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April 03, 2010

Selective Outrage and the Catholic Church

Elizabeth Scalia has a poignant essay up at NPR:

The question has come my way several times in the past week: "How do you maintain your faith in light of news stories that bring light to the dark places that exist within your church?"

When have darkness and light been anything but co-existent? How do we recognize either without the other?

I remain within, and love, the Catholic Church because it is a church that has lived and wrestled within the mystery of the shadow lands ever since an innocent man was arrested, sentenced and crucified, while the keeper of "the keys" denied him, and his first priests ran away. Through 2,000 imperfect — sometimes glorious, sometimes heinous — years, the church has contemplated and manifested the truth that dark and light, innocence and guilt, justice and injustice all share a kinship, one that waves back and forth like wind-stirred wheat in a field, churning toward something — as yet — unknowable.

The darkness within my church is real, and it has too often gone unaddressed. The light within my church is also real, and has too often gone unappreciated. A small minority has sinned, gravely, against too many. Another minority has assisted or saved the lives of millions.

But it is here that Elizabeth's strength and compassion shine most clearly:

My family was known for its neighborliness and its work ethic; its patriarch was a serial child molester.

The child molester was also a brilliant, generous, talented man — the only person who ever read me a bedtime story. I will love him forever, for that, even when I wake up gasping and afraid.

... Have I been much sinned against? Yes. So have you. Have I sinned against others? Oh, yes. So have you.

Like a pebble cast into a pond, our every action ripples out toward the edges, reaching farther than we intended, touching what we do not even know, for good and for ill. It all either means nothing, or it means everything.

As a Catholic, I believe it means everything.

While I cannot excuse the actions of those who abused innocent children or who failed to intervene, I utterly reject the self righteous fury of those who would condemn an entire church for the actions of a few. As a young girl I recall having a conversation with my mother about my own love/hate relationship with the Episcopal church. As I railed on and on about the imperfections and contradictions in church doctrine and organizational practice, she gently reminded me that churches are fundamentally human institutions run by weak and imperfect beings, none of whom is immune to the temptations and foibles that afflict religious and non-religious people to an equal degree.

Faith does not end the temptation to sin, nor does it offer an iron clad guarantee of superhuman perfection. We come to God as we are with all our faults upon us, hoping for a redemption that very much depends upon our own willingness to suppress our selfish desires and submit to an authority greater than our own. Is it, then, so surprising that an organization composed of flawed beings inevitably reflects our own failure to do what is right?

Yes, the response of some church officials to the abuse of innocent children represents a betrayal of everything the Church stands for. And that is the point: unlike, say, NAMBLA the abuse of children has no place in Catholic doctrine or teachings. Priests are neither taught nor encouraged to abuse children at seminary.

The temptation to look for scapegoats is a human failing, too. Those who hate the military gleefully seize on every crime committed by a soldier, sailor or Marine as evidence that war causes crime, as though it were unheard of for civilians to rape, murder or steal. Those who hate religion seize on crimes committed by the faithful as evidence that religion causes pedophilia, as though child abuse were the exclusive province of the Catholic church.

Never mind that civilians and atheists commit crimes too.

Never mind that some of the most unlikely people - people we trust with the safety and care of our children - commit crimes against our children every single day and these crimes are often covered up by enabling coworkers and even senior staff.

These crimes - which span all fields of endeavor and a thousand gradations of faith, agnosticism and outright atheism - are not caused by joining organizations that roundly condemn such acts, nor by the attempt to obey a higher law. They are caused by the simple fact that we humans have a long history of failing to live up to the standards we set for ourselves. We have a long history of victimizing the weak, abusing power, and covering our tracks when the prospect of discovery threatens to destroy the illusions we strive so hard to maintain.

When human beings do what human beings have done for centuries, who should we blame? The answer to that question often has far more to do with our own bigotry and bias than the real culprit: human nature.

So far, that remains a condition for which there is no cure. Still, some would rather blame those who try to make the world a better place than look at the dark places within their own hearts.

And we all have those places. All of us.

CWCID for the WND link: One of Althouse's commenters

Posted by Cassandra at April 3, 2010 09:06 AM

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Comments

"How do you maintain your faith in light of news stories that bring light to the dark places that exist within your church?"

How do you maintain your trust in the police in light of news stories that bring to light the existence of a bad cop somewhere?

Posted by: BillT at April 3, 2010 11:11 AM

How do we maintain our faith in our fellow human beings when we hear stories about unbelievable cruelty and depravity?

We remind ourselves that that isn't all there is to us: that people are capable of great courage and self sacrifice as well as evil. Or at least some of us do :)

The rest say, "Dang - he was wearing boxers instead of briefs and you know how people who wear nonstandard u-trau are..."

Posted by: Cassandra at April 3, 2010 11:31 AM

I find that I have quite a bit of residual trust in faith, even though there are any number of bad actors who have cloaked themselves in vestments. It is precisely for the reason you identify: the doctrine and purpose of Christian churches, including Catholic ones, is directed at the good.

Bill's question is on point. We can even expand it, and say: When you discover that many police departments have become corrupt throughout; or that police departments have, as in East Germany, been turned to evil purposes?

Though I am, myself, far readier to dispense with the police than with the priesthood. I think I could live in a world with no policemen, but I wouldn't want one in which there was no one whose life was spent in contemplation of the good, or turned to spiritual matters.

Posted by: Grim at April 3, 2010 11:33 AM

I am, myself, far readier to dispense with the police than with the priesthood.

We need more Warrior-Monks.

Posted by: BillT at April 3, 2010 11:41 AM

We need more Warrior-Monks.

Why thank you :p

Posted by: Jumpin Jim Mattis at April 3, 2010 12:03 PM

I held a funeral for my faith and illusions a long time ago.

People are people. It doesn't matter if they are liberal, conservative, religious, or atheists. Most give in to their dark sides if given the chance.

Whenever, I meet someone, I ask "would this person have tried to kill me when I was in danger during the service? Would this person have mistreated me when I returned to the US or refused me a job because I was a Vietnam era veteran?" Sadly, the answer is "yes" 90% of the time.

I stand in silent judgment as I build walls they never see. I am not the only one who does this.

Posted by: James at April 3, 2010 02:41 PM

The only way to create permanent perfection institutions is to blender up the humans, make them drones, and thus destroy free will.

If you are willingly to force that transformation, then once you succeed (if you succeed), you will have done as much as any Leftist or Progressive visionary.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 3, 2010 02:51 PM

Bravo for her essay and her testimony. For that is what it was; a witness to the Light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness comprehends it not at all.

We have to be better than what we started out as being. As babies, we were perfect...blank little slates. We had to learn about good and evil and what to choose. That is our duty; to find the good and pursue it.

There will be people who will try to stop us...and we can't let them.

I believe in a just God and I believe in a loving God. Those who aided and abetted crimes against children will face His wrath.


@ Ymar: If our agency, or ability to act for ourselves was taken from us, what would we learn from making choices? How could we know right from wrong for ourselves, and help others?

Posted by: Cricket at April 3, 2010 03:32 PM

James: I'm not judging, just opining...

"I held funeral for my faith and illusions a long time ago." Did you lose faith in flawed people and now only have faith in something else: Yourself? "I stand in silent judgment".

Could you stack up under your own objective scrutiny if that judgmental spotlight was on yourself rather than others, i.e., have you sinned against that "faith and illusions" (?) 90% of the time?

I'm amused when I see a sign that says, "Don't touch. Wet paint". I touch. Why? Is it our natural tendency to resist law/rules and do what we think is right in our own eyes? I've come to believe God knows this. If we never broke his LAW, we'd forget about our need for Him in a New York minute.

I've come to believe that I am saved (from the consequences of myself) by God's favor (undeserved by me) through FAITH (in Him). And this is not from myself, but it is a gift from HIM; not by works (following the Law), so that I cannot boast. (paraphrase Ephesians 2:8)

Happy Easter James and V.C. as we celebrate the risen Lord.

Posted by: ziobuck at April 3, 2010 04:22 PM

Wonderful post. It makes me mindful of a quote...
"If we (Christians)were perfect - we wouldn't need a Savior. Our belief stands on the perfection and truth of Jesus Christ - not ourselves."

Posted by: Janet at April 3, 2010 07:05 PM

Yes, ziobuck, I would have been among the 10%. I am certain, based on past behavior.

My judgment of the 90% usually forms the basis on whether I chose to attach emotionally to a person--whether or not I care what happens to him/her. None ever knows, especially if I help them, and they often think we are friends.

I believe in God, and I believe no one gets out of here except through belief in Jesus. Otherwise, I have little faith in people or human institutions, including churches. I am on our church board, but I rarely attend except for funerals.

My flaws are massive. I betrayed myself because my mind refused to let me remember an especially traumatic event. The need for self defense after my officers put me in harm's way sent me beyond all of my moral teachings. It was by my own hands, and I enjoyed it. I forgave the others. It took much longer to forgive myself. Lack of forgiveness gives the wrong doer power over one, so I had to do it.

Often a man and his daughter burn to death in a wrecked truck. There is no way they can escape. They beg to be shot, but I don't have the guts. No one should die like that, but they will until I am in my grave.

I promised myself I would live a good life to give meaning to theirs, and I have. Also, when I was in the service, I helped save a life. That makes up for a lot. We raised two great children.

I suspect at least some of the abused children and other survivors of tauma may feel as I do, at least to a degree. Listen to "Shout" by Tears For Fears. It refers to child abuse. "They gave you life, and in return you gave them hell. As cold as ice, I hope we live to tell the tale..."

They must forgive their abusers, but they don't have to trust or have faith in them or the church which supported them. They are only people, not God.

Happy Easter to you too.

Posted by: James at April 3, 2010 07:13 PM

James:
No one can know the path which brings a person to this point in time. That's why I make judgments on issues, but try to not be judgmental of others.

Jesus said, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends". I'm grateful to you for your service and willingness to have made that ultimate sacrifice. You clearly experienced horrors which haunt you, and I can only wonder at these. Thoreau wrote, "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them."

With almost 6 decades on the planet, I'm sure I'm average in my thoughts about having my own crosses/shames to bear, as well as the tough task of forgiving others who have wronged me.
Yet, we are commanded by Him to forgive as we have been forgiven, true? Trust, on the other hand, just takes time...

Thanks for sharing. You're a brother in the Lord. :) I'll listen to "Shout" with a different heart next time.

Posted by: ziobuck at April 3, 2010 08:12 PM

This is an especially meaningful post on the the day after Good Friday, as are all of the comments. As Christ lay in the tomb before His resurrection, all seemed lost to his followers. But the next morning, all changed. "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," all the darkness in our hearts was lifted.

Thank you all for sharing your experience of the Passion of our Lord and what He did for all of us.

