen Outfits Step Up to Kill the Public Option http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2010/03/25/self-interrested-veal-pen-outfits-step-up-to-kill-the-public-option/
        Families USA is a Soros-funded group that has been a key player in negotiating the secret White House deals with stakeholders. And Pollack has been concern trolling to drop the public option all along. Back in October, Pollack was touting the virtues of the Senate bill and saying the public option was just not very important: “I don’t think we want to jeopardize that because we did not get exactly what we wanted,” he told the Nightly Business Report. … And what does Families USA want out of this? Well, the elaborate new scheme to funnel the maximum amount of taxpayer money to private companies needs the technology to do that.

        Remember that Soros was one of Obama’s big early promoters.

        • Wow. Looks like the deal was done to kill the public option as early as last Spring. Wonder why BO didn’t tell us. Why did they spend all that time in the House debating it.

          • “Wonder why BO didn’t tell us.”

            Because he’s a big fat liar who never wanted a public option?

        • eeeeek!! When I heard about the deal I figured it was in response to the Health Insurance Bailout Bill.

    • Didn’t Cerberus botch up Chrysler. Evil people. They’re good at buying up companies, draining the profits, then ripping them up and selling off the pieces. No idea why they would be interested in a group of hospitals.

      • The CEO of Cerberus was Dan Quayle. I don’t know if that is still the case.

        • Actually, the CEO is (was) John Snow, former Sec’y of the Treasury under GW Bush. Quayle was some sort of EVP or something in charge of international investments. Cerberus is just crawling with Repubs.

    • Cerberus?

      Jeezusss–what kind of outfit names itself after the guardian of hell and then buys up hospitals? Then again, maybe it’s just truth in packaging.

  10. If I were still running a blog, I might de-list The Confluence.

    Before proceeding, please understand that I am free of all supernatural belief. Except when forced by social circumstances, I have almost never set foot in any church except to look at the art or architecture.

    That said:

    It is pure religious bigotry to say that the Catholic Church controls the American government. That’s the sort of inane, hyperbolic statement that reminds me of other classic outbreaks of paranoia — such as Jerry Falwell’s 80s-era rants against his imaginary “secular humanist” conspiracy, the John Birch Society’s insistence that Ike was a commie, or Alex Jones’ hilarious take on the Bohemian Grave.

    Half of the Catholic church (if by “church” we include the laity) supports abortion rights. Which means that the split within Catholicism is pretty much the same as the split within the rest of the country. By contrast, nearly 90 percent of evangelical voters (a substantially more numerous bloc) is anti-choice. And they have mobilized big time on health care reform.

    So which group becomes the focus of your ire? Catholics, of course!

    Politically, I don’t see the sense in alienating people who are who are as likely as not to agree with you, while giving a free ride to those who are your sworn enemies. But psychologically spekaing, I can understand what’s going on.

    You are indulging in scapegoating, pure and simple — displacement of anger onto the outsiders, onto “Them.” You don’t blame evangelical Protestants, however vile you find their antics, because — in the final analysis — you consider protestants to be part of “us.” You may not agree with them, you may despise them, but they aren’t foreign. They aren’t “them.”

    We’ve seen a lot of blogland hysterics about alleged interference from America’s Catholic bishops. Well, what does it amount to? The bishops send letters to politicians. And that’s it. That’s all they can do. Such is their right. That is not interference with the process: That IS the process, the process as it ought to be.

    Yet innumerable left-wing jackasses talk as though they really believe in the wacky premise that the bishops routinely enforce their will by sending “Lenny the legbreaker” types into the offices of senators.

    Sorry. That just does not happen.

    The proposition that the Catholic church wields political power is an American axiom. Nothing short of a surgical operation can remove that idea from the brains of many citizens. And yet it’s an inanity birthed in those disturbing regions where prejudice and paranoia meet pathology.

    Whenever I made that point on my blog, no-one was able to mount a rational counter-argument. Usually, I heard this: “But…but the Vatican is a SOVEREIGN NATION!” Yeah, so what? That sovereign status is a legal fiction. Vatican City is a glorified museum about one-third the size of the Los Angeles zoo. They can’t even provide their own water.

    The fact is, throughout most of American history, Catholics were the victims of discrimination. To claim that the church runs the government is like claiming that blacks, Jews, gays or any other historically marginalized group runs the government.

    I wish I could write at greater length about the growing pedophilia scandal. As it happens, before the latest stories made the news, I was doing some research into a church-run “Industrial School” (orphanage) in Limerick which was mentioned in the recent government investigation. (I stumbled into this while researching a chapter for a possible book — not on the abuse scandals.) That led me to go through the report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, and some of the ensuing controversy.

    No-one is defending abuse, of course. But I found that the situation is not so cut-and-dry as that. The victims are promised compensation — which seems fair enough. But think about it. Do you recall how Afghans were brought into custody at Gitmo after the Americans paid locals handsomely to have the “terrorists” identified? Did it ever strike you as possible that money might have a similarly corrosive effect on the truth in THIS case?

    I ran across one account from a victim who made absolutely absurd medical claims:


    A former resident of another school run by the Sisters of Mercy insisted that she had been caned so hard that her entire leg “split open.” No medical evidence supported the allegation, and the surgeon of the local hospital denied having treated such a wound. Yet her testimony is regarded by anti-Catholics as unassailable. If you doubt her, you are either a religious fanatic or part of the Great Catholic Conspiracy.

    Do you really think that hers is an isolated case? Do you really think it is impossible that similar delusions might have contributed to some of the current headlines?

    In my former life, before I became Joseph Cannon, I dealt with many people who made extraordinary claims of abuse. Pursuant to yet another one of the books I started to write but did not finish, I spoke to a number of claimed victims of Satanic Ritual Abuse. I also spoke to their shrinks. (Despite what you’ve read, the counselors were often the victims of their patients, many of whom were supremely manipulative attention-seekers.)

    I spoke to people making even wilder claims — stuff I hesitate even to mention, because it was all so wacky.

    And yet, these people shed tears and became hyper-emotional as they “recalled” things that never happened. Anyone who doubted them was accused of being part of the conspiracy.

    You know the drill: Goody Proctor is a witch.

    I was so accused repeatedly. One woman published a claimed that my imaginary “CIA buddies” and I had raped her.

    That experience gives me a perspective on the Catholic child abuse scandal that is unfashionably captious.

    Now, we have a spate of “recovered memories” from people who say that they were raped by priests. Only now, instead of accusing my impoverished self, they are accusing an institution which they feel has deep pockets.

    The lust for “victimhood” status now combines with the lust for a big payout. And anyone who doubts a claim made by a self-identified victim stands damned as an enabler of pedophilia and an agent of those awful, awful Cat-licks.

    If you can’t see the potential for problems — if you can’t understand how the issue might be more complex than the media would have you believe — then you are a bigot.

    Think about it: The SRA controversy taught us (or should have taught us) that there is a subset of the population which is in love with the idea of victimhood, and will tell any lie to attain that status. If the accusations were leveled against any other group, Americans — and the Irish, and the Germans — would be wary. At the very least, we would say: “Let’s be careful. Let’s judge the evidence on a case-by-case basis.”

    But that sensible dictum doesn’t apply to Catholics. They are the Other.

    This is the SRA hysteria all over again.

    I’ll make two further points.

    1. Studies have shown that the incidence of child abuse is no worse among Catholics clergy than in other denominations — and, yes, there are plenty of “cover-up” allegations in other religious heirarchies.


