Monday, April 12, 2010

Catholic Priests And Children

My mother is a good Catholic and I was raised to be one.  I was pretty devout, for a child.  But when I made my Confirmation I expressed some doubts and was reassured by a west-coast, laid-back, easygoing priest.  Not like some of the fireandbrimstones I'd seen in some east coast churches.

I guess I'm still Catholic because the Rosary is an important part of meditation and spirituality for me.  I also can access my spiritual side in cathedrals, around stained glass windows, and in humble places as long as they have the familiar Mass going on which brings me back to my childhood and makes the timeline of my life a circle instead of zip line.

But there are so many areas where I disagree with the Church that if I were famous enough to be noticed by the Pope I would be excommunicated.  And the Pope, along with the Churce hierarchy, have always made me uncomfortable in that they seem to have a lavish lifestyle and quite a bit of pride in their worldly power, things which don't remind me of Jesus Christ.

I have thought for a long time that priests should be allowed to marry if they so choose.  Not because I am horrified by the thought of gay priests, but because I think having some married priests would help the Church to become more savvy about what hetero couples and their children experience in life.  And yes I think Catholics should accept gays and treat them simply as other human beings; look how Jesus treated the then-despised Samaritans.

Needless to say, the abuse of children by priests makes me literally sick.  And the cover-up of such actions makes me extremely angry.  How dare the Church not put the children, the innocent victims, first.  Imagine having this happen to you as a child and then having your devoutly Catholic family not believe you when you tried to tell them about it.  Too horrific to even contemplate, and this is coming from someone whose life has not really been the proverbial bed of roses (except for the thorns.  I know a lot about thorns.)

I lived in Rhode Island for a year in 1969-70.  What this woman experienced as a girl was...for the grace of God, there go I.  My heart goes out to her.

And what the Church did?  An abomination before God.

Pedophiles are not always able to help their compulsions.  I can understand and even sympathize with mental illness.  I know there are some who have begged to be locked up or even put to death.  This is the kind of thing I think the mental institutions we used to have might be good for.  With the caveat that the enforced lockup has to be for lifetime, not some legalistic definition of lifetime as four or five years.


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I've travelled the distance from an Ivy League college to decades of enforced poverty--because I've needed to qualify for government health care in the U.S., since being diagnosed with lupus at the age of 23. I have a personal blog at that I've had so long I'm probably stuck with :) My other blogs are here on blogger...