Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A Catholic PR campaign

By Nick Milano

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Has anything ever been in direr need of a good public relations expert than the Roman Catholic Church? The days, weeks and months of bad press are just beginning to break my spirit. It has come to the point where I no longer even read the articles, just make my own conclusions from the headlines – it’s too depressing to read them. As a Roman Catholic, and someone who is relatively active and frequently attends Mass, I do not know how much more I can take. All this misguided anger at the federal government being a slow, corrupt and abusive bureaucracy deserves to be showered upon the Catholic Church.

I love the idea of the Catholic Church. In a perfect world, it would exist to stress its teachings: treat others as you would have them treat you; blessed are the poor, care for the poor and needy. At its very basic root, the Catholic Church is a huge engine for good. Its social justice platform is incredibly beneficial to greater society both here in the United States and abroad. But this is where the Catholic Church departs with reality.

I have been raised in the Church, from baptism through confirmation. My family is tied very closely to it as well. My mother’s parents were raised in Catholic dominated Ireland and they brought their faith with them to America. My father’s mother taught in a Catholic school for nearly twenty years, while his father grew up in an Italian immigrant home. We even used to do a watered-down version of the Feast of the Seven Fishes. My father used to serve on a board that met with Cardinal Sean O’Malley to help guide the archdiocese of Boston. I used to do readings at Mass all through high school and still attend mass every weekend when I am home.

In short, I am not someone who would lose faith in the Catholic Church very easily, but this past Easter weekend was a sort of tipping point. When scandal after scandal breaks, when more and more sermons concentrate on cultural and political issues, when the very man who is supposed to be God’s representative on Earth is unable or unwilling to take a proactive approach, it gets hard to take the Church very seriously. Three definite steps must be taken for the Church’s image to improve.

First, the Pope must come clean. It’s next to impossible to put such a celibate man in the same sentence as Tiger Woods, but Tiger answered all the questions that were asked of him. Yet, Pope Benedict’s reaction to the crisis in Ireland was a letter. It goes without saying that the Church is a backwards organization, but it really needs to enter the 21st century. If my father can pay his contribution of the weekly collection with a credit card over the Internet, then Pope Benedict can use the television or perhaps have a webcast shown for free around the world offering an apology and putting out an action plan.

Second, the Pope must convene a new council to seriously consider ending the celibacy requirement for priests. Deacons can marry and raise children, but priests are prohibited. 99 percent of priests may not be child abusers or inclined to commit sexual assault, but maybe ending celibacy will help prevent any other disgusting acts. It is also another way to rebuild the Church community – having a priest who is raising a family within a parish will surely strengthen the bond between a priest and his parishioners. The Vatican II Council allowed Mass to be spoken in a country’s vernacular language – a similar council could play as crucial a role in modernizing the Church.

Third, the pageantry of the Church must be sharply curtailed. Clips from the Pope’s Easter Mass just reeked of fake worship. Sure, bring out the pageantry every once in a while when a new Pope is chosen, but otherwise, keep it to a minimum. Watching the ornate, egotistic flaunting of wealth by the church makes me wonder where my money every Sunday goes. In light of the accusations against the Church, wouldn’t Jesus Christ prefer his resurrection be celebrated with reconciliation and righting years of wrongdoing than with an obscene ritual of wealth. It is altogether fitting that when the Pope was a cardinal, he was the one responsible for condemning liberation theology – an approach to religion built from the ground up, concentrating on the plight of the poor.

I will never completely abandon the Catholic Church. It means too much to my family. The idea of the Roman Catholic Church is awesome to behold. Imagine all the good it can do, the light it can bring to people’s lives. One does not have to be a true believer – I certainly do not agree with the Church’s stances against abortion, same-sex marriage, pre-marital sex, birth control use and other issues – to see the Church’s ability to be a force for good in this world. Right now, it is a laughingstock in America, and has a long way to go before reclaiming its former status. Perhaps with some strong, decisive leadership from Pope Benedict, the Roman Catholic Church can find its road to recovery.  

Nick Milano is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at [email protected]

14 Comments

14 Responses to “A Catholic PR campaign”

  1. JohnB on April 7th, 2010 11:46 pm

    A very sad description of what it is to be inculcated into this religion as a newborn. This makes for a very strong argument for the implementation of a minimum joining age of 16 so that children can experience their right to reach their full potential. Nick, you have my sympathy due to your understanding that you too have become a victim of the global exploitation of women, children and the vulnerable at the hands of the Catholic and other religions.

