Miniblog #323: Damn Pope John Paul & Damn Pope Benedict. I Will Never Be Roman Catholic.
Yesterday I began watching the 83 minute Frontline documentary “Secrets of the Vatican.” It confirmed and expanded all the research I’d done about the child sex abuse scandals. My response as one who repeatedly experienced childhood rape by a person in my church? Damn Pope John Paul and damn Pope Benedict!11.Holy Fathers my ass. Any respect I once had for either of them is now null and void. I’m praying some imprecatory psalms in their general direction. I couldn’t finish watching that documentary.22.My blood boiled. My anxiety spiked. My heart pounded. It made me physically ill to the point that I vomited. The same fight or flight fury set in as when I stabbed my abuser. Latent PTSD stuff? Shame on them. Wolves in sheep’s clothing. I have absolutely no patience for such men and their institutional loyalty, fiscal idolatry, political corruption, pious hypocrisy, and incompetent cowardice. Didn’t know how to deal with it? I’m calling bullshit.3 That settles it once and for all.3.I’ll show you how to deal with it. Give me a papal appointment, a list of offenders, a website to publicly accept fault, the funds to pay for counseling, and the authority to depose the hell out of these bastards and institute abuse prevention training and an abuse response policy. It seriously ain’t that complicated. Give me just one freaking year. Oh, and a miniature guillotine may also prove helpful. I will NEVER be Roman Catholic. Don’t get me wrong. I sincerely love and respect Pope Francis.4 He’s one of my favorite Christians on earth. But there ain’t nothin’ he or anybody else could do to get me to pledge loyalty to the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is the Vatican. To be clear, I’m neither suggesting nor arguing that no one should be Roman Catholic because of the childhood sex abuse scandals. I am voicing why I never could be. Even if I came to believe the Roman Catholic Church were the once true Church,5 on an experiential level I could never feel safe there. Not after what I’ve experience. Therefore, I would never commit to it.64.I wish him the best and prayer for him regularly. Also, to any Roman Catholic who may read this, let’s make sure we’re on the same page about something. The only appropriate response is5.Which is highly improbable and only growing more so. “I’m sorry, we repent, and we’ll leave no stone left unturned in trying to ensure this never happens again.” Over and over again. That’s it. Do not explain. Do not justify. Do not defend.6.The whole institutional structure and loyalty culture cause me to say, “Ah, heck no!” Do not deflect. Do not minimize. Do not complain. Do not condemn the media for reporting it. Do not keep insisting all the more fervently that your Church is Holy. Do not launch into a historical or theological treatise. None of those are healthy or helpful.77.In fact, they’re just the opposite. They’re sick and harmful. Just acknowledge, apologize, and take responsibility, which, although it may be uncomfortable, is the only healthy and helpful path forward. Final thought: I really encourage folks to watch that documentary. It’s linked above.