Cleaning up the Augean stables with a feather-duster

In responding to the crimes of its clergy, the Vatican has chosen to operate at an almost unimaginable level of triviality. First of all the Irish bishops fly over to Rome and MEET THE POPE. Then the Pope announces that is going to WRITE A LETTER.I’m reminded of a passage from Sir Walter Scott’s novel COUNT ROBERT OF PARIS.

“Notwithstanding this derangement of his most sacred time, our imperial
father, who had postponed the ceremony of disrobing, so important were the
necessities of the moment, continued, until deep in the night, to hold a
council of his wisest chiefs, men whose depth of judgment might have saved
a sinking world, and who now consulted what was to be done under the
pressure of the circumstances in which they were now placed. And so great
was the urgency, that all ordinary observances of the household were set
aside, since I have heard from those who witnessed the fact, that the royal
bed was displayed in the very room where the council assembled, and that
the sacred lamp, called the Light of the Council, and which always burns
when the Emperor presides in person over the deliberations of his servants,
was for that night — a thing unknown in our annals — fed with unperfumed oil!!”

The fair speaker here threw her fine form into an attitude which expressed
holy horror, and the hearers intimated their sympathy in the exciting cause
by corresponding signs of interest…..

  • The Catholic Church’s obsession with controlling all mattters pertaining to sexuality and reproduction has now led it to the brink of extinction in Ireland and this fannying about by the top brass just looks like the administering of the funeral rites.

  • sdelaneys

    The Freudian depths plumbed whilst ‘fannying about’ with matters pertaining to sexuality could certainly lead to extinction unless the rest of us carry on normally. What Freudian imagery surfaces from ‘depths plumbed whilst fannying about,’ Bad cess to Freud.

  • “First of all the Irish bishops fly over to Rome and MEET THE POPE.”

    David, you’ve trivialised it more than you think! ‘and’? Should that not be ‘to’ – or ‘for to’, as they say in Moyle? Did they bump into the Pope in Ikea?

  • aquifer

    A papal encyclical has to count for more than a letter, lets not trivialise things.

  • Irish Exerocism:

    Mother calls in devil to get the priest out of her son.

  • west belfast

    The amount of open sectarianism on slugger in recent days is astounding.

    Moderate unionist (sic) – you may find child buggery funny but I dont. By the way its spelt exorcism.

    Moderate? I dont think so – your mask has fallen.

    As a church going Catholic I look to the Holy Father for spiritual guidance at this difficult time for our church.

    Those who have been abused need our complete support – those who have sinned against God and our society need to be punished.

    I will be at mass tomorrow with my wife and children – my faith in the church has been shaken but my faith has not.

  • Seosamh913

    west belfast

    Doesn’t it occur to you that your faith may in fact be part of the problem rather than provide any component part of a solution here ? Also, re. your own faith, can you say a little more about where the contemporary church, as an institution, ends and your faith begins ?

    Incidentally, regarding Moderate Unionist, it seems to me that you may be projecting a sectarian dimension onto what he/she is saying.

  • joeCanuck

    The feckers at the top of the Catholic Church in Ireland don;t have any clue at all as to how they are damaging their Institution drib by drab.
    This today from them : “A church statement said the Cardinal understood the oaths would no longer be binding after the taking of witness evidence was complete.”
    Fer crying out loud, someone should take the shovel away from them before they dig that hole too much deeper.

  • Henry94

    west belfast

    The enemies of the church may be having a field day but it was the Church that gave them the ammunition. I’ll be happy with the Pope’s letter if the victims are happy with it. They are the only ones entitled to call it in my opinion and I will stand with them and their demands.

  • Driftwood

    Quotation of the day from Christopher Hitchens:

    The Roman Catholic Church is headed by a mediocre Bavarian bureaucrat once tasked with the concealment of the foulest iniquity, whose ineptitude in that job now shows him to us as a man personally and professionally responsible for enabling a filthy wave of crime. Ratzinger himself may be banal, but his whole career has the stench of evil—a clinging and systematic evil that is beyond the power of exorcism to dispel. What is needed is not medieval incantation but the application of justice—and speedily at that.

