In Defense of the Catholic Clergy (Or Do We Want Another Reign of Terror?)

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In Defense of the Catholic Clergy (Or Do We Want Another Reign of Terror?)

In 1790, most of the world was congratulating France for what seemed like a successfully completed revolution. The hated King had been brought to heel, and change had swept through an oppressed nation, offering hope for a brighter future under better government.

After the National Assembly diminished the authority of Louis XVI in 1789, anti-monarchical literature dwindled, but fierce accusations against Catholic clergy for misdeeds past and present increased. Isolated cases of clerical immorality were magnified to make depravity appear endemic to the entire priesthood (ironically, in an age where sexual libertinism was running rampant). The French propagandists labored night and day, dredging the past for old scandals whether decades or even centuries distant.
In his Reflections on the Revolution in France, published in 1790, Burke, a Protestant, asked the French, “From the general style of late publications of all sorts, one would be led to believe that your clergy in France were a sort of monsters, a horrible composition of superstition, ignorance, sloth, fraud, avarice and tyranny. But is this true?”

In 1790, Burke answered his own question with these words: “It is not with much credulity I listen to any when they speak evil of those whom they are going to plunder. I rather suspect that vices are feigned or exaggerated when profit is looked for in their punishment.” As he wrote these words, the French revolutionaries were readying for the mass confiscation of Church lands.

Within three years of Burke’s Reflections, his dire predictions proved accurate. The Reign of Terror descended in 1793, bringing hundreds of priests to the guillotine, and forcing the rest to swear oaths of loyalty to the State over the Church. To Burke it was clear that the anti clerical campaign of 1790 was “only to be temporary and preparatory to the utter abolition… of the Christian religion,” by " bringing its ministers into universal contempt."

Not exactly news, I know – but all our news has happened before.

Nice reminder.
People don’t realize how easily such things can happen over again.

Peace
James

Not new news, but news to me! Thanks for posting that.

Not entirely relevant, and if it is, I wonder if there was some truth to such publications over two hundred years ago as well. Quit hiding behind a dogmatic faith which blinds you from the horrific crimes not only committed by a perverted clergy, but which are hidden and shielded by a hierarchy of men bent on preserving their power. The Church seems not to want to deal with this fetid mess and its sad when the Faithful lack the courage to demand full attonement.

Looks like you are falling into the trap that the media and progressives want you to think and that is all the clergy are perverted and evil, which isn’t true. But if you want to be gullible that is your perogative.

Yes I would be the first one to admit that we have some bad & evil priests, but we where warned by Jesus himself. He warned of “wolves in sheep clothing”. It is expected. I also realize that in the past the Church did not do enough to protect the innocent victims, but I believe that has changed now.

What I am saying is you cannot accuse all clergy of being pedifiles or child molestors because of maybe a dozen sick and evil priests. The far majority of priest out there are good men trying to do God’s work.

All you guys want to see is the bad but sometimes you also need to see the good as well. You need to remember that the Catholic church is largest charity organization in the world. The Catholic church has done more positive things for this world than any other institution period. If it wasn’t for the Catholic church and its teachings we would all still being running around in the dark ages. Just my thoughts.

With all due respect, its far more than “maybe a dozen” and that’s just in this country alone. Again, faith should not blind anyone to facts. If the majority of priests are indeed good men trying to do God’s work, then why don’t all the priest rise up, boot out the criminal ones a demand the bishops do more than just shuffle, obfuscate and deny??

The sad fact is, given the ancient roots of Catholicism, the Church, it seems, still follows the classical tradition of permitting older males to foster physical relationships with younger students, particularly with boys - this was once a well-known and acceptable practice in antiquity amoungst Greek and Roman scholars and military units. Apprently it never really died out but has been quietly preserved in the ancient keepings of the Church. Only now, in a modern, more rational era with independent thinkers and a free press, is all of this comming out. I say for the good.

I expect this abhorent practice and its deep roots in the church is only now just starting to be known - we see but the tip of the iceberg. The faithful are but passengers on the Titanic.

It’s hard to be a defender of the faith every time
this same scandal appears

There is indeed a good likelihood of “some truth” in the publications of 200 years ago. I’m also sure there were some lies.

Quit hiding behind a dogmatic faith which blinds you from the horrific crimes not only committed by a perverted clergy, but which are hidden and shielded by a hierarchy of men bent on preserving their power.
The Church seems not to want to deal with this fetid mess and its sad when the Faithful lack the courage to demand full attonement.

It seems interesting that you are willing to accept the “truths” of the “scandal” while ignoring the statements and the efforts of The Church to correct it.
Here in the US, The Church now has different screening criteria fro seminaries. Every Parish has a background check and training course, which has to be taken, by anyone who is in contact with minors in any of the ministries. Many other steps have been taken in the various diocese, some large and some small. I doubt if many of these are reported on a weekly basis in the local papers or on the news.
After all - Each time a new allegation comes out even if it is agains the same priest, it makes headlines for days. But do they report seperately every parish that successfully implements new safety protocols? No they don’t - they might have one story from the chancery about the program and then that is it.

