Catholicism steals a generation of Spanish children


Another Catholic scandal? Yeah, it’s another one, this time in Spain. Mother Church knew best who should raise children.

Several mothers say they were told their first-born children had died during or soon after they gave birth.

But the women, often young and unmarried, were told they could not see the body of the infant or attend their burial.

In reality, the babies were sold to childless couples whose devout beliefs and financial security meant that they were seen as more appropriate parents.

Official documents were forged so the adoptive parents’ names were on the infants’ birth certificates.

300,000 children. 300,000 heartbroken mothers. 300,000 lies.

Many mothers who gave birth there claim that when they asked to see their child after being told it had died, they were shown a baby’s corpse that appeared to be freezing cold.

The BBC programme shows photographs taken in the Eighties of a dead baby kept in a freezer, allegedly to show grieving mothers.

Who needs ethics and morality when you’ve got god?

Comments

  1. Brother Yam says

    (weeps silently)

    Fuck you, Ratzinger, and your whole feculent, scabrous crime family.

  2. Renshia says

    I guess that explains all the gold you see in the vatican. I always wondered how they paid for that stuff. You know with all the feeding the poor and stuff.

  3. Rumtopf says

    It’s so awful it’s almost unreal, even knowing about Magdalene Laundries etc. In fact, it made me think about that old Omen film, all round creepy.

  4. palefury says

    So much for the 10 commandments, this breaks at least half:

    1. I, the Lord, am your God. You shall not have other gods besides me (besides your own self righteousness).
    2. You shall not take the name of the Lord God in vain
    3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day (and steal other peoples babies?)
    4. Honor your (fake adoptive?) father and your (fake adoptive?) mother (who paid to have you stolen from your real mother?)
    5. You shall not kill
    6. You shall not commit adultery
    7. You shall not steal (other peoples babies)
    8. You shall not bear false witness (to untrue catholic mothers who just gave birth to healthy babies and tell them they died)
    9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife (or children)
    10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods (or children)

    Christians will claim to be more moral than the godless because they follow these rules, only they don’t follow them! WTF!

  5. Fangren says

    Disgusting, absolutely disgusting.

    I wonder…what went through the minds of the people who had to make the decision to have a child spirited away like this…

  6. JTK says

    The ridiculous, boundless depths of the evil of the catholic church never cease to amaze and sadden me!

  7. says

    I am at a point where I stopped being surprised. Nothing the church does can surprise me anymore. The organization is just plain evil.

  8. anuran says

    Kind of makes you wish Dead Jew on a Stick were real. I would love to see the look on these pious sinners’ faces when He says “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

  9. Kemist says

    It wasn’t just Spain that did this. Every country that had a Magdalene system of “shelters” for unwed mothers did something similar. Children who couldn’t be adopted out ended up in orphan asylums.

    Yep. Happened here too, with an added bonus : the state was sponsoring the church to “take care” of the children, so, with all the morality that believing in gods infuses in people, they declared the children as mentally ill in order to receive surplus money from the government. And physically and mentally abused their charges so that many of them effectively became crazy. And then subjected them to the experimental “treatments” in vogue at the time for mental illness. Not all of them survived.

    Duplessis Orphans

  10. says

    What bothers me, though, is that there were people that went along with it. I hope they look themselves in the mirror very hard and realize what they have done.

  11. Gib says

    300,000 babies, which accounted for “15 per cent of the total adoptions that took place in Spain between 1960 and 1989″ ?

    So, that’s 300,000 * 100/15 / (1990-1960) = 66,666 babies adopted in Spain per year ?

    Using Wikipedia’s “9.10 births per 1000 people per year in 1996″ and population of 45 million, we get 409,000 births per year.

    So, 16% of births were adopted out. Sounds rather high to me, although perhaps not when the church doesn’t let you use birth control or have an abortion…

  12. otrame says

    @18

    Yeah. “What you have done to the least of these, you have done also unto me.” So when they get to Jesus on judgment day, Jesus looks at them and says “You stole me from my mother and lied to her, telling her I was dead. You sold me to childless people wealthy enough to pay (directly or indirectly) for me. I never knew you….”

  13. Gib says

    http://www.aican.org/statistics.php

    Actually, this page says the adoption rate in Spain is only behind Sweden and Ireland, at 7.79%. So, my calulation above is out by a factor of 2 or so.

    More interesting though is that Sweden tops the adoption rate. I can’t blame the church here, for Sweden isn’t particularly religious, and the law (according to wikipedia) says that “up until the end of the eighteenth week of the pregnancy the choice of an abortion is entirely up to the woman, for any reason whatsoever.”

    This may be a hint though:
    http://library.adoption.com/articles/international-adoption-sweden.html
    “Most international adoptions that are handled in Sweden involve parents who reside in Sweden, and who have located children available for adoption in a third country. “

  14. says

    So, I don’t get it. With all of these things revealed, why aren’t there calls to indict the Vatican for crimes against humanity? I don’t know about you guys, but for me, this thoroughly fits the bill of what constitutes crimes against humanity. Shouldn’t the ICC issue an arrest warrant for the pope or something? This is some seriously messed up shit.

  15. susan says

    This is so recent! Surely there are specific, complicit individuals and hospitals that could be sued into insolvency? I’ll have to watch the show to see I guess; maybe that’s happening.

  16. Spunmunkey says

    Not just the Catholics – My mum was forced to give up by the Salvos. They’ve been stringing on for years about records being misplaced… I’ve been following the latest developments & done a lot of reading about the practice in Aust. I’m one of those babies – another stolen generation…

  17. Chris Booth says

    I deeply love my adoptive mother and father. They were good people. But this is chilling. My adoptive parents are on my birth certificate, and for me and my sister, it was done through the Catholic Church (in Oklahoma; my father’s first job out of grad school was at OSU);* and we here know about the integrity and “family values” of the church-going in OK (Kern, et al.). But a pall settles over me:

    Have I been dead this whole time?

    *I never learned the details, but my aunt intimated that his lapsing was the result of some sort of shameful shennanigans on the part of the Church concerning my sister’s adoption.

  18. swampfoot says

    Here is a BBC website article (from March this year) on the scandal, and there is no mention at all of the Catholic Church, only a single reference to “Catholic girls.” It seems to claim this was a scandal of the Franco regime.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12886441

    Maybe there have been developments since March, but would the BBC deliberately downplay a central role of the Catholic Church?

  19. drewl, Mental Toss Flycoon says

    Heh… I just steered an old friend (scientist, converted to Catholic) to this site, told him to read the comments, and this might be the first post he sees. Heh.

    Hi, Gene, hope yer reading this, hope you find it as entertaining and educational as I have.

  20. says

    Now juxtapose this witht he following from HuffPo:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/15/illinois-catholic-chariti_n_1012746.html

    “Illinois State Senator Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) on Wednesday filed legislation that would amend the state’s civil union law to allow Catholic Charities to continue to license foster and adoptive parents without serving same-sex couples.

    McCarter’s proposal, SB2495, would amend the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act, signed into law in January, to allow faith-based agencies like Catholic Charities to decline to provide foster care and adoption services to applicants who “would constitute a violation of the organization’s sincerely held religious beliefs” and refer them to other agencies.”

    Douglas Adams was right. We l\ive in a fucking insane asylum.

  21. Chris Booth says

    The Church has referred to itself as “the greatest moral force the world has ever known”, IIRC. My disgust for that cesspool of mealy-mouthed malice has increased tonight. Moral force?!?

    With freres like these, who needs anomie?

  22. Xavier says

    It’s not a new story ans not really a church scandal. The origin was political : fight against communism…
    Ans with time it became a purely for profit criminal activity. Historicaly, the church ran hospitals in Spain and had to be part of the traffic. But it could have been done under any dictatorship with or without religion. Spain could have become a democracy decades earlier if the US hadn’t backed Franco and the traffic would have been stopped earlier maybe… Fight against USSR
    was a pretext for any atrocity it seems.

  23. eean says

    daily mail? why???? if its a legit news story, I know the Daily Mail does those occasionally, just google for another source.

  24. FlickingYourSwitch says

    I don’t even know how to react to this stuff anymore. I’m too tired to become outraged and go Hulk on everything, but I’m not jaded enough to not feel anything either. I’ll just put my hope to my antidepressants for now.

  25. says

    The Daily Mail and the Huffington Post are not credible sources. If the story’s true, let’s nail them with evidence, not panic-rags. And if it’s not let’s remember:

    Friends don’t link friends to the Daily Mail.

  26. andyo says

    Xavier #40,

    But it could have been done under any dictatorship with or without religion.

    But the fact is that the church WAS complicit. It deserves to pay. Wouldn’t you think any other organization that did it, religious or non-religious, would deserve to pay as well?

    And also, the asshole church claiming moral high ground… yeah, that’s not working.

    Spain could have become a democracy decades earlier if the US hadn’t backed Franco and the traffic would have been stopped earlier maybe…

    What a ridiculous thing to say. Maybe if the US had deployed ninja assassins to kill Franco instead, it could have ended even earlier.

  27. Alt+3 says

    With all these scandals involving the church constantly being exposed the Vatican has slipped from your garden variety real world evil into a Disney style cartoonish evil. I fear we may not be able to stop these evil bastards without learning a lesson about the power of friendship.

  28. The Vicar says

    Y’know, I’m torn between being disgusted (but not surprised) and finding this so awful it’s difficult to believe. I know there are historical precedents — such as the British sending children pulled at random off the streets to “a better life” in Australia — but this is just… the scale, and the fact that it happened during my lifetime, it’s just incredible.

  29. JTanzer says

    Careful linking the Daily Mail.

    Everything else I’m finding says 30,000 and describes this as beginning under the Franco regime and continuing. The church’s complicity, particularly after the Franco regime, in this is still appalling, but let’s not let the Mail make us look like idiots for getting our facts wrong.

    Like these:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12886441
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/27/spain-baby-trafficking-claims

    Or, of course, we can wait until Tuesday to watch the documentary:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b016d7hz

  30. amphiox says

    With all these scandals involving the church constantly being exposed the Vatican has slipped from your garden variety real world evil into a Disney style cartoonish evil.

    “Slipped”? What do you mean, “slipped”? They’ve been there all along, from the beginning.

    The Church has referred to itself as “the greatest moral force the world has ever known”, IIRC.

    Well, in their defense, they never actually said in what direction that force is acting, no?

  31. says

    @palefury (#12)
    #4 on your list implies that adoptive families are inferior or somehow “not real families”. Not cool.

    @Chris Booth (#37)
    Moral farce is more like it.

    Anyway, 30,000 or 300,000, the fact remains, children were stolen, and that’s… just horrible.

  32. says

    I imagine that probably most of the adoptive parents thought it was legit. Or at worst a bribe to get quicker service from the officials.

    But the church did this in many countries, some democratic, some not. You don’t get to exonerate them by blaming Franco. Not even if Pinochet did the same thing, possibly without the church’s help.

  33. julian says

    Anyway, 30,000 or 300,000, the fact remains, children were stolen, and that’s… just horrible.

