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Global Catholic nuns urge reporting of sex abuse to police

Nuns look as a crane raises a 68-foot-tall Christmas tree at the Vatican on Nov. 22, 2018. The tree, from the northern Italian Consiglio forest, was donated by the Friuli Venezia Giulia region. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

ROME (AP) — The Catholic Church’s global organization of nuns has denounced the “culture of silence and secrecy” surrounding sexual abuse in the church and is urging sisters who have been abused to report the crimes to police and their superiors.

The International Union of Superiors General, which represents more than 500,000 sisters worldwide, vowed to help nuns who have been abused to find the courage to report it, and pledged to help victims heal and seek justice.

The statement, issued on the eve of the U.N.-designated International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, was the first from the Rome-based UISG since the abuse scandal erupted anew this year and as the sexual abuse of adult nuns by clergymen has also come to light. The Associated Press reported earlier this year that the Vatican has known for decades about the problem of priests and bishops preying on nuns but has done next to nothing to stop it.

In the statement Friday (Nov. 23), the UISG didn’t specify clergy as the aggressors. While such abuse is well-known in parts of Africa, and an Indian case of the alleged rape of a nun by a bishop is currently making headlines, there have also been cases of sexual abuse committed by women against other women within congregations.

The UISG statement was broad, condemning what it called the “pattern of abuse that is prevalent within the church and society today,” citing sexual, verbal and emotional abuse as types of mistreatment that festers in unequal power relations and demeans the dignity of its victims.

“We condemn those who support the culture of silence and secrecy, often under the guise of ‘protection’ of an institution’s reputation or naming it ‘part of one’s culture,'” the group said.

“We advocate for transparent civil and criminal reporting of abuse whether within religious congregations, at the parish or diocesan levels, or in any public arena,” the statement said.

To mark the U.N. day calling for an end to violence against women, the head of the Italian bishops’ conference, Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, issued a video message on the subject — but didn’t mention sexual violence against sisters by fellow clergymen, evidence of how taboo the subject is within the church hierarchy.

An AP investigation found that cases of priests abusing nuns have emerged in Europe, Africa, South America and Asia, underscoring how sisters’ second-class status in the church has contributed to a power imbalance where women can be mistreated by men with near impunity.

While some nuns are finding their voices, buoyed by the #MeToo movement, many victims remain reluctant to come forward. Experts told AP sisters have a well-founded fear they won’t be believed and will instead be painted as the seducer who corrupted the priest. Often the sister who denounces abuse by a priest is punished, including with expulsion from her congregation, while the priest’s vocation is preserved at all cost.

The Vatican has known for years about the problem in Africa after a series of major studies was commissioned in the 1990s. Religious sisters reported that African nuns were being particularly targeted by priests seeking to avoid HIV transmission from prostitutes or other women.

In the wake of the AP report, the umbrella organization of U.S. sisters, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, urged sisters who had been abused to report to both civil and church authorities. Many of the LCWR’s members also belong to the global UISG, which can provide a point of contact with the Vatican.

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Nicole Winfield

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  • Good to see that more and more pressure is being brought to bear on the hierarchy that knowingly enabled and covered up sexual abuse on every continent other than Antartica.

  • Years ago I was sitting in a Catholic Church waiting for a funeral to begin and when the priest walked out of the sacristy (wearing a smiley-face button on his robes) a friend of mine sitting next to me leaned over and whispered in my ear a story of how this priest had carried on a long-time affair with a nun and had “experimented” with her using a Coke bottle, which resulted in the nun being taken to the E.R. My friend was told this by the nun herself, so I believed my friend. After she related that story my friend said, “and she wasn’t the only one.”

  • There are two separate organizations of women religious.

    The one discussed in the article – the International Union of Superiors General – is the organization of religious along the lines of misnamed “Nuns in a Bus”, nuns being the cloistered religious women in the Catholic Church.

    An overtly feminist organization, it has been in conflict with its church for several years over issues such as abortion and the ordination of women.

    I am not aware of a single congregation in the International Union of Superiors General which is cloistered or wears any form of “habit”, a uniform which identifies their vocation and order.

    The other organization is the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious. It represents traditional women religious and works within the church and in agreement with their church’s teachings.

    https://www.ncronline.org/news/global-sisters-report/two-groups-two-paths-us-women-religious

    The International Union of Superiors General has a stated position on nearly everything, so this particular position is hardly newsworthy.

  • The issue at hand is sexual abuse and its cover-up. Not if one or another organization is traditional, feminist, etc.

  • Re: “An overtly feminist organization, it has been in conflict with its church for several years over issues such as abortion and the ordination of women.” 

    So you’re saying — based on what you call their “feminism” — that they’re not allowed to speak out about sexual abuse? 

    FWIW they haven’t manufactured the problem in question, as the article itself states: “An AP investigation found that cases of priest abusing nuns have emerged in Europe, Africa, South America and Asia, underscoring how sisters’ second class status in the church has contributed to a power imbalance where women can be mistreated by men with near impunity….The Vatican has known for years about the problem in Africa after a series of major studies were commissioned in the 1990s. Religious sisters reported that African nuns were being particularly targeted by priests seeking to avoid HIV transmission from prostitutes or other women.” 

    I guess you missed those parts, probably because they might make your Precious & Sacred, Holy, Blameless & Perfect Church look bad. Or something. 

    (BTW that last bit was “sarcasm.”) 

    Re: “The International Union of Superiors General has a stated position on nearly everything, so this particular position is hardly newsworthy.” 

    Well, we already know you disapprove of these nuns and want them to shut up, but your subjective wishes don’t make things newsworthy or not. 

  • The abuse of nuns also undermines the narrative that homosexuality is the driver of abuse. “Predator” is the accurate description. “Accessory” is the accurate description of those who covered it up, condemning more innocents to abuse and its chronic and debilitating consequences.

  • “So you’re saying — based on what you call their ‘feminism’ — that they’re not allowed to speak out about sexual abuse?”

    Were I saying that I would have written:

    “Because the International Union of Superiors General is feminist, it is not allowed to speak out about sexual abuse.”

    Obviously that is not what I wrote, obviously you can’t read simple English, and are not attempting to manufacture a debate on topics about which you know nothing to perpetuate your pathological hatred of the ‘Precious & Sacred, Holy, Blameless & Perfect Church … (o)r something.”

    I would stick to what you know.

    There surely is something .

  • The article was not actually on sexual abuse or its cover-up.

    It was a thinly disguised press release from the International Union of Superiors General given to Nicole Winfield at the AP who makes most of her living being fed these tidbits by various groups seeking publicity.

