Catholic Blame Game

Here, courtesy of Jason Brown, is a site that lists the latest scapegoat that the Catholic Church blames, instead of itself. So far they have blamed:

Gays

The Jews

Pornography

Television

The Internet

Pope John Paul II

Victims of child rape

Stay tuned for further exciting rationalisations and excuses!

29 thoughts on “Catholic Blame Game

  1. I’m a little unclear what it means for the Catholic Church to be scapegoating people rather than blaming itself if the latter doesn’t include blaming JPII, who obviously was responsible for many of the structural failures on this issue that led to victims not seeing justice done.

      1. There is certainly plenty of that.

        It’s also clearly irrational to call ‘scapegoating’ something that involves saying that someone who was really reasponsible was responsible, even if if there are people trying to use that fact to deflect blame from themselves.

    1. One thing institutions do to deflect blame often is to blame those in the past (“Look how we are so much better than our predecessors”); if the current guy (who was the mover and shaker for these matters during JPII’s reign of conservative terror) can shift the blame, he gets to convince the faithful that he is worthy for a while longer.

      Make no mistake – this is as bad as the sale of indulgences that triggered off the reformation. I suspect that the Catholic Church will schism over this.

      1. John S. Wilkins wrote:

        Make no mistake – this is as bad as the sale of indulgences that triggered off the reformation. I suspect that the Catholic Church will schism over this.

        I have my doubts about that one. Benedict XVI is 83 years old, so even if he’s completely tarred by the whole thing, and to the point where even the faithful are shaken, his papacy won’t be all that long.

        The real damage to the Church will be in those leaving it. That seems to be what’s happening in Ireland, where the faithful have had their faith shaken, and where the Church’s ancient position in Irish society has probably received a mortal blow.

        I cannot see a schism occurring. There’s no doctrinal differences. The Pope may end up looking bad, but his reign will be short, and, providing the Catholic leadership isn’t completely occupied by those who sought to sweep the child molestation issue under the rug, they’ll get somebody else.

        What I’m suspecting will happen is the conservatives in the College of Cardinals, who made darned good and sure that JPII’s pitbull got the job, will be seriously undermined. The chance for a more liberal, or at least (and I know this will sound weird seeing as the Pope is a religious leader) a less dogmatic Pope will be chosen. I rather view the years of JPII and Benedict XVI as being a period of reinvigorated conservatism after the substantial changes to the Church during the 1960s and 1970s.

  2. As much as I’d love to steal credit, I was just publicising the excellent work of Dave The Happy Singer.

    One of those things I wish I’d thought of. Dave and I seem to be doing that a bit recently…

  3. One wonders how they hope for redemption of their sins if they don’t, at least, accept that they’ve done wrong.

    No forgiveness without acknowledging your sins and atoning for them. Isn’t that, officially, the RC way?

    I don’t think that they’re aren’t being very good catholics.

    Perhaps they should forgo the politics and self regard and reread the catechism.

  4. I don’t think that they’re aren’t being very good catholics

    That should, of course, have read:
    I don’t think that they’re being very good catholics

  5. Great site! Here’s another one to add to the list: liberal and secular society:

    Rather than blaming abuse on an oppressive, conservative environment within the Irish Catholic church, Benedict singles out the creeping influence of liberal, secular society for weakening resolve against it. “In particular, there was a well-intentioned but misguided tendency to avoid penal approaches to canonically irregular situations,” he writes.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/mar/21/pope-ireland-letter-paedophile-priests

    Yup. It’s all those damn secular people who don’t go to church that caused this problem!

    1. Oh, and my inner Beavis and Butthead can’t avoid snickering at the term “penal approaches” used in this context…

  6. And, you know what? In the Mexican news nothing was mentioned about Arizmendi’s comments about omnipresent eroticism and paedophilia cases, but instead they focused on the criticisms he made to the public education textbooks’ approach on sex education. Self-censorship, anyone?

  7. I tried posting this before, but I guess there was a screw-up…. Let me try again… [Sorry, overzealous spam trap — JSW]

    And here’s a few more. The Catholic League is a gold mine for the blame game. Donohue seems bound and determined to throw as much shit at this problem as he can and hope some of it sticks.

    The News Media.

