The Pope Must Go

Taibbi slams the church; so does Maureen Dowd. (In fact, she takes it a step further, saying the church needs a female pope if it intends to recover from the pedophile scandal.) Here’s what Taibbi wrote:

We don’t permit countries that harbor terrorists to participate in international society, but the Catholic Church — an organization that has been proven over and over again to systematically enable child molesters, right up now to the level of the Pope — is given a free pass. In fact the Church is not only not sanctioned in any serious way, it gets to retain its outrageous tax-exempt status, which makes its systematic child abuse, in this country at least, a government-subsidized activity.

Somewhere underneath all of this there is a root story that has to do with celibacy. The celibate status of its priests is basically the Catholic church’s last market advantage in the Christian religion racket, but human beings are not designed to be celibate and so problems naturally arise among the population of priests forced to live that terrible lifestyle. Just as it refuses to change its insane and criminal stance on birth control and condoms, the church refuses to change its horrifically cruel policy about priestly celibacy. That’s because it quite correctly perceives that should it begin to dispense with the irrational precepts of its belief system, it would lose its appeal as an ancient purveyor of magical-mystery bullshit and become just a bigger, better-financed, and infinitely more depressing version of a Tony Robbins self-help program.

Therefore it must cling to its miserable celibacy in order to keep its sordid business scheme going; and if clinging to its miserable celibacy means having to look the other way while children are serially molested by its sexually stunted and tortured employees, well, so be it.

I have plenty of my own reasons why I’m no longer a Catholic, but this is certainly a big one. Raping little kids is a very, very bad thing. But so is making gay Catholics feel less than human, and so is treating the women who work for them so badly.

Not to say that everyone in the Church is worthless, because they’re not. I had some great teachers and knew a few good priests. But not enough to make me swallow the rest.

Mostly, the problem is that I was born missing the Catholic sex = guilt chip. I never, ever bought it. I remember one of my brothers asking me one time (after we were all married and had kids) if I didn’t “feel guilty” for using birth control.

I laughed. Then I looked at him and realized he wasn’t kidding. “When the priest wants to stay up all night with my sick kid because I have to go to work the next day, I might begin to take them seriously,” I said.

I don’t have the patience for anything like that. Never have, never will.

And now, it looks like a lot of Catholics are having second and third thoughts.

6 thoughts on “The Pope Must Go

  1. I don’t think celibacy is the problem here. Pedophiles don’t have sex with children because that’s the only action they can get. They have sex with children because they are aroused by kids. Many, many pedophiles are married family men. One could argue that men with pedophile tendencies are drawn to the priesthood because that gives them access to lots of kids and a whole lot of power over them, but celibacy is not at the root of this horror.

    Please don’t think I am excusing the Church. I, too, am a former Catholic who left because of the insanity of the Church’s beliefs and practices, its hatred of women and its cruelty. Why any women or LGBT people remain in the Church is beyond me.

    I have never been invited to an Apostolic conference, so this is just my opinion, but I think the Church clings to celibacy because the hierarchy hates women, likes its clubby little lifestyle, and knows that abolishing celibacy would make it almost impossible to keep women out of the priesthood.

  2. The church, any church, as a power organization controls people birth to death and in between exercises full control over their genitalia. Catholics are just the biggest and most antiquated. They all are corrupt and power hungry. The Rome organization tries to stop the sun shining at any cost for more than a decade now; so far they are successful.

    As Americans we should be better at succumbing to such organizations. We acquiesce with financial, insurance, medication and gas control of our lives with very few peeps. We can leave our churches but we cannot do leave the financial system.

  3. I believe the culture of celibacy attracts people with sexual problems of all types. By the way, I don’t believe all the priests who have sex with underage boys are pedophiles – in some cases, it really is arrested emotional and sexual development.

    But the celibacy is the pressure cooker that seems to make those problems out of control. The church used to make an effort to weed out the applicants with likely problems, but for the past several decades, the emphasis has been on weeding out liberals.

    And we’ve all seen what the combination of conservatism and repressed sexual problems has done for the Republican party.

  4. If the Pope were serious, he could make a simple statement to the whole church, bishops, priests and laity. “The church is not above the law. You will report crimes to the proper secular authorities, and you will cooperate fully with their investigations and prosecutions of crimes.”

    Its not really about sex; its about the church considering itself to be an entity outside and above the law.

  5. Perhaps certain men are attracted to the priesthood because they were molested as children by priests.
    I wonder if some of the rationale behind celibacy (it isn’t just men, remember) is to limit input. If you don’t ever have meaningful conversations in a private setting with “the other,” you will know only one world view. Perhaps women, by nature of their “pretty much meaningless existences,” are given a lot more freedom in their interpersonal interactions, and aren’t as likely to behave in inappropriate ways (Just a guess, and not thinking through the words I should use). Maybe it’s because women are perceived to be less sexual, and therefor allowed more freedom of contact.
    A friend had been seriously considering committing to the priesthood down in the Milwaukee area, and was warned off by a priest who was a friend of the family. My friend wonders now what the basis of that might have been.
    I have no argument with celibacy as a personal choice. The problem is more that that is the only access to this level of devotional service. People who hate themselves or their sexuality are drawn to it; no, people who believe they are bad and need to live this life of self abnegation will be drawn to it, and unable to sustain their self-denial. Endless cycle is born.

  6. And Their Marketing Sucks! 60% of their attendees are women. Only on 12 occasions a year do services mention women at all! (You can list more Sundays, but the schedule for those is once every THREE years)! And you know that some of them are to remind women that men are leaders in the household. Priests have used those “teachings” to coerce women into staying in abusive relationships. Don’t think for a minute that assaults on the women were reported to the authorities; probably still aren’t!

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