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  2. Julie on April 8th, 2010 8:37 am

    Nick, I highly recommend reading NewsBuster’s take on the media coverage of the abuse scandals.

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  3. Brandon on April 8th, 2010 12:42 pm

    Julie, it would be intellectual fraud if I made primary reference to a website that explicitly stated, “Exposing Liberal Media Bias” in the subtitle. That’s comparable to going to a creationism website to learn about Evolution.

    Laugh.

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  4. Kevin on April 8th, 2010 7:44 pm

    You say: “I will never completely abandon the Catholic Church. It means too much to my family. The idea of the Roman Catholic Church is awesome to behold. Imagine all the good it can do, the light it can bring to people’s lives. One does not have to be a true believer – I certainly do not agree with the Church’s stances against abortion, same-sex marriage, pre-marital sex, birth control use and other issues – to see the Church’s ability to be a force for good in this world.”

    I hope you don’t take offense to this, but why are you a christian? Loving your neighbor, caring for the sick, and helping the poor are hardly unique to the Christian faith. This capacity for good is in all of us, regardless of belief in particular legends.

    Christianity does not evolve on its own. It compromises itself in order to exist in a secular world where it is no longer acceptable to kill a non virgin bride or stone a blasphemer to death. The parts of the church you disagree with are simply areas where the church has not yet reconciled itself with the world around it. Let your beliefs reflect the world around you, not the other way around.

    Again, I hope you aren’t offended by my question. I think its a tremendously important issue, and its all I could think of as I read your article.

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  5. Chris Amorosi on April 8th, 2010 9:38 pm

    It amuses me when a self-professed Catholic both pledges his unconditional loyalty to the institution but wants the church to completely change its tenets to match some idealized conception that makes no sense and will never happen.

    The double-think necessary truly boggles.

    Nick, the Catholic Church has spent the last 1700 years figuring out exactly how you’re supposed to think and why you’re supposed to think it. Read Augustine, Jerome, Aquinas or any other Catholic philosopher. They are quite comprehensive. Catholicism isn’t about your feelings. It’s about theology reasoned out by men smarter than you.

    As for your money, it will continue to pay legal fees for child rapists as the Pope shuffles around his marble and gold Renaissance palace while telling AIDS-ridden nations that condoms are evil. That will not stop. Certainly not in your lifetime. It took them centuries to stop using gang battles in the streets of Rome to decide the new Pope (no exaggeration), to admit the world orbits the Sun, and to realize that Latin is a dead language.

    The Catholic Church is an astonishing institution that survived the collapse of civilization, the Reformation, and Communism and it’s going to survive an angst-ridden American like you.

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  6. Harrison on April 8th, 2010 11:23 pm

    “All this misguided anger at the federal government being a slow, corrupt and abusive bureaucracy deserves to be showered upon the Catholic Church.”

    This is simply a misguided statement for it assumes that there is a strong analogy between the Federal government, and the organization of the Roman Catholic Church. However, there simply is not and the clichéd, wrong, yet somehow well-spread notion Church as being run completely out of Rome by the papacy is a myth. In fact, the local ordinaries of the Roman Catholic Church (i.e. the bishops) are the executors of Canon Law in their dioceses and they and their staff are the ones that actually run the day-to-day affairs of the Roman Catholic Church. While the Pope, as the bishop of Rome, is the ordinary of the universal church and is infallible when he speaks on matters of dogma ex cathedra, that does not mean that he wields that much power when it comes to running the dioceses, nor does it mean that he should have that power.

    Furthermore, the anger that are felt against the two organizations are of a different character. Unlike the Roman Catholic Church, which is actually run according to the principle of subsidiarity, the Federal government has become an omnipresent dictator that thinks it can run the affairs of the entire country from Washington DC, usurping power and responsibilities that should belong to the individual. While there is anger against against the bishops for mishandling the responsibilities they are entrusted with, the anger against DC is because it is trying to usurp more power than it was entrusted through the Constitution. Indeed, there would be a lot less outrage against the Federal government if Obama acted more like Benedict XVI and simply stayed in Washington DC providing moral teachings that did not have coercive power and ensuring that the (what should be atleast) few organizations there were run well.

    “When scandal after scandal breaks, when more and more sermons concentrate on cultural and political issues, when the very man who is supposed to be God’s representative on Earth is unable or unwilling to take a proactive approach, it gets hard to take the Church very seriously.”

