Monday, April 12, 2010

April 13, 1204

Hey kids, I usually do a post that's random pop culture with politics as explained in the previous post. We interrupt my trend to discuss a little controversial topic. I don't avoid hard issues. I do run away from things. I'll admit that. I run and never stop at times but this is something that I've been wanting to talk about. Don't mind if its incoherent. I can't read.

A note before I begin, today is an important day for the Orthodox. So history means a lot to me. I adore history actually. I like to think I'm part of several decades that I wasn't close to being born into. There are points in history which IOn April 13th, 1204, Catholic crusaders sacked Constantinople, an Eastern Orthodox Christian city. It was the center of so much of the Orthodox ideology. Think New York combined with Washington, DC, London, Paris, and Rome. 806 years later, the Orthodox still do not trust Catholics all that much. I say this before I begin to explain that I probably have a bias

Anyway, I was thinking about the Catholic Church scandals. There have been a lot of attempts to explain what caused things to go so wrong. Some have argued that the Catholic Church is just plain evil. I don't think that's true. Yes, I'm Eastern Orthodox but I've been educated by Jesuits for a good portion of my life. I think there's great possibility in the Catholic Church but there are a lot of problems.

Members of the Church hierarchy have blamed the victims. Yeah, that's it...oh wait, that's awful. Nothing kills me more than the idea of children suffering. So those who think its the victims doing this, go fuck yourself and don't ever comment on what God intends because you're wrong.

Some have blamed the media. Sorry kids, blaming the New York Times only works if you're a pathetic half term governor of a state you most likely couldn't locate easily. It's annoying that it works for the half term governor anyway. Nope, its not the media on this one.

Here's my favorite, blame the Jews. For more information, go here . Yes, its the Jews who are responsible for members of your church leadership covering up sexual depravity. Because you know what? Its tradition. Man, that's wait crafty isn't the word, cliched and pathetic...that's a few words. When in doubt, blame the Jews...thanks...because that hasn't led to terrible things before. Oh wait....nope kids, try again.

I heard the Catholic Church's number two man, Tarcisio Bertone, (Really intimidating name) blames homosexuality... see here . Okay, so far they've blamed the victims, media, Jews, and now the gays. I'm kinda disappointed that gypsies aren't in this list. But the whole blame the gays deal is of course a fall back position. Its what right wing people love to blame for pedophilia. Chile would like to have a word with people of this thought process. They've got a priest who has abused young girls. Also, there is not a study that I know of that links pedophilia to homosexuality. Its one of those things that the really really conservative people like to argue on very simplistic terms. For instance, some deny global warming because it was cold that day or they got lots of snow. Here they blame pedophilia with boys on homosexuality. Nope, its not homosexuality. Its about an archaic sense of sexuality combined with an ancient idea of power management.

I really enjoy that the Catholic Church lectures on sexuality because its almost comical. I love the Old and New Testament. I legitimately do. They're beautiful in many parts of it and I accept many parts of it too. However, its not a good document for talking sex. Nor are the writers drawing from the bible like Thomas Aquinas. Trust me, I have a habit of reading a lot of very boring old documents for fun because I'm crazy. But back on point, part of the problem with the Catholic Church's scandal is partly sexuality but it isn't homosexuality that's the problem but understanding of sexuality and also gender in general. I mean for Aquinas, sheep are above women in the Church Hierarchy. Nuns are treated terrible in the Church. There's not a real sense of where people are in the modern world in current Church teachings.

The Catholic Church has an archaic sense of sexuality, gender, and power. You have an organization that's ancient and powerful willing to do defend the Church at any cost because of a higher calling. It never really developed that humans are sexual. It also understands secular society's attempt to punish members who commit horrible things as an attack on the Church itself. I don't advocate arresting the Pope. These guys do . I don't think the Pope should resign. I mean really, that would compromise the entire Church and there are good things in the Catholic Church. I do find that the current Pope did pretty terrible things before he was Pope. Its unreasonable to demand the collapse of Catholicism. These abuse scandals are about an abuse of power at the highest level as well as abusing power on a local level. They ruined a lot of trust and reestablishing trust needs something on an organizational level. I advocate a Third Vatican Council. In time of crisis, the Catholic Church has gathered for council to reexamine how the Church should function. Pope John XXIII brought people together decades ago to discuss Papal direction. He invited Jews, atheists, Orthodox, and many other religions. It should happen again and here are my own ideas that no one will consider but I can't keep my mouth shut.

Here we go,

1. The Church can't protect priests who commit evil. Sounds easy right? It's hard when you feel your church is under siege. But this is how it has to be. The moment you hear about things like this, you investigate and you do it thoroughly and then you turn them over to authorities with all the information.

2. I think women should be priests. Its surprisingly controversial and its not even allowed in my church which is Eastern Orthodox. Women were essential in early Church history. I don't understand why women aren't higher up on Church hierarchy. The Apostolic argument that the Church should consist of men based on the Apostles denies the idea that women were integral to the formation of the early church. I'm not talking Mary Magdalene Da Vinci Code things. I'm talking about early Roman converts in the aristocracy were women initially because the Roman religion wasn't too kind to women. Man, how things change...

3. Marrying priests? Its something worth thinking about. Its not like we're going to have a married Pope. People who rise high in churches which have marrying priests generally aren't married when they become heads of church. I don't think sexed up priests are going to pop up.

4. Stress social justice, progress, and the Catholic Church's role in modern society. I learned a lot from Jesuit Catholics about the modern world.

There are probably more but that's on my mind right now. I'm still outraged about the scandals. Its something that really bothers me a lot. People hurting children and arrogant people in power protecting those who hurt children just kills me. Anyway, new post tomorrow that should be very different. Yes, I ramble. I write here like I talk. Keep in mind I talk much faster and bounce all over the place on topics. Just keep up.


1 comment:

Michael said...

Good post. I like the idea of a Third Vatican Council and your proposals for reform. However, I think it should be convened by the next Pope after Ratzinger resigns and turns himself in to the authorities (which authorities that is, I'll leave to the lawyers to figure out).

There is credible evidence out there that he was personally involved in covering up for pedophiles. Nobody is above the law, no matter what hat they wear. Prosecution and, if convicted, jail time should be in his immediate future, not continued worldwide relevance and influence. I believe justice is necessary to make sure something like this doesn't happen again. Impunity for those who engaged in such horrible crimes will make sure they reoccur.