    Not that I condone citing poor figures but in this case 30,000 lives ruined as opposed to 300,000 doesn’t seem like to major a difference. The number in Prof Myer’s post may be 10x what’s being reported but the thing to take away isn’t that.

    It’s that 30,000 lives were ruined.

    But I can hear the complaints now. ‘You’re trying to defame the Church! It wasn’t 300k. That number is a gross accusation and you should be ashamed for trying to manufacture victims to libel good innocent men.’

    And that will be an obvious bullshit attempt to sidestep the obvious wrong doing.

  34. andyo says

    Someone else above addressed the numbers. It appears it’s 30,000 during Franco’s regime, vs 300,000 overall.

  35. michael says

    My prediction:
    Not one charge will be laid against the Church. There’s not a Government in the world with the guts to take on the Catholics.

  36. andyo says

    @Rene

    Shouldn’t that be ‘yo?’

    In Spanish, you can omit it. Actually, it’s almost always omitted, unless you’re trying to accentuate that it’s you who is shitting on the host.

  37. colin says

    Would hold judgement until it’s reported somewhere reputable. The daily fail is a rag. Is there another link?

  38. Alt+3 says

    @Amphiox (53)

    Slipped in my mind. I used to regard them as nothing more than a bunch of weirdos doing their own weird stuff with magic spells and crackers, like they simply hadn’t grown out of spooking themselves saying “bloody Mary” into the mirror or using a Ouija board. After a while I thought that their evil was just a byproduct of their beliefs. Slowly I’ve come to realize they’re actually aggressively, proactively evil.

  39. Lord Shplanington, Not A Frenchman says

    I’m officially convinced. Every single Pope in the history of the church has actually been Skeletor wearing different masks. This is the only possible scenario in which a single organization could be this horrendously evil.

  40. Ariel says

    I would advise caution. Yes, in all the links we can read about the criminal trade in children. However, none of them discusses the involvement of the Catholic church in any detail. Two or three priests are loosely mentioned, plus a general comment about how strong was the church in Spain at this time. The material is far too weak to justify the headlines like “baby trafficking by the Catholic church in Spain” or “Catholicism steals a generation of Spanish children”. If we go on like that, we could be accused of a witch hunt, and in my opinion justly so. It is unreasonable to make a case on such feeble data. PZ Myers, you are a scientist; I’m sure in biology you don’t have such a low standard!!! As for me, I prefer to wait until I know more.

  41. Ichthyic says

    As for me, I prefer to wait until I know more.

    Five bucks says when you find out the CC really WAS involved, you won’t be back here to apologize for accusing us of being on a witch hunt.

  42. geocatherder says

    It’s been going on, here and there, for a long time. My mother’s sister, Aunt Roseanne, got pregnant out of wedlock in the 1940s, in the U.S… and the Catholic nuns who sheltered her while she gave birth put an amazing amount of pressure on her to give the baby up for adoption. But Aunt Roseanne had an uncommonly stiff spine for a young woman, and basically said “fuck you all” over and over and over again, until she finally wore the nuns down and convinced them she was NOT signing over her baby.

    Aunt Roseanne went on to marry (I’m not sure if the father of her first baby was her husband) and to bear several children before her death, while the youngest was still a toddler, of leukemia. She died when I was still very young, but she was raised up to me as a model of suffering at the hands of nuns. I grew up in the Catholic church, but because of the episode with Aunt Roseanne my mother was always slightly suspicious of nuns.

    I myself was adopted at birth, through a Catholic adoption agency, and for a long time I wondered if my birth mother was unwed and harangued into giving up her baby. It was only in the last year of his life that my (adoptive) dad told me no, I’d been born to a poor family with many children, and they felt they couldn’t care for another child. That was a great relief to me.

  43. raven says

    Five bucks says when you find out the CC really WAS involved, you won’t be back here to apologize for accusing us of being on a witch hunt.

    Pffft. I’ll bet $50 bucks that even after the RCC is shown to be up to the tops of their pointy hats in baby stealing, the troll will still be defending the Catholic church.

  44. julian says

    @Ariel

    Normally I’d agree but, this would not be the only event in recent history where the Catholic Church covered up wrong doing and was complicit in the mistreatment of children. The child rape and molestation cases of the last few years and the Magdalene Laundries come to mind.

  45. raven says

    Pffft. I’ll bet $50 bucks that even after the RCC is shown to be up to the tops of their pointy hats in baby stealing, the troll will still be defending the Catholic church.

    Another $50 bucks says the troll will blame it all on atheists and accuse PZ Myers of persecuting xians while ignoring the Moslems.

    Have the No True Xians crowd shown up yet? Hmmm, yeah, that will work. The Pope isn’t a Real Xian.

  46. eean says

    @40, 47: yea honestly, on the long list of Fascist regimes the US is responsible for creating and supporting, Franco does not appear. His regime was created by local fascists and supported by Mussolini and & Hitler. They were fighting forces in-part supported by Stalin so it’s no wonder the liberal countries mostly sat out the Spanish Civil War. In retrospect maybe starting WW2 5 years early wouldn’t have been a bad idea, but judging from what they knew then I can’t say it was a bad call.

    Of course Franco later became part of NATO. but I don’t think this explains the lack of liberal revolution in Spain.

  47. says

    Any other organisation on planet earth that had done all those things would by now be outlawed as organized crime.
    Yet with religion we still are expected to treat those people with reverence (fuck you!)

    It seems to claim this was a scandal of the Franco regime.

    Well, the first thing about the Franco regime is that you can’t have one without the other: Franco regime = involvement and support of catholic church.
    Oh, and remember, the Pope decleared all catholic priests that were killed during the civil war as blessed, no matter how and why they were killed, no bothering with individula cases or the crimes those priests had commited.

    Ariel

    Two or three priests are loosely mentioned, plus a general comment about how strong was the church in Spain at this time.

    Yeah, and it was surely only one or two priests who raped children, and although the internal procedures of the church are mentioned nobody is justified in speaking of a catholic scandal of child abuse.
    And the systems of child -labour they set up around the world (google for the fates of German children-homes inmates, taken away with the help of the government because their mothers were deemed unfit, because they were “asocial” and so on) is also only isolated cases.

    The fates of native children all over the colonized world who were mistreated and abused in boarding schools, run by the churches, supported by the governemnts surely is also only individual priests going wrong.

    Dream on, dream on…

  48. Tom Clark says

    Wow. Usually when you hear of something the Church has done, it’s the kind of thing you’ve heard about before. This is unprecedented.

  49. Anubis Bloodsin the third says

    #20 ibyea

    “What bothers me, though, is that there were people that went along with it. I hope they look themselves in the mirror very hard and realize what they have done.”

    What bothers me is that every single Catholic the genuflects today is going along with it.

    I hear no condemnation from the pews,the present day followers are as guilty and as morally bankrupt as the perpetrators.
    They are moral ignorant cowards simple like so.
    Anyone who needs a dumbkiddyfucker in a black dress to tell them when to fart are also rather dim and dangerous and a fucking disgrace to humanity.

    Harsh but fair.

    It is plain the rank and file give not a stuff about orphans and baby trafficking and abusive ‘men of god’ with a hard on for kiddies that they can instill the fear of god in after demonstrating god’s love to them katolik’ style!

    All the jeebus & Mary clones ‘care about’ is not upsetting the ‘fader’ who would curse them to some fictitious hell.

    Otherwise Benny baby & assorted minions and cronies would be grinning a death rictus in the dock by now!

    Absolutely unbelievable that they still walk and talk without a smidgen of concern or empathy for human beings.
    And they have been doing it for so long and over so many different wavelengths they think it is their fucking privilege.

    The victims are just a commodity to milk of cash and dignity to pander to the RC superiority complex.

    And every government in the Western world is as guilty as the the ‘crows’ because they allow it by looking the other way…now that is cowardly, for a vote they would trade and condemn kiddies and the poor to abject misery.

    Bottom line is with a press and Internet along with folks that do not go all drool soaked and hysterical over jeebus this evil satanic ‘feature’ of the catholik cult is non-sustainable.

    They got away with it for centuries, it stops this century, if it does not then quite simply …. WE ARE TO BLAME…

    ‘All that is required for evil to prosper is for good people to do nothing’

    And good people have been doing absolutely nothing for quite a while!

    It is what these fucktards depend on!

  50. NoXion says

    Samphire @75
    And I thought the gypsies were bad enough.

    Could you elaborate? Because people seem to believe the weirdest crap about “gyppos”…

  51. Pilcrow says

    In Spain this is old news. The practice began with the civil war. The sons of female militants in workers organizations were abducted and given to rightwing families with the intention of both eradicate leftist ideologies and reduce the population of the concentration camps. The francoist regime sought to repatriate the exiled childs with similar intention.

    The role of the church is documented. In fact the Catholic Church, until the sixties, was a necessary part in all social politics of francoist Spain. They forged the documents of birth and, as has been reported by some fathers, the child seldom disappeared when taken to be baptized.
    In the forties there was even a crazy psychologist, Antonio Vallejo Nájera, who argued about the transmission of the Marxist “gene” through the mother’s milk.

    And I’m sorry but I have to correct eean commentary (72). The intervention of the URSS in the Spanish civil war came only after the democratic countries, mainly the UK, showed their unwillingness to help. Obviously the USA did nothing to create the Spanish dictatorship, but its military and economic support enabled Franco to survive the critical 50’s. The integration of the former fascist regime in the security policies of the west allowed 20 years more of dictatorship. Spain only entered NATO after Franco was dead. In the sixties, USA and UK were in favor to allow Spain to enter the alliance bur the resistance of the Nordic countries and the French popular pressure made it impossible.

  52. julian says

    No. ‘Yo’ is mostly omitted, and the verb ‘cagarse’ can be seen as an intensifier or simply as (even less) informal.

    I meant shouldn’t it be ‘yo cago’ as opposed to ‘me cago.’ The former, from what Spanish I remember, would be ‘I shit’ whereas the latter would to ‘shit myself.’ Probably just what happens when you receive no actual schooling in a language though. Anyway, sorry for sidetracking.

  53. Jorge says

    Well, is not actually the “Catholicism”, but instead the “National-Catholicism”, which is quite different.

  54. maureen.brian says

    You’ve got the Daily Mail angle on this one backwards, folks.

    That (insert noun of choice) praised and supported Franco almost from before the point where he was a slightly bonkers army officer fomenting a coup against his country’s legitimate government.

    It could not praise him highly enough, seeing him as an upright Christian gentlemen trying to save the world from us fiendish reds. I’m not prepared to trawl the archives but my memory is that Franco had been dead a couple of decades before that (noun) was prepared to have a word said against him.

    So, if the Daily Mail is printing this story, as it has done, it means the evidence is irrefutable and probably has been for ages.

    And all this nonsense with brackets and nouns is nothing to worry about – just me refusing to use any word which might even imply it is a newspaper. Apologies for that over-sensitivity on my part.

  55. Jeremy says

    Words fail me.

    Is there no end to the suffering the catholic church has caused and continues to cause.

    Tell a little lie for Jesus and see where it gets you.

