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Author Topic: Two Vatican scandals
Lalo
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To return to the subject at hand, the Church won't change; because it can't change. Much like Boots, if they revise Catholicism to make more sense, they wouldn't be Catholic anymore.

Matt Taibbi lays it out in his usual way:

quote:
Somewhere underneath all of this there is a root story that has to do with celibacy. The celibate status of its priests is basically the Catholic churchís last market advantage in the Christian religion racket, but human beings are not designed to be celibate and so problems naturally arise among the population of priests forced to live that terrible lifestyle. Just as it refuses to change its insane and criminal stance on birth control and condoms, the church refuses to change its horrifically cruel policy about priestly celibacy. Thatís because it quite correctly perceives that should it begin to dispense with the irrational precepts of its belief system, it would lose its appeal as an ancient purveyor of magical-mystery bullshit and become just a bigger, better-financed, and infinitely more depressing version of a Tony Robbins self-help program.

Therefore it must cling to its miserable celibacy in order to keep its sordid business scheme going; and if clinging to its miserable celibacy means having to look the other way while children are serially molested by its sexually stunted and tortured employees, well, so be it.

If you look at it that way, the churchís institutional behavior is far worse than is commonly believed. Itís not just a matter of an intractable bureaucracy responding too slowly or too insensitively to some scattered accidents of fate. This is more like the situation of a car company that continues selling a cheap but faulty brake system because it has calculated that it stands to make more money selling the cars than it does to lose in lawsuits. The only difference is, a car company can fix the brakes if it wants to. What the Catholic church is selling is by definition faulty. It canít change, or it will be out of business. So even if not changing means kids will be continue to be molested, it doesnít change.

http://taibbi.rssoundingboard.com/the-catholic-church-is-a-criminal-enterprise


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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
No. But then that's not really a credible example, since that is one of the fundamental beliefs of a completely different religion. Of course you're aware of that and it's just a rhetorical tactic, but it's still not valid.

'The Pope is wrong about sexuality' would be somewhere on a continuum away from...shall we say completely orthodox Catholicism? But 'Muhammed is the one true prophet of God' must surely be as far along that continuum as it's possible to get.

Exactly. And then if one can agree that 'no, at that point you've gone too far and you can't claim to be a Catholic' then that means that there exists somewhere along that continuum a point at which you cannot claim to be a Catholic.

Otherwise, I can assume catholicism is a tautology club. 'I am a catholic because I am a catholic.' etc.

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kmbboots
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Priests have not always been celibate. The Church has changed to require celibacy, therefore it clearly can change. It has changed on many issues.
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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
At one time, for another example, the Vatican insisted that women religious be cloistered. Mary Ward challenged that, was imprisoned as a heretic and is now on the path to sainthood. And women are no longer necessarily cloistered.

Again, this doesn't help you. No one is asserting that the church is any good at figuring out anything (like whether a particular women is a vile heretic or a saint), or that it doesn't contradict itself all over the place.

But Roman Catholicism still has its doctrine decided by the hierarchy. The article doesn't read "The pope's veto was overridden by the signatures of 50,000 English priets, represetning their 50,000 church communities". It reads "The pope decided X is true. Case closed".

quote:
If you think that I take the child abuse scandal lightly, you have not really read what I have written.
No one is claiming that. What we are claiming is that you choose to belong to a church that cares less about child abuse that it does about protecting its image. And if you think that this attitude is confined to the guys with funny hats, you are seriously wrong. Those parishoners who gave the bishop of New York a standing ovation for claimng that the Pope was the true victim in all this are not less Catholic than you are.
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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by Lalo:
You just don't seem to have applied critical thought to any aspect of your religion.

Well duh. [Roll Eyes]
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kmbboots
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Are you saying that the Church cannot change or that it can? I assert (and have demonstrated) that it can and does and that change most often happens from "the bottom up".

ETA: I also belong to a country that invades other countries for no good reason and drops bombs on children. I do what I can to make it better.

Look, other people have written on this far better than I can. I would suggest, Garry Wills, Jack Shea, James Carroll, Robert McClory for a start.

