Why a Pope?

by fmhilton

Now, I’m going to confess that I’m not religious. Used to be, but got over it.

If you’re religious and easily offended, stop reading this right now. I’m going to be offensive.

Common sense tells me that there is no “big guy” in the sky, no angels and no miracles, except for the refrigerator light coming on when you open it.

Since the Pope announced his resignation, I’ve been wondering the question of why we in this day and age need someone to seemingly ‘intercede’ for us before some supposed deity?

Yes, we used to need this institution, mostly because at the time it was one of the very few places of higher learning back in the 13th and 14th centuries. It preserved culture, literature, and knowledge.

Since then, the Roman Catholic Church has become a behemoth that wields its power over millions of people, pushes political agendas, and invokes the supposed wrath of God on those who are not obeying the Church’s instructions on abortion, marriage, and the like.

You will notice, though that the Church has not changed fundamentally in its’ makeup at all over the centuries: old white men who wear costumes and speak Latin.

They do not like women near the church, except as housekeepers. They barely fund the nuns that comprise a substantial part of the church, and they’ve been shutting down the nunneries at a far faster pace than removing pedophile priests who happen to stay on the job long after they’ve been discovered.

The 2004 John Jay Report was based on a study of 10,667 allegations against 4,392 priests accused of engaging in sexual abuse of a minor between 1950 and 2002.

The surveys filtered provided information from diocesan files on each priest accused of sexual abuse and on each of the priest’s victims to the research team, in a format which did not disclose the names of the accused priests or the dioceses where they worked. The dioceses were encouraged to issue reports of their own based on the surveys that they had completed.

The report stated there were approximately 10,667 reported victims (younger than 18 years) of clergy sexual abuse between 1950 and 2002:

Around 81% of these victims were male.

Female victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests tended to be younger than the males. Data analyzed by John Jay researchers, shows that the number and proportion of sexual misconduct directed at girls under 8 years old was higher than that experienced by boys the same age.

22.6% were age 10 or younger, 51% were between the ages of 11 and 14, and 27% were between the ages to 15 to 17 years.

A substantial number (almost 2000) of very young children were victimized by priests during this time period.

9,281 victim surveys had information about an investigation. In 6,696 (72%) cases, an investigation of the allegation was carried out. Of these, 4,570 (80%) were substantiated; 1,028 (18%) were unsubstantiated; 83 (1.5%) were found to be false. In 56 cases, priests were reported to deny the allegations.

The 4,392 priests who were accused amount to approximately 4% of the 109,694 priests in active ministry during that time. Of these 4,392, approximately:

56 percent had one reported allegation against them; 27 percent had two or three allegations against them; nearly 14 percent had four to nine allegations against them; 3 percent (149 priests) had 10 or more allegations against them. These 149 priests were responsible for almost 3,000 victims, or 27 percent of the allegations.

The allegations were substantiated for 1,872 priests and unsubstantiated for 824 priests. They were thought to be credible for 1,671 priests and not credible for 345 priests. 298 priests and deacons who had been completely exonerated are not included in the study.

There is more than this quote from the report. If you can stand the raw and extremely distressing facts about the past child abuse history of the Church, please read the article linked. It’s disturbing and indicts the Catholic Church with some very serious charges.

No, it’s not a very nice institution that literally covers up child molestation, and criminal activity, but this is the Roman Catholic Church, which does not pay taxes on their property, and has immunity from prosecution in most countries.

That’s power. It’s not religion. It’s money, power and the ability to keep themselves insulated from change.

It’s time for us to take a good hard look at why we allow any institution to exist which does not allow closer inspection of their books, their employment practices and their political clout.