  56. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    @ julian #81 the “me” isn’t replacing “yo”: it’s not the first person singular but the reflexive pronoun. If you included the “yo”, you’d have “yo me cago en la hostia” (the infinitive being used here is cagarse rather than cagar). So, omitting the “yo” as usual, it’s just me cago en la hostia. I’d like to add a bit of emphasis (me cago en la putíssima (or even reputíssima) hostia que lo recontramil parió) BUT sadly my Spanish is not good enough to come up with any good non-gendered insults. I’d be grateful for any guidance wrt non-gendered insults in Spanish. And I also apologise for further extending the derail.
    .
    Have just discovered that the new headteacher at kid’s (non-denominational) school is a catholic. Also am acquainted with a human rights lawyer who is a catholic. How do people like this (assuming they’re both good people, though I don’t know yet in the case of the headteacher) live with themselves and stay catholic? Can you tell yourself you’re a catholic and reject the pope? Can you tell yourself the merely human churchmen are fallible but the religion itself is still perfect? How the hell do these (on one level at least) intelligent people lie to themselves on this scale?

  57. Nogbert says

    It occurs to me that the Vatican is a sovereign state. It is therefore possible to declare war on it. To judge by the crimes committed by it’s agents throughout the world, I’m surprised some nation or group haven’t had the cojones to gently hint at the possibility, perhaps during one of the many state events that their robed representatives like to sashay around.
    A practical move would be to start requiring catholics to understand that by remaining such they remain open to being treated with the opprobrium meted out on apologists of a hostile state. Perhaps it is time someone in the US legislature questioned them and there fellow travels closely about the nature of their allegiance?
    Give uncle Bill (Donohue) something to get apoplectic about.

  58. KG says

    Well, is not actually the “Catholicism”, but instead the “National-Catholicism”, which is quite different. – Jorge

    Utter garbage. Catholicism is whatever the Roman Catholic Church and its subordinate institutions do – in this case, steal children from their mothers. AFAIK, no Pope ever objected to the practice, nor to the establishment of clerical-fascist dictatorships such as that of Franco, and many others in both Europe and Latin America.

  59. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    Fuck. It’s 8:00 in the morning here and I’m crying.

    I have nothing. I don’t normally throw around the word “evil”, but the RCC is, without a doubt, evil.

  60. Matt Penfold says

    The RCC did more than not object to Franco, they positively encouraged and supported him and his vile regime.

  61. joed says

    Telling the mother the baby died…, Let’s see, a film staring Gregory Peck and Lee Remick…
    THE OMEN. Excellent film. Sounds like a documentary now.

  62. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    ibyea:

    So, I don’t get it. With all of these things revealed, why aren’t there calls to indict the Vatican for crimes against humanity?

    SNAP has asked the International Criminal Court at the Hague to investigate the church, but the chances of having charges filed against the Vatican appear to be slim-to-none.

    http://www.snapnetwork.org/hague_is_asked_to_investigate_vatican_over_abuse

    Anubis:

    What bothers me is that every single Catholic the genuflects today is going along with it.

    That’s exactly what I thought of first– Catholic members of my family completely ignoring news like this. They did it when the Ryan report was released in Ireland and they’re going to do it again now.

    Fuck.

  63. Ariel says

    Ichthyic #66

    Five bucks says when you find out the CC really WAS involved, you won’t be back here to apologize for accusing us of being on a witch hunt.

    No, I won’t. If you want to know why, I will gladly answer. Imagine a mob yelling “hang the nigger!” and doing what they say. Imagine also (yes, that may be a hard one – I know how unrealistic it sounds!) that you don’t want to go with the mob, you plead instead “stop! You are taking part in a lynch, wait for the judges to pass the verdict, wait for more data!” And imagine that later the hanged guy turns out to be guilty indeed. Would you apologize to the mob? You are absolutely right, I wouldn’t. You know, Charles Lynch has never been my hero.

    raven #68 and #70
    Wrong address. I’m not a believer. I just feel ashamed when other atheists – praising rationality and critical thinking – are making fools of themselves.

    Julian #69

    Normally I’d agree but, this would not be the only event in recent history where the Catholic Church covered up wrong doing and was complicit in the mistreatment of children. The child rape and molestation cases of the last few years and the Magdalene Laundries come to mind.

    Of course. But on the basis of this I would be inclined to say only: let’s check how exactly they were involved. Because of the past of the catholic church, this seems worth checking. And if you guys said this, there would be no opposition on my part. The problem is that you are saying more. Together with PZ Myers and the tabloid, you have already passed the verdict. “Fuck you, Ratzinger”, “Bastards!”, “ evil of the catholic church”, “I’m amazed that mobs aren’t out waving flaming torches” – should I cite more? Again: Charles Lynch has never been my hero. And that’s where we part company, as it seems.

    Giliell, connaiseuse des choses bonnes #74

    Yeah, and it was surely only one or two priests who raped children, and although the internal procedures of the church are mentioned nobody is justified in speaking of a catholic scandal of child abuse.

    Please continue putting words in my mouth. Don’t be shy, I don’t mind. Or maybe you would prefer to change this rant into an argument justifying passing the verdict on the basis of the data quoted by the linked papers? Maybe you think that wherever there is something wrong with children, we are fully justified in blaming the Catholics for that, no matter how scant the data are in a given case? If you want to argue for that, please do. Go ahead, make my day.

    [Walks away, swaying his hips and polishing Smith & Wesson 29] :-)

  64. What a Maroon says

    Trying to separate the Catholic church from the Franco regime is like trying to separate the shit from the toilet paper.

    Opposablethumbs, you could try “me cago en la hostia de la mierda,” but for better or worse it just doesn’t have the same kick without a puta or two thrown in.

  65. What a Maroon says

    Ariel,

    Imagine Country X, managed the social services in Country Y through its consulates, and in doing so some of its agents became involved in stealing newborns and selling them to families both within and without Country Y. Wouldn’t the people of Country X be justified in holding Country Y responsible for the actions of its agents and demand action?

    The Vatican is a country, the Pope is the head of the country, and the priests, monks, and nuns of the church are its agents in other countries. Even if the Vatican weren’t directly involved or knowledgeable, it is responsible.

  66. maureen.brian says

    Ariel,

    Stop it with the strawmen.

    We already know how closely entwined were the Franco regime and the catholic church.

    We already know that the church was involved in this story – in running the hospitals and knowingly forging baptismal registers for a start.

    We certainly do not need to take another decade to pick fluff out of our navels and wonder whether the Holy See was complicit in all this. The historically literate have been trying to keep track of this, collecting and preserving evidence, since 1936.

    The fact that you don’t already know this reflects very badly indeed on you. On you alone and not on the people you so hastily attack.

  67. Matt Penfold says

    Maureen and other have it right Ariel. It seems you do not know your history.

    Things such as the forcible removal of babies from their mothers did not happen in Franco’s Spain without the Catholic Church at the very least not objecting to the policy.

    Quite why are you so ignorant on the history ?

  68. KG says

    Imagine a mob yelling “hang the nigger!” and doing what they say. – Ariel

    Are you really stupid enough to imagine that this is a valid analogy? This is a blog post, not a lynching, you dolt; are you suggesting that a blog post requires the same level of proof as a criminal conviction for a capital offence? The Mail‘s story is based on publicity for a BBC documentary, which on past form is unlikely to be fundamentally flawed – although of course it is possible that it is.

  69. Jorge says

    @72 “but I don’t think this explains the lack of liberal revolution in Spain.”

    Lack of liberal revolution?? Do you mean getting married when you are gay, not having the custom of loosing your maiden names, having one of the highest ratios in the world of unmarried parents and one of the most liberal policies on abortion? Is that what you mean? Because all that ALREADY happen in Spain.

    @89. first mind your language. Second, you are not going to teach my now history of my OWN COUNTRY, when I am already a historian.

    “nor to the establishment of clerical-fascist dictatorships such as that of Franco”

    That is precisely National-Catholicism. Please, read before barking for the next time.

  70. L.Minnik says

    As mentioned in a few comments above, something similar has happened in across many countries. In Poland, the Catholic Church has effectively been able to control the ‘adoption’ process as well as to pressure women to give birth and give up their babies for adoption.

    The CC has run a number of adoption centers (the majority are state run) and houses for pregnant girls/women. And, although I don’t know the technical details, has effectively sold the babies abroad, among other to France. Polish children can only be adopted abroad if they cannot be adopted by a family in Poland, so somehow the law had to be circumvented.

    Thanks to the influence of the CC in Poland, abortion is illegal (with some exceptions), and contraceptives and sex ed are limited. There is almost no government aid available for a mother who is without financial means. The pregnant girl/woman who signed a document stating that the baby is up for adoption once it is born could not legally change it (don’t know if this is still the law).

    As far as I can tell, the church keeps the money.

  71. says

    @jorge
    Your statement: “First mind your language”

    Yeah, in here no one cares about that. So don’t even bother.

  72. KG says

    Jorge,

    The fact that you are a Spanish historian is no excuse for the apologetic tosh you come out with here: Catholicism was closely allied to fascism in Spain, as it was in Italy, Austria, Portugal and Poland, to name the most obvious examples. Nor was there any “pure” Catholicism, untainted by this evil collusion: the Pope himself signed a concordat with the Franco regime, just as with Italian fascism and German Nazism.

    Incidentally, you do not get to tell anyone here what language they may use; this is a place where content is valued, not tone. If you don’t like that, help yourself to a rotting porcupine on your way out, and be sure to insert it all the way into your rectum.

  73. says

    The Catholics say they’ve a heart
    because they help families start.
    The guilt goes away
    if you will just pray
    after tearing a family apart.

  74. says

    It occurs to me that the Vatican is a sovereign state. It is therefore possible to declare war on it.

    It’d be more interesting to work inside the UN framework and try for an asset freeze or maybe a resolution that they’ve got to stop claiming any moral high ground.

  75. Matt Penfold says

    Jorge,

    This is not your blog. So why the fuck do you think you get to tell people how to behave ? It seems you are an arrogant fucker. A lazy one as well, since a little homework on your part would have told you that such a comment was idiotic when made here.

  76. Ewan R says

    If it were one or two instances, I’d be angrily shaking my head, but the sheer scale staggers me.

    Sadly one or two instances would be enough to shut down just about any other sort of institution, with the involvement of a church however there is not really any hope of anything being done other than folk getting angry. There’ll be no justice, no leaving of the church in droves (what’s a little human trafficking to a flock who are happy to turn a blind eye to systemic coverups of child rape?) nothing.

    It’d be nice to see the UN do something to the vatican (hand over the miscreants or we’ll start drone attacks) but alas they’re the wrong skin color and religion to apply those tactics to.

  77. Zerple says

    I am mind-blown by how terrible this is.

    Given the history of the Catholic Church in Europe, I’m surprised that some of these countries are still allowing the church to exist within their borders.

  78. Matt Penfold says

    Ewan R,

    I am not sure about Spain, but in Ireland things are changing.

    Church attendance is down, as the the number of men coming forward to train to be priests. The domination of the Irish education system by the Catholic Church is set to end. The Catholic hierarchy in Ireland seems to be held in contempt by many. The Irish Government has said the Church has serious questions to answer on why it put the interests of the Church ahead of those of the abused and due legal process, and the Government seems unlikely to let the issue go.