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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Lalo, I don't knwo what your experience with Catholicism is but it is significantly different from my experience and the experience of almost every Catholic I know. In my parish and others, priests and nuns and laity. I gave examples of good Catholics - ones who became saints even - and who challenged the Vatican. At one time, for another example, the Vatican insisted that women religious be cloistered. Mary Ward challenged that, was imprisoned as a heretic and is now on the path to sainthood. And women are no longer necessarily cloistered.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/7062822/Mary-Ward-honoured-on-path-to-sainthood.html

ETA: Lalo, I apologize if I gave the impression that I think that people are "yelling" at me. I was responding to someone else who suggested that folks shouldn't vent their anger at me.

If you think that I take the child abuse scandal lightly, you have not really read what I have written. And whether you approve of my conclusions or not, I have spent decades contemplating the question of authority in the Catholic Church before a year of formal instruction before converting. And my "local community" is one of the oldest and most respected in my (large) city. I trust the judgment of the priests there and other priests I know.

ETA again: I am sorry that your experience with the Church was so bad.

Boots, here's a collection of quotes from you on page two alone.

quote:
Our doctrine is not all bishops and Popes.

I would say to both of you that that is not, by a long shot, the whole of the Church. Yes, no question, there is plenty that we need to fix - I would say the same for just about any organization - but that is not all we are.

It won't be easy, but there are good people - like Fr. Doyle who are working tirelessly for this. He is as much the Church as any of the bishops.

The Pope isn't the Church. The Vatican isn't the Church. The Bishops are not the Church. Corruption is part of power

I'll correct that by saying that, while the Pope et al are certainly part of the Church, they are not more the Church than the rest of us.

Which religious wars? And, no, the Pope isn't the highest authority or even the head of the Church.

I am reasonably confident that Jesus is the head of the Church.

yes, torture and burning alive was bad. Still is. It was hardly the unique province of the Catholic Church, however, nor was it a uniquely religious punishment.

[completely unintentionally ironic quote of 1 Corinthians 12]

There is more to the difference between Catholic and Protestant than just the Pope.

I am not sure if saying that Mohommed was a true prophet would be heretical as it isn't something I have delved into very deeply.

The teaching authority of the Church is not just the Pope and, in fact, requires that teaching be "received" by the whole Church.

For the record, there's no need to apologize for "your experience with the Church was so bad," because I didn't have a bad experience with the Church. Growing up Catholic was awesome, and so was every Catholic I ever knew. I'm an atheist from reason, not anger.

However, I'm not blind to the incredible crimes of the Church, and I'm not willing to write off a child-molestation ring as fixer-upper issues every organization has. And to cheerfully rewrite Catholic theology so the Pope is no more important than you are... Boots, I'm sorry, but I think you're in denial. It's great that you like your Catholic community, but please don't conflate your opinions with Catholic theology.

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kmbboots
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Then I apologize for my misunderstanding. Again, I would suggest reading Garry Wills or James Carroll. They are both very aware of the various crimes of the Catholic Church (even if you don't think that I am) and explain better than I why they are still Catholic.

My quotation of 1Corinthians was not ironic - we just interpret it differently. I interpret it in the light of Matthew who writes of Christ who overturns the obvious order.

Surely, you can't claim that Thomas Doyle is blind to the crimes of the Church. He has quite literally devoted his life to being an advocate for victims of abuse by priests. If he can still consider himself Catholic, I certainly can.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Exactly. And then if one can agree that 'no, at that point you've gone too far and you can't claim to be a Catholic' then that means that there exists somewhere along that continuum a point at which you cannot claim to be a Catholic.
Certainly. And you're saying that kmbboots has crossed that point...evidence for which you point out that claiming Muhammed is the true prophet of God is not a Catholic thing to say.

Hardly compelling, Samprimary.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
By the way, acting like a martyr is kind of obnoxious. Nobody's yelling at you. Nobody's even been rude to you, as far as I've noticed. I think you're a nice person, but your odd condescension detracts from otherwise good impressions.
Where I come from, labeling someone's religion stupid, evil, criminal, insane, and someone personally deluded repeatedly...well, that's at least a little rude.

One might even consider it condescending.

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kmbboots
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Here is an older article, but it still pertains to the issue at hand. If nothing else, it shows I am not alone.

