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Ping
04-22-2010, 08:46 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/04/22/abuse.pope.lawsuit/index.html?hpt=T2

It's about time.

True_Avery
04-22-2010, 09:00 PM
Considering the Vatican is a country as well as an organization, they have the ability to put forth their own laws like "You can't sue the Pope" and so on, so I could easily see them turning this around with some BS law, or some appeal to "You can't sue a country" or something similar.

How do you even sue them? Any lawyers or anybody here that can explain this? Isn't it like, trying to sue Italy?

And, even if they do release names... whats the point? They'll just move them to another church like they always do, defend them, and ultimately excuse their actions to cover themselves.

Really, I don't see this going anywhere.

Blix
04-22-2010, 09:59 PM
^
I was more or less going to say the same. Well are the victims expecting money from just the church officials or are they wanting money from God as well?

Totenkopf
04-22-2010, 10:22 PM
Another pointless lawsuit. Might as well sue the Kremlin to release the names of spies currently working to undermine US security or who've done damage in the past. There is no legal body that has the jurisdiction to force such an issue. Just effectively more scandal mongering. That said, the Church should have just ex-communicated these priests or locked them away in monasteries, far away from children.

Jae Onasi
04-22-2010, 10:37 PM
I have a friend who was working for a law firm that was defending priests. Why? Because some unscrupulous people have been suing innocent priests, thinking they can get in on the lawsuit cash cow. The guilty need to be convicted and make restitution, that's for sure, and nothing makes me more angry than pedophilia and people using positions of trust and power to commit that pedophilia. However, I think it's nearly as disgusting for people to smear a priest's or a pastor's good name to try to get money out of it.

As for suing the Vatican--good luck proving it in court.

Totenkopf
04-22-2010, 10:52 PM
Well, it would be interesting to see how many of the cases have actual merit and are not just the machinations of greedy, unscrupulous people.

Ping
04-22-2010, 10:54 PM
I have a friend who was working for a law firm that was defending priests. Why? Because some unscrupulous people have been suing innocent priests, thinking they can get in on the lawsuit cash cow. The guilty need to be convicted and make restitution, that's for sure, and nothing makes me more angry than pedophilia and people using positions of trust and power to commit that pedophilia. However, I think it's nearly as disgusting for people to smear a priest's or a pastor's good name to try to get money out of it.

As for suing the Vatican--good luck proving it in court.

Well, not all the stories are fake. I think someone's doing the right thing by taking matters into they're own hands, as nobody else is going to do anything about it.

urluckyday
04-22-2010, 11:12 PM
Classic...

Darth InSidious
04-23-2010, 12:05 AM
Looks more like "making a statement" than actually trying to do any good.

Really don't have the time right now to discuss an issue that is absolutely huge, but a few salient links I've collected over the last few weeks:

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/8526/
http://catholicanchor.org/wordpress/?p=601
http://www.mercatornet.com/justb16/view/7084/
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20100411/interview/we-have-to-get-our-act-together
http://www.nationalcatholicreporter.org/update/bn080703.htm
http://www.newsweek.com/id/236096
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/andrew_marr_show/8591538.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8612596.stm
http://wdtprs.com/blog/2010/04/ap-throwing-more-spaghetti-at-pope-benedict-this-time-from-california/
http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/otn.cfm?ID=632
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2010/apr/09/religion-catholicism-timothy-radcliffe-crisis
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/mar/30/pontiff-power-bureaucracy-catholic-church
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2010/mar/23/religion-catholicism

mimartin
04-23-2010, 12:13 AM
nothing makes me more angry than pedophilia and people using positions of trust and power to commit that pedophilia.

I don't know if I would agree. I think I'm just as angry with those in power that cover up and allow the pedophilias to continue their abuse. No, I'm not talking about the lawyers representing the priest. I’m all for legal representation. I’m talking about the higher ups within the church.

The most intelligent thing I ever heard Jesse Ventura say (outside of a movie) was that the U.S. should bring up racketeering charges against those within the church that have covered up and moved pedophilias to other jurisdictions.

I heard someone say that the higher ups had to protect those within the church, correct me if I’m wrong, but the children being molested are also part of the church?