    2. Many of the current news stories go back to decades-old cases in foreign countries. Meanwhile, the Confluence has not once — NOT ONCE — mentioned Mel Sembler. Not once have any of your writers mentioned the abusive Protestant institutions which (unlike Catholic institutions) operate with taxpayer dollars to this day.


    The double standard is infuriating.

    • You can blame me for the hyperbole. I don’t own TC. Being a woman, I tend to get a little upset when a lifetime of advances in women’s rights is turned back in the twinkling of an eye.

      It’s very nice to see you, despite your anger at what I wrote.

      • I also tend to focus on Catholic issues because I was born and raised in the Catholic Church and grew very dissillusioned at an early age as a consequence. If you want to compare me to Jerry Falwell, that’s fine–but I’d say that’s pretty hyperbolic too.

        • You are indulging in scapegoating, pure and simple — displacement of anger onto the outsiders, onto “Them.” You don’t blame evangelical Protestants, however vile you find their antics, because — in the final analysis — you consider protestants to be part of “us.” You may not agree with them, you may despise them, but they aren’t foreign. They aren’t “them.”

          How can they be *them* to me, when I *am* a Catholic?

    • “It is pure religious bigotry to say that the Catholic Church controls the American government.”

      Not sure how you derived that assumption from this post. Your response seems a bit extreme here, though as usual it is intelligently argued. Perhaps you should consider posting it on your own blog (which I miss) rather than coming here to criticize.

      • I don’t mind. I’m just glad to see he’s writing again.

      • Can’t you read?

        “Now, thanks to our “progressive” President, the Catholic Church controls our federal government!”

        • Unlike fundamentalist mindsets, I generally do not take such things literally… as I realize most people speak metaphorically. I use my intelligence to recognize hyperbole when I see it. Whatever you are really angry about Joseph, you should deal with that directly rather than transferring it here on this blog.

          • Thanks, Valissa. It was meant to be hyperbole. I am angry about what has happened to women’s rights–virtually overnight. And I think children should have right too.

          • I’m with ya, bb. Much of the Catholic abuse is verified by the Church cover-ups, not just the victims’ claims. There is a paper trail. And the latest scandal involving the prostitution ring, IIRC, resulted in arrests.

          • I’m angry about what was said on this blog — therefore this blog is the proper place to deal with it. I think even bostonboomer would agree with that.

          • *Even* BostonBoomer, the “bigot”? Yes I agree. Get it all out.

          • Excellent rationalization… brilliant! However the truth is you’re acting like an asshole about this whole matter and being harsh and critical at every opportunity, picking and sniping at small points. Anger is an interesting tool, but it can be easily misdirected in mean fashion.

          • Lol I think Joe looked out his window, saw a girl in a flapper style hat and thought we’d travelled back to the 1920’s when anti-Catholic bigotry was an actual concern.

        • Hi Joe, it’s good to see you.

          One thing you have to admit though: Catholics do control our Supreme Court.

          • “Catholics do control our Supreme Court.”

            No they don’t. Not unless you are a bigot who insists that any jurist who is a Catholic must be part of your imaginary Great Catholic Conspiracy.

          • Who said anything about a “Great Catholic Conspiracy?”

          • Joe, people who identify as “Catholic” are the majority of Supreme Court justices. Whether you feel that this is a good thing, a bad thing, or a neutral thing, you can’t change the numbers.

            It’s also true that white men control the Supreme Court, as well as our government. Are you going to disagree with me on that too?

    • You should re-start your blog for this sort of thing.

    • Also, the focus on the Catholic Church came about because of all the recent news and the influence of the Catholic Bishops on the health insurance bill. But please note my conclusion:

      Every state in the US should have required reporting of child abuse for anyone of authority within a church or religious school, with failure to report designated a felony.

      Notice that I don’t specify a particular church there.

      • Oh, nonsense, BB. This whole thread (except for my contribution) is an anti-Catholic hate-fest and you know it.

        If it were any other group, you’d see the bigotry for what it is.

        Also, I’m a little peeved that you quote British news sources without mentioning their bias. I like Brits — these days, the BBC is one of my main news sources. But when it comes to Catholic issues, Brits go completely buggy. I think their natinal psychopathology on that issue has much to do with their refusal to confront their genocidal history in Ireland and England.

        I mean, at least white Americans are now able to admit what we did to black people and the Indians. That sorry history is taught in schools. But no British child is taught that Britain is directly responsible for the Irish famine of 1848 which killed millions. British popular media has produced no equivalent to “Roots” or “Dancing with Wolves” to commemorate that monstrous history of theft, bigotry, religious persecution and mass-murder.

        I simply do not trust anything said by any Brit about Catholicism. It’s like trusting the KKK to give you the straight scoop on black history.

        • and you seem to miss all of European history concerning the Catholic churches brutality towards and murder of protestants.
          The ugliness went both ways. The main reason our founders tried to separate church and state was because of the war in Europe over religion. Catholics gave as good as they got.

          • Oh, I’m hardly going to bow to you when it comes to number of history books read. Despite some truly horrible crimes on all parts, nothing done in any Catholic country remotely resembles what the Brits did in Ireland. That was a crime equaled only by the atrocities committed by the Nazis. And the horrible part of it — the British have erased it from the world’s consciousness, just as the Japanese have tried to erase all memory of the Rape of Nanking or the Turks have tried to erase all memory of the Armenian genocide.

            Even today, you can’t get Britons to admit the mass murder of Catholics in England under Elizabeth I. And you can’t get many of them to admit what we now know to be the truth about the religious identity of the greatest of their poets.

            You simply cannot trust anything said by any protestant Englishman about Catholicism. You just can’t.

          • ***nothing done in any Catholic country remotely resembles what the Brits did in Ireland.***

            Except for the Inquisition, which burned millions of women to death at the stake for the crime of “witchcraft”. The “Malleus Maleficarum”, the witchburners’ handbook, was coauthored by 2 Dominican priests and given the blessing of the pope. Yes, the Protestants burned “witches” too.

          • Whoa!

            “Millions of women” is a thoroughgoing exaggeration–and I say that as a woman and a pagan who is perfectly comfortable with the label “witch.” (I practice in both my ancestral traditions, if anyone is wondering why an NDN is copping to being a witch.)

            If you look at the population of Europe at the time of the witch craze, from the mid-15th through the 16th and about three-quarters into the 17th century, you’ll see that the population simply could not sustain the murder of “millions of women” at a time when it was still recovering from the depopulation caused by the Black Death of the 14th century, as well as continuing recurring outbreaks and epidemics of other diseases such as the “sweating sickness,” possibly due to Hanta virus.

            And just to keep the record straight, the worst witch-burner in Europe was the Calvinist James VI/I of England and Scotland. He fancied himself an expert on witchcraft and was personally responsible for the 16th century epidemic of witch burning and drowning in Scotland.

          • Basically, I was responding to Joe Cannon’s assertion that “nothing like what the Brits did to the Irish ever happened in any *Catholic* country.” Bull.
            The estimates vary. Suffice it to say that they burned many, many of women to death, plus Jews, gays, and “witch sympathizers”, many of whom were women. And no matter who the “worst” witch burner was, the fact remains that the “practice” originated in the Catholic church and was codified by the Dominican priests Kramer and Sprenger in the “Malleus Maleficarum”, with the blessing of the pope.