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/050418/18american_2.htm

KoM, When - if - the Pope decides to excommunicate most American Catholics, that will be an interesting day.

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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
... Why would you be angry at these people?

Depends on the person. Depends on the issue.
I think you're going to have to be a lot more specific if you want anything better.

I don't know that I've seen you displaying anger at people. I was talking more about posters like swbarnes, who seem constantly angry at every religious individual he interacts with.

From my perspective, the thing that puzzles me about this anger is a pretty fundamental thing, so it doesn't really matter to me whether we're talking about boots or like Ron Lambert. So, let's say Ron Lambert. I don't get why the evangelical atheists get angry at Ron Lambert.

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kmbboots
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I get angry (well, annoyed) at Ron Lambert.
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steven
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
At one time, for another example, the Vatican insisted that women religious be cloistered. Mary Ward challenged that, was imprisoned as a heretic and is now on the path to sainthood.

And the disconnect is in how you seem to have NO idea how much "was imprisoned as a heretic and is now on the path to sainthood" makes the Church look like a collection of crazies.

Seriously, if the Pope, who is supposed to have some special connection with God, hasn't even got the foresight and/or Godlike wisdom keep a future saint out of prison...What is the point of having that Pope? Or more accurately, what is the point of paying him? LOL

This reminds me of how OSC had no idea how much it damaged the credibility of the LDS church when he said that the liberal Mormon professors at BYU have about as much influence over Mormon doctrine as the average 9-year-old Tagalog-speaking new convert.

The view from INside must sure be different than the one from outside, in both cases, you know? [Smile]

To all Mormons--if you don't know why that OSC statement damaged the credibility of the LDS church, please don't tell me that it doesn't. It does. When some of the best-educated and most intelligent members of a church are ones that have the least power and influence...that says nothing wonderful about the church, ya know?

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scifibum
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quote:
To all Mormons--if you don't know why that OSC statement damaged the credibility of the LDS church, please don't tell me that it doesn't. It does. When some of the best-educated and most intelligent members of a church are ones that have the least power and influence...that says nothing wonderful about the church, ya know?
Do you equate "liberal" and "professor" with most intelligent and best-educated? Even if you do, you'd have to further posit that intelligence and education are the key qualifications for authority in the church. I get what you're saying, but this kind of criticism is entirely irrelevant* from a faithful member point of view, because none of your premises are held applicable. (I myself make criticisms that are irrelevant and off the mark as far as believers are concerned, but I don't expect them to agree!)

*It's also irrelevant to Mormons whether non members think their church is made to look credible to outsiders by any random member, such as OSC.

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Jenos
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His point is not about the validity of these people as an authority of the church; rather, by saying that they are equally valid in determining doctrine as someone uneducated it undermines the credibility of the church, as credibility is dependent on how outsiders view the church.
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scifibum
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quote:
His point is not about the validity of these people as an authority of the church; rather, by saying that they are equally valid in determining doctrine as someone uneducated it undermines the credibility of the church, as credibility is dependent on how outsiders view the church.
Okay, but!

The church is not at all credible to anyone who evaluates it on terms that are not set by the religion itself. They claim their authority is delegated from God. If you don't accept that, the entire organization is bankrupt of credibility.

Given that and the way the hierarchy divides and further delegates that authority, it's completely natural that BYU professors have essentially zero influence on the doctrine.

I'm saying the standard by which this fact is assumed to have some bearing on the credibility of the organization is pretty much useless, both inside and outside. Outside, either you believe the foundational truth claims or you don't, and if you don't, who cares? Inside, you believe them, and the fact is inevitable.

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Jenos
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
Okay, but!

The church is not at all credible to anyone who evaluates it on terms that are not set by the religion itself. They claim their authority is delegated from God. If you don't accept that, the entire organization is bankrupt of credibility.

Given that and the way the hierarchy divides and further delegates that authority, it's completely natural that BYU professors have essentially zero influence on the doctrine.

I'm saying the standard by which this fact is assumed to have some bearing on the credibility of the organization is pretty much useless, both inside and outside. Outside, either you believe the foundational truth claims or you don't, and if you don't, who cares? Inside, you believe them, and the fact is inevitable.