    Btw, the nuns in the photo accompanying the article belong to congregation which is NOT a member of the International Union of Superiors General in the US whose “urge” was “reported” on.

  • Re: “Were I saying that I would have written: ‘Because the International Union of Superiors General is feminist, it is not allowed to speak out about sexual abuse.'” 

    You stated that nothing they said is newsworthy. In other words, their words should never have been reported by anyone. Hence, you want them (effectively) silenced. 

    It’s OK if you want to say that. What’s not OK is for you not to own up to the logical ramifications of what you say. 

    Re: “… to perpetuate your pathological hatred of the ‘Precious & Sacred, Holy, Blameless & Perfect Church …” 

    Once again, my sarcasm — which I pointed out to you at the time I employed it! — is lost on you. You’re using it to keep insisting I have some kind of pathological, vile, profane, if not downright preternatural hatred for your Church. 

    Nothing could be further from the truth, however. I’ve explained for years what’s wrong with your Church. Those are based on facts and evidence, not my own psychopathology. If you seriously want to contend there’s been no decades-if-not-centuries-in-the-making, worldwide priestly-pedophilia-backed-up-by-hierarchical-obstruction-of-justice scandal — which has been known for close to two full decades now … and, thus, that it’s all the product of my own personal psychopathology … then you’re simply wrong. Investigations from around the world — especially in Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, among many other countries — have all provided clear and compelling evidence of it. 

    I didn’t make one bit of it up. 

    I also didn’t make up all the things that have driven the Church to do what it’s done. Those would be things like its position re: the Donatist controversy, which in the 4th century led the Church to conclude there is NEVER anything a cleric can ever do which can automatically invalidate his ordination. Another of these is the notion, enshrined in Canon Law, that hierarchs cannot ever permit their Church to be discredited in any way; this compels bishops and heads of orders to work hard never to let on that their priests abused kids, or anyone else. 

    I’m sure you think I manufactured that latter point, but I didn’t. It’s been noted by others, and was a bone of contention between the Church and Australian investigators, among other places. 

    Yet, you keep insisting that my pointing all this out is due to some sort of personal, irrational hatred of your Church. Tell me: Do you SERIOUSLY contend I made all of this up, myself? Really!? On what grounds? Do tell, “Bob.” I’m all ears. 

    Honestly. I want to know exactly how and why you think I, personally … as in, li’l ol’ PsiCop … made up all of this material in a desperate, irrational, pathetic and pathological attempt to make your Church look bad. I truly wish to know how you think that worked. 

    So go ahead and explain it. 

  • 466 words to say pretty much nothing.

    “You stated that nothing they said is newsworthy. In other words, their words should never have been reported by anyone. Hence, you want them (effectively) silenced.’

    Or more simply – and accurately – it was not newsworthy.

    “Once again, my sarcasm — which I pointed out to you at the time I employed it! — is lost on you. You’re using it to keep insisting I have some kind of pathological, vile, profane, if not downright preternatural hatred for your Church.”

    Noting, not insisting, that you exhibit animosity towards the Catholic Church and take every opportunity you can to denigrate it and its members.

    “Another of these is the notion, enshrined in Canon Law, that hierarchs cannot ever permit their Church to be discredited in any way; this compels bishops and heads of orders to work hard never to let on that their priests abused kids, or anyone else.”

    I’m betting you can’t cite one Canon supporting that blather.

    “I’ve explained for years what’s wrong with your Church.”

    Your time would be better spent trying to figure out what is wrong with you.

  • The issue at hand is sexual abuse and its cover-up by the RCC hierarchy.

    Your continued attempts at deflection don’t and won’t change that.

  • If the article had been about a group of Catholic religious women suggesting that abuse NOT be reported to the police, it would have been newsworthy.

  • Aside from the obvious need to curb sexual abuse by clergy for the sake of victims or potential victims, there is actually another issue. Many churches are plagued by crappy ministers doing completely fake ministry and sometimes the laity doesn’t know the difference—–or know that they are being religiously defrauded in this way by ministers who do not know a Holy Spirit from a hole in the ground. If you always report the abuse cases to secular authorities, you will have the side benefit of flushing a bunch of impersonators out of your pulpits.

    Consider the number of people who have sat under preaching from an abuser, times the number of occasions they have sat for it. You would be talking about literally billions of individuals’ experiences at church which were, in fact, complete and total frauds. And, as they say, “who knew”? Answer: Not nearly enough people.

  • Thank you for posting this. I knew nuns whose superiors were in both organizations. What you say of the leadership of the (IUSG?) is true, but there are many (particularly older sisters), who by their prayers and sacrifices are keeping those orders alive. I remember younger sisters in one order who were interested in attending a conference on an artist who was portraying the “femininity of God.” I overheard an elderly sister in the same order say of the presentation, “I don’t need that! The Spirit of Wisdom is portrayed in Scripture as “she”. The Blessed Virgin is our Mother!” That said, I heard of two cases (one was from a “progressive” order, the other from a traditional order), involving such things, as this author talks of. It is sad that this narrow propaganda seems to be all that is reportable about the Church.

  • “…sisters’ second class status in the church has contributed to a power imbalance where women can be mistreated by men with near impunity.” And later: the nuns fear they will “be painted as the seducer who corrupted the priest.”

    Both of those conditions have prevailed in the lay society for – just about forever. Until about the 1800’s that is. Society has made important strides in bringing about greater equality for women in the secular world – in voting, owning property, working in all kinds of professions.. Finally, it is time to look at how powerful men use their power to take sexual license with women whether they want it or not. That is why we now have the #MeToo movement – it points especially to the problem of that power imbalance. There is no surprise that the same thing exists in the Catholic Church, whether it is about the powerful taking sexual advantage of a man, a woman, or a child.

    We also for a long time fell into the trap of the idea that men aren’t responsible if women “seduced” them. Our very religion has the ridiculous story of Eve luring Adam into sin with the forbidden apple. In working with an organization in the mid 1970’s to start a rape hot line, a group of us met with the police, to start a conversation about how they dealt with accusations of rape. They said they consider pertinent to whether or not a rape occurred how a woman dressed (clothing too short, too tight), whether the woman had been drinking, whether she agreed to some sexual activity and led the guy on. There was – and still is – a lot of license given to guys to not be responsible in managing their own sexual response – it is still the “Eve” who lures the poor deluded “Adam” into sin.

    It is time for the boys to grow up. And it is time for the Catholic Church to deal with sex abuse of any kind within its own organization. It is especially important to look at how power is used to coerce sex from the less powerful, whether it is a sister/nun, a child, a seminarian – in an organization that is entirely male dominated.