  • joeCanuck

    This may interest a few:

  • west belfast

    Henry94 – you are right – the church has brought this upon its self by its own actions but I cannot stand by while those who have nothing but distain for catholicism use the suffering of children as a veil for their sectarianism.

    I also agree that the reaction of victims is paramount – but unlike you I will make my mind up based on my own thoughts.

    Seosamh – Im sorry I really fail to see your point. Im sectarian because I dont laugh at a joke about child rape? Get real.

    On your other point – the traditions of the church are very important to me – I have a lot to thank the catholic church for. My experience is of good men and women working in deprived communities and educating working class children who otherwise would have had a bleak future.

    If you want to know what my faith is I suggest you read the Nicene creed.

  • iluvni

    West belfast,

    These days, would you leave your child alone in the company of a priest?

  • padraig

    Perhaps if they poured petrol over themselves and struck a match….?

  • west belfast

    These days I wouldnt leave my children alone in the company of any adult – you included!

    However these days we know a lot more than we did 10/20/30 years ago.

    Can I ask would you leave your child alone with a Minister/Priest/GAA coach/football coach/teacher etc etc. I guess the answer is no.

    To make it out that this is only a problem within the Catholic Church is VERY naive.

  • west belfast

    Another point iluvni – as a male adult with young children I would always make sure that I am not left alone with one of my childrens friends – wouldnt you? When I leave their friends home my children come with me and their friends sit in the back -all fathers will know what I am talking about.

    That is the world we live in and we are all much more aware of what is required now. It is perhaps a little sad that this has to be the way but it is the right thing to do.

  • Cynic2

    I don’t think it is a problem just within the Catholic Church but your assumption that you wont trust anyone is likewise barking mad

  • west belsfast,

    I think it is a fair question to ask which profession is the least safe to leave your children with – and I’m afraid the answer, based on the evidence before us, is catholic priests .

    But I agree that many will use this issue to attack Catholiciscm and the many excellent priests who have selflessly worked, North and South on behalf of children.

  • west belfast

    Cynic2 – I didnt say I wouldnt trust anyone – I can only assume you dont hav young children.

    Moderate unionist – I think to make your first assumption is a very dangerous comment. Maybe you would have had a point 20 years ago but not now.

    Agree with your second point – and I withdraw my comments on you I made earlier – sorry about that!

    As a church going catholic I am unashamedly going to defend the countless good priests and others who have done nothing more than dedicate their lives to the faith.

  • iluvni

    west Belfast,

    Has the Pope’s letter reassured you that things will change throughout the parishes of Ireland?
    Whats the point of showing your face in church tomorrow if you arent, even all all the scandalous headlines, convinced the top man is committed to 100% transparency.

  • west belfast


    I believe th sincerity of the letter and very much welcome the impending visit from the Holy See administrators. That will send a shock wave through the Irish hierarchy which is long overdue.

    I guess only time will tell but I will be at mass tomorrow to listen to not only the letter but to speak to my fellow catholics.

    I also hope and pray that todays unprecedented letter is the beginning of a re-engagement with the faithful. I would like to see that culminate in a Papal visit where the Pope openly meets the victims and asks them for forgiveness. He should also invite the victims to Rome to show the world that the Church wants to reach out.

    Do not underestimate the importance of this letter – I am not aware of anything like it happening before.

    By the way I go to mass to keep holy the sabbath day and in my faith it is a sin not to do so.

  • West Belafst,

    Until we have a proper understanding of why people are drawn to a vocation that is celibate then there must be at least a suspicion, given what has already unfolded, that it may somehow be related to their sexuality in some instances.

    I’m not sure at what point and for what reason celibacy appeared in the church but the current pope could do worse than announce a review as, even if it is very unfair on many priests, I’m afraid celibacy and sexual deviance are probably now assumed by most people in Ireland to be inextricably linked.