No, the church should not be at all credible to those who evaluate it on terms not set by the religion. Regardless of what should or shouldn't be the case, the claim that it actually does hurt the credibility is a viable one, because people constantly do base credibility on factors that are not theology related. Just because it should or shouldn't be this way has no bearing on this issue.
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scifibum
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Viable how? steven claimed OSC was so obtuse that he had no idea how much it damaged the church's credibility that he was willing to say (colorfully stated fact about how the hierarchy works).

I'm absolutely sure that OSC realizes that if people are judging the church's credibility on terms including "do the opinions of their most highly educated and intelligent members [or a demographic assumed to have large overlap with that set] influence the church doctrine?" then they will not find the church to be credible.

So, whether the criticism is viable depends on for what purpose. Viable for influencing how the church tailors its efforts to expand its membership? I don't think so. The church requires that prospective members evaluate the church on its own terms.

Viable for helping a person determine if they want to be a member? Maybe - but there are more fundamental problems that pretty much obviate it. If, as you say, people are using this standard to judge the credibility of the church, there's no real resolution possible that doesn't undermine the foundations of the institution.

Either way, I'm mostly ribbing steven for raising the issue and asking church members to agree, since there's no way they would even grant the premises.

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steven
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:


Either way, I'm mostly ribbing steven for raising the issue and asking church members to agree, since there's no way they would even grant the premises.

It's a proselytizing religion. If it wants converts, it pretty much has to at least keep half an eye, if not more, on its own credibility-as-viewed-from-outside-the-religion.

My criticism is anything but irrelevant and off the mark. Most new Mormons are created by being born to current church members, but, the way the church treats and talks about missionary work, it's clear that missionary work is pretty important to at least some in the LDS church.

Also, I would NOT entirely say that accepting the truth of the Book of Mormon is the same as accepting the awesomeness of the LDS hierarchy. There are plenty of jack Mormons and RLDS/Community of Christ people around. I'm not either of those, but I know plenty. My best friend since childhood was raised in the RLDS church.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by steven:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
At one time, for another example, the Vatican insisted that women religious be cloistered. Mary Ward challenged that, was imprisoned as a heretic and is now on the path to sainthood.

And the disconnect is in how you seem to have NO idea how much "was imprisoned as a heretic and is now on the path to sainthood" makes the Church look like a collection of crazies.

Seriously, if the Pope, who is supposed to have some special connection with God, hasn't even got the foresight and/or Godlike wisdom keep a future saint out of prison...What is the point of having that Pope? Or more accurately, what is the point of paying him? LOL


How is learning and changing for the better crazy? Would it be less crazy to stay wrong? During the time that Mary Ward lived, most people thought that women had no or little place in public life. Now that has changed.

Steven, do you think that the Pope has magical powers? Or is other than human? Popes make mistakes. The doctrine of infallibility does not mean that the Pope is always right. In fact, infallibility has only been invoked twice and not about anything particularly controversial (Mary stuff). This is a common misunderstanding and seems like maybe that is what you were thinking. We don't pay Popes because we think that they never make mistakes. Clearly, throughout the history of the Church, Popes have made mistakes.

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steven
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:


How is learning and changing for the better crazy? Would it be less crazy to stay wrong? During the time that Mary Ward lived, most people thought that women had no or little place in public life. Now that has changed.

Steven, do you think that the Pope has magical powers? Or is other than human? Popes make mistakes. The doctrine of infallibility does not mean that the Pope is always right. In fact, infallibility has only been invoked twice and not about anything particularly controversial (Mary stuff). This is a common misunderstanding and seems like maybe that is what you were thinking. We don't pay Popes because we think that they never make mistakes. Clearly, throughout the history of the Church, Popes have made mistakes.

Great, but if you're paying the man for his special connection with teh Gawd, shouldn't he manage to avoid jailing future saints?

And it ain't like the man is gettin' paid slave wages. I've seen pictures of Vatican City. That is one heck of a house. It makes the White House look plebian.

All I'm sayin' is, whatever happened to merit-based pay? LOL

ba-dum tsssh.

OK, enough comedy. I know that being the Pope is not an easy job these days. Running an organization of that size is stressful, no doubt. However, let's be honest about what he is, which is mainly just a CEO. Granted, it's not like you, of all Catholics, are in danger of deifying the Pope. Quite the contrary. However...

