Why the Catholic church is an intrinsically immoral institution »« If only

Poland’s AG has received files

A Polish friend tells me that the Catholic church in Poland is about to get slammed with its very own child abuse scandal.

There’s this place called the Dominican Republic, see…

Poland’s attorney general has received investigation files concerning two Polish clerics accused of child abuse in the Dominican Republic. 

“A cursory look at them has confirmed that they will be of value in the case, as we had hoped,” said Maciej Kujawski, spokesman for the attorney general.

The 650 documents have been passed on to the district prosecutor’s office in Warsaw, but the office has declined to reveal whether any extradition request has been made.

Yes but – uh – look over there! Pope Francis!! He’s a really nice guy!!!

Father Wojciech Gil, who in recent months has been staying with family in a village near Krakow, stands accused of sexually abusing at least seven boys while he headed a parish in the highland town of Juncalito.

Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, former Vatican nuncio in the Dominican Republic, faces similar accusations, although his current whereabouts are unknown.

As a Vatican ambassador, Archbishop Wesolowski possessed diplomatic immunity, although he has already been replaced in his post, after being recalled by the Vatican in August.

But the church loves little children! It proves that every day by forcing women to stay pregnant when they don’t want to. Forced pregnancy and child rape, that’s life in God’s jurisdiction.

 

Comments

  1. left0ver1under says

    Gil has been on the run for a while. It doesn’t surprise that he passed through Boston, where John Geoghan (a pedopriest) and Bernard Law (protector of pedopriests) were operating. (I’m vilifying the catholic church in Boston, not the city itself.) If anyone wants to find Wesolowski, that’s a good place to start.

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/world/2013/10/02/priest-accused-child-sex-abuse-found-poland/90D2188jyEo2RFpLSW45LO/story.html

    The old saying goes, “How can you tell he’s lying? His lips are moving.”

    How can you tell that priests molested children? Because there were priests.

    In every country surveyed, it’s been shown to be about 1 in 25 who are “at it”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_sex_abuse_cases

  2. says

    It’s almost as if the vatican gave them ambassadorial posts so they’d have immunity, then sent them off to where there were plentiful victims. Ugh!

  3. Gordon Willis says

    Father Ireneusz Bochynski, from the city of Piotrkow Trybunalski in Central Poland, has said he knows of 10-year-old children who “went to bed with adults, wanting to be fulfilled, and it was the choice of the child.”

    Father Bochynski insisted that “now that we have so many broken marriages, where most often there is a lack of a father, it will happen more and more often that children without such figures will cling on to men.”

    How do people who talk like this become priests in the first place? Do they learn nothing at the seminary? Why are they even allowed?

  4. Argle Bargle says

    Someone needs to tell Bochynski that 10 year old children cannot give informed consent to sex.

  5. Gordon Willis says

    Of course. But even if a person is considered old enough, need and trauma make people vulnerable and exploitable. He ought to know that. It’s his job to care. The man is completely irresponsible, and the fact that he is trying to excuse what cannot be excused strongly suggests selfish motives. And he is shifting the responsibility towards the one who is most helpless, most confused, most injured, most immature, most innocent. It is wicked to say such things.

  6. Minow says

    The scandal is not that priests have raped and abused children (men do this in all institutions where adults work with children – if we condemn the Church as wicked for that, we ought to condemn the social services in the same breath), but that the Church has, in the past, colluded in covering up the abuse, so I don’t think we can lay anything at Pope Francis’s door just yet, he seems much keener on pursuing and punishing miscreants than his predecessors.

  7. Gordon Willis says

    The scandal is not that priests have raped and abused children

    Yes, it is. It is really really scandalous.

    men do this in all institutions where adults work with children – if we condemn the Church as wicked for that, we ought to condemn the social services in the same breath

    Social Services are less able to make excuses as they are more accountable. Heads roll, guilty people don’t get shifted to another institution, they go to prison. But I think you should be careful not to suggest that we can’t talk about one case without talking about all the others.

    if we condemn the Church as wicked

    I said it is wicked of Father B. to say such things. It is. I also wonder how he was passed as suitable for the priesthood in the first place.

