Catholic Church apologizes for 150,000 forced adoptions


From ABC News:

It is believed at least 150,000 Australian women had their babies taken against their will by some churches and adoption agencies between the 1950s and 1970s.

Psychiatrist Geoff Rickarby has treated scores of affected women, and says it is a stain on Australia’s history.

[…]The chief executive of Catholic Health Australia, Martin Laverty, says he is sorry for what happened. […] “It’s with a deep sense of regret, a deep sense of sorrow that practices of the past have caused ongoing pain, suffering and grief to these women, these brave women in Newcastle but also women around Australia,” Mr Laverty said.

[…]Juliette Clough is one of the women who says she was forced to give up her baby at a Catholic-run hospital in Newcastle in 1970.

She was 16 at the time and says she was alone, afraid and desperate.

“My ankles were strapped to the bed, they were in stirrups and I was gassed, I had plenty of gas and they just snatched away the baby,” Ms Clough said.

“You weren’t allowed to see him or touch him, anything like that, or hold him and it was just like a piece of my soul had died. And it’s still dead”

[…]Greens Senator Rachel Siewert is chairwoman of a Senate inquiry currently examining the country’s former adoption practices.

“Women have told stories about going into hospital not realising that they were going to have to give up their babies, but that pillows were put over their faces, that curtains were put up so they couldn’t see the baby,” Senator Siewert said.

Women have also told the ABC they were given milk suppressing drugs that have now been linked to cancer, as well as barbiturates that caused sedation and in some cases delirium.

Mr Laverty says it is not a period to be proud of.

Bit of an understatement, Mr. Laverty. I kind of don’t think “I’m sorry” makes up for one hundred and fifty thousand women having their children forcefully taken away from them.
As if all the child molestation wasn’t enough. Why do people still associate themselves with this evil organization? I’m starting to lose patience for the excuses of culture and community. Pretty sure you can find a replacement religion that doesn’t molest and steal children. I hear the Unitarians are nice.

Comments

  1. says

    If you think that’s bad (which it is; rhetorical statement!), read up on the Stolen Generations. It’ll make your blood curdle. Christianity really doesn’t seem to ever have a clue regarding the proper treatment of children, does it?Also, a more nitpicky/pedantic note: I know it’s probably at least partially facetious, but we need to stop using rhetoric like “Catholics should leave the church and find a better denomination” or some such. Practicing Catholics don’t necessarily adhere to the church through all its scandals just because they think it’s a nice place; they stay because they honestly believe in its teachings (and, therefore, presumably dismiss much of the allegations made against it). It’s hard to abandon something you actually believe is right, even if others accuse it of the most horrid wrongdoing.Psychology’s a bitch.

  2. says

    That’s not true with any Catholic I’ve talked to. They’re all of the mindset of “Well I don’t agree with the church’s stance on birth control, and the child molestation is awful, and honestly I’m not sure what I believe, but I just keep going to church because that’s what I do. So there.”

  3. Stephanie says

    It’s true for the vast majority of Catholics that I know.  They honestly believe Catholicism to be the truest form of Christianity, so they stay through the scandals.  While it is true that individual people always have the possibility of doing atrocious things, when individual people do atrocious things on a large scale under the guise of religion, it just makes it that much more disgusting for me.

  4. says

    I’ve counted myself as an atheist/recovering catholic since I was a young teenager and received a shock about a year ago when I found out (way after the fact) that my very liberal, fairly religious Catholic family have all stopped going to church (with the exception of my 90yo grandmother) because of moral objections to a long list of moral objections to actions and stances the Church has taken/made – most notably the sex abuse, gay marriage, and birth control issues.I wish I could take credit for their shift in opinions, but I don’t believe I was responsible. Still, it was a very proud and weird moment for me. I’ll be forwarding this bit to them to strengthen their moral outrage.

  5. says

    My entire family from oldest (80s) to youngest (teenagers) are all Catholic with the except of me, the closet atheist and my three secular teen-aged kids. They simply say they’re being persecuted against whenever someone says something bad about Catholics. They just don’t believe the facts that are put in front of them and think the liberal media is making shit up. They also fear that if they don’t adhere, they’ll go to hell. As Joe just noted, psychology is a bitch.