Happy Easter to all,

Jim

Posted by: vnjagvet at April 3, 2010 08:55 PM

Lovely and timely thoughts Cassandra, from both you and The Anchoress.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of Heaven and earth . . .

The rest is just humanity. May you have a blessed and happy Easter.

Posted by: centralcal at April 3, 2010 09:01 PM

I'm amused when I see a sign that says, "Don't touch. Wet paint". I touch. Why? Is it our natural tendency to resist law/rules and do what we think is right in our own eyes? I've come to believe God knows this. If we never broke his LAW, we'd forget about our need for Him in a New York minute.

I have come to believe that most people only learn by making mistakes.

And if that is so, I must be the smartest person on the planet because I am still making them and probably will continue to do so until the day I die.

James, nothing is unforgivable. I won't ask you to have faith, because you have been more sorely tested than most of us can imagine.

I will ask you to look for the good. I promise you, it is there. Perhaps not where we expect to find it, and certainly not always there when we think we need it.

But darkness and light are intertwined and one is not greater than the other. I think they are two sides of the same coin and where you find darkness there is always light also; just as faith is twinned by doubt.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 3, 2010 11:06 PM

Cricket, the simplest answer would be that 'smart' people would decide these issues for everybody else. One need not learn anything given a permanent increase in living standards. A perfect classless world would have no need for change of any sort, of which includes learning.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 4, 2010 01:09 AM

The perfect classless world would require that all those born into have omniscience and the world itself be perfectly static -- else the inhabitants would be helpless against a disaster, because they would be incapable of learning.

Posted by: BillT at April 4, 2010 01:17 AM

I've still got faith in Gaia, but not so much in the institution of the RCC, which has dished out bad advice from the Prada-silk-gold tower and has committed too many crimes without adequate apology or atonement. We're going to Mass this morning, but I'm still waiting to hear proper contrition from Rome.

Posted by: I Call BS at April 4, 2010 03:03 AM

As a Catholic who spent 9 years in schools being taught by Nuns and Priests and who was an altar boy for many years I was never molested nor do I know anyone who has even told they were. I do not recall improper touching of any kind. I do not doubt that some of these accusations are true but I also think many are manufactured for many reasons. Financial Gain, Empowering Homosexual Agenda etc.

Posted by: Dennis D at April 4, 2010 07:38 AM

I am not a Catholic, but both my sons attended Catholic school for many years. As a parent, I often chafed at certain aspects of the Catholic school experience but on the other hand I was grateful for the chance to send my sons to a school that reinforced our values rather than undermining them every chance they got.

I've always thought it rather strange that people expect an institution - any institution - to prevent bad things from happening. The expectation just doesn't stand up to logical inspection.

Any time adults are allowed to be alone with children, there is a possibility of molestation or abuse. There is a power differential there that invites abuse, and yet the vast majority of the time (as Dennis points out), the adult in question does not take advantage of the situation.

Kids abuse each other physically and sexually too - a larger, stronger, or simply older child is more likely to pick on a weaker child. Adults treat each other badly when there's too much of a power differential.

The thing is, we've had police for centuries but they can't be everywhere and we wouldn't want that even if it were possible. Neither can the Catholic church.

Better rules can minimize the risk, but can never eliminate it. And so long as people remain human and fallible, they will violate rules and seek to cover up their misdeeds. They will form alliances and protect their friends, even when they should not.

The takeaway is that there's no way to make the world 100% safe without crushing every bit of free will and independence we possess. Who would want such a life?

We can't prevent all crimes. Even if we abolished all institutions that "allowed" crimes to be committed on their watch, people would just commit the same crimes elsewhere because they would still be human.

We can demand accountability when crimes are committed, and this is where the church fell down. I have no problem with wanting to hold those who were directly involved in abuse situations - whether as an abuser or as an enabler - strictly accountable.

What I find stupid beyond belief is wanting to hold the entire organization responsible, or to hold people who weren't involved in the original incidents but who assumed leadership positions later on, responsible. That, to me, defies logic.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 4, 2010 08:14 AM

We're going to Mass this morning, but I'm still waiting to hear proper contrition from Rome.

From Rome, or from the individuals who disgraced their calling?

Posted by: BillT at April 4, 2010 09:28 AM

I will reject the child molesters in the church as I will reject all child molesters.

This isn't a problem of moral failings; it's a crime!

No, I won't smear the whole church for the crimes of some perverted pedophiles, but too many leaders of the church or supporters of the church are brushing aside the crimes, like in this post. The church needs to get rid of all sexual preditors within its ranks. (Oh, other people commit crimes, too? Right, that's why they are in jail.)

"Faith does not end the temptation to sin." Right, we're talking about crimes here.

I suppose we can just brush off Obama's destruction of America just because he has a temptation for greed and power.

It's funny that whenever leaders of faith commit some kind of terrible crime that is inexcusable under any circumstances (ie child molestation), its just, "Oh, they can be forgiven." No, they have disgusting urges towards children (and towards the same sex, I might add), and they shouldn't be around children; they should be in jail, and then they should be on a watch list the rest of their life. We must protect freedom, not destroy innocence.

Posted by: Mitch at April 4, 2010 10:36 AM

I think it's fair to blame an institution for responding supinely to corruption in its ranks. There can be a lot of reasons for this failing. The worst ones are fear of exposure and unwillingness to admit to fault. The best ones are a desire not to judge too harshly and to look for ways to reintegrate a sinner into the fold.

But I also don't expect any human institution to respond perfectly to every wrong within its ranks. It's enough for me if, working through its human members, it eventually finds the strength and honor to fix the problem. I consider myself part of a single (apostolic and small-c catholic) Church, and therefore identify strongly with the Roman Catholic Church. It doesn't make the me blind to that Church's faults any more than I'm blind to any other institutions' faults. As several people have pointed out above, a human institution is subject to human failings. Every human being has to choose between right and wrong all day, every day, and that includes deciding what to do when confronted with the wrongdoing of others, even ones toward whom we feel an intense warmth and loyalty.

Happy Easter, everyone. For many weeks now, we've had to end various points in the liturgy by omitting the customary "Alleluia." This morning we go back to saying "Alleluia." It's a great relief every year.

Posted by: Texan99 at April 4, 2010 10:42 AM

I won't smear the whole church for the crimes of some perverted pedophiles, but too many leaders of the church or supporters of the church are brushing aside the crimes, like in this post. The church needs to get rid of all sexual preditors within its ranks.

Perhaps you would be so good as to point out the parts of this post that brush aside crimes or advocate allowing child abusers to continue on as though nothing had happened?

If you want to argue with the evil straw men in your imagination, go right ahead. I hope you win.

Meanwhile in the real world there is what I wrote, and nowhere did I maintain that child abuse is not a crime, that those who committed these crimes should not be held accountable, or that "forgiveness" alone is the right response. In fact, I said precisely NOTHING about forgiveness. Your imagination may differ, of course, but it bears no relation to reality.

And in regard to accountability, this is what I actually said:

We can demand accountability when crimes are committed, and this is where the church fell down. I have no problem with wanting to hold those who were directly involved in abuse situations - whether as an abuser or as an enabler - strictly accountable.

I'm not sure how you get, "Oh let's just forgive and forget" out of that. All these years I thought alchemy was just a fairy tale and here I see it performed before my eyes.

Amazing.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 4, 2010 10:56 AM

Happy Easter and Gute Pesach, people.

Posted by: I Call BS at April 4, 2010 11:28 AM

Institutions are run by people; they don't run themselves. People in places of high power and responsibility in the RCC sheltered child molesters: the safety and freedom of (many) molesting priests was preserved, while many children were put at risk and many victims were neglected. I wait for acknowledgment by people, in places of high power and responsibility in the RCC, of the institution's failings in this situation; I also wait for some assurance that it will do better in the future - "zero tolerance" sounds pretty good to me.

IMNSHO, a molestation is the fault of the individual perp, at least as to the first incident. The after-the-fact treatment of the perp is the responsibility of the person who learned of the crime and did not report it. When a directive comes down from "on high" to hush up cases, to report and "handle" them only internally, and to shuffle them around without warning parishes which then receive priests known (or suspected) to have molested kids, the problem is the institutional cover-up.

Persons responsible for institutional policy that sheltered and shuffled criminals have a responsibility. The "cover-up" is the institutional problem, and I am sick of the over-intellectualisation and legalistic hair-splitting to which the RCC's "plausible deniability" amounts.

I don't see this as a "homosexual agenda" problem. Pedophiles are aggressors who take advantage of the weak and vulnerable, and I think thta most studies have found that pedophiles are husbands and male parentss. Real homos prefer to play with other real homos, not kids (NAMBLA is another issue). This is an institutional problem which probably has been fostered at least in part by the non-biblical policy of no marriage for priests (Matthew 19:12; 1 Timothy 3:2; Lateran COuncil, 1139), which was a political control issue. Küng, The Catholic Church: A Short History (2001).

Posted by: I Call BS at April 4, 2010 11:54 AM

I can't disagree with most of what you've said, ICBS.

It's just that knowing how things work in the military and in corporations, the actual number of people involved in cover ups generally isn't that large.

The intent of this post was to convey two ideas:

1. It's a fool's errand to condemn an entire institution for the misdeeds of a relatively small number of people. Certain situations have attendant risks - we don't blame a guy for being robbed when he walks down a dark alley at midnight but we do understand that his own actions had a role to play in the bad outcome.

Now before some idiot accuses me of blaming children for being abused, that is NOT the analogy I'm making. What I'm saying is that there is risk inherent in the role priests play as teachers, confessors, spiritual guides.

So do we get rid of priests and never allow any adult (even parents) to be alone with any child to "prevent" any possibility of abuse?

That doesn't strike me as reasonable.

2. If there was an "institutional policy" that sheltered child abusers then of course the makers of that policy are culpable.

My question is, what "official policy" (other than individual decisions to transfer abusers to yet another situation where they would be allowed to interact with kids) was responsible for the abuse? My guess is that an official policy that said, "Priests are never wrong no matter what they do, and if they abuse kids it should be hushed up and the priest protected" might have raised a few eyebrows.

That's where people tend to start shilly shallying. They want to point to the single cause, but it's not the church as an institution that caused this problem. It was individuals within the institution who absolutely did commit crimes and shield abusers from prosecution and that's wrong.

Most likely, the was no "protect abusers" dictum though individuals used multipurpose policies to achieve the same end. Different thing, and in the latter case the problem was not official policy but people bending the rules to get around doing what was right.

