Bright Tuesday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. Our (apparently innumerate) President’s budget cuts.
  2. Genesis. Genealogy and charts.
  3. St. Cyril on Isaiah.
  4. Intrinsically Anti-Semitic theology noted.
  5. Kids and fire.
  6. Market (not gov’mint fiat).
  7. A doorknob.
  8. A return to the fold and the faith.
  9. Not liking The Shack so much.
  10. HRM for swimmers.
  11. Not liking Mr Obama … but still of the mind that Mr McCain would have been worse (and perhaps forgetting the benefits of gridlock regarding economic response).
  12. A quote on carbon.
  13. A thousand words on the prosperity gospel.
  14. Training and life.
  15. Faith and thought.
  16. Faith and divorce … three myths.
  17. Of God and Caesar.
  18. An impressive bedroom floor booklist.
  19. In my youth, B-school literary fancies ran to the Book of Five Rings today a more regrettable choice is apparently popular.
  20. Planned Parenthood covering more crime.
  21. Dance.

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9 comments

  1. Planned Parenthood covering more crime.

    You are so freakin’ dishonest. A counselor, clearly and explicitly acting on her own, advised a client to lie to a judge to cover up statutory rape. It’s reprehensible, but it’s not “Planned Parenthood,” it’s one woman who specifically said she couldn’t even mention this to her manager, let alone to the organization.

    Contrast that with all the crimes you DON’T attribute to organizations. You don’t blame the catholic church for covering up abuse, as far as I know, even though the current pope himself was involved and the abuse was way, way, way more widespread than this kind of thing is at PP. You don’t blame the Bush administration for Abu Ghraib even though they explicitly authorized every action photographed except for the electrical wires one.

    Don’t be a partisan shill.

  2. Mark says:

    JA,
    In part, fair enough. The issue where it connects with PP as a whole is how the counselor is treated. This isn’t the first (or second) situation like this so the question is how similar it is to the Roman Catholic abuse cases. How institutionalized is the approval and cover-up and what mechanism are in place to prevent this from occurring.

    Why don’t you think I blame the Catholic church for the abuse thing? I certainly do, although I have not seen anything (at all) linking Ratzinger/Benedict to that matter. It wasn’t his purview under the prior pope (he was in charge of doctrinal discipline so I don’t see how that connected). Unlike PP I think the RC Church does a lot of good which leavens my opinion of them, on the other hand PP does a lot of bad (that is promote abortion) and some little good which colors the issue and isn’t just “partisan shill.”

    As for

    and the abuse was way, way, way more widespread than this kind of thing is at PP

    How the heck would you pretend to know that?

    I have never written “in defense” about Abu Graib as far as I can recollect. The nearest I’ve regularly come to that issue was to write questioning essays on what constitutes torture and how that is not as simple a question as is normally pretended.

  3. Why don’t you think I blame the Catholic church for the abuse thing? I certainly do, although I have not seen anything (at all) linking Ratzinger/Benedict to that matter.

    The Guardian:

    Pope Benedict XVI faced claims last night he had ‘obstructed justice’ after it emerged he issued an order ensuring the church’s investigations into child sex abuse claims be carried out in secret.

    The order was made in a confidential letter, obtained by The Observer, which was sent to every Catholic bishop in May 2001.

    It asserted the church’s right to hold its inquiries behind closed doors and keep the evidence confidential for up to 10 years after the victims reached adulthood…

    Ratzinger’s letter states that the church can claim jurisdiction in cases where abuse has been ‘perpetrated with a minor by a cleric’.

    The letter states that the church’s jurisdiction ‘begins to run from the day when the minor has completed the 18th year of age’ and lasts for 10 years.

    It orders that ‘preliminary investigations’ into any claims of abuse should be sent to Ratzinger’s office, which has the option of referring them back to private tribunals in which the ‘functions of judge, promoter of justice, notary and legal representative can validly be performed for these cases only by priests’.

    ‘Cases of this kind are subject to the pontifical secret,’ Ratzinger’s letter concludes. Breaching the pontifical secret at any time while the 10-year jurisdiction order is operating carries penalties, including the threat of excommunication.

    Unlike PP I think the RC Church does a lot of good which leavens my opinion of them, on the other hand PP does a lot of bad (that is promote abortion) and some little good which colors the issue and isn’t just “partisan shill.”

    So you’re biased for the RC Church and against PP. That’s all I was saying.

    As for

    and the abuse was way, way, way more widespread than this kind of thing is at PP

    How the heck would you pretend to know that?

    Based on what we know, I mean.

    I have never written “in defense” about Abu Graib as far as I can recollect. The nearest I’ve regularly come to that issue was to write questioning essays on what constitutes torture and how that is not as simple a question as is normally pretended.

    Okay, but you sure haven’t tarred the Bush administration with it the way you just tarred PP. And they knew (or at the VERY least should have known) a lot more about what was happening at AG than PP could ever know about what goes on off the record between a counselor and a patient.

  4. Boonton says:

    Not liking Mr Obama … but still of the mind that Mr McCain would have been worse (and perhaps forgetting the benefits of gridlock regarding economic response).

    Ironically under McCain Geitner prob. would have still been Treasury Secretary so we will have to wonder if Republicans would be telling us everyone makes mistakes on their taxes while Democrats scream theif. On the other hand, we would have massive tax problems with Palin in the media ($150K in free cloths, ‘per diems’ for working from home) as well as the spectacle of her arguing with her son-in-law through gov’t press secretaries.

