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Fuckin' A. So good. Thanks.
Posted by gloomy gus on March 15, 2013 at 9:29 PM · Report this
Damn right.
Posted by Tyler Pierce on March 15, 2013 at 9:54 PM · Report this
lostboy 3
Excellent and well said. Thank you for adding this to the Slog.
Posted by lostboy on March 15, 2013 at 10:03 PM · Report this
The priest chooses to remain in support of the organization that covers child molestation. He doesn't really deserve extra consideration.
Posted by randomitis on March 15, 2013 at 10:16 PM · Report this
seatackled 5
You could make up for it by offering a coupon for a free homophobic rant in your presence.
Posted by seatackled on March 15, 2013 at 10:28 PM · Report this
What a great letter - thank you. We all have our prejudices, along with a duty to keep a watchful eye on them.
Posted by tshicks on March 15, 2013 at 10:49 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 8
Bill's joke about baby-rapers isn't prejudice, or bigotry, or at all hateful. It's based on fact. Mountains of papers, files, reports and thousands of personal testimonies. As 4 points out, every Catholic priest has chosen to remain part of an organization that is labeled, quite accurately, as Child Rape, Inc. It doesn't matter if they feel they are compelled to stay in the church. It remains a choice.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on March 15, 2013 at 11:18 PM · Report this
seatackled 9
@8 And the nuns?
Posted by seatackled on March 15, 2013 at 11:37 PM · Report this
Hyzenthlayk9 10
Beautifully stated and well-put, Bill.
Posted by Hyzenthlayk9 on March 15, 2013 at 11:54 PM · Report this
Well done. True. We bend toward justice. One bar at a time.
Posted by DawginExile on March 16, 2013 at 12:05 AM · Report this
I have a hard time dealing with the irony/hypocrisy of the single largest organized religious hierarchy vis-a-vis its commission of an extremely large number of child molestations (and the criminal, systematic shielding of the all-too-numerous perpetrators) at the same time that they are evangelizing contempt for that minority of ethical, mutually-consenting adults wired (presumably by God, if you believe in His omnipotence) for same-sex romantic affiliation.

Why should we spare such a filthy organization from continuous opprobrium?
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on March 16, 2013 at 1:19 AM · Report this
rob! 13
sometimes you just wanna kick your sense of dignity and self-respect right in the teeth and say "can i be in your family please?"
Posted by rob! on March 16, 2013 at 1:46 AM · Report this
Fuckin' A CF...well put.

@13: heh!
Posted by gnossos on March 16, 2013 at 3:09 AM · Report this
Excellent commentary, and great advice.

On the priest: I can respect someone who chose not to walk away from Omelas because they honestly want to change things, however small, for the better.
Posted by MemeGene on March 16, 2013 at 4:31 AM · Report this
Let's compare the two groups that are being tolerated. On the one hand are gay people who are defamed as destroyers of the family and civilization. On the other are the people who sexually assault children or cover for them - not just the guilty priests and bishops, but the other priests and parishioners and nuns who go on submitting to that rotten hierarchy's authority. That's a pretty enraging story of tolerance right there.
Posted by cgd on March 16, 2013 at 6:06 AM · Report this
venomlash 19
@18: Which is why you're defending the Catholic Church for covering up all those child-abusing priests, I suppose.

"No creature owns it[vice] in the first degree,
But thinks his neighbour farther gone than he:"
--Alexander Pope
Keep on thinking we're the wicked ones, you oblivious sod.
Posted by venomlash on March 16, 2013 at 6:41 AM · Report this
AFinch 20
"tolerance is a two way street" - perfect!
Posted by AFinch on March 16, 2013 at 7:13 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 22
and really, this is all gun owners want from the rest of us, too. respect of their rights and tolerance of the occasional massacre by one of their number.
Posted by Max Solomon on March 16, 2013 at 8:26 AM · Report this
I love this. Thank you.
Posted by Kumquat on March 16, 2013 at 8:42 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 24
I don't hate anyone. But as an institution, the Catholic church preaches lies about the people I love. It always has. They told me when I was a child my grandfather was going to hell because he wasn't Catholic. My best friend was going to hell because he was a Jew. And as an adult, they've slandered and continue to spread hate and misunderstanding of the gay people I love. And I'm supposed to tolerate that bullshit? Fuck no!!!
Posted by Pope Peabrain on March 16, 2013 at 8:54 AM · Report this
raindrop 25
If the entire Catholic Church all of a sudden disappears (including all structures) from the face of the earth tomorrow, scores of millions who are already poor would starve without their institutions they've come to depend on, and children would still get molested from other predators.
I'm not saying that the Catholic Church does not have perhaps decades of work to do to get that rank musty pervert stuff out its system.
Nevertheless, like Islam and Judaism, it is based on faith and scripture and not the crime of pedophilia.
Try to be a at least a tad nuanced folks, hearing "baby fuckers" shouted out is starting to get a little annoying, especially when talking about religion at dinner.
Posted by raindrop on March 16, 2013 at 9:27 AM · Report this
Quintus Slide 26
One person objected to your consideration of the parish priest on the grounds that he chose "to remain in support of the organization that covers child molestation. He doesn't really deserve extra consideration." That's a silly argument.