Although I will say this: historically the church zealously maintained that priests could not be disciplined by secular authority but instead were accountable only to the church. I have a problem with that, but I'm not sure that's a privilege that is still claimed.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 4, 2010 12:06 PM

The New Theology style is to discount the possibility of real sin and real consequences. In many parts of the church, it became commonplace to adopt the usual secular approach to crime, which is to treat it primarily as a disease. So while in some eras a child-molesting priest might have been summarily defrocked, there was a long and distressing period when church officials clearly did err on the side of enabling -- enabling with lots of compassion and good intentions, in some cases. (Though often, I suspect, it was just a question of hushing up a disgrace and hoping the problem would solve itself if the priest were transferred somewhere else.)

Every age has its unforgiveable sins. These days, all but the strictest of us probably would blanch at the idea that a priest should suffer serious consequences from traditional sins like drug abuse or fornication. If we find those things easy to forgive, and child molestation impossible to forgive, it's not because we're so compassionate, it's just because few of us feel any longer, in our heart of hearts, that there's anything all that wrong with drug abuse or fornication. But we're pretty darn sure molesting children is wrong, so we want to throw the book at anyone who does it. We're not going to tolerate the offending priest, particularly if he expects to be shielded from his guilt. We expect him to admit his fault, acknowledge the harm he's done, and atone as far as he can. We expect his superiors to demand all this of him as a matter of conscience and institutional discipline.

But that's a very old-fashioned approach, handed down from the days when people were pretty sure there was right and wrong and they should be held accountable for crime in human society regardless of the availability of forgiveness of sin in the spiritual context. In an era that winks at NAMBLA, why should we be surprised if a modernized Church goes all wobbly at the idea of sex between priests and children? The last thing the New Theology wants to do is claim any absolute standard of right and wrong -- that would be Puritanical and unecumenical.

Posted by: Texan99 at April 4, 2010 02:41 PM

Blessed Pesach and happy Easter! My father studied the history of the early Christian Church with a local Eastern Orthodox priest. Father Dan pointed out on several occasions that "the church survives and thrives despite its members as well as because of them."
Amen, selah.

Posted by: LittleRed1 at April 4, 2010 03:04 PM

One of the safeguards we have in place in our places of worship is that adults are two and three deep at all times. There are windows on doors, except of course, to the bathroom. Children under a certain age are accompanied by a parent to said bathroom. Heaven help the perp who tries to assault a teen of either gender.

During worship services, our buildings are open (unlocked) and anyone can come in and lurk in a bathroom or another room.

While I believe that repentence and help is needed for those who abuse children; it is an issue of trust and I could never, ever, bring myself to trust someone who had undergone treatment for child sexual abuse. Forgiveness does not always meant trust.

That said, part of the 'healing' is to give them a second chance. So, they get moved and the problem goes with them. If the parishioners don't know of it and something happens, they have every single right to hold their leaders accountable for what happens.

In our church, what is supposed to happen is that the leadership get in touch with local law enforcement immediately and step away from the
offender. This was in a letter, sent by the First Presidency, and read over the pulpit to the members. So, now the members know what the procedures are.

We are left without excuse if we know and do nothing.

My heart goes out to those parents and their children who have been subjected to the lust of evil men. I hope there is healing.

My father taught me something a long time ago. Aside from the usual snark about everyone who attends church is also a taxpayer, he also pointed out that leadership, if done by following sound scriptural guidance and seeking the Holy Spirit, can bring to pass much good. So, he told me, pray for the local not-of-my- faith congregations.

I haven't ever stopped. Maybe, that is why, when we had our terrible tragedy, those who were not of my faith stopped and prayed for us.

I am going to continue to pay it forward. Nothing makes the bells of hell ring like good people praying for one another.

Posted by: Cricket at April 4, 2010 03:04 PM

It seems highly likely that there was an "institutional policy" in the Catholic Church which had as a predictable consequence the illegitimate shielding of pedophiles and the subsequent victimization of by such repeating pedophile priests. To invoke the term "official policy" (Cassandra, above) and argue that there was no such "official policy", and to suggest that such a lack means something substantive in the debate, either misses the point, is a red herring, or otherwise obfuscates the whole question.

Of course there was no "official policy" (whatever the term 'official policy" is supposed to mean) that provided that "Priests are never wrong no matter what they do, and if they abuse kids it should be hushed up and the priest protected".

There are, however, ways in which "things are done, here" that doesn't particularly need to be enunciated, and at moderately high and higher levels in the Catholic Church, it seems clear that it was understood that "the way things work here" is that we diffuse the situation, protect the priest and the Church, and (perhaps) take some steps to ensure the situation does not arise again, and be done with this episode. What that "some steps" step would amount to on any given occasion, who knows? Confession, 20 Hail Marys, Repentence, and Go and Sin No More ? Something less than that?

Certainly in many too many instances, no *more* than that - hence the problem of re-offending priests; priests re-assigned to pastoral duties involving in loco parens interactions with children.

Every institution has the inclination to protect its own institutional interests, while at the same time every moral institution recognizes its obligation to police itself. Sometimes, perhaps oftentimes, these inclinations etc. produce tension-laden decision-points, whose proper resolution is more or less ambiguous. (And, of course, when one speaks of "every institution" in such discourse, one is ultimately speaking of the "players" in that institution and culture - the human beings who take (or fail to take) particular actions; who sit in (and subject to) varying positions of knowledge and power; and who oftentimes aspire to higher positions of power.)

The institution acts through these players, according to "official dogma" / pronouncements, and of course through the unwritten rules - which not only unwritten, most often need not even be vocalized. How things are done.

There can be little doubt but that the Catholic Church failed again and again to police itself in any reasonable manner, with respect to the question of pedophilia. Does that mean that believers should abandon the Church? Like joining the Church, that's an individual decision (actually, the latter is probably more of a truly "individual decision" than can be said of most adherents' "joining moment", given the tender years at which they joined, together with the years of pre-confirmation indoctrination that their as-yet un-finished (biologically speaking) brains had been subject to)

And what role does His Holiness play in all of this? Well, um . . . he *is* God's Representative on Earth, for starters. And there are, apparently allegations that his tenure in several posts in the Church . . .

[AP, this date]: "* * * The accusations against the pope stem from his leadership as archbishop of Munich, in his native Germany, before he came to the Vatican three decades ago, as well as his long tenure in Rome leading the Holy See's office dealing with a growing pile of dossiers about pedophile priests. * * *"

What substance is there to such allegations (however vague or specific the allegations may be; I for one have no clue)? I have no clue. Will the deserving public likely ever come to learn whether such allegations are true, or to what extent they may be true, and to what extent they amount to undeserved defamation? I reckon the chances are pretty slim that the Pope will provide for a Vatican-instigated investigation of himself, and it may be too much to expect any significant whistle-blowing as might otherwise be required for the truth to out. [ That said, the Pope has his defenders who may very well be knowledgeable in major (if not all) pertinent respects; see. e.g. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article7086738.ece - which is an interesting read as well on both Pope John Paul, and the "just following orders" (sub-)issue. (And we know those Germans sure can follow orders) ]

[Note on "deserving public" (above) - by which I mean Catholics, laity and non-laity alike; by this I don't mean to imply that non-Catholics are *generally* non-deserving, but . . . well, they really don't have the same dog in the fight, if they have any there at all)]

Whatever. And while the Vatican doesn't consult me on such matters, I'd suggest that it doesn't do itself, the Pope, or the Church at large much service to have the Pope's personal preacher give a Good Friday sermon in which he likens the growing accusations against the pope to the campaign of anti-Semitic violence that culminated in the Holocaust. Hooo - Whee! (Well, my advice or not, I think they know that now. And go!-go! Sodano; rally 'round the flag.)

Posted by: pond at April 4, 2010 03:05 PM

"I've always thought it rather strange that people expect an institution - any institution - to prevent bad things from happening. The expectation just doesn't stand up to logical inspection."--Cassandra

I agree with that. However, there are schools who say they have a zero tolerance policy on that. Well, they can't gaurantee safety but they can be intolerant of unsafe practices.
When someone does something that endangers another student, or makes them a target, the school does nothing. There is no law, even though there is a policy in place that gives the impression 'something' will be done.


Posted by: Cricket at April 4, 2010 03:14 PM

If a priest robbed a bank, what would the Church do? Would it cover up the crime, hire him a good lawyer to beat the rap, then move him far enough away that no one associated him with the crime and put him in charge of the parish's retirement fund? What if the priest robbed enough banks to convince everyone around him that he wasn't likely to gain control of himself in the foreseeable future? I don't see how an approach to priests who molest children can possibly work if it wouldn't also be the kind of thing we would expect to work for the problem of priest-bank-robbers.

Also beyond me, though, is how any of this kind of thing could inspire someone to leave the Church. I wouldn't quit going to a doctor because I learned he had suffered from an illness. I might quit going to him if I learned he offered prescriptions that made himself, and others, sick. I expect a certain amount of hypocrisy and cowardice from any group of people. Still, until the Church actually begins advocating child molestation instead of merely failing to combat it with perfect effectiveness, I plan to continue receiving communion there. In the meantime, if I encounter a priest who's harming someone, I'll do what I must to stop him.

Posted by: Texan99 at April 4, 2010 07:05 PM

"I do not recall improper touching of any kind."

The Leftist movements were successful in getting the Catholic church to recruit a number of priests that the Left had selected for homosexual tendencies.

It was intended that once those priests worked their way through the Church hierarchy that they would cause direct or indirect damage to the Church's credibility.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 4, 2010 07:21 PM

If the Church was positioned such that they resided in one pole of polar and I at the other, then self-interest and security would compel me to compete and discourage Church power.

But add in a mutual enemy of both the Church and myself, those that would seek to destroy the Church and then destroy my own power base and nation afterwards, then things become different.

Strategic calculations with only two powers is not the same as a situation with 3 powers. Nor is the complexity reduced with the addition of another player.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 4, 2010 07:24 PM

The Leftist movements were successful in getting the Catholic church to recruit a number of priests that the Left had selected for homosexual tendencies. It was intended that once those priests worked their way through the Church hierarchy that they would cause direct or indirect damage to the Church's credibility.

You have got to be kidding. This is the most ludicrous thing I have seen on these pages in ... two or three days.

Posted by: I Call BS at April 4, 2010 07:46 PM

I wouldn't quit going to a doctor because I learned he had suffered from an illness.

If you went to see him for guidance in a certain area, and then found out he didn't have any experience in the area for which you consulted him, one would hope that you would have enough confidence in your own feelings about what is sensible that you would reconsider the advisability of trusting that he could give you good advice and guidance.

Posted by: I Call BS at April 4, 2010 07:51 PM

You have got to be kidding. This is the most ludicrous thing I have seen on these pages in ... two or three days.

ICBS:

Do you think you might be able to limit your commentary to actual responses (as opposed to gratuitous insults that add nothing to the discussion)?

If you wish to rebut what another reader has said, that's one thing.