    Too bad the Church has not been a leader in this – yet. Maybe something good can come from the February meeting at the Vatican.

  • So sisters never abuse anybody? They are only victims now? Gad, I’m glad we got over that stereotype of the ruler-wielding nun.

  • I do focus on sexual abuse by men in my comment. Most sexual abuse is from the male. And, I think a big dynamic in sex abuse is the power play. Most power is still in male hands in the world and most definitely in the Catholic Church.

    But you are right that physical, psychological, sexual abuse are also perpetuated by nuns/sisters. It is the same power play – but probably involves children or fellow sisters. And it should be reported, investigated, and dealt with in the civil world and in the Church world when it does happen. As for ruler-wielding nuns, I have known one or two – but I think we have less of that these days – we have so few nuns at all and even fewer who teach in elementary schools. More, society has changed and striking children is much more frowned upon than it was earlier. I think we are better for the social attitude change but do wish we still had sisters teaching kids.

    But when it comes to sexual abuse that involves a priest and a nun, I would find it very surprising if we read of a priest reporting a nun to the police or to his bishop/religious superior for sexual abuse. We would not be so surprised if a nun/sister reports a priest or bishop- now would we?

    Having said that – I don’t think there is rampant sex abuse happening between priests/bishops and nuns all over the world. But, it does happen and there needs to be a willingness on the part of the Church to acknowledge it when it happens and to assure justice is done. I don’t think LCWR would have come out with their statement if they thought it was being dealt with.

  • All clergy are woefully misguided, by themselves. That’s what fuels them to become the most fervant of deity worshippers in the first place.

  • Re: “466 words to say pretty much nothing.” 

    And yet, you felt compelled to count them all. Hmm. 

    Re: “Or more simply – and accurately – it was not newsworthy.” 

    Yes, and you define anything these nuns say as “not newsworthy” solely because you call them “feminists.” Unfortunately for you, it’s not your job — nor your place — to decide what’s newsworthy and what isn’t. 

    Re: “Noting, not insisting, that you exhibit animosity towards the Catholic Church …” 

    I have no animosity toward “the Church.” I do have contempt for the people who run it, and for its apologists, such as yourself. I’ve never denied that. All ethical and moral people should view them with contempt. Still, contempt isn’t the same as animosity. 

    Re: “I’m betting you can’t cite one Canon supporting that blather.” 

    I can, and have done so, e.g. in a comment on another RNS story a few months ago. To be clear, the canon in question is: 

    “Immo, quoties natura causae vel probationum talis sit ut ex actorum vel probationum evulgatione aliorum fama periclitetur, vel praebeatur ansa dissidiis, aut scandalum aliudve id genus incommodum oriatur, iudex poterit testes, peritos, partes earumque advocatos vel procuratores iureiurando astringere ad secretum servandum.” (1455 s. 3) 

    Oh, and don’t go running around saying I made that up. Here’s a link to it … on no less than the Vatican’s own Web site: http://www.vatican.va/archive/cod-iuris-canonici/latin/documents/cic_liberVII_lt.html#TITULUS_III

    Re: “Your time would be better spent trying to figure out what is wrong with you.” 

    … says the guy who compulsively counts my words, doesn’t understand basic definitions, can’t or won’t comprehend sarcasm even when it’s marked as such, and is childishly upset with other people who refuse to worship his own Sacred, Perfect, & Holy Church. 

    In short, you’re so full of crap, you should hire yourself out as a toilet. 

  • I’m more concerned about any of them who are capable of sexually abusing any person and THEN talking to people about God from a position of some kind of credential. When this happens there is the “major” victim, that is the person who was abused, and then there are the “minor” victims who are those who unwittingly settle for their spiritual “leadership” coming from insincere creep.

  • You’re so full of crap, you wrote the post I am responding to.

    “I have no animosity toward ‘the Church.'”

    Uh …. no.

    “§ 3. Whenever the nature of the case or the proofs is such acts or proofs will endanger the reputation of others, provide opportunity for discord or scandal or some other disadvantage, the judge will be able to witnesses and experts, the parties and their advocates or proxies by oath to secrecy.”

    This same basic provision exists in American law, which is why jurors operate under secrecy, why records are sealed, why certain documents are reviewed in camera.

    What it does not do is provide that the police not be called when a crime is committed.

  • Re: “You’re so full of crap, you wrote the post I am responding to.” 

    And you keep spilling your sewage all over the place. 

    Re: “I have no animosity toward ‘the Church.’”Uh …. no. 

    Uh … yes. I get that you don’t like that, but too bad so sad for you, you remain (as always!) catastrophically wrong. 

    Re: “This same basic provision exists in American law …” 

    Yes, but there’s always a court that has jurisdiction over a case and can be petitioned to release records. Newspapers, for example, can and make such petitions all the time. That doesn’t happen in the Church, because under Canon Law, there is no oversight — of anything. It’s a law unto itself, accountable only to itself, never reviewable by anyone. There is no means of petitioning for release of records. At all. 

    Re: “What it does not do is provide that the police not be called when a crime is committed.” 

    Actually, such orders have been given … directly and unambiguously. The Vatican, for instance, issued such an order in 1997 to Ireland’s bishops

    But I’ll bet you’ll insist I fabricated that. Right? Because I’m psychopathologically hateful toward your Previous, Perfect & Holy Church or something. No? 

    Oh, and the Church has told Australia it can, and will, refuse to report suspected abuse, too. But again, I went and made that up. Didn’t I? 

    (Oh, before you hurl it at me … don’t give me any crap about the sanctity of the confessional. You and I know how the hierarchs work. They find out about the abuse, ask the priest about it, get the story from him, then ex post facto decide their conversation had been “in the confessional,” and in turn refuse to report it to anyone — additionally granting themselves absolution, both religiously and legally, happy to let the abuser go and prey on more people.) 

  • Actually, for “Mark Connelly”/”Bob Arnzen”/etc. it is. In fact, it’s the overriding consideration. Feminist organizations have nothing to say because they’re insolent and profane, you see. 

    This sort of thinking is common in all areas of rigid thinking. Who says something is more important than what is said. A feminist could start a speech on a nice, sunny day, by mentioning it’s a nice, sunny day outside, and a rigid thinker like “Mark Connelly”/”Bob Arnzen”/etc. will almost reflexively decide it must be raining … because the feminist said it was nice out. 

    That’s just the kind of tribalism which allowed the R.C. Church to get away with as much as it has, over the centuries. You’re seeing that same tribalistic, reflexive reaction from its apologists. 

