Monday, April 5, 2010

Oh! The Pedophile Priests! Oh! Oh! Oh!

If you don't know that the atrocious behavior of PEDOPHILE CATHOLIC PRIESTS years (decades) ago was covered up: You haven't been on Earth. Not in the English-speaking world, anyway.

It's true, by the way: PEDOPHILE CATHOLIC PRIESTS who are CATHOLIC did very bad things. Did I mention that they're CATHOLIC PRIESTS?!!!!!

Okay: that's the last all-cap with exclamation marks phrase I'll do in this post.

Par For the Course

That sort of response is par for the course in some of the more earnestly intense anti-Catholic venues here in America. Wild claims about Catholicism and Catholics have been staple spiritual fare for many Americans since at least the days of Thomas Nast and Maria Monk.

Given some long-standing cultural traditions, I think it's greatly to the credit of old-school American news outlets like The New York Times, that they don't adopt the writing style of, say, Tony Alamo.

On the other hand, I think it's getting close to the point where traditional news media's treatment of 'those awful child-abusing Catholic leaders who think they're above the law' has to be called a hatchet job.

In case you're new to this blog, by the way:
  • I'm Catholic
  • I think raping children is wrong
    • And we shouldn't do it
  • I think rape is wrong in general
  • I think that priests raping children is wrong
    • And they shouldn't have done it
  • I think that covering up the clerical abuse was
    • Stupid
    • Stupid
    • Stupid
These days, considering what Americans are being fed, I think it's prudent to point out that sort of thing. But of course, I would say that. 'Everybody knows' what those Catholics are like. Blindly obedient and superstitiously incapable of thinking for themselves. Ask 'anybody.'

Did you know that Catholic priests have abused children? Yes, they have. Oh, the horror.

Pay No Attention: He's Catholic

All this leads up to a blog post I read earlier today:Excerpts from that post:
"It's probably premature to think the latest furor over clergy sex abuse has begun to subside, but by no means is it too soon to draw some useful, troubling conclusions from what has happened so far. Here are three.

"First, the coverup of abuse in years past has done and continues to do enormous harm. Are there more time bombs ticking away in ecclesiastical files one place or another waiting to explode?

"Explain until you're blue in the face that time and again these horrible things happened years, indeed decades, ago: if the coverup has continued until now, people will be furious just the same - and they'll blame those in charge now for what happened back then...."

"...The second conclusion is that Pope Benedict has been very shabbily treated during this latest go-round...."

"...The third conclusion is that elements of the media abandoned elementary standards of fairness in this episode. It's hard not to think that happened because they sensed a fresh opportunity to strike a blow at the Church - indeed, at the pope himself...."
(OSV Daily Take
Everything Mr. Shaw says can be dismissed, of course. He's probably Catholic, and here in America, 'everybody knows' what they're like. All the 'right' people, anyway.

The background noise of anti-Catholic bias here in America may be fading. This country continues to become less a WASP nest and more a society drawn from every corner of the globe. Which must be terribly disturbing to folks who liked things just the way they were. And that's another topic.

The OSV Daily Take post has a reality check that you're not likely to see in the more 'intelligent' and 'sophisticated' news providers:
"...His [Pope Benedict XVI] record - as archbishop of Munich, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and now as pope - needs no apologies. Indeed, in the last decade especially he's shown courage and foresight in his handling of the abuse crisis.

"But you'd never know that from the critics. They accuse Benedict of mishandling two abuse cases in particular.

"In one, the vicar general of the Munich archdiocese returned to pastoral ministry an abuser-priest who'd had psychiatric treatment without telling Cardinal Ratzinger. In the other, involving a Milwaukee priest, the former judicial vicar of the archdiocese says the trial of this elderly, dying man was terminated - and the man died - three years before jurisdiction over such cases was transferred to Cardinal Ratzinger's Vatican congregation...."
(OSV Daily Take
Then there's the matter of 'turning those rapists over to the authorities.'
  • If the Catholic Church doesn't
    • They 'think they're above the law'
    • And/or 'shielding child abusers'
  • If the Catholic Church does
    • They are cruel, heartless men
      • Who won't treat these sick people with
        • Compassion
        • Counseling
      • The brutes!
Mr. Shaw does, however, strike the culturally-normative apologetic tone in the post's last paragraph:
"...But merely blaming the media, however blameworthy they may be, doesn't help. We learned that to our sorrow when the scandal erupted in the United States eight years ago. In the end, it's the culture of secrecy that makes the Church vulnerable to unfair coverage and commentary. And for the persistence of secrecy we have ourselves to blame."
(OSV Daily Take)
I'm not entirely sure why "we have ourselves to blame" - I've got my own ideas, but don't know if continuing to buy 'serious' newspapers and "Death Cookie" comics is what Mr. Shaw had in mind.

Things Change: Including America

I'm bothered, even occasionally upset, by the weird anti-Catholicism that passes for sophistication and tolerance these days. But not disheartened.

That's partly because I know about the Catholic Church and its history. This is far from the worst time we've had.

And, I've experienced something like this before.

I was born during the Truman administration, and grew up as America was getting the stench of McCarthyism out of the house. I remember when 'real 100% Americans' were warning what they thought was a blind Joe Public to the threat of commie plots. Frank Burns, of "M*A*S*H", is a caricature: but I remember when there were a fair number of folks like him, trying to save the rest of us from the Red Menace.

That was then, and the 'Frank Burns' of America are mostly an old joke. (I still enjoy watching "M*A*S*H" re-runs, by the way).

Today, I doubt that anybody with an ounce of sense would try running for office on a 'Red Menace' platform. Anti-communism is so fifties.

Another set of Americans, though, seem to have learned the wrong lessons from the McCarthy era. When you're in control of most of a culture's traditional information gatekeepers, I think forgetting to verify claims and think before speaking is easy.

What I'm reading in The New York Times and other 'intelligent' sources reminds me strongly of the anti-communist rants that were (finally) fading from the scene in my early years. I think that, just as many Americans were then becoming aware that there was a serious disconnect

But I've written about this before.

New on the Blogroll

I've added OSV Daily Take to the blogroll, by the way. Under, what else, blogs.

Related posts:
A tip of the hat to OSV, on Twitter, for the heads-up on this post.

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.