          • Branjor:

            Care for some cowbell with that bull? The policy to which Joe refers is the deliberate and documented death by starvation and associated diseases of millions of Irish women, children and men. The decimation of the Irish was a deliberate genocide endorsed by the government of Great Britain and Queen Victoria herself. The only comparable events in Western history are the Jewish Holocaust of the late 1930’s-1940’s and the attempted extermination of Native Americans throughout the Western Hemisphere.

            As for the witch burnings, without in any way minimizing their horror, the number that can reasonably be extrapolated from actual documentation is somewhere between 100,000-200,000 over a span of four centuries and across all of Europe. Horrible, yes, but if you want to count corpses, it comes nowhere near the Irish devastation of millions dead over a few decades in one small island.

            James was indeed the worst single persecutor, but as a group, the German princes topped him. Bearing in mind that the worst of the witch hysteria on the Continent occured in the German states in the 16th century, many of those princes were Lutherans. You might be surprised to learn that no one was burned for witchcraft in Spain. In fact, the Spanish Inquisition, which was directed essentially against real and perceived enemies of the Spanish state, taught that belief in witchcraft was a superstition and worthy of punishment (though short of execution) itself.

            No, the practice of execution by burning did not originate with the Catholic Church. It originated in the secular states of the Middle Ages and was applied to a number of crimes, including treason and murder. Anne Bolyen’s sentence was burning or beheading “at the King’s pleasure,” her alleged crime being treason by means of adultery. England, both Catholic and Protestant, also burned “heretics,” but executed “witches” by hanging–not for witchcraft per se but for capital crimes supposedly committed by witchcraft.

            To its credit among so many crimes, however, England manged to keep the Inquisition firmly on the other side of the Channel. Its operatives weren’t allowed to work within English or English-occupied territories such as Wales and Ireland.

            Now, I do see where you’re coming from, and I’m as outraged by femicide as you are. I just don’t think that making wildly exaggerated and unsustainable claims while derrogating firmly documented atrocities gets us anywhere.

          • Okasha – apparently you know more about the history than I do. But I believe that the two worst countries for witch persecutions were Germany as you say, and Italy. As to who was the “worst” of the witch burners, the Catholics or the Protestants, I find that utterly irrelevant. I didn’t say no Protestants burned witches, I specifically said that they did. I was speaking particularly of the Catholic witchburners because that is the subject of this thread – the Catholic church, and the subject of Joe Cannon’s defense of same, not because the Catholics were the “worst”. Anyway, if they even had the nerve to burn ONE woman for being a witch, practicing natural medicine and midwifery, they are on my sh*t list forever. As are the Protestant witch burners. European Christianity itself, of which the Catholic church was the first, was a movement basically to replace female deity with male. The female was and is the major target of Christianity. Her inferiority is the main tenet of these “faiths”, not the inferiority of the Irish. And I believe the roots of the more modern atrocities involving the Irish and the Jews go back to the earlier genocide against women. More Irish and Jews were killed than “witches”? Well, that just means they were getting more efficient. Plus, even they were smart enough to know that they needed women to keep the species alive. I find your downplaying of the Catholic part in witchburning unconvincing. Dominican priests wrote the book, their pope blessed it. That makes them just as bad, even if the newly emerging Protestants in countries just so recently Catholic actually killed more women.

          • Branjor, you’re speaking of the MM as “the book,” as if it were the only motivation and/or guidebook for persecution of “witches.” Cathoics may have written it, and a Pope may have blessed it. But as Joe pointed out, that same Catholic Church placed the book on its list of heretical/condemned works forbidden to the faithful. Are we to believe that the Protestant witch-hunters used this piece of “Papistry” in their persecutions? Please.

            I find your attempt to pin every atrocity on the planet on the Catholic Church unconvincing, esepcially when the victims themselves–ie. and to wit, the Irish–were themselves Catholic. The more so when you identify female inferiority as the “main tenet” of Catholicism in particular and Christianity as a whole. Silly me. I was under the impression that salvation through the redemptive death of Jesus was the main tenet of all forms of Christianity.

          • Oh for gosh sakes, okasha, the entire reason that salvation is said to come through the “redemptive” death (read: murder) of Jesus, is because Jesus is a male, not a female. Effectively replacing female divinity with male. That’s my opinion, anyway. I don’t think there is or ever can be any “redemptive” quality in a man’s murder, but at this point we get into theology, not the Catholic church as an institution, which is the main point of this thread (church as institution, that is).

          • And I honestly am not pinning every atrocity on the planet on the Catholic church any more than BB is. I’m sorry you see it that way.

          • I’m glad to hear that the Catholic church finally placed the MM on the Index after the priests wrote it, the pope blessed it, and it did its damage. From a PR standpoint, that was necessary however. How would it look if the book wasn’t condemned by the church to this day?

        • I’m sorry, I was sexually abused as a child. It happened. I didn’t make it up, OK? The young boys who abused me were previously abused by a Catholic priest. That happened. No one made it up. It’s not some “great conspiracy.”

          I was born a Catholic, and unlike you, I still consider myself a Catholic. I don’t believe it’s something you can get away from. That’s part of who I am no matter whether I go to church or not.

          I’m also a woman, and women’s rights have been set back more than 40 years by this health insurance bailout. The portion of the bill that took away women’s reproductive freedom was pushed by the Catholic Bishops as well as the evangelical nuts. I’m angry with the nuts too. I don’t feel that I should have to include that in every post to avoid being called an anti-Catholic bigot.

          • A note to Branjor: Why don’t you read a few books before you cite non-existent facts? The best work on the witch mania is Norman Cohn’s. He says that the number of victims — over a period of centuries — came to about 60,000. Eliot Rose, another scholar in this area, makes clear in his study that the majority of victims were in Protestant countries. Granted, it was hardly an overwhelming majority — but still a majority.

            The Malleus Malleficarium was placed on the index. Heinrich Kramer, who was indeed a Domincan, was himself denounced by the Inquisition. However, there were both Catholic and Protestant witch hunters who took the thing seriously in the late medieval period.

            So what’s next, Branjor? Care to enlighten us on how Jews poison wells and how all Eye-talians are gangsters and all Chinese are scheming white slavers?

            BB: Your heritage is not an excuse.

            Thought experiment: Suppose that, on the day Obama took office, I had announced in my blog: “Well, looks like the niggers are taking over the government!” And then suppose further that when appalled readers properly cried foul, I had tried to excuse my statement by giggling and saying that it just a bit of jolly hyperbole. Wouldn’t be much of an excuse, would it?

            Yes, I do think that much of the reportage is driven by people who simply hate the Catholic church out of religious bigotry and who want that Church to end. I think that anti-Catholic bigotry is on the rise, and may be worse now in this country than at any time since the 1920s.

            I will even go so far as to state that the BBC is engaging in a massive conspiracy — I’ll use the word — to destroy the institution that British bigots have been trying to demolish for centuries. That’s pretty obvious when you read (for example) the outrageously biased coverage here:


            That’s the kind of reportage I would expect from Fox News if the subject were liberalism.

            It’s clear that the BBC wants the institution of priestly celibacy to end. They want the Church to cease functioning.

            Think of it. If the targets were Jews or Wiccans, no-one would consider taking the claimed “victims” at face value, at least not in EVERY case. That becomes an automatic reaction only with Catholicism.

            I am sure that there are real victims of pedophilia within Catholicism, just as there were similar victims within Jewish and Protestant communities. If you do some googling, you will see that in those other communities there were similar allegations of cover-up and official blindness.

            And Wicca too. I’ve known some prominent Wiccans, such as the late Ellen Reed), At her house, I personally met a certain red-haired fellow, prominent in the community, who was later arrested on pedophilia charges. And I know that he was hardly the only one. But I would be an utter fool to judge all Wiccans by the example of a minority.