Merit-based pay. Give it some thought.

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kmbboots
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I would not have a problem with that. [Wink] Of course, it ain't so much the salary as the perks.

If it wasn't clear, Mary Ward is not yet a saint and she lived 400 years ago so it wasn't exactly a quicky flip flop by a single Pope.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
I don't know that I've seen you displaying anger at people.

Probably have, perhaps less so recently.

This might be part of the difficulty in an external definition like evangelical atheist (as opposed to one that people self-identify as). For most part, I agree with the writings of Dawkins, some Dennett, some Hitchens, and the usual suspects that most people who use the phrase "evangelical atheist" would bring up.

Are you implying that anger is required definitionally to qualify for the group? I dunno.

quote:
So, let's say Ron Lambert. I don't get why the evangelical atheists get angry at Ron Lambert.
Well, I can put fairly made-up numbers here. For my part, my annoyance with him would be:
* 30% "Dawkins"-like offence (retaliation as a scientist against assertions that fly in the face of reality)
* 20% Canadian antipathy toward an aggressively non-international American POV
* 30% Reflexive response against the social and legal influence that people like him have
* 20% Asian antipathy toward Christianity and fundamentalism

But obviously, you're going to find a totally different mix of reasons for swbarnes (who should lack at least 40% of the reasons and possibly add others). Combined that with the fact that you can't totally eliminate reasons that could also be associated with religious persons such as kmbboots.

I think that demonstrates the difficulty in finding "the answer" and one unifying explanation for the anger that you wish to explain.

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kmbboots
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It occurs to me that maybe my sense of outrage and anger and horror about the child molestation and cover up of that crime may not have been clear enough. I think that this is because the subject is not a new one for me. I have been aware and angry about this for probably twenty years. While the outrage is there, it is not "fresh" outrage. Does that make sense?
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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
It occurs to me that maybe my sense of outrage and anger and horror about the child molestation and cover up of that crime may not have been clear enough. I think that this is because the subject is not a new one for me. I have been aware and angry about this for probably twenty years. While the outrage is there, it is not "fresh" outrage. Does that make sense?

Which raises the question: if you've known, why have you been supporting these pedophiles for twenty years?

I'm not questioning your outrage over child molestation, but your actions belie your anger. What's your threat to the Church? "Stop molesting kids, or I'll... continue being a Catholic and supporting you financially"? Have you done anything of note about the Church's corruption, child abuse, or stunningly backwards positions on homosexuality and birth control? Besides your rewriting of Catholic theology to make you less culpable for their crimes?

Again, I think you're a very nice person. But the fact that you've been so quiescent in the face of these remarkable crimes is why the Church will never, ever have to change. No, writing a few essays or liking other people who write essays is not changing anything. Walking away from the Church is a change. Even better, organizing other people to walk away from the Church might change something.

But so long as you cheerfully insist that child-rape is just one of many problems that any other organization has, and that it won't change your mind on remaining Catholic and supporting the Church, they don't need to listen to you at all.

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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
By the way, acting like a martyr is kind of obnoxious. Nobody's yelling at you. Nobody's even been rude to you, as far as I've noticed. I think you're a nice person, but your odd condescension detracts from otherwise good impressions.
Where I come from, labeling someone's religion stupid, evil, criminal, insane, and someone personally deluded repeatedly...well, that's at least a little rude.

One might even consider it condescending.

Right, because everyone's said she's stupid and insane.

It's a comfort that you haven't changed over the years, Jeff.

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kmbboots
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I am not sure that what you mean by quiescences is what I mean by quiescence.

I don't think that walking away is a good way to effect change. Anymore than moving to Canada would change US policy. If it were, the thousands who have abandoned the Church would have made that change. If I leave, they really don't have to listen to me.

You don't know anything about the ways I support the Church. Organizing people to think differently about the Church is, I think, a better way to effect change. You may disagree about my methods, but not my motivation.

Child molestation is terrible. It is not the whole of Catholicism.

And where have I been "cheerful" about child rape? You are projecting onto me a lot that isn't there.