    Almost all of the chatter about the alleged widening of the scandal is a direct result of media sensationalism. Here is a perfect example, taken from a Reuters story today. The headline reads, “Norway’s Catholic Church Reveals New Abuse Cases.” But what is new is not a new wave of incidents, rather it is an admission by the Norwegian Catholic Church of four cases of alleged abuse that it had not previously disclosed. Two of the cases date back to the 1950s; another dates back two decades; and the fourth one was based on “rumors.”

    http://www.catholicleague.org/release.php?id=1825

    Teachers’ Unions:

    The lesson to be learned is quite simple. The Catholic Church should never remove accused priests from ministry—they should assign them to a “rubber room” where they can do something productive, e.g., finger painting, with no cut in pay. Following the lead of the teachers’ unions, the Church should work against all reform efforts. And when it is criticized for cheering laws making it easier for the accused to get away scot-free, it should just say it is modeling itself on the exemplary work of the teachers’ unions. The Times should understand. Shouldn’t it?

    http://www.catholicleague.org/release.php?id=1823

    Victims’ families; Local Authorities; Liberal Bishops:

    The wrongdoing in this case rests in Wisconsin. Why did the victims’ families wait as long as 15 years to report the abuse? Why were the civil authorities unconvinced by what they uncovered? Why did Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland wait almost two decades before he contacted the Vatican?

    Weakland’s record in handling sex abuse cases is a matter of record. In 1984, he branded as “libelous” those who reported cases of priestly sexual abuse (he was rebuked by the courts for doing so). Ten years later he accused those who reported such cases of “squealing.” And, of course, he had to resign when his lover, a 53 year-old man, revealed that Weakland paid him $450,000 to settle a sexual assault lawsuit (Weakland took the money from archdiocesan funds). It’s a sure bet that if Weakland were a theological conservative–and not a champion of liberal causes–the media (including the National Catholic Reporter and Commonweal) would be all over him.

    http://www.catholicleague.org/release.php?id=1818

  8. Cuttlefish has the answer. My only cavil is that he only mentions boy victims here.

    Who Is To Blame (For Catholic Scandal)?

    There is far, far too much scandal
    At the Vatican these days
    Since it cannot be the Church’s fault
    Let’s try to blame the gays!
    With their sinful choice of lifestyle
    And their flaunting of God’s creed,
    If we have to point the finger
    They’re a likely cause indeed!

    There is much too much at stake here—
    Far too much that we could lose—
    So to keep our asses covered
    We should also blame the Jews!
    They have constantly conspired to
    Bring a downfall to the Church:
    If you want to find a smoking gun,
    The Jews are who to search!

    There is blame enough to go around
    (As if you couldn’t tell),
    I think it prudent we should blame
    The atheists as well!
    They have no moral compass
    But they want to write the laws—
    A secular society
    Must clearly be the cause!

    It’s hardly worth our mention,
    Yet another group to name,
    But you cannot help but notice
    There’s the media to blame!
    The reporters keep on digging,
    Though they’re covered up in dirt—
    Such a filthy occupation;
    Think of all the priests they’ve hurt!

    There’s one more group deserving blame;
    They’re making lots of noise,
    And claiming to be victims, too—
    I mean, of course, the boys!
    Their baseless accusations are
    But acts of desperation;
    They, too, should shoulder guilt
    For leading priests into temptation!

    So many guilty parties,
    Waging war against the Pope—
    One fact alone sustains us
    And allows us still to hope:
    One group alone is blameless—
    There is nothing to discuss—
    No matter where we’re finding fault
    It won’t be found in us!

    1. This cuttlefish is a master of the art. The style has a pleasant 19th-century ring to it — that being surely the golden age of humorous poetry in English.

  9. The media have tracked down a couple of pedophile priests in India who fled the US to return to their home diocese. Apart from that is the sordid case of the late Sr.Abhaya, who was found dead at her convent in strange circumstances. The cops, prosecutors, and even a Judge of the Supreme Court of India have been allegedly working behind the scenes to cover up this case. It is over 16 years since Sr.Abhaya’s death and the case is yet to be closed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sister_Abhaya
    Given all this brouhaha I am surprised the Vatican hasn’t blamed India’s three Cs – Caste, Cows, Curry for the corruption that has crept into the Church

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