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Sunday, August 14, 2005

They don't speak for me

At church today we got this little unsigned gem. It sets the faithful of our parish up for the letter we're going to get this week, naming us all as defendants in the bankruptcy stemming from the claims of pedophilia and other sex abuse brought against the Catholic Archdiocese of Portland.

There's not a whole lot new to be garnered from this flyer than what's already been in the papers. But for those who haven't been following along, I suppose it's valuable information.

I still disagree with the bankruptcy. I believe it's an unjust attempt by the church to further cover up, and avoid financial responsibility for, unconscionable behavior by priests and their superiors alike. The "Committee of Parishes and Parishioners," which suddenly arose out of nowhere after 2,000 years of no such thing whatsoever, doesn't represent me. It's clearly an arm of the archdiocese, which appears to be using ordinary Catholics as a shield. No thank you.

I guess I have some more time to think about it, but barring some major new revelation, I'll be opting out of the defendant class. And if the sexually abused ex-altar boys sue me individually, I'll gladly let the victims have my supposed share of the archdiocese's hundreds of millions in property.

Comments (9)

If any private company pulled off the crimes that the church(es) did, they'd be gone almost overnight. How much longer is the gov't going to treat "churches" different from the rest of us?

That's really what this is all about -- the church making its own rules. The claims need to be tried publicly and resolved by the civil laws of this country.

Wouldn't a true trial (according the rules everyone lives by) leave the church liquidated entirely?

I mean, if the ongoing pattern of abuse was replicated by, say, Enron, the offices would have been closed the day after the trial started.

I'll stop rambling now, because I know nothing of value (moral or otherwise) will come out of this. The church will get to keeps it's goodies and habits (bad & good) and the courts will keep busy in their hamster wheels....

As I understand it, the archdiocese is worth more than even the most outrageous estimates of the claims against it. And some of those claims are probably way overstated, in which case juries would cut them down or throw them out. The claims could probably be satisfied in full if some essential church property were mortgaged and some surplus church property were sold. Other archdioceses have done this without resort to bankruptcy, or to sudden "discovery" of "trusts" for the parishioners.

This is the essence of seperation of church and state, i.e. church can be held accountable for its actions, including the powerful within the church. It's time to arrest these dangerous criminals and bring them to trial, especially the Pope and his entire administration.

And yet another reason why I have never regretted my decision to leave the Church some 30 years ago. Power and wealth corrupt, even "men of God."

I've drifted away from the Church myself. One thing pushing me overboard was when the archdiocese's lobbyist came to our parish to tell us why we should vote in for the latest gas tax.

What bugged me about this lobbyist was his unctuous and patronizing attitude and huge pinkie ring, which looked like something a Mason would wear.

For all you unhappy members of the Roman Catholic church - the Episcopal Church will welcome you with open arms. It's like being a Catholic, only without the Pope and without the Guilt.


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