  8. Minow says

    “Yes, it is. It is really really scandalous.”

    I don’t think it is. It is shocking and unpleasant, but the a scandal lies in the cover up, because the church did not perpetrate the crime. That was why the reference to social services, it was not just whatabouterry.

  9. Gordon Willis says

    I don’t think it is.

    Very well. I take your point about the meaning of “scandal” (which was your word in the first place). I never said that the Church perpetrated the crime. I was condemning Father B. On the other hand, since you mention it, in so far as the Church has been concealing a crime, it is guilty. However, you raised that point, not me. Father B is trying to excuse it and shift blame, which is a very immoral thing to do. And I still don’t think that the reference to Social Services was helpful, especially as I didn’t refer to the wickedness of the Church itself, but about its lapse of responsibility.

  10. Minow says

    Gordon, I didn’t mean my comments to be directed at you, I was taking issue with the implication in the article that the Church was an intrinsically immoral institution. I think the cynicism about Pope Francis does not yet have any foundations because we don’t know hoe deeply he is prepared to reform. I agree that Father B is wicked and I agree that it is astonishing that men like him make it into the priesthood. Pope Francis should be judged partly on how he reforms the priesthood to make it more difficult for the Father B’s to slip through. Paedophiles will always be attracted to careers in the church as they are to a career in the social services and schooling, but life can be made more difficult for them. Allowing openly gay priests and married priests of both sexes would be a gigantic step in the right direction.

  11. Gordon Willis says

    Then I apologise. It was because of your use of the word “wicked” coming straight after my comment followed by your second comment that I connected them up wrongly.

  12. sqlrob says

    Gordon, I didn’t mean my comments to be directed at you, I was taking issue with the implication in the article that the Church was an intrinsically immoral institution

    In a video that’s been posted to FTB before (probably SB, not FTB, really) the Church has been documented abusing children for millenia. Literally millenia, starting before 100 AD. So yeah, I’d call it an intrinsically immoral institution.

  13. Minow says

    ” Literally millenia, starting before 100 AD. So yeah, I’d call it an intrinsically immoral institution.”

    That s just because the church has been around for a long time, doing good and ill. If state schooling had existed for millenia, we would have a record of millenia of abuse there too, but that would not be because state education is intrinsically evil, it is because bad men work in institutions where they can get access to children. It is easy to envisage a church that is properly protective of children, so the abuse cannot be intrinsic.

  14. HappyNat says

    I think the cynicism about Pope Francis does not yet have any foundations because we don’t know hoe deeply he is prepared to reform

    Yeah, nice in theory, but I’m going to go ahead and be cynical about Pope Frank. I don’t feel bad doing so, because of the entire history of the Catholic Church. The powerful men who have run the institution have shown a remarkable consistent pattern of putting the good of the Church over the good of people.

    Sure the new Pope has said a few things that are “progressive” for the RCC, but it reminds me of a new mob boss donating a new playground when he takes over. “Maybe this Don will be nicer . . .”

  15. Minow says

    “The powerful men who have run the institution have shown a remarkable consistent pattern of putting the good of the Church over the good of people.”

    That happens in every institution , there is a whole literature about why (public choice theory), but there can be a high coincidence of goods and this Pope does seem to mean it. We shall see, but he does seem different, a breath of fresh air after the acrid, carious reek of Benedict. A woman cardinal would be a massive signal. Let’s see if he can pull it off.

  16. HappyNat says

    this Pope does seem to mean it. We shall see

    Well, you re much more optimistic than I. Time will tell if you are also more gullible. :)

    A woman Cardinal would be nice, but it’s far down on my list of what the RCC has to do to approach respectability.