  • west belfast

    Moderate Unionist

    Im not sure I agree with the outworkings of your point although I do agree broadly that celibacy should be reviewed – not only because it MAY attract deviants (however Im not convinced it does any more than other areas) but also because so many good men have left the priesthood to get married etc.

    Sexual abuse is a societal problem – not just a Catholic Church problem. However it is somehow much more shocking when it a priest who commits the crime. If, and it is still an if, the church truly learns and acts from the mistakes of the past then I believe it can again become a vehicle for moral integrity.

    Todays letter is the beginning of that process not the end.

  • iluvni

    west Belfast,

    What exactly do you expect the administrators from head office to achieve?
    Can you honestly say you expect them to deliver up to the police, either side of the border, details of secret oaths signed by goodness knows how many victims and preptrators?

  • west belfast

    Secret oaths/goodness knows how many victims? Mask slipping?

    To answer your question – thats exactly what I want to see if that is what the victim wants. Whatever they want i good enough for me.

  • iluvni

    Mask slipping?

    What would lead you to make a comment such as that? The questions I’ve asked have been nothing but civil and courteous to you and your faith.

  • granni trixie

    West Belfast: I lived and worked most of my life in W.Belfast but I do not know where you are coming from because you sound so defensive. As I see it, there is a systemic fault (re CHILD ABUSE) which has to be righted. The focus has to be on putting things right. The RC Church has to put right the bits within its domain, immediately.

  • TellMeMa

    Granni Trixie: I don’t think West Belfast is being defensive; he is speaking from the viewpoint of most Catholics who have not encountered any form of abuse from the Catholic Church. He has also expressed his concern at the amount of blatant Catholic hatred which has been displayed in quite a few posts to SOT. West Belfast’s posts on these subjects are much better than my several ravings – possibly because he is still a practising Catholic and I am not.

    The RC Church has to put right the bits within its domain, immediately Thoroughly agree with you there Granni Trixie – as I do with most of your posts which are so often humourous and insightful.

  • TellMeMa

    blatant Catholic hatred: on re-reading would be better expressed as “blatant anti-Catholic hatred”

  • Seosamh913

    Re. The Letter:

    “[the priest]is the steward of the good Lord; the administrator of his goods”;

    “…may the whole Church in Ireland grow in appreciation for the great gift of the priestly ministry”;

    And do please let not one of us disregard the following.

    “Seek a personal relationship with him within the communion of his Church, for he will never betray your trust!”

    Many decent devout citizens will read this letter in full and find genuine difficulty in denying a pang of conscience, a polite roll of the eyes even perhaps. Deep down, the bulk of them now know that it’s dangerous sinister rubbish in its totality and there is not a thinking person alive who can any longer take it seriously or who can trust the unlovely combination of criminals, frauds, chancers and bewildereds who urge them to do so.

  • padraig

    [b]and there is not a thinking person alive who can any longer take it seriously[/b]

    I think and {I hope this does not shock you too much} I do take it seriously.

    It may come as a further to shock to learn that not everyone in the Cosmos thinks about things in the same blinkered way that you do.

  • Seosamh913

    Sadly not a shock padraig me boy, sadly not. I am sure you’ll agree with me though that it is more probably the folks who don’t see through this papal letter who may wearing the blinkers. Those keen on finally moving us finally out of the dark ages should be encouraging everyone left deluding themselves about this silly and dangerous superstition and the profound evil which attends it to do likewise.

  • Coll Ciotach

    West Belfast – I agree with you.

    Those who abused the children – and others who through action or inaction compounded that damage have, in addition to the physical and mental damage, in many cases spiritually murdered their victims and others. I cannot see how my committing spiritual suicide will in any way address that wrong. I too, along with my family will attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass tomorrow

  • padraig

    Seosamh913 ,

    Go and have a look , if you can bear it at the numbers of people who attend Catholic Churches right up and down the island of Ireland. I do and have for I attend mass every day and with the help of God will do so till the day I die. This is Lent and the numbers are huge. Nor are they showing in anyway signs of tailing off in anyway because of this crisis.In fact I note ,as other observers have that with the financial melt down they are biger than ever.