I do believe if you froze the churches assets within this country until they release the list may do something to persuade them if you really wanted that information. Not saying I would want that to happen, because despite what a few priest have done, we must remember that the vast majority have done far more good.

Astor
04-23-2010, 03:07 AM
I can only see this causing more harm - the Church and its victims need to move on, not get dragged through the courts.

True_Avery
04-23-2010, 05:47 AM
I'd like to thanks DI for the articles. It has cleared up some things... but has also gives me more questions. Defrocking doesn't seem to be as much of a punishment as implied, and the idea that there are hundreds of smaller cover ups that don't link directly to the main Vatican is... disturbing. I also don't agree with the articles that just because they were minor cover ups away from the Vatican that the Vatican and the Pope are free of blame. The lack of oversight, investigation, and punishment borders on incompetent, and the idea that so many branches could of been this corrupt doesn't help their case either. I assume its the job of the Vatican and the big guy to make sure that little cover ups don't happen... but at the same time I have a hard time believing that this many small cover ups could happen without the Vatican higher ups realizing. The branches are either very, very good at covering themselves or the higher ups are lying about how much involvement they had.

I also found this particular piece interesting:
http://www.newsweek.com/id/236096
"Another reason is that the church has historically been bad at punishing (or preventing) molesters, so that many cases might come to light when just one priest is finally exposed. A single predator priest with ongoing access to children might be responsible for an immense raft of abuse cases. (Marie Fortune of the Faith Trust Institute, which focuses on clerical-abuse issues, says Roman Catholics tend "to have many more schools and other programs that involve children." "Plenty of other congregations have these problems, for instance, if they have a youth ministry.") That helps explain the 200 children who were abused at a school for the deaf. It didn't happen because the school was full of rapists; it happened because one man was never stopped. Overall, the John Jay study found that 149 priests were responsible for more than 25,000 cases of abuse over the 52-year period studied."

The Article makes the point that there is no proof that it is just a Catholic thing, and I believe it, but I don't think it softens the impact or makes the case any less dull. You can get pulled over by a cop and say "but, all those people are speeding too!" and still get a ticket because, as a teacher of mine said often, you're the one who got caught. Its unfair that the Catholics are the ones being pointed at but, well... life isn't always fair.

Another interesting article:
http://www.nationalcatholicreporter.org/update/bn080703.htm

This has me sitting back and just -wondering- because its such an interesting situation and one that is lose-lose until actually brought to the light. The offense wants to use it as a case for obstruction of justice, but the opposition claims nobody really knew it existed and so on but, unfortunately, it is hard to believer their claims when the nature of the issue is secrecy of the highest order. It really is a lose-lose for the Church. They can continue to say there is nothing there and let it sit, or make it public. Making it public could prove their innocence, but then again if that was the case there would be little reason to not release it and it just makes the Church look like its defending a secret. I could take the church's word for it, but I'm also inclined to believe, from the other articles, that there may be relevant information being hidden.

So, thanks DI for the articles. Read through the majority of them, but can't say they had the affect on me the articles may have intended.

And, as a side:
http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/8526/
I congratulate the dude for trying his hardest to be just as bad as those he's railing on.

Pho3nix
04-23-2010, 10:51 AM
the Church and its victims need to move on, not get dragged through the courts.
That's easy for you to say :)

Astor
04-23-2010, 10:56 AM
That's easy for you to say :)

Maybe so, but i'm pretty sure that there will be those among the abused who don't want this very painful episode to be played out in the media any longer.

mimartin
04-23-2010, 11:27 AM
I can only see this causing more harm - the Church and its victims need to move on, not get dragged through the courts.
I'm sure the church would agree with you as would most victims if they were assured the perpetrators would not be given the latitude to use his position to abuse children in the future.

Like Avery I found Darth InSidious posted links illuminating. I found the Newsweek article particularly disturbing. The priesthood is being cast as the refuge of pederasts. In fact, priests seem to abuse children at the same rate as everyone else. I never thought the abuse rate would be higher than any other group, what I was shocked about is that the rate isn’t lower than other groups.

