Will this just about kill off the catholic church in Australia?

 
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/national/mps-on-both-sides-lash-comments-by-george-pell-that-the-seal-of-confession-extends-to-abuse/story-fndo20i0-1226516398723

90% of voters say the priests should break the seal of confession. I'm guessing the 10% are the few remaining hard line Catholics or petafiles (not intending to mean the same people) left.

Over the last 20 years I've noted so many catholic churches that have closed or changed to another Christian demonination it must be getting harder for those regular attendees. The church at the end of my parents street used to fill when I was a kid living there, 10 years ago it changed to another church due to lack of attendence.

Many like my mum left/stopped attending due to increasing number of child sex cases. When she was a girl in NSW NW, they had heard about it but like everything else back then, turned a blind eye. People to busy to worry about who spoke with who too long, or what girl got preggo than whats happening to the children under the care of church.

I know the church has been trying to cover this up for decades for fear of how big it will blow up and with it how many priests will go to jail and how many of the faithfull will abandon ship. Many of the accussed and in some cases victims have died, so maybe this will limit the damage. But personally I believe the catholic church in Australia is only decades (if that long) from closing down or playing 2nd fiddle to other more mainstream and some minor religons.

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  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
The Roman Catholic religion is designed for people who don't think for themselves.  They're taught that the Pope is infallible, and that he is from the line of St Peter which is absolute bollocks, given that he is elected by old men.  In the parish, what the priest says, goes.
Umpteen years ago, some "friend" of mine sent off for a set of 20 booklets about the RC church, and had them addressed to me.  I read them for academic interest, and was intrigued by the teaching of the Immaculate Conception.  This particular volume suggested that if the reader wanted the evidence for this, he should look it up in book 7.  I did.  The evidence in book 7 was that, "the church teaches it".  Not quite what the thinking person will accept.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The Roman Catholic religion is designed for people who don't think for themselves. They're taught that the Pope is infallible, and that he is from the line of St Peter which is absolute bollocks, given that he is elected by old men. In the parish, what the priest says, goes.
Umpteen years ago, some "friend" of mine sent off for a set of 20 booklets about the RC church, and had them addressed to me. I read them for academic interest, and was intrigued by the teaching of the Immaculate Conception. This particular volume suggested that if the reader wanted the evidence for this, he should look it up in book 7. I did. The evidence in book 7 was that, "the church teaches it". Not quite what the thinking person will accept.
"Valvegear"


Watched one of those doco's on weekend on Discovery that looks at ancient cultures and found "evidence" of what they believe is potentially alien influence. Such as
- wearing of masks while woreshipping gods in the sky,
- one tribe that for last 200 years has been known to worship a Apha Centuri B, but it cannot be seen with naked eye and was only found in 80's by scientists.
- Similar symbols by tribes across oceans all dated around similar era
- Average person many centuries BC had better ability to track the stars and navigate by them, but few have this ability today and its a science in its own right
- The sudden onset of head binding of babies that makes the skull enlongated that happened in multiple cultures around the world at a similar time. An Eypytian pharo is believed to have had similar features.

Then at the end, they said, "could a similar event have triggered off modern mainstream religions?" Something obviously happened a few times in middle east between 1000 and 3000 years ago.

I will hold any judgement on these theories, but I have to wonder how far off they may not actually be???
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
The Roman Catholic religion is designed for people who don't think for themselves.
"Valvegear"


Dare I suggest that much organised religion is designed for people who don't think for themselves.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

To answer the original question - probably not.  History tells us it won't disappear.

Is its reputation tarnished? - Yes. Absolutely.

The RC church is an institution that elevates "tradition" to an authority beyond where it deserves to be.  That's one reason why the Reformation occurred in the 16th century.  The question for the Church is this: "Is it open to jettisoning traditions which either contradict or are irrelevant with respect to the revelation contained in the Canon of Scripture?"  Vatican II went some of the way in saying "yes" (i.e. Liturgy could be in any language, not just Latin)

A classic example of contradiction is that of the Apostle Peter, who not only was the first "Bishop of Rome" (according to Catholic tradition), but was also married (Matthew 8:14).  Further there were female apostles (i.e. Junia in Romans 16:7) in the early church.  So why should the priesthood be limited to celibate men?  And is the role of priests redundant in the light of what the Bible text says about ALL believers being "priests" (1 Peter 2:9, Rev 5:10)?