You make the accusation that we are “blinded” and yet look at yourself. Seeing only the worst, only the crime. Seeing nothing of the efforts to correct, giving no credit to the apologies, the new safety protocols, the monies paid out in lawsiuts (attonement).
At least do us the courtesy of recognizing the good efforts of the “good Heirarchy”. Or is that asking too much?

I have a small child. Ought I entirely trust those screening programs when it comes to the welfare of my child? Should I or any parent entrust a child to the daily care of Catholic educators given what has come out?

Would any caring parent trust a child to be alone at any time with any priest even with such measures in place???

When I was a kid in a St. Louis grade school, it was a treat for all us boys in our Catholic grade school to be taken by bus to the swimming pool of our local Seminary.

I remember seeing all the old priests hanging out, lounging by the pool. As I look back 30 years later, I get a sick feeling it was ice cream treat day for those old creeps and we young lads had just gotten off the ice cream truck! :eek:

In the end, today, my duty as a parent comes well before my duty to either defend a wicked system or making excuses for it.

To jrkh :

Yes, i totally agree but not alot of people know what you do ~ they’re just people who don’t know about this website ~~~~~~~~ and they just believe what they read and hear so it’s hard, that’s all i was saying.

Louise

Why not - are you so unamerican as to assume that every priest is guilty until proven innocent?
How about other places?
Can you entirely trust the teachers in the public school system?
The leaders of boy/girl scout troops?
Even the police and fire people?
Every one of these groups of people have had scandals against them. People in positions of great trust. So - because of the scandals in these groups do you keep your children away from them as well?
Do you keep them home altogether??
Maybe you’d feel more comfortable in an group like the Amish?

When I was a kid in a St. Louis grade school, it was a treat for all us boys in our Catholic grade school to be taken by bus to the swimming pool of our local Seminary.

I remember seeing all the old priests hanging out, lounging by the pool. As I look back 30 years later, I get a sick feeling it was ice cream treat day for those old creeps and we young lads had just gotten off the ice cream truck! :eek:

I too went to Catholic School for 8 years. Never went to a seminary pool, but was exposed both in groups and one on one to many wonderful parish priests. Never did I meet one - NOT ONE - who acted inappropriately toward me or any one else.
It sounds as though you never had one act inappropriately toward you either.
So - if the Church and the Priests are so wicked, how is it that so many millions of us young boys managed to never be molested??

In the end, today, my duty as a parent comes well before my duty to either defend a wicked system or making excuses for it.

I fully understand your desire to protect your kids. But in your post lambasting the Church you had no trouble at all using harsh language to dondemn the Church. My point is that such language completely shuts out any consideration of the good done since these scandals broke.

You realize, I hope, that prejudice works both ways? Yes, it is unhealthy and unwise for parents to simply presume that the Grace of ordination makes a priest a trustworthy person to “hand over” ones child to. But in the rush to judgement, you’ve failed to comprehend that priesthood isn’t the issue, the GENERAL idea that some title or position renders a stranger safe to trust with your kids is a foolish one!

What you seem to be missing is the FACTS of this scandal. The media, like you, has tried very hard to imply that something about catholicism itself turns priests into child predators. This is utter rubbish that can only come from ignorance and prejudice. The actual facts show that priests commit sexual abuse against children at a LOWER rate than do other adults in authority positions over children (teachers, coaches, counselors, etc). Do some homework. Look at the results of the John Jay report. About 4% of priests have had at least somewhat credible accusations made against them. About 8% of Jesus’ own hand picked apostles were traitors, why is it a shock to see that there are still traitors in the ranks today?

The entire thing is a straw man. The popular uproar demonstrates that many people think that the Church pretends to be made up of perfected and now sinless people. The Church has NEVER claimed that! On the contrary, the Church has always affirmed that while humanity is good (made in the image and likeness of God), we ALL have this tragic flaw of sin. We ALL need Grace to save us from the sins we’ve committed and from succumbing to the decaying progression of sin. It is NO surprise to people who actually understand christianity to find sinners, even gross ones, in its ranks.

Back to your point, if the conclusion you’ve reached from this scandal is that you’d not ever trust any priest around your kids, you’ve blown it big time. The REAL lesson is that NOBODY should be trusted with your kids simply by virture of the office or position that they hold. Scrutinize your kids teachers! Beware the way coaches run things and the opportunities they may have to be alone with your kids. And so on. The lesson is not that priests are abusers, the lesson is that EVEN priests can be abusers.

Yes, I know how people are. They hear about a crime, especially a sex crime and declare immediately that the perpetrator needs to be “hung by his xxxx”.
It’s easy for those outside the system to do this.

