What the Fuck is Wrong with these People? - Vatican Edition

Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I have to admit that in spite of spending four years in a parochial school, I still don't "get" the Catholic Church. The weight of all that dogma, the obvious (to me) inconsistencies in their worldview, and the incredibly illiberal policies - all of it gives me hives.

But honestly, in practical terms, I mostly just don't care. I'm not Catholic. I don't subscribe to their worldview, I don't think the Pope is God's mouthpiece here on earth, and really, I couldn't care less about his thoughts on any topic. With the exception of criminal actions (such as pedophilia and the sexual abuse of the developmentally disabled), the internal machinations of the Church have zero interest for me. Presumably the people who choose to follow that faith are grown humans, with the ability to make their own decisions. If they believe some dude in a funny hat has the authority to tell them how to live and what to decide, then it's real enough to them, and no skin off my nose.

But every once in a while, the Vatican makes an announcement that's just so egregious, it gives me a WTF moment, and I have to ask, What the fuck is wrong with these people?

This week's incident relates to a Vatican announcement regarding the ordination of women. Normally I would consider this issue to be an internal matter. They don't want to ordain women? I think that's pretty fucking backwards and damages the long-term relevance of the Church, but my opinion doesn't matter - it's up to Catholics to work these things out, or not. However, what has me scratching my head (and throwing up in my mouth) is the Vatican's decision to treat the ordination of women as an "exceptionally serious crime" - right alongside the sexual abuse of alter boys at the hands of all those oh-so-righteous male priests.*

My issue is with the whole idea that pedophilia has a very real and measurable injury associated with it. An injury incurred by a child, who had their trust and person violated by someone whose authority is granted by the Church. How, exactly, is the ordination of women, who presumably engage in this activity because they have enormous faith and dedication to their church and their god, comparable in severity to that? To be sure, the women are challenging the status quo of the church, and demanding equal status under church law. There's precedent for that, and agree or disagree, it's fair to say that they're not actually hurting anyone.

Now I realize that as a secularist, I perceive the abrogation of "church law" as a purely victimless "crime." Since I don't recognize the authority in question, I don't understand how the defiance of it can be considered "criminal." But I have to ask - if the Catholic god is so all-fired powerful and important, how can he/she/it be equally offended by a woman saying mass because she feels a faith-based calling and a priest raping a small child?

If he/she/it is equally offended...well. I'm going to go out on a limb and contend that the Catholic god is just as backwards as his/her/it's representative here on earth. Which may, in fact, be the trouble. 

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*I don't pretend to any expertise regarding church law, nor am I accusing the church of linking pedophilia with the ordination of women by placing the process for dealing with these issues in the same document.

2 comments:

Will (Astra Navigo) said...

You said it yourself - you just don't care, and increasingly, more and more people don't, either.

The Catholic church is irrelevant. In making that statement on another venue, I was pilloried with a lot of 'how dare yous' and 'you're intolerants'.

In point of fact, I don't confuse tolerance with acceptance.

I tolerate religion - for the same reason as I tolerate people with sandwich-boards stating "The U.S. Is Run By Aliens From Alpha-Centauri", or any other free-speech nonsense which is guaranteed by the First Amendment - because to do otherwise would open the door for censorship in all forms.

I don't accept their beliefs - any more than I accept the 'earth is flat' theory, the Tooth Fairy, Santa Clause, or any of the 2012 nonsense currently floating about - because it's unprovable, and hence irrelevant to my life.

The real question we should be asking is, "Why is there a Catholic church at all, any more?"

CkretsGalore said...

My father went to a Catholic private school as a young lad. I remember him saying to me, when I was a teen, "Do you know how much LSD I had to do to erase everything they taught me?!"

Uh don't know exactly but I can make a good guess. Thanks for the twisted genetics pops!