            There is now a “survivors’ network” of Catholic abuse claimants. The BBC links to them. The BBC does not tell you that there have also been “survivors networks” of people claiming to have been abused by Wiccans and other occultists. They do not receive the notice of the BBC, yet I’m not sure that there is much difference.

            Branjor brought up the witch mania. I think that is a fine historical reference point — though I would draw a very different parallel.

            Bostonboomer, you say you are still a Catholic. Where do you want this to end? If the bigots have their way, we may head back to the days when, in the words of Jack-Nicholson-as-Whitey-Bulger, a Catholic couldn’t even get a fuckin’ job in Boston. Back to the days when a Catholic girl was allowed only to be a domestic servant, working for people who had purchased manuals on how to convert “Brigid” to Protestantism, and who thus made her every working day a living hell.

            You want those days to come back?

          • lear that the BBC wants the institution of priestly celibacy to end. They want the Church to cease functioning.

            So if the Church ceases patriarchal and abusive practices, as all the bigots dream of, not only will it cease to exist, Brigid’s life will be ruined? Why didn’t you just say so before?

        • Joseph — Count me as a person who agrees with you on this particular subject. I usually just skip these types of posts and don’t know why I looked today.

          • Me three. I totally agree with Joseph on this one.

          • MMW,

            I’ll ask you the same questions as I did Jadzia. Are you agreeing that I’m a bigot, or are you agreeing that sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests is mass hysteria, even though there are extensive paper trails.

            Please show the courage of your convinctions and answer my questions.

          • BB –

            Sorry – I was away for awhile. I don’t think that you are a bigot, though I do think that alot of this is catholic bashing and could be perceived as bigotry. The catholic church LIKE every other Christian faith and even some non-believers have their fair share of hypocrisy. ALL religions and other organizations attempt to use or use every means at their disposal to affect changes in their favor. It is not a strictly catholic problem. Just to be clear – I grew up in the catholic church and could not get away fast enough – but this was not due to catholic doctrine as much as to religious hyprocrisy on the whole from all religious organizations.

            I have no problem with people who espouse their faith or lack thereof, regardless of what it is. Neither do I blame any religion for the state of political discourse in this or any other country.

            I think that when organizations are powerful, for wahtever reason, it is easy to scapegoat them. Does that mean that they are not at fault? NO, it doesn’t. All it means is that the bigger you are the more clout you have and the more visibility you have. To me this is part and parcel of democracy. I don’t blame the church for wielding its power, I’d wield mine too, if I had it. I blame politicians for not listening to their constituents

            I also am not going to condemn the entire church for the failings of a few. I happen to know many catholics, they are all on birth control, have no problem if priests were allowed to marry, are weary of sending their children to catholic school because of the sex abuse scandals, are pro-choice, pro-homosexual rights and pro female priests.

            I don’t think catholics have half as much power as this post and others make them out to have. Our leaders SUCK, our media SUCKS, that’s the problem. The catholic church is just easy.

          • At least you answered one of my questions.

          • If the question I missed – is whether the sexual abuse of children is mass hysteria?

            I think that there are children that were sexually abused, but I think there are a whole lot of others that are just jumping on the band wagon. And please point me in the right direction, if I am wrong, but a paper trail of cover-up, simply means that an accusation was levelled and instead of enacting punishment the entire issue was hushed for whatever reason. It does not mean that anything actually happened, or that there was no investigation.

            I know none of these priests that are being accused. I’ve never had any contact with them, if any of them sexually abused a child they should be punished.

          • Paper trails prove:

            1) that the adult victim is telling the truth. There was an incident (or incidents) that was reported at the time; not at the time that the “mass hysteria,” supposedly spurred by cash and lawsuits, began.

            2) when the paper trail follows the abuser, it becomes less likely that a group of children are inventing stories and more likely that the pedophile is repeating the abuse.

            3) when a paper trail shows that priests are moved from parish to parish, across country and across national borders, then it shows that the church is not dealing with the abuse and is, instead, trying to sweep it under the rug and in doing so providing the abuser with a fresh set of children to begin the cycle all over again.

            In sexual abuse and harassment cases, a paper trail is usually considered strong evidence for the victim(s).

          • This behavior of transferring the abuser to new hunting grounds is NOT limited to the Catholic Church. I know, personally, of a case involving a public school system that did the same thing. Unfortunately, it seems to be SOP in many organizations.

        • Jadzia,

          I’m not sure what you’re agreeing with. Is it that I’m a bigot or that the entire sexual abuse scandal in the church, with its extensive paper trail and with many Catholic Priests fighting to bring it out in the open, is analogous to the “satanic ritual abuse” hysteria?

          • No responses to my direct questions, I see. Hmmmm….

          • I can’t speak for Jadzia.

            But I don’t think the catholic church has some monopoly on sexual abuse. Are there people who would take advantage of church policy and doctrine, or attempt to cover up wrong doing within the religion? Ofcourse there are.

            Geez, before Toyota’s massive re-call there were few complaints of Toyotas accelerating on their own. After the recall – there were tens and hundred fold increases in the numbers of these calls. Even the famous San Diego Prius incident has been called into question.

            People jump on a bandwagon every day. Half the time they have no fragging clue where it is going. Ofcourse there are priests who have abused children, I do not question that, and I firmly believe they should be punished with jail time and all their enablers punished with the same.

            But I do not believe that it is epidemic in the catholic church and I would be very weary of acusing the entire church of this.

          • MMW, like the Boy Scouts, an organization that allows men to be 1) alone with young boys and 2) in a position of moral leadership is going to attract men who are sexually fixated on boys. It gets particularly thorny when the abuser is a religious authority. It’s hardly confined to the Catholic Church. (IMO, it’s their cover-ups that are getting them in so much trouble.) And it’s hardly confined to the Boy Scouts. And whether it’s an epidemic or not is really not the point. It exists and it is a serious problem that deserves serious attention and serious punishment.

          • GXM 17 –

            I agree that it is a serious issue and deserves serious attention, that is why judging with a broad brush will not address the problem.

          • MMW,

            Could you please show me where I said the Catholic Church “has a monopoly on sexual abuse?”


          • BB – You never said that the catholic church had a monopoly on sexual abuse of children. I took it from the following, along with other posts that have been made on this site:

            “The Catholic Church that controls our government is embroiled in an slowly unfolding scandal that looks to be literally global. The abuse of children by Catholic priests is coming to light all over the world.”

            Please understand that I firmly believe that this is a serious issue and is a breach of one of the highest levels of trust. It should be punished to the fullest extent possible.

            But when it is discussed like this – it gives the impression that it is a CATHOLIC problem rather than a mankind problem.

        • You forgot the Scotts across the pond and left out the Mexican/mestizos her in the US of A.

          So, good to see your are ALIVE and WELL! So, how is the sun bathing going!?!

    • you were raised in the RCC, right?

      • NO.

        I knew some fool would leap to that conclusion. My father was an absolutely irreligious scientist. My mother was agnostic. My stepfather was Jewish.

        Your accusation is, in and of itself, proof of your bigotry.

        Consider: The year is 1939, and a member of the German-American bund is prattling on in a public forum about his imagined Jewish conspiracy. He references the Protocols of Zion. Someone in the audience steps forward and says: “This is all a lie. The Protocols are fraudulent — they were exposed years ago.”

        The Bundist sneers, looks down his nose and says “You must be a Jew, right?”