Just throwing out unsubstantiated insults doesn't cut it. If the comment is indeed ludicrous, pointing out the flaws in it ought to be a piece of cake for you. There is no need to be snide.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 4, 2010 08:01 PM

OK - I apologize. But I challenge Ymarsakar to provide a shred of credible proof of what he says.

Posted by: I Call BS at April 4, 2010 08:08 PM

Suggested talking points:

1. Please identify the "leftist movements".
2. Who in the Catholic Church agreed to the recruitment suggestion? Please provide names.
3. Name the priests who were selected for their homosexual tendencies.
4. Did any of the priests in question succeed in working their way through the Church hierarchy? If so, please name names.

Posted by: I Call BS at April 4, 2010 08:12 PM

Great post and comments.

Thinking of that old saying about how the church is not a club of saints, but a school for sinners.

Posted by: retriever at April 4, 2010 08:24 PM

Thank you, ICBS :)

Posted by: Cassandra at April 4, 2010 08:45 PM

Texan99 at April 4, 2010 07:05 PM wrote: "Also beyond me, though, is how any of this kind of thing could inspire someone to leave the Church."

While I certainly don't wish my comments to be taken to imply that anyone should or shouldn't leave the Church, for me it seems easy to imagine several situations in which such a decision would be taken. The fact/belief that the Church has seriously personally broken faith has, I daresay, caused more than a few to leave the Church. Surely, you wouldn't find it beyond imagining that some Catholics who had been sexually abused by a priest might leave the Church, and that their leaving might very well arise from abuse? Especially if the abuse were prolonged, and particularly perverse or violent ? Or, indeed, that someone (Catholic) close to such a victim (parent, sister, etc.) might feel similarly, and similarly abandon the Church. (This is not at all to suggest that that any such person would be "wrong" or "right" in so reacting, of course; and just as I imagine that more than a few such victims have left the Church, I have don't doubt that many victims of such abuse remain within its folds)

The example above tried to limit itself more to the "immediate" emotional/psychological response that one might have to the experience; rejecting the Church principally because of that experience (& its sequelae) suffered at the hands of one man. But for me at least, it seems fairly easy to imagine someone leaving the Church, also, if she "knew" abuse (concerning one or multiple victims) had been "covered up" in her parish by one or more priests (etc.), elsewhere in the diocese and/or at the diocese level, and perhaps even in Rome.

The article I linked to earlier reported that in March alone, 20,000 Catholics left the faith in Austria alone. I assume that that reporting is correct and while I have no idea as to what the "normal" monthly rate is in Austria, 20,000 does seem a rather high figure simply on its face. One implication I drew from that article (justified or not) was that there is some serious re-thinking going on Catholic lay circles/families (at least Europe), related to the Pope's stance on/history with the pedophile problem, as well as relating to that of Pope John Paul (especially in light of the scheduled beatification). If folks perceive serious questions have been raised as to the propriety of the actions/inactions concerning both the present and immediate past *head* of the Church, is it surprising that some might not feel that this Church no longer is for them?

Posted by: pond at April 4, 2010 09:09 PM

I suppose I should have left this out: " ... in two or three days." I apologize for my sniedeness, my sniedery, my snidaliciousness, ...

Posted by: I Call BS at April 4, 2010 09:13 PM

" . . . perverse or violent? . . .", above, is no doubt better phrased " . . . perverted or violent? . . ." (pond at April 4, 2010 09:09 PM)

Posted by: pond at April 4, 2010 09:22 PM

Re: "ludicrous", Cassandra, is there a policy here on such language, and if so, please advise. Snark and snideness seem a regular part of posts here, and ludicrous seems a relatively mild word, actually. Not that I'm commenting on its accuracy in this context (though it wouldn't be wholly surprising if were to turn out that ICBS and I shared the same views on this particular issue, I suppose).

Posted by: pond at April 4, 2010 09:32 PM

[i gave props to ymarsaker on another thread here for his link to the self-defense site he mentioned in his long discussion of the culture-clash between the violence-prone and the genteel, so it's not personal]

Posted by: I Call BS at April 4, 2010 09:47 PM

pond:

Keeping in mind that none of us is perfect (and that definitely includes your hostess), I ask readers to avoid personal insults, put downs, and the like.

I don't mind snark so long as it isn't personally insulting. ICBS has been commenting here for a long time. The reason I said something this time was because the earlier remarks about "drifting towards the lunatic fringe" were headed in a direction I didn't care for.

There's a big difference between taking issue with an assertion and insulting one's opponent. In my book, it's a lot easier to discuss difficult topics if people aren't throwing out sharp elbows - generally any discussion of politics generates enough heat without adding diggs in.

I let a lot of stuff slide and try only to wade in when I see repeated comments that bother me.

Hope this helps. If you have any questions please feel free to email me - and thanks for asking. I appreciate it.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 4, 2010 10:12 PM

One more thing :)

Over the years I've tried very hard to create a climate where all sorts of people can comment and receive a respectful hearing. Doesn't mean they won't be challenged, and it doesn't mean no one ever gets mad - I have friends who have commented here for years. They can testify that we've had our share of minor dust ups :p

But for the most part, we've all stayed friends. That's a good thing.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 4, 2010 10:21 PM

I know it's not personal, ICBS.

I don't expect people to read my mind - if I don't tell them something is bothering me, there's no way to know. And yes, I realize I'm unbearably quaint :p

At any rate, no harm, no foul :)

Posted by: Cassandra at April 4, 2010 10:48 PM

If folks perceive serious questions have been raised as to the propriety of the actions/inactions concerning both the present and immediate past *head* of the Church, is it surprising that some might not feel that this Church no longer is for them?

No, if they believe the problem goes all the way to the top and is systemic, then it isn't surprising that some might leave the Church. That's an incredibly personal decision that I wouldn't second guess.

I think I have more problems with non-Catholics who eagerly seize on any excuse to bash the church (especially when they spout some of the misinformation in the press as justification). Oddly, I never see these folks bashing the public schools despite the fact that pretty much every week we read of yet another teacher sexually abusing students.

Hence my title: selective outrage. I'm not saying outrage isn't a proper response to child abuse. I'm saying why the selective outrage?

Posted by: Cassandra at April 4, 2010 10:53 PM

Cassandra at April 4, 2010 10:12 PM...
Well, I appreciate your answer, but for what it's worth (and no doubt ICBS would just as soon I shut my yap), I don't think it's a particularly fair "ding" on him.

That thread ("Are Left/Right Wingers Prone . . .") was fairly heated at times, agreed, and the "drifting towards the lunatic fringe" language was perhaps a tad more . . . um . . . "rhetorically descriptive" than absolutely necessary, but to me it didn't seem either that anyone was in fact particularly offended, nor did I get the sense that it was *intended* to be a comment on character or as an insult etc. (Indeed, some of Ymars comments to/re: ICBS seemed much more personally insulting (& rather more devoid of "substantive" addition to/comment on the discussion (e.g. "How is it a figure of speech that you are shaking in you boots?" Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 2, 2010 03:43 PM). And, in any event, if "correction" needed doing, wasn't the time to do it then?

Moreover, what Ymar wrote here that ICBS responded to was pretty "outrageous" on its face -- to my lights (it is a pretty extraordinary claim, and they demand, as a rule, extraordinary evidence). In so pronouncing, I don't intend to insult Ymar, but rather simply comment on his assertion.

Is "outrageous" in this context objectionable as well? "Outrageous" and "ludicrous", or "astoundingly extraordinary" seem rather normal and non-provocative words to use in such a political discussion, with nothing particularly insulting in them.

"By Gawd, Pond, that is the goofiest damn thing I think I've ever heard!" Do I naturally take that as principally an insult to me, rather than a comment (however ridiculous or ill-founded, or apropos) on what I've said? Well, not generally (not admitting that I've heard those words over-much), & while I'm not suggesting that I'd specifically *solicit* such commentary on my comments, this expression, too, seems pretty innocuous to me.

End of yap.

Posted by: pond at April 4, 2010 11:57 PM

I don't read all of every comment on every thread. Sometimes if I'm busy, I don't read any of them. Also, I'm under no obligation (just because I wish to set a standard) to read every single word on this site or be 100% even and fair handed in my application of my own standard.

That requires far more time and effort than I have to expend.

For the past few months we've been listening to the President of the United States and the media use words like "rage", "extremism", and "unhinged" to describe what was considered oh-so-brave, patriotic dissent during the last administration.

I don't care for that kind of talk and am under no obligation to put up with it on a site I pay for and maintain.

I like ICBS very much and am not at all mad at him. I've broken my own rules on occasion and when I do, I nearly always apologize. The bottom line here is that it's my call where I want to draw the line. Hopefully the injustice of it all will not prove to much to bear... :p

Posted by: Cassandra at April 5, 2010 12:20 AM

Well, of course you can do whatever damn thing you want here, re: standards of discourse, and your post seems to address (more or less completely) one-half of what my comment was, but it leaves the other half unanswered, so far as I can tell. Sorry if I'm being dense.

That is, while your return-comments address the prior thread issue, I don't see clearly that they address the language employed in this thread. Just to be clear, are commenters to take it that language such as "ludicrous", or "outrageous", as applied to characterizing assertions made by other commenters are for some reason objectionable and to be avoided? E.g., expressions such as those in the final three paragraphs of my last post, that I referred to and expressed my views on?

To be clear: I'm not asking for you to engage in any particular *justification* to your answer to this request for clarification. Rather, it is a simple request for clarification as to just what the "standards" are (whether or not you decide, in any particular instance, to strive to apply those standards evenhandedly, or not).

[To beat a dead horse, perhaps (though I imagine it's obvious), I do not perceive that "ludicrous", or "outrageous" (etc., used as I described) fall into the "same category" as those examples of words which you have said you find so very objectionable (to wit: "rage", "extremism", and "unhinged"). Hence the inquiry]

Posted by: pond at April 5, 2010 01:03 AM

Ah. OK. In answer to your question, the context matters.

Yesterday I objected to characterizing a hypothetical discussion about the possibility of insurrection (during which the participants repeatedly said we are nowhere near such an eventuality, nor did they express any desire to see such a thing happen and in several cases fervently hoped it would NOT happen) as "drifting towards the lunatic fringe".

The lunatic fringe generally being populated by ... umm... lunatics.

I also objected to the repeated implication that we were fomenting some kind of violent rebellion the other day. Nothing in those comments reasonably led to such a characterization. It's just mud flinging, and groundless mud flinging at that.

So my objection today did not happen in isolation. In and of themselves, I do not necessarily object to words like "outrageous" or "ludicrous", though I question the need for that kind of rhetoric. A statement may in fact *be* laughable or outrageous, but merely asserting this does not make it so and when I notice such characterizations I'm going to challenge them.