Jedi_Man
04-23-2010, 11:52 AM
^^^
To mimartin
I guess that goes to show that priests are on the same level as others, not higher or holier. However, I don't want to defend them, what happens to the kids is horrible. Is it not possible that they just use the term pastor to get to the kids, the same way another would use the term officer to pull someone over, and get free sex because the person getting pulled over doesn't want a ticket and would do anything to get out.
But, too, I am shocked it is not lower, but I wish they would just leave it alone, it seems like it's on the news almost every night now. Seriously, this is giving the religion (All of christianity included) a black eye.

Pho3nix
04-23-2010, 07:54 PM
Maybe so, but i'm pretty sure that there will be those among the abused who don't want this very painful episode to be played out in the media any longer.
To me it almost sounds like you're defending the molesters. The episode is painful to them regardless of media exposure, and It's not like their identities are shown in the articles. My hope is that they find at least some form of peace or forgiveness with the guilty getting caught and this entire issue being brought front.

So you would just sweep the entire issue "under the rug" and not have it exposed in the media? frankly, if I was in charge of some major newspaper I'd make sure that every news related to this matter would be 2nd or 3rd page news.

Totenkopf
04-23-2010, 09:44 PM
And would you check for veracity first or just pursue scandal mongering for the sake of muck raking? The press isn't always good about the first part b/c the second tends to sell papers. Sounds to me like you're more interested in beating up on the Vatican than anything else.

Blix
04-24-2010, 12:54 AM
Is it just me or does there seem to be a new priest/church sex/molestation scandal each year? Maybe they need to incite a new law where all priests must be castrated before joining the clergy first?

Darth Avlectus
04-24-2010, 12:57 AM
I have been reluctant to post here. I'm quite torn over this.

On the one hand I want to support the sovereignty of the church. I think sovereignty for all religions is a crucially important thing. It is not the organization that is bad, it is the people in it that do the bad things.

On the other I see the victims and I have known people who were sexually abused--and watched how it destroyed them. Anybody who would dare harm another human being sexually (most especially children) are even lower than slavekeepers for profit and brutal murderers.

One thing for certain is to not let passions and emotions rule you, and to keep a clear and sober judgment.

I would desire that the abusers are brought to justice without exception. Moving these people around is not an acceptable resolution to this recurring problem; it isn't going to make pedophiles any less prone towards what they do. By not dealing with the problem adequately, this has made it very hard for me to continue defending their sovereignty because it makes religious sovereignty look like a cover-up for injustice and wrong doers.

You have the legitimate, real victims who rightfully should be seeking justice for what was done to them and I am not objecting to that.

Then you have cons riding this whole chain of events for everything it's worth just to either get some kind of legal or financial satisfaction and/or social satisfaction by having simply dealt a blow.

Also at the same time I see progressive secular groups and people gunning to rid the planet seemingly of the entire concept and existence of religion and spirituality. One example (Courtesy Darth InSidious):
http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/8526/
Under the banner of justice, you have people teaming up simply to further their anti-theist views despite having little or perhaps no involvement with these religions whatsoever.

There are atheists (used to be one) who are tolerant of these sorts of things.
They don't like it, but they don't hate it either. They agree to disagree--and this breed actually tend to have concerns for betterment of humanity. Very, very good people who understand ethics and honor.

Then there's feverish rabid anti-religion/anti-god/anti-spiritual fanatics (approaching that of fundamentalism for atheist if such a thing existed) who can't tolerate those things at all. They'll stop at nothing to kill the church--even if it is just reasoning and explaining it out of existence.
As Brendan O'neil said (paraphrased): it's not about the religion for these otherwise intelligent thinkers, it's about themselves. It isn't as though most of them have had a personal connection or are out for personal vengeance. It's just malice.


In a nutshell: It will be messy but we need to surgically remove the offenders--further actions are iffy.
The true victims, I say justice be done. Period, no ifs ands or buts about it.
The parasites and phony "victims", shame on you.
I don't hate atheists, but some breeds I despise.

Pho3nix
04-24-2010, 04:41 AM
Sounds to me like you're more interested in beating up on the Vatican than anything else.
You are correct on this assertion

Astor
04-24-2010, 05:11 AM
To me it almost sounds like you're defending the molesters.

