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← Scapegoat for Catholic evils?

cynicaloptimistrealist's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by cynicaloptimistrealist

Professor Dawkins,

As always your post demonstrates the balance that few of us are capable of. Particularly when it comes to those who peddle deities and fiddle with children. I do agree with you that the psychological damage Catholicism does is far worse, not to mention the fact that if you draw an enconomic map of the world you will see that most of the poorer areas of the world are in the grip of either the Pope or Muhammad. Combined with their message that poverty equals piety they are one of the most damaging forces in the world.

He did not molest children himself, but covered up the activities of other priests.

I agree, but the sentencing structure is different in the US, I often see cases from the US where when you consider the crime the sentences seem excessive. I can't help but think that the high murder rate in some parts of the US directly relates to the structure of sentences there. In this case I feel it's just rewards. Suppose a colleague entered your office and admitted that he was an active paedophile, I imagine that you (as I would) contact the police and indeed social services if the person in question had children. Just suppose that instead the colleague entered your office and admitted the above, then explaining that he was in fear of a police raid, asked you to take care of his laptop for a while until the storm had blown over. If one was to agree to the request and not immediately pass the evidence over to the police, then one would be guilty of denying justice to those who have been abused and enabling the abuse of other children or the ongoing abuse of those he has access to. So, it is my belief that an enabler who acts knowing the seriousness of the crimes committed deserves to be treated as an accomplice.

Are his fellow prisoners likely to have the discernment to distinguish a coverer-up from an actual paedophile, and how will they treat him?

I imagine that he will be segregated as his crime involves the abuse of children.

But is this particular priest the fall guy for a Catholic culture in which he was just a pawn?

In a sense, yes, it has the effect of calming the great unwashed screaming for blood. Although I think it's another headline that the Catholic Church would rather not see, I think even Barnum who said "There's no such thing as bad publicity!" would make an exception in this case. There's an often told joke that when John Paul II visited Ireland and said "Young people of Ireland, I love you!" that he was merely reflecting the physical desires of his clerics. Let's face it headlines like that are only going to have a detrimental effect on membership.

I do feel that governments and law enforcement are going after the wrong target. The organisation as a whole should be hauled over the coals financially, they are an extremely wealthy organisation, I am sure you have noticed on your travels as I have that even in places where grinding poverty exists, that the church is usually an impressive building in contrast to the local hovels and that the priests homes are not that shabby either. So my view is that the organisation as a whole should pay dearly in the financial sense. If a police officer through accident or deliberate action injures an innocent member of the public there are heavy financial penalties for the force he is a member of, the same should apply to religious organisations,

Is the conviction of Monsignor Lynn designed to take the heat off the real evil, which is the entire culture of the Catholic church?

I would say that some of his superiors are wiping the sweat from their brow and thanking their God (that is if they believe in one, I can't see how anyone who has even read their scriptures can maintain a faith of any kind - probably the reason why Catholics are encouraged to parrot off prayers rather than explore their scriptures). Again I fail to understand, particularly in the litigious US why there have not been more multi million dollar cases taken against dioceses.

Can the church claim that, because individual priests are put in prison, that lets them off the hook?

I am sure they will try, I imagine they will say sorry for a few more years, then claim they are being victimised for something that happened in the past (similar to the way right wing parties shriek "victim" when anyone mentions the violent, un-evolved, racist halfwits they so recently attached themselves to). In many ways they're already back on their old hobby horse in this part of the world with a bishop recently speaking out against gay marriage and abortion, of course not one member of the subservient media asked "Considering its history, what gives your organisation the right to speak out on morality?".

Wed, 25 Jul 2012 23:38:43 UTC | #950079