But let it be said that the Catholic Church does an immense service and good to this country and its people through its hospitals, schools, welfare organizations and the like.  I hope it's not afraid to confront its demons and clean itself up, even if that means getting back to basics...
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
To answer the original question - probably not. History tells us it won't disappear.

Is its reputation tarnished? - Yes. Absolutely.

The RC church is an institution that elevates "tradition" to an authority beyond where it deserves to be. That's one reason why the Reformation occurred in the 16th century. The question for the Church is this: "Is it open to jettisoning traditions which either contradict or are irrelevant with respect to the revelation contained in the Canon of Scripture?" Vatican II went some of the way in saying "yes" (i.e. Liturgy could be in any language, not just Latin)

A classic example of contradiction is that of the Apostle Peter, who not only was the first "Bishop of Rome" (according to Catholic tradition), but was also married (Matthew 8:14). Further there were female apostles (i.e. Junia in Romans 16:7) in the early church. So why should the priesthood be limited to celibate men? And is the role of priests redundant in the light of what the Bible text says about ALL believers being "priests" (1 Peter 2:9, Rev 5:10)?

But let it be said that the Catholic Church does an immense service and good to this country and its people through its hospitals, schools, welfare organizations and the like. I hope it's not afraid to confront its demons and clean itself up, even if that means getting back to basics...
"Carnot"


Ever religon usually fights scientic development and that of equal oppurtunity among the sexes. It must be very hard for a female on one hand to believe she has every right to any job in the land because we tell them they are equal, but she cannot be priest? Why, who said so, if they said that 2000 years ago, is that still relevent?  Many of the sexist attitudes of even the 19th century are being phased out, so why not religous ones. Islam especially is having a tough time moderising, probably because the moderisation is two fronts, not just scientific, but local prosperity for many islamic countries is moving at a rapid rate. My current home in UAE, 50 years ago and no building bigger in Abu Dhabi than a mud fortress and the locals were mostly fisherman.

However it is also hard for the church to quickly ditch traditions and beliefs, because where do you stop?

Most of the "non thinking" is usually answered with the response "faith" you don't need a reason, you just have "faith"it is so because it is. For the average scientific questioning 21st century person, this answer is not acceptable as it used to be.

Carnot, your last paragraph is spot on and looking past the actual religion I agree there is alot of good. Lets hope it can survive, I suspect however it won't be as fortunate as the past.
  jjbc Junior Train Controller

While I don't espouse a particular opinion with regard to Catholicism, I would regard the "confessional" with the same regard as legal privilege extended to a lawyer and their client, which as I understand is held inviolable.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
While I don't espouse a particular opinion with regard to Catholicism, I would regard the "confessional" with the same regard as legal privilege extended to a lawyer and their client, which as I understand is held inviolable.
"jjbc"


Very true and you can add Journo's to that as well and lots have gone to jail or been fined for protecting their sources.




  Ballast_Plough Chief Commissioner

Location: Lilydale, Vic
I no doubt fall into that large majority of "lapsed Catholics"  - raised as a Catholic kid, went to a Catholic secondary school but stopped going to church once I moved out of home in my early 20's. In my mind the biggest hurdle for the church has been to remain current and adapt to the modern world. Fantastic to adhere to tradition but just as critical to recognise when it's equally important to embrace change. Unfortunately the current (and past) powerbrokers in Australia have been too fire and brimstone for their own good.

The church probably got it right in realising that Vatican II was a pivotal crossroad - unfortunately where they went wrong was which fork in the road to take. There is really nothing to attract the youth of today with policy on topics like contraception, marriage of priests, etc. Average age of the clergy and parishioners is constantly increasing and I know of a few priests who were fantastic at their jobs but left the Ministry so that they could marry and have families. Some very good and worthwhile people lost due to antiquated policies.

