Catholics Took a Big Hit This Time.

Just when Catholics thought they had cycled through all the bad Priests, law enforcement opened a new front.  A Monsignor in Philadelphia, head of Diocese personnel, was convicted for assigning priests with suspicious behavior to parish work.  The case also involved another priest.

This is the first time an administrator has been convicted for covering up suspicious priests.  The Church is full of accusations of this kind of cover up.  A Bishop in Kansas City is headed for trial this fall.

The conviction is curious in so many ways.  First, it asks of Catholics, “Why do you give such open-ended authority to your clergy?”

It is simply more circular reasoning where the Catholic Clergy says it was given sovereign authority by God to run the church without oversight.  No one else is authorized to ask God if this is so.

An important aspect of the case is the Diocese spent 12 million dollars in legal fees.  If Catholic clergy are humble men of God, why did they take 12 million dollars from Church programs in an unsuccessful attempt to save themselves from prison?

The Monsignor could have said, “Instead of taking millions from Church programs,  I’ll just take one for the team–plead guilty and others can fill my spot.” That is what Martin Luther King, Ghandi and Nelson Mandella all did.

In spite of its thousands of wonderful priests, the Catholic structure is an invitation to the worst of human impulses.

http://www.religionnews.com/politics/law-and-court/verdict-expected-in-landmark-philadelphia-sex-abuse-case

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years.
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33 Responses to Catholics Took a Big Hit This Time.

  1. Avatar of Mac Mac says:

    Hmmm. I recall many a hearty dinner in my local Catholic Church’s basement where the ladies were raising money for this or that. These ladies made the best church basement turkey dinner you could ever imagine.

    (This only happened well into my adulthood, as in my youth Lutherans just didn’t set foot in the Catholic church. And I’m sure we weren’t welcome anyway)

    Somehow, I just don’t see the old ladies baking turkeys and peeling tons of potatoes to raise money to keep the monsignor out of prison.

    Could be wrong . . . .

  2. Oh, Jon, I thought you were better than this! Come on, now! :-D

    Seriously, there is no doubt that much wrong has been done by clergy, including Roman Catholic clergy. I find it absolutely reprehensible. Indeed, I’ve taken my knocks for being willing to speak up and ask questions of a bishop.

    That said, your parting shot could be made toward teachers as well:
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2010-06-07-column07_ST_N.htm

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Rev Herbel 2:39 There are abusers among teachers. Apparently, a lot, perhaps the majority, of abuse comes from inside families.

      The point is that when abuse happens, the structure of the group or organization affects its duration. I remember hearing about child sexual abuse in Native groups in Canada years ago. The problem was severe because authority came with age and family. There was not accountability. Fathers sexually abuse children and if the mother does nothing there is no where for the child to turn.

      We had a preacher who touched young boys inappropiately in my little town years ago. In that case, he was quickly in trouble. In my opinion, it was taken care of quickly because the preacher reported to a lay board. I can’t imagine that church allocating one dime to defend the preacher. It’s my view the problem in the Catholic Church is that its theology does not allow lay oversight.

      • Ok, this is much better. I think the RCC has instituted some changes in light of all this but I do not know exactly what. I would need to ask. I know in my own Orthodox Church in America (OCA) we have an investigating committee that looks into any accusation and we have a policy for such things. This hasn’t been our main problem, though. We were hit hard with a chancellor who stole millions a few years back. Needless to say, he’s no longer a priest. A hierarchical church can address problems. One need not be “lay controlled.” The question is one of policies and checks and balances, and I do believe the RCC has instituted things now such that the abuses that happened before would not be so pervasive now, but again, for the details, I’d have to consult a friend or two. I just know they have made some changes.

        • entech says:

          From what I see, and I am an outsider relying on the news media to a large extent. The general feeling, in the public and from many members of the congregation is that it is, as the old cliche goes, “too little, too late”.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Rev Herbel 3:49 “One need not be ‘lay controlled’”.

          I’m sure most of the time hierachical groups, like churches, families and cults who select their leadership from within work fine. And, corporations that have elected boards of directors do not always work well. But, the corporate law we have is the result of centuries of experience. Business corporations do not seem to suffer from pedophillia–and courts sometimes intervien for issues of sexual harassment, revenge, etc. In my opinion, the business corp model would save the RCC and other like churches a great deal of trouble. As entech notes, Jewish organizations are having pedophillia issues.

          While I know the RCC now has a policy of reporting abuse to law enforcement and priests are not to be in private circumstances with children, it still seems to me the problem is with the circular logic of its theology and new problems will follow the old.