  17. sqlrob says

    That s just because the church has been around for a long time, doing good and ill. If state schooling had existed for millenia, we would have a record of millenia of abuse there too, but that would not be because state education is intrinsically evil, it is because bad men work in institutions where they can get access to children. It is easy to envisage a church that is properly protective of children, so the abuse cannot be intrinsic.

    Enabling it is an intrinsic property. Abuse will happen, sad to say. It’s what happens afterwards that’s the issue. The cover up is really only centuries old, but that’s more than long enough.

    You don’t get to claim to be the sole source of morality then be actively worse than most.

  18. says

    Father Wojciech Gil…stands accused of sexually abusing at least seven boys while he headed a parish in the highland town of Juncalito.

    Did someone say “At Play in the Fields of the Lord?”

  19. Gordon Willis says

    You don’t get to claim to be the sole source of morality then be actively worse than most.

    Or refuse to be accountable. Or fail to educate their priests about, for example, basic child-care. But the Church is not about caring, it is about saving souls, which means teaching or bullying people to reconcile themselves to the will of God (which is, whatever happens to them). So it doesn’t have to feel guilty about its priests, or its nuns, even when its own failures are being held up to the light. It has an imaginary mission is to implant imaginary ideas for imaginary reasons. Its authority is more important than its credibility.

  20. Minow says

    “Time will tell if you are also more gullible.”

    It wouldn’t be the first time!

    “A woman Cardinal would be nice, but it’s far down on my list of what the RCC has to do to approach respectability.”

    Yes, but it would put such a wind up the conservatives, that I think more change would follow from it. No going back once that door has been opened, surely.

  21. says

    Yes, the church is an intrinsically immoral institution. It demands, and often gets, vast power over the lives of all of us, not just its members. It is an all-male institution apart from women in service jobs; it is wholly unaccountable to its members and to everyone else too. It adamantly refuses to stop being an all-male institution. It persecutes LGBTQ people. It shelters employees who rape children from the law. It meddles with health care and hospitals as much as it can, including preventing women from getting life-saving abortions. It tries to force hospitals and healthcare networks to agree in writing never to perform abortions on women who will die without them. It treats the ordination of women as a terrible crime while it treats child rape by priests as a minor matter to be dealt with in-house. It tells people not to use condoms, period, never mind the HIV pandemic. It justifies all this on the basis of an imaginary connection to an imaginary god.

  22. Minow says

    “But the Church is not about caring, it is about saving souls”

    That is too sweeping. The church does a great deal of good for the weakest and most needy in society, as well as the other stuff. Just go down to the most dangerous and threadbare part of your city this winter and see who is handing out the food and clothing. I guarantee that it will mostly be church organisations.

  23. Minow says

    Apologies re blockquotes, I can do them but thought they weren’t needed unless lots of quoting was going on. I don’t find them all that useful, and they are fiddly to do, but I guess I may be in the minority.

    Yes, the church is an intrinsically immoral institution. It demands, and often gets, vast power over the lives of all of us, not just its members. It is an all-male institution apart from women in service jobs; it is wholly unaccountable to its members and to everyone else too. It adamantly refuses to stop being an all-male institution.

    None of these things are intrinsic to the church. The US government has been guilty of all of that except (arguably) the accountability bit (but you can argue there about the Church too) , and much worse (the RC church has never actually indulged in genocide, don’t forget) but we don’t say (do we?) that the US government is intrinsically immoral?

    It looks likely by the way, that this Pope will put a stop to the all-male side of things. Fingers crossed anyway.

  24. sqlrob says

    That is too sweeping. The church does a great deal of good for the weakest and most needy in society, as well as the other stuff. Just go down to the most dangerous and threadbare part of your city this

    Putting 1 in coats doesn’t help much when you put 100 in poverty because of your stance on birth control.

  25. Minow says

    Putting 1 in coats doesn’t help much when you put 100 in poverty because of your stance on birth control.