Unless the parish priest is involved directly in the cover-up himself, then he is no more complicit than are Catholic parishioners. Unless you think every Catholic, lay or cleric, should quit under protest, in which event you sort of don't understand how the fuck a church works.
Posted by Quintus Slide on March 16, 2013 at 9:41 AM · Report this
Thanks, reality is so refreshing. @26. lack of denunciation of the fact would make the parish priest complicit in my eyes. Lack of guided discussion with the parishioners to ease their concerns of pedophile priests would indicate complicity in my opinion. This doesn't address those issues, so we do not know if this priest might actually be complicit or if this priest is in active opposition to pedophilia.
Posted by pupuguru on March 16, 2013 at 9:55 AM · Report this
@18 Yep, social mores change and evolve. They always have and they always will. If you don't like it I suggest that you hop in your time machine and go back to 1953.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on March 16, 2013 at 10:38 AM · Report this
schmacky 29
I bet Charles loved this post, with its praise for urban public space and the subtle ways in which city living breeds tolerance and progressivism.
Posted by schmacky on March 16, 2013 at 10:48 AM · Report this
scores of millions who are already poor would starve without their institutions they've come to depend on

Well, that sounds familiar. They said the same thing in Illinois about adoption after civil unions passed.

“Many public statements imply that without Catholic Charities, [child welfare services] would not be able to survive,” says Kendall Marlowe, spokesman for Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. “They’ve done good work for children in this state, and we don’t want to see them leave this field. But that’s factually untrue.”…
Posted by cgd on March 16, 2013 at 10:51 AM · Report this
Agreed @25.

Like other institutions, the Catholic Church contains much which is good and much which is bad. If the church suddenly stopped all its humanitarian and charity work, it would be a disaster that would impact a significant portion if the world's population.

The good doesn't excuse the corruption, bigotry, misogyny, abuse hypocracy and other amoral activities promoted and protected by the institution. However, it is possible to embrace the good while working to eliminate the bad, and many Catholics are trying to do just that.

I just wish their efforts were more visible.
Posted by wingedkat on March 16, 2013 at 11:32 AM · Report this
scary tyler moore 32
that's 'addendum', mr. college professor. by the way, ever been to the wiener's circle on friday night?
Posted by scary tyler moore on March 16, 2013 at 12:16 PM · Report this
Puty 33
I love this as a meditation on the importance and beauty of public social spaces. Thank you, Chicago Fan.
Posted by Puty on March 16, 2013 at 12:48 PM · Report this
ForkyMcSpoon 34
@26 I don't expect every Catholic to leave the church. And I don't think every Catholic is immoral or stupid or what have you for staying.

But the simple facts of the case are that they OUGHT to leave the church. Unless you think that the moral standing of the church is irrelevant, you ought to. They continue to refuse to accept full responsibility for the rape of children in their care (if they had, they wouldn't continue to shield clergy from prosecution). They haven't fully dealt with their collaboration with fascists and baby-stealing. They continue to tell lies about birth control, abortion and gay people. They continue to be anti-woman. They haven't dealt with the way that they participated in the oppression of "fallen" women (in the case of the Magdalene laundries, many were essentially made into prison labor).

And that's only staying within living memory. I don't think they've fully dealt with the atrocities they committed further back in history either. They continue to honor Catholic leaders who executed and tortured heretics and non-Catholics. For example, Thomas More executed people who dared to own a Bible in English. What is he now? He's a saint. Such behavior is anything but saintly, it's monstrous. It doesn't matter that he was a creature of his times. It doesn't matter that the Church doesn't do this now. They choose to revere him in the present. They haven't fully repudiated the theft of children from Jews on the basis of non-consensual baptisms either.

Fully repudiating these atrocities is necessary at a minimum before I can say that there's not something morally wrong with staying in the Catholic Church. It's not enough to give apologies without consequences. They need to withdraw their protection and reverence from those who committed the atrocities. They need to provide restitution to the living victims. And they have to stop merely reacting to new revelations about their actions, but actively seek out and expel from the hierarchy those who participated. And I have no doubt that there are more abusers that they know of but keep silent about in hope that they will never have to say anything about it.

I know some good people who think there's nothing wrong with honoring the Confederate flag. They seem not to be racist to me. But the fact remains that it is a symbol of racism and it should not be honored. You can be a good person and be a Catholic. But the Catholic Church is bereft of moral authority and does not deserve support in its current form.
Posted by ForkyMcSpoon on March 16, 2013 at 1:15 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 35
"If the chuch suddenly disappeared..."

