thegreekdog wrote:PLAYER57832 wrote:thegreekdog wrote: (4) I wonder whether, if the US church was pressured enough, they would start requiring the abusive priests, as part of their worldly contrition, to admit guilt to the property civil authorities and serve time. I think it's a good idea, but I haven't heard any movement on it.
The problem with this is part of why we had the Reformation. The Roman Catholic church is by its very nature a hierarchy where the priests are above the parishoners, the Pope above it all. To admit such widespread guilt is, in many ways to challenge church authority and the means of appointing priests. US Roman Catholics don't always take this view as strongly now as in the past (though I will say around here there is a LOT of old-style Roman Catholicism), but it is still essentially deemed up to God and not individuals to punish the priests and church hierarchy.
That's not really true anymore actually. It is not "essentially deemed up to God and not individuals to punish." Given history, I suppose it is understandable that you think this, but it's really not how the modern US Church operates. To put it another way, I believe the US Church is protecting the priests because the US Church doesn't want any more lawsuits. So it's a financial interest, not a spiritual one.
The question I asked was not whether the US Church would permit priests to be prosecuted (which, not ironically since you do this thing all the time, is the question you answered). The question I asked was whether the US Church would cave to pressure from adherents to voluntarily give over any priests, regardless of externally-provided evidence, to stand trial. I think it's a good idea, both morally and politically. Others think that too. I don't think the Church is ready for that yet, but we'll see.
I think the most influential Catholic countries are seeing a lot of public pressure on the church to reform. Player is right to point out the hierarchical problems in the church, just as you are to point out that the problem is more complex.
Ireland, for example, is currently dealing with the fallout from decades of slavery from the Magdalene Laundries- where church and state were complicit.
MacDermott Street Laundry — one of Ireland’s notorious Magdalene Laundries, or workhouses for girls — where she had toiled since 1967, six days a week, without pay. They were shocked by her appearance. “She was very disheveled and looked more than 20 years older than she was,” Ms. Long said. “She was 42, but we were looking at a pensioner’s face. It was hard work, poor nutrition and forced labor.”
Ms. Long was among those present in the Irish Parliament on Tuesday as the government made public a 1,000-page report that concluded that there was “significant state involvement” in the incarceration of thousands of women and girls in a system of slave labor that continued until 1996. And she and her sister were among those disappointed when the Irish prime minister, Enda Kenny, failed to issue an official and unambiguous apology for the state’s role.