[Update: By now, we’ve all heard about the “Covington kids,” a group of Catholic students who were harassed by an Indian and a group of black people at a march while one of the kids simply looked on and smiled. The mainstream media initially pounced on these kids and accused them of initiating the attacks when further evidence showed that they were the ones being attacked. Some retracted their original judgments. However, the kids’ school, diocese, and four other bishops came out against the kids. It is SICKENING that this Church will defend and hide clergymen that sexually assault kids but NOT protect the kids when they most need it, as though sexually assaulting them was preferable to defending them. Yup, I went there, and I wasn’t the only one.)
The Catholic Church just can’t catch a break!
As a Catholic, I’ve been feeling increasingly…uneasy at what the Church has been going through, but not necessarily because it’s faultless or defenseless and I feel sorry for her.
I’ve actually been peeved at the Catholic Church because of its seeming hypocrisy and inability to help those who need it most.
Allow me to explain.
I’m sure you all know by now the Church has for DECADES dealing with a sexual abuse crisis all over the world in which thousands of hell-deserving priests have been found to have abused boys practically with impunity. These priests and other higher-ups within the clergy who either knew about or covered up these monstrosities would either be transferred to other parishes or dioceses (or territories) or be moved to a lay life away from the Church. In very few cases they’d be convicted, tried, and sent to prison.
The Catholic Church in Illinois was recently found to have withheld the names of 500 priests accused of sexual abuse. FIVE HUNDRED. All in a single state. More than 300 priests in Pennsylvania were accused of sexual abuse over 50 years, and bishops there were accused of covering all that up.
Here in my home state of Utah, the Diocese of Salt Lake City (which covers the whole state) released not long ago the names (and consequences or whereabouts) of a few dozen priests who had been accused of similar acts.
And the Catholic Church in Utah isn’t the only one at fault. Higher-ups in the mormon church (who many will argue reign over ALL state affairs here) have also been accused and found guilty of sexual abuse for decades, and instead of dealing with that more directly and trying to bring peace to victims, it’s been working really hard to
bamboozle Utahns change the terms of the medicinal marijuana proposition Utahns already voted for last November.
A similar thing is happening with the Catholic Church!
Here’s where it all just makes my blood boil.
Yes, the sexual abuse scandal is disgusting and embarrassing. But I’m not a victim and my being mad at that would frankly be an affront to the real victims of this situation. I sympathize with them and I pray those monsters burn in Hell (sorry not sorry), but I can’t be mad or feel “abused.” That’s not my story to take ownership of.
No, the reason this whole ordeal with the Church has ruffled my feathers so much is because of the utter hypocrisy embedded within it all.
When we first got married, Chris and I would go to Church regularly. During one such service, the lector got up to the podium in front of everyone to read a statement the Diocese of Salt Lake City had published earlier that week:
I can’t find the full text now (go figure) but it went along the lines of calling Trump’s executive order from June 2017 immoral and that we should work to help those immigrants who are coming to the country illegally.
We. could. NOT. believe. it.
Here we were, wanting to hear the Word of God, wanting to pray and have a quiet moment of solemnity… but instead we got a propagandist speech in a place where politics don’t belong.
(You know, the whole Church and State thing? I realize it’s a novel concept for
mormons Utah but it’s nevertheless an important thing to keep in mind.)
The lector wasn’t done reading that ridiculous statement before Chris and I got our stuff and walked out disgusted.
We haven’t been back since.
At the time, we decided it’d be a while before we donate again–after all, I didn’t want our money going to helping illegal immigrants (who I felt the Church was so keen on assisting because they’d be potential donors to the Church).
And it looks like the Church didn’t stop there. I recently spotted our Diocesan newspaper share a CNN.com article on Facebook about how keeping the country’s “doors” closed to refugees will ultimately hurt the economy.
That’s not something I’d disagree with. LEGAL immigrants and refugees who move to the United States to get ahead and contribute to the economy do help out this great country by working hard and helping their communities.
No one is disputing that.
But the article (of which I couldn’t read past the first paragraph because I value my time), written by a guy whose family moved to this country legally in the 90s and has since then been contributing to our economy, seemed so far-fetched and so full of lies and inconsistencies, that I just had to give the newspaper a peace of my mind so that it could hopefully think twice before sharing something so atrocious:
What a joke of an article–had to be from CNN. To call the people in the migrant caravan “refugees” is an affront to real refugees and asylees who DO flee real persecution every day.
It’s sad [this newspaper] conveniently chooses to ignore this distinction and is instead preoccupied with spreading politics and propaganda–such as a piece by a guy who undermines his entire argument w/in the first paragraph.
These people are just making a mockery of our laws and sovereignty–which is rather anti-biblical–so it’s mind-boggling (until one realizes these are all just potential donors?) how [this newspaper] supports it.
To bring it back full-circle, we’re fed up with a Church who keeps throwing rocks at government policies that only ensure our laws and sovereignty remain intact yet doesn’t first take care of ITS own policies and devils dressed in sheep’s clothing. It’s disappointing that our Pope chooses to meet with other priests to pray over the situation instead of issuing a ruling that at least bans or excommunicates those monsters.
As a reminder, those in the migrant caravan are NOT seeking political asylum. Most are seeking better jobs here, which is noble, but not good enough cause for asylum. In fact, asylum is granted to those with fear of persecution in their home country for their political beliefs, their race or religion, or being part of a specific social group. Poverty or wanting a better life in the United States doesn’t qualify anyone for asylum.
It has to be a provable, life-or-death situation: That’s why 91% of applicants are denied asylum when they get in front of an immigration judge (when they show up).
I mean, honestly, if they are escaping persecution, why didn’t they accept asylum in the country that offered it to them first? Two-thousand have already accepted that offer, after all.
(My family and I sought asylum when we moved to the US in 2002. It wasn’t easy, but in the end, we were able to become naturalized citizens nine years after we arrived to this country. We were fleeing genuine persecution and din’t make any demands or act like we were entitled to protection/asylum.)
So until the Catholic Church gets its house in order or shows it’s started working on doing so, I think we’re staying away. Those South Park episodes making fun of priests are all beginning to mimic reality so much that they’re not even funny. Moreover, the Church just needs to respect our country’s laws and realize that someone who breaks the law to enter the country illegally doesn’t deserve our monetary support.
Priests or individuals working from within the ranks of the Church who are trying to compromise or spread confusion about Church teaching are among the most pernicious of the adversaries of the Church. –A paraphrase from a quote by Pope Pius X
I’ll still call myself a Catholic and cherish that part of my life–especially in a state where Catholics can sometimes seem so rare–but I strongly urge Catholic higher-ups to be more accountable and deal with YOUR crisis head-on.
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If you’re Catholic, what’s your take on the current situation?