Child Rape, Penn State and the Catholic Church: Is Religion Especially Bad? »« Fashion Friday: The Shellac Report

From the Archives: Why Are You Still Catholic?

Since I moved to the Freethought Blogs network, I have a bunch of new readers who aren’t familiar with my greatest hits from my old, pre-FTB blog. So I’m linking to some of them, about one a day, to introduce them to the new folks.

Today’s archive treasure: Why Are You Still Catholic? The tl;dr: Given the widespread, institution-wide horrors of the child rape scandal in the Catholic Church, why would any sane, moral person continue to be associated with it? I look at the arguments and defenses most commonly given by Catholics for staying in the Church in the face of the scandal — and shoot them down like rabid dogs.

A nifty pull quote:

Let’s say I was making up a story about grotesque, nauseating, inexcusable- on- the- face- of- it evil; evil that would make all non-sociopathic people turn away in revolted horror at the very mention of it. And let’s say that, to illustrate that evil, I made up an example of a powerful, global institution that concealed and protected child rapists, shuttled them from town to town, failed to inform law enforcement officers and in many cases actually stonewalled them, deliberately dumped the child rapists in remote, impoverished villages… and then, when the horror finally came to light, responded with defensive entrenchment and equated the accusations with either anti-Semitic bigotry or petty gossip.

If I wrote that story, people would think it was over the top. “That’s ridiculous,” they’d say. “You have to make your evil more believable, more human. Nobody really does that.”

Well, people really do that.

The Church you belong to really does that.

Why on Earth are you still a part of it?

Hope you like it.

Comments

  1. wren says

    This is an excellent article! I really want to ask my parents this question, but I’m afraid things will go south for my family relationships if I do. I know my mom and dad have blamed “the gays” for the child raping, but also seem to think it’s not that widespread. Also, I think my mom (my dad converted to Catholicism after they married) falls under the ritual/family/friends bit. She has literally told me that she “love[s] being Catholic.”

  2. Steve Jeffers says

    ‘Stonewalled’.

    The Cloyne Report demonstrated that it was a lot worse than that. Bishop Magee prepared two reports. One, containing the truth, went to the Vatican. The second, containing lies, went to the police.

    Catholics claim that Magee was some sort of weird local guy, acting alone. No. He was private secretary to two Popes. One of his jobs was the wake the Pope every morning. He was the man who *found John Paul I’s body*. He was personally sent to Ireland by John Paul II.

    We can infer from Cloyne that it is Papal policy, enacted by those closest to the Pope, not only to consciously lie to the police, but to collate files containing the truth. Somewhere in the Vatican, known to the Pope, is a filing cabinet containing details of what actually happened.

    They know.

  3. says

    I know a number of lifelong Catholics, some in their 70s, who have stopped attending church due to this. The others that I have discussed the problem with make the claim that God is true, it’s the people who are faulty. It’s the same argument they use for everything ‘evil’ that has ever been done in God’s name.

    I think some of them just can’t imagine a life outside of the organization.

  4. JoeKaistoe says

    Why are they still Catholic?

    Because that’s how the Catholic church wants it. Right from birth they’re there to make you Catholic.

    “Want to get married in our beautiful church? Only if you baptize your babies and raise them Catholic.” *wink**wink**nudge**nudge*

    Then comes Catechism, Confirmation, Confessions. They reinforce the ownership the church has over you. You’re programmed to think the Catholic church is a part of you, and you belong to it. They mold you to be part of the church.

    I haven’t attended a Catholic church in over a decade. Still, when I think about it, it feels like the Catholic church owns me a little because they sprinkled magic water on me as a baby. That’s why I think people are still Catholic.

  5. says

    If I wrote that story, people would think it was over the top. “That’s ridiculous,” they’d say. “You have to make your evil more believable, more human. Nobody really does that.”

    Well, people really do that.

    The Church you belong to really does that.

    Why on Earth are you still a part of it?

    One sad irony I see: The Big Lie propaganda tactic works amazingly well for affecting people’s emotions. An equally Big Truth just doesn’t seem to have the same power.

  6. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    When he was Führer of the Inquisition*, Benny Ratzi** made it official policy for the Church to support and protect child rapists. While he and his flunkies have wrung their hands and sanctimoniously bemoaned the child raping scandal, this policy has not been rescinded. It is still official policy to keep the identity of child-raping clergy secret and deal with them internally.

    *Officially the title is Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Prefect de Congregatio pro Doctrina Fidei).

    **He was Joey Ratzi at the time.

Leave a Reply