Paging Francis

More anti-Catholic bigotry:

A UN human rights committee has denounced the Vatican for adopting policies that allowed priests to rape and molest tens of thousands of children, and urged it to open its files on the paedophiles and the churchmen who concealed their crimes.

In a devastating report on Wednesday, the UN committee also severely criticised the Holy See for its attitudes toward homosexuality, contraception and abortion and demanded that the Vatican “immediately remove” all clergy who are known or suspected child abusers and turn them over to civil authorities.

The report added, “And give us all ponies–pretty, pretty ponies, with rainbow ribbons in their hair–because that’s about as likely as you child fuckers cleaning up your act.”

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95 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    And then there is this:

    “Surveys commissioned by the Vatican have shown that the vast majority of Catholics in Germany and Switzerland reject church teaching on contraception, sexual morality, gay unions and divorce.”

    Does a bear sh!t in the woods? Is the Pope Catholic? Have Catholics entered the 21st century?

  3. 3
    EconWatcher says:

    They should have left at least abortion out of it. By including it, they make it too easy for some to dismiss the report as an overall attack on Catholic values, rather than a focused challenge to practices that allow things like rape of children.

  4. 4
    Kylroy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Catholics have. Hell, in America the only religious groups that favor gay marriage more are Jews and “none”.

    The hierarchy, however, has not.

  5. 5
    Alexandra says:

    @TomH:

    Fantastic. Thanks.

  6. 6
    Fuzzy says:

    Being an atheist, I think every church who does not turn over these pedophiles should be arrested for aiding and abetting a known criminal. Throw a few local priests and bishops in jail and watch the uproar from “good catholics” and the media.

  7. 7
    Belafon says:

    @Kylroy: The leadership is more conservative than the general population. Sounds like Congress.

  8. 8
    Jamey says:

    Paging Bill Donohue…

  9. 9
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Take away the hot child rape and Catholicism doesn’t have much of a draw, does it?

  10. 10
    aimai says:

    @EconWatcher: To the despair of some on the left.

    Look: the problem with Catholic dogma on abortion isn’t that they have it–they are free to lecture and hector and even punish their own membership over this issue. The problem the international community and, of course, actual women have over the Catholic approach is that the Catholics have aligned themselves with the political agenda of the anti-choice lunatics are are attempting to prevent non christians and non catholics and dissenters from accessing perfectly legal contraception and abortion services. This extends, by the way, to all services relating to people’s genitalia including vasectomies for men, tubal ligation for women, and ectopic pregnancy termination for women. The Catholic anti-abortion agenda is seriously deforming US healthcare as we speak and putting women and their famlies at risk–at risk of septicemia, for example and death by pre-ecclampsia (for another example.) In the real world actual women really die because the Catholic Church is preventing doctors and hospitals from treating the woman as the major patient when she is pregnant.

  11. 11
    Shakezula says:

    Anytime anyone tells this sick and bloated Raped Child Corporation that it is out of line, it is a good thing. When an organization as big as the UN says something, that is a wonderful thing. At the very least it is a big boost to those who have been victimized directly or indirectly by the Church.

  12. 12
    Cassidy says:

    @Fuzzy: Hell, I think an old school Inquisition might get faster results.

  13. 13
    PurpleGirl says:

    Church-State conflicts are eternal. Henry II had a problem with clerics not being turned over to civil authorities when they broke civil law. He thought he’d solved the problem when he insisted on Thomas Becket becoming an archbishop and head of the church in England (Archbishop of Canterbury). Instead Becket found something else (playwright Jean Anouilh called it “the honor of god”) and refused to turn over clerics. Becket was killed. Henry was excommunicated and made to do public penance to be reinstated in the church.

  14. 14
    Ruckus says:

    @aimai:
    And in many areas of the US they own big or the only hospitals and therefore get to control this even more than being a mere church.

  15. 15
    Shakezula says:

    @EconWatcher: Then what about their policies towards gays and oral contraceptives? Those are also Catholic Values. The UN is saying those values suck.

