Friday, April 09, 2010

Three Big Questions For the Vatican

A New York Times article reported today (“German Church Abuse Hotline Gets Flood of Calls”): “The Roman Catholic Church’s phone line for victims of sexual abuse in Germany was overwhelmed with calls last week.” Last week was the first week of the hotline’s operation and according to Andreas Zimmer, the director of the counseling center at the Diocese of Trier, which is handling the nationwide free line, 13,293 attempts were made to get through to the psychologists and social workers on the hotline. Question One Why are so many Roman Catholic Priests pedophiles? It seems obvious that the Vatican’s pro forma response that the same percentage of priests are pedophiles as obtains in the general population (1%-5% of the adult population) is untrue and that the percentage of pedophile priests in the priest population is way higher than 5%. Question Two Why are priests required to be celibate in the RCC? The pro forma response to this question has been that priests have to remain unmarried because Christ was unmarried and also, to devote themselves to serving God rather than being concerned with family matters. This answer is a conspicuous lie on two levels. First, having a family has not been a deterrent to serving God in other religions. And second, the RCC originated as a religion in which the priests were married. But it was found that having to deal with heirs to the church’s vast holdings and properties was a terrible problem for the hierarchy in the church. Church historical documents abound with rules and regulations about sexual relations between priests and their wives. As in, from 306 AD, a priest who has sex with his wife the night before mass will lose his job. In 580 AD, Pope Pelagius II said married priests were not to be “bothered”, as long as they did not hand over church property to wives or children. And never forget, there were eleven popes who were sons of popes. Granted, illegitimacy was the rule rather than the exception. Question Three Does the requirement for priests to be celibate cause deviants to be attracted to the Roman Catholic Church? Apparently 9th century bishop St. Ulrich thought so. A document shows that he argued that the only way to purify the church from the worst excesses of celibacy was to permit priests to marry. (Incidentally, a 9th century document speaks to the problem of abortions and infanticides in convents and monasteries to cover-up activities of un-celibate clerics). All of this nonsense about church dogma being immutable is thrown in a cocked hat when you read church history. In 352 the Council of Laodicea ordered that women were not to be ordained. In 1095 Pope Urban II had priests’ wives sold into slavery and their children were abandoned. In the 14th century Bishop Pelagio complained that women were still being ordained and hearing confessions. Yes, the Vatican can change its mind, and it has consistently done so since the first pope reigned over the Vatican palace. The Vatican is still operating in the belief that church officials must keep esoteric knowledge from the populace because ordinary people don’t have the education or wisdom to understand it. Yes, I know, it is to laugh when you consider the level of stupidity governing the Vatican.

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