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Sophisticated theology

Cardinal Roger Mahony of the Los Angeles Catholic diocese has been apparently involved in major cover-ups of child abuse scandals during his tenure.He has promoted all kinds of sneaky maneuvers to keep priestly child rapers out of jail.

“Sounds good — please proceed!” the cardinal, now retired, instructed in 1987 after the aide, Msgr. Thomas Curry, cautioned against therapy for one confessed predator — lest the therapist feel obliged to tell authorities and scandalize the archdiocese. The two discussed another priest, Msgr. Peter Garcia, who admitted specializing in the rape of Latino immigrant children and threatened at least one boy with deportation if he complained.

That last sentence jarred me. So the priests are so explicit that they are now specializing in particular flavors of children? They must be parsing Holy Writ very precisely.

Comments

  1. says

    Garcia’s behavior is that of a sexual predator. Predators are opportunistic; they seek vulnerable targets. He knew immigrant children were less likely to tell because he extorted sex on fear of deportation. The strategy minimized consequences to himself.

  2. glodson says

    I hate to say this, but I’m not shocked at all. It has been evident that there has been a systematic defense of child rape within the church for quite sometime. This isn’t a case of a few bad priests that no one knew about. They knew, and protected them anyways. Tell made for an environment too allow for such abuse to continue.

    And they’ll still find ways to throw off blame on the church. Like the claim that it was the boys seducing the priests. I’m sure they’ll come up with something to protect the money. Just not the children in their care. Yea, make sure that no one gets abortions, but don’t worry about the actual children. Don’t want to be liable for the damages, you know. That costs money. Hey, a woman dies carrying twins in the care of a Catholic hospital, it is okay because they twins, seven months in the womb, aren’t really alive. Because it saves money.

    Theology seems to be a good way of protecting the money in the face of all dangers.

  3. caveatimperator says

    And because the Christian death cult teaches an absolutely monstrous ethical system, all they have to do is confess their sins and they get a get-out-of-cosmic-punishment free card.
     
    Is rape even a mortal sin? I’m too lazy to look it up and too angry to care. Maybe the Church doesn’t consider this rape, for all I know. *vomits*

  4. nytzschy says

    Having recently seen the documentary “Deliver Us From Evil,” about the serial predator priest named Oliver O’Grady, I am approximately zero surprised. The Catholic hierarchy, and Mahony in particular, just shuttle these rapists around from area to area, all for the sake of avoiding scandal.

  5. Sastra says

    Look, it’s all perfectly consistent, and not at all about keeping the Catholic Church in power. It’s really about the hierarchy’s concern for the Catholic laity, for the Little People in the pews who need to believe in God. If they doubt their church, then they doubt God. Learning about pedophile priests is not faith-promoting.

    Case closed. Sophisticated theology never forgets that the unsophisticated believer relies more on a simple faith. No need to get all complicated on them by introducing unnecessary crises of faith

  6. glodson says

    Is rape even a mortal sin? I’m too lazy to look it up and too angry to care. Maybe the Church doesn’t consider this rape, for all I know. *vomits*

    I looked it up, out of morbid curiosity. According to this site, it is. Which apparently means you just have to ask for forgiveness, and it is on par with masturbation, abusing alcohol, paying unfair wages, taking advantage of the poor, abortion, euthanasia, and a host of other “grave matters” that constitute mortal sins if done willingly.

    Yea. The answer actually made it worse.

  7. says

    Child abusers generally have a specific MO. Think of Jerry Sandusky, who used information from his “charity” to identify boys of the right age and physical appearance, who had overburdened single mothers and otherwise appeared susceptible to his techniques. Priest abusers also generally have quite specific patterns. It’s like any other hobby, you could say — you’re good at particular techniques, you have your ways of working. What’s extraordinarily disgusting is how the cardinal could view this stuff with an eye only to covering it up. It appears his hotline to all merciful God was on the fritz.

  8. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    It is better to appear morally righteous and to keep that fiction by never punishing the rapist in their fold and silencing the victims and their friends and family then to actually care for the victims.

    And, oh yes, blame the homosexuals for infecting the church. Because it was impossible for the church to be covering up for their rapists before the 1960′s.

  9. unclefrogy says

    It’s really not that surprising that the church hierarchy would want to keep the secrets secret. It would be a crises of faith on the part of the faithful that would be the primary concern. If they really believed any of it was true and not have the doubts they must have at least once had they could let the “will of God” be done and let the chips fall where they will . How could they allow the reality of the church be questioned by the exposure the demonstrable their lack of real faith in practice and the apparent and blatant hypocrisy.
    A fat lot of good it did them in the end .
    uncle frogy

  10. Azuma Hazuki says

    I’ve heard it’s fairly common for abusive priests to threaten their victims with eternal hellfire should they rat them out, let alone deportation. What scum.

  11. steve oberski says

    The catholic hierarchy is totally compromised. Bishops like Mahony have spent their entire career with these paedophiles, they went to seminary with them, they rose up through the ranks with them. They have known from the very beginning who these people are and what they do but after you condone this activity for so long you can no longer control the child rapers. How can you not continue to cover up for them and promote them up the hierarchy when the alternative is to have their criminal network exposed.