In a case like the scandals in the Church it is even easier. A couple of people come forward and then suddenly more come and more come. In the newspaper every new allegation is not just an allegation but proof of guilt. Never mind that some of these allegations might be bogus. Never mind that, in order to protect the innocent, each case must be investigated individually. Never mind any of that. “That don’t sell papers!!!”

Under the conditions prevailing right now, any person with an old beef against apriest, or anyone just hoping to cash in on the payouts can accuse a priest of abuse. whether theya er proved wron later or not won’t matter. The folks reading the papers will just assume the worse.

END RANT

peace
james

To hear some people, the Catholic Church should be outlawed. Think about that. Are there no pedophiles among the police and the judges, who are well placed to protect themselves and their own kind? Should we then abolish all law enforcement? :rolleyes:

getting back more on topic though I think that agripa and others need to realize that there is more to the 200 year old “news item” than just what was said about the priests in France.
The French revolution went well beyond just removing the government and getting rid of bad priests. This was the age of the “enlightenment”. There was no need for God at all. The Priests were merely a large and very visible manifestation of God in those days and thus became a target for the anti-theists of the time.

Today we already have God driven out of the Schools, out of our courts and out of medical ethics. Now the Anti-theists are attacking the Church, and christianity in general, through the scandals, through the pro-life movement, etc. More and more people are falling away from their faiths until eventually - and don’t think this is not possible, - anyone who believes in God will be considered a mental case and put on medication.

The Church will survive though. Even if we go back to the “catacombs”.

Peace
James

And you miss the bigger point. As I have stated elsewhere on these forums, any human being is capable of such base and vile acts - and any institution may move to cover up crimes of its favored members, but in a Catholic institution where the priest holds a very special, important and morally authoritative place in the minds and hearts of the spiritual flock, these crimes are far more damaging and harmful.

In fact, I would suggest that a priest, by his nature and obligations, owes an even deeper duty to avoid these crimes and to root out the evil doers when they are committed. So in real terms, its terrible when a coach or scout leader does these things, but its far, far worse when a priest does it because along with doing great physical and amotional harm to a child, it destroys the child’s ability to form spiritually and such base acts destroy the very spiritual fabric of the Church.

Instead, sadly, all we get is the old priestly shuffle by the bishops, denials from those on high and excuses from the Faithful who simply want to ignore it all and blame outside agitators and “progressives” for it all!! What rot!!!

yeah that’s all i was saying ~

happy easter :slight_smile:

Onyx88, keep in mind that the media is ochestrating these “new revelations” of abuse, presenting them as “new information” as if they were currently happening. I wonder if they don’t have a list from all the other countries where this abuse happened, and are purposely feeding the public, one at a time, to make it seem more widespread and constant. I never hear them put these things in context, i.e., that they happened decades ago, that the Church has implemented steps to prevent future occurrences (not that they can completely as long as seminarians come from the society of death where the sex revolution and hedonism is in full force), etc.

What they would like everyone to believe is that if any members of the heirarchy are sinners or inept administrators, then the doctrines of the Church cannot be true. And if the doctrines of the Church aren’t true, then no one has to believe the Church when she speaks against abortion, artificial birth control, homosexual behavior, etc. That’s their real goal, of course, and they realize that they have no hope unless they can destroy the Church. What they don’t realize is that no one can destroy the Church. It is eternal and Divine, with Jesus Christ, Son of God, as its true head.

Your exactly right on. The media has had to look very hard to find abuse in the past few years, so they went looking for anthing from 30 to 50 years ago that they could bring up. Not just the media but it appears that most of the world is anti Catholic. The only Christian leader that the media ever covers is the Pope, he is the only voice for Christians whether Protestant or not. Why aren’t they going after the Protestant denominations as there is plenty of abuse in those churches? Of course they don’t keep records and are much better at hiding the abuse than the Catholic Church is. I am a convert and know what went on in my former denomination among the clergy. I was counting of the few that I knew of how many were committing some type of sexual abuse or living a sinful life and I must say that 3/4 of them were. This is true and I just had never thought about it before, but while lying in bed I started thinking about these clergy and realized how sad for my former church.

Also you don’t see too much about teachers, coaches etc. being hounded and persecuted by the media. Why aren’t the principals of schools held libel and sued, the same goes for sports team managers of our youth and all the others who are head of an organization?

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Bernadette

**Pope Benedict concluded his Holy Thursday homily from today’s Mass celebrating the Institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper with;
**
"Grant that we may live in your love and thus become as one, as you are with the Father, so that the world may believe. Amen"

WOW! No other words are necessary or even relevant…

Read the homily in it’s entirety here; catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope_at_supper_of_the_lord_mass_churchs_preaching_will_not_fail_throughout_history/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+catholicnewsagency%2Fdailynews+%28CNA+Daily+News%29

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!

mark

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