    So the fact of the matter is long, long after you and me have been called before the Judgement Seat of God the Church will continue as it has fro over two thousand years and as it will continue to flourish into Eternity.

    There have always been doomsayers such as yourself who have foretold the the death of Faith, they have come and gone defeated and humiliated by the victory of faith as you will be.

    You have your opinions ,which you are entitled but I feel a certain irritation at a vaunting arrogance that suggests that everyone shares or must share in the the views and opinions you hold in your very own little universe.

  • Seosamh913


    Even if what you say is true regarding church numbers, which I would need some convincing of, it proves absolutely nothing about the validity of your beliefs, quite literally nothing at all. Other than perhaps providing rather dispiriting evidence that credulity and superstition remain are all too alive in our community. From a human progress and civilisation point of view I cannot help regretting that I must say.

    The other observation I would make is that the arrogance is not mine, you are more than welcome to your personal beliefs. Just don’t please be so arrogant as to expect me to respect either your beliefs or in particular your willingness to believe pretty much whatever you’re told by a collection of lonely, deeply sexually repressed elderly men professing to be virgins without a single solitary shred of reliable evidence supporting what they are telling you.


  • padraig

    [b]Even if what you say is true regarding church numbers, which I would need
    some convincing of,[/b]

    Its not complicated or difficult,Seosamh913 , stand outside a Catholic Church this morning, any Catholic Church you like and observe the numbers. But you don’t have to, do you? You’re being disingenuous not to say plain dishonest for unless you live somewhere outside this island and were brought up in the FIji Islands or somewhere that there’s still large crowds streaming out to mass.

    It difficult to dialogue with someone who is dishonest about such an obvious issue.

    As to:
    [b]collection of lonely, deeply sexually repressed elderly men professing to be virgins [/b]

    [a] You do not have to be a virgin to be a priest anymore than you need to be a virgin to be a postman or a plumber.

    [b] How on earth does someone who professes to hate the Church and claims to be a complete atheist know so many priests that he is in a position to gauge their general psychological state …[i]without a single solitary shred of reliable evidence supporting what they are telling you.?[/i][/b]

  • “Moderate unionist (sic)”

    west belfast, MU appears to be a SF apologist so he’s a different sort of unionist to the politicians who use that label here. As for moderate …

  • granni trixie

    Padraig: but I thought that priests had to be and remain virgins?

    On another condradiction, why is getting divorced one of the ‘worst’ sins? I say this because my understanding is that as long as u r divorced you cannot take communion. If you commit murder,say sorry and you can take communion.

    I rest my case but correct me if you know different.

  • padraig

    [b]Padraig: but I thought that priests had to be and remain virgins? [/b]

    No, check it out, Granni, they do not have to be virgins in order to become priests.

    [b]why is getting divorced one of the ‘worst’ sins? I say this because my understanding is that as long as u r divorced you cannot take communion. If you commit murder,say sorry and you can take communion.[/b]

    If you commit murder and repent, showing thereby you no longer intend to commit murder you can take communion

    If you are divorced but repent you can take communion too. Check that out too, Trixie.

    What you cannot do is take Communion if you are living with someone you have not been married to in a Catholic Church. For this is an ongoing sinful relationship. Anymore then you can take communion if you are continuing to murder people. Its a matter of continuing a sinful relationship or way of life .

  • padraig

    I am not a Sunday School teacher..

    I am struck really with how very,very,very little folks who attack the Catholic Church actually know about it.

    As I say check it out, all this information is freely available online.

  • granni trixie

    But is it still the case that they commit to being “chaste” on becoming priests,that is they must not have sex. What has been written suggests that they can cherry pick.

    I think the defintion of an “ongoing sinful relationship” is absolutely absurd.
    In addition what hyprocasy – the church being harder on people living together than on say a sex abuser. This is the sort of thing which will have to change.