    Unlike PP I think the RC Church does a lot of good which leavens my opinion of them, on the other hand PP does a lot of bad (that is promote abortion) and some little good which colors the issue and isn’t just “partisan shill.”

    Actually that does make it ‘partisan shill’. A good act is a good act, a bad one is a bad one. A Bishop playing a shell game of transferring priests accused everywhere they go of molesting children doesn’t magically become less of an issue because somewhere else a soup kitchen feeds a hungry man. And it works in reverse, of course, the soup kitchen doesn’t become *less worthy* because somewhere else a priest and Bishop are covering up a crime.

    How institutionalized is the approval and cover-up and what mechanism are in place to prevent this from occurring.

    One factor to consider is that the RCC is a massive organization, PP is a small one and the individual clinics are more like stand-alone operations that are affiliated with a larger one. This means there is probably little beyond this one woman than ‘her manager’ while the RCC is made up of hundreds…maybe thousands of departments, levels, organizations and so on. While being a large organization has its disadvantages an advantage should be that checks and balances are much more affordable.

    How the heck would you pretend to know that?

    Possibly ‘innocent until proven guilty’ combined with not remaining purposefully ignorant of the Church sex scandal. The problem was very widespread and went all the way up the hiearchy including the last Pope. The problem wasn’t just the actual abusers but their enablers. That includes those who directly helped them cover up their ‘issues’ as well as those who did not recognize the facts staring them in the face and contributed to the problem by trying to blame the victims or putting out the story that the whole thing was some elaborate fabrication.

  5. Boonton says:

    Unlike PP I think the RC Church does a lot of good which leavens my opinion of them, on the other hand PP does a lot of bad (that is promote abortion) and some little good which colors the issue and isn’t just “partisan shill.”

    Sadly but also ironically this is what helped create the problem. “Father Matt is a great guy whose done so much good….” is exactly how Father Matt ended up creating so much harm. Mark may think he is being a good friend of the RC Church when he talks like this, he is being anything but.

  6. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    No that’s not how the logic works in this case. I don’t actually associate with any Catholic priests. The Catholic Church does a lot of good, charities, education, and so on. What occurred in the scandal was reprehensible and there is no two ways about it. I don’t “give them a break” on that regard. From what I understand the biggest problem was an error of Episcopal oversight in which some Bishops treated their Priests as their charges responsibility and overlooked their responsibilities to the larger lay members of church. I don’t say

    Father Matt is a great guy whose done so much good….”

    I say if Father Matt is a pedophile then he should be defrocked post-haste and face substantial penance before he is returned to communion with the church. The argument isn’t what you claim it to be.

    As an Orthodox Christian I have to say the requirement that a Priest be married before ordination is a good one, which gives the priest a help-mate, real world experience at the problems people face in marriage, and is not faced with the task of living a celibate monastic life within community and world.

    The other thing to consider is that as JA notes, the Catholic church is enormous. It has, I think, about one billion members worldwide today. There is a tremendous diversity represented within that community. How many priests are we talking about here? 20? 40? Proportionally speaking the several PP counselors that have been discovered doing exactly this same thing means that that numerically speaking their issue is likely a statistically more significant issue that the RC church scandal touched.

    There are in fact, in most Churches the RCC included, significant barriers to becoming a priest. Psychological tests, discernment committees in local parishes, and other similar steps are required in part to screen out people just like this. In some ways the surprise should be that this doesn’t and hasn’t happened so much more often than that it did happen as it had.

  7. Boonton says:

    I think it was a lot more than 30-40. Remember many convictions are now impossible becaue of the passage of time & by its nature the job attracts pedophiles. We are not even touching the subject of affairs that may be classified more as statutory rape rather than child molesting. Of course the law would have no interest in priests who carry on affairs with adults. Also considering the huge amount of psychological resistance to even admitting the possibility (Father Matt is so good….he could never….) and turning on the victims an almost perfect cover was created. “Psychological tests, discernment committees…” well first of all is there really transparancy on this? Do we have academic research on whether any real psychological tests exist that can reliably pick up pedophiles? We know that for years the Church has been facing a priest shortage. Institutionally, the pressure was almost certainly on not rejecting candidates unless the psychological problems were so blatent as to be unavoidable even to the most biased eye.

    Sorry, to me the ‘psychological tests’ line seems like the boilerplate that large institutions put out when they are in trouble (“we have experts that look at that….”). Ironically if the recruitment process really is as tough as you say that could still create a cultural problem. After passing the ‘initiation’ priests might have viewed themselves and their peers as having ‘tenure’ making them very reluctant to call out bad behavior and very reluctant to ‘ruin’ one of their own. That would explain the policy JA posted which certainly does NOT sound like an organization dedicated to finding and rooting out molestors.

    Keep in mind I’m noting these things not to bash RCC but because these are common flaws in large organizations. The RCC’s job is harder because their membership requirements create an organization that is more insulated from ‘the outside world’. As you point out with your church, the priests are married so that alone creates an ‘outside link’ that can short circuit a lot of groupthink. Since the RCC considers their membership requirements to be theologically necessary, they have to be prepared to counter the cultural problems that creates as a side effect.

  8. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    In the Episcopal church I knew of several (more than three or four) people who wanted to become priests but failed the screening process. I’m pretty sure that is the same or similar in all the larger churches, including the RCC. I’m guessing as well there is transparency there, if you ask for information about the screening process you will be given information.

  9. Boonton says:

    I think your faith is a bit misplaced. Will you be given real information or just reassurances?