  6. Jonathan Gollagher says

    This is a subject very close to my own heart. My mother was adopted during this period, and it’s still uncertain as to what exactly happened during her birth. The children are often underrepresented in this situation, as many people focus on the trauma that the mothers went through. In all reality, the children who were stolen from their parents and given to more ‘deserving’ couples is atrocious. I’ve heard some pretty horrific stories, as my mother got involved with a lot of groups trying to get some sort recognition. The Australian government has pretty much been ignoring that any of this happened, and often times they use the ‘Stolen Generation’ as a cover. They lump both of these atrocities in together in order to lessen the individual rights of the people who had this happen to them. There was a court case here in Brisbane, where one of my mother’s friends sued the Australian Government for negligence (or something, I can’t quite remember the details) – Essentially, the case was ejected because everyone who could have been held ‘responsible’ (aka the nurses, doctors, scumbags) were already dead – And therefore the Government was not liable. It’s nice to hear that someone is even -remotely- owning up to their responsibility. It’s not going to go anywhere near compensating these poor people though.

  7. says

    So lets see, we have the Churches and the Child Migrant abuse, the Churches and the Orphanages abuse, the Stolen Generations, the ongoing Catholic Church and child rape, and now basically baby trafficking.So what does the Australian Government do?Gives the Churches lots of money for Church run schools.Doesn’t tax profits from church owned businesses, the only western Govt not to do so.No Charity commission to check on that charity and church money is  being spent correctly, again the only western Govt not to do so.Actually gives money to Metachurches to they can teach religion in State schools.Spends half a billion dollars on religious Chaplains in State Schools.And hardly any of this makes news outside Australia

  8. Qob says

    Same for my family – Irish Catholics are not the most extreme there are, contrary to popular belief. Of course, some of that may have to do with the fact that kids have to be baptised Catholic to go to most schools here, so….Our current Minister for Education is trying to change that  but not sure how successful he’s going to be.

  9. Drakk says

    I’m sorry…but what the HELL was THEIR excuse for this? How did the church even BEGIN to justify, if only to themselves, what they were doing?

  10. Eamonn Murray says

    Look up the Magdeline Laundries in Ireland. Just as bad if not worse.As for you comment “I hear the Unitarians are nice” I have yet to find a religion that hasn’t been involved in child abuse.

  11. Thevri says

    To quote a movie: “The person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it.”  I am not a catholic, but I am a Christian.  What they did is wrong beyond all relief.  There are dozens of problems with the catholic church as a whole, and the fact that, as mentioned above, most catholics “just go to church because that’s what they do,” is testimony that the religion of it all has completely lost its track.However.  Lumping all of Christianity into one group of “to hell with them” because of the stupid actions of one sect is also wrong.  I count myself as one of the few who realize that Christianity is not just people who go to church and try to do the right thing.  It’s a way of life, and too many people, all the up through the leadership, have completely forgotten that.  They look at a problem and have a knee-jerk reaction:  “Pregnant teen?  Take her kid!”.  Stupid.  Moronic.  Abusive. Wrong.  Particularly doing so while using religion as an excuse.  The more intelligent route would have been to actually follow the doctrine that Love is the greatest commandment, and give that love to each and every mother in the way of support, not fear and condemnation.This isn’t religion, folks.  It’s humanity.  Capable of amazing, wonderful good, and just as equally capable of horrendous, despicable evil.All I’m saying is, don’t blame the religion:  Blame the person, and people, who decided that following blindly, following anything blindly, was a good idea.  Then pray to whoever you’ve decided to have faith in for their souls, because they’re in need of it, whether they realize it or not.

  12. WingedBeast says

    “Why do people still associate themselves with this evil organization?”Mainly, Mark Twain answered this question for you.  “Once you have a reputation as an early riser, you can sleep ’till noon.”The Catholic Church, and religion in general, has had a reputation for making people kinder, more generous, more benevolant, and all ’round just better people.  For the most part, it achieved this reputation by burning to death heretics who would say things like “Uh, no it doesn’t.  Just look around you.”

