This is what people do »« How do you know it’s an abuse of religion?

Pell indicts the Australian Catholic Church

Whoa, my twitter feed is on fire with all these angry Australians. It seems Cardinal George Pell is getting grilled about child abuse within the Australian Catholic Church, and he’s being his usual callous, dogmatic self. “Some of the victims themselves aren’t entirely blameless,” indeed.

The Age has an article summarizing the inquiry so far, but it’s rather tepid compared to the outrage I’m seeing expressed by the Australians listening in. It’s clear that Pell has admitted there was abuse of children, and also that there was a cover-up; he also had lots of excuses.

“I would agree that we’ve been slow to address the anguish of the victims and dealt with it very imperfectly,” he told the inquiry.

“I think a big factor in this was not simply to defend the name of the church.

“Many in the church did not understand just what damage was being done to the victims. We understand that better now.”

Cardinal Pell said the sodomy of children was always regarded as totally reprehensible.

“If we’d been gossips, which we weren’t … we would have realised earlier just how widespread this business was,” Cardinal Pell said.

He admitted that lives had been ruined as a result of the cover-ups and that they had allowed pedophile priests to prey on children.

“I would have to say there is significant truth in that,” Cardinal Pell said.

He said he did not believe there had been a culture of abuse.

“I think the bigger fault was that nobody would talk about it, nobody would mention it.

“I was certainly unaware of it.

“I don’t think many, if any, persons in the leadership of the Catholic Church knew what a horrendous widespread mess we were sitting on.”

Cardinal Pell agreed that placing pedophiles above the law and moving them to other parishes resulted in more heinous crimes being committed.

“There’s no doubt about it that lives have been blighted.

“There’s no about it that these crimes have contributed to too many suicides.”

He also blamed lax standards for admission to the priesthood 50 years ago, something the pope babbled about a while back, too. Damned hippies!

But basically Pell got up and admitted that all the accusations were true and that he knew about it and that the only reason they didn’t do anything about it was that they didn’t realize how widespread the problem was. I want to know how big it had to be before they would have cracked down: I would have thought ONE child raped by a priest would have been sufficient to trigger a response, but apparently Pell didn’t think it important until it hit some other magic number.

If you’d like to see some real rage against the Catholic Church, follow #abuseinquiry on twitter.

Comments

  1. chrislawson says

    So senior clergy talking to each other about numerous documented cases of sexual abuse = being a gossip. Neato. Glad to know that Pell has found a way to acknowledge suppressing evidence/enabling further abuse and still take the moral high ground.

  2. chrislawson says

    I would also say that Pell misrepresents what a “culture of abuse” means. It doesn’t mean every priest was abusing children; it means the abuse was widespread and the Church used its powers to protect the abusers and further damage the abused.

  3. harbo says

    The man is a toad…sorry I quite like amphibians….the man is poison.
    He has no insight at best, and guilt more likely….
    I am 56 y.o. and Australian.. and the first “off-colour” jokes I ever heard had
    “as the priest said to the alter boy”
    as the start, or the punch line….
    “humour”???? sad but true
    that is CULTURAL.
    That means it takes generations Priest selection in the fifties is not the cause.
    Twat!

  4. Charlie Foxtrot says

    He also goes on to say that they have no ‘moral obligation’ to pay the large sums of compensation like the US has. Coz, hey, they’re still paying better than the rest of the world. (is this some kind of casino?)
    The words ‘just doesn’t get it’ are an understatement of galactic proportions.
    This guy pisses me off so much, I can’t imagine what the victims feel.

  5. Ulysses says

    “There’s no about it that these crimes have contributed to too many suicides.”

    Someone should explain to Pell that any number greater than zero is “too many”.

  6. John Morales says

    “I don’t think many, if any, persons in the leadership of the Catholic Church knew what a horrendous widespread mess we were sitting on.”

    This attempt to distance himself from any such knowledge comes at the cost of admitting to incompetence by their leadership.

    PS From pfft:

    On 28 September 2003 Pope John Paul II announced that he would nominate Pell and 28 others to the College of Cardinals. In the consistory of 21 October he was created and proclaimed Cardinal-Priest of S. Maria Domenica Mazzarello. For the first time ever, from Pell’s elevation to the cardinalate in 2003 until Edward Bede Clancy’s 80th birthday on 13 December 2003, there were three Australian cardinal electors (had a papal election become necessary), including Clancy and Edward Idris Cassidy, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

  7. dorfl says

    @Harbo #3

    I’m just 24, so it was a bit of a shock when I read the Illuminatus! trilogy and noticed the references to priests and altar boys. I’ve pretty much always heard the church’s child molestation scandal described as a very recent revelation, but here three books from the seventies were basically treating it as common knowledge.

    ps. You like toads, but twats are terrible enough to use as an insult?

  8. says

    So, if nobody knew about this, how did they manage to do the cover-up?

    A person who truly didn’t know anything about this wouldn’t glibly make excuses; he’d be fucking outraged, screaming to high heaven and demanding that something be done.

    He’s not doing that. Case fucking closed.

  9. Koshka says

    This man makes me so angry.
    I want to scream I want to cry.
    I dont know what else to say.