    The theological and moral teachings of the Church do have cultural and political consequences so sermons on such issues are needed. In addition, the only sermon that I have heard of trying to deflect the sex-scandal was a priest’s sermon on Good Friday in the Vatican – but, while such tactics are still tu quoque fallacies, he does have a point: why has there not been a sex scandal regarding the way that the American department of education handles their own sexual criminals (the only journalist whom I have ever seen cover this is John Stossel) and the reason is simple: the teachers union is a target attacking would be politically disadvantageous while attacking the Roman Catholic Church is politically advantageous. Furthermore, at the Chrism Mass on Holy Monday our own local ordinary, Bishop Timothy, did touch on the topic of the sex-scandal, but only in apologetical terms in which he noted that he and his fellow bishops still work to do when it comes to being honest about their actions.

    When you speak of: “when the very man who is supposed to be God’s representative on Earth is unable or unwilling to take a proactive approach” I don’t even know what you are speaking of for Christ always spoke against the corruption of the pharisees and the fact that he cast out the money changers in the Herod’s Temple elucidate that he took a proactive approach to social problems. Religion is simply not a personal idiosyncrasy that has no consequence when we are at the public square, but it is rather a set of beliefs that will animate and motivate our ideas and actions.

    “First, the Pope must come clean. It’s next to impossible to put such a celibate man in the same sentence as Tiger Woods, but Tiger answered all the questions that were asked of him. Yet, Pope Benedict’s reaction to the crisis in Ireland was a letter. It goes without saying that the Church is a backwards organization, but it really needs to enter the 21st century. If my father can pay his contribution of the weekly collection with a credit card over the Internet, then Pope Benedict can use the television or perhaps have a webcast shown for free around the world offering an apology and putting out an action plan.”

    This is A) pretty silly, and B) misunderstands the position of the Pope. A pastoral letter is the means by which the Pope handles such affairs, and to act as if it does not do the job just as well as a television broadcast is silly. Furthermore, the sex-abuse scandal in Ireland is the responsibility of the bishops of Ireland, while it was fitting that the Pope address the concerns through a pastoral letter, it is simply not the Pope’s position to be collecting the heads of bishops. Yes, bishops should resign by their own conscience, but it is not the job of the Pope to publicly flog them; after all, he is the bishop of Rome and not the dictator of the Roman Catholic Church.

    “Second, the Pope must convene a new council to seriously consider ending the celibacy requirement for priests. Deacons can marry and raise children, but priests are prohibited. 99 percent of priests may not be child abusers or inclined to commit sexual assault, but maybe ending celibacy will help prevent any other disgusting acts. It is also another way to rebuild the Church community – having a priest who is raising a family within a parish will surely strengthen the bond between a priest and his parishioners.”

    Do you actually have a theological justification for changing the requirement of celibacy? All the reasons you list are simply surrendering the secular world’s demands about what a person should be without giving much attention to the fact that the priesthood is vocation grounded theologically in sacraments. In short, the priests are supposed to emulate Christ in every facet of their life due to the fact that when celebrating the Eucharist and other sacraments they are acting in persona Christi capitis (i.e. he’s no middle man, but actually Christ on earth when celebrating them). Doctrines like celibacy simply cannot be changed because of secular concerns, but rather such actions must be theologically motivated.

    “Third, the pageantry of the Church must be sharply curtailed. Clips from the Pope’s Easter Mass just reeked of fake worship. Sure, bring out the pageantry every once in a while when a new Pope is chosen, but otherwise, keep it to a minimum. Watching the ornate, egotistic flaunting of wealth by the church makes me wonder where my money every Sunday goes.”

    Everything that you are speaking of was already put into action after the Second Vatican Council, and many Catholic, like myself, speak of this as the stripping of the altars. Individuals like Pope Benedict XVI are helping to repair the damage from what by the very same policy you are encouraging. While the pictures of the Pope’s celebration of Easter Sunday this year are not yet available, the pictures from Easter 2009 can be found here (), and there is nothing that, at least to me, is either gaudy or “reek(s) of fake worship – feel free to point out what does, by the way.

    In addition, the money that is spent on “the pageantry of the Church” is spent on nothing other than the glorification of God; see John 12: 1-6, 7, 8:

    “Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him. Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. Then Judas the Iscariot, one (of) his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, ‘Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to the poor?’… So Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.'”

