Catholic church, and the creeping creepiness

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Bill Donahue, best known for double crossing the pope to kill jesus during his appearance on South Park, recently released a letter in response to the excellent idea by Sarah Silverman to Sell the Vatican.

Donahue replies

… Silverman’s assault on Catholicism is just another example of HBO’s corporate irresponsibility. Time and again, if it’s not Bill Maher thrashing the Catholic Church, it’s one of his guests. There is obviously something pathological going on there: Silverman’s filthy diatribe would never be allowed if the chosen target were the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem and the state of Israel. …

Bill, seriously, assault on Catholicism? Comon now, Sarah was just offering some good outside the box thinking, and the Pope should be thankful, that’s hard to come by in a city-sized box. Think of it this way — if you solve world hunger by selling that gilded blackhole of wealth, there’ll be lots more people to baptize and tell not to wear condoms! Double score, easy.

Its always nice to see Donahue daring people to insult other religions. Donahue is helpful in that way – every now and then you could, conceivably, be about to confuse him with someone who is motivated by a concern for religious tolerance or expression, or some first amendment issue. Then, he goes and says something like the above, and shows himself to be, like the catholic church, only concerned about the catholic church.

On a side note, I doubt the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem of Israel lives in his own sovereign city-state.

Since Donahue takes any thought against the catholic church as an “assault”, I’ll offer up another. I was raised catholic, was an alter boy, went to catholic schools k through 12. The idea of gods existing seems wrong to me now, but then I was still on the standard catholic circumcised-baptised-confessionalised-communionised-confirmation-ized track. Like the majority of kids who go to catholic school (in america), I never had any weird or abusive experiences with priests in that time.

Just how large is that majority, though? Given the chruch’s terrible record when it comes to things like this, how would I know if another kid had in fact, been the victim of abuse? In the short time between when I started writing the first draft for this post and when I started again, another ugly story about the catholic church surfaced, about a priest acting poorly, with the church again, only caring about itself. This makes me curious — how often is some indiscretion the real motivation for priests changing parishes? I can imagine there are plenty of legitimate reasons for a priest to change from one parish to another, but it seems like “keeping-it-quiet” is a reason at least some of the time.

The fact that my memories don’t raise any red flags in retrospect isn’t helpful. When I was still going to catholic school, the church was not something you criticized. By the time I started hearing about the bad things priests did, it was in high school, and I was out of whatever danger zone I might have been in.

Whether there were no cases of child abuse or priestly misconduct ever at the church I used to go to (which would be my guess), or if it was a serious problem that was tied to the school closing the year after I graduated (probably was declining enrollment), the only thing I can certain of, it seems, is that *if* anything abusive was going on, priests could and would use their undeserved trust and authority (in how many of the abuse stories does the kid first report what happens to another priest?) to silence children. Failing that, every means would be used, even legal sanctions of silence, while the offender goes off to a fresh parish.

The mind reels. How many hundreds of years has this been going on? Given the catholic church’s steadfast ability to not change, it may very well be that this shit has been going on for fucking ever.

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