  13. WingedBeast says

    Religion is an abstract concept with no actions of its own.  This is true whether or not God exists.  That means religion doesn’t do anything good, evil, or at all, people do.What we’re doing is far less blaming Christianity and far more pointing out that Christianity doesn’t deserve the reputation it has for making anybody better.  In fact, a good look at its history says that it stronger record of giving cover to horribly evil practices.Think about it.  Regardless of faith or lack thereof, if someone proposed that we organize around making sure that children get a good meal before school, thus improving their chances of getting a good education, that proposal would have a lot of credibility.  All that proposal needs for credibility is an understanding of the statistics and a sense of empathy, or even just a sense of truly enlightened self-interest.On the other hand, if someone were to propose “Let us torture people who don’t believe as we do into believing as we do for their own good” the only way that proposal has credibility is with religion.As for following blindly.  Christianity expressly considers that a good thing.  “Faith of a child.”  “Blessed are those who believe but have not seen.”

  14. chris camia says

    I wonder if those kids only went to Catholic households. So sad for all those mothers. The article that I read said that some were drugged, or pillows put over their face so they don’t see their baby. So horrible.Kriss

  15. Imnotspecial says

    Back in my Catholic days I used to deal with such by saying to myself and others that this changes nothing what Jesus did or said. We are all sinners. It really was a too convenient excuse. It should have made me question the faith a lot earlier. However you are correct that the “truth” of Catholicism is what is their attraction. It was for me.

  16. says

    They did a story with this topic as a back drop on Cold Case a few years ago. It was one of the saddest shows I ever watched and it affected me so that I could not watch the show anymore.Tragic, just tragic what they used to do to those young women back then.

  17. Imnotspecial says

    I think people were a lot more authoritarian in those days and those involved persuaded themselves that their actions were truly best for the mother and the child. Misguided, but not necessarily evil intentions.

  18. Imnotspecial says

    Adding: They may also have wanting to avoid scandal for the Church. How can catholic girls have sex outside marriage? That must be covered up – for the greater good of the Church of course.

  19. OverlappingMagisteria says

    There is a mixture of both types of people; yes many many Catholics will not accept 100% of Catholic doctrine. I think it comes down to how strongly they believe the teaching that not going to church is a sin. If you believe this, you have no choice but to keep attending and you gotta rationalize the atrocities away somehow.But for those who do not hold this belief, I agree. There is no reason to keep going and tossing money into the collection basket. Pray at home if you need to. (Though I suspect most of these people do this already.)

  20. OverlappingMagisteria says

    Duh! They were rescuing the babies from their heathen mothers who got pregnant too early and were obviously going to raise them immorally! Just like that Christian group that went to “rescue” Haitian kids who were being brought up in a heathen religion after the earthquake. No matter what you do, if you do it for the One True Faith, it is always moral and excusable!

  21. John Shutt says

    The individuals involved participated in what seems to rise to the level of crimes against humanity.That doesn’t diminish the role of Catholicism itself in causing it; the Church can’t be absolved on the grounds that there are plenty of Catholics who don’t do this sort of thing.  The selfish memes for this phenotypic effect are pervasive in the Catholic meme pool; it’s in the Church’s memes’ Darwinian self-interest to intervene aggressively in children’s upbringing.  (I tend to think of Catholicism as a relatively endogamous population of memetic organisms.)Unitarianism, from my understanding, is characterized by non-dogmatism and self-shaping congregations.  A Unitarian congregation is, if things work right, a community of people helping each other to grow spiritually without telling each other what to believe.  The actual form of service can vary widely between congregations; I’ve heard of services ranging in flavor from nearly Catholic to nearly Wiccan.

  22. libkid08 says

    It’s funny how atrocities against women are ALWAYS recognized as individual cases. Women in the us have had many groups if people take away their babies born while they were young and terrified. What makes me mosy violently enraged beyond my own calming abilities is that we read and comment on a new atrocity committed against women every day. Then another and another but still no mention of how it is a constant and traditional planetary spread problem.