  79. Phalacrocorax, not a particularly smart avian says

    Y’all are being too harsh on the poor Catholic Church. Of course the “nuns, priests and doctors trafficking in babies” were not members of the real Catholic hierarchy. Actually, they were a band of rogue padres, riding from town to town on the backs of their horses. They’d pump up an inflatable church at the outskirts of every village they visited, fooling the townsfolk into believing they were really religious people. Once they had gained the trust of the peasants, they would snatch their children and escape to the next target of their reign of terror.

    The Vatican was by no means complicit with them. A battalion of inquisitors would be always in their pursuit, armed with their two main weapons: excommunications, holy water and an exorcism kit. Unfortunately, their tireless efforts were often frustrated by the topography of their Pyrenees, which allowed the ruthless bandits to cross the border to France unpunished.

    </poe>

  80. Aquaria says

    I’d be grateful for any guidance wrt non-gendered insults in Spanish.

    Come on! Spanish has tons of ways to insult people without referencing gender!

    Pinche + Anything = Fucking + anything. You can say pinche idiota, and that would be “fucking idiot.”

    Huele pedos. Literally fart-smeller, but it’s worse than that. Used for a brown-noser or authority-pleaser, only worse. Much worse. From every Hispanic in South Texas I’ve asked about it, I’ve been informed that it’s extremely rude–the kind of thing that guarantees a hard smack from abuela if you say it where she can hear.

    Related term: Lambiache, which is ass-kisser

    Related term II: Mamón, which is ass-kissing fool, sucker, an idiot jerk, etc.

    Cochino: Disgusting pig, jerk

    Related term: Tragón/a = greedy pig, glutton.

    Callate el hocico–literally “shut your snout”. A very, very rude way to tell someone to shut up, because you’re calling them a dog in the process.

    Sopión: Fink, narc

    Gorrón = freeloader, scavenger

    Llorón – whiner, crybaby

    Anything + sangrón, example abogado sangrón = Bloodsucking lawyer. Sangrón (Blood-sucking) can be attached to anything: Ex-husbands, ex-wives, doesn’t matter.

    Cagadero = Shit hole, dump.

    And those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head!

  81. raven says

    raven #70:

    Have the No True Xians crowd shown up yet? Hmmm, yeah, that will work. The Pope isn’t a Real Xian.

    jorge:

    Well, is not actually the “Catholicism”, but instead the “National-Catholicism”, which is quite different. – Jorge

    BINGO.

    All I need now to finish my xian atrocity excuses card;

    Xianity is the source of all morality.

  82. says

    Areil, Post

    You know, Charles Lynch has never been my hero.

    If you want to argue for that, please do. Go ahead, make my day.

    [Walks away, swaying his hips and polishing Smith & Wesson 29] :-)

    Charles Lynch isn’t your hero but (Dirty) Harry Callahan is. So we aren’t talking ethics here, just technology.

  83. says

    I remember being horrified by this story when it came out. As an ex-theist, all I can say is: “And ye shall know a tree by it’s fruit…” Does anyone even read the big book of lies they carry around anymore?? sheeeesh. Awful.

  84. Aquaria says

    No, I won’t. If you want to know why, I will gladly answer. Imagine a mob yelling “hang the nigger!” and doing what they say. Imagine also (yes, that may be a hard one – I know how unrealistic it sounds!) that you don’t want to go with the mob, you plead instead “stop! You are taking part in a lynch, wait for the judges to pass the verdict, wait for more data!” And imagine that later the hanged guy turns out to be guilty indeed. Would you apologize to the mob? You are absolutely right, I wouldn’t. You know, Charles Lynch has never been my hero.

    You.

    Fucking.

    Piece

    Of

    Filth.

    Fuck you.

    How fucking dare you compare yourself to being lynched, you privliged, whining, lying, paranoid, moronic scumbag?

    Fuck you.

    You’re not being lynched. Your fucking stupidity is being challenged. That in no fucking way compares to being lynched, you lying piece of shit.

    That you are so fucking stupid and irrational that you can’t understand the difference means you don’t belong around civilized human beings.

    Go fuck yourself you dishonest scumbag.

  85. raven says

    Imagine a mob yelling “hang the nigger!” and doing what they say. – Ariel

    Imagine a mob yelling, Find the witches and kill them.

    Unlike your hypothetical and laughable example, the Catholic church spend centuries hunting down and killing witches, maybe a few hundred thousand, maybe more.

    Imagine mobs yelling, Find the heretics, atheists, and apostates and burn them at the stake. The RCC did this for millennia. If we hadn’t taken away their political power, they would still be doing it.

    Imagine armies of Catholic troops fighting wars against heretics. The crusade to genocide the Abigensians killed an estimated 1 million people while the Reformation wars killed tens of millions.

    Someone/something has a few tens of millions of bodies and endless atrocities to their credit. It isn’t Freethought blogs.

  86. says

    As far as I know, mormons have not told unwed mothers that their child was born dead in order to give babies to “better” (churchy) parents. But LDS Social Services has been known to pull every other kind of underhanded stunt in order to place babies in the homes of true believing, tithe-paying church members.

    Here’s a quote from an mormon:

    As a single adult in utah, I remember our bish [Bishop] gathering all the single adults up and forcing us to watch a film from lds social services. Basically saying that if we found ourselves in an unfortunate situation, that we were to hand the child over to the church… no if’s and’s or but’s about it. …

    So, that’s the Church’s attitude. If you’re single, you are not a fit parent. One doesn’t have to guess what they think of non-members who are single.

    There’s also some evidence that LDS Social Services (and/or LDS-dominated hospitals with which they are associated) have changed birth records to make it harder for adopted children to find their birth parents. http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,58469 A lawyer pointed out unlikely this circumstance is, however, some people have bothered to pay for DNA testing and have done the necessary research to prove that changing birth weights, dates, etc. does happen.

    There’s enough evidence that LDS Social Services pressures unmarried pregnant women to give up their babies that several lawsuits have succeeded. LDS Social Services takes young women in difficult circumstances and offers them medical care, housing, and so forth. S.S. then uses their contact with those women to exert psychological pressure, financial pressure, and religious pressure to give up their babies. Young fathers are deliberately left out, or even lied to.

    I’m an attorney and I’ve represented a young man whose girlfriend was encouraged to lie to him by LDS Social services so he would not file for paternity before she could give the baby up for adoption. I know they engage in shenanigans.

    From another mormon:

    I worked for LDS family services outside of Utah. They are a baby adoption machine. Counseling is just a side business. It’s all about getting Gentile babies into Temple Families and saving the child, and growing the tithing pool.

    I know for a fact that they lied to at least one person, telling them that they didn’t need to tell the father. The child was adopted out, and then the father got it back. She only had visitation.

    She was lied to and screwed over, as was the father and the adoption couple.

    It’s a despicable scam.

    http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/38871/Unwed-parents-encouraged-to-place-child-for-adoption.html

    …unwed parents should be encouraged to place the child for adoption, preferably through LDS Social Services [now known as LDS Family Services]. Adoption through LDS Social Services helps ensure that the baby will be reared by a mother and father in a faithful Latter-day Saint family.

    Unwed parents who do not marry should not be counseled to keep the infant as a condition of repentance or out of an obligation to care for one’s own. Generally, unwed parents are not able to provide the stable, nurturing environment so essential for the baby’s well-being.

    Placing the infant for adoption enables unwed parents to do what is best for the child and enhances the prospect for the blessings of the gospel in the lives of all concerned.

  87. Chris Booth says

    This is an appalling and disheartening story. And, actually, the wrongs ripple out from this. The number of wronged babies. To which we have to add the number of wronged mothers. But what about the families of the mothers, then and after? The grief and horror of [what they thought was] their baby’s death would be with the rest of their lives and would color later relationships with men and their later children. This isn’t a bit of sand in your shoe that you pour out and forget about in moments.

    And they hit the women at an unspeakably weak moment. Post-partum; physically drained, suffering, their lives on the rocks, and then they show them a cold dead baby and tell them its theirs? Even in an unwanted pregnancy that would be heartbreaking. Sadistic manipulators. Seraphic bullies, singing choruses in praise to themselves as the lay waste the lives around them. Merciless. I have seen women surrounded by loving supportive families with husbands and adoring other children whose babies were healthy and with them who were almost destroyed by post-partum depression. They pray [sic] on the weak when they have the least support and are at their lowest in physical and emotional strength–while hiding behind that cursed authority. What they put people through is unconscionable.

    The callous pious-smirking malevolence of these pseudo-moralists nauseates me. “Morality.” “Moral force.” These are just words employed by evil to cover the stench of evil with perfume.

    Morality without ethics can never be “moral”. Pah.

  88. Chris Booth says

    Someone/something has a few tens of millions of bodies and endless atrocities to their credit. It isn’t Freethought blogs.

    Exactly. [surreptitiously pats down lump in carpet with foot]

  89. says

    If the LDS Church has to issue an official proclamation saying that unwed mothers should not be pressured to give up their babies for adoption as a condition of repentance/forgiveness — well, that says it all right there.

    Yes, some Bishops and other church members have indeed been telling unwed mothers that the first step to repentance, and to getting that temple-worthy card back, is to give the baby up for adoption by a temple-worthy LDS couple.

  90. Ing says

    Imagine a mob yelling “hang the nigger!”“Stake the vampire” and doing what they say. – Ariel

    You realize that the second you can confirm that Count Dragula III is really Count Dragula I and has been eating maidens from the village and unleashing plague rats into the villages and is an undead corpse animated by elemental evil, it IS the right reaction to form the brute squad?

  91. Ing says

    Imagine a mob yelling, Find the witches and kill them.

    Of course, what would you do if there was an incredibly powerful being (or organization) that seems either eager or indifferent to causing wide spread misery and suffering with it’s power?

  92. Chris Booth says

    You realize that the second you can confirm that Count Dragula III is really Count Dragula I and has been eating maidens from the village and unleashing plague rats into the villages and is an undead corpse animated by elemental evil, it IS the right reaction to form the brute squad?

    Yes, but Ing, not that nice Count Alucard, surely!

  93. tbp1 says

    Can hardly wait to see Bill Donohue’s explanation of why this isn’t really as bad as it seems, and besides, it’s all the fault of the gays.

  94. Ariel says

    maureen.brian

    We already know how closely entwined were the Franco regime and the catholic church.

    True, but it’s not enough to assess the responsibility of the catholic church in the “stolen babies” scandal. Here a more specific information is needed. Mere observation (Matt Penfold #102) that the catholic church didn’t object to Franco’s policy doesn’t justify headlines like “Catholicism steals children” or “baby trafficking by the catholic church”.

    We already know that the church was involved in this story – in running the hospitals and knowingly forging baptismal registers for a start.

    For a start, how often these baptismal registers were forged by priests or nuns? And later: how large a part of nuns working in hospitals participated in this morbid business? What about the proportion of the priests? How does it compare with the proportions of laymen in the business? How often do we encounter the incidents of a cover up by superiors? These are important questions if we want to assess the responsibility of the church functionaries; and as far as I know, we must still wait for answers.

    We certainly do not need to take another decade to pick fluff out of our navels and wonder whether the Holy See was complicit in all this.