        Pretty ugly, innit?

        Now look in the mirror.

    • Gee, Joe, a letter?

      What about when that letter contains the threat of excommunication for any Catholic Senator or Representative that goes against the wishes of the Church?

      Not mere letter writing by any means.

      • it’s funny how they never seem to condemn republicans who favor the death penalty. It is always about democrats and abortion. If you live in a catholic area, even a heavily democratic party one, as I do, you know how much control the RCC has over local politics.

        • The Church has no political power anywhere in this country. You are delusional. I note that you do not humor us with specifics.

        • He wasn’t necessarily raised in the RCC. Reading between the lines of his post, I think he is someone who was himself accused of abuse and he sympathizes with others who are also so accused.

          No inside info, just my impression.

          • “The Church has no political power anywhere in this country. You are delusional. I note that you do not humor us with specifics.”


            Furthermore, churches should be taxed, and they should not get “faith-based” funding.

          • actually, he sounds like he is on day release and just found an internet cafe !

      • So what?

        If the only power wielded comes down to “We won’t let you be part of our club any more” — so the fuck what? That is their right.

        It’s like me saying to a Senator “If you don’t vote the way I like, I shall banish you from the Gustav Mahler Appreciation Society.”

        So WHAT?

        It is a simple fact: The Catholic Church has no political power. None. Anyone who says otherwise is psycho. And yet sickfuck American bigots insist on this nutso proposition, despite an absolute lack of proof.

        By the way — HAS anyone been excommunicated? No. And it just won’t happen. There may be some hot-head Bishops offering threats, but it won’t happen.

        The Church won’t excommunicate LeFebvre, and they won’t excommunicate Michael Pfleger. That should tell the story. High-profile excommunications just do not happen.

        • it you are a congress person from a heavily Catholic area and the church, some bishop or other, makes a big deal about you being “pro-abortion”….. so what? come one, you don’t get reelected in those circumstances. In addition, Catholics have been taught all their lives that the only real path to salvation is through the Catholic church. They don’t just leave and start attending the nearest Methodist Church like a pissed off Presbyterian might. Being threatened with not being able to receive communion.. not only is it a lot of bad publicity, but it is a real threat to someone who is truly faithful.

          • No one is feels truly threatened, for the reason I gave: Excommunications just ain’t gonna happen.

            And I very much doubt that there is a single person in Congress who truly believes in transubstantiation. Frankly, I think most of the “religious” people in office are faking it, regardless of denomination.

            And if bad publicity (for any cause) results in a lost election — so what? That’s democracy.

          • It’s not just excommunication–it’s all those voters who go to church and listen to sermons. That’s why we used to have separation of church and state.

          • During the gay marriage flap, some priests called out state reps who were sitting right there in Church, for goodness sakes.

          • BB, will you listen to yourself?

            “It’s not just excommunication–it’s all those voters who go to church and listen to sermons. That’s why we used to have separation of church and state.”

            When have we NOT had a time in this country where people could go to church and listen to sermons?

            How does the delivery of a sermon constitute political power? Sure, maybe it falls under the heading of “the power of the word” — the power of suasion — but you and I have the exact same power, and the same right to wield it.

            You are still operating under the common (and very sick) delusion that people who sit in a Catholic Church pew are there at gunpoint. Come off it.

            Priests can sermonize all they like. It is still the case half their congregants favor abortion rights. That’s the same percentage (roughly) as in the country as a whole.

            They can encourage a writing campaign. And they will be only half successful — at best.

            In the meantime, the evangelicals can muster up 90% of the troops. They are more numerous.

            Yet when people in this country speak of “Church power” they speak only of Catholicism.

            I notice that you still haven’t favored us with any specifics when asked to defend your ludicrous proposition that the Catholic Church has political power. Are you saying that Cardinal O’Malley sends out Lenny the Legbreaker to tell Menino what to do?

          • Thanks, Joe. This has been better than anthropology class. All my life, I’ve lived in fear of Lenny the Legbreaker and attended Church under the supposition that Father Rambo was hiding a machine gun under his Cossack. Now that you’ve freed us all from our sick delusions that we are capable of understanding our own experiences through your mighty power to create ridiculous strawpeople, we’re free.

        • Are you aware of the special protection afforded to the Jesuit order that others don’t have?

        • Actually, the Catholic Churches where I ran for unicameral in my district helped take me down to put in one of their own. They ran a hate campaign against me. I have friends that sat in the pews and heard the sermons. I even went over to one of the parish priests to try to reason with him and tell him I was with them on other issues. No such deal. They rallied the troops; especially at St. Stephen’s.

          • Money is power. The Church is very wealthy. Here in Boston they have lots of other ways of leaning on politicians too, but why argue with people who are just (figuratively) red-faced and screaming? I’ve seen this kind of behavior many times when the people being discriminated against are women and children.

          • I suppose I won’t even answer his post to me, as he is just, as you say, red faced and screaming. The Eye-talians? Well, I’m a quarter Italian myself, and I have an Italian name.

          • I am wondering where he lives where non-WASPs are such freakish anomalies they need to be explained in weirdly stereotypical out-of-a-hundred-year-old-textbook terms.

    • You are indulging in scapegoating, pure and simple — displacement of anger onto the outsiders, onto “Them.” You don’t blame evangelical Protestants, however vile you find their antics, because — in the final analysis — you consider protestants to be part of “us.” You may not agree with them, you may despise them, but they aren’t foreign. They aren’t “them.”

      Are you for real? They are letting the Catholics out of the zoo these days, they’ve even been sighted in the wild. If you’d lay off the bizarre conspiracy theories for 5 seconds, bb is Catholic. These amazing facts about this bizarre foreign species (PRO-CHOICE Catholics? Must be an urban legend) are, possibly, less revolutionary than you might assume. And, oddly enough, people really are entitled to criticize their own Church.

    • The Catholic Church has no political power. None. Anyone who says otherwise is psycho. And yet sickfuck American bigots insist on this nutso proposition, despite an absolute lack of proof.

      WTF? I had to check to make sure that wasn’t a troll impersonating the real Joseph Cannon.

      I guess we can add “psycho sickfuck bigots” to “racist Republican ratfuckers.”

      It’s been a while since someone we liked and respected suddenly freaked out and started calling us names and accusing us of all manner of vile transgressions. Anglachel was the first. I believe the last one was Paul Lukasiak’s meltdown over citing the Wall Street journal on the Honduras crisis.

      Gee Joe, that’s a helluva way to pay us back for defending you from accusations of sexism and antisemitism. Last year Bostonboomer took your side in a fight that split this blog apart.

      • I think you might be too blinded by bigotry to see what an anti-Catholic hate fest this thread is. The hate is so overwhelming I’m starting to fear for my own safety.

        • My grandma warned me I’d go blind, but bigotry wasn’t the reason.

        • Hemmm… dully noted. When folks tend to Catholic wild I do remind them that they are amongst the many that do devote a lot of their lives in charity and care work.

          It was after all Mother Teresa who started to care for those who fell ill with AIDS before the medications were developed. It was she and her Catholic nuns that cared for them and taught many, not to fear those with AIDS and to love and care for them.

          Hold strong, it is not the pedophile priests, nor those that protected them that make up the church, it is the people, and the people don’t support that behavior and the people will continue to press for justice for those that were abuse, but will also continue to serve those in need.