  • ” In short, you’re so full of crap, you should hire yourself out as a toilet. ”

    MC (aka Bob Arnzen) is already hired out as a professional RCC apologist. I doubt you’ll find any invective that he hasn’t already been subjected to. Comparing him to a toilet demeans a useful apparatus. More than can be said for MC/Arnzen….

  • So, one letter two decades ago in one country that has was shortly thereafter overridden by higher authority and which the article you cited explains:

    “…. the letter ‘has been deeply misunderstood.’ …. (as) its primary purpose was to ensure that bishops used proper canonical procedures to discipline their priests so that the punishments were not overturned on technical grounds. …. (and) intended to question the validity of the Irish bishops’ policies, because they were issued merely as a ‘study document.’”

    proves your misinterpretation of a Canon is correct?

    No, it proves you’ve been shoveling anti-Catholic manure so long you’ve lost your bearings.

    “Oh, and the Church has told Australia it can, and will, refuse to report suspected abuse, too.”

    The article you provided states that Catholic priests are forbidden to violate the seal of Confession.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seal_of_the_Confessional_in_the_Catholic_Church

    Were you a fair commenter rather than a rabid anti-Catholic you would have read it.

  • “one of a handful worldwide” seems to indicate you’re digging mighty deep and hard to swill anti-Catholic tripe.

  • They must have had pictures from their meeting. What they are doing is finding the old representation of a sister that is recognizable to their readership?

  • Thank you for an answer that has some points that many people can relate to. Sisters are free agents, very often. They work with priests and bishops, but their superiors are the ones they report to. Their superiors are not answerable to the diocese, and maintain their own records. If someone is trying to get money for victims of abuse, they will not find it by suing a religious order. The only power the Church may boast of is in the Cross of Christ. That is the power over sin. Throughout the centuries the Church has had to reform, because her members do not live up to their calling. In any process of reformation, there are those that seek to destroy the thing itself — so it is not really reformation. In the past it has led to splintering. But there is always the lure of money and power on the part of those who seek to harm the Church, as well.

  • Re: “So, one letter two decades ago in one country … proves your misinterpretation of a Canon is correct?” 

    In a word … yes, it does. 

    Re: “No, it proves you’ve been shoveling anti-Catholic manure so long you’ve lost your bearings.” 

    … says the guy who shovels unthinking pro-Catholic manure. 

    Re: “The article you provided states that Catholic priests are forbidden to violate the seal of Confession.” 

    Irrelevant. “The seal of the Confession” is a pretense used by hierarchs and abusive priests to rationalize not reporting abuse. It’s actually ecclesiastical (and criminal) fraud — but you wouldn’t know what that is, now, would you? 

  • Re: “Comparing him to a toilet demeans a useful apparatus.” 

    Ugh. You’re right! Thanks for pointing that out. 

    I hereby apologize to toilets for comparing them to “Bob Arnzen”/”Mark Connelly”/etc. 

  • The smaller organization of religious women has many orders that wear traditional habits.

    If you visit the Vatican City you encounter many of them.

  • Re: “… Australia has a strong history of anti-Catholicism …” 

    So, you’re saying, every single time someone says something in opposition to the R.C. Church, that s/he/it/hey must, by definition, be “anti-Catholic”? Is that it? 

    You’ve railed and fumed and stamped your feet over my supposed “anti-Catholicism.” Now that Australia has tried to rein in the Church there, and wants to deprive them of a mechanism which allows abusive clergy to keep abusing, that makes them “anti-Catholic.” 

    You’re going to have to work harder at justifying your rage, little dude. Kvetching and screeching about “anti-Catholicism” does not, and never will, magically make any critic of your Precious & Perfect & Holy Church wrong about whatever they say. One must address the content of the criticism … directly … rather than merely raging at the insolence of others who dare critique your Church. 

    That’s how logic works. Even people who are truly “biased” against your Church, can be correct. That said, the kind of “bias” and true “anti-Catholicism” you pitch fits over, isn’t always where you think it is. You just use that accusation to rationalize ignoring valid criticism. Just like our Groper-in-Chief, who throws tantrums and has meltdowns over “fake news.” 

    If you want to be like him, well, it’s a free country and you can certainly do so, if you wish. I’m just going to tell you that tactics like that are the height of childishness. Your emulation of him only serves to show how infantile you are. 

  • Reporting abuse of children to the civil authorities is required in many US states and is an obligation of those in certain professions such as teachers, medical professionals or social workers. Reporting to civil authorities is not a mere suggestion to pass on to senior management. A quicker way to stop abuse is mandatory reporting followed up with criminal prosecution of those who do not report or seek to cover up abuse. The Roman Church if not part of the civil establishment, has always considered itself above the law when it suits their corporate interests.

  • “So, you’re saying, every single time someone says something in opposition to the R.C. Church, that s/he/it/hey must, by definition, be ‘anti-Catholic’? Is that it?”

    No.

    Australian anti-Catholicism is a matter of record.

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/41273874?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

    https://redflag.org.au/index.php/node/5651

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Catholicism#Australia

    Have a nice day and try not to rant yourself into apoplexy.

  • In some states teachers who are aware of an abusive situation are required by law to report it directly to the police. They are also required by law not to report it to their supervisor, on the assumption that the supervisor might be tempted to fudge the problem. The conduct of the bishops over the past 50 years certainly demonstrates the wisdom of bypassing the supervisors and reporting directly to the police.
    Now the bishops are insisting that they can solve the problem in February. Just give them one more chance, and then one more chance, and then one more chance, and then …

  • Atheism is not believing deities exist, kind of like “not playing tennis.” You could have applied your faulty logic and stated, “Bad parenting fuels offspring to not play tennis. “Hey honey, it’s a great day to not play tennis. Let’s have a family outing where we don’t play tennis with the kids “

  • “Atheism is not believing deities exist ….”

    So, for some reason, “atheists” keep claiming. “A” = against or not, “theist” = a believer in a deity or deities; atheism = not believer in deity or deities.

    I am sure you’ll try to substitute the definition of “agnostic” for “atheist”; atheists do it all the time since the Soviet Union took the glow off it.

    Have a nice day.

  • The RCC in Australia is stronger in Australia than in the US, so strong that it was able,to get massive government aid for its private indoctrination centers — er, schools — in defiance of Article 116 of the Aussie constitution, which is based on the US First Amendment.

  • Mark is an atheist with respect to the 3423 odd documented deities. I add one to that list, namely the deity Mark’s parents shoved down his throat.