  10. says

    Why, how very Penn State. Yes, we heard rumors. But without evidence that something more was going on, what were they to do? Well certainly the people who get all the pay and authority for leadership and management roles shouldn’t be expected to investigate or try to take responsibility and manage their people. They sit in their office and when another accusation comes in, looks around the room and says, “Well, I don’t see any evidence this is a widespread problem. Now what are those damned gays up to?”

    There is an epidemic in a lot of our leadership levels of people wanting the power and prestige, but ultimately disavow themselves of any of the responsibility those things stem from. It is particularly galling when that happens with clergy who have made a living reading the same damn book over and over again, using it as evidence that they know something more than us, that they are better.

    Take your pick. You want authority? Take responsibility. You don’t want to be held responsible? Give up your authority. I am fucking sick of these sociopaths getting to play it both ways and having innocent children pay the price.

    Let’s listen again to the priest tell us they had no idea how harmful and damaging it was to rape a child. Did they perhaps need SCIENCE to tell them that raping children was terribly damaging? Sounds like it to me.

    I will be very glad when this plague on humanity is gone.

  11. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Pell is an appalling disgrace to Humanity indeed. Hopefully this will lead to him resigning or being sacked which is long overdue.

    I reckon this will be discussed on tonights Q&A’ show which will have :

    Lawrence Krauss – Theoretical Physicist & Cosmologist
    Gene Robinson – America’s First Openly Gay Bishop
    Fred Nile – Conservative Morals Campaigner
    Amanda Vanstone – Former Howard Government Minister
    Susan Ryan – Age Discrimination Commissioner

    on the panel. Could be some good discussion there -starts in under an hour now my time.

  12. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Link here :

    http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/

    from whence you can ask questions if you wish although they hardly ever use any from there on the show. They do posts (some?) twitters tho’.

  13. grumpyoldfart says

    The Inquiry will deliver its results next September:

    My prediction:
    Only two Catholics will be named. Melbourne archbishop Little, because he’s already dead and can’t cause any more trouble. And Ballarat archbishop Mulkearns, because he has a doctor’s note saying he’s lost his memory (and therefore cannot be questioned about his destruction of evidence).

    There’s no way any Australian Government (State or Federal) will dare to take the Catholic hierarchy to court.

  14. gigantor says

    This man makes me puke in my mouth

    Note to the Pope: if you want people to stop leaving your flock and joining the rational world you need a huge clean out. Start with all the child rapists and then get those that have assisted in keeping them free such as Pell and all the others around the world

    I strongly suspect Pell will get away with no further damage as the government is unlikely to pursue the matter too much further. In particular as Tony Abbot, Captain Catholic himself, who describes Pell as an important spiritual adviser will almost certainly be Prime Minister come September.

  15. Brian E says

    “I don’t think many, if any, persons in the leadership of the Catholic Church knew what a horrendous widespread mess we were sitting on.”

    Isn’t that a joke? I mean, from the self-proclaimed guide on all things moral, they can just say ‘erm, well, we’re no worse than the other kiddy fuckers’..
    I’m a lucky person. I was the probably a few years too young to be raped by the local parish priest who is now in jail for raping, who was appointed by, and shifted around by Mulkearns when he was ‘our’ bishop of the ballarat diocese.
    http://brokenrites.alphalink.com.au/nletter/page117-ryan.html

    In January 1986, Bishop Mulkearns appointed Ryan as an assistant priest at St Thomas’s parish in Terang, in south-western Victoria, under Monsignor Leo Fiscalini. Ryan then returned to Australia from Ohio to take up this post. A Terang man (“Paddy”) has told Victoria Police that, at age 16-17, he attended a youth group for which Father Ryan was the convenor. He said that Father Ryan gave him alcohol at the parish house and on several occasions performed sexual antics in front of him, such as walking around naked, with an erection, and masturbating in front of him.

    I don’t know who this Paddy is, but I surely would know him if they used his real name….

    It’s interesting that Pell claims that abuse was news to him, when he had a non legally binding case about him being an abuser back in the day….

    http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/09/29/1033283388949.html

  16. CaitieCat says

    It’s a joke for any high-ranking Catholic to not know – everyone I knew as a kid in the 70s, in the UK and here in Canada (immigrated halfway through), made jokes about Catholic priests and altar boys. Specifically Catholic priests. Other denominations got different jokes – the absent-minded or puritan vicar, the worldly-wise and cynical rabbi, and so on.

    And to simply shuffle them around – the practice was too widespread in the world, found in almost every jurisdiction/ I’m not someone who follows news on Catholics much, being raised atheist from the start, but I can think without rattling my brain too hard of this happening in Italy, France, Germany, all parts of the UK, Eire, every part of North and South America, and Australia and NZ. Honestly, I’d be more surprised to find there’s a country where it didn’t happen – not just the abuse, but the Nonce Shuffle of moving them to new parishes when the rumours about a particular priest got too loud.

    Whenever our anti-plutocrat revolution comes, I hope those priests and nuns who are doing decent work help to root out and deal with the corrupt and raping leadership of the Catholic Church, and distribute some of their obscene wealth hoard back to the people they took it from.