    When the grace of God is expressed on Earth, which is what happens when the sacraments are practiced, it is an obligation on the part of the Church to give them the honor and splendor that they deserve. This is especially true during the celebration of the Eucharist when Jesus, in the species of bread and wine, is present among the faithful. The “egotistic flaunting of wealth” that you speak is neither egotistic, nor is it flaunting, but rather it is giving glory to God in a fashion that is both appropriate and obligatory on the part of the Roman Catholic Church. As far as wondering where your money is going each Sunday, I do not know of a single parish that does not give an annual report regarding how the money is spent, and if it is spent on items like a gold chalice or flowers on the altar, you have the joy of knowing that your donation has gone ad majoriem Dei gloriam.

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  7. Michael Foley-Röhm on April 9th, 2010 12:02 am

    Gang battles in the streets are awesome, not a bad thing, so I have no idea what you’re talking about, Chris. As far as condoms and AIDS – condoms are hardly foolproof, and it is idiotic and dangerous to pretend that they are.

    What I don’t understand is why the article writer said he wouldn’t lose faith in the Church, then went on to list all of the things he disagreed with it on – including key aspects of ALL Christian faiths, not just Catholicism (unless you join some nutty liberal Prottie church, or one of those Episcopal churches). Your giving advice about how the Church runs its business is sort of like me saying, “I really like Islamic calligraphy, so let me advise you Muslims on how to run your faith.” It makes no sense whatsoever.

    I also fail to see what connection there is between celibacy and child molestation. I, for example, am an adult (?) male, who is attracted to adult women. I have never thought, “Well, I don’t have a girlfriend and I haven’t gotten laid recently, so let’s go cruise the local elementary school playgrounds.” Why? Because I’m not interested in children that way, and no amount of not getting laid will change that fact.

    Maybe I am an aberration here. Maybe most straight male men who want families become attracted to children. I’m willing to admit that I may very well be a freak in this regard – God knows it wouldn’t be the first or last time I’ve been one!

    But for some reason, I don’t suspect that is the case. Men who are attracted to children (often male children at that) are not heterosexual men who want to have a family. They are men who are sexually interested in children. How to deal with that sort of person is an entirely different matter, but the fact of the matter is, the only reason such people would want a family would be to produce children for his perversions.

    There is simply no connection between being celibate and wanting to have sex with children.

    Liberation theology was a failure and rightly condemned because it is materialistic in nature. Justice to the poor is a very good thing. Ensuring that all men have at least a plot of land and a home to call their own is a good thing. Ignoring spiritual needs is not a good thing. Liberation theology wanted to forgo the spiritual in favour of the material – all that would do is turn people into mindless consumers and materialists. That is not a good thing, and considering that it had its basis in Marxism, it’s antithetical to freedom and good common sense, theology or not.

    [Reply]

  8. P on April 9th, 2010 12:25 am

    Nick, I know exactly how you feel. I was raised catholic and still go to church today but like you i doubt all its ideas. I think in its core its a good institution- just like most other religions- but was corrupted by people. And I really hate how these other people have to criticize you still sticking by it (sort of). When your raised a certain way and then you grow up and see its not all you thought it was, its hard to depart from your views, and you shouldn’t have to. I guess I look at being a catholic as more of a tradition than religion, and maybe thats how you should too. I don’t think repeating certain things in church will “save my soul” but I keep going to remember others, love, and put things in perspective for a change. Religion is not bad its imperfect people who make it the way it is, just like with everything else in our world (governments etc…)

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  9. Kevin on April 9th, 2010 8:53 am

    “When your raised a certain way and then you grow up and see its not all you thought it was, its hard to depart from your views, and you shouldn’t have to”

    No, I’m sorry but this is a terribly dangerous thing to agree with. Do you really think its ok to believe whatever you grew up believing, just because it’s convenient? Beliefs can be correct or incorrect, they aren’t just opinions.

    If I tell you that the moon is made of cheese, you will ask me how I know this. If I tell you “well, my parents told me when I was young, and I just always believed them” then I don’t think I would have made my case. This is because we’ve since been to the moon, and Neil Armstrong’s first words were not “One delicious step for mankind”

    I know that’s an oversimplified example, but it’s attitudes like this that give rise to more dangerous attitudes like racism, homophobia, and worse.

    You need good reasons to believe what you do. “It’s hard to change” is hardly a decent excuse for not becoming a wiser and more responsible human being. Believe in accordance with what the world shows you, don’t look for a world that fits your beliefs.

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  10. Chris Amorosi on April 9th, 2010 11:00 am

    Michael Foley-Röhm:

    “Gang battles in the streets are awesome, not a bad thing, so I have no idea what you’re talking about, Chris. As far as condoms and AIDS – condoms are hardly foolproof, and it is idiotic and dangerous to pretend that they are.”