Hence my request to avoid pejorative and unsubstantiated assertions of that kind. It added nothing to the discussion and repeated remarks like that tend to piss people off after a while. No reason to go there.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 5, 2010 01:57 AM

Also, I just enjoy picking on ICBS. It keeps his spirits up :p

*running away*

Posted by: Cassandra at April 5, 2010 01:58 AM

I like ICBS very much and am not at all mad at him.

Yeah, he finally decided that showing he had a good sense of humor wasn't a sign of weakness.

Speaking of which, isn't the caption contest backlog starting to overflow from the server? IC had a real coffee-sprayer on one of 'em.

Posted by: BillT at April 5, 2010 03:30 AM

Cassandra at April 5, 2010 01:57 AM ..

I appreciate your response. I probably should end it there, but haven't the sense to. Consequently I'd probably end up pissing you off if I went ahead and commented on your last post as I would like to, but fortunately for both of us (no doubt), it's too late, and I simply don't have the time.

That said (and in very brief), (re: the earlier thread) I "get" the lunatic part, and your reaction, and I get overall your antipathy to any suggestion that you were fomenting rebellion or desirous of some sort of rebellion.

I'm not sure, however, that you "got" the gist of what (I understood) ICBS to be saying, and I do not believe you "got" what I was saying. Perhaps I was not as clear as I could have been . . .

And there it will end. About 3 (perhaps 5) single spaced pages short. And probably the both of us not a whit to the worse for the brevity.

I lie. I can make one relatively brief comment and apparently cannot resist doing so.

You write: "A statement may in fact *be* laughable or outrageous, but merely asserting this does not make it so and when I notice such characterizations I'm going to challenge them."

Clearly, the first two clauses are absolutely unassailable, and the third is quite reasonable and natural if there is any reasonable doubt about the assertion-in-question. Some statements, however, are on their face so far-fetched or unlikely (or seem so to the listener) that an objection to the characterization of the statement as (for example) "ludicrous" seems quite odd. ICBS characterized Ymars statement above in such a manner, to which you objected. I suppose that if you did not in fact find Ymars statement to be quite as manifestly far-fetched on its face, that you might have felt the criticism of that statement with the word "ludicrous" to be an ungenerous and unwarranted criticism by one left-of-center on one who is right-of-center. (Especially in light of your sensitivity arising from the other thread) I don't know your reaction to Ymars statement, and I'm not proposing that you share it with the thread in any event.

However, I can all-but guaranty you that politics had nothing to do with ICBS's statement, for I unless I am very very much mistaken ICBS would have been inclined to make the very same characterization ("ludicrous") if Ymar's statement had been *any* of the following:

"The Far Right/The Buddhist/The Unitarian/The XYorZ/The Jewish Cabalistic movements were successful in getting the Catholic church to recruit a number of priests that the Far Right/The Buddhists/The Unitarians/The XYorZers/The Jewish Cabal had selected for homosexual tendencies.

It was intended that once those priests worked their way through the Church hierarchy that they would cause direct or indirect damage to the Church's credibility."

Perhaps I mis-gauge ICBS, but I freely confess that I found the statement "ludicrous" - in the absence of extraordinarily compelling contemporaneously presented evidence to the contrary, and no such evidence or even the pretense of any such evidence was presented. And I absolutely would have reacted identically had the statement been any of the variants above.

Now, frankly, if you did not (in your heart of hearts) find the statement in question by Ymars to be at least *somewhat* questionable / dubious in the absence of strong evidence in support thereof having been presented, then I expect that you and I are such different creatures, somehow, that it will almost be by happenstance that we would tend to agree upon many matters of a "nature political", at least. (And again, I'm not soliciting your reaction to that statement).

In any event, all this probably just goes to show that I should have shut up when I said I would earlier.

Good night (yes, I know, you've been off to bed long ago), and my apologies if this post ends up tending to have you spitting nails. Wasn't intended.

Posted by: pond at April 5, 2010 03:58 AM

Commentary protocol notwithstanding, I've been a Protestant (in every sense of the word) for years. Luther (the original protestant) had no desire to start a new church...he wanted to fix the corruption of the one in which he was brought up and trained in matters theological, but they would have none of it.
(Had to raise funds to build a Basilica, you see)

There's more, much more, but I don't even attend the Lutheran church that I went to for decades any longer because of a bad decision by their hierarchy last Summer. Now I go to a non-denominational Bible based church. Of course I realize that people (and therefore the institutions they operate) are flawed.

For me, where I'm worshiping at present works. For me. YMMV.

Posted by: camojack at April 5, 2010 08:38 AM

Now, frankly, if you did not (in your heart of hearts) find the statement in question by Ymars to be at least *somewhat* questionable / dubious in the absence of strong evidence in support thereof having been presented, then I expect that you and I are such different creatures, somehow, that...

Actually, I'd like to see Ymar's evidence for this, too. That doesn't mean to imply that I doubt he has any; just that I'd like to know what it is. I've asked him to source claims before where his understanding of a point of history differs from mine, and he's never minded in the least to do so.

For example, if he's talking about Soviet attempts to infiltrate and undermine the Catholic Church, that's not that shocking a claim: they certainly expended quite a bit of effort on that. I haven't heard of them actively recruiting homosexuals (for this purpose: but the KGB definitely did use homosexuals in 'honey trap' operations, because being revealed as gay was so devastating in the mid-20th century that it was a reliable pressure lever if they could get evidence to that effect). Still, it's within the realm of possibility, and he may very well have good evidence for it.

So, pony up, Ymar. What's the source for this?

Posted by: Grim at April 5, 2010 10:39 AM

"I wouldn't quit going to a doctor because I learned he had suffered from an illness." -- "If you went to see him for guidance in a certain area, and then found out he didn't have any experience in the area for which you consulted him, one would hope that you would have enough confidence in your own feelings about what is sensible that you would reconsider the advisability of trusting that he could give you good advice and guidance."

Here's my take: If I went to a Christian priest for advice on my religious duties, and discovered that he was a kind of watered-down secular humanist who had no Christian faith of a kind I could recognize, I'd avoid him as a spiritual counsellor from then on, and I might well look for another congregation. If I got advice that was relatively neutral from a religious point of view, I'd evaluate it as I evaluate personal or psychological advice from anyone, by taking into account my level of confidence in his general sensibleness -- but either way, it wouldn't make me more or less likely to worship in his church or take communion from his hands.

I'm not saying I couldn't find it impossible to enter the doors of an institution after I'd been horribly abused there. In the same way, I might suffer a phobic reaction to entering a hospital or a public school. If I'd been present at a service in which a mad priest pulled out a machine gun and began mowing down parishioners, I might find I shook uncontrollably at the doorway of the next nave I tried to enter. Sometimes the context of a traumatic experience can make us to confuse the context with the crime.

Now, if I went back and found the same priest at the altar the next week, and everyone acting as though nothing had happened . . . I guess I'd conclude everyone there was dangerously crazy, and find another church. I WOULD find another church, though, because what has any of that got to do with my own duty to worship God?

Posted by: Texan99 at April 5, 2010 11:17 AM

Some statements, however, are on their face so far-fetched or unlikely (or seem so to the listener) that an objection to the characterization of the statement as (for example) "ludicrous" seems quite odd.

Pond,
The problem is context. The statement "That's ludicrous. Please provide proof" would likely not have not meritted a response from Cass at all. Where, again, due to context the statement more closely resembles "That's just another example of how *the site* continues it's slide into the ludicrous".

The first, while still using the word "ludicrous" at least addresses the *claim* while the second does not.

The merits of the claim by either Ymar or ICBS, Cassandra has not addressed either way. If you are to taking her silence on the merit of Ymar's claim as being supportive the you would also have to take her silence on the merits of ICBS's claim as also being supportive.

So now you have Cass supporting both sides of mutually exclusive claims. That's a pretty neat trick.

It seems more likely that she lacks time and/or interest in the claim or that others (like ICBS) will address it so that she need not stick her nose in anyway.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at April 5, 2010 11:43 AM

I like ICBS very much and am not at all mad at him. Posted by: Cassandra at April 5, 2010 12:20 AM

You have got to be kidding. This is the most ludicrous thing I have seen on these pages in ... Uh oh … there I go again acting like a member of the lunatic fringe.

Posted by: I Call BS at April 5, 2010 01:16 PM

I have been researching Ymar's allegation for myself. Haven't found anything yet, but here is an awfully interesting article about the very different analysis of the problem we can get from liberals and conservatives:

"The truth is important, and I am very dubious about those who want to use the revelations of abuse to push for a favorite reform, whether married priests or women priests or power sharing or the Latin Mass or purging homosexuals from the clergy. It would be immoral to use the sufferings of the victims to advance an agenda, unless that agenda were based in a convincing analysis of the problem. I would like Catholics to look at themselves in the mirror and see the truth about themselves and their failures. Priests have done terrible things, and much of the rest of the Church—bishops, popes, even the laity—has been complicit. . . . 'The conservatives were blaming the era of post-Vatican II permissiveness, hedonism, widespread laxity, and the infiltration of homosexuals into the priesthood. The progressives or liberals were arguing that the decisions of Vatican II had not been applied; that the bishops and the laity had been rendered immature and irresponsible by an authoritarian, highly centralized Holy See; this, in turn, they charged, had encouraged a generation of clerics in arrested development at a time when permissiveness was prevalent in society at large.' . . . Some have asked me how I can remain a Catholic after I have discovered the corruption in the Church. I am grieved by what I have found, but I also realize that we have been warned that such things will occur. Jesus’ diatribe against the Pharisees in Matthew was directed not simply at them. He agreed with them doctrinally, and he told his followers to respect their authority. But the Pharisees used their religious authority to maintain a façade of righteousness and to demand obeisance from pious Jews, when all the while they were filled with avarice and corruption. The dynamics of corruption were present in the religious communities of Judaism and of the early Church that sprang from it, and the first believers in Jesus were given solemn warnings to beware of corruptions in their leaders."

http://www.michnews.com/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/473/18535

Posted by: Texan99 at April 5, 2010 01:17 PM

You have got to be kidding. This is the most ludicrous thing I have seen on these pages in ... Uh oh … there I go again acting like a member of the lunatic fringe.