  17. anteprepro says

    The Excuses:
    -We didn’t understand the damage being dealt to the victims.
    -The leadership did not know how widespread the abuse was.

    The Inexplicable Undermining of Those Excuses:
    – Claiming the abuse was “always considered reprehensible”; suicides.
    – Cover-ups and “moving them other parishes”.

    Just a fucking bog standard apologist. Mealy-mouthed as all get out, perfectly talk out of both sides of their mouth because, even if it is obvious to us that they are full of shit, the devout don’t notice. The True Believers in the audience can have their cake and eat it too. They can have their weak excuses, defending the church, while also having a representative trying to pretend to be decent and sympathetic that they can point to and say “see, they understand the situation and feel really, really bad about it”. Fuck.

  18. says

    I wonder if it has occurred to them that even if we accepted the ludicrous explanation that “they didn’t know,” how do they explain their absolute insistence on policing the sex lives of every gay person on the planet? They sure as shit know how to police someone’s sex life. That’s what they DO. If they didn’t police the sex lives of their own, it was because they refused to. That is not something they do half-assed.

  19. anteprepro says

    They sure as shit know how to police someone’s sex life. That’s what they DO. If they didn’t police the sex lives of their own, it was because they refused to. That is not something they do half-assed.

    The kicker is that they would police the SHIT out of their own if they were having sex with consenting adults. They will kick those priests the fuck out because celibacy is serious business. But they will tolerate and defend rapists and child molesters. Because they actively try to make acting on their rigid dogma turn them into the worst human beings they can possibly be.

  20. says

    In my more optimistic moments, I think that the dissolution of the Catholic Church might be something I’m lucky enough to witness in my lifetime.

  21. wcorvi says

    These people’s thinking goes like this: “I’m not gay. But the devil puts these little boys in front of me, to TEMPT me. And I AM human. So I fall. But I ask god’s forgiveness. And he HAS forgiven me, so you no longer need to worry about it. And it was the little boy’s fault, anyway.”

    Makes sense, eh?

  22. says

    #22
    they’ll begin importing adherents to the more secular nations, from places where enlightenment and communication about what religion and church actually are haven’t reached the threshold to effect social change. but I’m not sure that these abuse scandals actually affect the membership numbers significantly. a graph I recall, for the German-speaking countries, shows a very small dent when the first larger publications hit, then the curve continues at the same rate gradually downwards that began decades ago.

  23. says

    In my more optimistic moments, I think that the dissolution of the Catholic Church might be something I’m lucky enough to witness in my lifetime.

    Give Pell enough airtime, and we might just get there. Many Catholics who were either personally afflicted by sexual abuse or know someone who was seem to nevertheless want to try so very hard to stay in the church, they are waiting and hungering for an apology and for exposure of the predators, but then Georgie Pell stands up in front of a microphone in his robe and mumbles things like “Some of the victims themselves aren’t entirely blameless”.

    The man is a blessing for atheists and secularists. Just slightly unfortunate that his buddy Tony Abbott will soon be our next PM.

  24. says

    Heard an interesting chap on Radio National this arvo (I can’t recall who he was). He was pretty fired up about Pell and the church in general and seemed to know what he was talking about. His view was:
    1. After the immediate outrage has died down Pell will “need” to visit Italy/the Vatican. He won’t be available for further questioning. I inferred maybe never again in Australia.
    2. As the heat comes on individual diocese to pay up a reasonable compensation, they will begin to claim bankruptcy. This strategy has been trialled as a response to compensation in the US (can US readers confirm?) and the church has already decided that will be their future course of action to protect the church assets.

  25. RFW says

    @ 7 dorfl:

    it was a bit of a shock when I … noticed the references to priests and altar boys

    Priestly sexual shenanigans have been with us for centuries. Rembrandt etched a scene of a monk (not really a priest, to be academic) screwing a farm girl in a field, back in the 1500s, for example. I suspect that if you look carefully into the history of the Reformation, you’ll find that one of the reformers’ objections to the RCC as it then was centered on the unnatural celibacy of its clergy. Of course, the RCC has resolutely refused to even consider that its doctrine of priestly celibacy has anything to do with the epidemic of priestly pedophilia. If the RC clergy were entirely made up of open, sexually active gay men, both screaming queens and butch muscle dudes in leather, children would be at almost no risk. But populate the vestries with sexually frustrated maladjusted types, and you get exactly what the newspapers report.

  26. says

    Stephen Kittel #29:

    2. As the heat comes on individual diocese to pay up a reasonable compensation, they will begin to claim bankruptcy. This strategy has been trialled as a response to compensation in the US (can US readers confirm?)

    Several dioceses have, yes: Wikipedia has a list.

  27. anchor says

    RFW: that is so. Its been a cult of Deep Dark Secrecy for over a millennium. As for His Excremency Cardinal Pell, the equivocating language he uses to ameliorate and soften the impact of this revolting situation is so disgusting and dishonorable that it makes me wonder what the difference is between that scum and what they putatively identify as the antichrist anti-god. And these miter-masted swine have the gall to provide moral guidance to their flock victims. While pretending to pray for them they prey on them.