      • I have to side with myiq on this one. If you disagree with BB, respectfully say so, don’t just scream “psycho sickfuck bigot” at BB when she’s defended you from half of the Confluence readership calling Cannonfire anti-Semitic AND sexist last year. I liked Cannonfire for your take down of Republicans and Obots, but there were some things on your blog that made me go WTF?. Yet I always respected your opinion and didn’t attack you on your own blog for ideas that I thought were borderline sexist or just batsh*t crazy. And to say that the Catholic Church has no political power is just ignorant of European and South American history both past and present as well as anti-gay and anti-choice propaganda being spread in this country.

      • myiqx2 — I never asked anyone to defend me, precisely because I want to remain in a position where no-one feels that I owe anything. That’s why I associate with no-one. Ever. If you defended me against the jerks who called me an anti-Semite, you should have come to that conclusion based on the facts. If the facts led you to any other conclusion, then you should have said something different.

        • We defended you from people who jumped to erroneous conclusions based on one or two of your posts that were inflammatory. As a regular reader of your blog for several years I knew those one or two posts did not present a complete and accurate picture.

          Had I judged you solely on those one of two posts, I would have agreed you were a psycho sickfuck antisemite. If I judged you solely on your comments here today I would conclude you were nothing but a troll.

          As a frontpager here at TC and a former regular reader/commenter at your now-defunct blog I am at a loss for a charitable explanation for the intentional offensiveness of your comments here today.

    • Joe this entire argument falls flat on it’s face by one simple fact: the post is about a political organization, a country, and an oppressive regime. The Catholic Corporation if you will. It’s not about the many people that are members including many here or about a religion per se, it’s about an organization. So then I see your argument is about being bigoted towards an organization, say like the Republican Party or Goldman Sachs.

      And here, the post is pointing out how much trouble this organization has been in lately with such systemic, reprehensible behaviors and yet has been having a massive influence recently in our health care debate. So it’s timely, and very appropriate. And says something very important and concrete about our current government and party.

      And by the way, your statements about how the Catholic Church has no political influence are completely loony. So there.

    • Thank you, Joe. I have given up arguing this point, I simply disengage when the dead horse is beaten. I find myself ‘disengaging’ more and more. So I visit less and less and I miss the place less and less. Kinda sad.

      • Which point?

        • I guess she means the point about how I’m a sick fuck bigot, or whatever he said. Hey if you want to defend men who sexually abuse children, go right ahead and do it. Somewhere else.

        • Good question. I didn’t see much point, just some creepy name calling.

      • If only the sexual abuse horse were dead. If only the homophobia horse were dead. If only the anti-woman horse were dead. But they aren’t. They are alive and well.

    • comment removed by author.

    • I don’t think that’s a payback to Kucinich. More, it’s exploitation of the stupidity of his vote.

      See! If Dennis liked it, it must be good.

  11. Church-proofing kids is more important than street-proofing them. After all, kids are sent to church to learn how to be better people, so when they experience predatory behavior it’s crazy-making. They’d know enough to run and scream if they met the same threat on the street.

    BB, your round-up exposes the RCC as an international pedophile ring. It should be exposed and prosecuted the same as any organized secular pedophile ring would be. Wrapping oneself in the Shroud of Turin is no different, and probably much worse, than luring kids with puppies and candy.

  12. Although it didn’t make as big a splash as the Magaline (sp?) laundries, I saw a special a shile ago (maybe on 60 minutes) that told of children in British Catholic orphanages back in the 1940s & 50s that were shipped to Australia where the girls were put to work in laundries (they really seem to like that) and the boys were put to work building their churches. These were 10 to 12 year old children doing adult work. And these were children who were not orphans but whose parents couldn’t afford to take care of them (or whose mothers were single parents). When they sent them over to Austrialia, they didn’t bring any of the paperwork like birth certificates, so these people, now senior citizens, are unable to leave the country to go back and find their families because the records don’t exist to prove who they are.

    • During the 30s those children were sent to Canada as well. They were “taken in” by families and often used as slave labor.

  13. Catholic bishops exerted a powerful and focused influence on a health law in preference to the rights and needs of half of the population, and directly against the Democratic party platform. I read BB’s statement in that light. It was written sarcastically, and read sarcastically.

    I am wholly aware of the dangers of mass hysteria. I remember the Martin preschool case very clearly. But the Church pedophilia scandal came to light 20 years ago, and the Church has refused to confront the problem. They have had two decades to establish their credibility on this question, and have failed.

    • I think the main point is that when there’s a systemic cover-up plus many of the students in many of the Catholic religious seminaries experienced similar exploitation, the institution becomes an enabler. I have a very dear, old gay friend who went to a seminary to become a brother back in the 1970s and said there was no vow of celibacy that he could see where he went and the wall between teachers and students completely had fallen apart. In that situation, it becomes a safe haven and it becomes generational. Other institutions–including religious–have problems with this, but they tend to deal with it on a case by case basis and there’s not such a huge cover up and shuffle around of the problem. Because they’re so desperately short of priests, and because they view priests in a demi-god sort’ve way instead of just a preacher/teacher sort’ve way, they treat them differently when they offend. It’s the institution of the CATHOLIC church that I think BB is saying is the problem. In her heart, she still retains her catholic identity. That says something.

      • Celibacy to the church doesn’t mean no sex. It means no marriage. A lot of people don’t realize that. This has been going on since the 4th century when the celibacy rule was instated. It is systemic. I’m sorry that’s the case. I wish it weren’t. But it is.

        • really? wow, I didn’t know that … I assumed it was a vow of no sex

          • I’ve been celibate a lot longer than I realized.

          • Maybe it is, but trust me, priests have sex with housekeepers, parishioners, prostitutes, etc. The sex drive is very powerful in most humans. It’s pretty unrealistic for anyone to believe they don’t have sex.

            the state of being single or unmarried, especially in the case of one bound by vows not to marry. — celibate, n., adj.
            See also: Catholicism


  14. OT – I just got an email from Emily’s list asking for a donation to Pilosi’s reelection fund – no way in h^ll –

  15. I just want to say that both of my parents were raised Catholic. My father never went back to the church though my mother, in her golden years, has returned. She is a pro-choice Catholic who becomes incensed when the priests tell the congregation who to vote for from the pulpit. (As an aside, Justice Scalia’s son was her priest for the longest time.) Most of my family is Catholic, and you couldn’t meet nicer more warm-hearted people. For the record, I do not even remotely hate Catholics. However, I hate the patriarchy that the church is but one part of and I do not turn a blind eye to the abuses committed in the name of the Catholic, or any for that matter, church.

    • Thank you, I agree. And I have to say, I’m very glad that nothing that happened to me as a child–as bad as it was–caused me to lose my sense of humor.

  16. I definitely do not hate Catholics. Most of my extended family is Catholic, though I am not.

  17. I don’t think catholics have half as much power as this post and others make them out to have. Our leaders SUCK, our media SUCKS, that’s the problem. The catholic church is just easy.

    I’ve racked my head about why we don’t criticize Islam here. Whether it was race or the particulars of the religion. Never occured to me that Islam doesn’t represent an establishment power base in this country. Thank you.

    • Islam hasn’t done anything to me.

      • rude, offensive comment deleted.

        • A lot of people seem to have lost any sense of proportion or sense of humor. I’d like to see you actually defend the Stupak language that the Catholic Bishops lobbied for. Go ahead.

    • I can agree with you there. Criticizing Islam seems to be much more politically sensitive than criticizing Catholicism or indeed any Christian church among liberals, though they are just as misogynistic as the Christians, and growing in influence here. The UK even has Sharia courts, for crying out loud. As a feminist, I do not hesitate to criticize Islam, but it’s not my call what will and will not be tolerated on this blog. I’m just glad that *some* misogynistic religions can be criticized.