  • Seosamh913


    I would be looking for a little more evidence that a bland observation that there are a fair number still attending – can you point to anything objective which supports the view that there are more attending than last year, 5 years ago, ten years ago ?

    Regarding the absence of a single solitary shred of reliable evidence supporting what they are telling you, I am referring to the unsubstantiated claims lying at the heart of their, and presumably your, belief claims. Why should I respect the views of anyone of adult age and reasonable intelligence who is prepared to believe anything he or she is told without any evidence ?

  • padraig

    [b]What has been written suggests that they can cherry pick.[/b]

    You have lost me Trixie,

    please explain your reference to [i]’cherry pick'[/i]

    [b]In addition what hyprocasy – the church being harder on people living together than on say a sex abuser[/b]

    If a person is in an going sinful relationship and refuses to leave it they cannot receive communion. If they repent and give up the sinful relationship they can receive communion.

    If someone abuses children and refuses to give it up they cannot receive communion. If they repent and give up abusing children, they can receive communion.

    Its about repentance and changing manner of life in both circumstances.

    As I say I feel like a Sunday School teacher here , this is very,very basic stuff.. You appear to be attacking things which you do not appear to have the most basic understanding of, Trixie.

    As I say you can read up on this stuff online, which will give you at least a basic understanding of the issues you appear to comment on without even a basic understanding of.

  • Seosamh913


    Can you please explain what benefit the receipt of communion bestows upon anyone, whether a ‘post-repentence’ child rapist or anyone else ? By the same token, what disadvantages does not receiving it entail exactly ?


  • padraig

    Seosamh913 ,

    Just a couple of posts ago you were assuring everyone that:

    [b]’….. there is not a thinking person alive who can any longer take it [i]the church[/i] seriously'[/b]

    Now you appear to have dropped that insane claim,when challenged, that everyone in Ireland has left the Catholic Church and become …well just like yourself. The world is not like you, nor does the whole world think like you.

    Then after dropping this insane suggestion you moved the goal posts to state that you simply did not know whether people in Ireland went to Church on Sunday or not.When challenged you dropped this insane claim too.

    Now you want to move to move the goal posts once again and argue whether or not congergations are growing or not.

    Well I am afraid I am not going with you moving the goal posts once again as I am getting a little tired of you moving the posts hither and thither as it suits you.

    Honest straight forward debate I can handle, this constant shifting of the goal posts makes me dizzy, they don’t even let you do that in foot ball…and you can see why.

    I’ll give you thins link as a last effort but don’t come back shifting goal posts again, I ‘m getting a little tired of it:

  • David Crookes

    West Belfast, my point in starting this thread was to highlight what I construed to be an inadequate response from the church authorities. I’m really glad that you have articulated both your own robust faith and the fact that there is an enormous amount of healthy normality about the multitude of ordinary churchgoers. Many thanks. I agree with most of what you say.

  • TellMeMa

    granni trixie: A few definitions:

    I always thought “virgin” meant someone who has never had sex, but in the latest OED it says:
    “An unmarried or chaste maiden or woman, distinguished for piety or steadfastness in religion…”

    The word for someone who has never had sex, apparently, is “Maiden”: “A man (or woman) that has always abstained from sexual intercourse.”

    Celibacy: The state of living unmarried (in French I think the word for “single” is “celibataire” (Don’t know the French description for “Swinging singles”)

    “Chastity”: Purity from unlawful sexual intercourse; continence.

    AFAIK all Catholic clergy take a vow of chastity so they cannot cherry pick. What the sex abusers have been doing is a sin and a breaking of their vow as well as being criminal.

    Even Christ spoke strongly against divorce “What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder”. (Matthew 19:6). And St Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:27 “Art thou bound to a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.” St Paul was saying being unmarried helped the religious life (though if you were married, stay married).

    St Jerome thought it was even better for a religious person to be a chaste virgin, ie never been sexuality awakened. He said: “to be continent in the state of widowhood is harder, then to keep our virgin pure”.