  • Actually, religious orders have been sued and have paid hefty amounts for child sex abuse and/or agreed to pay into compensation funds – I think I have read of this in the U.S., Canada, Ireland and Australia. I believe I read that in the U.S. several men’s religious orders that include both brothers and priests have paid tens of millions; the Jesuits are now saying they are going to produce a lists of credibly accused members of their U.S. provinces. I believe orders of sisters/ nuns in Ireland have also paid settlements or pledged to pay into compensation funds. I don’t really know much at all about suits against orders of religious women for abuse – sexual, physical, emotional. And some religious orders have a great deal of wealth – maybe tied up in land and buildings, but wealth none-the-less.

    Here is hoping that part of the discussion in the February meeting does deal with how religious orders have dealt with – or failed to deal with – justice for those abused by members of their groups. Bishops can’t really handle discipline or the status of an abuser as a member of the religious order or within the Church. What they can do – and should do – is always report any accusations they hear about to the police, whether or not the civil law requires it. Our bishops are getting closer to this – but there is work still to be done in the civil sphere to make sure that all states have mandatory reporting requirements that apply to bishops so there is no confusion on the issue.

    I also think we can’t just assume that everyone who sues the Church is acting out of “the lure of money and power”. What people also want is justice and that has been very hard to come by from the Catholic Church when it comes to child sex abuse. If the Church has been greatly harmed by this scandal – I suggest much of the harm has been self-inflicted because the Church has been deaf, dumb, and blind to justice for those abused. They also lost the trust of millions of parents of millions of children because they so mishandled the whole situation and created an environment in the Church and in Catholic schools that left children vulnerable to suspected or knows abusers. So Catholics who have not been abused want both justice for those who have been abused and a safe environment for children. BOTH.

  • If you’re going to refer to yourself as odd while documenting deities, you should make the reference clearer.

  • No one has spoiled my fun. I did manage to spoil the fun of a bishop who protected the priest who abused me.

  • You would think you would have it behind you, then, rather than squatting on a religious news site to annoy believers and bray loudly.

  • The number of prosecutions for failure to report, and even fewer convictions, indicates that the Catholic Church (your use of Roman Church is designed to be insulting) has been operating within the law.

  • You were unaware because we are not. Your defense of the Church after what has occurred and is still occurring makes you the pervert.

  • That you have unresolved issues and should be seeking professional help?

    It does not take a psychiatrist to figure that out.

  • Since you make no distinction between the Church and offenders – a First Century CanisPulchrae would be writing about the ratfink Apostles thanks to Judas – your criticism bounces off.

  • Yes, in supporting schools, hospitals, and works of charity, your “ratfink Apostles” notwithstanding.

  • That I am advocating for clergy sex abuse victims and speaking out against the bishops’ crimes doesn’t equate to “unresolved issues”. Obviously it is your Church which has the unresolved issues. You are part of that problem.

  • No, you are not “advocating for clergy sex abuse victims”.

    You are parked at a website where you will encounter people with religious beliefs so that can carp at them, their beliefs, and their churches. You have a particular interest in attacking Catholicism and Catholics.

    Let’s not try to dignify your malfunctioning.

  • Connelly/Arnzen cannot get his head around the idea that most Catholics agree with my positions on contraception, abortion, tax aid for church schools and other issues.

  • Connelly/Arnzen surely cannot be unaware that church-run hospitals, schools, and charities are operated with a very great deal of public funds extracted from taxpayers of all faiths.

  • I really don’t give a damn what you think about why I am here. You’re a troll, remember? You mission is to harass people you disagree with.

  • With a name like “CanisPulchrae”, a years-long anti-Catholic shtick, personal attacks on everyone who supports Christianity, a pugnacious attitude, and no interest in the content of the articles except as they can be used to segue into sniping at Catholics and Catholicism, I believe you to be the troll.

  • blah blah blah. You and your apologist friends here are fake Christians, homophobes and bigots. I don’t have to tolerate that.

  • Most “physical” sexual abuse is by males. Pychological/emotional sexual abuse is likely on a much more even playing field.

  • Mark states “You would think you would…” because he’s too immature to be truthful and state “I think you should.”

  • Answer the question. The question is “That shows how little you know on the subject, right?” The correct answer is “yes,” so answer it by stating “yes.”

  • Answer the question.

    The question is “FHRITP is a troll with little or no interest in advancing discussion of religious news, right?”

    The correct answer is “yes,” so answer it by stating “yes.”

  • Yes there is. He can and does expose your patheticness to others. Especially since you’re such an easy target.

  • Yeah, yeah, yeah. The pedestrian “You consider yourself a deity” argument. That’s right. In my world, I am a deity. And?

  • And there is not a thing you can do about my being here. Get used to it. Glad to have pi$$ed you off. Made my day.

  • You haven’t pi$$ed me off, although doing that sort of thing is your only reason for posting here, troll.

    I certainly can do something about your being here:

    https://help.disqus.com/commenting/user-blocking

    but to this point you’re just alternately bizarre and sad, particularly thinking you’re accomplishing anything beyond presenting as someone in need of an intervention.

  • Yeah, “Mark”/”Bob” … I get it. Anyone who says anything even remotely unflattering about your Precious, Perfect & Unassailably Holy Eternally Magnificent Church must, by definition, be psychopathologically “anti-Catholic.” I get it. Really. You’ve said it before. 

    Your problem is, there’s nothing logical about this assumption. Nothing. At. All. 

  • If you’re going to be honest, you would have to admit that there is a substantial number of anti-Catholics posting here.
    Mark is one of the few who defends the church and the faith. He has stated on numerous occasions where there are issues with the church; and has made plenty of statements defending it as well from the haters.
    We all know there are clear lines drawn on this page between those of faith and those who are athiest, agnostic, secular or who hate or wish to change the RCC.

  • Re: “If you’re going to be honest, you would have to admit that there is a substantial number of anti-Catholics posting here.” 

    Again, and to repeat, critiquing the Church does not automatically make one “anti-Catholic.” There are, indeed, Catholics who think the Church has done wrong and must be changed. 

    Re: “Mark is one of the few who defends the church and the faith.” 

    Yes, and he does so compulsively, without regard to the actual content of what is said. That’s kind of the opposite of the psychopathological “anti-Catholicism” he loves to accuse others of … it is, instead, a psychopathological compulsion to defend the Church all costs. 

    Re: “We all know there are clear lines drawn on this page between those of faith and those who are athiest, agnostic, secular or who hate or wish to change the RCC.” 

    First of all, that there are atheists, agnostics, etc. who comment on the Church, does not automatically make them wrong. Second, as I noted, there are even Catholics who want the Church to change. 