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michaele8
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Easy way to reduce the problem -- allow priests to get married again.
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katharina
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Easier way to reduce the problem: remove tenure for priests. If you break the law, determined by a fair due process, then you are no longer a priest.

Even better way fundamentally reduce this problem and many others: eliminate paid clergy on the local level. The Catholic church is really its membership? Then its membership shall run it.

Instead of a job for life with an artificial lifestyle and a vested interest in protecting their jobs, let the leadership be made up for faithful Catholics who are living the life they people they preach to are living.

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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
I am not sure that what you mean by quiescences is what I mean by quiescence.

I don't think that walking away is a good way to effect change.

Right. The Montgomory bus boycott was such a civil rights failure. Obviously the better strategy would have been for the black bus riders to keep paying the bus company that was discriminating against them same as always.

quote:
Anymore than moving to Canada would change US policy.
For the umteenth time, there is a mechanism for citizens to influence national policies. We have a health insurence bill because voters voted in men and women who would write and pass it. What is the mechanism by which laity can change church policy? Can you show any examples of it actually working? And no, linking to another article where the Pope single-handedly overturns a 300-year precedent doesn't count.
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kmbboots
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I think that both of those suggestions would be enormous changes to Catholicism. The first is, I hope, a possible change. Celibacy has not always been required and even today some priests are married.

The second would be a fundamental change to Catholicism both theologically and practically. Being a priest is a 24/7 vocation and requires years of education and training. I would also balk at "artificial". For some, celibacy is a profound gift.

However, I do think that a lessening of the notion that priests are separate and more special or "magical" and above our ability to question would be an excellent and necessary thing.

swbarnes, not taking the bus is different from changing what one believes. And, "for the umteenth time" how many more examples of how people have changed the Church do you need?

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
I don't think that walking away is a good way to effect change. Anymore than moving to Canada would change US policy.

I have a different viewpoint of course [Wink]

Both in general, I think moving to Canada is a splendid idea. And in specific, the Loyalists moving to Canada helped prevent the US from expanding into Canadian territory and helped create a Canada that has closer ties to England and the rest of the Commonwealth which still persist today.
Their actions were highly preferable to staying behind, paying taxes, and trying to influence the US from within.

Or in another example, I believe that the Chinese diaspora into Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Americas helped in creating societies that were later able to act both as inspiration and as direct providers of capital and aid to the mainland later during the market reforms. This was also preferable to fighting it out on the mainland.

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kmbboots
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Their actions had a good effect on Canada. Which is great, but not what I was looking for, nor, I think, what swbarnes thinks would happen. He seems to be confusing the Catholic Church with Walmart.
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Mucus
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Not just Canada, I think they a good effect on the US too. Specifically, restricting it in size and influence which I do think swbarnes wouldn't be adverse to or Lalo here:
quote:
Walking away from the Church is a change. Even better, organizing other people to walk away from the Church might change something.


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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
swbarnes, not taking the bus is different from changing what one believes.

You claimed that not participating wouldn't work. I demonstrated a case where it did.

But as you have explictly claimed that people can choose what to believe, I don't see why changing what one believes is so hard.

Just choose to believe good stuff. Why can't you choose to believe that since the Catholic church is hopelessly flawed (not to mention flat wrong about things like contraception and civil gay marriage), you can shake the dust from your sandals, and work out accurate beliefs about God without its help?

quote:
"for the umteenth time" how many more examples of how people have changed the Church do you need?
Just one example of the laity doing that. How many times do I have to type "laity" before you will accept the evidence of your eyes?

For instance, start naming laity who were in charge of committees drafting Vatican II documents. That's be a nice example.

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Lalo
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Hmm. Look, maybe it's better phrased this way. What would it take for you to reconsider Catholicism? I have trouble imagining anything more egregious than raping children and protecting other child rapists.

Seriously, at what point would doubt enter your mind?

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kmbboots
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And you still seem to think of faith as a consumer activity. Try thinking of it more as a belief system, a community, a family all wrapped up in one. And, yes, a flawed family, but still more good than bad and the bad can be fixed.

Because 6% of priests are sick, I should abandon all of them? I should renounce my own vows? You are acting like child-rape is a part of doctrine. I would rather work to hold priests and bishops accountable - as Catholics all over the world are beginning to do.

