03 April 2010

The evil empire strikes back (and falls flat)

This week the Catholic hierarchy finally managed to get their dicks out of their altar boys long enough to attempt a response to the storm of horrified outrage provoked by the endless molestation-coverup scandals. The results, as one might expect, were less than impressive. The Vatican started by blaming the media, notably the New York Times (link sent by TNLib), presumably for not keeping quiet about what the holy men of God had been up to, as they would have done in decades past. They tried blaming secularism too, and free-lance Catholic apologist Bill Donohue (who must be pretty busy these days) blamed the gays. The award for the most tasteless effort, however, must go to the Pope's own "personal preacher" (the Pope has a personal preacher?) for likening the public criticism of the Catholic Church to the history of "collective violence" against Jews -- a positively grotesque analogy, given the Church's own record in that area, as Oliver Willis observes. Short of accusing small boys of dressing alluringly and bringing it on themselves, it's hard to see how self-justification could sink any lower. The capo di tutti capi, He Who Zings Rats, has made it clear that he will never accept responsibility -- or behave responsibly -- come Hell or high water. Small wonder Maureen Dowd opined that the Church "gave up its credibility for Lent". Actually, credibility is the least of the Church's image problem.

Meanwhile, out in the real world, the consecrated hosts continued to hit the fan. A conservative German bishop was credibly accused of beating orphans. The Pope was implicated in the mishandling of yet another molesting-priest case, this one in Arizona (screw the internal Church processes, why didn't anybody call the police?!). One of the Pope's business competitors, the Archbishop of Canter-bury, declared that the Catholic Church in Ireland had "lost all credibility" due to its handling of the molestation scandals there.

Surveying the whole ghastly mess, a question arises: even aside from the child-molesting itself, does all this ass-covering, excuse-making, blame-shifting, and finger-pointing look even remotely like the behavior of people who sincerely expect to be judged in the afterlife for their actions? Do these sexually-twisted, power-obsessed, reptilian old men really believe their own bullcrap about Jesus and God actually existing, any more than I do?

Do they even know what they believe any more?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I wanted to write a post about it last night, but thought to myself, Infidel will most likely do a better job of it -- and I was right. :)

I listened to this news and nodded my head in recognition. Yep, going after pedophiles and their institutional enablers is just like the Holocaust. NAMBLA must be proud.

03 April, 2010 08:21  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Elizabeth: Thanks. I'd be interested to see what you'd come up with, though.

NAMBLA must be proud.

NAMBLA? Amateurs compared with this bunch. But maybe you've seen Jolly Roger's official portrait?

03 April, 2010 09:28  
Blogger Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

Succinct and well noted! It's a wonder what next? from these fools. But there is a next... certainly. Hopefully.
Criminals... generations of them. And now the elderly and infirm will feel the real blowback from these bastards.
Great post.

03 April, 2010 09:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd just come up with a quick and outraged snark, that's all, I'm afraid. This story is so absurd it leaves me largely speechless, though not at all surprised.

Jolly Roger's portrait is perfect.

03 April, 2010 09:42  
Blogger Holte Ender said...

I wonder if the Pope ever goes to confession? Him being infallible and all.

03 April, 2010 09:56  
Anonymous amadmike1 said...

The church condemns secret societies like the Masons and yet they are without our a doubt the mst secretive of all. The recent and continuing scrutiny has them all scrambling. They have protocols for everything from the inquisition to the end of the world but nothing for an open and transparent church. Great post Infidel. I wish you would agree to write for me from time to time. I would be most proud to have you on the time.

03 April, 2010 10:14  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Elizabeth: It leaves me almost speechless. This kind of gritted-teeth sacrasm is usually the best I can do with it. If you let yourself feel too much what's really been going on, it's too much to handle.

Gwendolyn: Thanks. There's some indirect evidence of priests having a reputation for molesting boys as far back as 16th-century Spain. This sewer has no bottom.

You might like my earlier post assessing the scandal more generally.

HE: They'd have a hard time finding a confessor-priest with a strong enough stomach. Maybe that's what that "personal preacher" is for.

Mike: That's exactly it. They are mentally still operating in the Dark Ages when they could control the discussion through fear. As another blogger somewhere said recently, when they can't burn people at the stake for talking out of line any more, they don't have much of an argument.

I'd certainly be interested in writing for MMA -- that's a flattering offer -- I'd probably be a rather infrequest contributor though, just due to a shortage of free time.