    As for whether any of these non-believing “outsiders” should have any say in the matter … the Church has, in fact, broken laws around the world, and has done so for decades. Everyone — inside the Church and those without — are fully entitled to demand the Church be held accountable for that and reform in ways that prevent this. 

  • Nothing wrong with criticizing the church. There is a difference between criticizing the church and outright hatred. I would argue most on this page have outright hatred or disdain for the church.
    I also think that most come here looking for a fight. That’s free me; but it does reduce the level of polite discourse when there is no intent to discuss.

  • Really, I do believe that people want justice. So I’ll talk about that first. Recently a diocese Pennsylvania was sued on the behalf of victims. The priests named were 4 — 3 dead and 1 living, retired. These priests had not been named in the PA grand jury report. The TV media reported extensively on the one living priest, who has been removed from any ministry, and then, at the very end mentioned the other 3. Under our system of law, a person is innocent until proven guilty. This alleged abuse occurred so long ago, that there is probably no legal proof. This elderly priest will not be criminally charged, because the statute of limitations has expired. But if he is innocent, he is also finished. He will be sent to a diocesan board that will decide whether the abuse is “credible.” if it is, he will die, not being able to function as a priest, which if true, is justice. But if it is NOT, it is a great injustice. What of the 3 dead priests? They have already received justice. What about the diocese? If the grand jury found no cover-up on these priests, is it likely that this suit can gain anything? The utter contempt shown to the clergy and sees now is also a great injustice to the Catholics whose money supports the Church and all its good works–which are many.

  • Next, “Bishops can’t really handle discipline or the status of an abuser…” Well, apparently the civil courts can’t either. They are hampered by law from allowing suits against the public schools. If the meeting in February does indeed come up with a way to help actual victims — not lawyers and politicians who seek to bring down the Church; if they find a way to actually deal with abuse that happened 30, 40 years ago; if they figure out what to do with these aged priests/religious who have been irrevocably labeled as abusers, maybe it can be applied to civil law. I here give an example of legislation involving a similar situation much more recent than 30 years ago:
    https://www.toomey.senate.gov/?p=news&id=1490

  • Finally, I too have heard of the order in Ireland that was sued. I believe it had contracts from the government for dealing with orphans. So, I wonder, how many officials were also sued? But, by and large, there is no money there in the US. The population is aging, and is supported by general collections across the US. Some orders also are flourishing in Africa and Asia, but these younger sisters are not able to support all the aging sisters, because of the poverty of their countries. The perception of “getting even,” will certainly harm these aged members, as they get very little social security. They do have some land. So you would close down the mother-houses? Where will any innocent sisters go? Believe me, most of them have no idea of this stuff.

  • “most of them have no idea of this stuff.” I believe that is true.

    We are wondering into a territory which is not where most abuse occurred. More, sad to say, many of the orders of sisters are declining, some have merged with other orders to that the few remaining in both can care for each other. The same is true of orders of brothers.

    Think of this, though. If abuse occurred, then it would not be a bad use of the value of the mother-house and land of those declining orders to make it possible for those abused to right their own lives. And, it would be a good step for Catholics to give to funds that support the care of aged sisters, brothers, and priests.

    This raises a point that is hard to deal with. Yes, many of the sisters probably did not know of the sisters who abused someone. But someone from their order did abuse someone. If the superior knew abuse was going on and did nothing, then shouldn’t the religious order bear some responsibility?

  • Re: “Nothing wrong with criticizing the church.” 

    Why, thank you! I’m so relieved I have your permission. That said, I clearly don’t have “Mark Connelly’s.” 

    Re: “There is a difference between criticizing the church and outright hatred.” 

    True. But the only evidence anyone has that I “hate” the Church is that I’ve criticized it. Hence, that conclusion is invalid. 

    Re: “I would argue most on this page have outright hatred or disdain for the church.” 

    So what if they do? Does that change the reality of anything they have to say about it? There’s a difference between the messenger and the message. As has so often been said, “A stopped clock is right, twice a day.” People who “hate” the Church can, in fact, offer valid criticisms that should be addressed. 

    Dismissing what one says based on one’s assessment of someone’s emotional state, is just a childish reason to dismiss him/her. 

    Re: “I also think that most come here looking for a fight.” 

    OK, so, don’t engage with those malcontents! Having had enough of “his” childish antics, disingenuousness, and sanctimony, I’ve just blocked “Mark Connelly,” as I did “Bob Arnzen” some time back. There’s no point in trying to communicate with “him.” He’s lost … and by “lost” I don’t mean that he “lost” an argument with me or anyone else here; I mean his mind is “lost,” vanished, absent, or (to use a Babylon 5-ism), “gone beyond the Rim.” 

    In any event, I suspect you may well be seeing “hatred” where, instead, there is “disappointment,” “disgust,” or even “contempt” … but no pathological compulsions to “hate” the Church. It’s been objectively established that there has been pervasive misconduct, worldwide, by the Church over at least several decades, as evidenced by numerous investigations around the world, which found similar tactics being employed by the hierarchs. It’s just not “anti-Catholic,” or “hateful,” or anything like that, to say so. It simply isn’t. 

  • You know, griping about my wordiness is something “Mark Connelly”/”Bob Arnzen” loved to do. Talk about things that make you go “hmmmmm” … ! 

    At the risk of going on longer than you find acceptable … I admit to being verbose, but I’ve posted lots of long comments, articles, etc. to the Internet since I got started on it (in the late ’80s). Once in a while someone complains about that, but not often. Certainly over the last several years, the only people who’ve made that complaint are you and “Mark Connelly”/”Bob Arnzen.” 

    Did I mention things that make you go “hmmmmm”? Oh wait … I did! 

  • Let us say there is a man who kills someone outside his family. He is sent to prison. However, his wife and children, are not generally thrown out of their house. Let us say the wife heard her husband, threatening to kill somebody. That would make her, an accessory, right? She might be sent to prison, too. The court would then appoint a guardian for the children. The family as a whole does not bear responsibility for the crimes. Those who do the crimes bear the responsibility.

  • Nope; not the same guy – although I do like him or her.
    I lack the patience to read a long post; or, I lose interest. My issue; not yours. I prefer short back and forths.
    Regarding Bob/mark or whomever; I’m not sure what the issue is with those that have an issue with a login name. Who cares.

  • This is ridiculous. The crimes were hidden all over the world by bishops, most of whom acted in almost the same way everywhere. There is something in the culture that makes bishops think that they don’t have to answer to civil law and they have a responsibility to help the priests avoid having to answer to the law. More, they think they owe nothing to the person abused – even when they have known a priest was dangerous and still sent him to place after place.