    But it didn’t attack the stance on the death penalty or even its refusal to ordain women.

  16. 16
    Chris says:

    @Belafon:

    Only more so, because they don’t have to pass any kind of election or other mechanism of accountability to the public. It’s entirely self-selecting.

  17. 17
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Jamey: Please, no. He’s already been called on today for comment on Mayor DiBlasio (that sounds so nice) saying he won’t march in the St. Patrick’s Parade if gays are blocked from marching as a group. Bill Donohue speaks only for himself and his financial enablers. He has no role in the Church administration itself.

  18. 18
    mai naem says:

    Why can’t the Catholic Church say that the Earth cannot handle a population any larger than the current size. If they don’t want to approve contraception pre-implantation then they could at least allow condoms. Surely they could say god created human beings who improved healthcare to the point where we have greatly decreased infant mortality to the point where we some forms of contraception are fine(not the cycle crap which is ineffective.)

  19. 19
    Joey Maloney says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Have Catholics entered the 21st century?

    Not really. http://www.theguardian.com/wor.....rtion-fury

  20. 20
    Joey Maloney says:

    @Fuzzy: Being an atheist, I think every church who does not turn over these pedophiles should be arrested for aiding and abetting a known criminal.

    Even better, do a civil forfeiture on the church property. Seize the buildings where the abuse allegedly happened. (Remember, thanks to our wonderful War on Drugs, property can be seized before the criminal case even goes to trial, let alone reaches a conviction.)

  21. 21
    Chris says:

    @aimai:

    More generally, we’re not going to tiptoe around the abortion issue until the end of time. Either women have the right to control their bodies or they don’t. If they do and it’s a universal human right, the UN and other human rights commissions should put abortion rights front and center as much as, say, voting rights, and those who pour as much money and efforts into rolling them back as the RCC does should be called on it. We can’t eternally treat it like a third rail just because it hurts the fee-fees of Rome.

  22. 22
    slippytoad says:

    @EconWatcher:

    They should have left at least abortion out of it. By including it, they make it too easy for some to dismiss the report as an overall attack on Catholic values

    Really? This logic works for you?

    “We refuse to discuss our well-established history of coddling pedophiles because YOU’RE ATTACKING OUT FAMILY VALUESSSS!!!!!1111!1!!11!!”

    Yep. That would totally fly with any reasonable adult.

  23. 23
    Chris says:

    @mai naem:

    This.

    I used to take them at their word that they really did think abortion was the end of a human life and should be stopped on those grounds alone. Then it turned out that no, they felt just as strongly that condoms and contraceptives that would prevent the dilemma from arising in the first place were wrong and shouldn’t be around, and they were just as willing to die on that hill.

    No, it’s not about the baby’s life. Yes, it really is about them enshrining every tenet of their religion into civil law, the hell with the number of people who aren’t even part of it.

  24. 24
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @EconWatcher:

    They should have left at least abortion out of it. By including it, they make it too easy for some to dismiss the report as an overall attack on Catholic values, rather than a focused challenge to practices that allow things like rape of children.

    Why? Abortion is clearly biblical. See Numbers 5:11-31.

  25. 25
    Cacti says:

    But Francis hugged a poor person!

    You’re not being fair.

  26. 26
    shortstop says:

    @Chris:

    More generally, we’re not going to tiptoe around the abortion issue until the end of time.

    I can’t remember if you’re the commenter in your early 20s, but if you are, you don’t remember a time when it wasn’t thus. Honestly, when anti-choice people — here I’m speaking about the whole movement, not just about Roman Catholics — rose as a force in the early years of the Reagan administration, I (well, at least older people whose opinions I listened to with respect) thought it was just a passing obsession of the right.

    Here we are 30 years later and they’re still bulldogging it. If only they had the same long attention span for serving the poor and suffering as they do for controlling women, demonizing sex and slamming gay people.

