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.