      • Islam is much more misogynistic than the RCC or any other Christian denomination. Only political correctness keeps us from saying so.
        When someone finds a Christian church practicing stoning women to death for being raped let me know.

        • You mean, practice stoning to death women and children.

          Girl stoned was a child of 13

        • Well, I have written multiple posts about that. I’m not hung up on political correctness. I wrote a morning news post. The news was full of HCR and pedophile priests. So I wrote about it. And now people are trying to make me into a conspiracy theorist and bigot. Whatever….

          • BB,

            don’t take it to heart. You’re absolutely NOT a bigot, although you don’t need me to tell you that, you know that yourself.

            Joseph Cannon could have raised ALL his objections – some of which are actually valid and good discussion subject – without attacking you personally.

            This is deja-vu all over again. I remember one of our friends (I’m drawing a blank on his nom de plume) who came here once and just savaged DKat on the coup d’etat in Honduras. He too was not happy to just raise his objections over the use of RW sources (a valid objection IMO), but had to call her all kinds of names in the book.

          • It’s actually pretty similar to what happens to victims of abuse when they come forward, really. The guilt tripping and mud slinging. How many kids were told making the priest look bad would make the Church look bad and not to be bad Catholics? How many were told they were making it up? How many were told “that there is a subset of the population which is in love with the idea of victimhood”? Jeebus.

          • Paul Lukasiak, MABlue.

          • I don’t think you’re bigoted. ( Just got back home to this HUGE thread) When I left for my last two lectures this was a tiny thread!)

            It’s not unfair to point out the undue influence the Catholic Church has had in the health care debate. The U.S. Bishops put themselves squarely into the argument and they used Bart Stupak and other Catholic Congress people to support their specific religious views. They’ve been threatening prochoice elected officials for years now. Also, most religions in this country send their kids to public school an do not create the opportunities for pedophiles that the Catholic church does so it has an extra responsibility because it is also in the education business and has huge responsibilities as a charity provider. Plus, it has systemically ignored problems up and down the food chain for years on this problem even when presented with clear evidence of problems. I’m not sure I recall any other religion with pedophiles putting those folks near children. While you unfortunately get pedophiles anywhere there are children, I think history has shown us that the Catholic Church has overwhelmingly protected the perpetrator until recently. They’ve only looked at victims because the courts have forced them to do so. Pointing these things out does not make you a conspiracy theorist or a bigot, imho. Also, as a Catholic, your experiences allow you to speak more fervently about these things.

          • (Oh, nom de plume, sorry, I’m not outing him or anything, he always just posted under his name)

          • Thx, seriously.

            That was him. I still don’t where his boorish came from. The same thing happened today to Joseph Cannon.

          • Paul used to be a frontpager here.

        • Let me give you something to think about:

          Hillsdale High School WBC to picket the Laramie Project. WBC to picket the stinking pale of sludge known commonly as the Laramie Project. Yes, that is what this nation needs, more pushy loud-mouthed women yip-yapping lies about Matthew Shepard. What part of SHUT UP do you silly women NOT understand? Listen up women, if not for you Matt would not be in hell – right now! You did that, and instead of being ashamed, you sin more and more behind it. Our message for San Mateo, and DOOMED american theatre troops is this: Matt Is In Hell! God Hates Fags! God Hates Fag Enablers! You will eat your babies! Bloody Obama! Hell Is Real – Ask Matt! Judy Sent Matt To Hell! That is correct, if not for that disobedient woman lying to the little boy. I say, if she and her capon (now divorced from him) husband had one time told little Matthew some truth from the Bible – he would be alive To Day! Hebrews 4:7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. Before too long, there will be no more “To day”s. Obama is on the move, people, and that is all there is. See you in Brookfield! Praise God! AMEN!


          what exactly do you call that? A christian lovefest for women and gay men?

      • The US even has Catholic diocesan courts, for crying out loud.

      • The minute I’m forced to follow their holidays and their rules and see their beliefs codified in law, I’ll scream loudly. So far, that seems to be restricted to evangelical christian and catholic tenets right now.

    • Actually I’d like to correct that there have been quite a few posts on Islam and Women’s Rights … y’all have selective memories

    • Islam is a religion, not a church. Criticism of the Catholic church is not criticism individual Catholics or of Christianity in general.

      • That’s actually a good point … it’s like the vast differences in evangelical christianity. I was listening to npr today and there’s some guy that has the old school baptists mad because he’s trying to reinterpret the crucifixion as something other than a sacrifice/bloodlust on the part of god. It bothers him that jesus was a social activist but basically has to die because of the old testament bloodlusty god … wow, does he have an argument on his hands. Forget the name of the book now, heard it way early in the morning,but sounds like we’ll hear more about it. He’s basically trying to take the hellfire and damnation out of things.

      • I don’t get what you are trying to say here. Islam is a religion and the Catholic Church is a building??Is that what your saying here?? I am a Catholic (non-practicing). My mother was a Catholic. If there were not a Catholic church, there would be NO history of Christianity anywhere. It is imperfect, and has committed many sins, it is still the reason Chrisitanity survived! There are sinners committing sins in every religion, I think that was all Joseph was trying to say.

        • You’re conflating the faith/belief system with the man-made institution created to promote specific doctrines. There is a huge difference.

        • Catholicism would be a religion, Ralph’s Pretty Good Catholic Church would be a particular Church, and the Roman Catholic Church or other similar names would be a vast organization/country/empire that’s fricken stunningly powerful that is about power and politics.

        • If there were not a Catholic church, there would be NO history of Christianity anywhere.
          Slight correction, Christianity came before the Catholic Church. There are a number of existing Christian Churches that predate Catholicism. The organization we know as the Catholic Church was quite a bit later than early Christianity — mostly run by women by the way.

          • Ok, you got me there,but these other churches actually ran by women…where are they now??? What name do they go under and where is the history of Jesus Christ and the beginning of Christianity…the relics and such??

          • The Coptic church is a Christian church that is older than Catholicism.

            Churches ran by women can be found in the same place as matriarchal civilizations.

          • Early Christianity mostly run by women was mostly a family oriented thing out of the home. And the books used were also interesting and varied and included lots of gospels and other books excluded later — e.g., gospel of mary, etc. The home run efforts and neighborhood and other groups were banned when the Roman Empire stepped in at Nicene and made it all Roman and patriarchal and invented and included other fun things to make it more acceptable to pagans and polytheists like the trinity and god like saints, etc. Your basic PR/marketing job. But mostly it was where the Roman Empire went, and is still with us. And everyone thought they fell. Ha.

            There are some churches in northern africa that are older. I’d have to track that down as it’s been forever since I studied all of that. But lots were absorbed as you might imagine from a powerful empire run religion.

            Funny you should mention relics. Definitely a no no, but later added to get those pagans on board. Even the practice of the alter and how it’s rooted/connected to the ground is all from pagan stuff.

            Not to take away from anyone’s deeply held beliefs at all of course. And the core of those should not be effected one way or the other from some of the colorful history. But it’s good to know where things came from, what most likely transpired, and generally the origins and motivations by some particular practices and traditions.