That's all I need to read to know that a strawman is being set up. If the church ever disappears, it will take decades or longer.
Posted by Matt from Denver on March 16, 2013 at 1:16 PM · Report this
Nice sentiments well put.
and well put @15
If Catholics are guilty for the Church's sin, then what crimes do all American's have to answer for?
If every priest is guilty for covering up child molestation, then what on charges should every member of every city council be indicted?
Posted by Park on March 16, 2013 at 2:16 PM · Report this
Spot on Bill, as always. I never thought about the two-way street aspect, but you're exactly right. That's why I kept my yap zipped during all this new pope hoopla -- even though the media went CRAZY, rolling around at the new pope's feet, planting big media kisses on his Guccis. I sighed, and figured, let them have their moment -- all the problems will be still there, unresolved and waiting, next week.
Posted by Neil Steinberg on March 16, 2013 at 2:23 PM · Report this
bgix 38
We all have our prejudices that we should fight. The measure of a good person is how well we recognize our own failings, and work to correct them.
Posted by bgix on March 16, 2013 at 2:27 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 39
@ 36, adhering to a dogma isn't the same as having a nationality. Giving deference to a priest who either is raping kids, or is helping to cover it up, isn't the same as living in a nation where the government goes to mostly unjust war. At least one can protest the government's actions, or refuse to jump on the "thanks for serving" bandwagon. What message does a faithful Catholic send by continuing to attend mass and tithe?
Posted by Matt from Denver on March 16, 2013 at 3:37 PM · Report this
emote_control 40
A priest in your bar deserves no more respect or deference than someone in your bar openly wearing a swastika. Don't waste any shame on the chance you offended him. If he had any human dignity he'd hang up his collar and leave the Church.
Posted by emote_control on March 16, 2013 at 3:57 PM · Report this
Sandiai 41
How did the priest respond?
Posted by Sandiai on March 16, 2013 at 5:06 PM · Report this
@Neil Thanks
@ 41; he either didn't hear me, or pretended he didn't hear me.
And @40, Godwin's law, my friend. If every priest = a nazi, sure, game over. That death camp over at the parish is kind of odious. My point is not that being Catholic, or a priest, equals being GLBT in terms of the prejudice one will encounter, merely that we all ought to be polite to one another. Especially in those public spaces we share.
Posted by Chicago Fan on March 16, 2013 at 5:44 PM · Report this
@39 That's why I suggested the parallel of a civil servant. I pay my taxes. I know that money pays for a lot of awful shit. No, it's not quite the same thing as tithing, and, yes, I could protest the war--which I do, to my friends and on the internet all the time, and I'm sure it's very helpful. I spent a couple of years at a Catholic university and met some quite nice employees of the Church, including some priests and nuns, and I know many of them don't agree with the way the Church handles a myriad of issues and are doing what they feel is their best to reform the organization from the inside. I might prefer it if they did more, but I could do more too, so I really don't feel like I'm in the best place to criticize.
Posted by Park on March 16, 2013 at 7:44 PM · Report this
Of course everyone should be able to state a well-founded statement about the pope and child molesters. But Bill's consideration lies in this line, (and he's right to be thinking this way): 'I should assume that he's probably not a baby-raper, or someone who approves of the pedophile cover-ups.'
Posted by fahima on March 18, 2013 at 3:43 AM · Report this
Making a powerful group *feel* marginalized is a bad streategy if you want to see real change. This group usually have sway over a swath of unthinking people who can be manipulated to think that their existence is threatened, and lash back against an imaginary enemy, viz. you. I like Dan's NALT approach. Consistently pressurize them to change their system from within for their own sake.
Posted by fahima on March 18, 2013 at 3:48 AM · Report this
lolorhone 46
Margaret Cho: "I think I have a pretty good idea of what Jesus was trying to say. Which was, whatever you do, "Please don't be an asshole." That's all Bill's saying too, more eloquently if though less succintly.
Posted by lolorhone on March 18, 2013 at 4:38 PM · Report this
This it's why I love living on the North Side. Dan, come home, or at least visit more.
Posted by Krunch on March 18, 2013 at 6:51 PM · Report this
Mr Fan - Well-stated about being polite in public spaces and examining one's own prejudices, but the conclusion comes off as a lecture without addressing the LW's concern.

One hallmark of a good ally is not to overestimate one's own standing, and the lecture has a shaky foundation and from it an unwittingly smarmy tone. The LW is trying to cope with people who are not "toning it down" - whether or not there's a chest-thumping ally in the immediate vicinity.

I turn the first cheek rather more often than not, but don't appreciate being told to do so by someone who doesn't acknowledge the long ongoing run of cheeks turned.
Posted by vennominon on March 20, 2013 at 1:03 PM · Report this

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