  23. Jeff Kosovich says

    How could people still associate themselves? Well, This organization, in the past, has murdered thousands, displaced thousands more, blocked human progression, and well, apparently forcibly removed 150,000 children from their mother’s care. They sound like bad news.If you were indoctrinated from childhood that this is the only true path to salvation, and were never exposed in a meaningful way to healthy alternatives, might you stay associated out of fear as well? Not to mention there are occasional benefits found to the beneficial effects of being part of a religion.

  24. says

    It is truly horrific what happened to those women and subsequently to all those children growing up, never knowing who their parents/mothers were. I knew this went on in Ireland until this period but I didn’t know about Australia. What a horrible shock.

  25. Georgia Sam says

    > Bit of an understatement, Mr. Laverty. Hear, hear! Something along the following lines would be more appropriate: “In view of the Church’s role in this terrible crime, covering up the abuse of thousands of children by priests, and innumerable other atrocities over many centuries, we are totally rethinking our entire theology, structure, canon law, creeds, rituals, catechisms, and everything else we have ever said or done, with the expected outcome that we will all recant, repent, sell off all of the Church’s property, give the proceeds to reputable non-sectarian charities, and then resign from our ecclesiastical positions.”

  26. Keljopy says

    So sometime between 2050 and 2350 (based on the timeline of the galileo apology) we can expect an apology for covering up and enabling child abuse by priests and promoting AIDS in Africa by denigrating condoms?

  27. BrianSchaan says

    Others may have pointed this out, but based on the quotes in that article, there didn’t seem to actually be an apology for the forced adoptions.  Instead, the apology was for the harm that these “adoptions” caused.  To me that seems disingenuous in that it shifts the blame from “we harmed people” to “people were harmed but we didn’t necessarily do anything wrong”.

  28. warner says

    ‎”There was only one Christian and they criucified him – early”. Mark Twain.

  29. crowepps says

    So your argument is there’s nothing wrong with Christianity and it’s a shame none of the Christian churches actually follow it but instead use it as an excuse to do evil?Okay, I won’t blame ‘religion’, I’ll blame instead all the religious organizations and the leaders thereof and the laity who support their evil with donations instead.  I’ll exempt YOU, who are apparently the ‘one true Christian’.

  30. crowepps says

    I’m really glad to see the Church has apologized.  Now all they have left to do is restitution.  When are they opening the records so the mothers can get their children back?

  31. Douglas Kirk says

    There’s nothing wrong with a totalitarian government.  If you get a good dictator things work well and if you get a bad one things go poorly.  This has nothing to do with the system of dictatorships and everything to do with indiidual dictators.  So if you don’t like like your dictator, don’t go crying about things like “republics” and “democracies,” the problems you’re having have nothing to do with the system of government and everything to do with the person running it.So rub a rabbit’s foot, cross a horse shoe and pee on a rainbow and hope the next dictator is better than the one you have.  And for the love of god, stop blaming totalitarian government for the failings of ONE dictator.  If the dictator just acted like a dictator then you wouldn’t have any problems, after all.

  32. says

    This is getting comical, in the “I laugh so I don’t cry” sense.    They are going past corruption to cartoonish supervillainy, and rapidly approaching self parody. 

  33. MichelleZB says

    Look, if these people didn’t truly believe that it was a sin to have a child out of wedlock, they wouldn’t have done this. The problem isn’t just the people. The problem is the false beliefs.

  34. Vanessa says

    And I have yet to find a race that hasn’t been involved in child abuse.Unfortunately, that type of thing isn’t confined to one type of person. All walks of life can be and are abusive.

  35. Jonathan Gollagher says

    In this particular situation, you are completely off the mark, Ginx. The children were stolen and given to other families (In the early days, they were given to families whose men-folk fought in the war and/or were unable to have children. So, really, your comment about child abuse is callous and not actually relevant to this particular story. Might be good to approach a catholic church story without the ‘related to child-molestation’ mindset, because there are PLENTY of other things the Catholic Church has done to fuck up the lives of children that haven’t involved that particular horror.Feel free to add something constructive next time.