  27. 27
    Poopyman says:

    @Cacti: AND made the cover of Rolling Stone, so clearly he’s totally rad.

  28. 28
    scav says:

    How dare anyone act like there are morals other than You are Damned Infidel for not living up to Our mighty rules! while We are Saved and Forgiven for all our transgressions of Same! All that shite in the Bible about Free Will has been interpreted to only apply to them being Free to impose their Will on all others. Who cares if the actual physical possibility of sin must exist in order to demonstrate that one has chosen not to and thus prove to that so-called Judging Deity that one has merited the Kingdom of Everlasting Harps? It’s all about them harping eternally down here about how much better people they are because they believe (so).

  29. 29
    Belafon says:

    @slippytoad: Except we all know that’s not how it works. Take the CBO report yesterday. The NYT was interpreting it as meaning that there would be 2million fewer jobs; others were reporting the cost side of the ACA without reporting the revenue side.

    By including the abortion part, it gives plenty of people a way out of having to talk about the rest of the document. That’s EconWatcher’s point.

  30. 30
    Cervantes says:

    @Chris:

    No, it’s not about the baby’s life. Yes, it really is about them enshrining every tenet of their religion into civil law, the hell with the number of people who aren’t even part of it.

    Sharia?

    Anyhow, re Huckabee, Santorum, and Cruz yesterday, thanks for clarifying. I left you a question you can address if you see fit.

  31. 31
    Tommy says:

    I am an atheist. My mom is Catholic. So I have spent a lot of time in a Catholic church. The priest was a wonderful guy. He never tried to “turn” me to his faith. He was amazing. He got defrocked (is that the right word). He found the Liturgy was lacking. Changed it. Somebody recorded him and sent it to the Bishop. Asked him to renounce what he did and he laughed at them.

  32. 32
    wuzzat says:

    @Shakezula: As fucked up as the Catholic Church’s position on many things is, they’ve been adamantly anti-death penalty for quite a while now, so I’m guessing the UN’s got no beef there.

    The official Catholic policy on birth, death, and the things leading up to it can be summed up thusly: No abortion, no death penalty, no birth control, no IVF, and all sex is equally icky and gross unless you’re doing it to shore up the parish roster. Not endorsing it, mind you, but the consistency’s a nice change from what you get from the Baptists.

    Now, if only one of them could explain the part where God’s got transubstantiation down but can be thwarted by a piece of latex…

  33. 33
    Cervantes says:

    Here is the Vatican’s official response to the UN:

    According to the proper procedures forseen for the parties to the Convention, the Holy See takes note of the Concluding Observations on its Reports, which will be submitted to a thorough study and examination, in full respect of the Convention in the different areas presented by the Committee according to international law and practice, as well as taking into consideration the public interactive debate with the Committee, held on 16 January 2014.

    The Holy See does, however, regret to see in some points of the Concluding Observations an attempt to interfere with Catholic Church teaching on the dignity of human person and in the exercise of religious freedom. The Holy See reiterates its commitment to defending and protecting the rights of the child, in line with the principles promoted by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and according to the moral and religious values offered by Catholic doctrine.

  34. 34
    BruinKid says:

    BTW, American Idol season 2 runner-up Clay Aiken just announced he IS running for Congress in NC-02, against Tea Party Rep. Renee Ellmers, who complained about getting her paycheck during the government shutdown. His announcement video is actually quite good.

  35. 35
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @BruinKid: Clay Aiken will really shine when Congress stands on the Capitol steps to sing God Bless America.

  36. 36
    Cervantes says:

    And here is the full UN report (advance version, not completely edited). Here’s a tidbit not previously excerpted:

    The Committee recommends that the Holy See assess the number of children born of Catholic priests, find out who they are and take all the necessary measures to ensure the rights of these children to know and to be cared for by their fathers, as appropriate.

  37. 37
    Tommy says:

    @BruinKid: I guess I need to Google his district. Who knew Aiken was so pro military.