The unfortunate fallout with all the sordid happenings of the past coming out is that unwittingly those who were not at fault invariably get tarnished with the same brush. The church has a magnitude of people that have done enormous good for their communities and times like this it's so easy for the baby to be thrown out with the bathwater.
  drwaddles In need of a breath mint

Location: Newcastle
While I don't espouse a particular opinion with regard to Catholicism, I would regard the "confessional" with the same regard as legal privilege extended to a lawyer and their client, which as I understand is held inviolable.
"jjbc"

I have to disagree with you there. In a secular country, which Australia is, there is no place for exceptions/exemptions from criminal law on religious grounds.


Perhaps someone more knowledgeable on the matter than I will be able to point out in detail the times where the law still requires doctors, lawyers, psychiatrists etc to provide information to authorities despite the general theme of lawyer/doctor and client priviledge.

  Serviceton_Kev Chief Commissioner

Location: Fecking here!
C'mon peoples, the pedo priests will get away with it....we're talking about a church/system that has done worse atrocities than Hitler ever did in WWII.  Ever heard of the dark ages? All the torture and that? Yes, the RC system is responsible.  According to them then/now, I'd be classed as a heretic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heresy
  LamontCranston Chief Commissioner

The Roman Catholic religion is designed for people who don't think for themselves. They're taught that the Pope is infallible, and that he is from the line of St Peter which is absolute bollocks, given that he is elected by old men. In the parish, what the priest says, goes.
Umpteen years ago, some "friend" of mine sent off for a set of 20 booklets about the RC church, and had them addressed to me. I read them for academic interest, and was intrigued by the teaching of the Immaculate Conception. This particular volume suggested that if the reader wanted the evidence for this, he should look it up in book 7. I did. The evidence in book 7 was that, "the church teaches it". Not quite what the thinking person will accept.
"Valvegear"


Watched one of those doco's on weekend on Discovery that looks at ancient cultures and found "evidence" of what they believe is potentially alien influence. Such as
- wearing of masks while woreshipping gods in the sky,
- one tribe that for last 200 years has been known to worship a Apha Centuri B, but it cannot be seen with naked eye and was only found in 80's by scientists.
- Similar symbols by tribes across oceans all dated around similar era
- Average person many centuries BC had better ability to track the stars and navigate by them, but few have this ability today and its a science in its own right
- The sudden onset of head binding of babies that makes the skull enlongated that happened in multiple cultures around the world at a similar time. An Eypytian pharo is believed to have had similar features.

Then at the end, they said, "could a similar event have triggered off modern mainstream religions?" Something obviously happened a few times in middle east between 1000 and 3000 years ago.

I will hold any judgement on these theories, but I have to wonder how far off they may not actually be???
"RTT_Rules"


Most of that stuff can be easily debunked, liked the bogus claims about the Dogon people, if you bother to look instead of cherry picking facts (really just trivia) to fit conclusions.

Back to topic:
doctor/patient confidentiality is also considered inviolable except in cases of harm to one self or others, they then have a duty of care to inform the authorities - shouldn't this then be the same legal framework for religious confession?
  Camster Chief Commissioner

Location: Geelong
I am religious myself but not catholic. I have never considered the Pope to be infallible. He is elected by men. On topic though, the Roman Catholic church has been in trouble for years regardless of any scandals.
  tranzitjim Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
While I am an Atheist, I do have high respect for the pope and his office.  My feelings are on par to a world leader like the President of the USA.

This is one issue in which 'they must come into the modern age' with.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Good opinion piece in theage this morning which I mostly agree with (written by a Maronite Catholic):
http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/clerical-error-look-east-for-reason-why-celibacy-vow-should-be-axed-20121114-29ce4.html

Perhaps over-generalizing a bit though.
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
Just for the record, I am a semi-practising Catholic, and am very happy to a member of a wonderful christian church.

As much as I love my faith, I do acknowledge that the church has some faults..afterall Gods church is run by imperfect human beings. The thing that people forget is that there are a large number of Catholics out there in various positions that do some wonderful works, it is the minority of people who abuse their position for their own self interest that seem to get all the attention.