    It is far, far more idiotic and dangerous to altogether discourage condom use, Michael. Condoms are indisputably more effective than the folk “remedies” like raping a virgin or a window that we see in the less-enlightened areas of Africa or Asia.

    But yeah, the gang battles were pretty cool. He squeezed his gats till his clips is empty…

    “I also fail to see what connection there is between celibacy and child molestation. I, for example, am an adult (?) male, who is attracted to adult women. I have never thought, “Well, I don’t have a girlfriend and I haven’t gotten laid recently, so let’s go cruise the local elementary school playgrounds.” Why? Because I’m not interested in children that way, and no amount of not getting laid will change that fact.”

    This is an excellent point. The Catholic Church attracts perverts because it has a proven record of protecting them. They only stopped castrating boys for pretty singing voices a century ago (see the castrati) so obviously there are some deeply-ingrained issues regarding children.

    Imagine if secular daycare organizations had no oversight and didn’t vet their employees. It’s horrifying.

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  11. Harrison on April 9th, 2010 11:43 pm

    “‘Gang battles in the streets are awesome, not a bad thing, so I have no idea what you’re talking about, Chris. As far as condoms and AIDS – condoms are hardly foolproof, and it is idiotic and dangerous to pretend that they are.’

    It is far, far more idiotic and dangerous to altogether discourage condom use, Michael. Condoms are indisputably more effective than the folk ‘remedies’ like raping a virgin or a window that we see in the less-enlightened areas of Africa or Asia.”

    Are you honestly asserting that the Catholic teaching on the immorality of contraception leads to acts like “raping a virgin or a widow”? That’s such an fallacious comment it practically debunks itself.

    The irony of the matter is that if the world were to actually follow the Catholic teachings on sexual morality then neither AIDS, nor any other STD (or am I supposed to call them STIs now?) would be a problem of this magnitude (or of any magnitude for that better). In fact, the most successful program in the history of fighting AIDS in Africa was Uganda’s no grazing policy, so why are such policies not being encouraged? Simple, AIDs has become a multi-billion-dollar industry that seeks not merely the eradication of AIDS in Africa in which producers of condoms have a large stake in, but also the exportation of a Western “enlightened”sexual philosophy while doing so. Policies like no grazing are simply backwards.

    “‘I also fail to see what connection there is between celibacy and child molestation. I, for example, am an adult (?) male, who is attracted to adult women. I have never thought, “Well, I don’t have a girlfriend and I haven’t gotten laid recently, so let’s go cruise the local elementary school playgrounds.” Why? Because I’m not interested in children that way, and no amount of not getting laid will change that fact.’

    This is an excellent point. The Catholic Church attracts perverts because it has a proven record of protecting them.”
    Do you actually have any empirical evidence for this, or is this sound a priori?

    In addition, the public school systems also protect the sexual criminals in their ranks (if you doubt this watch John Stossel’s “Dumb in America”). Its nearly impossible for a public school teacher to be fired even after abusing children.

    “They only stopped castrating boys for pretty singing voices a century ago (see the castrati) so obviously there are some deeply-ingrained issues regarding children.”
    Correction: the Western world stopped castrating boys for pretty voices not so long ago. Ergo, we all in the West, including you good sir (by your own logic), all have some ingrained issues regarding children.

    In fact, Pope Benedict XIV attempted to ban the use of castrati in churches, but alas the Western world just had such a taste for their voices that the practice continued.

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  12. Chris Amorosi on April 11th, 2010 9:13 pm

    “Are you honestly asserting that the Catholic teaching on the immorality of contraception leads to acts like “raping a virgin or a widow”? That’s such an fallacious comment it practically debunks itself.”

    No, but your strawman debunks itself. I pointed out that the Catholic Church, a powerful and influential organization in poor countries, encourages superstitious behavior (saying God hates condoms) just as likely to spread AIDS as other superstitious behavior like raping virgins or widows.

    “Do you actually have any empirical evidence for this, or is this sound a priori?

    In addition, the public school systems also protect the sexual criminals in their ranks (if you doubt this watch John Stossel’s “Dumb in America”). Its nearly impossible for a public school teacher to be fired even after abusing children.”

    I have evidence that the Catholic Church both has pervert members in its ranks and that they cover up child rapists. No, I don’t have evidence that there’s a connection and that comment was my own pet theory. However, the fact that it somehow excuses both facts (pervert membership and cover ups) in your eyes is pathetic.