  28. Anoia says

    Bullfuckingshit

    – doctors preforming abortion to save life of girls (see case in Brazil): excommunicated
    – “liberal” nuns: punished
    – being communist: automatic excommunication (latae sententiae)

    – priests raping children: moved to other parishes
    – being a nazi: rat lines

    Actions speak louder than words.

  29. Anoia says

    Oh, and there was some monk complaining about widespread child molestation in ~1050, so it’s not like it’s anything new. (Forgot his name though.)

  30. playonwords says

    People talking about how the “jokes” about priests and altar boys showed how unexceptional this sick behaviour was amongst Catholics needs to remember that the same “jokes” were once made about Anglican (Episcopalian) clerics in the UK and with a similar foundation in fact.

    Anecdotal evidence from myself. Back in the late 50s my mother became the nursing sister at a hospice for Anglican nuns. She was not religious herself but to show willing she attended the local High Anglican church (essentially Catholic in all but leadership). I went along and was rapidly “spotted” the vicar who asked that if I would like to become one of the servers, the boat boy, carrying the censer and keeping it loaded with the vile incense burnt so freely.

    Luckily for me I was beginning to suffer migraine which was misdiagnosed as inflammation of the sinuses caused by incense. My mother was only too happy for me to leave as she found out the open secret that the oh-so holy man of god was fiddling with the choir.

    About a year after my misadventures the man in question was asked to think on his vocation and defrocked pretty rapidly soon after that

  31. sonorus says

    The response to this will be, as always, typical. Catholics will view this as contrite and repentant. Everyone else will be appalled at the callousness and glibness of the response to crimes so heinous. Nothing will change. The RCC will continue to be uncooperative with investigators and shield priests, bishops and cardinals from prosecution. The whole thing is revolting to decent people. What does that say about people who stay in the RCC and continue to make excuses for them?

  32. Gregory Greenwood says

    Wow – Pell really is a whole class of hateful areshat unto himself, isn’t he?

    “I would agree that we’ve been slow to address the anguish of the victims and dealt with it very imperfectly,” he told the inquiry.

    And the award for understatement of the year goes too…

    “I think a big factor in this was not simply to defend the name of the church.

    Oh? What was the motivation behind covering up a rampant epidemic of priestly paedophillia, and thereby facilitating further child rape, then?

    “Many in the church did not understand just what damage was being done to the victims. We understand that better now.”

    How out of touch do you have to be to not realise how damaging the rape of children is? Studipity like that is so unbelieveable, that apathy or active malice seem like much more credible explanations.

    Cardinal Pell said the sodomy of children was always regarded as totally reprehensible.

    Which is why nothing was done about it for decades (at least), and the church only grudgingly acted when the public became aware of their corrupt failure to deal with the problem and forced them to act. And all the while paedophile priests were moved from one parish to another to cover up their crimes, whch also provided them with fresh victims.

    “If we’d been gossips, which we weren’t … we would have realised earlier just how widespread this business was,” Cardinal Pell said.

    Vigilence against child rape is ‘gossip’ now?

    He admitted that lives had been ruined as a result of the cover-ups and that they had allowed pedophile priests to prey on children.

    I wonder if that truth burned his mouth on the way out? He certainly seems more at home with his usual lies.

    He said he did not believe there had been a culture of abuse.

    Not every priest was an abuser, but there undeniably was a very widespread conspiracy to cover up abuse that reached (and still reaches) to the highest levels of the church hierarchy. That sounds like a culture of abuse to me.

    “I think the bigger fault was that nobody would talk about it, nobody would mention it.

    A conspiracy of silence is still a conspiracy.

    “I was certainly unaware of it.

    And we should belive you… why?

    “I don’t think many, if any, persons in the leadership of the Catholic Church knew what a horrendous widespread mess we were sitting on.”

    Then they are at a bare minimum grossly incompetent, if not actually complicit. And it doesn’t ecxplain the coverups at high levels that occurred after they did become aware of the problem – how is this not a case of placing defending the name of the church above protecting children?

    Cardinal Pell agreed that placing pedophiles above the law and moving them to other parishes resulted in more heinous crimes being committed.

    More truth? Watch out for anaphylactic shock!

    “There’s no about it that these crimes have contributed to too many suicides.”

    I take it it is too much to ask that Pell will grasp that even one suicide is too many?

  33. demonhauntedworld says

    “Some of the victims themselves aren’t entirely blameless”

    The linked story doesn’t contain the above quote – was it said in the video, or is there a transcript of it somewhere?

  34. tbp1 says

    At this point, it’s hard to think of the RCC as anything other than a multi-national corporation or maybe an international crime syndicate (perhaps a distinction without a difference): wholly devoted to its own survival and to the interests of those at the top of the hierarchy. Any other consideration is secondary, if it registers on the radar at all.