    There is something wrong inside the Catholic Church when tens of thousands of children are sexually abused by people inside the Church and the Church doesn’t see it, doesn’t admit it, and in fact – hides it. More they work to do something with/about the priest and nothing to help the person abused find reconciliation, justice, peace, help. The needs of the lay person are ignored and only the priest gets attention.

    It is called clericalism.

  • The answer is not that everyone do nothing but that all spheres address the horror of this problem. I would think the Roman Catholic Church would be at the forefront of addressing something so horrific as child sex abuse. But any step they take is only after they are dragged kicking, screaming into acting.

    And, once they are embarrassed into acting, they have taken important steps. The Dallas Charter and actions taken in some other countries will make a huge difference in protecting children in the future. But they only go half way – they continue to ignore a responsibility for justice for those abused in the past and some accountability for abusers and those who abetted the abuse by keeping it hidden.

    Meanwhile, the worldwide Church ruled from the Vatican avoids addressing the fact that child sex abuse is a world wide problem – until Feb of next year. Until, again, they are dragged kicking and screaming into acting. Publicity is absolutely necessary to getting the Church to act, to reveal who the abusers are/were, to show who knew what/when and what they did in the past to address the crime.

    You can moan and groan about the unfairness of it all. But bishops knew, archbishops knew, the Vatican knew – and they kept it hidden, did what they could to “cure” priests, moved them around, once in a rare while defrocked one. But they told no one, leaving the abusers to abuse again and they did little to nothing for those who were abused.

    What should they do now for those who abused and hid the abuse – defrock them AND take care of the elderly abusers and hiders of abuse – provide for their food, shelter, clothing, medical care if they have no other way of maintaining themselves. But nothing grand.

  • Certain professionals such as teachers, social and medical workers are by law required to report abuse in several US states. The Roman Church for too long has thought of itself above the law whether it it civil, criminal or even Biblical in some extreme cases.

  • Yes. Priests who are accused of abusing a child, especially long ago, are really pilloried now. Guilt is assumed unless innocence is proven. Justice is compromised now because time has eroded the past and made it difficult if not impossible for guilt or innocence to be proven.

    But what is the alternative now and who is involved in having created the long, long silence so that these cases could not be investigated? And, what alternative do those who were abused now have to seek recognition of what was done to them and some measure of justice?

    I get that it is unfair. But that unfairness goes both ways. You are speaking up for the priests and I am speaking up for the victims. Both sides need to speak and we need to learn lessons about how to not let this happen again in the future. What cannot be denied is that the Catholic Church as an institution failed miserably. That other institutions also failed is something that both those institutions and society needs to address. But no hiding our heads in the sand as Catholics – we stay focused on cleaning up our own house – and maybe providing an example to the rest of the world about how to handle this problem. Lets be part of the solution.

  • Very Sensible! But I think that victims are not served by having the equivalent of personal injury lawyers milk the Church. The Bishops in PA did show contrition and try to come to a solution. They beat their breasts, they scheduled listening sessions, and they offered to contribute to a fund that would pay to help victims. That amendment was roundly voted down. The preferred amendment favored continued lawsuits. The state lawmakers are covering for their own interests, and reacting to media reports rather than doing anything constructive for victims, I think.

  • The Bishops in my diocese have been acting continually on this since the 90’s. Criminal background checks, Child Line checks, priests removed from ministry. Re your last paragraph one such pitiful allowance to a defrocked priest was taken as collusion, in the Grand Jury Report. Not moaning. Not groaning. Really scared for the abused. Why? Because if once some get their settlements, and the Sees are bankrupt, and there is no more to be had, the “experts,” will turn against them. The experts think that abused become abusers.

  • Re: “Nope; not the same guy – although I do like him or her.” 

    Strangely enough, I never expected you to say anything else. 

    And yet, things keep making me go “hmmmmm” … ! 

  • Of course “there is more to be had”. Bankruptcy is a worldly thing. All the churches, parish houses, cathedrals, seminaries, schools were built from nothing and if we have to build from nothing again we can. I don’t want to. But I care more that we take care of those who suffered at the hands of priests who abused them and had that suffering spread and continue under bishops who covered up for the victims. What about the victims?

    I agree that there is an unreal expectation that priests who abused but are now past the time when they can be arrested, some who were priests for decades, some so old they can’t survive outside of support from the church – they need to be housed, fed, cared for as a charity. Now, I don’t think it should be at all lavish, but sufficient. I don’t agree with people who want to throw the bums out and not realize that they then become a burden on society – homeless, hungry, ill.

  • We have all been served by the personal injury lawyers who helped victims make the crimes of child sex abuse known. Thanks to them more and more of the silent victims are now speaking up, now seeking help, now being freed of the dark secret they were afraid to talk about.

    What those lawyers did was make society aware of the damage done to people who are sexually abused as children and young adults. They, along with the women who made #MeToo so well known, have shone a light on the abuse of power that helps us understand one of the factors that allow abuse to go on and on – powerful people who abuse their power.

    Moan and groan all you like. But it wasn’t the Holy Catholic Church that helped us see this evil and how wide spread it was and is. It was the media and the lawyers who fought against the silence, the secrecy of the Church who was complicit in committing evil and hiding it.

    We can survive this. The Church can become what it should be. But it was and remains necessary that this cleansing occur. The Church would not and could not have done it on their own.

  • So, your argument – in essence – is that Christ’s statement that he would be with the Church to the end of time was falsehood.

  • ” I don’t want to.”

    As I understand it, you are not currently supporting a canonically erected Catholic parish.

    Am I mistaken?

  • Not moaning. Not groaning. Like most evil, this evil existed before the Catholic Church. The state is not capable of this”cleansing.” Christ who shed his blood for sin, is. He knows and sees the pain of these victims.

  • I agree that bankruptcy is a worldly thing. That is why the Sees in the US should consider an immediate transfer of most of the liquid assets to the independent charitable entities of the Church, thus making a provision for those poor who require less and possibly deserve more than lawyers, before the upcoming onslaught. They can locally create other charitable entities on a parish basis, and distribute those assets held by them directly to the parishes, to enable the faithful to continue to receive the sacraments and to do Christ’s work in their own church buildings. This is an opportunity to break free from the system that the Sees have adopted in this country. They may want to renounce their tax-exempt status, as well. It is a pity about laying off the the diocesan staff but maybe they could work on some sort of rotating basis within the parishes. I seem to remember a story in the early Church, about a Bishop that was asked to bring the treasure of the Church to an angry monarch. He appeared with his poor. Finally, are these abusers mentally ill? Where are the “experts” that are willing to treat them? In a society that has failed to pronounce them criminals — that cannot get a case against them in criminal court, surely that society will know what to do with them. A Church that is no longer considered Christian enough to deal with children, is to be allowed to be Christian only to a bunch of people perceived to be criminals but without the status of at least room and board in jail? I know of one diocese that has hired someone to actively monitor these priests. It would seem to me that if these are becoming Church prisons. My, my, I haven’t heard about that since the time of, say Thomas a Becket.

