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View Diary: New Jersey Catholic Church lobbies to keep victims of abuse silent (47 comments)

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  •  This is the sort of thing that makes (7+ / 0-)

    people stop going to church.

    Not everyone, but enough to hurt. A bleeding off of human bricks and mortar.

    Delusional and myopic Bill Donahue and his Catholic League aside, at every step in the molestation crisis trail, some part of the Church, be it locally, regionally, nationally, internationally has found a way to do the wrong thing thinking that they are defending the institution they belong to and serve. Denial. Cover ups. Move the monsters around. Calling the victims liars. Running out the clock on lawsuits and legal action. Focus on shielding or protecting the financial assets and funds from lawsuits in their first few decisions or moves in a crisis. Lobbying lawmakers over making amends as a part of stopping and fixing the problem.

    And good people do have a breaking point.

    They can't will the Church to do the right thing.

    They can endure, and hope things get better, pray they do, or they can go for the door in sorrow and anger as their breaking points get reached.  

    Not everyone, of course, but enough to hurt. To diminish.

    They still believe in God. They still have faith. They still consider themselves Catholics, or Christians. They just separate themselves from enabling a system that they cannot influence any other way more effectively than with their feet. Many of those who walk, maybe even most of them, will have fond memories of a more innocent time and a more trusting age in their lives, and maybe their long for it to return, they probably will still consider themselves Catholics, but.

    But one day.... a light goes off in another head or heart and they just stop going.

    And for all the human and community loss a parish might endure by such a slow moving exodus of frustration and disgust, there is a practical bottom-line effect. No more money in the collection plate. You start thinking of that sort of thing happening systemically, all over, and any "win" you might score, financially or legally, by operating this way is actually a crippling loss.

    You aren't saving money by operating this way.

    You can "win" all right. Get victims to settle. Get victims to quit. Get lawmakers to help you shield your assets more effectively.

    And slowly work to empty your pews while you "win".

    It's stunning how many Episcopalians I have met in the last 20-25 years who used to be Catholics, including my mother. Her sisters have all migrated to other churches. She calls her new adopted church Diet Catholicism, or Catholic Light. A humorous, but still a little bitingly so, from a Catholic among Catholic refugees welcomed into a refuge they feel less ashamed of and frustrated by.

    My mother doesn't hate the Catholic Church, she doesn't want to oppress those who stay, she just couldn't take it anymore so she doesn't go to one anymore.

    Their loss.

    I went from a little Catholic Altar boy to being somebody who was confirmed in the Episcopal Church in my teens because my devout Catholic mother... walked. She couldn't take it anymore.

    You have to change your perception of how you view your institutional bottom line. Both financially as well as morally.

    You can "win" in one sense, and lose big, very much so, in another.

    I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

    by LeftHandedMan on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 08:32:00 PM PDT

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