Catholic Schizophrenia

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This topic contains 53 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  jakelafort 6 months, 3 weeks ago.

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    Hi @theencogitationer (that’s a mouthful!)!

    Here in the U.S. we’ve seen Catholic Churches & youth programs, then Boy Scout programs, then other church youth programs, then college and university programs, then youth sports programs.   And always, everywhere, the foster care and K-12 systems here.  The story is always the same… years of serial abuse, sometimes hundreds of victims from just one predator.  Administrators who covered up, looked the other way, didn’t follow up adequately.  Sometimes they were advised by lawyers and insurers to do so, caught between uncertainty and PR risk and the threat of defamation suits.

    Lots of those places, like public universities and K-12 schools are state-run entities, with the full power of the state and taxpayer dollars behind them.  Our foster care system has taken children away from parents at gunpoint and given them to predators.  And you’re worried about the Vatican City-State?   The average city police force in the U.S. is bigger than the Swiss Guard.

    Now, here’s a challenge for you:  Having made your claim, can you site even one case where the Vatican asserted sovereign or diplomatic immunity to protect a pedophile?   I suspect it’s a bit like ranting about the Inquisition.  Texas kills more people on average per year than the Inquisition did.  It reflects a bias, rather than an objective assessment.



    DrBob, no gish galloping here. Had not even broken into a trot. You conveniently avoided any kind of substantive response to any of it.

    You are an apologist to a degree that sickens me. Sophistry. A surfiet of sophistry slinking and slithering…

    Defending the Catholic’s violation of human rights against indigenous peoples and relabeling it to suit your agenda is contemptible. I assume that you as an educated person know about it. I will not ascribe your dismissal of crimes against humanity to mere ignorance. Equating education in a university with the coerced acculturation that destroyed so many cultures and ruined so many lives and resulted in so much torture and murder is contemptible. The repercussions of Catholic ‘education’ from centuries ago reverberates even now.

    One form of ‘conversion’ is as much an indoctination as any other form of ‘conversion’? I would expect a half witted ten year old to see through much of your apologetics and sophistry. It is simply pathetic. I am much more forgiving of an ignorant person who has been duped by religion than an educated one who twists reality to apologize for his particular ideology.

    Bob writes: One of the things that leads to a lot of evil and ill will in the world is when we thoughtlessly personify groups and institutions. Modern atheism is quick to resist that – any effort to generalize atheist thought is met with vociferous objections and a mantra of “atheism is just not believing in god(s)!!”. It’s curious therefore why you insist on trying to cast billions of Catholics throughout history into some monolithic, personified straw man. Institutions and belief systems are not people.

    Atheism in and of itself is not an ideology. Catholicism is. That isn’t an apples and oranges distinction. It is apples and no fruit. I was careful to point out that humans do bad things whether they are religious or not. More to the point ideologies cause people to do evil. It makes many adherents/ideologues be much worse than they would in its absence. Catholicism is directly responsible for the zealous defenders of the faith venturing into the new world and ransacking/raping/enslaving/destroying/stealing/murdering of countrless victims. Am i attacking Catholics or Catholicism? I am attacking Catholicism of course. The vast majority in a time of great ignorance had no defense against the psychology of early indoctrination. Catholics are just people who were acted upon by an ugly institution. You wrote one thing i can sign onto. “Institutions and belief systems are not people.”

    You also write: “If you expect Catholics to be something better than human, then you are creating a myth that even we would not endorse.” Today’s Catholics are in general better because they’re less Catholic. The reason they are less Catholic is because Catholicism has lost its power. The light of humanism and scrutiny has rendered the institution a mere shadow of its earlier puissant influence.




    Again, all of this is true about any institution where adults have authority over children. But for you to point this out to minimize The Roman Catholic Church’s record on child sexual abuse is a Whataboutism or Tu Quoque Fallacy. One abuse does not justify another. You might as well be saying: ” I am rubber, you are glue…” in Latin.

    Now, here’s a challenge for you: Having made your claim, can you site even one case where the Vatican asserted sovereign or diplomatic immunity to protect a pedophile? I suspect it’s a bit like ranting about the Inquisition. Texas kills more people on average per year than the Inquisition did. It reflects a bias, rather than an objective assessment.

    The Vatican didn’t have to assert Sovereign or Diplomatic Immunity. The so-called European Court of Human Rights did it for them and The Vatican went along.

    Rights court: Vatican can’t be sued in European courts by sex abuse victims
    The European Court of Human Rights found Vatican City is protected by state immunity from lawsuits brought in European courts by victims of clergy sexual abuse.