    It helps that one quite a lot, and there is not very often anyone else there to do it (the Humanist Society and atheist groups seem to find better ways to spend their wintery Friday nights). And anyway, there is no evidence that the church’s position on birth control puts anyone into poverty, or, in fact, that anyone with a sex life pays attention to it at all. Childbirth is falling in all Catholic countries, just like all other countries, outside of Africa. Either Catholics have stopped having sex or they say one think to the priest and another in the bedroom. My family comes from Ireland, so I know which explanation I think is more likely.

  26. says

    Minow – yes of course all those things are intrinsic to the church. They’re part of its “rules”; part of what it pompously calls “church teachings.” They’re what the church treats as sacrosanct and unchangeable. Of course they’re intrinsic. That’s part of why the church is immoral, ffs: it’s authoritarian and dogmatic, and it resists change and reform, and it does so by pretending its stupid backward misogynist “rules” were given to it by Jesus Q God.

  27. sqlrob says

    And anyway, there is no evidence that the church’s position on birth control puts anyone into poverty

    Look at Africa recently?

  28. Gordon Willis says

    “But the Church is not about caring, it is about saving souls”

    That is too sweeping.

    You can say that all those people who care for the sick and visit the people in prison (and the other thing in the parable) are the Church. But they are not the Institution. It is the institution I am talking about. The institution that teaches about dying pregnant women, that permits or doesn’t permit slavery, torture, extortion, that allies with Hitler, forms itself into a state when its authority is looking a bit weak. And it hides criminal priests and its spokesmen use immoral arguments, and they expect and demand to be immune from criticism. The good bits are probably just good people, and the institution does help people to organise their efforts, subject to doctrine.

  29. Minow says

    Minow – yes of course all those things are intrinsic to the church. They’re part of its “rules”; part of what it pompously calls “church teachings.”

    No, they are not. Really, not. The church can reform just like the US government (perhaps even quicker and without the genocide). If you believe it is part of church teaching to shelter rapists, you are completely misinformed. It is not even part of church teaching that the clergy must all be male, this is controversial, it can be changed. There are many problems with the church but it is not intrinsically immoral.

  30. Minow says

    Look at Africa recently?

    I have and I don’t see any evidence that the RC church is its major problem. Birth rates are high in Africa regardless of the local religion. It looks much more likely that the high birth rate is a product of the poverty rather than the other way round, because we have see the correlation between increasing wealth and falling birthrates everywhere else, and even in African cities, where the wealth is concentrated.

  31. Minow says

    The good bits are probably just good people, and the institution does help people to organise their efforts, subject to doctrine.

    That does look a bit like having your cake and eating it. The bad things Catholics do represent the Church, the good things are just nice people. And the church does organise these good things, on a gigantic scale. I hold no brief for the RC church, but it is crazy to ignore this side of what it does. For many people the church is an enormous practical as well as spiritual comfort. We need to factor them i as well as the victims.

  32. Gordon Willis says

    That does look a bit like having your cake and eating it. Except that you missed the bit about doctrine at the end. That is the point. The Church has a primary objective which is NOT to help people. Helping is only something they are supposed to do as well. Lots of people do, but “subject to doctrine”. So a lot of the time their “help” is corrupted by dogma and arrogance, and leads to extraordinary cruelty. Saving souls is the be-all and end-all. Their let-out clause is “God’s will be done”. It’s magic!

  33. Gordon Willis says

    For many people the church is an enormous practical as well as spiritual comfort.

    The price for others is too high. They are the ones paying the bill.

  34. Minow says

    The price for others is too high. They are the ones paying the bill.

    I don’t think it is too high. It is a hard calculation to make, but I tend to think that on balance the good the church does outweighs its evils, but we would have to attach some figures. By the way, OB has started another thread on this so we may do better to decamp there (if you are still interested).