Ppppphhhhhtttthhh :)

Posted by: Cassandra at April 5, 2010 01:26 PM

Here's another article that not only has a lot of interesting things to say about how an institution can fail dismally to acknowledge and correct the crimes of its own members, but also about the infiltration issue that Ymar raised:

http://www.seattlecatholic.com/article_20020313_Random_Thoughts.html

"Since the summer of 1968, a guild of dissent has been a regular feature of life in nearly every diocese, seminary and religious community in Europe and the United States, and the presence of organized opposition to and determined rejection of the teaching of Humanae Vitae has created a culture of promiscuity and mendacity in the presbyterate which serves to allow priests who do not believe what the Church teaches about human sexuality to occupy decision-making offices at the highest levels and to give aid and comfort to other priests who are not living as chaste celibates and have no intention of even attempting to do so. Once a priest is sincerely convinced that the Church is engaged in teaching false doctrine on contraception and human sexuality, he can quiet (and finally kill) his conscience while he engages in sexual activity of any sort, and when the number of such priests reaches a high enough level in a diocese or religious community, the common life and ministry of the presbyterate is corrupted and all but incapable of being reformed without dramatic intervention from outside. In such a climate and given the aggressive homoeroticism of Western culture, a loosely organized network of homosexual priests (usually working closely with radical feminists who yearn for women in the priesthood) quickly gains influence over or even control of the machinery of diocesan governance and communication, and a conspiracy of silence protects those who are known to be sexually active. . . .

"Many of the priests who sexually abused boys were 'treated' by 'experts' who then certified that they could be returned to duty, and it is commonly asserted that this was a reasonable thing to do at that time based on the understanding in the recent past of sexual deviance. If the offending priests, however, had been embezzling money instead of having intercourse with boys committed to their care, they would never have been permitted to remain on the job. The claim that the bishops were 'just following the best professional advice available' is fatuous at best and disingenuous at worst. These clerical criminals were given gentle treatment because of the special protection extended to sexual misbehavior by the guild of dissent. Until and unless the guild of dissent is stripped of its influence in the naming of bishops and the administration of dioceses, seminaries, and religious communities, the culture of promiscuity and mendacity will continue to thrive and clerical sexual crimes will go unaddressed until and unless civil legal authorities become involved."

Posted by: Texan99 at April 5, 2010 01:41 PM

Ppppphhhhhtttthhh :)

Ppppphhhhhtttthhh :)

Posted by: I Can't Bear Sentimentality at April 5, 2010 01:43 PM

It would be immoral to use the sufferings of the victims to advance an agenda, unless that agenda were based in a convincing analysis of the problem.

The Church's stance on contraception and condoms in Africa and not swearing all annoy me too, and the stuff that Hans Küng says seems pretty well thought-out and persuasive to me.

Posted by: I Can't Bear Sentimentality at April 5, 2010 01:46 PM

Yu-Ain Gonnano at April 5, 2010 11:43 AM .. I'm not taking the silence of Cass as anything in particular. Indeed I expressly said, twice, that I was not soliciting any opinion from her on Ymar's assertion. And since ICBS's claim is basically the polar opposite (with some "fizz" on top), *obviously* I'm not calling upon her or expecting from her any response there either. Not a neat trick at all. Not a trick in sight, neat or otherwise. If she cares to comment she will, and if she doesn't want to, she won't, and why she mightn't is a question whose answer is so speculative, and hence so uninteresting, that it's not worth much reflection.

That said, I take your point (without, perhaps, agreeing with the exact phrasing) when you write:

"Where, again, due to context the statement more closely resembles "That's just another example of how *the site* continues it's slide into the ludicrous"."

in that I am now somewhat better-informed as to Cass' particular sensibilities.

Posted by: pond at April 5, 2010 02:02 PM

Rev. James Martin, S.J., also has some well-thought-out points to make, and he's a freaking Catholic, fer crissakes! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-james-martin-sj/the-churchs-easter-what-n_b_524349.html

Posted by: I Call BS at April 5, 2010 02:20 PM

Well, Yu-Ain got it mostly right (he knows me pretty well).

I was bothered more by the implication that my readers were crazy and/or violent. People have hurled all sorts of filth at me over the last 6 years. I generally don't pay much attention to it and sometimes even find it amusing.

I don't think I ought to allow visitors here to be abused, though. It is my site, therefore my responsibility to them.

There are some pretty funny insults (directed at me) in the archives. I generally leave them up, but I delete anything really insulting about a reader or commenter. So if you get the sudden urge to insult someone, I'm probably the safest bet :p

Lord knows you'd have lots of company!

Posted by: Cassandra at April 5, 2010 02:31 PM

Now, I have to congratulate Grim for what I consider to be a very enlightening post. Not only did he link to a book that looks like it might be a very interesting read, on a subject which is apparently little-known (certainly by me it is), but his proposed defense of Ymar's language was a magnificent tour de force. (Can we say that, here?)

That is, if Ymar is of the habit of using locutions like "The Leftist movements" (and not simply "leftists movements", small "l", no definite article, but "The Leftist movements") - - as I say, if he is of the habit of using locutions such as that to refer to the State Security apparatus of the USSR at the height of the cold war, then you may rest assured that I'll be making no more comments on comments on his. It wasn't my dog to begin with, and frankly life is way too short. That said, it did get several grins out of me, so it's is appreciated, Grim.

Posted by: pond at April 5, 2010 02:32 PM

"So, pony up, Ymar. What's the source for this?"

Hold your horses. Geez-moe, I take one day off and suddenly everybody gets busy.

Well, I guess first off I'll address the initial challenge and Cass's challenge to IC's challenge.

My sources weren't readily available to me so I had to go around and look it up. Within that time span, I went ahead and read the rest of the commenters here.

I'm not surprised at the reactions of IC or others. After all, the main reason why I made that known here is that people seemed like they didn't know. Obviously, having such a Tea Party like idea may surprise people. I say Tea Party because it often seems grassroots movements are downplayed by the elites or if they are afraid of such movements, vilified. The Tea Party isn't known by me or anyone else for infiltrating religious organizatons, but O'Keefe is known for infiltrating ACORN. The idea of grassroots organization, funding, and infiltration of large organizations is very Tea Partish. To apply it to the Left, all you have to do is to remove the positive connotations of the Tea Party Movement. The Left has had and still has at least as large a movement, with even better funding than the Tea Party, after all.

Given that, I'm not surprised to hear IC's reactions. Thus it wouldn't matter how many times he made them, I'd just make fun of em. Now if I couldn't make fun of em, if I was surprised by such things and unprepared, then maybe I'd get angry. But that's not likely.

I've talked to progressives that have ridiculed the South Vietnamese war efforts, after all, and they even kept going on about how SV deserved to lose. They even stated that we were making excuses for our failure there, just like Germany did after WWI. Again, this is the internet. As Grim once recommended, save your explosive emotions for when you are face to face: this includes fear and aggression. Then you can actually do something with them. So des neh, Grim.


Humor, of course, is a sign of self-discipline and personal security. The Left can ridicule others, but never themselves. Just like Islamic fanatics, they are a little bit stuck together too tightly. Doesn't take much to unwound em. For an Arabic man that just killed his daughter for reasons of face, a sex change would obviously unhinge him to the point where he can no longer deny the humiliation. Now if he had made a joke about his daughter's conduct and protected her life, even at the expense of his reputation, that probably didn't need to happen.

People always have these little personal problems. They'll never go away. However, I make the distinction between natural human failures and engineered failures done by express human design. It's one thing for lone wolves to go out of control and try to sate their need for recognition with a mass sasajin, but an ideology and an organization that acts to promote such things (Islam) is beyond the pale.

I suppose much of the argument about the Catholic Church is whether the Church exists to promote such abuses of power or whether it exists, imperfect as it is, to delay or to stop such abuses. It makes a large difference, you know, which it is.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 5, 2010 02:33 PM

"Rev. James Martin, S.J., also has some well-thought-out points to make, and he's a freaking Catholic, fer crissakes!"

Pelosi is a Catholic too.

People pie because to say the truth would be too humiliating. It's just the way it is.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 5, 2010 02:34 PM

Bella Dodd, Polanski, Neo-neocon, Bookworm, retired Corporal Matt Sanchez, Soviet KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov, and last though not really least for the purposes of this discussion, Artfldgr.

Those would, in a nutshell, be my sources. But for the purposes of this thread, limiting myself to Bella Dodd will suffice.

Be prepared. It's another long research into the darkness of stuff people are uncomfortable talking about in polite company.

Bella Dodd, for all intents and purposes, was one of the leaders of CPUSA. I cannot provide you all the details, because I haven't read her entire book, School of Darkness. But I do have the link that allows you to do so.

The citations were made by Art. I don't have the actual book, so can't check page numbers. The link can be searched by chapter though.

"I now saw that with the best motives and a desire to serve the working people... I and thousands like me, had been led to a betrayal of these very people.... I had been on the side of those who sought the destruction of my own country." (229)

"This is the key to the mental enslavement of mankind. The individual is made into nothing ... he operates as the physical part of [a] higher group intelligence... he has no awareness of the plans the higher group intelligence has for utilizing him." (158)

[]TO THE New York newspapers the story of the expulsion of a woman Communist was merely one more story. It was handled in the routine way. I winced, however, when reputable papers headlined the Communist Party charges and used the words “fascism” and “racism,” even though I knew these words were only quoted from the Party resolution.

I braced myself for further attacks from the Party, and they came soon in terms of economic threats. Some of my law practice came from trade-union and Party members, and here action was swift. The union Communists told me there would be no more referrals to me. Party members who were my clients came to my office, some with their new lawyers, to withdraw their pending cases.

Reprisals came, too, in the form of telephone calls, letters, and telegrams of hate and vituperation, many of them from people I did not know. What made me feel desolate were the reprisals from those I had known best, those among the teachers whom I had considered friends. While I was busy with Party work I sometimes thought proudly of my hundreds of friends and how strong were the ties that bound us. Now those bonds were ropes of sand.

What I had failed to understand was that the security I felt in the Party was that of a group and that affection in that strange communist world is never a personal emotion. You were loved or hated on the basis of group acceptance, and emotions were stirred or dulled by propaganda. That propaganda was made by the powerful people at the top. That is why ordinary Communists get along well with their groups: they think and feel together and work toward a common goal.

....

The New York Post asked me to write a series of articles on why I had broken with the Communist Party, and made me a generous offer. I agreed. But when I had finished them and read them over I did not want to see them published and found an excuse for refusing the offer. When a weekly magazine made an even more lucrative offer, I refused that, too. There were several reasons for this, as I now realize: one was that I did not trust my own conclusions, and another that I could not bear to hurt people I had known in the Party and for whom I still felt affection. Some I knew were entrapped as surely as I had been.

It was a strange and painful year. The process of completely freeing oneself emotionally from being a Communist is a thing no outsider can understand. The group thinking and group planning and the group life of the Party had been a part of me for so long that it was desperately difficult for me to be a person again. That is why I have lost track of whole days and weeks of that period.