  35. says

    “Some of the victims themselves aren’t entirely blameless”

    Sure, Cardinal Pell. THE LITTLE KIDS WERE JUST THROWING THEMSELVES AT YOU AND YOUR INSIDIOUSLY EVIL COLLEAGUES. Cuz little kids make lifestyle choices to seduce grown men, of course. What else could it be????? The church needs to decide whether the age of reason is 8, or 12. Seriously, this is ridiculously and hideously evil. These people are criminals who should be in jail.

  36. mikee says

    “If we’d been gossips, which we weren’t … we would have realised earlier just how widespread this business was,” Cardinal Pell said.

    What a pious, arrogant, disconnected from reality, wanker. This sort of backhanded remark tells me he is only sorry that they couldn’t cover it up.
    Disgusting

  37. says

    The kicker is that they would police the SHIT out of their own if they were having sex with consenting adults.

    Are you sure that’s true? I seem to recall somewhere that a huge percentage of priests have violated their vows of celibacy. Obviously, their faith is weak. But they get forgiven, pat on the head, 10 hail marys, off ya go.

  38. says

    If I believed for a second that there was a supreme being that watched over my actions and wanted me to only have sex in certain ways at certain times, and not to lie, etc, I’d spend my entire life sitting on my hands, on the couch, praying. As an atheist I examine the consequences of true belief more closely than the supposed believers.

  39. Azuma Hazuki says

    The worst part is, they believe the pedophiles will be forgiven but the suicides are going to spend all eternity as screaming, crying, weeping, howling, burning charcoal briquettes.

    The more of this I am exposed to the harder it is for me not to light up churches (and churchmen) as a matter of reflex.

  40. says

    The more of this I am exposed to the harder it is for me not to light up churches (and churchmen) as a matter of reflex.

    I’ve gotten a lot more willing to be “strident” for sure.

  41. Azuma Hazuki says

    @49/Marcus Ranum

    So have I. It’s gotten to the point that I will call people moral monsters because of their beliefs. It’s not making me friends, but damn it, someone has to say it!

    The Bride of Christ is a battered wife, you can’t have “gentle Jesus meek and mild” without the genocidal old man in the sky, there were no Adam and Eve so Original Sin is bunk, and through all this their God has never once told us anything scientific, or anything moral that was not already said before or elsewhere. And Jesus and Paul both believed the world was going to end, FAST, based on their ethics and moals. Well, it’s been 1900+ years and we’re still here.

    It seems to me that anyone with a functional moral compass who believed Yahweh was real would be looking for a way to kill it, not worship it. Am I insane? Am I just missing some deep piece of theology that will justify all this?

  42. Gregory Greenwood says

    Azuma Hazuki @ 50;

    It seems to me that anyone with a functional moral compass who believed Yahweh was real would be looking for a way to kill it, not worship it.

    A major part of the success of religious meme systems in gulling so many people lies in their ability to warp and corrupt the moral compasses of their adherants to the point where they actually believe that the hateful bile that makes up religious ‘morality’ mounts to a social and ethical good.

    Am I insane? Am I just missing some deep piece of theology that will justify all this?

    No, you are right on the money. The semantic contortions of religious apologists do nothing to mitigate how heinously poisonous almost all religious beliefs ultimately are. You have seen this, where many believers are either yet to recognise it, or alternatively expend great energy and experience vast cognitive dissonance tryng to forget that they know it.

  43. Azuma Hazuki says

    @50/Gregory

    Thanks…it’s just, I feel so small and alone all the time, and we really cannot afford to be wrong about this.

    The world is run by people who believe these things. In other words, the inmates are running the asylum. I am scared out of my wits, more so because I don’t truly know what the reality is, what happens to us when we die, and so on. I’ve got some ideas, and they’re good ones, but I still don’t know. We’re tiny and weak and ignorant, even the best of us.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that either this is all ridiculous, or the Calvinists are somehow right and we’re all just un-elect and being deluded. And based on what I know of early church history I don’t think it’s the second one. It’s just really making me paranoid I missed something here, somewhere.

  44. Ysanne says

    It seems to me that anyone with a functional moral compass who believed Yahweh was real would be looking for a way to kill it, not worship it. Am I insane? Am I just missing some deep piece of theology that will justify all this?

    I guess when you’re a bunch of desert nomads who know pretty much nothing about how the world works, experience all kinds of hardships, have a pretty cruel culture that can’t afford to get too sentimental about human life because people die argound you in ugly ways all the time anyway, and try to make sense of your life, the idea that there’s some mighty and somewhat cruel sky fairy personalisation of the forces of nature is not all that far-fetched. Especially if your neighbours believe this kind of stuff too. And since it’s obvious that you can’t really do anything against the super-powerful sky fairy, you try to make the best of it: Try to get on its good side, try to do what it says so as to not make it upset, suck up to it by worship and sacrifice, and develop a bit of Stockholm syndrome in the process just to avoid going insane.

  45. Azuma Hazuki says

    @Ysanne

    Yeah, this is what I don’t get: believers refuse to see how archaic and dangerous their morals are. They are trained to say “Jesus was the most foresighted moral thinker there ever was or will be” but anyone looking at what he actually said and did with an unbaised eye can’t accept that.