I'm rather saddened, almost offended, by that assertion. Since when did showing concern for the victims equate to a defence of child molestation?

Totenkopf
04-24-2010, 06:03 AM
Usually when obsession is involved (post #21) and reason goes out the window.

Ping
04-24-2010, 01:33 PM
@GTA: I actually find myself agreeing with most of your points. The religion itself isn't bad, but the people are. The problem is, when bad people run a religion, that in turn leads to others thinking that the religion itself is bad, since the impression people get is that if bad people run something, how can it be good?

Totenkopf
04-24-2010, 03:14 PM
@GTA: I actually find myself agreeing with most of your points. The religion itself isn't bad, but the people are. The problem is, when bad people run a religion, that in turn leads to others thinking that the religion itself is bad, since the impression people get is that if bad people run something, how can it be good?

And yet some people still want big govt, go figure. :xp: I've not heard anyone outside of anti-theists, especially anti-Catholics, really slam the entire religion b/c its leaders are humans and some of them make mistakes....even boneheaded ones at times.

Darth Avlectus
04-24-2010, 05:21 PM
@GTA: I actually find myself agreeing with most of your points. The religion itself isn't bad, but the people are. The problem is, when bad people run a religion, that in turn leads to others thinking that the religion itself is bad, since the impression people get is that if bad people run something, how can it be good?

Good as a concept is what I mean about the churches. Obviously an individual church organization with nothing but corrupt people is going to be a bad church.

What we have, as you pointed out, as a result are many, many people who'se perceptions are affected by this. Such perceptions conflate the notions and/or concept of church with necessarily the bad people and goings on inside the organization when that isn't necessarily the case. In order to save the good of the church and what good it can do in turn, it is important to make the distinctions and dispel the myths that will arise when something like this whole terrible ordeal occurs.

It needs to be shown the church is essentially a good thing; the bad people in it ought to be brought to justice (as is their duty as moral authority). I think this is really the only way this point can be proven. Any backpedaling, and the poisoned perception will continue to largely live on. At least that's what I think in terms of common sense and perceptions.

Hope that clarifies things.

Web Rider
04-25-2010, 04:17 PM
I'm rather saddened, almost offended, by that assertion. Since when did showing concern for the victims equate to a defence of child molestation?

Are you a victim? If yes, feel free to be concerned for others who have suffered through what you have. If no, then let them decide how best to deal with their suffering. Your argument is one that has been used for ages with male-female rape. "Don't take them to trial because it'll just hurt them more." Nobody HAS to testify in court, we have the 5th Amendment for a reason, and international courts have similar rules as well. The victims are the ones who should decide if they want to talk about their ordeal or not.

Darth333
04-25-2010, 05:34 PM
Maybe so, but i'm pretty sure that there will be those among the abused who don't want this very painful episode to be played out in the media any longer.

I'm not sure what you mean by this...continue to ignore the problem? This needs to be addressed not just for what happened in the past but for the future.

Maybe so, but i'm pretty sure that there will be those among the abused who don't want this very painful episode to be played out in the media any longer. Then they simply don't have to share what they experienced. No one forces them to take their case to court. It's a personal choice...Maybe the victims are just like me (feel free to call me a coward if you want - I was 5 or 6 - but I have my own reasons which I will not share): I am glad it's finally out but I would not go to court (even as a lawyer, I avoid litigation as much as possible as almost everyone can potentially lose something - monetarily or else). No money will ever compensate for this and I don't need vengeance, especially not under the form of outrageous sums of money: I only want to find peace and courts will not bring this to me. Law is not an emotional thing: you don't get an apology, it's a cold and monetary dispute (if some people feel satisfy by it, then fine for them but I couldn't care less).

I have recently asked to be unbaptized...I still believe in the message of Christ (which I personally believe is about peace, helping, acceptance and tolerance...the purpose being to make life better for the human race, not worse ) but I never believed in the middle-age-politico Catholic church interpretation crap.

As Ping said: The religion itself isn't bad, but the people are.

Totenkopf
04-25-2010, 08:44 PM
I have recently asked to be unbaptized...

Never knew there was a procedure like that. Isn't it essentially the same as requesting ex-communication (versus being ex-communicated)?

