There’s so many important world issues that are frightening, but this one makes me angrier than hell!
by Charlie Leck
Just take a look at the front page of any of the really significant newspapers in the country this morning – the Washington Post, the LA Times or the NY Times – and you’ll get the picture: the world is really in an extraordinary moment in history.
GOVERNMENT SHUT-DOWN LOOMS
REBELS INCHING CLOSER TO GADDAFI STRONGHOLD
U.S. TRYING TO PICK WINNERS IN NEW MIDEAST
WHY DIDN’T U.S. FORESEE THE REVOLTS
U.S. PULLING BACK IN AFGHAN VALLEY (“…there are not enough troops to win decisively against Taliban and Al Qaeda.”)
IRAQIS RALLY TO VENT ANGER AT GOVERNMENT
RISING OIL PRICES POSE THREAT TO U.S. ECONOMY
GOP’s BATTLE WITH UNIONS WILL ECHO IN 2012 AND BEYOND
WISCONSIN ASSEMBLY LIMITS UNION ACTIVITY
BOEING WINS $35 BILLION AIR FORCE TANKER CONTRACT
Well, there you go! As a blogger, pick your poison! It is a crossroads moment in U.S. and World History. This is a blogger’s dream – a political commentator’s orgiastic moment!
Oh,… I choose to write about celibacy!
What the hell, the world seems to be “going to hell in a handbag” (as my old man used to say and I don’t understand it any better now than I did then).
All I know is that the high and holy Roman Catholic Church has been erring on the question of celibate priests for about 2,000 years now. I keep wondering how long they’ll go on with this nonsense.
Humans have a very animalistic side to them. It’s not just sex I’m talking about – but it’s mainly that.
We all know the story of the rampant abuse of children by priests that has been going on in the Church for ages and ages. Just when you heard it all, you hear another one that boggles your mind. Just imagine how many of these incidents haven’t gone public. I sat with a family member within the last year, in my own kitchen, and heard him tell me of his own experiences with parish priests. We both shed tears as he explained. From a very devout family, this fellow laughed at the ridiculousness of faith. That’s all thanks to priests he’s known.
Now I read a story in AlterNet about the problem the Vatican is having with priests who abuse nuns! Jesus, are you out there listening? Isn’t there anything you can do with the fellow who runs the Church? Why can’t we let priests marry? Do I need to explain why?
“Confidential Vatican reports obtained by the National Catholic Reporter, a weekly magazine in the US, have revealed that members of the Catholic clergy have been exploiting their financial and spiritual authority to gain sexual favours from nuns, particularly those from the Third World who are more likely to be culturally conditioned to be subservient to men.
“The reports, some of which are recent and some of which have been in circulation for at least seven years, said that such priests had demanded sex in exchange for favours, such as certification to work in a given diocese.
“In extreme instances, the priests had made nuns pregnant and then encouraged them to have abortions.”
I thought I was reading ONION. I had to go back to make sure I wasn’t! It was no joke. And, it isn’t just a recent story. The Vatican has been dealing with it for years. Here’s an account in the UK’s Guardian from 2001.
What we read is really only the surface of the problem! It's what has been grudgingly revealed and made public. How much else is there? How many priests have not had the finger pointed at them. And these abuse cases are not just in the United States (though we tend to think they are because that’s what we primarily read about). Very pointed media attention has also been given to this problem in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Belgium, France, Mexico, England and Ireland. A significant number of cases have been reported in Asia and Latin America also.
Some knowledgeable experts have estimated that as many as 5 percent of priests may have been involved in such misbehavior. I have a feeling it’s even more. In Austria alone, a 2010 report pointed out over 300 priests who had been involved it cases of pedophilia.
Allegations of such abuse have reached as high up as Cardinals of the Church. Remember Cardinal Hans Hermann Groër. This Archbishop of Vienna resigned his post because of such allegations in 1995. A Norwegian Bishop, George Müller, confessed to such transgressions in 2010.
The official position of Rome is to minimalize the extent of this problem. The Pope has buried his head in the sand.
If I was a Roman Catholic (and I’m so glad I’m not) I would be raging against these revelations (and not just these new ones) and demanding the Pope do something about this. Prayer, in this case is not the answer. The Roman Church needs a reformation of its attitudes about celibacy.
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