So, Catholic Church: Evil or Pure Evil?

I know we have a few religion apologists around here, and I’m not referring to Catholics, but to the the church as an institution. What possible reason would there be to perpetuate this affront against nature? I suppose you could clean house, but it would need to be top-to-bottom and I wouldn’t mind seeing the Pope executed for crimes against humanity. But that’s just me.


This is a false dilemma. They’re actually concentrated evil. Be sure not to touch it!

But really, it’s like most organizations that have been around for a long time; corruption seeps in, like anywhere else. And since they believe they have a divine mandate of some sort, then they can’t be wrong, and thus are not corrupt. In their own minds, whatever they do is right.

The only way to fix the problem is to clean house, as you said; anyone even tangentially related to this needs to go. But really, how do you fire an entire organization?

Oh, and good luck on seeing the Pope executed; that’d be a great way to make him into a martyr. A better option if action were to be taken would be to put him under house arrest somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Let him be forgotten, not mourned.

That’s why you have to add holy water.

It makes more sense if you just think of them as a large bureaucracy.

Sorry for changing it around on you; I decided not to be completely content free.

So the decision I made, was it evil, or pure evil?


Lets bring this discussion around to the core issue here: sexual abuse of children. Does the rampant sexual abuse in the Catholic church have an internal or external origin? To put it more clearly, is it the result of “corruption seeping in”, or is it the result of the Catholic teachings of priestly celibacy?

Bureaucracies aren’t commonly populated by true believers. This rampant lack of rationality makes the church somewhat different.

The simple reason - a lot of people like it and find it incredibly enlightening and useful and you don’t have the right to deny them that. Really, it’s as simple as that.

Espousing a belief is not a crime against humanity - when put on a scale with people who’ve committed actual crimes like violating the laws of war or Holocaust deniers or engaging in willful genocide, the Pope doesn’t even rate.

History is irrelevant here - you can’t hold the current religious administration responsible for the direct actions of historical predecessors. That’s as dumb as holding present-day Germany responsible for the predations of Nazi Germany.

Yeah, there are a lot of social pressures exerted by the Catholic Church that are at odds with evolving concepts of human rights. Most people consider gender equality to be a basic human right. The Catholic Church has no power to officially deny anyone that right, and they can suggest strongly that people follow their dogma, but until the Vatican develops that orbital mind-control laser, people still have free will and get to choose how much credence they give those suggestions.

As for actual present-day crimes - sure, take the appropriate individuals to task for them. Priest molests kids? Prosecute him and move the fuck on. Church officials try and help him flee prosecution? If that’s provable, prosecute them for obstruction of justice and move the fuck on.

If you don’t agree with a system of beliefs, just don’t hold them. If you think other people shouldn’t hold those beliefs - then you have the right to talk to them and try and sway their beliefs. You don’t have the right to try and eradicate or prohibit the practice of those beliefs or the organized expression thereof - provided that the practice of those beliefs is in itself not a violation of existing law (i.e. prohibiting animal sacrifice as part of a religious ritual if it would violate animal cruelty laws, or having secular domestic violence laws override religious precepts that excuse domestic violence).

If we want humanity to evolve past this atavistic need for a superstitious moral crutch, it’s going to be a slow process.

I strongly disagree about the true believers, but I think that’s a side issue.

Large bureaucracies have an awful lot of common regardless of what they’re doing, with the differences largely being incentives and culture-based. For example, Toyota spent quite a while blaming drivers for acceleration until it was clearly putting them in financial danger; sound familiar?

The catholic church does a lot more good than harm. They are quite likely trying to fix the harm, though in a way that is perhaps too respectful of keeping things quiet and calm and preserving their image and protecting their members. It doesn’t officially condone the harm it does perpetrate.

It’s obviously got some problems but they are probably fixable ones.

That’s a really excellent point.

But at the same time, Toyota does not sell morality.

Kraaze, I do not believe they are trying to fix the harm, but just shuffle it under the rug. A few years back in Boston when all of this was coming to light when there were rumblings that Cardinal Law might face criminal charges, the Vatican recalled him, and promoted his position. If this were any organization other than a large church, every leader would be sitting in jail on child endangerment and aiding and abetting.

No, this is how large organizations work. They want to fix the problem but they don’t want to let external parties, especially ones they might (falsely) assume to be hostile, to use it as an a pretext to attack. They want to fix the problem, but they want it done quietly and internally. I’m not defending that as the right way to thing, especially in something as horrible as molesting children, I’m just saying that I think the church is quite likely genuinely motivated to fix this problem.

Unless I am misunderstanding you this than indicates that you are more cynical than I am. Bravo sir.

Assuming that they do believe, and I find it really funny to think that they don’t, I don’t think it is a side issue. While almost all people in leadership positions self delude, if one of your core concepts is something so irrational it shows, at least to me, that the standard of evidence for that person to change their ‘gut reaction’ will, probably, be much higher.

Not really. Jason, you are in engineering. You know how complex these systems can be. How hard it can be to track down a bug (IDK if they have really found the solution). You can not stop the presses every time a couple of people complain that there is some problem. Perhaps spin off some group to investigate it, but even then they have a daunting task ahead of them. Perhaps they went beyond critical mass of complains, I actually don’t know the numbers, but it seems that their response was rational.

OTOH, the church’s reaction was different. They knew their priests liked boys, and not just as friends, and they kept moving them around. While this forgiveness was nice to their priests it was malicious to their flock.

What other ‘large organization’ takes someone who actively and knowingly protected child molesters, moves them out of reach of prosecutors, and then promotes them?

Great point.

The situation with the Catholic Church right now is disgusting and the actions of those involved in the cover-up of abuses are reprehensible. Heads should roll. Unfortunately, they won’t, but hopefully this will give church leadership reason to reflect on the anachronistic laws of the church that have directly contributed to this situation. Why can’t Catholic priests marry and have families? Centuries ago it was because the church wanted them to pass on any wealth or influence they gained back to the church, and not to a family. This is no longer an issue, so why does the restriction remain, especially in light of the obvious damage it’s doing?

I am not a fan of organized religion, and the Catholic Church especially has been guilty of many and varied crimes over it’s two millenia of existance. This current situation is, in my opinion, even more henious simply because in this day and age it was fully preventable. Only the inability of church leaders to admit there was a problem allowed said problem to get out of control, and that is inexcuseable.

Well said, Slainte.