    CAIN BURDEAU / October 12, 2021

    Also, it helps to remember that the atrocities done by both Catholic and Protestant Churches and their State sympathizers occured at a time when Humanity’s population had not reached the 1 billion mark.

    So if you’re going to get into a dick-measuring contest of whether religious atrocities were fewer than atrocities of States in the Twentieth Century, they’re most likely equally proportionate to their respective populations, so it’s a wash of blood.

    Not that any of this should make a difference to a Church that supposedly claims that “all life is precious.”

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by  TheEncogitationer. Reason: Spelling

    @drbob – I do not know what it is about my previous post that you do not get.  I thought that I had explained that I am unable to understand how Catholics, like your good self, do not see the paradox or contradiction in believing that they can be vegetarians even when they “Eat of my flesh and drink of my blood”.  I began my post by asking you to explain why I am being illogical…or why my deduction is absurd?

    For me, as a non-Catholic and for my Hindu friend who had never really spoken with a Catholic before the age of 30, we genuinely find it strange that Catholics can consider themselves vegetarian while also consuming flesh.  Again I will gladly admit that it sounds like an absurd question but from our point of view, as non-Catholics, we find it strange. We are unable to find a Catholic that can give a satisfactory answer.

    Your reply began “it’s sometimes hard to tell whether you take yourself seriously”. That is not an answer to my question.  I often see angles (no, not angels) that other people don’t. Here is an example. It might explain my perception of apologetic rhetoric to some extent.

    In your reply you wrote that “St. John Chrysostom, St. Anthony, St. Catherine and a bunch of others were all vegetarians”.

    Most people will take that as written (or verbatim ac litteratim as some Catholics might say) and move on. But within a few seconds I see things that are inconsistent with others professed beliefs.

    You, as a Catholic, believe that these formally dead people have become “Saints” in Catholic Heaven. That means they are alive again. They are now immortals. They are part of the “Communion of Saints” (a Catholic belief possibly going all the way back to Tertullian).   So, I wondered why you did not write “they are all vegetarians”. To become a Saint in Catholicism you must first die and are somehow resurrected and get taken to Heaven where you join all the other Saints that went thought the same process, n’est-ce pas?

    Maybe they no longer need to eat food? I am not sure myself as Jesus ate broiled fish after he came back from the dead (Luke 24, I think). Not a fan myself but ask me again when I have not eaten anything for 72 hours, even if its Friday.

    From there my mind taxes me with “I thought nobody gets to Catholic Heaven until Jesus returns to Earth and holds court on the Day of Judgement”. Then He will decide who joins Him as an immortal. When did Jesus give mortal men the permission to decide who gets to Heaven in advance of the Day of Judgement? Is the Pope able to resurrect the dead and send them to Heaven by the power of Canonization? Then ordinary Catholics are able to pray to them in Heaven so that they can intercede on their behalf? Is that the role of the Saint until the Day of Judgement? They have to listen to humans imploring them to change the plans that God laid out for them? If I was a Saint (please God NO!!) I don’t think I would be able to keep asking God to change His plans to suit the demands of the people petitioning me. Would I even have the time to eat any food if I were on the prayer phone 24/7, 365/infinity?

    So, some vegetarians got to Heaven early? Well Holy Cow as my Hindu friend might say.

    Then I think of all the mothers who lost their children before they were baptized. For centuries they wept as they knew that their babies were in limbus infantium and would never get to join them in Heaven. Why did your God give mortal men such power to send women to Heaven to mourn their dead children forever and have them still on the left with all the female saints? And overnight that centuries old doctrine was dismissed.

    All of that and more flashed through my head in a second or two when I read that you wrote “they were vegetarians”. But I won’t ask for an explanation there as it is absurd. Don’t you agree, Dr Bob? But please explain how you solve the dichotomy of believing you can eat the flesh of Jesus and be a vegetarian.  You might even convert a vegetarian Hindu and an Atheist fronkey farmer to Catholicism! No really, I am being serious! Just imagine the kudos!



    It’s curious therefore why you insist on trying to cast billions of Catholics throughout history into some monolithic, personified straw man. Institutions and belief systems are not people.

    No…we are referring to the claims that you have made about the Church Dr. Bob. Stop deflecting. You claimed that the Church eventually embraces social change [something I should add is rarely initiated by the church, but we ALL know that]. The Catholic church is STILL kicking and screaming every time even the most progressive countries try to legalise gay marriage. These countries aren’t even forcing Catholic churches to marry people in their buildings, just allow LTBQ+ the same basic dignity as others. And your church is STILL relentlessly fighting against every referendum every time it happens. So knock it off with your Beserk claim that your church embraces social change. It only does so when it has no choice. When the social changes that other forces make happen, take root so strongly that not embracing them will hurt your rotten, toxic and menacing church. I don’t care that your Pope has taken a softer approach to LGTBQ+ rights. You are still an undeniable barrier to me and people like me having the dignity we deserve.