But I had begun the process of “unbecoming” a Communist. It was a long and painful process, much like that of a polio victim who has to learn to walk all over again. I had to learn to think. I had to learn to love. I had to drain the hate and frenzy from my system. I had to dislodge the self and the pride that had made me arrogant, made me feel that I knew all the answers. I had to learn that I knew nothing. There were many stumbling blocks in this process.

[]
In the days that have gone since we enunciated these statements so confidently I have had many occasions to see that this cataloging of people as either “right” or “left” has led to more confusion in American life than perhaps any other false concept. It sounds so simple and so right. By using this schematic device one puts the communists on the left and then one regards them as advanced liberals -after which it is easy to regard them as the enzyme necessary for progress.

Communists usurp the position of the left, but when one examines them in the light of what they really stand for, one sees them as the rankest kind of reactionaries and communism as the most reactionary backward leap in the long history of social movements. It is one which seeks to obliterate in one revolutionary wave two thousand years of man’s progress.

During my thirteen years of teaching at Hunter I was to repeat this semantic falsehood many times. I did not see the truth that people are not born “right” or “left” nor can they become “right” or “left” unless educated on the basis of a philosophy which is as carefully organized and as all-inclusive as communism.

I was among the first of a new kind of teacher who was to come in great numbers to the city colleges. The mark of the decade was on us. We were sophisticated, intellectually snobbish, but usually fetishly “democratic” with the students. It is true that we understood them better than did many of the older teachers; our sympathy with them was a part of ourselves.

[]

I knew how devoted he was to the South and its people and after our marriage we went to visit his home. I had never been South before, but I now realized why so many of its children went to Northern cities for a livelihood.

John’s people were not plantation owners nor did they have share croppers. They owned a lot of land and they worked it themselves. The women worked as hard as the men. I visited some of the Dodd children at the Martha Berry Schools near John’s home and I was struck by the independence and sturdiness of these people. Never after that first visit did I read morbid literature on the South without a sense of resentment at the twisted picture it gave of a section which has great reservoirs of strength, based not on material wealth but upon the integrity of its people.

I did not become a Communist overnight. It came a little at a time. I had been conditioned by my education and association to accept this materialistic philosophy. Now came new reasons for acceptance. I was grateful for communist support in the struggles of the Instructors Association. I admired the selfless dedication of many who belonged to the Party. They took me into their fraternal circle and made me feel at home. I was not interested in any long-range Party objectives but I did welcome their assistance on immediate issues, and I admired them for their courage. Most of all I respected the way they fought for the forgotten man of the city. So I did not argue with them about the “dictatorship of the proletariat” which they talked about, or about its implications.
Of course some of my friends were unhappy about my new course. One day when Ruth Goldstein and I were walking down Sixty-eighth Street she spoke bitterly about my new affiliations.

“You are getting too involved, Bella,” she said. “You will get hurt. Wait and see!”

I laughed at her. “Oh, Ruth, you are too concerned about promotions and tenures. There are other things in life.” “What about this one-party system that they favor?” she demanded.

“Well, you know we really have only a one-party system in America right now,” I retorted. “Remember the Harvard professor who says that both political parties resemble empty bottles with different labels?”

Ruth continued arguing and I finally said: “Oh, Ruth, I am only interested in the present. What the Communist Party says about the future is not important to me. The sanity of the American people will assert itself. But these people are about the only ones who are doing anything about the rotten conditions of today. That is why I am with them, and,” I ended truculently, “I will stay with them.”
Of course I was not the only American who thought one could go along with the good things the Communists did and then reject their objectives. It was a naive idea and many of us were naive. It took a long time for me to know that once you march with them there is no easy return. I learned over the years that if you stumbled from weariness they had no time to pick up a fallen comrade. They simply marched over him.

The saddest situation I saw in the Party were the hundreds of young people eager to be used. And the Party did use this mass of anonymous people for its immediate purposes. And so young people were burned out before they could reach maturity. But I saw, too, how inexhaustible was the supply of human beings willing to be sacrificed. Much of the strength of the Party, of course, is derived from this very ruthlessness in exploiting people.

[]

Since 1932 the Communist Party had publicized itself as the leading opponent of fascism. It had used the emotional appeal of anti-fascism to bring many people to the acceptance of communism, by posing communism and fascism as alternatives. Its propaganda machine ground out an endless stream of words, pictures, and cartoons. It played on intellectual, humanitarian, racial, and religious sensibilities until it succeeded to an amazing degree in conditioning America to recoil at the word fascist even when people did not know its meaning.

Today I marvel that the world communist movement was able to beat the drums against Germany and never once betray what the inner group knew well: that some of the same forces which gave Hitler his start had also started Lenin and his staff of revolutionists from Switzerland to St. Petersburg to begin the revolution which was to result in the Soviet totalitarian state.

There was not a hint that despite the propaganda of hate unleashed against Germany and Italy, communist representatives were meeting behind the scenes to do business with Italian and German fascists to whom they sold materiel and oil. There was not a hint that Soviet brass was meeting with German brass to redraw the map of Europe. There was no betrayal of these facts until one day they met openly to sign a contract for a new map of Europe — a treaty made by Molotov and Von Ribbentrop.

preview doesn't really work, so I'm throwing the dice that the format is alright.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 5, 2010 03:08 PM

Bella Dodd, Polanski, Neo-neocon, Bookworm, retired Corporal Matt Sanchez, Soviet KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov, and last though not really least for the purposes of this discussion, Artfldgr.

Some of us are still waiting for some support for these amazing, wonderful, playful, good-humored statements (which caused us to smile but definitely not to laugh):

"The Leftist movements were successful in getting the Catholic church to recruit a number of priests that the Left had selected for homosexual tendencies. It was intended that once those priests worked their way through the Church hierarchy that they would cause direct or indirect damage to the Church's credibility."

Take your time ... we're not going anywhere, unless the Rapture comes, of course, in which case we have no idea whether we'll even still be here. Ha ha ha!

Posted by: I Challenge Benedict's Spiel at April 5, 2010 03:19 PM

"Take your time ... we're not going anywhere"

Don't worry, I'm going at my own pace.

You take the position of supplicant, I as provider.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 5, 2010 04:12 PM

"Supplicant . . . provider"

Not so much. "Challenger . . . challenged"

Posted by: pond at April 5, 2010 04:23 PM

[tapping foot...]

Actually the first time I typed that, it was "taping foot".

That was funnier - I should have left it that way but I'm not prepared to defend the typo crown against spd :p A woman's gotta know her limits.

/...and I'm outta here!!!!

Posted by: Cassandra at April 5, 2010 04:26 PM

"Not so much. "Challenger . . . challenged""

Much as I am wont to downgrade Spiel's status, but he wasn't the challenger. He was late to the party. Unless, of course, IC has taken up sock puppetry.

Which, of course, given this place, wouldn't be out of bounds.

For me to call somebody a challenger, they have to actually challenge me. In other words, I have to be challenged.

Someone clinging to me and going "Nanee, Nanee, Nanee, tell me, tell me" isn't really what I would call a challenger.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 5, 2010 04:27 PM

Take a little closer look at that Argyle . . .

Posted by: pond at April 5, 2010 04:32 PM

After outlining some of Bella Dodd's personal recollections, some other things were very insightful from my view. I'll summarize a bit of it, since quoting it from the source is rather time intensive.

She noted that the Communist organization notably worked to advance a Soviet international agenda. This was remarked in how anti-war the Communist Party propaganda was in the 30s. When the Fascist-Communist pack was signed and announced, things got a little bit weird. The Communist Party was dumped by many Jews and haters of both Communists and Fascists. The pack caused a stir and downgraded the status of the Communists because the Communists had advertised themselves as an alternative, a better alternative, to German fascism. And here was German fascism allied with Soviet Communism in carving up Poland and elsewhere.

When the pack was broken, the Communist party moved to push America towards a pro-war pro-Soviet position. They ended up succeeding, due to a sort of mutual interest with leaders like FDR and the impact of Pearl Harbor. The entire nation united, which just meant that they accepted the CPUSA as 'honest brokers'. Of course, they weren't honest brokers at all. They used the good will and patriotism of most Americans in order to destroy all that which secured the benefits of Americans. Pretty cool, in terms of subversion.

The remarkable aspect Bella noticed was how the party was so all encompassing, all consuming, and with total control of the perception of its members via propaganda, that it can get them to switch policy from anti-war to pro-war simply because the Party said so. Some idealistic students had signed no-war statements, so couldn't easily be swayed, but even they weren't immune. After all, didn't FDR promise not to bring America into the war with Europe, yet when Japan attacked the US, FDR suddenly decided to focus on the European theater. People are easily swayed, by events as well as by emotions. But still, the ability of any organization to substitute human free will and conscience with the party line, is still a bit too much for American sentiments.

In recent years this latter quandary in particular has emerged from the realms of much derided "conspiracy theory" to become a plausible contributory explanation for the otherwise inexplicable levels of corruption, negligence and indifference within Western episcopates. The fact that we will never precisely quantify the degree of infiltration and only rarely identify "plants" beyond all doubt, is no reason to ignore the reality. Besides, it's not as if we hadn't been warned. Ex-Communist and celebrated convert Douglas Hyde revealed long ago that in the 1930s the Communist leadership issued a worldwide directive about infiltrating the Catholic Church. While in the early 1950s, Mrs Bella Dodd was also providing detailed explanations of the Communist subversion of the Church. Speaking as a former high ranking official of the American Communist Party, Mrs Dodd said: "In the 1930s we put eleven hundred men into the priesthood in order to destroy the Church from within." The idea was for these men to be ordained and progress to positions of influence and authority as Monsignors and Bishops. A dozen years before Vatican II she stated that: "Right now they are in the highest places in the Church" - where they were working to bring about change in order to weaken the Church's effectiveness against Communism. She also said that these changes would be so drastic that "you will not recognise the Catholic Church."

Mrs Dodd, who converted to the Faith at the end of her life, was personally acquainted with this diabolic project since, as a Communist agent, part of her brief was to encourage young radicals (not always card-carrying Communists) to enter Catholic seminaries. She alone had encouraged nearly 1,000 such youngsters to infiltrate the seminaries and religious orders! One monk who attended a Bella Dodd lecture in the early 1950s recalled:

"I listened to that woman for four hours and she had my hair standing on end. Everything she said has been fulfilled to the letter. You would think she was the world's greatest prophet, but she was no prophet. She was merely exposing the step-by-step battle plan of Communist subversion of the Catholic Church. She explained that of all the world's religions, the Catholic Church was the only one feared by the Communists, for it was its only effective opponent. The whole idea was to destroy, not the institution of the Church, but rather the Faith of the people, and even use the institution of the Church, if possible, to destroy the Faith through the promotion of a pseudo-religion: something that resembled Catholicism but was not the real thing. Once the Faith was destroyed, she explained that there would be a guilt complex introduced into the Church…. to label the 'Church of the past' as being oppressive, authoritarian, full of prejudices, arrogant in claiming to be the sole possessor of truth, and responsible for the divisions of religious bodies throughout the centuries. This would be necessary in order to shame Church leaders into an 'openness to the world,' and to a more flexible attitude toward all religions and philosophies. The Communists would then exploit this openness in order to undermine the Church."