    We certainly need basic information about the scale of involvement of the church functionaries in the whole affair before formulating responsibly strong accusations against the church. The whole baby trafficking business engaged doctors, nurses, midwives, nuns, priests, middle men – that’s what we read. But again, for assessing the responsibility of the church more concrete data are needed. See above.

    The historically literate have been trying to keep track of this, collecting and preserving evidence

    If you are saying that there are such quantitative data, quote them please. Maybe they exist and I’m in the wrong. Otherwise I would prefer to wait until the data is available.

    KG #27

    (1)Are you really stupid enough to imagine that this is a valid analogy? (2)This is a blog post, not a lynching, you dolt; are you suggesting that a blog post requires the same level of proof as a criminal conviction for a capital offence? (3) The Mail‘s story is based on publicity for a BBC documentary, which on past form is unlikely to be fundamentally flawed – although of course it is possible that it is.

    KG , I think you are sexy too :-) And now to details. (1) Yes, it’s valid. Up to a point of course, but that’s how it is with analogies in general. (2) The borderline between public discussions and lynching can be sometimes very thin. And no, I’m not expecting the same level of proof; but I’m very unhappy with the approach of the sort ‘anything goes, as long as it is directed against our enemy’. Once you adopt this approach, you are indeed in the borderline area between discussing and lynching – yes, I’m stupid enough to think that. (3) Neither Mail’s story nor – as far as I know – the BBC documentary contains the data necessary for a responsible assessment of the church’s involvement in the baby stealing scandal. See above.

  95. Ing says

    but I’m very unhappy with the approach of the sort ‘anything goes, as long as it is directed against our enemy’

    Fuck you and horseshit.

  96. Ing says

    @Ariel

    Out of curiosity, do you know what happens when an org finds out something horrible has happened in something they are running? If they actually h ave any sense of morality and decency? They freak. They clean house and respond negatively at the betrayal. The Catholic Church never fucking does this….unless you ordain a woman.

  97. Ing says

    The lynching analogy is inherently flawed. It’s proposing a bunch of people in the context of responding violently to a disenfranchised and hated minority. That isn’t the goddamn Church. This isn’t hearing bout a rape and assuming it’s one of the darky porch monkeys and going to take things not your hand half cocked…if anything it’s hearing that the son of the plantation owner has been committing horrible crimes and calling together a loud mob to force someone to confirm the issue the authorities are ignoring. The power balance is in the completely wrong direction.

  98. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    Thank you Aquaria! Some nice ones there :-)

    So that’s a pretty North American flavour of Spanish there, is that right? (I’m more used to Conosur or occasionally Spain).

    Oh, and of course, me cago en diós. Apposite in the circs, I think.

  99. Ing says

    going to take things not your hand half cocked

    *facepalm*

    Going to take things into your own hands half cocked*

  100. Pierce R. Butler says

    eean @ # 72: … on the long list of Fascist regimes the US is responsible for creating and supporting, Franco does not appear. His regime was created by local fascists and supported by Mussolini and & Hitler.

    A late friend of mine, a veteran of the International Brigades, showed me a picture he took during the war of a swastika-decorated bomber being refueled from a truck with a Texaco logo. FDR might not have supported the Phalangists, but clearly some American elements did.

    From Ronald Fraser, Blood of Spain:

    The capitalist order – the USA preaching non-involvement but permitting large quantities of oil (a ‘non-war’ material under the Neutrality Act) to reach the insurgents – had made its choice…

  101. Ing says

    @Butler

    But but but…the market can’t do the immoral thing while the government takes an amoral or moral stance! IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY! JOHN GALT SAVE uS!

  102. KG says

    The borderline between public discussions and lynching can be sometimes very thin. – Ariel

    Ah, so you really are as stupid as you appear. Public discussions and lynching actually have nothing in common at all, beyond the fact that people take part in both, as anyone with more than a handful of neurons and without an apologetic axe to grind could see clearly.

  103. Matt Penfold says

    With regards the US stance on Franco’s regime, it may not have been instrumental in bringing it to power, but Reagan was ambivalent about the attempted coup in 1981.

  104. Sas says

    @77

    a dumbkiddyfucker in a black dress

    Not to pick on you specifically, because I’ve seen this over and over from lots of people, but can we please stop adding “in a dress” to insults toward priests and popes? It really serves no purpose other than to impugn their masculinity by calling them crossdressers, which is homophobic and transphobic, even of you didn’t mean it that way. The actually evil shit they do is insult enough.

  105. maureen.brian says

    Ariel,

    I am not responsible for proving anything to you. Either you do the work of any number of investigators, forensic scientists, DNA specialists and lawyers all over again and come to the same conclusion as they have. Or you continue to spout nonsense and continue to look a fool.

    Your choice. Not my problem at all.

  106. tbp1 says

    Not directly church-related, but there’s a terrific Argentine movie called “La Historia Oficial (The Official Story)” about a sheltered woman who begins to suspect that her beloved adopted daughter was stolen from political prisoners during the “dirty way.” Directed by Luis Puenzo, it features a splendid performance by Norma Aleandro. Wrenching, but well worth seeing.

  107. Ariel says

    Ing

    Fuck you and horseshit.

    How colorful!!! :-)

    The lynching analogy is inherently flawed. […]The power balance is in the completely wrong direction.

    Not in western Europe, ma’am. Uncle Ariel tells you this.

    KG

    Ah, so you really are as stupid as you appear.

    Yes, that’s me – all yours to take.

    Public discussions and lynching actually have nothing in common at all, beyond the fact that people take part in both, as anyone with more than a handful of neurons and without an apologetic axe to grind could see clearly.

    I like especially the “apologetic axe” part. Yes, I’m a fundie undercover agent. But game is over! KG(B?) found me! Heeeelp‼!

    About public discussions and lynching. One crucial point in common is that in both cases it’s possible to destroy someone with illegitimate means. Even to destroy completely – make someone a nonentity. Anyone with more than a handful of neurons (and without an apologetic axe? Hmmm … welcome, brother or sister!) could see clearly.

    maureen.brian #145

    Either you do the work of any number of investigators, forensic scientists, DNA specialists and lawyers all over again and come to the same conclusion as they have.

    My point was that this work hasn’t been done yet. I’m certainly not planning to repeat it. If I’m wrong and the work was done, do you mind giving a link to the results?

  108. Matt Penfold says

    Ariel,

    I seem to have missed your apology for telling us how to behave. Did you in fact offer one and I just missed it ?

  109. Anri says

    The borderline between public discussions and lynching can be sometimes very thin.

    Um, no it isn’t.

    “Well, your honor, I’m not really sure what we did was a lynching – it might have been a public discussion… you know how hard it is to tell those two apart. We might have just discussed that guy up into a tree…”

  110. KG says

    Ariel,

    Yes, I’m a fundie undercover agent. But game is over! KG(B?) found me! Heeeelp‼!

    Well, I do suspect you’re a Catholic, lying for the Church. A “concern troll” in the full meaning of that word.

    <blockquote.About public discussions and lynching. One crucial point in common is that in both cases it’s possible to destroy someone with illegitimate means.

    No, it isn’t. If you are lynched, you are indeed destroyed. If you are discussed, you are not. Simple, really, when you have an acquaintance with reality which you evidently lack.

  111. Matt Penfold says

    My point was that this work hasn’t been done yet.

    Bollocks.

    DNA tests have been done. So why the fuck are you claiming they have not ?

  112. Gregory Greenwood says

    Assuming that this transpires to be an accurate report, this is an example of the Catholic Church achieving that which I had thought impossible – a new low.

    Baby trafficking? How can anyone who is even vaguely functional as a human being not respond to that with horror? And yet the Holy See still claims to be the ultimate moral authority on Earth.

    Denis Loubet @ 7;

    Wow. I can’t wait to see how they blame the victims. This oughta’ be good.

    On prior form, the church will probably try to claim that the babies were the brains behind the operation, selling themselves and placing the cash in a high interest account in order to fund their life as crime lords when they come of age…

    Ariel @ 96;

    Imagine a mob yelling “hang the nigger!” and doing what they say. Imagine also (yes, that may be a hard one – I know how unrealistic it sounds!) that you don’t want to go with the mob, you plead instead “stop! You are taking part in a lynch, wait for the judges to pass the verdict, wait for more data!” And imagine that later the hanged guy turns out to be guilty indeed. Would you apologize to the mob? You are absolutely right, I wouldn’t. You know, Charles Lynch has never been my hero.

    Don’t you think that comparing a comment thread to a lunch mob is just a tiny bit melodramatic? I don’t see any likelihood of violence, still less summary murder, here. Frankly, I think that such a facile false equivalency is rather insulting to the families of the actual victims of genuine lynch mobs. Even if this article is in error, we have harmed no one. Speech is not the equivalent of violence. Claiming that is is an old censorship trick.

  113. maureen.brian says

    Ariel,

    You are boring me.

    I first heard of this child-stealing racket and the role of the church in it from veterans of the Civil War and heard it confirmed by exiles and historians.

    All this was long before the internet was invented. I have no idea where to start looking for a single link which would prove it to you – any more than I could find one to prove to you that water is wet, had you landed from a distant galaxy.

  114. Ariel says

    I’m sorry, I’m done for today – the family is back and I want to spend some time with them, not just at the computer. So I’m not able to answer everybody. Only one quick reaction.

    Matt Penfold #149

    I seem to have missed your apology for telling us how to behave. Did you in fact offer one and I just missed it ?

    Yes, I probably owe you one. Not for the content (I still remain with it), but for the form – yes. You know, I like swimming against the current, just me against the rest – I love it, I admit. And sometimes when I do it I get too provocative. I try not to lie and present my real views, but from time to time it gets a bit out of control. Sorry about that.

    See you sometime!

  115. says

    Not in western Europe, ma’am. Uncle Ariel tells you this.

    So the church has lost all it’s money and isn’t a state anymore?

    Seriously? One of the most powerful corporations in the world that has shown it has the political clout to ignore laws and responsibility is in danger? How the hell is it at all like a poor lynch victim?

  116. says

    I try not to lie and present my real views, but from time to time it gets a bit out of control. Sorry about that.

    See you sometime!

    Do us a favor; don’t bother returning. No one wants to argue with a dishonest asshole who will defend evil for the lulz.

  117. Ariel says

    Ing

    No one wants to argue with a dishonest asshole

    Ing, can you read??? It was about a form, not about the content. The views presented by me in this discussion are my real views. It is the form that sometimes gets out of control. A course in reading with understanding strongly recommended. Bye.

  118. KG says

    You know, I like swimming against the current, just me against the rest – I love it, I admit. – Ariel

    Oh, Ariel, you’re just so brave. I’m lost in admiration.

  119. KG says

    I try not to lie and present my real views, but from time to time it gets a bit out of control. – Ariel

    That reads as an implicit admission that you do sometimes lie in pursuit of your contrarianism. If that’s not what you intended to say, you need to improve your communication skills. Contrarians are, in any case, just as stupid and annoying as those who simply follow the crowd in their expressed opinions.

  120. What a Maroon says

    Oh, Ariel, you’re just so brave. I’m lost in admiration.