  36. says

    Wow, next you’re going to tell me that a Jew, a Christian and a Buddhist didn’t walk into a bar… thanks for setting me straight… Sorry I didn’t criticize the Catholic Church in the approved manner.Feel free to keep your humorless whining to yourself next time. You don’t have to be smart to laugh at a Catholic Church molestation joke, but you have to be dumb not to.

  37. mike says

    Actually, sometimes it is ok to lump them all in a group and say “to hell with them”.  This usually occurs when the incident involves a sizeable percentage of the total population (150K kids out of 10M total people in Australia).Did you ever notice how many Germans didn’t like to talk about 1935-1945?  They knew that what happened was so large and so monumental that if they didn’t know, then they should have known; and that it is not enough that they didn’t do anything wrong, they can not avoid a small measure of complicity.You simply can not steal 150K children with just a few people.  It requires many people all acting together and organizing enough to accomplish this grand endeavour.  And such large efforts require that the entire (or nearly so) church support and execute that plan.So I don’t think that your local priest has ever even thought about stealing children or molesting them.  However, almost every single church official who oversees more than 1,000 parishioners or 10 priests has encountered the evils of the church and continues to do nothing.

  38. Also says

    It happened in several South American countries back in the 60s and 70s too, except in those cases they were “saving” the kids from their “communist” parents. They jailed the parents, took the kids, gave them to military families, and murdered the parents.

  39. MCJB says

    yeah well unfortunately if they were to find a new religion to associate with then it isn’t the christian thing to do and then the terrorists would win. <insert sarcasm=””> oh wait.. that’s just in America right?? </insert>

  40. Imnotspecial says

    I have a few questions: How did the Catholic church get a hold of these children’s children? I suspect that most of them were done with the consent of their parents. In those days illicit sex was still considered quite shameful. Would these teens have been able to raise a child in a responsible manner? Was there a welfare system in place to give these teens an opportunity to keep their child?Did the authorities fully understand the long lasting psychological damage which may have or may not have resulted?Catholic countries at that time were quite conservative and authoritarian. Would that not explain their approach? Can we really assume evil intent? I claim that mostly ignorance is to blame. Choosing the lesser evil. I presume that the babies went to adoptions which were quite successful from their perspective.

  41. Imnotspecial says

    Your comment was not about pedophiles abducting children. I took it as a cheap shot bringing up the pedophile scandal at this point. Jen’s post is about young teenagers being forced to give up their children to adoptive parents. That’s bad enough. There was no need for your comment at all.I am getting a little tired that atheists bring the sex scandals up at inappropiate times. By now they have been talked to death. I feel embarrassed that my fellow atheists are so often lacking better judgment.

  42. Imnotspecial says

    So now I read it was just meant to be a joke. Why don’t you just humbly admit you were a bit off. No big deal. We all are off the mark at times. Peace.

  43. Mike says

    Yikes.  I mean, if you can convince people that dissent = damnation, then it becomes remarkable what you’re able to get away with in their eyes.

  44. Azkyroth says

    You don’t seriously think that one only becomes blameworthy for an action if there was a deliberate intent to cause harm, do you?Besides, authoritarian == evil. So does “conservative” the way you’re using the word. So does the absence of a welfare system. And the idea that the fact that the authorities wouldn’t have realized that having one’s child forcibly taken away would be extremely fucking traumatic is almost too stupid to dignify with a comment. You’d basically have to be putting the mental and social equivalent of three year olds in the position for that to be credible, and letting people that stupid or sociopathic dictate policy that affects the lives of others also == evil.This reeks of desperate handwaving.

  45. psmith123456 says

    You may not like Ginx’s attempt to suggest pedophilia and child kidnapping were related, but you’re trying to pretend the two acts were perpetrated by different organizations.

