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priestly payoff

Written by jason santos on Monday, 5/13/2002

Cory asked: What do you think about the Catholic church "getting away" with sexual abuse for all those years and now not paying off the children they raped?

First let me start by saying that I think that the Catholic Church, at large, is not to blame. Often we have a tendency to make assumptions about larger groups of people based on the actions or words of a few. This is an important aspect to remember when considering the events surrounding the Catholic priests over the past few months. There are probably many priests who are just as appalled by the actions of these pedophiles. Chances are, most Catholics parishioners are similarly troubled by this horrible scandal as well. With this presupposition in mind, we can look at those who are at fault: those priests who are pedophiles, and those who are attempting to cover up their transgressions.

Now let me address your assertion that the Catholic Church is “getting away” with sexual abuse. I do not believe that they are really getting away with it. Although they may have, to some extent, gotten away with it in the past, it is the entire Catholic Church, and Christianity at large that are going to pay for their mistakes. No priest will ever be trusted again (and many do deserve to be trusted). Hopefully, those who committed the crime and those who are trying to cover up the priest’s wrongdoings will pay the price set by society (prison, etc.). Unfortunately, some will escape their punishment, and may even continue their abuse. We must rest assured, somehow, that what comes around, goes around. You reap what you sow. Call it Karma or whatever, it all means the same thing. They will pay for their transactions somehow, somewhere. In Scripture it says, “Vengeances is mine, says the Lord.” I believe that those priests will receive their just dues. Unfortunately, those who they abused will have to pay the price in this lifetime, with emotional, psychological, and spiritual damage.

This brings us to your second point, the money. You mentioned that the priests are not “paying off” those who they abused. There is no amount of money that could appease or change or fix or reverse what happened to those boys. Yes, money would seemingly make their lives easier, but only for a time. Eventually, they will spend their money, and find themselves with the same problems and baggage from the abuse that they had before their payoff. Americans, generally, think that the all mighty dollar fixes everything. Unfortunately, money is America’s god. Paying off those kids will not change anything. In our society, if those boys were paid a large sum of cash, society would think, “well, its O.K., they have their money, everything is back to normal.” Well it’s not back to normal. Money doesn’t appease anything; it only provides a quick fix. It’s like taking a poor, malnourished African child to Disneyland for a week and letting them run around and eat whatever they like. The child may have the time of his life, however, when that temporary utopia is over, he would be left in the same condition that he began. A payoff will not help bring healing to the boys. That should be our focus.

The reality of the situation is that transgression happen around the world, everyday, every second. Did you know that in some Asian countries there are people who go to small villages and tell families that they are going to provide factory and clerical jobs for the young children and teenagers? They tell them that they will provide shelter and food. Parents agree to this because some want a better life for their children, and others want some of the money to be sent home, so that they may provide better for those who are left behind. Do you know what really happens to those children? They are shipped, like cattle, to other countries, where they don’t know the language, and they are thrown in a small room and given just enough rice to keep them alive. Then a dozen times or more a day, adults come in those rooms and rape them. Some of these children are only 9 or 10 years old. Imagine if that was you or if that was your little sister. Everyday you would wish for your death. I know that what I just described is horribly gruesome, however, it happens everyday. My point is that no one is paying those kids off. No amount of money will ever fix the sick transgressions that happen in this world everyday. No amount of money will ever change what those priests did to those boys. Perhaps our focus should not be on “paying off” the crimes of others, and begin to turn our eyes towards a more healing solution. We need to seek a solution that seeks to restore the emotional, psychological, and spiritual damage that was done.

article discussion

posted by (anonymous) on Monday, 5/13/2002:

funny that these people who have been 'appointed by god' could commit such horrible acts.. you'd think God would choose his minions more wisely... oh well, he's not perfect, is he?

posted by santos on Tuesday, 5/14/2002:

first, some would say that God doesn't choose his minions, rather, those who seek him, do his work. second, the notion of a "perfect" God is actually a Greek notion dating back before Plato. some modern theologians believe that the New Testament church was Hellenized, (influence by the Greeks)giving early Gentile Christians a "perfection" understanding of God. these theologians hold that God's attributes do not include "our" understanding of perfection; rather, that God is changeable, is able to repent, regrets choices he has made, and allows human actions to alter the future. it is called open theism. in short, for some, God isn't perfect, but he is still God.

posted by Cory on Wednesday, 5/15/2002:

I go to a Catholic school in Boston. Not by choice, or beief. But a few months ago, a few former male students claimed they were sexualy abused by teachers (Priests, Brothers, ect) As soon as these reports came out, reporters were at my school. The school lost some of the people that go there since they "dont want to go to school that abuses boys". Now these abuses happened in the mid 80's. Since then, the school has had a perfect record. Is this fair in any way, just because of 1 teacher, the rest are looked down upon? Many of these priests and brothers are good people. I doubt they could have done something even close to this.

posted by santos on Thursday, 5/16/2002:

i agree with you cory. i'm sure that there are far more good priest than there are corrupt ones.

posted by moo on Thursday, 6/6/2002:

Catholic priests actually are not appointed by God. I don't know the exact structure of this all, but God "appoints" a pope. The pope then "appoints" people under him, and so on. One corrupt individual, and everyone under him is corrupt

Correct me if I'm wrong.

posted by Rosatola on Tuesday, 6/11/2002:

The priests that did this are hypocrites of the worst kind, and if God is Catholic, I believe they are in the lowest pit in Hell. If God is a Morman like South Park asserts, well, they'll be in Hell anyway, and so will the bishops who let this behavior continue.

posted by Rosatola on Tuesday, 6/11/2002:

Oh, and God does not appoint the Pope. The pope is not "God on Earth." He's just a man, probably picked because he's going to meet God very soon.

posted by Cheeses Crust on Thursday, 6/13/2002:

I agree with the initial post.

There's a certain anti-Catholic vibe in this country and has been like this since our independence from Britain. I find it funny, yet disturbing how the media picks out Catholic atrocities even if similar acts are committed by other Christian religious denomiations. Southern WASP's (mainly KKK) have picked on Catholics as well as Jews, Blacks, etc. Catholics haven't controlled high goverment positions much either. We've only had one Catholic president, JFK, and LHO capped his not-so-black-ass.

posted by jason on Wednesday, 6/26/2002:

santos if your my sub teacher again, im gonna throw paper airplanes

posted by Ryan Calderoni on Friday, 1/24/2003:

the pope... whose idea was that anyway? it's really not in the bible, I don't think the the catholic church knows what they are talking about, it seems more like an organization to control people, by saying that good works gets you into heaven? hahahahahaha....

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