    And for their efforts, our poor dear has been subject to a vicious lynching discussion.

  121. says

    You know, I like swimming against the current, just me against the rest – I love it, I admit. – Ariel

    I have no patience for people who want to argue rather than who want to be right. No one here is your livedoll that you can puff up with your hot air for your own giggles whenever you feel like it. Go masturbate in private.

  122. Richard Eis says

    Well, this explains their weird catholic rules about sex. No contraception and poor sex education, more money for them when the girls come a cryin.

    It all makes sense in a ghastly kind of way. Makes me wonder if there can be any more “new lows”. Short of eating them, i’m not sure what else the church could actually do to babies which would be able to shock me. I’m not even sure now that i’d be all that surprised at that frankly.

  123. Dhorvath, OM says

    Oh shit. Kill the whole damn thing. Tear it down, I am done with any vestige of pity for those who fool themselves that the Catholic church has worth. Lives destroyed, what more need be held against that organization.

  124. Chris Booth says

    Ing @138

    going to take things not your hand half cocked

    *facepalm*

    Going to take things into your own hands half cocked*

    Not to worry, Ing; –sigh– at my age, I can only wish….

  125. Pierce R. Butler says

    alex @ # 169: Old communists never lie.

    A rather bizarre kneejerk wingnut thing to say when supporting evidence indicates truth was told in each instance.

  126. FlickingYourSwitch says

    It’s the Catholic Church, causing death and suffering and misery is sort of their thing. They bring nothing good to this world.

  127. andyo says

    No, I won’t. If you want to know why, I will gladly answer. Imagine a mob yelling “hang the nigger!” and doing what they say. Imagine also (yes, that may be a hard one – I know how unrealistic it sounds!) that you don’t want to go with the mob, you plead instead “stop! You are taking part in a lynch, wait for the judges to pass the verdict, wait for more data!” And imagine that later the hanged guy turns out to be guilty indeed. Would you apologize to the mob? You are absolutely right, I wouldn’t. You know, Charles Lynch has never been my hero.

    What. A. Fucking. Moron.

  128. andyo says

    Julian (or is it Julián?) #81

    I meant shouldn’t it be ‘yo cago’ as opposed to ‘me cago.’ The former, from what Spanish I remember, would be ‘I shit’ whereas the latter would to ‘shit myself.’

    There are some verbs where you’d use “me” as in “myself”: Me muero (I’m dying/I die), me masturbo, me cago… basically stuff you do with your own body.

  129. skepticalmister says

    300,000 is nothing but an estimate by the support group for people who suspect they were stolen.

    As a skeptic, I’d think you’d bother to check the details from non-tabloid sources, which are still shocking but nowhere near as large.

    -Right now there are an estimated 900 cases under investigation, according to an article Business insider

    http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-10-04/europe/30241776_1_nuns-adoptive-parents-total-adoptions

    -According to the page of the actual BBC documentary: “thousands of babies are thought to have been traded by nuns, priests and doctors”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00l654k

    -The practice began in Spain under Franco as a form of political cleansing, most babies were stolen during that time. The practice then continued with some doctors and hospital staff including church members. It has not been shown every baby was stolen by the Catholics.

    So the statement “300,000 babies stolen by the Catholic church” has only tenuous connection to actual fact. If you want to expect others to substantiate their beleifs, you cannot wallow in convenient exaggerations of your own.

  130. says

    Dare I say that all catholics are guilty.If you know of these things and still support the RCC,you are implicit committing crimes,and I will hear no excuses,’course there are non!

  131. ANuRa says

    Dear Aquaria,

    I enjoyed your list of Spanish insults! However, I must warn you, as a born Spaniard, that I have never heard most of them being used explicitly as such. Tragón, for example, I have only heard told to small kids who stuff too many candies in their mouth at once. I guess your page includes insults at a global level. I don’t know if in other Spanish-speaking countries they are considered true insults (no experience here). I guess they are.

    But, yeah, we use a lot of “fuck” (joder), “shit”, both as noun and verb (mierda or cagar). I guess “hijo de puta” (son of a bitch) is also known internationally. As non-gendered insults I would include “idiota”, “gilipollas”, “gilipuertas” (all meaning “idiot”), “mamón” (sucker), “bestia” (biest), “capullo” (this one is tricky: it can be translated as “dumb”, but also as “unblossoned flower” or “penis”)… However, I must remind you that in Spanish many nouns can be subjected to genus. So, to a man, you say “jodido mamón” (fucking sucker), but to a woman, “jodida mamona”. So, not so non-gendered after all.

    And about the issue of this post, I won’t add more to the controversy about historical facts, as other Spanish people here seem to be more knowing than me. I will only add on behalf of Ariel that maybe the sources cited here aren’t fully satisfying for her/him, but I can assure that the issue is real and worrying enough. Since a while the “missing children” (niños robados) have been a central issue in Spanish press, to the point that even newspapers, as “El Mundo”, known to be in disconfort with the present goverment and to be more than friendly with the religious component, have published about it making big lines (see http://ariadna.elmundo.es/buscador/archivo.html?q=anadir&t=1&s=1, in Spanish, only news of 2010 and 2011).

  132. andyo says

    “puta” is considered stronger than “bitch” though, at least in most countries. I know in some Central American countries it’s used more casually. If it was in the US, you couldn’t say it on TV, for instance.

    “Mamón” to me it’s always been more akin to “cocksucker”, not just sucker, although we don’t really use it. It’s more like a Mexican thing, probably other countries.

    Spanish is an inherently gendered language though. Which doesn’t mean insults like “hijo de puta” can’t be misogynistic. And if you use “puto”, that’s usually slang for “homosexual”, akin to “faggot”, so that’s not an option either.

  133. KG says

    300,000 is nothing but an estimate by the support group for people who suspect they were stolen.

    As a skeptic, I’d think you’d bother to check the details from non-tabloid sources – skepticalmister

    In what sense is the support group a “tabloid source”?

    It strikes me as odd that we’re getting a surprising number of previously unknown and self-described “sceptics” coming in to minimise the Church’s guilt.

  134. Anubis Bloodsin the third says

    “In what sense is the support group a “tabloid source”?”

    In the sense that anything remotely regarded as dubious or spurious can be hustled and hurled into the front line to deflect the anger and muddy the waters…while the Vatican ‘keystone cop crows’ in their soiled and unsavory vestments can scuttle off as fast as their little hairy legs can manage in an opposite direction while their sycophantic minions delay, impede, obstruct and dismiss any and all criticism especially when the evidence for that criticism is so damning and the crime so bestial.

    “It strikes me as odd that we’re getting a surprising number of previously unknown and self-described “sceptics” coming in to minimise the Church’s guilt.”

    They must have got a memo to swarm ‘teh internets and cascade thick oily bullshite onto any forum where the attitude is not exactly kissing Jesuit or ‘katolic arse.

  135. Ariel says

    Anri #150

    Well, your honor, I’m not really sure what we did was a lynching – it might have been a public discussion… you know how hard it is to tell those two apart. We might have just discussed that guy up into a tree…

    Oh, yes. The comment is very politically correct, I admit. And completely false

    Uttering words is an event in the material world. Nothing particularly special. It has consequences, like every other sort of event. These consequences can be pleasant, exhilarating, neutral, disastrous – pick your choice. You can give someone hope with words. Or you can make someone sad. Or offend someone. Or you can hunt somebody down. I remember a story where a teenage girl was led to a suicide by e-mails from someone pretending (initially) to be her friend. “Well, your honor, I’m not really sure what I did was bad – we were just having a discussion”. Nice line, Anri.

    KG #151

    Well, I do suspect you’re a Catholic, lying for the Church. A “concern troll” in the full meaning of that word.

    No KG, I have no means to convince you that I’m not a giraffe. I won’t even try.

    Matt Penfold #152

    Bollocks. DNA tests have been done. So why the fuck are you claiming they have not ?

    Reread my reply to maureen.brian in #132. Then you will perhaps understand what sort of data I’m after and why I say these data are not available (as far as I know) at the moment.

    Gregory Greenwood #153

    Don’t you think that comparing a comment thread to a lynch mob is just a tiny bit melodramatic?

    Yes, I think you have a point here. But:

    Speech is not the equivalent of violence. Claiming that is is an old censorship trick.

    See my answer to Anri #150, this post. And I’m not proposing any censorship. By the way, the origin of the claim doesn’t matter.

    maureen.brian #155

    You are boring me.

    You started boring me too, maureen.

    I have no idea where to start looking for a single link which would prove it to you – any more than I could find one to prove to you that water is wet, had you landed from a distant galaxy.

    Reread #132, where you will find the information what sort of data (in my opinion) is needed to justify claims like “Catholicism steals children”. As soon as you have something to say (something more interesting that “oh, it’s obvious – water is wet”), don’t hesitate.

    Ing: Od Wet Rust# 159

    So the church has lost all it’s money and isn’t a state anymore?

    No, I meant the obvious story of secularization of western Europe. Haven’t you heard? Oh my, where have you been recently?

    KG #163

    That reads as an implicit admission that you do sometimes lie in pursuit of your contrarianism. If that’s not what you intended to say, you need to improve your communication skills.

    Yeah, you may have a point here. I wrote this in haste (my wife just came back).

    Ing: Od Wet Rust #166

    I have no patience for people who want to argue rather than who want to be right. No one here is your livedoll that you can puff up with your hot air for your own giggles whenever you feel like it. Go masturbate in private.

    You know, I’m interested in what the truth is. I’m really curious about the degree of involvement of the CC in the whole affair. And – quite independently – I like discussions and arguments. And giggles, yes. You are wrong in assuming that it’s either this or that. (Someone said that revolutionaries and children hate irony. I started wondering to which of the two categories you belong :-))

    Good night to everybody.

  136. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    tbp1 # 146 yes, that film is one of the most powerful I’ve ever seen – saw it years ago, never forgotten. Very hard to watch.

  137. Phalacrocorax, not a particularly smart avian says

    Uttering words is an event in the material world. Nothing particularly special. It has consequences, like every other sort of event. These consequences can be pleasant, exhilarating, neutral, disastrous – pick your choice. You can give someone hope with words. Or you can make someone sad. Or offend someone. Or you can hunt somebody down. I remember a story where a teenage girl was led to a suicide by e-mails from someone pretending (initially) to be her friend.

    Oh, can I play false equivalence, too? Yelling “fire” to a firing squad causes the death of a person. So there, words can kill and posting comments in a blog criticizing a powerful institution is comparable to lynching oppressed minorities. QED.

  138. Julien Rousseau says

    So for centuries the catholic church accused jews of stealing babies and it turns out that it was some catholics that do this? The irony is thick.

  139. says

    @Ariel #158:

    I try not to lie and present my real views….

    OK, let me explain to you how this is parsed in English (which, I realize, may or may not be your first language, that’s why I’m being fairly tolerant and explaining).

    “I try not to lie and present my real views” = “I try not to lie” + “I try not to present my real views”
    “I try not to lie and to present my real views” = “I try not to lie” + “I try to present my real views”

    Do you see how that ‘to’ makes a big difference in interpretation? And why people who know how to parse English might get a rather bad impression of you from your apparent boasts?

