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Offline Soulsearcher

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Problem with Catholicism
« on: December 31, 2010, 03:38:09 AM »
I have studied Catholicism and find it to be the most beautiful and inspiring of the Christian traditions.  What attracts me most is the Catholic understanding of suffering, it's purpose and remedy, which is of great importance to me but often seems like an afterthought among many of the Protestant denominations.  I might even consider the Church as a home except for one thing: the persistent specter of the priest child-sex scandal and the equally disappointing manner in which it has been handled.  To me it speaks of a systemic problem with this faith for which I can see no solution.  I see it is a problem of too much power and the abuse of that power which calls into question the very notion of the validity of the magisterium.  I have tried to reconcile this with my understanding of Chriitian suffering but in the end it resolves into nothing less than a surrender to hypocrisy.  I cannot justify it in any way, and certainly not on Christian terms.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2010, 03:47:48 AM by Soulsearcher »

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Problem with Catholicism
« on: December 31, 2010, 03:38:09 AM »

larry2

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Re: Problem with Catholicism
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2010, 04:35:43 AM »

I have studied Catholicism and find it to be the most beautiful and inspiring of the Christian traditions.  What attracts me most is the Catholic understanding of suffering, it's purpose and remedy, which is of great importance to me but often seems like an afterthought among many of the Protestant denominations.  I might even consider the Church as a home except for one thing: the persistent specter of the priest child-sex scandal and the equally disappointing manner in which it has been handled.  To me it speaks of a systemic problem with this faith for which I can see no solution.  I see it is a problem of too much power and the abuse of that power which calls into question the very notion of the validity of the magisterium.  I have tried to reconcile this with my understanding of Chriitian suffering but in the end it resolves into nothing less than a surrender to hypocrisy.  I cannot justify it in any way, and certainly not on Christian terms.


Dear Soulsearcher, if you're going to base your justification on the validity of a religion by the detractors laid at your feet by Satan, you've lost the battle to start with. The same illness of mankind found within Catholicism lies within Protestantism also. Because someone in a small congregation is indicted of these crimes, it receives much less notoriety.

You mention suffering, and I'm not sure what your goal is but I avoid it at all costs. I get a headache and I take a pill. If I ride a motorcycle I wear a helmet to avoid risk; I really do not wish to find out what a broken head feels like. The only one that purposefully suffered for gain was Jesus, and that was not for Himself; it was for us. I've heard of others taking the punishment for others as to laying down their lives, but they did not come into the world expressly for that purpose.

Christian sufferings has the connotation of enduring, and that of enduring with Christ. We read in Romans 8:17, "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; IF SO be that we suffer (or endure) with him, that we may be also glorified together." There is great gain in this.

Do I believe everything in the Catholic Church for myself? I came out of the Catholic for reason, but I was just as saved in there as I am now. Did they minister to me; yes in many ways and to others I love as well.

If you adhere to Catholic dogma how can you with clear conscience walk a different route? I like some do not put great emphasis on what things I do not like about a certain religion, but as to whether I'm growing up in Christ under their tutelage into His perfect will for my life. We're told in Romans 14:3, "Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him." I don't despise my brethren in the Catholic Church whether I agree with them in doctrine or even the way they run the Church. If they fed my soul I would be going there, supporting them, and endeavoring to help change those things I find wrong to the glory of God.

2 Timothy 2:12. "If we suffer (Endure), we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us." What will Jesus deny us? The right of reigning with Him.

Last of all I would add that to use the excuse of not going with God as to the way you believe you should because of certain hypocrites is not going to hold water someday. Do what you can this day. As  the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee, seek goodness and strength supplied by our Lord to conquer those obstacles in our path. At these times of confusion remember that it is in weakness that we are made strong, and that is because at those times we wholly turn unto the Lord and His strength for us.

God bless you in Jesus' name.

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Re: Problem with Catholicism
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2010, 04:35:43 AM »

Offline chestertonrules

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Re: Problem with Catholicism
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2010, 07:10:33 AM »
I have studied Catholicism and find it to be the most beautiful and inspiring of the Christian traditions.  What attracts me most is the Catholic understanding of suffering, it's purpose and remedy, which is of great importance to me but often seems like an afterthought among many of the Protestant denominations.  I might even consider the Church as a home except for one thing: the persistent specter of the priest child-sex scandal and the equally disappointing manner in which it has been handled.  To me it speaks of a systemic problem with this faith for which I can see no solution.  I see it is a problem of too much power and the abuse of that power which calls into question the very notion of the validity of the magisterium.  I have tried to reconcile this with my understanding of Chriitian suffering but in the end it resolves into nothing less than a surrender to hypocrisy.  I cannot justify it in any way, and certainly not on Christian terms.


I recommend that you do a little more research.  The scandal was terrible, but most of the problems occurred over 25 years ago and have long been remedied.  The lack of response accusation is often not justified.

Here's a good summary:

http://www.catholic.org/featured/headline.php?ID=575

Offline Catholica

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Re: Problem with Catholicism
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2010, 07:43:45 AM »
Hi soulsearcher,

Having had to deal with this issue in various places on the internet, maybe I can help explain some things.

In advance I just want to say that the purpose of this post is not to excuse or defend the acts that were committed against any child, to defend the actions of any pedophile.  They are truly heinous and completely inexcusable.