  38. 38
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Tommy: Yes, defrocked is the right word.

  39. 39
    aimai says:

    @BruinKid: Holy shit thats a good political ad. That guy is adorable. I have no idea who he is/was but I’d support him.

  40. 40
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The United States should be added to that list (and probably Canada). The Catholic friends I have don’t have 1001 kids, several are divorced, and most are shrugs about gay issues.

  41. 41
    HeartlandLiberal says:

    Not sure what the Church would do if it agreed to throw out all the pedophile priests immediately, since apparently that would reduce the membership in the priesthood by about 80% overnight.

    As it is, it was only going to take two or three more decades to do this by attrition, since they are all getting old and will die off, and there just are not enough young men entering the priesthood to replace them.

  42. 42
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @EconWatcher: Anyone who thinks child rape is a Catholic value isn’t worth “reaching,” except to smite them.

  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Shakezula:

    But it didn’t attack the stance on the death penalty or even its refusal to ordain women.

    The Catholic Church’s stance on the death penalty is that it should be abolished. Not sure why you think the UN should denounce them for that.

  44. 44
    scav says:

    @wuzzat: They only really seemed to pull out the big guns of denying communion (esp. to politicians) over abortion and a few other things. War? Death Penalty? Perhaps a brief tut occasionally and pass the wafers. There might be some movement there toward consistency there, maybe, perhaps, for a little while, we shall see. By the things they go to the mat for, you may judge them.

  45. 45
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cervantes:

    IIRC, there’s a big problem in developing countries (mostly African, but also quite a few in Asia and South America) with local priests basically using convents as their personal brothels. It’s not a pedophile problem, because everyone is over the age of consent (or is at least of childbearing age), but at best it’s coercion and, at worst, outright rape. Here’s a story from India about it.

  46. 46
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Joey Maloney: Yes they have. The fact that a few at the top refuse to acknowledge it does not mean the vast majority of Catholics have not accepted 21st century science and medicine. I was raised Catholic, and while the religion was beaten out of me a long time ago by a nun, I still know a lot of Catholics, and while anecdote does not equal data, not a single one of them follows the church line on contraception, abortion, gay marraige, etc etc. I know that this would beg the question, “Are they really Catholics then?” I can only answer that they still go to mass and take communion and confess to the priest on Sundays.

  47. 47
    Punchy says:

    I heard that Lance Armstrong was a pedalphile.

  48. 48
    burnspbesq says:

    The report is not bigoted.

    The last paragraph of this post sure as shit is.

    The intellectually honest thing to say would have been to admit that if Sam Harris tried to raise a New Model Army to do what he says is morally imperative, I.e., genocide against people of faith, you’d be at the front of the line.

  49. 49
    scav says:

    @Mnemosyne: Oddly enough, Scalia hasn’t seemed to pick up on that clear stance, or at least hadn’t in 2011

    During the speech, Scalia noted the presence of the protests, and said that he found no contradiction between his Catholic faith and his support of the death penalty. He added,

    “If I thought that Catholic doctrine held the death penalty to be immoral, I would resign,” he said. “I could not be a part of a system that imposes it.”

    that cafeteria is under a broad tent.

  50. 50
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Punchy: GROAN

  51. 51
    JoyfulA says:

    @Shakezula: This report was from a committee on children, which doesn’t have much to do with the death penalty (which the Vatican officially opposes in all cases) or the ordination of women. I assume the report discusses abortion because some nominally Catholic countries forbid abortions for everyone, including raped 9-year-olds; sometimes the plight of one such poor soul in Latin America bubbles to US intention.

  52. 52
    Ash Can says:

    I like what the UN is doing here — waiting until there’s a pope in place who just might be receptive to at least parts of the report before pressing the issue. We’ll see what happens.

    @HeartlandLiberal: Throwing out all the pedophiles wouldn’t reduce the number by that much. Throwing out all the coverers and enablers, however, might.

