Lest We Forget

In my last post, I was reminded that all the evidence for the nonexistence of god that I listed was somewhat misleading, given the various gods that apparently exist, and their contradictory characteristics. I tended to agree, but only if one broadened the sense of my post. In my list I missed one glaring example, though.

Today, I want to be clear, as an ex-Catholic, that what I’m referring to herein is the Catholic god, the one who along with his son, Jesus, and that ethereal Holy Ghost, comprise the Catholic vision of the creator of the Universe, the overseer of humanity (especially the Catholic flock), and the purveyor of absolute morality and justice.

It was reported by the Associated Press that sex-abuse lawsuits against Roman Catholic clergy are down this year. Payouts to victims have nearly doubled however. The item that struck my eye was this one, though.

Nearly 14,000 molestation claims have been filed against Catholic clergy since 1950, according to tallies released by the bishops’ conference. Abuse-related costs have reached at least $2.3 billion in the same period.

That’s a lot of molestation claims, and a lot of money. Over 57 years, that’s approximatively 245 claims per year. And more staggeringly, that’s over 40 million dollars a year averaged over the same time period.

Now, none of that proves that RC clergy abused children sexually. It just means that a whole hell of a lot of people made written, independent claims alleging that they did. It means that their lawyers did a good job convincing the Church that the claims were valid, and that the victims were so severely traumatized by the abuse, that the potential of even larger verdicts might befall the church. And those are just averaged statistics. Most of the claims and most of the settlements have occurred only in the last 7 years, since the scandal broke.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore has a new Archbishop – Edwin O’Brien. He was recently interviewed and asked his opinions on various matters affecting his ministry. One of those was the clergy sex-abuse situation.

Q. Are you relieved House Bill 858, which would have lifted the statute of limitations on child sex-abuse civil cases, died in the committee?

A. This was the fifth time in the past six years that a bill such as this was introduced and rejected by lawmakers in Maryland. I am pleased that this bad and unfair law was not passed. Similar legislation is being pursued in states all over the country by trial lawyers who have already received approximately $720 million as a result of lawsuits against the Catholic Church. In Maryland, the church has reached out — and will continue to reach out — to victims by providing counseling and other direct assistance, not because some law requires us to, but because it is the right thing to do as a church.

I wonder why he feels that not compensating the victims because an arbitrary statute allows the Church to avoid claims, filed when the actual manifestations of the abuse appear, when the victims are adults as opposed to when they are younger, is the right thing to do.

And yes, I accept that throwing money at a problem doesn’t always make it better, especially when the damage to human beings cannot be remedied by simply purchasing additional self esteem like one purchases additional memory for a computer. But, if the abusers are older, dead, or otherwise beyond the reach of the law, there really is not much else one can do for a victim, except compensate them. Money is all that can be used to help alleviate the damage wrought upon young innocent children, and their psyches, their egos, their minds and their sexuality. It is nice that the archdiocese provides free counseling, and claims it actively searches for victims. It’s the least it can do.

Human priests abused human children, and humanity is now trying to pick up the pieces. Where was god in all of this? Why would the Catholic god allow his hand picked priests to commit such atrocities? And if this god knows all, sees all, and controls all, why did he sit back and watch it happen? In a church whose theology is based partially on “Suffer little children” (which doesn’t mean that children should suffer) it is terribly ironic that it was at the hands of the clergy that they did, in fact suffer.

A more telling piece of evidence for a lack of a Catholic god you will not find.

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11 thoughts on “Lest We Forget

  1. A more telling piece of evidence for a lack of a Catholic god you will not find.

    Unless the Catholic god is himself a child-abuser AND a child-slaver AND a child-killer. Just a few of the many examples:

    And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. If she please her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed…. [Exodus: 21: 7-8]

    But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself… [Deuteronomy 20:14]

    … Go, and smite the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead with the edge of the sword, with the women and children. And this is the thing that ye shall do, Ye shall utterly destroy every male … And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead four hundred young virgins, that had known no man by lying with any male; and they brought them unto the camp to Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan. [Judges 21:10-12]

    Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. [Psalms 34:11]

    Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them… [Psalms 127:3-5]

    I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. [Proverbs 8:17]

    Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. [Proverbs 22:15].

    … but Ephraim shall bring forth his children to the murderer. [Hosea 9:13]

    … yea, thought they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb. [Hosea 9:16]

    But when Jesus saw [it], he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not… [Mark 10:14]

  2. Let me understand the Church’s position.

    A priest sticks his prick up your butt when you’re a child, and now the organization that protected the priest, and continues to protect priests, wants you to come in for free counseling to make everything all better? Wants you to what? Understand? Forgive? Forgo compensation?

    Tell me if I’m missing something here, because if it were me then any priest that came with three feet of me would get my foot in his crotch and my fist in his face. And I’m basically a peaceful sort of fellow.

    And yes, yes, the defenders of the faith may claim that not all priests molested children and shouldn’t all be judged yada yada yada. Perhaps they didn’t, but there was a massive coverup spanning decades, if not centuries, and that had to involve a whole lot of lying, hypocritical priests. They’re so into guilt, right? Well, then they are all fucking guilty, right up to every pointy-headed Pope who oversaw the coverup.

  3. With all the molestation charges, moving pedophiles from parish to parish and the Vatican’s lack action against the pedophile priests, its amazing than any one is still Catholic. Its is incomprehensible to me how many Catholics can’t see the Catholic church for what it is, a power structure designed to give few power over others and separate the masses from their money.

  4. Lone Wolf, that is because the Catholic Church is god’s instrument on Earth, and the Church is always good no matter how many of its priesthood might be bad. Besides, what would Catholics do with themselves if they didn’t have baptism, communion and confirmation parties to go to? Catholicism is entrenched in their lives because the Church provides so many milestones in their lives.

  5. At least in this country, evidenced in the Pew report, the catholics are keeping their numbers due to the influx of catholic immigrants, most from down south, if you know what I mean. Maybe that’s really why that wall along the border isn’t being built.

  6. Philly, believe it not, but Latin American immigrants are not necessarily fervent Catholics. Protestants have been making inroads in recent years, and not far from where I live there are several protestant Latino churches.

  7. Tommykey: Good point. But, I see how the true believer would think that way and remain Catholic but the average Catholic, I don’t see how they can remain Catholic. But I’ve never been a religious person so I doubt I could ever understand the religious mindset.
    I guess its would take allot more than a bunch of priests screwin’ 12 year old boy to most Catholics to leave Catholicism.

  8. I think if you can actually believe every Sunday you’re consuming the flesh of your god at mass you can make yourself accept just about anything, including some “bad sheep” diddling children. Beside, a few “hail Mary”s and you’re good to go, right?

  9. When in the hell are the Catholic congregations going to realized their
    offerings are going to pay off the victims of the priests in their diocese??? Obsene! They should file a claim against the church.

  10. I believe in a comment section on Barefoot Bum’s blog I had an argument over who would have had a better life if there was either no afterlife or there was, but we both ended up in hell. Naturally I said an atheist life would be better since at least we didn’t waste all that time with those silly “thou shall not”s and and the tithing. The catholic called my assertion “presumptuous” and said his life was enriched knowing that that tithed money went to help this and that (he listed some shit I can’t remember now). Anyway, I said it was he who was being presumptuous since I at least have some vague ideas and a decent probability of knowing that my charitable donations went where I intended but his tithing? I asked him if he had any proof to suggest that any or all of his money went where he said and not to say buy yet another gold chalice or pay off some legal fees for molesting children. Gosh, I wonder why he didn’t respond after that. 😉

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