Posted by: NotAScientist | August 16, 2008

New Rules for Catholic Priests: Too Little, Too Late

Early this week I came across this little gem:

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has issued a detailed list of inappropriate behaviors for priests, saying they should not kiss, tickle or wrestle children.

The newest version of the archdiocese’s Decree on Child Protection also prohibits bear hugs, lap-sitting and piggyback rides.

But it says priests may still shake children’s hands, pat them on the back and give high-fives.

Rules like these might have been nice to enact about 8 years ago when these priest abuse scandals started to come out. Or better yet, these rules would have been nice when the Catholic Church was formed. Sadly, I doubt it would have helped. Maybe it would have made it harder for some to have abused the children they did, but they would have continued.

Why am I so cynical? Because of the systematic policy of priest protection by the Catholic Church. Rather than turn the perpetrators over to authorities, most are simply shuffled off to other parishes, where they can continue their abuses.

The only people that can stop the abuse of children in the Catholic Church are Catholics. The priests, bishops and cardinals are doing nothing, so it is up to the average Catholic to act. Stop tithing to the Church. Stop attending mass. Stop giving your silent approval to an organization that allows these crimes to continue, and continue unpunished.

I, an atheist, can do nothing. The power is in your hands. For the sake of your children, use it.

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Responses

  1. Aye, heres the rub.

    The church has indoctrinated that not tithing is a sin. A venial sin, sure, but a sin none-the-less. So now you have an issue. The best — if not only way — a catholic can act out, is to sin, and to sin is to condemn yourself to penance in purgatory, or if you are exceptionally bad to begin with, the possibility of hell.

    So, to re-echo Morse’s statement, I ask the catholics of the world. Would you sin for the good of your religion? Would you sin to help protect your children?

    I think that this nicely shows precisely why ethics cannot be strict and static from god or anyone else. These are hard ethical questions, and not even God could answer them in any definitive way.

    Whoops, I think I started rambling. Nice post in any case…

    /joe

  2. >”Stop tithing to the Church.”
    >”The church has indoctrinated that not tithing is a sin”

    Um, I know you folks aren’t Catholic, but please do some research. Catholics by and large do NOT tithe. That’s a common misconception. The rates of tithing by Catholics are in the low single digits. Catholics usually donate their time and talents more than their treasure.

    >”Stop attending mass.”

    This suggestion makes no sense. Why, when over 98% of priests have been faithful, should all Catholics cut themselves off from God and the Eucharist? Not attending Mass harms Catholics, not the institutional Church. The priest will continue to offer the Mass with or without lay persons present. The Catholic Church will continue to exist and grow.

    >”I, an atheist, can do nothing. The power is in your hands. For the sake of your children, use it.”

    How are atheist children protected from predatory atheists? What are the rules that atheists have established for they and their fellow believers (non-believers)?

    I, a Catholic, can do nothing. The power is in your hands. For the sake of your children, use it.

    Blessings…

    +Timothy

    “Without God, there are no atheists.”

  3. “Um, I know you folks aren’t Catholic, but please do some research. Catholics by and large do NOT tithe.”

    I may be using the word incorrectly. By “tithing” I meant “giving money to the church. When I was a Catholic my family did not tithe in the strictest of senses, but we gave money every time we attended mass.

    “The priest will continue to offer the Mass with or without lay persons present. The Catholic Church will continue to exist and grow.”

    I disagree. If the numbers of congregants gets lower and lower, the Church will not be able to afford the upkeep of the physical churches or the residences of the priests. Hit them where it hurts, in the pocket-book.

    “How are atheist children protected from predatory atheists? What are the rules that atheists have established for they and their fellow believers (non-believers)?”

    It’s called “the law”. If someone is found to have abused or raped children, they go to jail. Atheists do not have an organization that has consistently tried to hide and protect the accused perpetrators of such horrible acts.

    ““Without God, there are no atheists.””

    Wrong. Without the concept of a god, there are no atheists. Close, but not quite.

  4. […] News » News New Rules for Catholic Priests: Too Little, Too Late2008-08-17 23:33:35Inappropriate behaviors for priests, saying they should not kiss, tickle or […]

  5. This is the last site I expected to come to while looking up sites about the Catholic priesthood but I do beleive in trying to understand all views and opinions. However, the original post here is so inaccurate I felt the need to post a reply.
    It was stated that priests, bishops and Cardinals are doing nothing about the child abuse problems in the Church. This is wrong.
    As hard as it may be for you to believe, most men enter the Priesthood in order to do good, to help others, to live lives of good, honest Christian example to say nothing of the spiritual aspect of their lives of witness. The hurt and devastation felt by priests because of the actions of a few of their number is immense as is the anger and frustration felt by the attitude of some of those in positions of leadership and authority who chose to ignore these issue or tried to sweep them under the carpet. These past few years have seen a huge amount done to rectify the mistakes of the past and each docese has undertaking a rigourous review of child protection polices led by the bishops with the help of the priests and the laity. Only last week, I attended a 2 1/2 hour meeting, the 5th or 6th meeting on the same issues that I have attended in the last couple of years, to say nothing of the amount of times when these issues has been discussed in our local churches by the priests. The vast majority of priests along with their bishops and the people of their parishes are working so hard to protect our children. They feel the pain of these abuses as much as anyone else outside of the abused themselves.
    I only post this in order to be fair to those who are working so hard to protect the fragile gift of innocence.


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