  35. Argle Bargle says

    The RCC hierarchy is interested in one thing and one thing only, power. It claims to be the supreme moral authority on Earth while acting in a manner so immoral that even Minow would recognize it if xe was in the least bit honest. The church has an official policy to support and protect child rapists. The church lets women die rather than have abortions. The church lies about condoms and AIDS because using condoms makes Baby Jesus cry. The church in Ireland ruined thousands of lives in their orphanages, vocational schools and the infamous Magdalene Laundries yet refuses to pay a penny towards the rehabilitation and compensation of the victims.

    No, I can’t see how anyone can think the Catholic Church is anything but a thoroughly immoral organization. Individual Catholics may be good people, the church as a whole is wicked.

  36. sqlrob says

    I don’t think it is too high

    The others are the ones that say it is too high. I have to pay the price of church policies, and I say it’s too high.

  37. Oscar says

    Ophelia Benson @ 29 Well there is the article from examiner.com but it is nearly a year old:
    http://www.examiner.com/article/kuwait-atheist-activist-arrested-jailed-for-blasphemy

    Aly, the maker of the video, is a friend of Aziz and (according to the video) was asked by Aziz to bring attention to his situation and maybe alert some human rights agencies. In the video Aly says: “We’ve called some human rights organizations but they obviously don’t really seem to care [...] about atheist in the Arab world” “I have a feeling that my call alone won’t help but maybe if a few thousand atheists of good will did that we might get some results”. According to the video Aziz’s situation is as follows: He was arrested for blasphemy on the 31st of December 2012 in Kuwait. He has since been tortured (while in prison I assume) and will soon (January) be released. He will not simply be free to go unfortunately, instead he will be deported to Egypt where (due to the processes involved) he will almost certainty be jailed immediately on similar charges. Aly also explains that they interviewed Aziz recently and will soon upload a translated version of this interview.

    I now realize that I used the embedded Youtube link in my original post making it hard to find the video description. Sorry. Here is the appropriate link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrVKEs5lddQ

    If you need more information try contacting Aly directly (I don’t know his email address) his Skype is: alyaly1987

  38. left0ver1under says

    sqlrob (#31) –

    And anyway, there is no evidence that the church’s position on birth control puts anyone into poverty

    Look at Africa recently?

    Or the Philippines. The population is at 96 million and rising, while it’s still illegal to have an abortion or obtain forms of birth control (other than condoms). Those hit hardest by the typhoon were living in shanty towns of corrugated metal and scavenged wood, living in houses of cards.

  39. Moggie says

    Minow:

    I think the cynicism about Pope Francis does not yet have any foundations because we don’t know hoe deeply he is prepared to reform.

    Shouldn’t we have a better idea by now? He’s been in post for eight months. Is there any evidence that he has done anything concrete to change the behaviour of the church around child abuse issues?

  40. says

    I don’t think it is too high…

    On what authority or information do you make that blanket statement? Are you, or any of your kids, paying that price?

    That happens in every institution , there is a whole literature about why (public choice theory)…

    So, Minow, you ARE making excuses for the child-rapists in the Catholic Church.

    …but there can be a high coincidence of goods and this Pope does seem to mean it. We shall see, but he does seem different, a breath of fresh air…

    Oh please — they say that about EVERY NEW POPE, including Pope Palpadict. It’s standard manipulative religious propaganda, no less traditional and automatic than the white smoke and “HABEMUS PAPAM” headlines; and pretending it’s a real development in the child-rape issue is just a disgusting insult from someone who has nothing serious to say.

    … but I tend to think that on balance the good the church does outweighs its evils, but we would have to attach some figures.

    So go ahead and attach already — what’s the exact number of child-rapes that would balance all the good the Church does? How close are they to that tipping-point? Oh, and show your work, as they say in math classes.

    Seriously, Minow, you really think we should accept the systematized sexual abuse of children, because your Church did some good things? Excuse-mongers like you are part of the problem. And I predict you’re going to have a hard time washing the blood and shit off your hands.

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