      • entech says:

        I think it is worse than that, the hierarchy refuse to recognise that there is a problem. A large part of this is a deep felt need to protect the institution, allowing this to become paramount. In England a few years ago a family had to leave the area because the imam had made young girl masturbate him, note well: it was the family that had to move for bringing the church into disrepute by reporting it and making a fuss. At the moment there is a case of cover up involving a large Jewish school.
        Catholic priests are not the worst or only but their institution is the most egregious when it comes to covering it up. That it was known for so long and the perpetrators protected is the main problem. There is an uproar in Melbourne at the moment, this diocese has been amongst the worst for covering up and denigrating the victims – they are at this moment housing and giving generous pensions to confessed pedophiles released from jail – the reaction to the fuss, the disclosure of a large number of suicides and the start of a (very much emasculated) government inquiry has been to send a letter to all churches in the archdiocese saying more must be done to combat the possibility of gay marriage.

        • That does sound terrible down there. I’m not there, so I’m just reacting to what you’ve said here. If you’re accurate, that is a sad state of affairs. I doubt the anti-gay marriage piece was intended as a response “to the fuss” though. One of the concerns I have is that the RCC is such a big entity world-wide, including in the Western World, that it becomes an easy target. I don’t know if there’s a way to look into this, but a couple years back either 20/20 or some similar show had a special in which it looked at Protestant churches. The problems were actually worse in some ways. One of the problems was that the guy would get run out of town and then set up an independent church in some other state. Again, it takes more than local lay control. True, the local board didn’t cover anything up, but having having unconnected, non-hierarchical churches actually exacerbated the abusing possibilities. At least, that was the claim in the show. I have not taken the time to follow up on it but that made sense to me.

  3. Emily says:

    1 Peter 4 1-16
    Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange was happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.If you are insulted because of Christ, you are blessed, for the spirit of glory and God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or a their. If you suffer for being a Christain, do not be ashamed but praise God that you bear that name.

    That is what scripture says about Christians and it is very true. Between you, collage, and even life alone I get persecuted and rebuked because of Christ. Now, why would people do that if God was fake. I forgive you Jon! I was praying and the past 3 nights I have felt the warm awesome presense of the Lord. He told me not to argue or be angry with you, but my mission is to tell about Christ. I have lost so much follwing Christ, but it is well worth it. Notice how I was gone for 2 weeks and everything settled down here? That was my plan. If atheism is now about attacking religion, then they are deluded. Please stop criticisms with your post

  4. Emily says:

    It is not fair to me you and any other atheist can attack/critize Christians but when we stand up to defend yourself, you push us down and say that we cant say that! Not just you, but everyone. My boyfriend almost got beat up yesterday after church for talking to me about Jesus! It was funny how stupid people are. Even in North Dakota they voted down measure 3. I may leave NDSU and go somewhere else although God needs me here to help you!

    • Avatar of Demosthenes Demosthenes says:

      “My boyfriend almost got beat up yesterday after church for talking to me about Jesus!” – By who or what? Are you implying an Atheist tried to beat him up?

      It is a sad state in which we live in if you can’t talk about what you may believe or don’t believe.

      • Emily says:

        Correct. That is my point. I believe it was a Muslim person that wanted to and I should say he threatened to beat him up if he ever spoke about Jesus in front of him. I restrained both of them and we went to Hornbachers and went home! It is funny. Not the first time it has happened to him lol. Praise God that we even have religious freedom here any more. Yesterday I was reading revelations and a lot of what they said is coming true. Turn to God! His burden is light and He will always love you. I promise if you tried to say a serious prayer, He will hear it. Remember, you don’t get a trophey before the competition, it is not until you have fought and tried. See, to me Jesus is my best friend ever. I would be dead if it were not fir Him. He saved me from my father and suicide and depression and healed my boyfriend (Josh) of his pornography

        • Avatar of Demosthenes Demosthenes says:

          While you may feel this is a far more serious illness than I do, this made me nearly laugh aloud.

          “healed my boyfriend (Josh) of his pornography”

          Hilarious.

          • Emily says:

            It is bad. He could not stop for like 4 years. You cant really have girlfriends and do pornography on the side I don’t like that. Did you know that he was not even a believer until I took him to church. You think it is funny but even if it were not a sin, I have no respect for it. When he stopped, it was like a weight lifted off. Pornography is not even that bad but it leads to worse things. Keep your eyes pure!

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Emily 6:36 Welcome back to our site, here. Thank you for sharing a bit of your life with us. I can see that with a father who suffered from depression and possible suicide and the boyfried fascinated with porn, you have had some difficut times. Obviously, your belief in the literal god has helped you though all this.