  46. psmith123456 says

    That was going to be my point.  These were kidnappings, not “adoptions”.  It wasn’t just Australia.  This happened in US-backed fascist dictatorships in South America, and the catholics were part of this too, not just the regimes.http://www.laht.com/article.as

    Search for children kidnapped during Argentina’s Dirty War continues 30 years laterBUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) – Clara Petrakosknows this much: the babywas born on the floor of a clandestine detention center during Argentina’s Dirty War. Now, 29 years later, Petrakos is searching for the sister she never knew.  Her mother disappeared soon after the baby was taken away. She named her Victoria.Petrakos has seized upon these sparse details in her search for her little sister – one of the hundreds of babies taken from dissenters who vanished during Argentina’s dictatorship.As the nation marks Friday’s 30th anniversary of the military coup that ushered a crackdown on political opponents, relatives are doggedly searching for the missing children, trying to repair families torn apart long ago.

  47. psmith123456 says

    My cultist catholic parents were still whining about me being an atheist the last time I talked to anyone in my family (ten years ago), worried about lies the catholic cult told them – “If your children don’t grow up catholic, you’ll go to hell.”  They weren’t worried about my well being, they were worried about their own asses going to a butt barbeque in “hell”.My siblings are just as brainwashed, over 40 and still do everything out parents tell them, including a shotgun wedding and loveless marriage (with no ability to divorce) my sister is in.  It’s pathetic.

  48. Imnotspecial says

    Did I say that they were not blameworthy? Authoritarian does not necessarily equate evil. Is permissiveness always good? With your eagerness to criticize you omitted conveniently to ignore my first point which was where did the Churches get the children from? What hand did the parents play?You entirely dismiss context. And yes policies are all to often made by policymakers who border on sociopathic behavior. Doing things for the greater good, you know!What is fucking stupid in your reply is to come to your sweeping conclusions when I have only made a few observations without giving you enough to justify your comments. But believe what you will. It’s more comforting than taking other peoples contributions to broaden ones horizons.

  49. says

    Hi Jen,I just want you to know that we aren’t really Unitarians anymore, but Unitarian Universalists or UUs.  Yes, it sounds ludicrously convoluted, but actually represents one of the few times two religious groups decided they had a lot in common and merged.  Here’s the story in a nutshell.  The Unitarians (there is one god, not a trinity) were the founding fathers, New Englandy, educated class religious group.  The Universalists (everybody goes to heaven) was a more grass-roots, of the people religion of the same era.  In 1961, they decided that their core beliefs (liberal &  progressive principles, not  much theology) were pretty darn similar and created the Unitarian Universalist Association.  I’ve been a UU since 2001 when my husband and I fully embraced our agnosticism, but still wanted a church community in which to raise our kids.  It taught our kids about tolerance, science, comparative religions, and sexuality.  It gave us friends of all ages with shared values.  As I full-out atheist now, the vague woo of some in the congregation makes me irritated, but they never fail in their actions to create a better world.  Am I proselytizing?  I guess so.  But if you grew up in a church and want some of the same nurturing experiences without the attendant dogma, this is a good place.

  50. Azkyroth says

    If you’re not attempting to transfer blame from the church to the culture and the parents, and/or make the same tired “well they didn’t do it maliciously” could-not-possibly-ever-be-an-excuse my alcoholic basket-case ex-wife was so fond of, why write a post that can’t rationally be interpreted any other way?