  • And what of the needs of the victims. The bishops who failed to help victims did “help” priests, used the money donated by parishioners to help priests and ignored the victims.

    What we need to do is address the problem within the Church of an attitude – I don’t know if it is clericalism, superiority, hierarchy, institutionalism. But, what is clear is that everyday people who are not clerics or religious are on the lowest rung of the totem pole and are not worthy of care. The bishops took care of the “sons”, the priests, without a thought to the care of the victim or the victim’s family. And, in order to protect the erroneous idea that priests are a step above “normal” people, the kept it all hidden.

    The victims matter, too. And Jesus would not turn them away – in fact, I think He would have a thing or two to say to and about bishops who ignored a suffering child.

  • No. That Christ will be with the church – and all of us – does not mean that the Church is some perfect institution, some perfect community. It is a human institution/community, seeking to know and love God. It is not heaven; it is not what we will find in the afterlife. It is and will always be imperfect. It does make mistakes – sometimes terrible mistakes.

    Christ must work through human agents until He comes again. Your mistake is in taking Christ’s statement and thinking that Jesus would perfect the humans who became the leaders of the Church so that they would never make mistakes.

  • The fact that Judas was among the Twelve made it clear that the Church would not be some perfect institution.

    It is not, however, a purely “human institution/community” as you like to argue, arising from “cultural” roots.

    The people in the Church, being human, can and do make mistakes.

    The Church – with Christ as its head – subsists in them.

    The corrections to that also take place IN THE CHURCH because Christ promised it the Parclete and to be with it to the end of time.

    The notion that the Church is just another organization, like Jaycees or the Democratic Party, is false.

  • It is the fact that the Church is NOT “just another institution” that makes the sex abuse of children, youth, and the abuse of power with seminarians such a horrific scandal.

    The Spirit helps us through the bad times. But we have to be paying attention when the Spirit speaks. Which is something that JPII failed to do when it came to sex abuse within the Church and that BXVI only started dealing with. First steps were good but much more was needed and he wisely stepped down.

    Now, Pope Francis is listening, trying to discern, after several missteps. What gives me hope is that Pope Francis is willing to keep working on the issue, realize that first steps may not be sufficient or that some steps are not the right steps. He can admit mistakes were made – something we don’t often hear from the Vatican.

    What does not give me hope is that radical change is needed and people like you will fight it every step of the way. We have to demystify the priesthood, take it off the pedestal it has been placed on at least since Trent.

  • But we are the instruments through which God works in the world. We have placed a lot of trust in the Church to be a leader in pointing out evil, helping us know evil, know good, and showing how important it is that we aid those in need. And then we find out about child sex abuse by priests and how that was handled by bishops.

    Do you remember the story of the good Samaritan? The good person stopped and helped the injured person. The oh so busy priest and Levite pass by the injured man – too involved with their own business and sense of the importance of their own missions to stop and help an injured person. The priest and Levite of old are the bishops and hierarchs of today.

    Jesus knows and sees the pain but He has told us that we must help those in pain.

  • After Judas nothing should be a scandal.

    Anyone who failed to get the message, that good and evil commingle even in the Church, needs a good acquaintance with reality.

    The Spirit guides the Church.

    A generic “The Spirit helps us through the bad times.” is a different matter.

    “Which is something that JPII failed to do when it came to sex abuse within the Church and that BXVI only started dealing with.” simply reflects your long acquaintance with Bilgrimage et al, who delight in creating voodoo dolls and sticking pins in them.

    What does not give me hope is your writing “What does not give me hope is that radical change is needed and people like you will fight it every step of the way.”, when you’ve already made it clear your radical change involves dumping Catholicism and replacing with something you and some friends have concocted, starting with mucking about with Holy Orders.

  • The victims do indeed rank with the poor — stripped of their innocence. They are like the many innocent victims of abortion, but now still have the needs of the walking wounded. Of course they would be included.

  • The reason, implied in the story, that the Priest and Levite did not aid the injured man was that if they touched him, and he were dead, they would have undergo ritual purification, which takes quite bit of time and effort.

    So, it had to do with limiting their sacrifice, not business and self-importance.

  • What you acknowledge is that it was business and self importance – they didn’t have the time and didn’t want to expend the effort being busy with the work associated with being a Priest and a Levite. Such a hassle for them if the guy was dead so even if he could be helped, they would let him die.

    And priests and bishops who hid child sex abuse were not concerned with the business and the loss of status (self-importance) of their roles? The Priest and Levite could pass by the injured man because it was too much of a sacrifice to deal with him. And the priests and bishops who sexually abused other and kept it hidden and “passed by” the injured child and that child’s family? Was it too much of a sacrifice to help them?

    Well, I think I get the difference you are trying to make. At least the Priest and Levite were not directly responsible for the injury to the man in the road on the way to Damascus. But it was an even larger sense of taking care of business and a sense of self-importance that made the priests and bishops of today deny the injury to the child and family and go about business as usual – the only thing that mattered was continuing the business of the priest and bishop.

  • “What you acknowledge is that it was business and self importance – they didn’t have the time and didn’t want to expend the effort being busy with the work associated with being a Priest and a Levite.”

    I offered the scholarly exegesis and you represent the low-hanging fruit to bend the passage to your purpose.

    “And priests and bishops who hid child sex abuse were not concerned with the business and the loss of status (self-importance) of their roles?”

    They realized nobody would believe them and act on it in some dioceses – exceptions included Lincoln, Nebraska.

    We now realize they were going to the man in charge such as Theodore McCarrick or Rembert Weakland, who were not only doing their own dirties, they had actually facilitated the ordination of the offenders.

    There is no whistleblower law in the Catholic Church.

    http://www.academia.edu/8126856/The_Sacred_and_the_Strange_The_Good_Samaritan_in_Context

  • Mark – there is more than one way to see what was going on there. The Priest and Levite were too busy to help the wounded man, too full of their own importance, and didn’t want to bother because it may have required extra effort, not just to help the man but then to “clean”themselves afterward. Don’t limit what Jesus said. Look at how we all play out being the ones who pass by those who need our help.

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