03 April, 2010 11:12  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

Good post--again Infidel.

I posted on on this today as well, and talked about the idiocy of comparing this to the persecution of the Jews.

HINT: It was the Catholic Church that initiated and encouraged the hatred of the Jews. Only recently--the past decade, I believe, were the words blaming the Jews for Christ's death stricken from the Lenten and Easter liturgy.

While individual Catholics and parishes may do good works, the organization--the Catholic Church--has a sordid and evil history, and is no more representative of a god that supposedly is the embodiment of love than is any common thug.

03 April, 2010 11:42  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Shaw: I remember Hitchens talking about that -- how Easter services were followed by pogroms "every year for hundreds of years" during the Dark Ages because of such preaching. All the more tasteless of them to make such an analogy right before Easter.

I guess we shouldn't expect any better from an institution with such a record of cruelty and tyranny back when it held power.

03 April, 2010 12:11  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

By the way, the Archbishop of Canterbury has wimped out. You can always count on him to do that.

03 April, 2010 13:14  
Blogger godlizard (aka dotlizard) said...

"even aside from the child-molesting itself, does all this ass-covering, excuse-making, blame-shifting, and finger-pointing look even remotely like the behavior of people who sincerely expect to be judged in the afterlife for their actions?" -- exactly. I mean, I understand the concept that they believe they can be forgiven, but how sick do you have to be to believe you will go to heaven, but if the children you raped lost faith, they will (by those same rules) go to hell?

This whole thing makes me physically ill. Anyone who sets foot in a Catholic church (unless it's to protest or stand up to these monsters) shares this guilt, and anyone who contributes cash is basically supporting organized child predation. Period. Unless the church leaders were to do a complete 180, admit guilt, turn all the involved parties over to the authorities to face the consequences of their actions, and sell off all their treasures to set up a fund for the victims, there's no excuse for tolerating or forgiving the church for the untold damages it has wrought.

03 April, 2010 13:52  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

GL: I tend to agree with you. It's impossible for anyone to claim, now, to not know what's been happening and what the hierarchy really is and stands for.

This may help explain the plummeting participation in the Church in once-devout places like Ireland. There are not many psychological forces strong enough to counter a deep-rooted religious impulse, but in normal people, the revulsion at the thought of child molestation is that strong.

03 April, 2010 15:53  
Blogger Sue said...

Infidel you said it so well, even tho I am physically sick from reading it.
I like what godlizard says... anyone stepping foot in a catholic church and giving money to them shares in the blame. Hideous, sickening people, I am speechless also...

03 April, 2010 15:53  
Blogger tnlib said...

I really can't add anything worthwhile to your outstanding post or to all these phenomenal comments. Just one small observation. Isn't this denial somewhat like the denial of Germans who claimed they didn't know what was going on during WWII?

03 April, 2010 16:17  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

TNLib, I was just thinking something like that in connection with Sue's comment. Thinking about the molesting, and about the manipulation and fear the hierarchy used on the victims to get them to keep quiet, is literally sickening -- as is thinking about the details of what went on in Auschwitz. But in both cases, it's necessary to be aware and make others aware, as awful as it is, to make sure people can't deny or minimize the enormity of it. Some still will, of course. But the more the facts are known and emphasized, the less credibility they will have.

And speaking of credibility, if the Catholic Church ever was thought to have any moral standing to criticize people for engaging in non-marital sex with other consenting adults, or to condemn women who get abortions or take pills, surely that must be over and done with now!

03 April, 2010 17:01  
Anonymous rita said...

You might think that a Religious group that professes to a high standard of loving mankind & the truth, would act differently, but, the Catholic Church's actions appear to be typical of any organization under attack...
The formula seems to be, Lawyer up, deny everything, then find a scape goat to vilify & accuse them of blowing things out of proportion.
Personally, I find it weird that atheists & secularists make such great villains in religious circles, because for the most part we secularists hold human beings in high regard. We don't consign a large percentage of the population to hell & our standards for intellectual honesty, logic, & critical thinking are high. We even hold the record for the lowest percentage in the prison population. What gives?

03 April, 2010 21:21  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Hey, if religious nuts had any regard for facts and logic like that, they wouldn't still be religious nuts.:-)

03 April, 2010 21:44  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Ms. Onymous: Prudence would dictate that the trials precede the castrations, just on the chance that there are some priests out there who are actually innocent.

05 April, 2010 03:15  

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