  53. 53
    scav says:

    @burnspbesq: Because mocking with ponies is the same as Kristallnacht, yes, we’ve established that.

  54. 54
    Punchy says:

    I heard that Ron Popeil is a peddlephile.

  55. 55
    Gindy51 says:

    @wuzzat: Maybe, but I think this is also an area where many of the rank and file disagree. Most of the catholics in my small SE IN town love them some death penalty, amazingly enough, for kiddie rape and murder.

  56. 56
    shortstop says:

    @HeartlandLiberal:

    Not sure what the Church would do if it agreed to throw out all the pedophile priests immediately, since apparently that would reduce the membership in the priesthood by about 80% overnight.

    The root of the problem isn’t the relatively small number of priests who rape children.

    The real issue is the extremely large number of fellow priests and higher-ups who enable, cover up for, refuse to intervene with and decline to hold accountable the child-raping priests.

    The organization is thoroughly corrupt and shows no signs of making meaningful change to stop this endless, systematic betrayal of its most vulnerable members.

  57. 57
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Tommy: The district includes Fort Bragg and a lot of the off-base housing.

    Unfortunately, Ellmers’ campaign will just say “fag fag fag” and be done.

    Crossing my fingers that I’m wrong, but it is an R+10 district.

  58. 58
    shortstop says:

    @scav: We can always count on Scalia and Burns to ignore actual church teachings for their own emotional convenience (albeit for different sorts of conveniences). For me, a point more interesting than emotionally ill old men publicly playing out their neuroses is why the RCC doesn’t speak more loudly and constantly against the death penalty. Perhaps if genitalia were involved, it might take a more lively interest.

  59. 59
    Punchy says:

    I heard that FTD and Teleflora hire nothing but petalphiles.

  60. 60
    shortstop says:

    @Punchy: Don’t make us come over there and take away your keyboard. The snow is awful and the roads aren’t all that safe.

  61. 61
    scav says:

    Come on, the whole thread is about the UN rummaging through pedo files.

  62. 62
    Shakezula says:

    @Mnemosyne: My reply was to ew who is apparently concerned that denouncing the RCCs stance on abortion would cause people to dismiss the entire report as a general attack on Catholic Values.

    But that can’t be right because it didn’t go after all Catholic Values, two examples being its opposition to the DP and ordaining women.

  63. 63
    Roger Moore says:

    @shortstop:

    The real issue is the extremely large number of fellow priests and higher-ups who enable, cover up for, refuse to intervene with and decline to hold accountable the child-raping priests.

    The real issue is the attitude and official policy that placed a higher value on child raping priests than on their victims. I think it’s part of a very dangerous belief among a lot of true believers that there should be a broad exemption of religious belief from civil law. It’s the same attitude that led Catholic adoption groups to think they can accept money from the state government while discriminating against gays, or that pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for contraceptives shouldn’t be fired. Somebody needs to go back and read Matthew 22:21, Mark 12:17, and Luke 20:25.

  64. 64
    Face says:

    @Punchy: My veterinarian employs pet files in her job, too.

  65. 65
    Ash Can says:

    @scav: What makes Scalia such a complete schmuck about this is his utter dishonesty. He can’t just be like the rest of us cafeteria Catholics and say “I disagree with the official Church teaching on that issue.” No, he has to deny the very existence of the teaching. He’s an asswipe.

  66. 66
    shortstop says:

    @Roger Moore: Just so.

  67. 67
    scav says:

    @Ash Can: He is an extreme case. Both Canon and Constitution must bend to his mighty will.

  68. 68
    Joey Maloney says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    IRC, there’s a big problem in developing countries (mostly African, but also quite a few in Asia and South America) with local priests basically using convents as their personal brothels.

    Same as it ever was. Check your European medieval history; every so often you’ll find a convent being dissolved for “riotous and licentious behavior”.