  • padraig

    [b]Can you please explain what benefit the receipt of communion bestows upon anyone[/b]

    I wonder why all our posts appear to be in bold now???

    It benefits people because it is the Body of Christ.

    It disadvantages people because they fail to receive Christ.

    As I say I am not a Sunday School teacher so I’ll leave you to study up on this yourself, Trixie at your leisure.

  • TellMeMa

    Can anyone get rid of this unwanted “bold” font??? It’s making the reading of the comments quite hard.

    I have emailed Mick

  • Alias

    [/b]”In responding to the crimes of its clergy, the Vatican has chosen to operate at an almost unimaginable level of triviality.”

    Trivial, and almost blackly comical to non-believers, but all very plausible to the faithful. Anyone who has faith doesn’t need evidence, and probably distrusts it when it undermines their faith, so they’re reassured by statements that require them to have faith in the good faith of those making them. After all, the Pope is infallible, being guided by a higher power, and so this statement cannot be in bad faith. When the fundamentals are that flawed, the faithful are the last set of folks that you can rely on hold their idols and his servants to account. The Catholic Church has committed acts (and survived) far worse than harbouring kiddie fiddlers, so it figures it will survive this too (and it will).

  • Alias

    Mick works in mysterious ways.

  • granni trixie

    By cherry pick I meant that you make it sound as if priests can abstain from sex sometimes,not that they are expected to go for it all the time (ie a lifetimes abstinence).

    You appear to be suggesting that my views are ill informed. I used to be really into religiosity but began to find it such a struggle to remain with a church which seemed so basically hypocritical and fell far short of my ideals.
    And this was before these scandals were publicised.

    So I may be out of date but you know what – I honestly cant be bothered to look up your refs.

  • Coll Ciotach

    Seosamh – a simple google on church attendance in Ireland produced this among many.

  • padraig

    I feel like a biology teacher ,Trixie . But I’ll try and explain this as simply as I can.

    John Doe, before he goes away for the priesthood can have had sex with a woman and so he is no longer a virgin. …ok so far???

    Now he decides to become a priest. The Church has no difficulty with this. So now John Doe gets trained and ordained and he is a priest but not a virgin. Do you follow this Trixie.

    If you are still having difficulties {though I have tried to explain as simply as I can]. check out the definition of ‘Virginity’ and ‘celibacy’ on an online dictionary, they are not the same thing. I think this is were you are getting confuses.

  • Seosamh913


    Not sure where you’re coming from here. I haven’t dropped any claims, nor am I moving goalposts. I would say that you seem to tire very easily and have not produced a single shred of evidence supporting the ridiculous belief claims upheld by the catholic church or identified any actually purpose for some of its core rituals or any tangible benefits arising out of them.

    Perhaps your lack of enthusiasm to engage is indicative of a less than full understanding of all of this on your part. Based on your responses so far though I’m more inclinded to the view that what it actually demonstrates is that deep down you don’t actually wholeheartedly believe them yourself. If so, I would welcome this and feel it’s best that you acknowledge it.


  • padraig

    [b]so it figures it will survive this too (and it will). [/b]

    Agreed, it has survived, is surviving it and will continue to survive it.

  • Coll Ciotach

    Yes Granni – do not bother – just wallow in self imposed ignorance

  • Mick Fealty


    “I wonder why all our posts appear to be in bold now???”

    You did not lock off the bold coding in one of your comments. It’s been fixed now.

  • Alias

    So of them only lose their virginity after they join the priesthood. But at least Bishop Casey resigned instantly (or, at any rate, fled the State instantly), whereas this lot seem to have become infected with FF-itus (a contagious condition that never goes away).

  • Seosamh913

    Coll Ciotach

    Thanks for this, I would say that it seems to me unlikely that the weekly attendance numbers would have been lower than this, say 5 or 10 years ago. Happy to be contradiucted on that if there are reliable figures avilable though ?

  • Coll Ciotach

    Seosamh – what are reliable? as a certain P Pilate once observed – “What is the truth” – yet the Truth was staring him in the face.