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Rakeesh
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Lalo,

quote:
The Church is dying, and good riddance.

Not really. If they excommunicated every priest who molested kids (or enabled pedophiles), they'd have nobody left.

Maybe it'll even lead to a revocation of their idiotic stances on birth control and abortion.

...which I feel is the next best alternative to the Church becoming irrelevant to the modern world.


The Church is unfixably corrupt, and dreams that it'll reform itself are naive. For god's sake, look at Benedict's railings against liberals to get an idea of his desire for reform. The only solution I see is European -- that someday soon, the world will abandon religion and this corrupt institution will fade into irrelevance.

Blind loyalty like yours...

And, heck, that's just halfway through the second page, Eddie. These are all excellent examples of your being rude to her, at least by the standards most people operate. Don't believe me? Pick a person at random, and examine one of their most important personal beliefs. Doesn't even have to be religion. Tell them explicitly how stupid that belief is, how corrupt, and how much better the world would be if that belief system were eradicated right this very second.

You - of all people - were criticizing kmbboots for being condescending and how that detracted from her other good qualities. Your source for this criticism was that she was 'playing a martyr', and no one was yelling at her or even being rude to her. You! Of all people saying that, given the things you've said in only a part of the entire discussion.

You've got me on one thing though, at least. You never explicitly stated stupid and insane. But I wonder, if you asked around, how many people do you think would answer 'no' if you asked if they had that impression of your opinion of her beliefs? Show of hands?

The rest, though? You're still not a person one can have a civil conversation with about religion, Eddie. I think perhaps you learned at least one wrong lesson from the mentor you mentioned, the one who responded to your baiting with patient kindness. Because in all your time here, 'baiting' is a very apt characterization of your interactions with all sorts of religious people on all sorts of topics.

Now, I can't stop you from saying whatever you like to kmbboots. I wouldn't if I could. I was curious, though, to see if maybe you were someone who would have a civil conversation on the matter, because I used to enjoy talking with you. You're clearly not. Kmbboots has the patience to talk with you in spite of that, and more power to her. I'm not. Maybe we can talk sports some time, should the topic come up.

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Javert
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Because 6% of priests are sick, I should abandon all of them?

No.

Because 6% are sick and the other 94% seem to be working to protect them from prosecution and putting other children in danger.

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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
And you still seem to think of faith as a consumer activity. Try thinking of it more as a belief system, a community, a family all wrapped up in one. And, yes, a flawed family, but still more good than bad and the bad can be fixed.

Because 6% of priests are sick, I should abandon all of them? I should renounce my own vows? You are acting like child-rape is a part of doctrine. I would rather work to hold priests and bishops accountable - as Catholics all over the world are beginning to do.

Okay, the Church is your family. So you just found out Uncle Jeff has been raping your son and protecting other rapist uncles from civil prosecution. Your solution to this is to write essays expressing your displeasure, but continue weekly visits to Uncle Jeff's house and paying him money for the hospitality?

But even though Uncle Jeff is a leech and a rapist, you refuse to consider kicking him out of the family. Instead, you'd rather believe that he's really not that important in your family. And rather then take your beloved family members away from Jeff's house to Uncle Richard's house, so Jeff loses your money to fund his molester defense account, you insist that Uncle Richard is completely incompatible with your family -- even though your beliefs are basically an exact fit with Uncle Richard's.

It's an imperfect analogy, but you get the idea. You ARE a Protestant, theologically speaking. You think you have powers in the Catholic Church that you, well, don't. You don't share beliefs OR reality with the Church, and you need to come to terms with that.

And I think you completely missed swbarnes' point -- you CAN'T hold Uncle Jeff accountable. You can't fix the bad things. Like he said, the Church isn't a democracy. You have no voice and no power but to walk away.

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scifibum
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Lalo, your analogy is supposed to equate "church" with "family" but you end up equating "bad Uncle" with "church."
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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
The rest, though? You're still not a person one can have a civil conversation with about religion, Eddie.

Jeff, your debate skills are as sharp as ever. If you're not mincing semantics, you'll complain about offense. Either way, you seem to be incapable of simply tackling an issue directly.