  51. says

    As usual—Jen gets herself all worked up in her latest attempts to vilify the Catholic Church. But hey, that’s what being bigoted is all about. Intolerance, animosity, and inflexible prejudice!The rest of us—the rational, the fair ones—need to check the facts. You know, do a little research to arrive at the truth.Three facts quickly emerge.Whatever the Catholic Church agencies were doing at the time, their actions were endorsed by the reining secular governments in Australia. Secondly, there was a large expectation in those days—for pregnant unwed mothers to give up their newborns for adoption. Many mothers-to-be objected to this practice, but these were mostly silenced by their parents. If you couldn’t independently provide for your child—the reasoning went—you had to give up your baby to someone that could. Failure to provide for the necessities of your child is STILL a criminal offence. Everywhere.Finally, what HAS emerged is evidence that the preggy girls consents to allow for adopt were not freely given at the time. Most of those affected mothers wanted to keep their babies BUT their natural desires were not considered valid, nor, practical. And that was the conclusion of their very own families!SEE: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-07-26... -anger-at-ar…You know its funny, sad really, that Jen calls down the Catholic Church with:”I’m starting to lose patience for the excuses of culture and community. Pretty sure you can find a replacement religion that doesn’t molest and steal children.”The forced adoption issue ended a long time ago. And I, for one, want to hear less about these mothers and their desire for ‘compensation’ and to hear more about their efforts to reunite with their offspring.Now that priest postulants with homosexual, pedophiliac, and ephebophilic yearnings are AGAIN being denied candidacy into the Catholic priesthood—something good has come out of the horrendous abuse debacle.No one has a right to be a priest, and characterological sexual dysfunction immediately invalids any chance of entrance into the priestly ministry.Now, it should be smooth sailing ahead for God’s established Church.When King David was chosen by God, he did not lose that favour when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and then had her husband, Uriah the Hittite killed in battle, in order to lawfully take Bathsheba as his wife. Still for David’s evil, God informed him through the prophet, Samuel, that three horrific punishments would be sent his way for the rest of his life.The Catholic Church will be punished for its shortcomings—but it will not vanish as many Protestant sects have. The Catholic Church has not lost God’s favour.  As in the case of King David, God ensures the dirty laundry of even his chosen (the Catholic Church) is aired for all to see.

  52. Imnotspecial says

    Thank you for giving a more rational explanation. I liked your post until you went into the bible stuff. We don’t believe that the Catholic Church ever had god’s favor, not only because there is no god, but because there is just no evidence for a god ever showing up and demonstrating love for humanity and in particular for the Catholic Church.You are correct though that we are displaying often the tendency to be gleeful over the sins of Christians. To judge previous times with our lenses is fraught with distortions. I was really happy with the Catholic Church for many years, in spite of being aware of her many failings, but also experiencing many wonderful aspects of her life. Until I found out that the claims just don’t line up with reality. Like original sin versus evolution or Jesus rising from the dead etc.

  53. Imnotspecial says

    First of all, you need to prove that there was maliciousness. If you cannot than you cannot refer to it as evil. At best, in hindsight we can call it a mistaken policy. That would be rational.  You should be careful how you use this term. I was writing because I hate blatant bias and bigotry. Fairness is a desirable virtue, even for atheists!

  54. Azkyroth says

    Do you seriously think something can only be evil if the people doing it realize it’s evil?

  55. Azkyroth says

    I think it’s about time we make a “Catholic Atrocity Excuses” bingo card.

  56. _eunoia_ says

    Urgh. As an Australian, I have to say that the effects of forced adoptions (either through religious organizations or the government) are still being felt today- not only by those who were forced to give up their children, but by the children themselves.As the article said, stain on our history.Jen, if you’d like a more comprehensive listing of the Vatican’s appalling human rights record, I can recommend The Case of the Pope by Geoffrey Robertson QC- basically outlines how the church dealt will child abuse allegations (covered them up) and whether as a result the Vatican could be held responsible for crimes against humanity (perhaps).*cue Monty Python’s “Now for something completely different”* Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for months, and I have finally decided to slither from the shadows of the internet. I’m a huge fan! Keep it up!

  57. Imnotspecial says

    I am a huge fan of her too, but this time I think she gave in to the temptation to piss on the Church, not taking into account the greater picture.I have a son who was lucky to be able to adopt a girl from China a few years ago. Every time I see her I cannot help but think how incredibly lucky she is. Should I really care more about the pining of her birth mother who was not able to provide a living for her at her time of giving birth? Sometimes, or quite often actually, we cannot have all our desires met. C’est la vie!Her mother may not have been forced in China, but her circumstances did. Similarly in the late 50ties and early seventies what should have been done when the young mother would not have been able to provide for the child. The authorities did decide in favor of the child. Was that really so wrong?Around 50 years have gone by. Is there perhaps a monetary motive involved after all those years? Of course I am not denying that there are real hurts. The same can be said about mothers who abort for whatever reasons, quite often “forced” by their parents. Is it not claimed that they suffer real psychological damage? For some undoubtedly – for others not. I would like to know how many of the 150 000 adoptions have been regretted by their mothers.