  • Seosamh913


    I mean reliable in the generally accepted meaning of that word – worthy of reliance or trust, conforming to fact and therefore worthy of belief. I am not saying that the figures you linked to are not reliable, my point on comparable data of a reliable type over a period of time indicating any significant trend, one way or the other, on church attendance – that might be interesting.

    What Truth was staring Pilate in the face incidentally ?

  • Coll Ciotach


  • Seosamh913

    No need for that kind of language Coll Ciotach.

  • Coll Ciotach

    Every need for it –
    Christ be with me, Christ within me,
    Christ behind me, Christ before me,
    Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
    Christ to comfort and restore me.
    Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
    Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
    Christ in hearts of all that love me,
    Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

  • TellMeMa

    Coll: by St Columba (afaik), the exiled murderer. His life is a good example of penance and forgiveness.

  • Seosamh913

    Sorry guys you’re losing me here; what tangible need is being serviced by Christ exactly ? If there are any, can they not be satisfied with reference to our relationship to other human beings ?

  • Coll Ciotach

    The dove of the Church? I thought it was St Patrick but it really is a minor matter. What matters is the message

  • Coll Ciotach

    As I am not a theologian I am wide open to correction so I will attempt with my limitations to answer your question.

    When we enter into Communion with Christ we establish a link between us and God our Creator which was destroyed when humanity attained the knowledge of good and evil. From that day we lost our automatic communion with God, as we were able to understand what was right and what was wrong – we could exercise that choice.

    We become one with God.

    If you want to learn more I would start with a good primer on Catholic Theology – perhaps something by Father John Laux

  • Seosamh913


    Can you put a date on the time when when humanity attained the knowledge of good and evil please ?

  • TellMeMa

    David Crooks @ 21 page 2 (and start of thread): I note your amended comments, and belatedly I’d say your comment ” the Vatican has chosen to operate at an almost unimaginable level of triviality” is quite OTT.

    The Vatican has for some years now been making changes to its organisation to prevent this dreadful crime from recurring. Nearly all cases, even though some are just coming to light now, occurred around 20 to 30 years ago. And restitution is being made to the victims. And the perpetrators et al brought to justice.

    The Catholic Church stables are being thoroughly cleaned. Note that Pope Benedict mentioned in his letter of further action to be taken this year.

    Similar abuses that occurred in non-Catholic institutions are being revealed (listen to Radio 4 programme this afternoon). Perhaps in the near future the Catholic Church will be able to help non-Catholic institutions – by example and practicably – to eliminate paedophilia and other sexual abuses throughout our society, not just from within itself.

  • Alias

    TellMeMa, just to correct a myth that you have been proffering on Slugger:

    [i]Myth: Less than 1 percent of the clergy are involved in sexual abuse. Fact: 4,392 priests, or 4 percent of the total number of members of the Catholic clergy between 1950 and 2002, have had allegations made against them. [Editor’s note: As of the end of 2005, over 5,000 priests have been accused of abusing almost 13,000 minors.][/i]

    The source is Thomas J. Reese, S.J., is editor in chief of America. That 4% – or 1 in 25 – is Catholic priests in America. If 4% of them had allegations of sex abuse against them substantiated, then the actual figure is substantially higher than 4% since not all victims make a complaint and not all complaints were substantiated.

    So the actual figure is more likely to closer to 10%, or 1 in 10 priests that are sex abusers. The figure of 1 in 25, however, means that they are unfit as a group to have unsupervised access to childern.

  • TellMeMa

    Alias: my source is
    Pedophiles and Priests: Anatomy of a Contemporary Crisis (Paperback) ~ Philip Jenkins (Oxford University Press, USA) and referred to paedophiles only, not other forms of sex abuse.