    @OzarkHillbilly: Sorry, I should’ve specified the hierarchy versus the laity. In fact, if anything the hierarchy has backslid. I know plenty of Boomers and older who got excellent, liberal educations from nuns and Jesuits.

  69. 69
    eric says:

    @burnspbesq: why is that statement bigoted? the available evidence suggests that the Church has worked to cover up pedophilia. do you disagree? is there not a known harborer being afforded the protection of living in Vatican City? Please advise.

  70. 70
    shortstop says:

    @scav: He’s a strict destructionist, you see.

  71. 71
    Shrillhouse says:

    @BruinKid: Yeah, Aiken’s first video was actually very good. I watched the whole thing, in fact.

  72. 72
    Mnemosyne says:

    @scav:

    that cafeteria is under a broad tent

    I love to point out that the same conservatives who label liberal Catholics as “cafeteria Catholics” are picking and choosing which doctrines to follow just as much as the liberals are. If you’re going to claim that you’re a better Catholic because you’re following Catholic doctrine to the letter on abortion and birth control, you damn well better be following it to the letter on the death penalty and social justice as well, or else you’re just as much of a “cafeteria Catholic” as any liberal.

    @Shakezula:

    Ah, okay. From your sentence construction, it wasn’t clear that you were saying These are two things the Catholic Church is against since one of them is something liberals are against and the other is something they tend to be in favor of.

  73. 73
    Gex says:

    @Ash Can: There was a report out in 2002 that I read about on the Dallas Star’s site but have had trouble finding in recent years. It reported that 2/3 of American Bishops participated in covering up abuse allegations.

    TWO-THIRDS.

  74. 74
    Gex says:

    @shortstop: We know why. And it isn’t because of the lack of genitalia. It is because being anti-war or anti-death penalty doesn’t rally the people to the right wing cause. All those stances that the left approves of are discussed sotto voce for a reason. All the things that the right wing approves of are the things they mobilize around. There’s money and power to be gained by currying favor with the right wing.

  75. 75
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Gex:

    Basically, the guys who covered it up were the ones who got promoted. Even some of the more liberal bishops/archbishops got caught up — Roger Mahony of Los Angeles was very active in the Sanctuary movement of the 1980s and pushed hard for immigrants’ rights, but he also covered up abuse in Stockton. The only high-level archbishop or cardinal I can think of who took a strong stance against coverups was Joseph Bernardin of Chicago, but he died in 1996 and there was no one else to lead that fight once he was gone.

  76. 76
    WaterGirl says:

    @aimai: Never watched American Idol, couldn’t have picked Clay Aiken out of a lineup. But I would definitely vote for the guy whose video I watched. Maybe Mr. Smith will go to Washington after all.

    aimai, I never would have watched that video if it weren’t for your comment. Thank you.

  77. 77
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:

    Oh, geez, he’s running in Fayettenam’s district? Yeah, no prayer for him. But good on him for trying.

  78. 78
    D58826 says:

    @Chris: The Church leadership still lives in the world of the divine right of kings (or in this case popes/cardinals). While reproductive issues and gays are the hot button topics today, I’m sure the cardinals would be quite happy if they were the only ones who could vote

  79. 79
    shortstop says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The only high-level archbishop or cardinal I can think of who took a strong stance against coverups was Joseph Bernardin of Chicago

    Uh, no. He was less egregious than the others, which is damning with exceptionally faint praise. Even so, he didn’t take a “strong stance,” or any stance at all, until he was forced into it by lawsuits.

    ETA: I realize you will now spend the afternoon going to the mat in your defense of him, arguing with an imaginary conversational partner rather than with anything I actually say, so just prop a cardboard cutout of a shortstop up and have at it. I’m going out for lunch.

  80. 80
    Cervantes says:

    @burnspbesq:

    The last paragraph of this post sure as shit is [bigoted].

    Not sure why you’d say that.

    “Unfair” or “inaccurate” or “premature,” you might argue, but “bigoted”?