  58. says

    I’m also a UU, and totally endorse what Cay said. Indeed, the Unitarian Universalists are the only religious group I feel comfortable associating with, as a former Christian and current agnostic.For a detailed description of UUs and why more people should support what they are about, see here:http://circleh.wordpress.com/2…There is plenty of room for more atheists and feminists like Jen McCreight.Religion, even if non-dogmatic, gives community members a sense of belonging to each other as well to a higher cause or power, and gives them ties to the past. It doesn’t have to be about sexism or authoritarianism at all.

  59. ckitching says

    I’m sure it was the gays’ fault.  It always is.  I don’t know how, but I don’t know their sophisticated theology.

  60. ckitching says

    People are upset at the Catholic church not for the child rape their members inflicted alone, but also that the church shielded these child rapists, moved them from parish to parish to keep them just out of reach of the law, and intimidated those who attempted to press charges into silence.If the church had let the secular authorities handle the situation and cooperated as much as they could, there would not be the outrage there is today.How many times must this be explained?  Your attempt to deflect blame from the church with “tu quoque” is not appropriate.

  61. says

    Hi, Uk USA AUSTRALIA AFRICA THE WORLD
    We lost our kids to social workers in scotland read below now both children are parted injustice is not the word

    We are writing as we have set up a new support website for families in scotland who have lost their children to social workers care foster care and adoption.
    Our aim is to support the parents and fight for justice also we offer a name and shame area for professionals and the public.
    our website can be found at http://www.parentsinjusticegroupscotland.co.uk or google parents injustice group scotland.

    We want the media and local groups to support us we Have only Just Launched the site and many features are to be added we feel we offer a unique service which currently dont exsist in scotland at present like our english partners down south we will help families get justice name and shame people who have lied and hold them accountable for their actions.

    We would like the media to report on our statement below and highlight this in the news the founder of pigs is a man who lost his children to the care system in scotland but child stealing by the state is happening every day so is cover ups by high profile people we hope your media outlet hasnt been gagged for reporting the truth.

    We are also looking for community groups to share website links with us and families to have their say on our website.

    For the Sake of all children let us have our say please.

    Andrew

    07827731060 +44 uk
    08452249506 + 4 uk

    Our Statement

    We have been created by the need to fight widespread social care injustice and abuse of draconian state power. Children are being ripped from their parents simply because they are considered “unconventional” or even single.
    Just like pigs we rootle under the surface to find those golden nuggets of truth hidden beneath half truths, targets, idealised aims and a “not my decision” culture. In fact, we are the truffle P.I.G.S. of the social care world.
    Our aim is to help and support parents who have lost their children through spurious reasons. Low income, untidy house, learning difficulties, bad diet, disorganised lifestyle or a perceived non cooperation with social services.
    We don’t claim that these are fully acceptable but if the money wasted by the legal and social system was spent helping families with these difficulties there would be no need for their abusive and draconian behaviour.
    The whole system cannot be seen to have made a mistake, so they cover up any dodgy decisions. Everyone has seen how government and bankers squirm out of responsibility for their actions. Even sympathetic solicitors have little chance against this state conspiracy.
    The worst thing about the whole rotten business is that the children pay for the rest of their lives. And it doesn’t stop there. Their children end up suffering too. Three generations affected by inept decision making, it’s beyond criminal.
    So please get in touch however hopeless and battered you feel. We can and will make a difference to you and your children.

  62. says

    The Catholic Orginazation has it both ways. Check out the website
    on Councelling – family violence. Don’t lecture me on Marrage when they would not accept mine, I married a divorced man, he had his child taken ( adopted by Step Father & her natural mother)

    http://www.centacare.net/services/1-counselling-and-education

    Be prepared to be Re-educated. This position is fully government approved & funded as well as your funds to pay for the course.
    It is a win, win for them.

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