Anti-Atheist Bigotry in Providence’s Mayoral Election

This is a letter from the Bishop of the Providence Diocese demonstrating the reason for a separation of Church and State. By weighing in he has brought the spectre of anti-atheist discrimination into the city of Providence’s mayoral election.

This adds another problem for Jorge Elorza as many people do vote along religious lines. And the Catholic Church’s influence among the Latino community can affect voting politics.  [Read more...]

On The Home’s Children and the Catholic Church

What institutions require is oversight. Self awareness. A lot of institutions run across the globe have stellar care. I can put up my own “Spastic Society” work as an example of care within disability (where a lot of the emphasis is inter disabled care and promotion of ability in a society where there are few options for abled people let alone the disabled). So running businesses and workshops and even training people for call centres (You don’t need to be physically able to operate a phone). Donate if you like! They take Paypal!

We may fear the institute, but here is the thing. All the good institutes? Never make the news. For the same reason we think that “Catholic Priest” = “Paedophile” when the incidence is the same among Catholic Priests and Teachers. The issue is the protection and hypocrisy afforded to the priests rather than the prevalence. The reason teachers don’t “get away with it” as often is we have no qualms about arresting one and schools are vested in their interests to owning up while the Church covers up. We only hear the bad things.

However? Remember the role religion plays in society as moral leaders? That’s the big problem. The fact that while claiming to be moral, the church’s unassailable position (in their own minds) allowed them to perpetrate atrocity while thinking what they were doing was good.

The terrifying thing is something I noticed from the article when I wrote about the topic. 
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Home – Another Stain to the Catholic Claim to Morality

Ireland has long been a fortress of Catholicism and it is only fitting that some of the Catholic church’s greatest daemons reside here.

TW – Death, Child Abuse

Maybe there are worse atrocities that have yet to come to light, but in Ireland we see a combination of the effect of the power of Catholicism, the secularisation of said society and the media and trappings of a first world nation which means that we are more willing to have reporters and the media listen to stories.

And the most recent one is with regards to a grim 1840’s workhouse in Tuam, Galway. It was taken over in 1925 by the Bon Secours Sisters who called it “The Home”. [Read more...]

Two New Saints

If you haven’t heard it elsewhere then Pope John Paul the II and Pope John the XXIII have both been sainted.

The man who started the Catholic Reform movement and the man who applied the brakes thus playing both sides of that debate between New Catholicism and the Orthodoxy.

The Roman Catholic Church’s New Gaffe

I am tempted to call this article “You won’t believe what the Roman Catholic Church has done now!”

Basically? The UN’s produced a report. A report whose TL:DR version boils down to “Why don’t you lot at the Roman Catholic Church have a look in the mirror and have a sodding word with yourself”. It boiled down to the general problems with the RCC. Child Molestation, Homosexuality, Contraception and Abortion.

And the Vatican are crying foul about the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and of course, Fox News has waded in as the voice of reason.

Nah! Just Kidding! Fox has flopped into the argument with all the panache of an epileptic walrus on the side of child molesters and the institution that hid them.

[warning]TW – Usual Roman Catholic Church issues of Child Molestation, Abortion, Contraception, Homophobia[/warning]
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Adoption

Wait? You want a day where religious people have more say than others? Where people who’s only qualification is “more” belief in a god and a grasp of latin to be making policy? And you want the UK to suddenly stop listening to the Church of England and listen to Catholics instead? You may as well wish for Sharia Law… [Read more...]

Domestic Violence, The Work Place and Catholic Values

At what point does someone else’s problem become our own problem? We all say “Well That’s What We Would Do” but doing something and saying you will do something are two entirely different beasts.

But when you are holding yourself (or claiming that you are holding yourself) to higher values than the rest of us mere mortals then you have to back up words with actions.

Carie Charlesworth was fired because of her ex-husband’s actions. [Read more...]

A Second Letter – Dear Cardinal O’Brien

[important]The Details are not Clear on this case. I have waited and from what I have got is that he hasn’t broken any laws beyond “bad touching”. The kind of fumbling that we see in teenagers struggling with urges rather than the actions of a predator. That may be “Spin” but I am reserving judgement. If we come to realise that Keith O’Brien is a horrid  molestor then we will treat him as such. But for now, I am willing to give him some leeway till the details come out mainly since the one person who has come out to the papers who I have read treats it as “harmless” and “poor chat up” rather than “molestation”. That he is more angry about the culture of dishonesty than O’Brien’s poorly thought out hook up…[/important]

Dear Cardinal O’Brien

My first letter was extremely harsh. Well to be fair you deserved that harshness. You were utilising a position of power to denigrate and deny the basic right of happiness to a group of people based on prejudices created by a 2000 year old book.