    The entire underlying message of the NT is “Get yer shit together, Yahweh’s coming and he’s pissed off.” The ethics espoused by Jesus and Paul both convey the message: sell all you have, live pure, act as if the world is passing away (because it is), be absolutely perfect…it’s like a corporate office scrambling before an audit!

    Do you think it’s just being privy to knowledge that not one in 1,000 Christians has that’s doing it? I mean, making me feel so alone? I’ve had a few discussions with believers recently where I tried to clue them in to some things, like how the Gospels aren’t attested to before ca. 170 AD and the Testimonium is an obvious fraud, and they just…aren’t even functioning on that level. It’s like tossing pies into a black hole because it looks hungry.

  46. says

    It seems to me that anyone with a functional moral compass who believed Yahweh was real would be looking for a way to kill it, not worship it. Am I insane?

    Nope; that’s one of my favorite points to make when talking about religion: “If we knew where your god was, the best thing humans could do was see if we could somehow kill it with nuclear weapons or something.” Just because (allegedly) it has already tried and succeded in wiping out most of humanity and the animal kingdom with an arbitrary flood.

    I think Michael Bay could make a pretty good movie about the human attempt to kill god. With Charlton Heston as Yahweh, Clint Eastwood as Odin, and Will Smith playing Nietzsche, of course. Whoopi Goldberg could play Mary, who gives Obi-Wan the plans to Yahweh’s death-star(tm)-like fortress. And lots of explosions.

  47. Ichthyic says

    It’s like tossing pies into a black hole because it looks hungry.

    Hey, who doesn’t like pie?

  48. Ichthyic says

    I think Michael Bay could make a pretty good movie about the human attempt to kill god.

    no he couldn’t. Michael Bay is incapable of making a good movie.

    I would, however, suggest that Michael Moorcock at least be tapped to write the screenplay.

  49. Ogvorbis: ArkRanger of Doom! says

    Asshole.

    Protect the holy mother child fucking church.

    I am so glad I wasn’t brought up Catholic.

  50. Azuma Hazuki says

    @55/Marcus

    Actually it’s sorrrrrta been done, in the form of a weird little game series called Shin Megami Tensei.

    The darkly hilarious thing about SMT is it’s much more historically and mythically literate than, oh, 99%+ of Christians out there. And this is in a universe where essentially all gods are real, YHVH reigns supreme, and it’s up to you to kill him.

  51. Ichthyic says

    The linked story doesn’t contain the above quote – was it said in the video, or is there a transcript of it somewhere?

    you could, you know, maybe look at some of the other stories that covered it?

    Despite decades of evidence including the account of one abuse survivor who was anally raped as an eight year old ten times and left bleeding and bruised Cardinal Pell appeared unmoved.

    At one point, he attempted to position the Catholic Church as “the victim” saying “we’ve had 25 years of intermittent hostility from the press.”

    “Some of the victims weren’t entirely blameless,” he added.

    http://thedailytrash.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/cardinal-george-pell-woefully-inadequate/

    yeah, he really went there.

  52. says

    Michael Bay is incapable of making a good movie.

    Well, yeah. That’s kind of the point. EXPLOSIONS! Nike product placements!

    I’ll check out SMT. I’ve heard of it before…

  53. Azuma Hazuki says

    @61/Marcus

    It can get pretty traumatizing if you have religious hangups. It’s also very, very, very dark, all the way through. I like the combat system though; think of it as “Pokemon for Grownups” meets Fire Emblem. Start with SMT Nocturne, I’d say.

  54. Ichthyic says

    Well, yeah. That’s kind of the point. EXPLOSIONS! Nike product placements!

    ah! right. I get ya now.

    maybe they could also get the guys that made “2012”?

    man, that one is worth watching just for the utter bugfuck insanity of it.

  55. says

    You guys obviously need to read Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy, stat. Forget the movie. They wimped out on the ending and cared way too much about the special effects. But dang, if they had gotten to the third book you would get to see YHWH go down hard.

  56. RFW says

    @ 29 Stephen Kittel:

    If the Australian government had the balls to really take on the RCC instead of kissing the prelates’ asses, they’d seize Cardinal Pell’s passports (n.b. he likely has a Vatican passport as well as an Australian one) and freeze the assets of the church until this ongoing situation has come to a resolution.

    Can’t you see it now when every Sunday the collections in all RC churches in Australia are immediately seized by the bailiffs and carted away? Golly, maybe a few priests would have to find gainful employment!

  57. Azuma Hazuki says

    Have been listening to something interesting here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3LGhL4EvBk

    I am starting to understand just how slimy and vile Craig is. It’s so simple and so ridiculous I didn’t credit him with being such a whiny baby. He is a presuppositionalist. He won’t call himself that but he is.

    This further bolsters my working hypothesis that all apologetics reduces to presuppositionalism eventually. Ye non-existent gods, I just want to smack the skin and muscle off Craig’s smug skullbone for him.

  58. says

    maybe they could also get the guys that made “2012″?

    Maybe that could be the lead-in: Yahweh does ‘2012’ to humanity, so humanity’s response is to hunt him down and bust a buncha nukes on his ass. Of course, they’d have to do that by building a giant robot that looks like a Chevy Camaro, which is piloted by Will Smith and Steve Buscemi in the epic final battle scene.

