Monday, May 20, 2013

Vatican abuse forum

It breaks my heart when I hear tales (inescapable adventures I suspect) of individuals who sought the light with open arms and open hearts and then were rewarded with a heinous darkness. The callous cruelty is ... is ... beyond my words.

Such is the on-going nature of the sexual abuses of the Vatican and its minions. I just finished listening to a discussion of Thomas D'Antonio's "Mortal Sins: Sex, Crime, and the Era of Catholic Scandal" and had the matter called to mind anew. The book aspect didn't interest me much, though I'm sure it's fine. I watched because a lot of heavy hitters were on the panel: Thomas Doyle, Richard Sipe, Patrick Wall, Jeff Anderson and Barbara Blaine. These were the people who knew their shit from the inside, people who had been, in some instances, priests, or had fought one aspect or another of the legal or tragically human battle. Centuries of horror ... literally, centuries.

Every recent 'reform' instituted by the Roman Catholic Church has been shaped not as a matter of will and caring, but as a matter of having been forced to do so. The Vatican is a corporation and any moral trappings it may claim or sell are just that ... trappings. Don't believe me -- check the history.

But all the battles and all the announcements and all the posturing cannot erase from my mind the people who suffered and in some cases continue to suffer. People -- sometimes children, for Christ's sake! -- who sought the light and ... and ... found a darkness for which words are not enough.

Those on stage during the talk are all fighting the good fight from my point of view. Bit by arduous bit, the hides are being nailed to the barn door. It's a painful business ... painful and endless by the look of things. It needs to be done, I'd say.

But because I am old and lazy and incapable of the energies these good people exhibit, I wonder as well:

If the Roman Catholic Church were obliterated (a suggestion no one entertained during the talk), what provision might be made for the utterly human seeking of the light, whatever the format? A fuck-the-light atheism or humanism strikes me as cavalier when it comes to human behavior. Common sense distances may be appropriate, but are they true? I doubt it. Whether in religion or under some other banner, still the light beckons the human heart. Am I wrong about that? Maybe so, but it is a hypothesis I find credible.

Is every light destined for darkness? I guess I think so. But the depth and viciousness of that darkness varies and is more and less informative.

I dunno. Just noodling.


  1. Adam, you asked: "If the Roman Catholic Church were obliterated (a suggestion no one entertained during the talk), what provision might be made for the utterly human seeking of the light, whatever the format?"

    Well, that's tantamount to asking: if organized crime were obliterated, what provision might be made for people wanting to behave themselves in a civil and lawful manner?

    Fact is, the scourge of the Abrahamic religions will eventually drop off as the species matures, and the light will only grow stronger, once the obscurations of those plagues are removed.

    Trust the light.

  2. Bob -- I'm not sure I can get on board with this. By way of example, look at any number of oh-so-nourishing public or personal endeavors that dimmed ... sometimes into disaster.

    To posit that people might want to behave themselves in a civil and lawful manner ... well, some might and some might not, but the imputation of common sense seems a bit too far based on historic precedent. Everybody has one bright idea or another, but when that bright idea reaches the public square ... well, the first thought into my head is "Nellie bar the door!"

    Still, you may well be right. I'll be dead before either of us finds out. :)

  3. It's difficult for children to imagine what might be the case when they eventually grow up, and so too for those still conditioned by infantile forms of religious adaptation (as prevalent in the Abrahamic models).

    Nevertheless, unless the species annihilates itself first (perhaps due to conflicting beliefs among the religious fundamentalists), there is a good chance that the species will mature to the point where institutions like Catholicism become thankfully obsolete. That may take quite some time in relative terms, but consider that, in the scheme of things, humans on this particular rock are still just getting started.

    There have been countless civilizations throughout the multiverse who have undergone similar growing pains. Some have indeed destroyed themselves, but most manage to survive their infantile and adolescent stages of developmental adaptation, moving beyond religion altogether into increasing intimacy with the light.


  4. Bob -- From your mouth to God's ear, so to speak.

  5. That hope and prediction has been voiced for centuries Bob, and shows no sign of being fulfilled.
    Outside of the US and Northern Europe the Church of Rome is growing exponentially.
    I hope that you are not going to claim that this is evidence of the west's relative maturity....
    Having spent decades in ' Buddhism ' and now happily in an Abrahamic setting I have little doubt which is the most suited to me.
    Which could of course be an indicator of my own immaturity.
    I would say more , but do not wish to intrude on Adam's hospitality.

  6. My good friend Peter -- Get your toe out of the sand. If you've got something to say, say it. Short of selling Bibles to the heathen, that's what this space is for.