It is these people, not only in the catholic church but other organisations as well, who abuse kids that need to be brought before the court system and charged. The minority of the heirachy who actively hid paedophiles need to be brought before the full weight of the law as well. God has no role in any of these alleged offenders lives, and there is absolutely no place in the church for them.
  TheLoadedDog The Ghost of George Stephenson

I'm an agnostic but I like to gunzel religion, if that makes sense. I enjoy flipping through the King James Bible, I am attracted to the dour sobriety of Scots Presbyterianism and other proddie churches, and I kinda like all the Roman Catholic pomp and ceremony.  

Anyway, I think the confessional should remain inviolate.  As has been said in the press by at least one commentator, paedophile priests aren't going to use it anyway, unless it is to another paedophile priest.

I believe this Royal Commission will make the Catholic church stronger.  Plenty of Catholics react to traditions and customs they view as out of touch and irrelevant to modern life simply by not engaging with them.  Confession is one area where this takes place - these days, a lot of Catholics just don't bother confessing.  I think, after a thorough clean-out of the bad stuff, many currently non-practicing or semi-practicing Catholics will re-engage with their church.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I am atheist in every sense of the word, many seculars use the word to suggest that they have no religion, but I truly believe that there are no deities.

From what I know of the Catholic Church, which is not much, (I think that's both a lucky thing for both myself and the Church) they seem to be real big on changing the rules to suit themselves. Catholics from 'the west' seem to have this notion of celibacy which does not seem to be followed right throughout the world, infact from what I know it was not even thought of pre Pope Casalitius (or something 1000 odd years ago). It's only vaguely interesting to me that marriage for Catholic Priests seemed to be okay for 1000 odd years, then suddenly some bloke decided that it had to change, one could only assume that it might have had something to do with his lack of interest in women...

My GF used to 'attend' (at the behest of her previous BF) the Church of St Pius X, now they're a different bunch... I wonder what they think of Scientologists...



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvhYqeGp_Do



  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA


"LamontCranston"


Well that certainly fits with what L. Ron Hubbard thought...
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
I am atheist in every sense of the word, many seculars use the word to suggest that they have no religion, but I truly believe that there are no deities.

From what I know of the Catholic Church, which is not much, (I think that's both a lucky thing for both myself and the Church) they seem to be real big on changing the rules to suit themselves. Catholics from 'the west' seem to have this notion of celibacy which does not seem to be followed right throughout the world, infact from what I know it was not even thought of pre Pope Casalitius (or something 1000 odd years ago). It's only vaguely interesting to me that marriage for Catholic Priests seemed to be okay for 1000 odd years, then suddenly some bloke decided that it had to change, one could only assume that it might have had something to do with his lack of interest in women...
"Aaron"

No, no, no, and no. This is not a thread on the whys and wherefores of celibacy in the Roman Catholic Church, may I politely suggest that you do some research on the topic before espousing views like that.
Glossing over the issue, celibacy was introduced because priests centuries ago were rooting around, and doing naughty things with women, and ignoring their Godly duties. That's why Very Happy
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I am atheist in every sense of the word, many seculars use the word to suggest that they have no religion, but I truly believe that there are no deities.

From what I know of the Catholic Church, which is not much, (I think that's both a lucky thing for both myself and the Church) they seem to be real big on changing the rules to suit themselves. Catholics from 'the west' seem to have this notion of celibacy which does not seem to be followed right throughout the world, infact from what I know it was not even thought of pre Pope Casalitius (or something 1000 odd years ago). It's only vaguely interesting to me that marriage for Catholic Priests seemed to be okay for 1000 odd years, then suddenly some bloke decided that it had to change, one could only assume that it might have had something to do with his lack of interest in women...
"Aaron"

No, no, no, and no. This is not a thread on the whys and wherefores of celibacy in the Roman Catholic Church, may I politely suggest that you do some research on the topic before espousing views like that.
Glossing over the issue, celibacy was introduced because priests centuries ago were rooting around, and doing naughty things with women, and ignoring their Godly duties. That's why Very Happy
"xxxxlbear"


That may well be the case, as I admitted I know very little about Churches in general, but if what you assert is true, and I have no doubt that it may well have been that way, why a vow of chastity? Why not a more easy to follow vow of monogamy, or better yet, a vow to not 'root around'?