    One review states:
    Since 1982, 400 Catholic clergy (out of a total of 50,000 American priests) have been accused of sexual misconduct with minors. In this in-depth study, Jenkins, professor of history and religious studies at Pennsylvania State University, examines the circumstances surrounding the molestation charges that peaked in the early 1990s. He looks at such prominent cases as those of Father Bruce Ritter, founder of Covenant House, who was forced to resign in disgrace in 1990; and the notorious Rev. James Porter, who may have molested more than 100 children before he was convicted and sentenced to prison. Jenkins probes scandals in other religions; looks at the traditional “anti-Catholic” feelings in the U.S.; documents the media’s frenzied reactions to the charges; chronicles the feminist response to the allegations; and researches the financial drain on the Church caused by litigation (estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars) as well as the debate surrounding recovered memory and repressed memory. Jenkins (Intimate Enemies) has written a thorough, academic study that convincingly challenges the popular estimate of the extent of pedophiles in the Church.

    400 of 50,000 = 0.8%

    Note: the author, Jenkins, is not a Catholic.

  • Alias

    Jenkins’ facts are wrong. Thomas J. Reese cites his sources, and also shows how definitions are manipulated to give lower figures (e.g. hebephilia and paedophilia). If 51% of the substantiated allegations against Catholic priests involved children “between the ages of 11 and 14” and the number of priests against whom allegations have been made is 4,392 (as of 2002), the figure for catholic priests in the US who are paedophiles is 2239 and not 400.

    And here’s another myth:

    [i]Myth: Most of the abuse occurred with older teenagers. Fact: Only 15 percent of the victims were 16 to 17 years of age; 51 percent were between the ages of 11 and 14.[/i]

  • Alias

    By the way, whether the priest molests boys or girls, teens or preteens is not relevant. It is sinister apologetics to try to restrict the debate to paedophilia while ignoring the other classifications of sexual abuse committed by priests against children in order to create a false impression that priests are a lower risk sex abuser group than they actually are.

    With 1 in 25 priests being substantiated sex offenders (and the actual figure being substantially higher), the appalling vista remains in full focus that this group is nor fit to have unsupervised access to children yet is allowed that access at the direct expense e of the children who are then abused by them.

  • padraig
  • Alias

    [i]If 51% of the substantiated allegations against Catholic priests involved children “between the ages of 11 and 14” and the number of priests against whom allegations have been made is 4,392 (as of 2002), the figure for catholic priests in the US who are paedophiles is 2239 and not 400.[/i]

    Incidentally, this assumes that the ratio is one complainant to one priest. There is bound to be a margin of error in that.

  • Coll Ciotach

    Are you assuming that the priest only abuses one victim?

  • Coll Ciotach

    No seosamh I cannot say when the date was, and I know no one who can – do you?

  • Seosamh913

    That’s my point Coll, I think that it is your starting position which is false, illogical and incapable of withstanding acceptable standards of evidence.

  • TellMeMa

    Coll, let us leave this field to our opponents and they can argue amongst themselves, which I am afraid they will not find as interesting.

    In a short time (a few weeks) they will see that the Catholic Church has not gone away, it has not lost its moral authority, etc etc, because they cannot see the Catholic Church in any wider perspective than the sins of paedophiles and other sex abusers.

  • TellMeMa

    Alias: on what basis have you decided that Jenkins is wrong? Have you done a proper statistical analysis? Have you checked all your sources? Or is it just that it does not agree with your already made-up opinion?

    I think that research published by OUP and by a non-Catholic is a pretty reliable source.

  • TellMeMa


    PS: I always qualified my 0.8% as paedophiles only but you probably missed that as you did not read my posts as thoroughly as you should have.

  • Coll Ciotach

    Seosamh – can you tell me when mankind developed the power of speech? just for example?

  • Seosamh913


    So the church hasn’t lost its moral authority then ? Breathtaking, I’ll grant you that.


    I am sure that a qualified scientist could help you with the question, the point is one couldn’t with your earlier assertion re. good/evil, purely because it’s a nonsensical statement to make and depends on sun-worshipping stone-age fairytale thinking which requires an unacceptable and entirely false assumption that without religion there would not be any moral basis for human existence.