April Fools indeed

April 2, 2010

In another episode of It Came From Pharyngula, I have watched the unfolding catholic pedophilia scandal with…righteous indignation. Fair to say I have mixed feelings about it. I wish the church was better than this. I’m not happy to know about the disgusting enormity of child sexual abuse going on, though it is tempting to score a chuckle at these supposed arbiters of sacred and sinful, judges and authorities of right and wrong. It’s the victims that stop my mocking tongue and leave me indignant; fuming over the injustice.

It seems to have engulfed the pope with its now global scale. What has been written off as an American problem is a bit more tricky to dismiss now. And with friends like Bill Donohue, well…makes me glad I’m an ex-catholic.

“You’ve got to get your facts straight,” Donohue said, addressing sex abuse victim Thomas Roberts. “I’m sorry. If I’m the only one that’s going to deal with facts tonight then that’ll be it. The vast majority of the victims are post-pubescent. That’s not pedophilia, buddy. That’s homosexuality.”

The Catholic League president seems to have a record of gay-bashing apologetics for this particular scandal. Of course, he ignores the evidence here — these pedophiles don’t maintain homosexual relationships with their victims into adulthood. They go find more little boys. Now why would the age matter, if Donohue’s argument held water?

Would you consider an adult’s keen interest in 12-year-old girls merely heterosexual? Hey, they’re post-pubescent! Game on!

The reductio ad absurdum seems to be a personal favorite of mine…or perhaps the world is just that absurd.

Of course, it may be that children are particularly vulnerable to the advances, and the threats, of their priests — sworn to secrecy, with eternal consequences (supposedly) in the bargain. Not to mention the families simply being bought off for their silence.

Under the circumstances, this skeptic wonders why families would be interested in handing such power and influence over their children to the church, especially now, with the reports and the crimes beginning to escape the church’s efforts to cover it up. Why listen to this authority? Why not question it? Is it like how people hate Congress but love their own representative? The church sucks, but not my priest — is that it?

I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don’t have as many people who believe it. — George Carlin



  1. The Church needs to change its stance on celibacy for priests. Its ridiculous. They prey on the young not just because their young, but because they can keep them quiet. Man is a sexual being, and God intended it that way. I’m not even sure I know the scripture that they base priest celibacy off of…It might help if I were Catholic, I’m just a Southern Baptist. Well, at least raised that way.

  2. Yea, I’ve been following this with the same morbid curiosity one might experience driving past a train wreck. I agree with what you said regarding the – but my priest is ok! – business, and that has a lot to do with it. But I’ve also wondered why so many remain catholic, like our family. I think it is partly due to the disjointed nature of their relationship with the church. When you get down to it, our family is not really “catholic.” They don’t consider the church to be any sort of real authority in their lives. Nor does their church provide them with any sort of community, as many evangelical churches do. The reality is they don’t have much invested in it. It makes little impact on their lives. So they stay in it more out of some vague sense of tradition along with a fundamental apathy towards religion in general. I think if they were seriously believers, they’d be so apalled they’d leave!

    Regarding your comment girlgrey, the reason you can’t find anything in scripture about catholic priests being celibate is because this requirement has no basis there. It came about in the early centuries of the church. This madness began in the early 300’s. At first, priests could marry and have children. But the church and/or priest was then obligated to support these children. That would not do, as the church didn’t like its funding stream weakened in this fashion. So they eventually dropped the hammer and celibacy for any church official became required. It has been this way for a very long time, and is not likely to ever change, unfortunately. It’s church policy, not a scriptual based requirement. Interesting how much trouble it caused them? They would probably have been better off allowing priests to marry, that way they would have a much more honorable class of men as their priests today.

  3. There once was a time where the patriarchy of the priesthood and dedication to being a priest only may have forced the church into the celibacy policy. But nowadays, it’s not as if some male priest would have to also support a family. They could well marry wives who support them, instead.

    Whether the male ego can withstand such an injury, I cannot say. 🙂

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