    @Ariel #161:

    @Ing:
    A course in reading with understanding strongly recommended.

    I believe yet another apology is owed here. (No wonder they get so good at the apologetics!)

  140. Robster says

    Ah Ha! They’ve found hell. It’s in Rome and it’s called the vatican. The purpose of this evil organisation is to dispense lies and fraudulant nonsense to people either uneducated or silly enough to fall for the nonsense. They, this church and all the other cults have the gall to claim the moral high ground. What I can’t figure, is why anyone would still belong to it?

  141. skepticalmister says

    In what sense is the support group a “tabloid source”?

    This post was based on a tabloid story, not the BBC’s actual reporting. The substantiated claims are shocking and an indictment of the church on their own.

    The 300,000 number is an estimate by a member of an advocacy group, not a fact. All the responsible reports note this and the history of baby theft in Spain. Meanwhile there are at least 900 cases being investigated and a number of horrifying proven cases. The Franco era is documented and it was tens of thousands – which is damning enough without inflating to hundreds.

    Again, this is not saying it’s not horrifying, not saying the church wasn’t involved, but a dramatic post about a speculative number is doing the same thing PZ Myers often decries.

    Skeptics are supposed to be better than religious extremists and their hyperbolic generalizations and oversimplifications.

    It’s also disappointing to see paranoid with-us-or-against-us responses to questions about accuracy. Pointing out the details is not acting like an apologist for the Catholic church.

    Statements such as “previously unknown and self-described “skeptics” coming in to minimize the Church’s guilt.” read a lot like the response to outsider questions in any right wing religious blog.

    Factual discussion isn’t the same as saying the church has not engaged in systemic, well documented abuse multiple times. It’s expecting critics to be better than the histrionics employed by the Church’s defenders.

  142. Adafuns=^.^= says

    What the fuck! This shit is borderline super villainy. Does the pope have some kind of protection from the law or something? Someone needs to be arrested for all this shit.

  143. says

    Hey, alex, we already DO take children from unfit and abusive parents, what would the difference be? After all, religious indoctrination is nothing more than mental and emotional abuse…

  144. Ichthyic says

    One wonders if a militant atheist regime would take steps to ensure children were not subject to this sort of unacceptable abuse, perhaps by placing them with more appropriate parents?

    say, we could try that experiment and see?

    that would be novel.

    seriously, let’s take a read of what you just asked for:

    taking children away from alcoholic parents?

    good or bad?

    taking children away from crack addicts?

    good or bad?

    you make it sound like removing a child from a cult influence that indeed is much like any other addiction would be a bad thing.

    there ARE children who have indeed DIED as a direct result of their parents religious beliefs, this is well documented, and some of these parents have even been convicted of felonies because of their behavior.

    so, while you try to make it sound ridiculous, in fact, we already DO remove children from abusive parents, regardless of the source of the abuse.

  145. Matt Penfold says

    Reread my reply to maureen.brian in #132. Then you will perhaps understand what sort of data I’m after and why I say these data are not available (as far as I know) at the moment.

    I read what you wrote. The question still stands.

    There is evidence of the nature you asked for. So why do you continent to claim there is not ? You only have to check out the BBC website to find this out, so ignorance is no excuse.

    Why did you say something known to be untrue ?

  146. nemo the derv says

    Anything is okay as long as the kids grow up catholic……..right? I’m sure that’s their rational for this. They’re going to spin this like a tornado so dress warm.

  147. Ariel says

    Matt Penfold

    I read what you wrote. The question still stands.
    There is evidence of the nature you asked for. So why do you continent to claim there is not ?

    Oh, my. I thought the claim was very simple (and obvious, by the way). Since evidently you still didn’t grasp it, an explanation. I’m not saying that “investigators, forensic scientists, DNA specialists and lawyers” (maureen’s phrase) up to now haven’t done anything at all. Of course that would be plainly false. What I’m saying is that the work done up to now is just the beginning of the necessary data gathering – necessary to form a well-informed and responsible opinion about the scale of CC involvement. And that was the reason I referred you to my #133 post (although I wrote #132 by mistake), where I explain my position more fully. I took the point as completely obvious – my mistake? Even when you listen to the BBC (link given by maureen) you hear that the scale of the traffic “is only now coming to light”.

    By the way (this is not personally to you, Matt), it’s very hard for me to understand the people who treat that sort of a cautious approach as apologetics. As it happens, I’m not emotionally attached to any possible outcome. What if it turned out that the church’s involvement (especially after Franco) was very high? My reaction would be: accept it as a fact and try to learn more about the reasons why it happened. As simple as that. My suspicions (although I’m not able to verify them) is that for many people obtaining a specific outcome is somehow emotionally important. And this concerns both the believers (obvious) and many atheists (initially unobvious). Anyway, that’s where I’m inclined to see the main reason of the nervous reactions here – apart from my style of writing, which is (probably) just an excuse and a nice outlet, for the lack of anything better.

  148. Matt Penfold says

    Ariel,

    That is not what you said. Stop playing silly dishonest games.

    If you refuse to be honest, and it seems you do since you admit you troll, then you need to leave. Else you can admit your errors, apologise and stay and be productive. Your choice.

  149. Ariel says

    Matt Penfold

    That is not what you said. Stop playing silly dishonest games.

    I quote the incriminated fragment.

    maureen.brian (responding to my #133) wrote:
    “Either you do the work of any number of investigators, forensic scientists, DNA specialists and lawyers all over again and come to the same conclusion as they have.”

    I answered:
    “My point was that this work hasn’t been done yet. I’m certainly not planning to repeat it. If I’m wrong and the work was done, do you mind giving a link to the results?”

    Your whole point hinges on interpreting “this work hasn’t been done yet” as “no one has done anything at all in this direction”. I’m very sorry to say that, but in the context of my discussion with maureen – especially in the light of the fact that maureen’s comment was a response to my #133 – I find your interpretation as either very stupid, or very dishonest. You quote out of context and interpret what I say to your liking. I wish you good luck with this strategy. End of transmission.

  150. Matt Penfold says

    My point was that this work hasn’t been done yet. I’m certainly not planning to repeat it. If I’m wrong and the work was done, do you mind giving a link to the results?

    It has been done. There is DNA evidence. There is other forensic evidence. There is testimony from those involved.

    You are wrong to say it has not been done. So why do you keep saying it ? Ignorance is no longer an allowable excuse, since you have been corrected more than once. That leaves either dishonesty or stupidity. Which is it ?

  151. Ing says

    No, I meant the obvious story of secularization of western Europe. Haven’t you heard? Oh my, where have you been recently?

    So the church has lost SOME influence and thus it’s as powerless as a lynch victim? You are dishonest.

  152. dcg1 says

    First came the child abuse scandal, and now this.
    Is there no end to the evil and iniquity of the Catholic Church?

    Its just a thought!!, but as atheists and skeptics, we are always bemoaning the power of religious groups in our so called Secular Societies? (I’m a Brit).

    The child abuse scandal, was an opportunity overlooked, although its not too late to cause severe damage to the power of our religious opponents.

    One thing that has struck me, is that whatever country the abuse occurred in, apart from the arrest of a few priests; no other action has been taken by the authorities.

    Yet documented and unequivocal evidence exists, that Priests, Bishops and the Pope, concealed and covered up serious crimes.

    I’m a little shaky on the Law in the U.S. , but I presume that to do so is a serious Federal/Criminal offence. It would seem that the reason no action has been taken, is that whilst numerous complaints have been made about the abuse. No one has made a formal complaint to the Police about those who covered it up.

    Maybe its time that members of the Atheist/skeptic community, made formal complaints about the concealment of these crimes. Compelling the authorities, to conduct a formal investigation and prosecute those involved in the cover up.

    If media coverage of the scandal is to be believed, As a result of a formal investigation, the number of Catholic Church officials liable to prosecution, should run into hundreds if not thousands.

    What greater blow could we land for our cause?

  153. maureen.brian says

    Alex, dear, in parts of the really developed world you are going to have 60% or 70% of the children being bussed around – perhaps forever – in search of more suitable parents. It would make an interesting dystopian novel but I fear it would do the children no good at all.

    You should get out more.

  154. Ichthyic says

    Although it might be worth recalling that children have DIED as a direct result of such government interference – Waco and Ruby Ridge anyone?)

    red herring, anyone?

    I can see you’re way too intellectually dishonest to bother with.

  155. Ariel says

    Ing

    So the church has lost SOME influence and thus it’s as powerless as a lynch victim? You are dishonest.

    Oh, it still has some means of defense, that for sure. But yes, I think than in western Europe it’s time to start thinking about the church as a loser. Your earlier comment that the analogy is misguided because “The power balance is in the completely wrong direction” seems deeply mistaken (well, I’m really tempted to say “it’s self-righteous and dishonest”, but I will not say it, not yet at least :-) I still hope it’s possible to talk with you with the discussion not degenerating matt-penfold-style).

    alex

    Who knows? I don’t. Neither do you.

    Alex, you are being rude and dishonest. Water is wet and the church is to blame. We know it and we are morally right even if we don’t know it. How dare you!!! :-)

  156. lag says

    I think I figured out a way to save all those failing European economies: they could declare the Catholic Church a criminal organisation and confiscate all their lands and property to be sold off to balance the budget. It would be sort of like what King Philip did to the Knights Templar, only in this case the charges would be true. It will never happen, but a man can dream.

  157. says

    lag,

    you should read up on European history. What you propose (except for declaring the RCC a criminal organisation) has been done in several European countries several times over the last few centuries. Usually known as “secularisation“. Often, reformation also meant that the holdings of the RCC were given over to the state.

  158. John Phillips, FCD says

    @pelamun, but in the case of countries like the UK and other Western European countries, a lot of it was simply given over to the next lot of delusional sycophants only now headed by the monarchy. Any that wasn’t handed over to the new state religion, didn’t go to the people but to the aristocracy. Even in the communist block, any religious property the state confisticated still didn’t mean a gain for the people.

    Ironically, the one way that secularism, at least in the UK, is affecting the state religion, is that by having far fewer active, i.e. contributing, members its coffers are beginning to run down. Though they are not going to go bust just yet, more’s the pity, as they still have a wealth of property and goods they can sell off before that happens.

    @ariel, as to the churches in Europe, the UK still has a state religion with bishops sitting in the House of Lords affecting our laws in negative ways for non-believers, Germans pay an automatic opt in tithe to churches in their taxes though ASIUI they can opt out. In many of the former Easter block countries the churches have immense influence on the laws of those countries. For one example, look at how Putin is sucking up to the Russian Orthodox Church and giving it back considerable influence.

    So, while secular Europe has largely pulled the fangs of the religious, at least in stopping their worst excesses against non-believers and those of other beliefs, it hasn’t come anywhere near to totally eliminating the negative influence of religion. Ask a gay in some of those former Eastern block countries how the churches are treating them and backing those physically attacking them. Or when they are not doing that, see how they are trying to change laws to criminalise gays in some countries while fighting against those trying to remove such laws in some other countries and this in the 21st Century. Those doing it are largely the RCC or its Eastern branch.