There are Gay Priests. There have to be some by dint of statistics and chance. These men (and women – let us not forget lesbian nuns) live in fear and hatred of what they are. In a religion powered by guilt and shame these are feelings that drive these people to hate what they are. The Church has a lot of confused men grappling with their sexuality. I feel you are one such person. Your failure lead to loathing which spilt over into the public sphere. The damage you have done is “irreparable”. People have been hurt and people have had their minds influenced by you. And for that you must feel sorry. Let us assume you didn’t break any laws. That you didn’t molest children. That you didn’t force anyone into having sex with you. Let us assume that the statements we have seen are the limit and that all you have done is hit on young adults. This is a tragic story for a variety of reasons ranging from your complicit aid in the demonisation of homosexuals to your own personal self loathing.

The tragedy is not because of any god but because of Church doctrine. It’s because you have harmed people either directly or indirectly and most of all it is because you harmed yourself..

I haven’t seen any major accusations of illegal behaviour. So far all we have heard about your transgression is “drunken fumbling”. You did what many gay men did. You tried to chat up someone in your own drunken and fumbling way. I suspect Catholic Church doesn’t teach you how to flirt with people in a sensible way. Even the sworn statement that I had seen was more about your hypocrisy in your stance against the GLBT rather than anything untoward. The violation was through hypocrisy and by your abuse of power over consenting adults. However weird and awkward that may be the fact that you didn’t do what many priests have done and abuse their power to force those under their care into sex is laudable. Your “misbehaviour” was only misbehaviour in line with Catholic Theology. Which makes you a gigantic hypocrite.

It also makes you human and understandable. Your upbringing made you hate what you are. It made you wrestle constantly with the notion that the feelings you have are “wrong”. You may still think that way but what you feel is natural. You spent your entire life fighting against this and some journalist just exposed you. You have had everything going for you swept away.

The Church lied to you. You are fine, you are normal and from the description of your actions? You are gay. Your hatred at homosexuals may have it’s basis in the sort of self loathing that the Church flogs. In order to fight your perceived failings you took it upon yourself to fight the failings of others.

What you experience is not a failing, it is just something you are. No different from being brown or left-handed or myopic.

For 75 years you have lived a lie. If you haven’t abused anyone and merely wrestled with your emotions and feelings pertaining to be gay then all you have done is lived a lie. And that’s a crime that you have to square not with “a god” but with yourself. The person who you wronged the most was Keith O’Brien.

The only advice I can give you is this. Don’t live the rest of your life as a recluse, hiding from the world. Your mistake is not that you hated gays, but that you hated yourself. There is real human forgiveness and many gay men went through what you did. Many of them hate what they are and many of them lived with such hatred and in such fear.

You did too, but that part is over. Be proud of what you are. The lie can stop now. You haven’t shamed the Catholic Church you fool! The Church shamed you by flogging a vile spiel of hatred and self loathing. You may seek forgiveness but what you should be seeking is acceptance.

And as of now you may be feeling alone and scared and bullied by the people who once called you friends. You may have lost everything you thought was important. But what you have gained is beyond price.

You have gained freedom to be the person you really are. And no Church or gods or popes can change that. You know what you are and you know now that it isn’t wrong to be Gay.

We all die. And honestly? I am not kidding when I say this but 75 is pretty damn old. There isn’t much time on this planet. So don’t waste it wallowing in the pity and self loathing that is the hallmark of Catholicism.

Go find love, go find happiness and go be gay (if you are). It is not too late to be happy. Find happiness, it is what we all want in our life. The Church has no power over you, you can leave it if you wish. In fact it has already abandoned you to a life as a pariah. Others have wrestled with the same feelings that you have. Many still wrestle with those feelings. You may think that the GLBT community hates you, but it can understand genuine contrition and you have to understand that you have caused a lot of pain to those who are of the GLBT. But I am willing to put that down to your church. If you truly have not broken any laws apart from the law of the church, then I have only one real message to you.

Leave it and be free.

 

Your’s Sincerely

 

Avicenna the Last