First of all, you should know that the problem is not a continuing one.  The cases that you hear of, almost without exception, happened more than ten years ago, most over twenty years ago.  The Church has taken measures to reduce the source of these problems more than any other organization.  You are far safer, right now, leaving your child with a Catholic priest than with any public school teacher, Protestant pastor, or daycare provider.  That fact has to do with the fact that the Church has been under such scrutiny and so has had to analyze and root out the source of the problem.

And in fact, the problem would not be classified as "pedophilia" at all, but rather a mix of different disorders.  Pedophilia refers to inappropriate sexual contact with someone under a certain age, I believe it to be 10 and under, and psychologically comes from a different source from what problem happened more commonly (yet still rarely) which was called pederasty or ephebophilia.  Those acts having been committed by a grown person and an older child, most often are statistically linked to homosexual tendencies.  That is, by percentage, more people who have same sex relations are likely to initiate inappropriate sexual contact with a minor (who is within that 10-17 age range) than a person without homosexual tendencies.  Since, by sheer number, more people are attracted to persons of the opposite sex than are attracted by persons of the same sex, the raw number of cases of inappropriate contact between the sexes outnumber the cases of same-sex pederasty, but by percentage, same-sex pederasty is more likely per-individual with someone who has same-sex tendency.

The reason I brought that up was because 75% of the cases that happened were not technically pedophilia at all, but rather same-sex pederasty.  And since this problem is much more a problem in homosexual men than heterosexual men (per person, that is, a homosexual man is 10x more likely to commit pederasty than a heterosexual man), the problem can be and was vastly reduced by both removing priests from the priesthood who have same-sex attraction and also no longer ordaining men who confess a same-sex attraction.

The other aspect of this scandal can be understood by understanding how psychologists have looked at the problem of pedophilia over the 20th century.  It used to be believed that psychological therapy could be successful at enabling people to overcome their problem (attraction to children, boys).  That was the most prevalent and accepted position in the 60s.  So some persons in the church, since the church by nature is merciful, took priests who confessed to having this problem and put them in psychological counseling, and often they were declared "cured" by the therapists then the priests were allowed to continue in their ministry.  We now know that these so-called "cures" were not cures at all, and the therapy theory was wrong.  But the Church was acting in the most merciful and correct way that they knew how at the time.  And laws of reporting to authorities are more strict now than they were when the cases happened.

That is not to say that mistakes were not made, and obviously many terrible sins were committed.  Priests are human like everyone else, but yet we hold them to a much higher standard (it seems all of society does) and so that makes the scandal even more scandalous.  But know that many measures are being taken in the Church hierarchy that are not being reported by the media, and truly the number of priests actually committing the crimes was quite small.  By removing homosexuals from the priesthood, the Church will effectively have a much, much lower rate of sexual abuse on minors than in possible in virtually any other organization going forward to the future.

I have statistics to back all of this up, in particular, something called the John Jay report.  If you want to know more, I suggest taking a listen to this program:

http://www.catholicradiointernational.com/abodyoftruth/mp3/abot_050108.mp3

God Bless,

Andre
« Last Edit: January 01, 2011, 06:25:14 AM by Catholica »

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Re: Problem with Catholicism
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2010, 07:43:45 AM »

Offline ernie

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Re: Problem with Catholicism
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2010, 08:41:15 PM »
I have studied Catholicism and find it to be the most beautiful and inspiring of the Christian traditions.  What attracts me most is the Catholic understanding of suffering, it's purpose and remedy, which is of great importance to me but often seems like an afterthought among many of the Protestant denominations.  I might even consider the Church as a home except for one thing: the persistent specter of the priest child-sex scandal and the equally disappointing manner in which it has been handled.  To me it speaks of a systemic problem with this faith for which I can see no solution.  I see it is a problem of too much power and the abuse of that power which calls into question the very notion of the validity of the magisterium.  I have tried to reconcile this with my understanding of Chriitian suffering but in the end it resolves into nothing less than a surrender to hypocrisy.  I cannot justify it in any way, and certainly not on Christian terms.

Good post, sousearcher.  I can empathize.

But for the sex abuse scandal, I would have converted to Catholicism several years ago.  However, like you, I am very much disturbed by:  1) the abuse itself; 2) the cover-ups; and 3) the foolish and insulting defenses of these awful activities put forth by Catholic leadership and laypeople.  

It's all quite disturbing.  And unfortunate.

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Re: Problem with Catholicism
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2010, 08:41:15 PM »



Offline chestertonrules

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Re: Problem with Catholicism
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2011, 06:35:59 AM »
I have studied Catholicism and find it to be the most beautiful and inspiring of the Christian traditions.  What attracts me most is the Catholic understanding of suffering, it's purpose and remedy, which is of great importance to me but often seems like an afterthought among many of the Protestant denominations.  I might even consider the Church as a home except for one thing: the persistent specter of the priest child-sex scandal and the equally disappointing manner in which it has been handled.  To me it speaks of a systemic problem with this faith for which I can see no solution.  I see it is a problem of too much power and the abuse of that power which calls into question the very notion of the validity of the magisterium.  I have tried to reconcile this with my understanding of Chriitian suffering but in the end it resolves into nothing less than a surrender to hypocrisy.  I cannot justify it in any way, and certainly not on Christian terms.

Good post, sousearcher.  I can empathize.

But for the sex abuse scandal, I would have converted to Catholicism several years ago.  However, like you, I am very much disturbed by:  1) the abuse itself; 2) the cover-ups; and 3) the foolish and insulting defenses of these awful activities put forth by Catholic leadership and laypeople.  

It's all quite disturbing.  And unfortunate.


Could you cite an example for #3?

Thanks.