            Just to remind us about facts, I would respectfully point out there have been millions of people over time who have suffered similar hurdles in life an have made to through them without belief in any god. That is helped you is good, that others have not needed it is also good.

            This is all part of the diversity in our backgrounds and minds that makes me continue posting here. There are maybe ten times as many sites that sell Chrisitianity as there are ones such as mine. But, mine is here for whomever wants to read it.

            Again, I’m glad you are back.

  5. Emily says:

    See, with Christ I can boast in my weakness. He is all I ever need. Holy spirit come Holy spirit dwell amen! I have had an experience with the devil too! It is all real, more real than anything I have experienced! Demosthenes, I forgive you and love you as a brother. You are a fine person, sorry I snapped a few weeks ago. I am stronger now and please turn to Jesus. Taste and see that the Lord is good. It would be easier to see if you relaxed and let God do the work. It looks to me that you are looking so hard that you cant see he has always been there for you. He is more faithful then anything. He is worth more then Gold!!!!!!!! Praise Hosanna in the house lol!

    • Avatar of Demosthenes Demosthenes says:

      Not my cup of tea Emily.

      • Emily says:

        Why? If you don’t care, why are you wasting your life trying to disprove something that does not exist. That would be like me making it my mission to tell people that the fairy or unicorn is not real. Instead, I chose to be tolerant towards it. Why cant you say, I respect your idea and am glad you care for others. I am protected by the first amendment for not only religious freedom, but speech freedom as well. This is freethinkers and I am free to think and this is what I think. I will never fall into any other god or science or drug.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Emily 9:47 While we can each have our own beliefs about whether the god exists or not, and no one will change much there, we can debate whether the Bible is history or fiction and whether policies, like legal gay marriage, are good for us all or not.

          That is entertaining and good for us all.

        • Avatar of Demosthenes Demosthenes says:

          Oh my, I believe you just word vomited all over, where to start?

          1st, I don’t care what you believe and if you want to believe in your sky fairy. Go right a head. I can tell you that is hog wash all I want, the 1st goes both ways.

          2nd, You tell me what to believe and force your beliefs on myself and others. I will tell you that you are an idiot and why. You see I get a choices too.

          “If you don’t care, why are you wasting your life trying to disprove something that does not exist.” I have no idea what this sentence even means….just wow.

          • Emily says:

            You sir, are immature. This is freethinkers not all about Demosthenes. Nobody, not even Jon has a problem with me here. Calling me an idiot, really. Someone as high of intellect as you are calling me an idiot. My how I wish you could see how foolish you are! You are a bigot. Plain and simple. Time for you to see that you are trying to get attention. I wont get offended by the fools words. Maybe you should try. I love how you list the objections in peoples statements you wanna be lawyer. I can tell you that your comments are absurd and jugdemental. Jon wont even defend you! He told me he likes listening to both sides. Argue all you want and we will laugh at your words. I will anyways. Your pride wont last forever sir! I will make sure to remember you when I am a famous apologetic and defeat dawkins. Death defeated hitchens! Lol. Laugh at my boyfriends sins because I laugh at your absurd and rude bullshit! Go to someone who cares you hypocrite!

          • Avatar of Demosthenes Demosthenes says:

            Emily June 26, 2012 at 1:09 am

            Trying to make as little sense as possible must be your forte.

  6. Emily says:

    I am happy to hear that Jon. You are a very fine fellow. God has you in my heart because I was scared to come back but I have a desire deep inside that wants to talk to you. I was praying for peace and prosperity for you and your family and that God would fill your heart with dreams. I was not born a loving girl, but God has showed me how to care for all. We may be completely opposite on our veiws of faith abortion gays and hope but I think of you no less. Love thy neghbor as you love your self. At the very least can you accept that the Bible offers great philosophy and kindness. I see that there was a heated debate about Noah’s ark before I left. I had to laugh. We could fight to the death or help each other up, dust each other off

  7. Emily says:

    Jude 22-23

    Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire (hell) and save them ; to others show mercy, mixed with fear!

    I am sorry for disobeying that verse last week. I was a big nasty SOB last week because no one would listen to my opinion . I am the younger sibling wanting attention. I don’t know where my sense of humorous was. I really only wanted to talk to you then 5 others had random thoughts towards me. Sorry to “spam “up your comment spaces. I know that I should keep my “church in the church ” as many atheists and Muslims have told me. Do you think that is true? My generation is failing and a revival of faith is needed

  8. Emily says:

    Oh and Jon, you peaked my intrest when you said that there were no Jewish slaves in Egypt. I did some research like a good collage student said and we were both wrong. They were not yet called Jews. They were the people who formed Israel and later generations became Jews. Weather you believe God helped them or not they escaped Israel. Slaves have a lot of time to think.