  18. I don’t hate catholics, my best friend is catholic, my mother-in-law was catholic until she had the gall to divorce the man who beat her and put out cigarettes on by husbands back. When she remarried, it was as a lutheran. However, one brother-in-law, and one sister-in-law married catholics, and so went back to the catholic church. What I do hate is the catholic hierarchy, and I would not mind if they all rotted in hell. The damage they have done is both real and documented. With the sexual assaults on young boys (and undoubtably on young girls — the difference is the girls were blamed for seducing the priests), they have severely damaged thousands of worldwide. With the Magalyne laundires in Ireland, and the orphans in Austrialia that I mentioned above, they enslaved and used people as forced labor. At least the orphans were able to age out and go on to lead normal lives. Until they were finally closed, the women kept in the laundries were imprisioned and forced to work for no money until they died. The churchs rulings on condoms in Africa are directly leading to women in Africa being exposed to, and dying from, AIDs. Their teachings are being used to state that even 9 year old girls shouldn’t be allowed to have an abortion even though carrying the pregnancy to term is harzardous to the girl’s health. There are now either five or six of the seats on the Supreme Court held by catholics. Joseph Cannon feels that this doesn’t mean anything. But then again, he is male. He doesn’t have to worry about them deciding that women can’t have abortions, or use birth control. (And if you don’t think that that would follow, you have’nt been listening to what the right-to-lifers have been saying.) The last thing I need is someone with no skin in the game telling me that there is nothing to be concerned about.

    • Sotomayor brought the total up to six. Catholics now hold a super-majority on the Supreme Court.

      • Sotomeyer describes herself as a “cultural Catholic”, i.e. not a devout follower of its all-male policy makers’ rulings.

        The five Catholic males are, however, not only devout Catholics, but their written opinions, concurrences and dissents have showcased their contempt for the rights and humanity of women. Scalia in particular is notorious for this and Thomas converted after his own misogyny had been given nation-wide exposure during his confirmation hearings.

        • We’ll have to wait and see how Sotomayor rules in specific cases. Personally, I do not believe Obama would have appointed her if he didn’t have reason to believe she would vote against abortion rights.

      • Did you see this, speaking of supreme court judges ???


        Obama’s leading candidate is Cass Sunstein.

        • The specter of having Cass Sunstein as SC Justice was one of the reasons I was opposed to Obama in the primaries.

        • Frankly, I’m amazed he didn’t pick him first.

        • Sunstein was marked for the Supreme Court long before the primaries began. The only reason Sotomayor was nominated was because there was so much pressure about appointing a woman.

          • And that threat was kept in reserve to prevent anyone from complaining too much about Sotomayor. Nice bit of triangulation there.

  19. Help, Spammy got me! I think it might have been the hollow-cost word.

  20. No wonder the nuns decided to distance themselves from Church opinion in the HCR debate.

    BB, I just want to thank you for this summary. Not sure why anyone would infer from it that you’re attacking rank and file Catholics. Obviously it’s patriarchal leadership who are to blame. Jeez, it’s the members who are the victims. As you said, systemic.


  21. Well blow me over. After a “mysterious” and oh so dramatic exit, Mr. Cannon has the audacity to come here and preface his outrageous attacks with the pompous announcement

    If I were still running a blog, I might de-list The Confluence.

    Boo hoo. What a favor that would be so that all of our courageous frontpagers and commenters who have defended you ad nauseum would be relieved of that duty when we returned the favor. How dare you call Boomer a bigot. She’s merely reporting on the absurd hypocrisy of an institution of social dominance. And yes, the Catholic church — as myiq puts it, the institution not the faith — holds political sway over our government.

    You claim to be this great historian and intellectual, yet fail to recognize the process of government and it’s religious institutions’ collusion for the purpose of social dominance. For eons, political leaders have aligned themselves with the deity of choice in order to keep the masses under control, with those scared of going to “hell” abiding by the orders given via the pulpit.

    I’ve been a Catholic since birth – by faith, no longer by organization. I now recognize the institution as a mechanism of the dominance over women and children and so I reject the institution. To me, I continue to embrace the beauty of Christ’s message and recognize that much of it has been tainted and bastardized by the alpha males that run the show. Trust me, I have a fund all set aside to help Jesus get a good lawyer when he returns to sue the bastards for libel.

    We here will continue to point out the hypocrisy of social institutions that seek to oppress. This post merely identifies one such institution. I remember your support of such institutions in one “women should shut up about abortion” posts. I knew then what your leanings were. You have now confirmed all suspicions.

    Please, delink us. Do us a favor. But don’t ever show your face around here and spew such vile venom at our frontpagers. Polite debate is always encouraged. Elitist personal attacks are terminated and are relegated to Spammy’s court.

    • *cheers wildly and applauds*

      • It’s always interesting to see a perfect example of anything. His comments were an excellent illustration of boorish behavior worthy of citation in interpersonal communication research journals.

        • Yes, very, very much that. It’s also always fascinating to watch non-Catholic men lecturing Catholic women on how we’re supposed to feel about patriarchal practices within our own religion (Guess what? We’re supposed to take great umbrage if anyone dares suggest they’re less than ideal. And certainly do no suggesting ourselves, perish the thought).

    • From the bleachers – this should be the final word on Mr. Cannon’s little ego trip.

    • That’s exactly how I feel, SoD. I haven’t been to Church in years, but I still love much about it. They made the mistake of reading the gospels at mass, so I couldn’t help figuring out that Jesus had a lot of very good ideas.

    • Nicely put.

    • Yes, nicely put.

    • if I might add…you effing ROCK!

    • 3 cheers!

  22. The Catholic CHURCH is not equal to the Catholic (universal) religion/faith. Christ bestowed certain responsibilities upon the apostles by laying of hands. His reference to “church” (“upon this rock I shall build my church) was not meant as a brick and mortar bureaucracy but as a community of believers.

    A series of actions throughout history by alpha males have created by design a sexist and oppressive organization/institution. This isn’t the fault of the belief system. It is the fault of those who had access to power and have abused it.

    The actions of the institution do not impact my belief system as a Catholic. When people make one contingent upon the other, they fall prey to the structural objectives of the design.

    • That’s why it is so confounding to see women standing up for the institution that has premitted horrendous abuse of children. I’ll never understand that. Still, it’s a big internet, as Kos used to say. There are probably lots of blogs that celebrate the degradation of women and children by clergy.

  23. I already said this, but I think Joseph Cannon is out on day release and found an internet cafe…that would account for his sudden departure.

  24. dayum!!!! so….who misses Joseph Cannon now?

    hiya BB and all!

  25. Oh no, I don’t celebrate that. I also went to parochial school and it was a tough school. The nuns were mean, but I learned there. They are very strict.

    Many people go into ministering for all the wrong reason as many people go into healthcare for all the wrong reasons. They have to be weeded out.

  26. I think there are some really crazy takes on the Catholic church in this thread and even in the original post. My wife and I were just discussing this topic yesterday and I firmly believe that Pedophiles systematically and deliberately infiltrated the church so that they could have greater access to children. We have seen in the news how pedophiles share pictures, go to Thailand in groups, etc. No reason to think that they wouldn’t deliberately use an organization such as the Catholic church any less than they have used the Boy Scouts, orphanages in the past, day care centers, etc. The question is how can the Catholic church fix this so that it never happens again?

    • I think there are some really crazy takes on the Catholic church…even in the original post.

      Specifics please? The post is mostly links to mainstream news sources, BTW.

  27. Comments on this post will be closed in about 10 minutes, so if there is anything you want to get off your chest, do it now. I’m going to watch the Purdue-Duke game at 10, and Purdue had better win or I won’t be a happy camper.

    Anyone want to call me a bigot for disliking Duke basketball?

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