  81. 81
    cckids says:

    @aimai:

    In the real world actual women really die because the Catholic Church is preventing doctors and hospitals from treating the woman as the major patient when she is pregnant.

    Yes, this article from Al Jazeera America covers it well. And infuriatingly.

  82. 82
    Chris says:

    @Cervantes:

    Re yesterday’s question –

    Were the rich taking their eye off the ball by distrusting Clinton? I don’t know – what’s “the ball?” Is it their self-interest? Personally I think rich people are taking their eye off the ball every time they rally against a liberal Democrat – their policies not only deliver prosperity, but a stable society in which the rich are less likely to end up hanging from lampposts (not a realistic possibility now, but it certainly was in the Depression years, pre-welfare state). Even more so when it’s a moderate like Clinton, who bend over for the rich more than any Democrat in decades. But they don’t see things that way.

  83. 83
    D58826 says:

    @Joey Maloney: While growing up in the 50’s I listened to several of my very anti-Catholic relatives talk about the constant flow of priests from the local parish into and out of the convent. Everyone nodded and agreed that we knew what was going on. I always put it down to the general anti-Catholic views of my relatives. Given what has come out over the past decade or so, maybe the relatives were right at least on that point. Or as they used to say the nun’s habit could hid a multitude of sins!
    And yes I remember my medieval history and the conduct between the priests (and I’m sure the local nobility) and the nuns in the convent. Not much changes in the world/

  84. 84
    Cervantes says:

    @EconWatcher:

    They should have left at least abortion out of it.

    Bear in mind it’s not a report focused solely on sexual abuse perpetrated directly by the clergy. The report was issued by the UN’s Committee on the Rights of the Child, and discusses abortion as it relates to pregnant girls, thus:

    54. The Committee expresses its deepest concern that in the case of a nine-year old girl in Brazil who underwent an emergency life-saving abortion in 2009 after having been raped by her stepfather, an Archbishop of Pernambuco sanctioned the mother of the girl as well as the doctor who performed the abortion, a sanction which was later approved by the head of the Roman Catholic Church’s Congregation of Bishops.

    55. The Committee urges the Holy See to review its position on abortion which places obvious risks on the life and health of pregnant girls and to amend Canon 1398 relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services can be permitted.

    The only other mention of abortion in the report is this:

    57. With reference to its general comments No. 15 (2013) on the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, No. 4 (2003) on adolescent health and No.3 (2003) on HIV/AIDS and the rights of the child, the Committee reminds the Holy See of the dangers of early and unwanted pregnancies and clandestine abortion which result notably in high maternal morbidity and mortality in adolescent girls, as well as the particular risk for adolescents girls and boys to be infected with and affected by STDs, including HIV/AIDs.

    As for this:

    By including it, they make it too easy for some to dismiss the report as an overall attack on Catholic values, rather than a focused challenge to practices that allow things like rape of children.

    I suspect that those who “dismiss the report as an overall attack on Catholic values” were going to do so almost regardless of its content.

  85. 85
    Cervantes says:

    @Chris: Yes, I meant self-interest. Thanks.

  86. 86
    Chris says:

    @shortstop:

    26, not early 20s, and I’m not sure about the commenter in his early twenties, but, yeah, close enough :D What you’re saying clicks with what I’ve read about the era – and outside of Catholic circles, various people have pointed out that abortion really wasn’t as big a deal before the seventies.

    @burnspbesq:

    Sorry, but “child fuckers” accurately describes what various priests have been found guilty of, and a hierarchy that covers for them is guilty as accomplices. Given how much bullshit they’ve thrown out in the public’s eyes lately, skepticism that that’ll ever change is warranted.

    I can’t stand Sam Harris, but he’s irrelevant to this conversation.

    @shortstop:

    The root of the problem isn’t the relatively small number of priests who rape children.

    The real issue is the extremely large number of fellow priests and higher-ups who enable, cover up for, refuse to intervene with and decline to hold accountable the child-raping priests.