    Do you think that a priest who has no compunction about raping child would hesitate for a moment to extort the catholic hierarchy into complicity with the threat of exposure ?

    This is not a recent occurrence, this has been going on for centuries. It’s just a lot harder to cover up any more.

    So it’s not just that the catholic hierarchy condones and covers up for paedophiles, to a large extent the catholic hierarchy is paedophiles. Just because you never stuck your dick in a child doesn’t mean you are not as much of a monster as the actual child rapers.

  12. Zugswang says

    I looked it up, out of morbid curiosity. According to this site, it is. Which apparently means you just have to ask for forgiveness, and it is on par with masturbation, abusing alcohol, paying unfair wages, taking advantage of the poor, abortion, euthanasia, and a host of other “grave matters” that constitute mortal sins if done willingly.

    Yea. The answer actually made it worse.

    Pretty much. Going to Catholic schools most of my life, I learned early on that the only truly unforgivable sin, from which there was no redemption, was rejecting or denying God. Because undying allegiance to an unknowable supernatural entity takes priority over being a decent human being.

  13. scrawnykayaker says

    The Catholic church has engaged in an enormous criminal conspiracy. WHY are the RICO laws not being used against these bastards??!?

  14. kevinalexander says

    God speaks Jacobean English. Why else would He have written the Bible that way? So it stands to reason that He made little brown people as tasty treats for his white priests. As a reward for being so holy.

  15. jnorris says

    I read somewhere that it’s the job of rabbis to split hairs. The job of RCC priest is to split pubic hairs.

  16. says

    scrawnykayaker, that is a question that I too would like answered. We’re about to have a royal commission into this in Australia, and the one outcome that won’t occur is the declaration of the Catholic church as a proscribed organisation due to a massive ongoing criminal conspiracy to cover up abuse.

    Frankly, it makes a mockery of the existence of conspiracy laws.

  17. robster says

    Apart from lying to its followers, filling them with guilt, hate and loathing, the catholic church has one other mission that it undertakes perhaps more successfully than any other (sfter fleecing the followers of their cash) and that is to keep under utilised kiddie fiddlers busy. It would seem that the seminaries that churn out the ever decreasing number of newly minted priests train these nasty little men as child rapists. They must do because they’re very good at it. They must train them to blatantly lie while looking at their victims (congegations) in the eye, telling them the baby jesus loves them, that the wine and crackers are really tasty bits of the baby jesus (tender too!), while keeping a straight face. Hey, what a job!

  18. loreo says

    I’ve been following these developments in the LA Times. Mahony and his sycophants have made excuse after excuse for why they didn’t terror these crimes until they were required to by a secular government: they didn’t have the names of victims, they believed the matter should be handled by therapists, and on and on.

    You would think that access to the will of an omniscient and omni benevolent god would permit some insight into the true nature and terror of crimes being committed by his priests, but nope. Their petty and jealous god was fucking silent. As always, positive change had to be enforced by a secular organization.

    Assholes.

  19. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Just a quick note, kevinalexander. The English speaking members of the RCC do not use the King James Bible. They use the Revised Standard Version-Catholic Edition.

  20. Akira MacKenzie says

    scrawnykayaker @ 15

    The Catholic church has engaged in an enormous criminal conspiracy. WHY are the RICO laws not being used against these bastards??!?

    One word: “Politics.”

    The polity behind any attempt to prosecute the RCC for its numerous crimes will have a sizable portion of eligible Catholic voters against them come the next election.

  21. loreo says

    Not just catholics, any group of god botherers who think their beliefs are more special than regular old thoughts.

    If humans are ever evil, this is what it looks like: a group of people convincing themselves that they live under a separate set of rules.

  22. says

    I read somewhere that it’s the job of rabbis to split hairs. The job of RCC priest is to split pubic hairs.

    Sadly, it seems the Rabbis were just a little bit better at hiding it. It very much still happens.

  23. bradleybetts says

    Yeah, the sentence about him “specialising” got to me as well :-/

    You know what the worst thing about this is? I’m not suprised. Not even slightly. And that really is quite sad, when you think about it.

  24. leonpeyre says

    Hey Catholics, explain again that all good comes from the Church, and that without Christianity there’d be no basis for moral judgements and people would just do whatever we want.

  25. says

    @scrawnykayaker:

    Wikipedia informs me that it has been. From the article on the RICO Act:

    “In some jurisdictions, RICO suits have been filed against Catholic dioceses, using racketeering laws to prosecute the members of the episcopacy for abuses committed by those under their authority. A Cleveland grand jury cleared two bishops of racketeering charges, finding that their mishandling of sex abuse claims did not amount to criminal racketeering. ”

    The grand jury’s judgement in that particular case may be questioned, and it may be asked why those members of the Catholic hierarchy complicit in concealing felonies from law enforcement have not been systematically prosecuted. But RICO has been invoked in such cases before.

    And now I am wondering something: if there were ever to be a successful large-scale RICO-type prosecution of the Catholic hierarchy, how far could the prosecution go before the guilt becomes too distributed?