As an interesting aside, why does this 'generalised kiddie fiddling' not appear in more (what I from the outside might consider) progressive churches around the world, and the eastern churches and religions? Which again to me at least do not appear to have the rigid rules of the Catholic Church in the west.
  ParkesHub Chief Commissioner

Well, my step daughter works for In Good Faith and was on Lateline the other night. I've seen her come home stressed and upset at a lot of the stuff that abused men and women have told her, most of which will never be given in evidence. But a glass or so of good South Aussie red puts her right (plus a bit of debriefing). Funnily, her analytical skills (she was the one who forensically tracked where the offending were moved to) came from a good Jesuit education!

Some catholics go on about being attacked by outsiders (media, etc) but fail to realise or admit that the church is being eaten away from the inside by these paedophile creatures. If there is any destruction to the church, it comes from within not without. As TLD™ says, the church will emerge leaner and stronger (=better) for all of this catharsis. Personally, I think religion is a kind of organised group madness and, having being abused myself as an 11yo, hold no love for anything catholic (except, perhaps, for some Gregorian Chant) but, IMO, a church rid of paedophiles contributes to the overall health of society.

Sadly, I believe the RC will overwhelm some unknown victims because (and I've been feeling this myself) the constant mentioning of it brings back unwanted memories. In fact, I have recalled some fairly unsavoury memories myself in the last week. Some of these poor souls will commit suicide and it makes me weep for them.

Finally, being as how the Royal Commission is meant to cover all kinds of groups in Australia, gunzels might look closer to their rail related hobby for paedophilia (and the consequent exposure of same). It seems mostly the catholic church but it aint all.
  Oldfart Chief Commissioner

Location: Right base for BK 11R
I doubt it will 'kill off' the Catholic Church in Oz. It has too long a history, too many adherents and too much inertia to be derailed by a single issue alone. Skillfully handled it could just as easily end up being a turn towards something positive (though not if George Pell has much to do with it). Go back through the history of Catholicism and it has always been in some sort of crisis; which might well explain why it has always survived. 

I s'pose I'd call myself an atheistic existentialist if I had to put a label on my beliefs. Nevertheless, I have an MA majoring in world religions (from a School of History, not Theology) and did that purely out of personal interest. After all, it's work, sex and religion that makes the world go round, so understanding systems of belief (including the many 'denominations' of atheism) is an important key to understanding the world.  I don't hate or resent any of them. I find them all fascinating (particularly Hinduism and Taoism)  and consider most of them to be sincere attempts to make sense of life, the 'human condition' and death. I consider most of them contain substantial universal truths, but are usually also encrusted with dysfunctional traditions from their culture of origin.

I was brought up Catholic, but at something of its more 'liberal' end. The papacy was not of much more significance to me as the royal family is to the average Australian. Papal infallibility was seen more as 'the Pope only guarantees what he's saying is right when he makes 'ex-cathedra' ('officially from the chair') statements'. I think he's (they've) only ever done that twice, which means everything else ever said by any Pope may be completely incorrect. There was a big emphasis on personal responsibility for working out what is right. Believing something simply because the church said it was so was the same as the 'Nuremburg defence' ('I was only following orders'). I still have a vague fondness for the more attractive bits of Catholicism and particularly for how it is so strongly connected with western civilisation, I just don't happen to believe it's actually true.