Ping
04-25-2010, 09:36 PM
Never knew there was a procedure like that. Isn't it essentially the same as requesting ex-communication (versus being ex-communicated)?

I think excommunication means you're no longer part of the church. Being unbaptized seems to be a bit different. I actually like the idea - people should have their own choice when it comes to religion, which is why I kind of dislike the process of having young kids become baptized before they know what's going on.

Totenkopf
04-25-2010, 11:30 PM
Yes, ex-communication is basically a form of punishment where you're effectively kicked out of the Church. I've just never heard of anyone being unbaptized before. By asking to be unbaptized, you're essentially kicking yourself out of the Church. Was wondering what that was and how it worked. Usually, w/Catholics afaik, people who've claimed to have left the Church haven't necessarily done anything formal. They've just stopped attending mass and receiving the sacraments and following the rules. Often identified as being "fallen away".

JediAthos
04-25-2010, 11:31 PM
I'm pretty sure the suits won't hold up, but I'm no lawyer and I could be wrong.

I am Catholic and I was around priests my entire young life with no ill consequences.

I was inclined to disbelieve the molestation accusations when they first started showing up several years ago, but a combination of some personal research and the further revelations regarding the cover ups and payouts conducted in many of these cases disgusted me.

It disgusted me enough that I no longer attend a Catholic church at all. I haven't suspended my belief in God, but I have zero confidence in the Catholic Church as an institution. I consider it a corrupt entity, and until they (meaning The Vatican) clean up their house I'm done with them.

That said I hope that all the victims in these cases find whatever peace they desire and most definitely deserve.

Ctrl Alt Del
04-26-2010, 12:20 AM
On the one hand I want to support the sovereignty of the church. I think sovereignty for all religions is a crucially important thing. It is not the organization that is bad, it is the people in it that do the bad things.
There's much on your line of thought that I agree on. Particularly on your spot on generalization regarding the difference between an instituition and the people that compose them at a given time. In other words, it's not an evil religion.

First of all I must clarify I'm Roman Catholic, and unlike what such a statement might awake on readers I'm not only posting it to safely and morally guarded distil poison against the Church. If anything, I'm normally a staunch defender of my religion (even though I'm not a particularly fervourous believer). This matter does, naturally, set my emotions on fire, notably that of hate and comtempt for the sick molesters that give an entire organization composed of several innocent priests and followers a bad name and mainly destroy countless innocent lives that have just started. But knowing that the cloth does not make the man and each one makes their choices and that they weren't taught this by theology, I cannot logically blame the Church for the deeds of individuals.

But I can blame them for trying to cover their crimes time and time again. The vain fear that it'd, as it eventually did, create a scandal involving important names and that of the institution. We can attribute this (or at least I do) to a certain sense of corporativism. Maybe the priesthood finds it necessary to preserve itself from external scrutiny and thus shadow the cases with the best of their ability. One thing for certain is that the Vatican itself cannot be blamed by the direct actions of the criminal priests, but surely they're liable of guilt for inneficient procedures on what relates to denouncing the clergy.

Now as for the part that I quote you and to proceed with my line of thought: how is religion, Catholicism precisely, going to be sovereign if it's a non-state actor? I mean, Vatican City is a state but it acts on the international plane quite like a transnational organization. A hierarquical organization of course, completely different from the many networked IOs (International Organizations) which are horizontal in their would be chain of command, but a non-state actor no doubt. International Relations experts and scholars agree that while it does not meet the criteria for being a state actor like other states (as having a permanent population and stable government), it has earned state-like weight due to it's tradition, established relations with a great deal of countries (and transboundary interference on them) and being a member with qualification of state in several international organizations. It's an entity singular in existence.

Deals and treaties with foreign powers (especially with the itallian government) see that those foreigners are granted access to the country and act as pivotal agents of the Vatican and the Holy See functionality. For instance, to behave as police to the state for a determined period of time.

In short, how can we demand sovereignty to a state that has none and yet, by being present worldwide, interferes with the sovereignty of other proper Westfalian states?

PS: You'll have to excuse me if I gave your observation a too much IR-oriented scrutiny. I do have my reasons though.