I don't think I've been rude, unless criticism of a Church that commits and enables rape is somehow offensive to you. I think Boots is rather severely wrong on both theological and practical matters, and I've put it to her plainly. But then, she seems much more sensible and much less delicate than you.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
And you still seem to think of faith as a consumer activity. Try thinking of it more as a belief system, a community, a family all wrapped up in one.

Regardless, remember that the Pope recently standardized the rules and reduced the barrier for conservative Anglicans to convert en masse to Catholicism. It stands to reason that it should be a fairly equivalent process to invert the process, allowing for liberal Catholics to convert en masse to Anglicanism in a sort of faith-swap.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE59J1SQ20091020

We can debate whether X number of priests are working for or against change, but it seems fairly obvious that a majority of the hierarchy from the bishops to the Vatican and the Pope are fighting reform tooth and nail. Why not convert and jettison at least that?

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Javert:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Because 6% of priests are sick, I should abandon all of them?

No.

Because 6% are sick and the other 94% seem to be working to protect them from prosecution and putting other children in danger.

That is not at all true.

And scifibum's assessment of the Uncle analogy is correct.

Mucus, the Anglican Church does look tempting from time to time. Almost. Not quite the same thing. It is probably more likely that the American (and Canadian and some of Western Europe) would split. Dunno. It is an interesting time. This Pope and the last Pope have tried to "push back" on a lot of Vatican II. I hope we can swing the pendulum back the other way, but we will see.

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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
Lalo, your analogy is supposed to equate "church" with "family" but you end up equating "bad Uncle" with "church."

I think the analogy would go church : family :: priest : uncle. Did I mess that up?

In any case, it's an imperfect analogy. Families don't stay together because of belief systems, nor are they ruled from afar by a small, undemocratic circle of revered uncles who tell the rest of the family what to believe.

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scifibum
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" think the analogy would go church : family :: priest : uncle. Did I mess that up?"

No, that's fine. But your argument was more like church: family :: uncle : uncle.

To be more specific, she's not ignoring the sins of the sick uncle and being friendly to him like there's nothing wrong, the way you said she was:

quote:
So you just found out Uncle Jeff has been raping your son and protecting other rapist uncles from civil prosecution. Your solution to this is to write essays expressing your displeasure, but continue weekly visits to Uncle Jeff's house and paying him money for the hospitality?
It's a lot more like she's calling for the uncle to be removed from a position where he can hurt anyone, asking the family elders to change how they deal with problems, and (I'm guessing) trying to help the family members within her reach to heal from their hurts and to be more vigilant for bad uncles.

Whether this is effective is one question, but whatever the answer, your portrayal is unfair and inaccurate.

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kmbboots
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All analogies are imperfect, but in yours I kept going to the same priest. I would say that I go visit a different uncle and keep bugging Grandpa to make that, if any of the cousins act up, they get sent to jail. We already made Grandpa send Uncle Jeff to jail and are shouting at him for not doing it 20 years ago.

You may not have noticed but the Vatican has changed or at least is in the process of changing the policy on this. Change, due to pressure from good priests and from the laity.

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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
And you still seem to think of faith as a consumer activity.

"I get to choose. When there is no compelling, certain, irrefutable evidence to the contrary - and there can be none either way for the existence of God as I define God - I get to choose. Yay! I choose good stuff.

Not so yay for the people who choose less good stuff. I don't understand those people. Nor do I understand the people who don't know that they choose. Of course we do."

Emphasis mine.

That's not religous belief as consumer activity? Indeed, plenty of theists on these boards have defended their religous beliefs, not on the grounds that they are accurate, but on the grounds that they make them feel good. Sounds like consumer choice to me.

quote:
And, yes, a flawed family, but still more good than bad and the bad can be fixed.
What evidence leads you to believe that things can be fixed? The Bishop of New York was applauded by laity when he said that the Pope had been falsely accused like Jesus. Why would those people fix anything?

Why would the bus companies change their policies if black people were content to keep riding the bus and paying their fares?

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kmbboots
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Nope. Figuring out what one believes is true is not the same as buying a car.

Those people are only part of the Church.

You have already made that argument. I told you why I disagreed. Move on. [Wink]

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