    Nice red herring about public schools where you ignore the web of legal protections surrounding a teacher. The Pope excommunicate anyone and literally ban people from entering heaven. You think I care about him bending to public pressure when he is a head of state and therefore literally un-arrestable and commands the loyalty of a billion people? His insulation thanks to diplomatic laws should allow him to say whatever he wants.

    “n fact, Pope Benedict XIV attempted to ban the use of castrati in churches, but alas the Western world just had such a taste for their voices that the practice continued.”

    That’s a terrible plagiarism job from Wikipedia’s “Castrato” page. Of course, you heavily rewrote the actual end of that sentence, which reads (as of today):

    “…but such was their popularity at the time that he realised that doing so might result in a drastic decline in church attendance.”

    So the Pope didn’t ban castrating little boys because it filled the aisles. What an awful, cynical organization you think is the arbiter of morality on this earth.

    It doesn’t matter who did the raping and who did the cover up. You are a disgusting apologist for child rapists. That’s really all you are and I have nothing more to say to double standard-wielding pervert protectors like you.

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  13. Harrison on April 12th, 2010 11:59 pm

    “‘Are you honestly asserting that the Catholic teaching on the immorality of contraception leads to acts like ‘raping a virgin or a widow’? That’s such an fallacious comment it practically debunks itself.”’
    No, but your strawman debunks itself. I pointed out that the Catholic Church, a powerful and influential organization in poor countries, encourages superstitious behavior (saying God hates condoms) just as likely to spread AIDS as other superstitious behavior like raping virgins or widows”
    Strawman, absolutely not, and nor does the Catholic Church encourage superstition; in fact, it has always fought against superstition. If you really want to do some research on this look at the history of the Roman Catholic position on the burning of incense to ancestors in China. It is simply fallacious to assert that the Church can encourage behavior that it has always been against (e.g the raping of widows).

    In fact, the entire strawman of the Catholic position as “God hates condoms” just shows how shallow this analysis is.

    “Do you actually have any empirical evidence for this, or is this sound a priori?

    ‘I have evidence that the Catholic Church both has pervert members in its ranks and that they cover up child rapists. No, I don’t have evidence that there’s a connection and that comment was my own pet theory. However, the fact that it somehow excuses both facts (pervert membership and cover ups) in your eyes is pathetic.'”
    What’s so pathetic about the fact that I like to argue on empirical topics with empirical example? If there is one thing that annoys me is people with their own pet theories yet who go to no length to actually proving that it is the empirical case.

    “Nice red herring about public schools where you ignore the web of legal protections surrounding a teacher. The Pope excommunicate anyone and literally ban people from entering heaven.”
    This is not Catholic dogma, this is somebody’s misunderstanding of Catholic dogma. The Pope cannot excommunicate anyone by his own will, Canon Law gives a strict criteria that must be met before the Pope may licitly and validly excommunicate. Plus, the Pope cannot keep anyone from heaven by his will by the same fact, the process of excommunication (which is the means that the Pope uses the keys of heaven) is lengthy and involves more than just a Pope’s vendetta.

    ‘That’s a terrible plagiarism job from Wikipedia’s ‘Castrato’ page. Of course, you heavily rewrote the actual end of that sentence, which reads (as of today):

    ‘…but such was their popularity at the time that he realised that doing so might result in a drastic decline in church attendance.’

    So the Pope didn’t ban castrating little boys because it filled the aisles. What an awful, cynical organization you think is the arbiter of morality on this earth.”
    Ad hominem much? Anyways, I’ll take that as a grudging adknowledgment of the fact that it was the secular culture of Western Europe, and not the Church per se, that drove the engines of castration for musical enjoyment.

    But alas, it could not be that simple, you once again bring up sheer ignorance regarding the position of the Roman Catholic Church. It is in no way the “arbiter of morality on earth”, surely many of its dogmas may be binding (but those are few and far between – only done when heresy critically threatens a doctrine). In fact, the Church simply cannot change dogmas like the ban on the ordination of women or the ten commandments, and its dogmatic jurisdiction only applies to matters of faith. The argument that the Church controls its believers with a byzantine set of rules and regulations is simply a bunk accusation that has not bothered to ever study the moral and religious regulations of the Church.

    “It doesn’t matter who did the raping and who did the cover up. You are a disgusting apologist for child rapists. That’s really all you are and I have nothing more to say to double standard-wielding pervert protectors like you.”
    Again, ad hominem much? I never once defended the act, but alas when someone has his back against the wall, rhetorical fallacies will cloud the truth.

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    [Reply]

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