This Is NOT An April Fools Post

Seems like a lot of bloggers are posting April Fools Jokes today, because April Fools Day is one of the sacred holidays of Atheism, having no reference whatsoever to the divine, supernatural or religious (even though this year it falls on Palm Sunday). It’s a completely secular holiday. Most of the posts on Freethought Blogs are of the “my fellow atheist blogger X has decided to hang it up, and stop blogging ” variety. I have to think this was a planned strategy. (D’uh).

I was going to create a post that claimed that my friend Larry had decided during the recent college basketball tournaments that in fact, he really enjoyed basketball, had become a true fan in every sense of the word, and had himself whipped to a frenzy during the Louisville/Kentucky game, even losing control of himself after the final seconds of the game. That would be a great April Fools joke.  But then, anyone who knows him knows that his love for his sofa (upon which he lounges while reading his books) would always supersede anything else, and no one would believe him capable of burning it in effigy, in Louisville, or on his front lawn. So I scotched that idea, and had a tumbler of…vodka.

And then I sobered up after reading this.

The Catholic Church’s Secret Sex-Crime Files

It’s not a new story, as it was published in Rolling Stone in September 2011. I realized that I have an overall “macro” outlook of the Catholic Church’s pedophile scandal, but this article zeroed in microscopically to look at it from the point of view of a few of the priests involved in the Philadelphia crime syndicate archdiocese. I know there are priests all over the world who were guilty of taking advantage of the younger members of their flock, but I never had it described in so much detail. As a recovering Catholic, it really hit home when I read this article.

The main point of the article is that the Archdiocese kept secret files that fully documented the abuse heaped on children over 50 years, and, more importantly, the fact that the church had an institutional policy of covering up the abuse, by dissembling with the victims, reassuring them that they would take immediate action against the perpetrators, while simply shuffling them to other parishes where they could do it again. The pain and anguish they inflicted on these children is incomparable. One committed suicide. One, who was “passed around” from priest to priest when he was 10 years old, ending up sliding into heroin addiction in his late teens.

I know it’s beginning to sound repetitious, but what struck me was that if this one lone archdiocese was doing it, and you accept that fact that priest pedophilia was widespread and is still rampant, then every archdiocese, diocese and parish probably has “secret” files detailing their sordid past involvements in this same practice – if they haven’t been put in the shredder by now. It’s too bad that Philadelphia had to have a grand jury investigation and years of struggle with the “thugs” in the church before they could even get their hands on the files. I imagine that similar proceedings would have to be filed in every locality to get this information, a daunting and expensive proposition at best.

What might make better sense would be a federal investigation filed on a national basis, perhaps under RICO, with a goal to breaking up what amounts to an organized crime racket. It’s not unheard of. The fact that individual priests raped little boys in the church doesn’t really give rise to a RICO claim, but I think that the fact that the upper echelon of the church put in place a “fixer”, who’s sole purpose was to ensure that the crimes committed by the lower echelon be swept under the rug, while proclaiming that they were cleaning their own house, surely does. Wouldn’t it be nice to see the assets of the church broken up and sold to compensate the victims of their criminal enterprise? Could you imagine foreclosures on church properties, and the resultant reintegration of church real estate into the local tax base? Wouldn’t it be worth it to see Bill Donohue shut up for once?

I don’t see that to be an April Fools joke. Maybe a dream, but certainly not a joke.

16 thoughts on “This Is NOT An April Fools Post

  1. I have a large amount of anger for the parents who accepted pay-off to keep quiet, thus ensuring other kids would befall the same faith as theirs.

    • I would too. I haven’t seen much about that in the press. If the Church bought them off with money, a confidentiality clause would have been routine, or they didn’t get the money. It would be hard to be too judgmental, while they made a decision about what’s right for their child, as opposed to all children. If I was the father of a suicidal child that needed immediate and extensive therapy, I’d probably do it to.

    • Whoopsies (as Rachel Maddow likes to say)! Missed that one.

      So, how was Mass today? Did you get your palms? Did you braid them?

  2. Will never happen. WOULD HAPPEN in any other part of our society – but not when a major, accepted Christian church is involved. Sure, there will be INDIVIDUAL prices to be paid but it will never be attacked at the organizational level other than by US.

    Larry loves the ‘CATS!!!

  3. I disagree with the first cartoon, mostly on the ground that it implies that only certain groups can feel anger at some events. Must I have been castrated by a Catholic priest to feel anger at the reports from Holland? Are single guys with no children not capable of feeling anger at what’s been happening to all those children at the hands of the clergy? It doesn’t take married men with children,it takes human beings, which I guess precludes much of the Church ‘s upper echelons.

  4. I think we can all agree that RICO laws were intended to be enforced only on the swarthy. And Italians. Definitely not for either thieves operating under the auspices of corporations or serial rapists under the protection of a First Century confidence-game-based institution.

  5. Every morning it seems they show some footage of that fat fuck waddling to and from the courthouse. I don’t know why it’s so hard to get some of these bastards to flip and give up their superiors.

    On a semi-unrelated note, we went to a church recently because of a concert. There was no admission fee but they had the collection basket out at the entrance. Naturally we walked right past it. An older woman gave us a cranky face when we did that so I said, “I can’t be sure where the money would go.” It’s one thing to question Catholics for continuing to be Catholics or to go to mass, but it’s another to ask why they continue to donate money when there’s a good chance it could go to defend child-rapists and their protectors. There’s personal indulgence, and then there’s aiding and abetting a criminal enterprise.

    • I don’t know why it’s so hard to get some of these bastards to flip and give up their superiors.

      Because they don’t care about punishment in this life…? Lying and deception for Jesus is rewarded elsewhere.

  6. It seems to me that the Catholics I know don’t see the systemic issue involved – that many Church leaders colluded in a massive cover-up as a matter of policy. They seem to see the rapes, etc., as isolated incidents that happened elsewhere – they’re certain that their priests would never rape anyone or cover up for a rapist.

    Add to that a whole shitload of other factors – fear of death, fear of hell, desire to live in heaven, desire to stay in their church community, etc. – and the faithful have a lot of what they see as good reasons for overlooking the rot and corruption within their religion.

    • All good arguments for a national prosecution. Or an international one, rather than these piecemeal local ones.

  7. As do members of most groups, political parties, or casual affiliation, even removing the “shitload of other factors”.

    That unwillingness to self examine is a good reason to eschew affiliations. But that’s the rub, isn’t it. You can’t do much as individuals, especially since groups, any group, will protect their own.

    Not for the good of the species, not for the good of the children, not for the good of humanity . . . groups exist to protect their own, and hence turn a blind eye to internal problems.

    • Naturally people in groups tend to turn a blind eye to this or that, but child rape must be one of those things which no one, no group, could turn a blind eye to without being monsters.

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