    And in my anecdotal experience, far too many people in the congregations eager to look the other way with five second perfunctory admissions that yes, a few people committed crimes, followed immediately by long tirades about how the biased liberal media is blowing this out of proportion because they hate the Catholic Church, etc etc. It was the Abu Ghraib “few bad apples”/”fucking media, how dare they talk about it” all over again. That was pretty much the straw that broke the camel’s back in terms of me ditching the RCC, personally.

  87. 87
    Cervantes says:

    @Cervantes: EconWatcher: I should add also that the Committee did not issue a report on the Vatican at random. As mandated, it issued a number of reports dealing with children in various jurisdictions.

  88. 88
    Cervantes says:

    [Redundant item deleted]

  89. 89
    Mnemosyne says:

    @shortstop:

    I’m going by what Wikipedia says:

    Archbishop Joseph Bernardin was among the first U.S. Cardinals or Bishops to confront the issue of sexual abuse by clergy. He also adapted a strong stance on sexual abuse cases within the clergy by implementing the strongest, most comprehensive policy concerning priests accused of sexual misconduct with minors.

    If you have alternative evidence, please present it. Also note that Bernardin died in 1996 before the real blockbuster scandals hit, so what I’m mostly saying is that his death was a lost opportunity to start cleaning things up earlier because there was no one else with enough power to oppose the coverup mentality. Chicago has had far fewer documented cases than, say, the Boston archdiocese.

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    shortstop says:

    @Mnemosyne: As heartwarming as I find your quote from an Archdiocese-produced biography of Cardinal Bernardin, his real record is not so pretty. It’s pretty ugly, actually. (Five minutes’ googling, which I feel strangely certain you’ve already done despite your inevitable digging in on your first position, will turn up plenty more.)

    In fact, the cardinal’s “strong stance” — mostly window dressing, of course — was considered by most informed observers of the time to be early damage control in response to an SA’s investigation. It didn’t clean up the archdiocesan rape culture, but it did prevent a cascade of stories like Boston’s from surfacing sooner. Bernardin was always a great PR guy, and you’re far from the only poorly informed casual observer who fell for this. Have a pleasant afternoon continuing to do so!

  91. 91
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @shortstop: Most of the Western world doesn’t have the death penalty, the US is almost unique in that regard. The Catholic church hierarchy in the US makes little or no effort to condemn the institutional use of the death penalty, the church hierarchy in other nations don’t need to.

  92. 92
    Shortstop says:

    @Robert Sneddon: Yes, sorry; that comment of mine was really US-centric. I would really like to see the RCC in the US break its near-silence on this point.

  93. 93
    Mnemosyne says:

    @shortstop:

    Church Panel to Investigate Sexual Abuse Charges

    Again, my point is that, as little as it was, it’s more than any other cardinal or archbishop ever did. Bernardin was at least smart enough to realize damage control was going to be needed, unlike the other cardinals who thought they could just cover things up forever.

    ETA: I guess my question to you is, who is morally worse — Bernardin, who at least put a commission together, or George, who thought he could bluff his way through forever?

  94. 94
    barbequebob says:

    @wuzzat:

    Not really the consistency you may think. Catholic church, especially in USA may pay lip service to being opposed to war and death penalty, but does nothing to actively work against them. Compare this to the amount of energy it spends politiking against aboortion and contraception. Does US Catholic Church urge its members to refrain from joining military, where they would be expected to kill? Does US Catholic Church deny or threaten to deny sacraments to military or DA’s and others involved in death penalty and executions? Does US Catholic Church urge it members to not pay income taxes that will be used to fund wars and killing? Talk about having your money being used to do something you claim is against your religion!!

    NO, all US Catholic Church heartily supports wars and executions and really cares about is punishing people for having sex.

  95. 95
    Cervantes says:

    @barbequebob:

    NO, all US Catholic Church heartily supports wars and executions and really cares about is punishing people for having sex.

    With some notable exceptions.

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