As for the 'seal of confession' thing. Under the doctrine of freedom of conscience a priest could reveal things said if he genuinely believed that was the right course of action, in spite of any 'rules' to the contrary. However, I don't think requiring people to do so is a sound idea. State laws have no more real validity than religious rules; after all nationalism or any sort of civil society is just as big a 'fabricated construct' as any religion. Pedophile clergy are hardly likely to confess to priests who they know have genuine morals. If anything they will confess to co-conspirators or to a priest who doesn't know them. The latter won't be able to see their face and won't know their voice. The person confessing will also probably not use modern legal language for what they've done, but say something like "I've committed impure acts with others", which could mean almost anything. Even if it's clear what they've done, it might not be clear that the person confessing is from the clergy. It could just as easily be a person confessing to incest with their own children or relatives. It might be a 15 year old confessing to 'fiddling' with a 14 year old. Would they have to 'dob in' just clergy who made such confessions, or all of the above? What about other serious crimes? What about 'dobbing in' someone who confesses to a particularly violent sexual assault against an 18 year old female, or a 22 year old person with a disability, or an elderly person? Or are other serious crimes somehow OK? 

Actually there is a much easier solution. Why not make it compulsory for the perpetrator to confess to their crime? If I remember my early religious instruction correctly, if a person confesses to theft, a condition for absolution is to make restitution (i.e. give back what you stole or make up for it to the person you stole it from in some equivalent way). Using a similar principle, it should not be doctrinally difficult for the Catholic Church to make handing yourself in to the relevant civil authority as a condition of absolution for pedophilia.

I see a bit of a relationship between compulsory celibacy and the potential risk for compulsive sexual aberration. My personal view is that the Catholic Church should ditch compulsory celibacy for its clergy. It wasn't always so, and doesn't need to continue to be. IMHO it's perpetuated because it seems far easier to 'control' a gaggle of unmarried people that are set apart from the general community, than a group who also have strong family networks. I think a clergy with lots of married people would be much more vibrant, much more morally healthy, more in touch with the community and better able to serve them.

Civil law makers also need to think more about the issue of child sexual offences and how they should be dealt with. For example, many pedophiles were also molested themselves when they were children. How do you best deal with a person who is both a perpetrator and a victim?  The media also need to take more responsibility about how they deal with it. In the pursuit of ratings it is not too hard to turn a serious criminal issue into a lurid witch hunt, undermine investigations, create unnecessary panic, distort evidence and ignore proper judicial process. I'm waiting for one of the current affairs shows to discover that the concept of the 'presumption of innocence' was actually invented by a Catholic cardinal (Jean Lemoine) and therefore must be part of some huge conspiracy to protect priests.       

Which brings me to my final point. Most people feel a revulsion about pedophilia. The Catholic clergy are an easily identifiable (and slightly 'odd') group and many people probably think that 'hammering' them is the way of solving the whole problem. But the problem is much, much larger. I went to Catholic schools and was never molested. I knew of one priest who was rumoured to do it and would have told him where to go in no uncertain terms if he had attempted anything. But I also personally know of three dads who molested their own kids, two Police officers who were involved in child offences (and a conspiracy to cover it up), and my brother-in-law (a male nurse and hospital administrator) received death threats for breaking up a ring of staff at a psychiatric hospital who thought it was 'just one of the perks' to sexually abuse young patients. Any investigation needs to go much deeper than the Catholic Church. I hope we have the guts to look deeply into other hallowed institutions and even our own extended families.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Someone will know this:-  Can a priest,  who knows that another one has abused children, and fails to report it to police, be charged with being an Accessory after the Fact?
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Someone will know this:- Can a priest, who knows that another one has abused children, and fails to report it to police, be charged with being an Accessory after the Fact?
"Valvegear"


Sadly, no. That's not even describing what being an accessory actually is. If said priest took some step(s) to conceal the events that occurred, then I would hope so yes, but I doubt it'd ever happen. If X confesses to a priest that they fiddled a kid and police were later to go to said priest and ask direct questions ie something similar to 'Did X fiddle a kid?' the priest absolutely should answer 'yes', an answer of anything else ought to be considered making a false statement, or obstruction.

Just back on the inviolate nature of privilege, I do not believe that the confessional ought to be held in the same regard as client-legal privilege, which incidentally is not held inviolate. A practitioner has to break privilege (or privilege never existed) when there are issues relating to life threatening events, and when directly questioned by law enforcement about some event (criminal) that they have knowledge.

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