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You definitely cannot make this sh*t up.
wot
lil_shepherd
Confronted by scandal, mass desertion from church attendance, court cases, media criticism, and a distinct lack of candidates for the priesthood in Ireland, what does the Vatican do?

http://www.independent.ie/national-news/new-vatican-campaign-to-clamp-down-on-liberal-opinion-2210401.html

Oh, it only starts blaming liberal attitudes (we've heard this before - I'm surprised we atheists, not to mention gays and lesbians and, no doubt, Protestants and, of course, women don't get an immediate mention) and determines to insist on adherence to doctrine and obedience and secrecy and, it thinks, all will be well.

A major thrust of the Vatican investigation will be to counteract materialistic and secularist attitudes, which Pope Benedict believes have led many Irish Catholics to ignore church disciplines and become lax in following devotional practices such as going on pilgrimages and doing penance.

PZ's comment over at Pharyngula was

there's little the church could do to help secularism advance more than to totter on its creaky old legs into the fray, yelling at those damned kids to stop being so progressive.

I think this may have been a great day for secularism - or possibly for various Protestant churches - in Ireland.

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As in so many other contexts these days, the catholic church needs to learn that respect is not a right, it is earned. When the church starts not merely defrocking but excommunicating pedophile priests they may be in a position to start on earning that respect.

What the Church clearly want to do is to turn the clock back about forty years, to the days when everyone was pious, went to church every Sunday, went to confession, and obeyed their priests... Back to the time when, oh yes! -- child-abuse by priests was at its height. Hmmm. There's a disjuncture there somewhere.

Everyone did that in 1970? That's news to me!

They did in Ireland! (Which is where chilperic lectures...) Really.

Ultimately, it may be the end of the Troubles as well. Once they've driven all the Catholics away from the Church in disgust, what's left to fight over?

Well, we'd need the various strange Protestant sects in Ulster (and believe me, they are very strange - the Minister of Culture, in charge of science museums, among other things, is an out-and-out Creationist) to do something just as self-destructive...

Though, come to think of it, they have a problem with falling membership, too.

Bishops and priests will be instructed to preach to their congregations the unchanging central message of Jesus Christ about love, healing and repentance.

Well, you know, okay... If they could possibly stick to the central message of Jesus which was love, healing and FORGIVENESS - not to mention the bits about not judging and helping your enemies and oh yeah, that annoying and time-consuming stuff about feeding the hungry and visiting the sick and sheltering the homeless and clothing the naked.

If they actually DID all that, they wouldn't have time to be blathering on about secularism and how scandalous everything is and blah blah blah-diddy blah. And people might notice them setting an example and think better of them.

But what do I know? I'm just a Quaker, and we're as bad as atheists to the RCC and certainly more heretical.

If they just stuck to the message mentioned, and not to all that stuff about doctrine and obedience, and if they stopped blaming everyone else for the child abuse scandals and actually handed those responsible over to the secular authorities (or even punished them themselves before handing them over) then I might actually be worried.

As I understand it (and I'm perfectly willing to be corrected) the admirable Society of Friends don't do dogma and doctrine, right?

No, we don't do any of that. No dogma, no doctrine. We have "queries" instead...designed to make you QUESTION AND THINK. (Imagine!) We don't even have ministers or preachers, since the idea is that God can speak to anyone. We like the Bible, but don't think it is the actual, unadulterated word of God, either. Those beliefs and practices alone were enough to get people hanged in the 1600s and later!

But I'm sure the RCC considers us little better than the awful atheists...actually, some members and attenders of the Society of Friends ARE atheists...we figure God doesn't much care...

Personally, I've always had a soft spot for Quakers.

Me too.

If I could bring myself to believe in gods or God or spirits and whatever, it'd be the Quakers or the Unitarians - but I can't. I can, however, respect both mightily, because they have earned that respect.

The nine-member team led by two cardinals will be instructed by the Vatican to restore a traditional sense of reverence among ordinary Catholics for their priests

Oh, yeah. That's going to work.

But it's going to be hilarious watching them try. [grin]

It appears the Catholic Church and Israel have the same publicist...

"... following devotional practices such as going on pilgrimages and doing penance."

Surely the pub and the racetrack would take care of those chores?

In Ireland and Oz (and the UK), certainly.

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