    The above are just a few of many examples of how pernicious the influence of religion still is in greater Europe. I admit, I can’t decide whether you are just a troll or you really are simply an ignorant maroon. Though you could of course be both as they are not mutually exclusive.

  159. says

    John,

    I didn’t say that the RCC lost its wealth completely due to these processes, of course not.

    The fact that in Europe, despite the diminished role of religion in society, religion still retains so many privileges, frustrates me to no end.

  160. Ariel says

    John Phillips, FCD(1)

    (1) So, while secular Europe has largely pulled the fangs of the religious […] it hasn’t come anywhere near to totally eliminating the negative influence of religion. (2) Ask a gay in some of those former Eastern block countries […] (3) I admit, I can’t decide whether you are just a troll or you really are simply an ignorant maroon. Though you could of course be both as they are not mutually exclusive.

    1. “Totally eliminating the negative influence of religion” is a tall order and I wasn’t alluding to anything so extreme. I said only that religion in western Europe is on the losing side. The data supporting (and giving content) to such a claim are easy to find.
    2. I said quite explicitly that my comments concerned western Europe, didn’t I? Eastern block is another story (although some changes are quite visible also there, see e.g. the results of the last Polish general election).
    3. Part of your problem may be due to the fact that (like so many people) you prefer to substitute your own ideas for someone else’s words than to read. Yes, I know that reading can be hard. Eventually it will be done only by us – trolls and ignorant maroons.

    Cheers :-)

  161. maureen.brian says

    Before we shoot him down in flames though, John, I want to ask him two questions, no three.

    1. What is your definition of “the left”?

    2. What is your problem with it?

    3. Do you think that Thomas Paine, the theoretician of your liberties, was a leftist? If not, why not?

  162. julian says

    But yes, I think than in western Europe it’s time to start thinking about the church as a loser.

    What exatly are you arguing? That the Catholic Church is being persecuted? That the Catholic Church faces unfair discrimination? That the Catholic Church doesn’t have a great deal of political influence around the world?

    And it is a very dishonest political trick to narrow your argument until the opposition’s counter points fade and then try to switch it back in.

    :-) I still hope it’s possible to talk with you with the discussion not degenerating matt-penfold-style

    Wow… You aren’t at all passive-aggressive and condescending. It’s totally wrong to be rude to you because you’re so totally honest, forthright and arguing in good faith.

    Alex, you are being rude and dishonest. Water is wet and the church is to blame. We know it and we are morally right even if we don’t know it. How dare you!!!

    Wonderful how you are actually talking to one another. Usually you guys try to play the but I’m not them card. Glad to see the two of you willing to stand hand in hand fighting atheist intolerance and bigotry. Brings a tear to my heart. Or something.

    “I always voted at my party’s call,
    And I never thought of thinking for myself at all”.

    Yes, alex, that’s exactly what was said. You aren;t at all engaging in the same behavior you have been decrying. Like, at all. So get on with yo bad self.

  163. Ichthyic says

    It’s not a red herring to point out that the State is quite capable of killing children on its own account without any help from their parents.

    fuck me, but you’re stupid.

    it’s a red herring because there is no evidence of the state killing the people it takes away from the parents for the parents abusive behavior.

    IOW, it’s entirely unrelated to the point, aside from the fact it’s also wrong.

    you know fuck all about logic, and history, and *looks*, everything you’ve posted about so far!

    since you brought out your red herring though, let’s discuss it:

    - the Church should not have the right to remove children from their parents;
    – the State should have that right;

    OK, who would you rather see providing oversight, an unelected group of authority figures with a proven track record of abuse within their own organizations, or a group of elected officials, working within the framework of agreed on secular laws?

    yeah.

    fuck me, you’re stupid.

  164. John Morales says

    [meta]

    alex, I’ve already done my share of abusing stupid trolls today.

    (You don’t merit any effort)

  165. Ariel says

    julian #217

    What exatly are you arguing?

    Oh, it’s good that you are so nice to ask. No irony here; recently I’ve been encountering rather the strategy “Don’t ask. Kill!!” So the change is really nice.

    Well, I will try to answer. By “the church in western Europe is a loser” I mean, first of all, that in western Europe we observed a dramatical decline in:
    (a) the importance of religion for the operations of non-religious institutions (state and economy)
    (b) social prestige of religious institutions
    (c) religious practices
    (see e.g. Steve Bruce “God is dead: secularization in the West”)

    Then I add to this also my own observation (the above are of course not my own). It is: because of the change in the attitudes of the public, it becomes more and more easy to attack the church(es) on public forums and more and more difficult to defend them. In particular: fewer and fewer people care whether the critical arguments against the church(es), or even religion in general, are valid or not. They look rather at the conclusion of a given argument, and if the conclusion is to their liking, they just go for it. Well, I’m inclined to think that it’s what the people do generally, so with the diminishing number of church-goers, that’s only what one might expect (I mean: fewer and fewer people have an interest in defending the church(es), so no wonder that fewer and fewer people care to do it).

    The result: in order to criticize the church(es) in western Europe you don’t have to be a hero. You don’t even have to possess argumentative skills – the odds are that the others will just support you, no matter how bad – or how good – your arguments are. Your opponents will be overwhelmed by sheer numbers. In fact you don’t need any arguments – it’s enough that you shout “Fuck you, Ratzinger” or “Fuck you whoever-you-are with your religious crap”, and you will have the public on your side. The church is a loser also in this respect. That’s my private observation anyway.

    Ok, I tried to answer honestly to a honest question. As for the rest of your remarks, I will not comment on them.

  166. Matt Penfold says

    I see Ariel has turned up, and despite the TV program having been broadcast and it being clear that the evidence he was demanding already exists, he has not felt it appropriate to admit his mistake.

    Now why did I know he wouldn’t ?

  167. Matt Penfold says

    Oj, and just in case Ariel did not bother watching the program, it made clear that the body in charge of adoptions in Spain at the time was …. yeap, you guessed it …. the Catholic Church.

  168. Ariel says

    maureen.brian

    Sad, really, innit?

    Was it a question to me? If so, I would answer: yes and no. It’s sad that the quality of the debate is deteriorating (which is only inevitable, with the discussions becoming more and more one-sided). But do I find it sad that the church is a loser? Not really. Well, it is a bit sad to see all these churches functioning only as museums (at best), but you know, this is just a case of a general weltschmerz.

    Matt Penfold

    Now why did I know he wouldn’t ?

    Because you could expect me to be bored by a discussion with a silly troll? Bye-bye, kitten :-)

  169. Matt Penfold says

    Because you could expect me to be bored by a discussion with a silly troll? Bye-bye, kitten :-)

    Nope, that was not the reason. Come on now, it is not that hard to work out. Even you should be able to do it.

  170. julian.francisco says

    What’s a Piltdown? What’s it taste like?

    Thanks for the confirmation.

    _____

    The result: in order to criticize the church(es) in western Europe you don’t have to be a hero. You don’t even have to possess argumentative skills – the odds are that the others will just support you, no matter how bad – or how good – your arguments are

    So what about accomodationists, or the many atheists who’ve spent the last few years chastizing Dawkins? What about the many controversies surrounding atheist billboards? (admitedly tht may have little to do with the CC at least directly) Or what about the incredible amount of attention the Pope is given when traveling around Western Europe?

    And why would it matter who gets to criticize the Church? Anyone can critize who ever they please. That’s one of the cornerstones of any free soceity, the ability for John Q. Public to demand a redress of grievances or to voice his disdain for this or that organization.

    it’s enough that you shout “Fuck you, Ratzinger” or “Fuck you whoever-you-are with your religious crap”, and you will have the public on your side.

    I’m sorry but I just don’t buy this. I may be in the far off land of GOPonia but this is in such contrast with every interaction I’ve had and seen concerning religion that I do not believe that statement accurately reflects reality.

    P.S. I still don’t understand why you feel it is necessary to exclude the majority of Europe and pretty much any country where the Church holds influence.

  171. says

    Ariel,

    as long as the churches retain all their ridiculous privileges, you have no right to feel sorry for them. Abolish those, and we start talking.

    My god, what an idiot!

  172. Watchman says

    it’s enough that you shout “Fuck you, Ratzinger” or “Fuck you whoever-you-are with your religious crap”, and you will have the public on your side.

    A relatively small minority of the public here in the States, maybe. Moderates, by definition, don’t tend to go in for inflammatory “FUCK DA POPE!” rhetoric. And there are a lot of religious moderates here, on both sides of the political middle.

    I believe there are a significant number of these theists who’d like to see less “God” in politics, but this view is of course demonized by the extremely vocal right-wingers and Christian fundamentalists, who (even combined) do not even represent the majority view. But man, they are loud, and have never met a fact they wouldn’t love to distort.

  173. THOMAS says

    Don’t accuse the catholic church with such type of unproven mistakes.Without the religious restrictions of catholic church,Europe will become the place for all evils like loss of family life ,abortion, pregnancy out of wed lock etc compared to other Afro Asian religious countries where there are are good family life etc.

    Catholic church is based on the Great teachings of Jesus Christ.It cannot be perished by such scandals.It is humane to do mistakes.So there may be mistakes since the church is run by humans.

    But in spite of all these oppression,from within the church and outside the church,The Catholic Church will prevail for ever and ever. THAT IS WHY the CHURCH STILL REMAINS THE MORAL AUTHORITY IN EMERGING COUNTRIES LIKE POLAND ,BRAZIL
    and even in India where it represents only a minority.
    Also see that these are the only countries where the present financial crisis does not affect.

  174. John Morales says

    THOMAS:

    Don’t accuse the catholic church with such type of unproven mistakes.
    […]
    It cannot be perished by such scandals.It is humane to do mistakes.So there may be mistakes since the church is run by humans.

    So, you ask the documentary makers not to accuse the church of that which has been documented, which you admit is scandalous and characterise as a mistake, and which you excuse on the basis that the church is a human institution?

    (Lying Thomas, you are)

  175. KG says

    Thomas the lying scumbag,

    But in spite of all these oppression,from within the church and outside the church,The Catholic Church will prevail for ever and ever. THAT IS WHY the CHURCH STILL REMAINS THE MORAL AUTHORITY IN EMERGING COUNTRIES LIKE POLAND ,BRAZIL
    and even in India where it represents only a minority.

    So, you’re saying that because (you believe) the RCC will always retain its power, it is a moral authority. Er, no. Even if you were right that it will always retain power, that does not give it moral authority. In fact, its authority is increasingly in question in Poland, where the parties most associated with it have been voted out of power, while in Brazil, there have been conversions to evangelical Protestantism on a massive scale. As for India, you evidently live in a fantasy world.

    Also see that these are the only countries where the present financial crisis does not affect.

    China. Russia. Saudi Arabia…

  176. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Don’t accuse the catholic church with such type of unproven mistakes.

    That’s true. The Catholic Church already has enough proven mistakes. The Church’s support and protection of child rapists is well proven. Pope Benny Ratzi’s lies about condoms and AIDS are readily available. The Church’s homophobia is well documented.

    Yes, Thomas, you bring up a valid point. We should concentrate on the Church’s myriad of proven mistakes before worrying about unproven ones.