  59. says

    He is a presuppositionalist. He won’t call himself that but he is.

    Yes. And you’re right – apologetics boil down to presuppositionalism because otherwise it’s trivial to refute god. Craig knows this and is careful to use debaters’ tricks to protect his position, which says a great deal about his faith: he knows he’s lying. In other words he’s as much of an atheist as we are, he just isn’t willing to admit it to his public.

    Ray Wylie Hubbard was once asked by a young musician: “Mr Hubbard, how do you get such committment to your art? I mean, here you’re an old guy and you’re still out there doing it, soloing, playing bars, doing shows. I envy your amazing committment – how did you get so dedicated to your music?” And Hubbard replied, “Never learn how to do anything else.” I suspect that’s where Craig’s “committment” comes from. At his age, he’s not going to want to start a career based on his skills. I mean, what’s he qualified to do? Be a politician or sell used cars or steal candy from kids.

  60. says

    How is defrocking actually a punishment for these crimes. That is just kicking someone out of club. If a priest is to be defrocked then the civil authorties need to be informed in case a real crime has been committed, anything else is negligent.

  61. says

    If a priest is to be defrocked then the civil authorties need to be informed in case a real crime has been committed

    Keep it simple: if a real crime has been committed, inform the civil authorities. Same rule as for the rest of us.

  62. says

    But the Catholic church does not seem to be able to make that judgement. Lets get the register of defrocked priests out and investigate every single one.

  63. robster says

    This Pell bloke is a bit brain dead. He sat there yesterday looking as though he was king of the castle but the plebs weren’t taking orders like they’ve always done. There was no respect being exhibited towards the cardinal. What a piece of pontificating puff Pell is. I’m embarrassed as an Australian that Pell shares my nationality. I’m embarrassed that the catholic church is doing its business in my country. Australia is tainted by this church.

  64. says

    The honest truth is their behavior as an institution is only setting them up for more and more problems.

    If you are a pedophile that wants to get at kids, what better career than with the Church? One of the oldest and most powerful institutions demonstrates repeatedly they will do everything in their power to shield pedophiles from the law. One that has special privileges and advantages that lead to the law treating them with kid gloves.

    They are turning themselves into a honeypot.

    Even if they weren’t willfully enabling the pedophiles their behaviors their behaviors provide aid and comfort.

  65. chigau (違う) says

    When I was a wee Catholic, I was given to understand that The Priesthood® was a Calling® from God®.
    Holy Orders® is one of The Seven Sacraments®.
    If the RCC were to admit that maybe some of those guys weren’t actually called® but were actually cunning predators, it is possible that Foundations would crumble.

  66. erik333 says

    @68 Azuma Hazuki

    Well, WLC can also use his Divine Command Theory of morality (which is psychopathic in nature, as pointed out by Sam Harris) to justify child murder. Vile is the word, to be sure… WLC is the face of evil.

  67. says

    @65
    Definitely. There’s some criticism of religion in the first book, but by the third, he’s not pulling any punches. He’s basically presenting child abuse (and abuse in general) as the central working premise of organized religion.

    I agree that the movie wimped out, but that’s to be expected from a mainstream Hollywood production. I don’t know why they ever thought they could make those books without the anti-religious theme, though. It’s pretty central to the plot.

    I thought the part with the intelligent tree-like creatures was interesting. It seemed like a curious detour into the realm of “how do you communicate with an alien species”, which is usually reserved for sci-fi.

  68. bad Jim says

    When I saw that Cardinal Pell was getting grilled I hoped it was the full Saint Lawrence barbecue treatment: “Turn me over, I’m done on this side.” Oh, well.

  69. usagichan says

    Ah Icthyic,

    Moorcock is one of my favourites – Corum and Elric of course, Hawkmoon naturally, but also the inimitable Captain Oswald Bastable, Jerry Cornelius and the “Dancers at the End of Time Trilogy” which had the added bonus of being very funny (well in a sort of just-post-adolescent pretentious funny sort of way…). But in this case, the best Moorcock I can think of would have to be “Behold the Man” (I don’t think MM thought much of Religion).

    And ChristineRose – “His Dark Materials” was pretty good too, although you have to say that if Holywood had had sufficient nerve to stay faithfull to the books, the faithfull would have been more upset than at any time since Brian Cohen reluctantly Mesiahed his way across the silver screen with the Python crew!

    Oh, and in case I forget – Cardinal Pell FOAD…

  70. =8)-DX says

    “Some of the victims weren’t entirely blameless,” he added.

    yeah, he really went there.

    Check your quoted article – that sentence has now been removed. It was quite possibly also in the original one linked by PZ. Seems like a dire case of self-censorship. Either that or misreporting. Is there a full video or transcript anywhere? I’m gonna go look..

  71. Ichthyic says

    Check your quoted article – that sentence has now been removed.

    fascinating.

    indeed it has.