This conspiracy has been confirmed time and again by Soviet defectors. Ex-KGB officer Anatoliy Golitsyn, who defected in 1961 and in 1984 forecast with 94% accuracy all the astonishing developments in the Communist Bloc since that time, confirmed several years ago that this "penetration of the Catholic and other churches" is part of the Party's "general line [i.e. unchanged policy] in the struggle against religion." Hundreds of files secreted to the West by former KGB archivist Vassili Mitrokhin and published in 1999 tell a similar tale, about the KGB cultivating the closest possible relationships with 'progressive' Catholics and financing their activities. One of the leftist organs identified was the small Italian Catholic press agency Adista, which for decades has promoted every imaginable postconciliar cause or "reform" and whose Director was named in The Mitrokhin Archive as a paid KGB agent. Interestingly, just prior to the Mitrokhin expose it was little Adista that ultra-Modernist Cardinal Martini utilised to diffuse his dissident rant at the 1999 European Synod, where, among other things, he called for a "new Council".

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 5, 2010 04:41 PM

Take a little closer look at that Argyle . . .

You have to speak more clearly. You were saying to look at what again?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 5, 2010 04:42 PM

Grim, honorable opponents exist. Sadly, in many modern conflicts, our enemies are not honorable and won't become honorable any time soon.

The best that can be done is to welcome the refugees and defectors and hope they have something to offer us. Something that'll replace the evil with the good. Even if people had formerly been working to replace the good with the evil.

The price of political engagement and non-violent conflict, Grim, is that all the honorable and good people, no longer bound by contracts or duties or loyalty oaths, can now combine for mutual cooperation. This leaves mostly the outlaws and the agent provocateurs. In the past, good men may have had to fight each other due to the system of laws and customs they lived in. One person may be able to protect one nation, another person another nation, and people of good character could end up serving either or both.

That's no longer the case, Grim. The price paid for civilized politics ensured that only the most unreasonable of claims or transgressions would be met by violence. And those that would avoid such, have already avoided such. Leaving only the dishonorable foes, the outlaws, and the mass murderers.

In a paradoxical way, the more the US creates a world free from crime, poverty, and indignity, the more our enemies will be evil men and women, rather than simply misunderstood or regrettable opponents of honor and character. It's why AQ needs human shields. Left on their own selves, it's too easy to target them for elimination. They need to get people we have problems killing, to shield them so that they can kill more children and civilians.

Of course, this only really applies to the US heartland. Most of the US cities and most of the rest of the world, is still uncivilized. There, one can still find honorable enemies. Sometimes.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 5, 2010 04:57 PM

(Argyle). Never mind. It's only funny if it's funny.

Thanks for the tour. Appreciated. Still, for a couple of reasons the bus doesn't really run on the advertised route, so I'll be taking a cab. But if you could source what comes closest to the "goods" (say the last four paras. of Ymarsakar at April 5, 2010 04:41 PM), with as much precision as possible, I'd be obliged.

Posted by: pond at April 5, 2010 04:59 PM

The next 3 paragraphs after the bold up top, should also be bold.

I had forgotten that here, the html needs to be parsed again per line break.

http://www.fatimaperspectives.com/cs/perspective235.asp

School of Darkness Bella Donna

The entire book, AFAIK, is available online via a normal search.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 5, 2010 05:01 PM

But if you could source what comes closest to the "goods" (say the last four paras. of Ymarsakar at April 5, 2010 04:41 PM), with as much precision as possible, I'd be obliged.

I have no idea what this means, either. So without adequate information and knowledge, I'll withhold further attention and resources.

As a further question, do you even know how to do independent research, pond?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 5, 2010 05:04 PM

"As a further question, do you even know how to do independent research, pond?"

Somewhat.


"If you could source (say the last four paras. of Ymarsakar at April 5, 2010 04:41 PM), with as much precision as possible, I'd be obliged."

Means:

Well, it doesn't really matter what it means, I guess, since it looks like you've gone and done it without even knowing! (Here, the link). Thanks.

Posted by: pond at April 5, 2010 05:23 PM

"Here's another article that not only has a lot of interesting things to say about how an institution can fail dismally to acknowledge and correct the crimes of its own members, but also about the infiltration issue that Ymar raised:"

That's a good point to the article, Texan. It certainly demonstrates some of the methods and methodologies that can be instituted or has been instituted.

Big conspiracies aren't really well understood because most people aren't part of organizations or spy networks. The thinking is foreign. But guess what, it is just like violence. It only takes a little training, a little bit of experience, and a lot of motivation to translate.

People think in overly complex fashions. Sometimes, though, it isn't very complex at all. Just rely upon human nature to do the work.

Large organizations suffer from friction the same as in war. Too much friction due to complexity and things start going bad. The great thing about Leftist organizations is that they can somehow create group solidarity and efficiency, but cannot translate that to government. Probably because for government to do well by the people, it must address the Needs of the people. A communist organization doesn't address the 'needs' of their members, no matter how it looks from the outside.

Something the Tea Party can learn from this is that people yearn for a protector and will love whomever gives them support. Even if it is a heartless, soulless, machine like the CPUSA and the Soviet Union, they will come to love it... if it is their only choice. But the Tea Party can provide an alternative choice. That is why it must be destroyed.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 5, 2010 05:26 PM

Pond, well, whatever I did, if you find it of use, that would nice.

I listed some names as sources, but concentrated on only one name for reasons of simplicity, length, and editing.

As is well known by people in the business to know, having just one source creates a sort of point failure source.

If people have questions about how my sources corroborate each other's veracity and accuracy, go ahead and ask.

Since Bella Donna is the primary noted person, coming from a first hand testament situation rather than second or third hand, I thought she would make the simplest case.

Of course, even the simplest case isn't short. Not if one wishes for truth and not just nice sounding stories.

From Texan's link.

The Church in 2002 had a harsh light cast upon its internal operations, as revelation after revelation about the sexual abuse of minors by priests and about the failure of bishops to protect children shook the church, culminating (so far) in the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston, in the bankruptcy of several American dioceses, and in the payment of hundreds of millions of dollars in damages to victims.

Wave after wave? Doesn't that sound like the ACORN video setup? That setup was planned by Andrew Breitbart, who was trained in media manipulation and propaganda in Hollywood. It is a tool, used for good or evil, that is extremely effective. But it does not happen by accident. So one must ask, did somebody have the files on all these and just happened to give the Go word in 2002? And why exactly would someone have files on these priests? Who would they be and what benefit would they have by keeping them secret and why would they release them now.

Grim provides one answer in his mention of the "honey-trap", but there are other explanations to fit the crime.

Another thing, a notable difference in how I think and how Cassandra thinks is that I believe in the power of group psychology and organization power in surpassing individual choice and conscience. She believes that individual capability is paramount and insurmountable, that regardless of the hardship, it always comes down to the individual.

This results in me placing more importance on group hierarchy and resources and her placing primary importance on individual action, responsibility, and motivations. This was spelled out in the Left vs Right violence issue. She looked at it from the viewpoint of individual motivation, while I looked at it as a logistical issue.

That is the critical difference in our views, for those that are interested. I don't pretend to have described it with total accuracy, but it should be close enough.

Grim's a wild card, as usual.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 5, 2010 05:59 PM

Turning pack the pages of time, to that simpler, kinder, gentler world that existed prior to April 4, 2010 at 7:46 pm, I think that some of us have been wondering what proof you have for the contention that the "Internationale Rouge et Éfféminée" recruited nancy-boys (or nancy-brothers or nancy-fathers) to insinuate their way into the garments of the One Holy Roamin' Catholic and Apostolic Church in order to cause direct or indirect damage to the Church's credibility.

Posted by: I'd Caress Benedict's Scepter at April 5, 2010 06:56 PM

*shrugs* boke joudan.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 5, 2010 08:12 PM

Excuse me, but isn't the same crowd that's belly-aching because the Boy Scouts won't have Gay Scout Masters in their troop, the same crowd because there are Gay Priests in the Church?

Just wonderin'.

Posted by: Boquisucio at April 6, 2010 09:05 AM

It's the same crowd that jumped in joy when they found out they could help Polanski rape more people.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 6, 2010 10:08 AM

If only they could get gay scout masters in. But their infiltration of the Boy Scouts doesn't seem to be going well as the Girl Scouts.

Probably had more resources devoted to women, as the revolution's reserve force.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 6, 2010 10:10 AM

It's the same crowd that jumped in joy when they found out they could help Polanski rape more people

... because you just know that all people who consider themselves "liberals" want to help Roman Polanski rape underaged girls, and themselves want to rape and otherwise molest kids in Boy Scouts and altarboys and Girl Scouts and young people generally ... cuz that's what "liberals" do ...

methinks that Ymarsakar has "jumped the shark"

Posted by: I Call BS at April 6, 2010 11:22 AM

cuz that's what "liberals" do ...

Forget your challenge already?

Boy, that was short.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 6, 2010 11:26 AM

just know that all people who consider themselves "liberals" want to help Roman Polanski rape underaged girls

That's an interesting statement. Without evidence, but interesting. I challenge you to back up that interesting statement of yours, IC.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 6, 2010 11:28 AM

I have no idea what challenge you're talking about - I am still waiting for you to come up with something to back up this claim you made:

The Leftist movements were successful in getting the Catholic church to recruit a number of priests that the Left had selected for homosexual tendencies. It was intended that once those priests worked their way through the Church hierarchy that they would cause direct or indirect damage to the Church's credibility.

And what the heck does THIS mean: boke joudan.

Posted by: I Call BS at April 6, 2010 11:53 AM

I am still waiting for you to come up with something to back up this claim you made:

You're going to be waiting awhile then, because it's already here.

Just because you can't prop up your ludicrous statement, doesn't mean you can change the subject by moving the goal posts.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 6, 2010 12:00 PM

actually, Weimar, THIS was the challenge: to prove the following (in bold):

... because you just know that all people who consider themselves "liberals" want to help Roman Polanski rape underaged girls, and themselves want to rape and otherwise molest kids in Boy Scouts and altarboys and Girl Scouts and young people generally ... cuz that's what "liberals" do ...

I'm tweaking you because you've made another statement [It's the same crowd that jumped in joy when they found out they could help Polanski rape more people] that would be ludicrous if I were less of a gentleman ... but since I am, I cannot say that it is ludicrous.

Posted by: I Call BS at April 6, 2010 12:27 PM

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