    I think I was inspiration for many of your blogs ha! That is okay with me. Otherwise it is a conicidece that you wrote a blot about the exact subject. Do you write off the top of your head like me, or do you plan ahead like they tell me to do. I like improv writing. You are a man that knows his stuff. Why is Demosthenes so mean to me? He contradicts what you say a freethinker is. Lol

  9. entech says:

    Emily @ 2:58 That was my plan. That you have a plan is the most believable part.
    Please stop criticisms with your post. does this reflect your idea of free speech.

    @ 4:05 what was this “Muslim person” doing at your church, or was this a random attack while walking down the street? Or perhaps you were standing on a soap box. In any case he wrong to threaten, although more detail about what was being said and in what manner would help. Telling him he was doomed for accepting Mohammad and denying Jesus could provoke a reaction in someone equally as devout as you but with a different viewpoint.

    @ 9:12 Unfortunately it is not possible to talk to an individual on a public forum.
    Interesting quote – as I said once before your compassion may be better described as a supercilious condescension.

    • Emily says:

      The Muslim guy heard me telling Josh about the sermon. We were reviewing what we just heard. He overheard and told us to shut up and of course, Josh had to keep talking then after about two minutes Mr.Muslim said I will beat you to Josh so we left. Christ is offensive to them I guess. Muslims and Christians are in an eternal war of words and they kill people. I don’t understand what you mean by my compassion being supercilious. Please explian.

      • entech says:

        Bit difficult to explain what I mean without seeming to be the same. Supercilious, perhaps not quite accurate. I may be wrong but to me when you use things like the quote from Jude you seem to offering pity rather than compassion, pity on the poor individual that cannot have your faith, that cannot believe as you do.
        You are declaring that you are right and the ones who don’t accept this are wrong, just think that we could both be wrong you with your Trinity, me with my doubts (almost strong enough to be called disbelief) and the truth could lie with the Brahman (the one) of the Hindu, or elsewhere.

        You could, or , perhaps your boyfriend could (you did say he had been threatened before – could it be that he tends to provoke a reaction) keep your “church in church” but that would certainly not be here, here you can think and speak freely, not everyone will agree with you but Jon will not shut anyone out. Some will put you down, some will argue sensibly, some will play games to score points; it happens to Jon and his supporters too. You must have seen some of the one line posts – I quite like one that went “Jon you are just a (something unpleasant) in the punchbowl of life”. So if someone calls you an idiot hopefully they have explained why they think that, if not ignore them.

        • Emily says:

          It is not really people who disagree I am against. It is the ones that question what I say. See I try to defend my views. I am simply stating my thoughts and I get reactions. You and Jon are the only sensible ones on here. Demosthenes is a bully. He is why I post pity. I don’t see a difference. You must have pity to be compassionate. I cant cast stones because I am no better then any one. But people want to debate me. When I am right they say nothing, when I am random they get posses. Don’t think that I think I am right all the time. I am not right, I am a human. God is true! We could talk forever about why all other religions are wrong but not now. Peace and honor to you my friend. Have a good day. Cheers!

          • entech says:

            It is not really people who disagree I am against.
            It is the ones that question what I say

            Exercise in semantics for today?
            Need to catch my train now. Philosophy discussion group for the over 50s, some interesting thoughts come up.

  10. I am surprised to find a condemnation by JL (sort of) of the perverted behavior( my words) of Catholic Priests. I thought that in the world of loose morals and loose interpretations of the Bible,I( or denial of it completely) the relaxed worldview of Freethinkers, that “anything goes” would be the watchword. No sin=no guilt=no consequences, the for anything, at any time. Let the Priests go ahead andf commit their sexual assaults on altar boys and other young children if it gives them pleasure…. after all—–anything goes !!!

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      buffalogal 11:26 I would have to reply you are making up things and attributing them to me and Freethinkers. I’m glad you did, however, because I can now get on my soapbox.

      First, I must remind you atheists are underrepresented in jail and prisons compared to their frequency in the population. Christians are overrepresented. Now, I know from experience the reply will be people in prison cannot be “real Christians”. “Real Christians” would not be there. I’m not sure anyone can be the judge of that.

      Second, I’ve explained many times unbelievers do not advocate “anything goes”. Instead, they hold that society collectively can, and does, establish what is, and, is not, acceptable or unacceptable behavior. I’ve not seen atheists advocate doing away with laws against robbing banks. (Some do oppose banks robbing people, however :) )

      • entech says:

        I agree, there is no basis for the claim that without God there can be no morals. There are bad people from all walks of life, from all systems of belief and no one group has a superior position, except in their own opinion of themselves.

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