    There were in fact several different articles I saw that had that quote in them, and none paraphrasing the other articles, either, which suggests they all got it from the same original source.

    the transcript should be available

    it’s interesting either way. If it wasn’t actually in the transcript, why bother adding it, since the rest of what he said is equally atrocious. If it WAS in the transcript, why remove it later?

    hmm.

  72. Ichthyic says

    btw, several live twitter feeds from the inquiry yesterday had the Cardinal saying that line as well.

    they were using #abuseinquiry as a tag.

    interestingly, that tag no longer brings up any threads.

    If it wasn’t in the transcript, somebody livetweeting it added it themselves as they were reporting on it, and it got picked up from there.

    example:

    http://inagist.com/all/338906300090040320/

  73. Ichthyic says

    interestingly, that tag no longer brings up any threads.

    fixed.

    god i hate twitter.

  74. mildlymagnificent says

    bad jim

    When I saw that Cardinal Pell was getting grilled I hoped it was the full Saint Lawrence barbecue treatment: “Turn me over, I’m done on this side.” Oh, well.

    Remember, this is just the curtain raiser.

    The questions this time were just from a state parliamentary committee. He won’t get off so lightly when the Royal Commission gets him in the same position. That’ll be the full bore, power to compel attendance, full scale cross examination – by some of the best QCs in the country. I fancy the commission staff are drawing straws/ stabbing backs to be the one to get the chance to have a go at him. Senior counsel will do the job, of course, but everyone will have their tongues hanging out for any chance at all to be in on it. (They’ll have heard some victim testimony by then. No one will be in any mood to pull any punches with him.)

  75. gravityisjustatheory says

    The kicker is that they would police the SHIT out of their own if they were having sex with consenting adults.

    Are you sure that’s true? I seem to recall somewhere that a huge percentage of priests have violated their vows of celibacy. Obviously, their faith is weak. But they get forgiven, pat on the head, 10 hail marys, off ya go.

    Just to return to this for a moment (and the gay=!paedophile correction):

    I often see people suggest/imply/claim (here and elsewhere) that priests’ celibacy causes some of them to abuse children.

    I very much doubt this. Many people are effectively celibate (due to lack of interest or lack of luck) without turning into rapists.

    A sexually well-adjusted and moral person who had (for some reason) taken a vow of celibacy that they could not keep would just have a consentual affair with another man/woman (depending on preference).

    The problem with priestly celibacy (beyond being a general manifestation of the warped Catholic attitude to sex) is that (like Christian morality in general) it sets up impossible standards, expects people to fail, and provides an easy way to “forgive” this failure. Which in turn means morally entierly different behavious (e.g. consentual love/lust, sleazy border-line-exploitative relationships, and rape) get lumped into the same broad catagory of “things you shouldn’t do, but can be ritually forgiven, and we shouldn’t tell anyone because it will make the Church look bad”). Which in turn means predators can easily hide, and individuals and institutions turn a blind eye (either through self-preservation, or because their moral compass has become demagnetized).

  76. gravityisjustatheory says

    Oh, and another aspect I’ve just thought of:

    The impossible celibacy standards also probably encourages secrecy and a culture of “not prying too deeply”.

    A priest having a consentual, loving affair with another adult will want to keep in secret. (In fact, they probably have a greater incentive to keep in secret than a predatory priest would – if found out and moved to another parish, the former would lose a relationship, while the latter would get a new hunting ground).

    And once some people are having to keeping their relationships secret, then they will probably be reluctant to pry to deeply into other people’s, or to follow up roumours. Either because they (wrongly) assume that the other person is up to no worse than they are, or because if they out someone, they may be outed in turn.

  77. =8)-DX says

    I often see people suggest/imply/claim (here and elsewhere) that priests’ celibacy causes some of them to abuse children.

    Wasn’t the association here supposed to be something like situational homosexuality (such as can happen between heterosexuals in segregated prison populations)? The logic would go that the children are the outlet of sexual frustration because of the priest’s authority over them, extended periods alone with the priest and the fact they can be silenced while adults (especially female parisioners) would be quick to condemn or expose any sexual advances from the priest.

    But I’m not sure, one would have to actually have psychological evaluations of all these priests and see what their sexual preferences are on average. A pedophile acting on his desires presumably wouldn’t require any additional motivation.

  78. says

    I’ve also heard the suggestion that Catholic culture encourages people with pedophile tendencies to enter the priesthood in order to control their desires through penance and prayer, rather than seeking the professional help they need. As a result, pedophiles become overrepresented in the clergy.

    I’m not sure if that’s correct, but since we’re speculating about causes, I thought I’d mention it.

  79. bieti says

    If I’m reading this correctly, then Deveny is saying that the “victims” Pell was referring to were the priests. Assuming you trust her account, anyway.

  80. says

    God explains life on earth.
    Life is cruel. Therefore, God must be cruel.
    Life is arbitrary. Therefore, God must be arbitrary.
    God is the Ruler of the Earth and Heavens. Rulers are arbitrary and often unjust.
    Therefore…

    God is modelled on, and addressed as, an ancient, absolute monarch.

    Why would anyone expect social justice from such a god?

    More cultural references: “I was in bed with the Bishop’s catamite when… came to the door.” –from “Havemercy” by Jaida Jones