That is, if you are unfortunate enough to rank among its numbers.
by Ben Kritikos
Many people don’t realise that when the Vatican boasts of its one billion believers, many non-believers are included in that figure by virtue of their baptism. I reckon a good chunk of that billion don’t believe in religion at all; they may even be atheists. Nonetheless, a decision made for them before their birth will continue to empower what is decidedly a nasty, parasitic institution.
It’s unfortunate, but true: unless you actively leave the Catholic Church by issuing the diocese where you were baptised and confirmed with an Actus Formalis Defectionis ab Ecclesia Catholica, you will still be counted among its members. I’m guessing you haven’t done that.
Here’s the good news: an Actus Formalis Defectionis ab Ecclesia Catholica is nothing more than a formal act of defection from the Catholic Church. You can basically write one yourself, or use the help of this website if you live in Ireland, and this one if you live anywhere else. It takes a whole ten minutes to write the Actus, find your diocese’s address, and be done with it. These are my top five reasons you should actively do so.
Reading the Wikipedia page about the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse of children, I came across this line that Catholic supporters use in defense: […] only 4% of Catholic priests have had a sexual experience with a minor, half the rate for the adult male population.
Only 4%! That’s rich. I suppose it’s all a bit overblown then, eh? I mean, Catholics priests are still at least twice as good as the average man when it comes to raping children.
Priests are people, too. Normal people know this. It’s the Pope and the College of Bishops that can’t seem to get that fact into their heads. Normal people have minds composed of a delicate mental balance, complete with hopes, fears, dreams and desires. If you go messing with them, ignoring some and sublimating others, you get unbalanced individuals. Unbalanced individuals usually have a hard time adapting to social norms; they can be known to do unhealthy, even horrible things to others — like raping children, for example.
The Catholic Church as an institution has repeatedly attempted to deflect blame, cover up revelations, intimidate and discredit detractors, and otherwise abdicate responsibility for their actions.
Women are ineligible to become priests — but let’s not hold that against the Catholic Church, because they’re only doing half the population a favour. That said, Catholic belief basically blames Woman for the sins of humankind.
The Catholic Church has played a vital role in the oppression and manipulation of women throughout the years. Some countries have had little or no choice but to send their children to Catholic schools, where children’s sex education was distorted and sick at worst, and non-existent at best. Teenage girls who have become pregnant, even those who were raped, were treated as vile or corrupted by their Catholic “shepherds”. I have friends who were raped, and were told by representatives of the Catholic Church that they brought it on themselves.
In Ireland, the government’s Ryan Report (2000) discovered Catholic-run institutions imprisoning girls and women against their will — sometimes for their whole lives — in places such as the Magdalene Asylums for “fallen women”. The last “Magdalene Laundry”, in Dublin, closed in 1996.
Catholicism’s unhealthy obsession with sex contributes to women’s sexual vulnerability to this day, as Pope Benedict XVI — like his cross-dressing loony brethren before him — bemoans the use of contraception.
The Catholic Church’s defining political character is that of burning people at the stake. Any other political entity with such a past is issued quickly to the dustbin of history, where it belongs. Nietzsche warned of the Catholic Church that it is not their love for us that prevents them from burning us alive to save our souls, but the impotence of their love.
The Catholic Church is a significant lobby group in most developed countries. If they could, they would deprive women the right to choose to have safe, legal abortions (if they haven’t already); they would prevent the already limited sex education provided in public schools; and they would reduce the role of teachers, carers and other public servants based on their sexual orientation.
While Nazi Germany systematically slaughtered six million Jews (as well as millions of others) the Catholic Church said nothing. In Rwanda, which is primarily Catholic, the Church helped foment one of the worst genocides in recent history. Right now, in 2010, instead of offering unequivocal cooperation and transparency to those who seek to address the international scandal of the Church’s abuse of children — which has already completely humiliated and discredited the Catholic Church — Pope Benedict XVI has the audacity to appear in public aloof and defiant. His Holiness has recently gone so far as to dismiss the whole child abuse scandal as “petty gossip”.
That such an institution, with such leadership, is still considered a viable, legitimate lobby group whom anyone would lend an ear to is unconscionable.
In response to the number of priests raping children, and the fact that most cases of abuse were priests raping adolescent boys, the Church prohibits the ordination of men with “homosexual tendencies”. I’m not quite sure what, besides homosexuality, constitutes “homosexual tendencies”; but I’m hardly surprised that the Catholic Church can’t tell the difference between a gay man and a paedophile. After all, homosexuality is an abomination according to Catholic dogma.
While priests who rape children still have a chance at salvation by repenting before death, a homosexual — inasmuch as the person is homosexual, a fact of one’s being that one cannot simply alter — is basically doomed to eternal hell-fire. Fancy that.
The appropriate method for dealing with “homosexual tendencies” is presumably to understand that it is a sin, suppress it, and pray to God to help you “get better”. I beseech my readers to help me understand how a person’s sexuality can lead them to damnation, but being a really bad person who before they die admit that they were bad gets you straight into Heaven.
The Developing World
Not only does the Catholic Church refuse to endorse safe sex in sub-Saharan Africa — home to almost 70% of the world’s population living with AIDS –they even go so far as to claim that condoms don’t work to protect you from HIV!
The general scientific consensus on the matter is that condoms are the only real useful preventative measure against the AIDS pandemic.
No-one is arguing against the Catholic Church’s claim that abstinence is effective; of course it is. However, promoting abstinence at the exclusion of any further sex education is not an effective method to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS — safe-sex education and increased access to prophylactics is.
The Catholic Church’s ideological obtuseness , and its stubborn refusal to simply keep its mouth shut in order to potentially save millions of lives is nothing short of shameful, ludicrous and criminal.
Seriously, could you sign your name to all this abominable lunacy? If not, you’ll have to actively say so. Go to Countmeout.ie and follow the relevant links there. It takes only minimal effort, and if enough people do it, the message will be clear.
I sincerely hope you’ll consider it.