    It’s curious therefore why you insist on trying to cast billions of Catholics throughout history into some monolithic, personified straw man. Institutions and belief systems are not people.

    And your church is STILL relentlessly fighting against every referendum every time it happens. So knock it off with your Beserk claim that your church embraces social change.

    Appearing this morning in a local Portland, Oregon daily briefing put out by what used to be the daily paper, but which has retreated into a news-oriented website:

    Portland archbishop tells Catholic schools to use names, pronouns assigned at birth



    I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about it but Roman Catholicism has a highly irrational side as well as a highly rational side. The irrational side incorporates a fair amount of paganism and local religious practices having no liturgical justification. Mexico, a largely Catholic country gives us a couple well-known examples. One well-publicized example is the Day of the Dead, which is official. There is also the cult of Santa Muerte (Saint Death), which is also practiced but without being sanctified, even though the Church isn’t strenuously trying to put a stop to it. There are similar non-liturgical or pagan add-ons to Catholocism around the world, almost exclusively in impoverished Third World countries. On the other hand, the Catholic Church, after their suppression of Galileo’s idea that Earth was not the center of the universe, mostly move toward adopting science as part of their arsenal. Unlike the Protestant sects, rampant as many of them are with hostility toward scientific explanations of creation, the inception of life, as well as evolution. The Catholic Church accepts science and uses it as simply examples of the Wonder that is God who designed it all. Just a few of many Catholics from the History of Science, some of them churchmen, all practicing Catholics: Roger Bacon, Franciscan; Nicholas Copernicus; Rene Descartes; Georges LeMaitre; Gregor Mendel; Blaise Pascal; William Roentgen; and Louis Pasteur. Even today, being a practicing Catholic is no restraint on practicing science because they can always say and believe “Because of God…”

    As I said elsewhere, the God of the bible did not create the universe. The biblical creation story bears not the slightest resemblance to the universe we live, for Catholics to embrace science is just another example of their moving away from Christian orthodoxy.


    Btw, is the day of the dead anymore superstitious than the resurrection of the dead (even those who have been cremated, dismembered, decapitated, eaten, etc.)



    Oh, I don’t think we’re any more schizophrenic than anyone else. For the record, Dia de Los Muertos is not a Catholic holiday or celebration, official or otherwise, and some practices are discouraged by the Church. It’s a cultural celebration, much like the 4th of July or Memorial Day is in the U.S. Priests may visit cemeteries with parishioners on Memorial Day; masses with prayers for the country are held on the 4th of July, but that doesn’t make either of those holidays Catholic. God and Catholicism often embrace people where they’re at, and at times take cultural elements and make them holy. After all, that’s what Jesus did with the bread and wine of the Jewish seder celebration, right? It’s not just a developing world thing by any means. German, and German-American, and now American Catholics have Christmas trees, after all. My church had several over the Christmas season. Not everyone, after all, is or should be a scientist. God has to speak to each individual in the language he/she/whatever understands, and the Church in its own imperfect, sometimes stupid, often exasperating, but very human way follows suit. For a curmudgeonly old physicist, it may be the endless fascination of the universe and the subtle laws by which it is constructed. Even such old physicists also still appreciate the festive hopefulness of Christmas trees or the prayerful scent of incense, though. We humans are nothing if not complex! As to some of the other bits:

    • Every youth-serving organization, from churches to schools to universities (and scouts, and sports programs, and social service agencies, and…) “covered up abuse”. To tar one but not the others is a measure of your prejudice, but not of anything else.
    • No, it doesn’t take me 20 hours a week to practice my religion. Where in the world did that notion come from?
    • Copernicus was a Catholic. The suppression of Galileo was political rather than scientific, because Galileo was often a plagiarizing ass. At the time, the actual scientific evidence was against him; it was only many decades later that instrumentation improved to the point where heliocentrism became more viable. That work, too, was mostly done by Catholics; in fact, the Vatican still funds a reasonable astronomy / astrophysics research group.
    • I can see where someone might think that the Catholic Church “represents authoritarianism”, in that we do still have a lot of trappings from when the Church was struggling with various secular kings. “You may be a king, but Christ is the King of kings; you may have a crown, but the pope has 3 crowns!” sort of thing. That would be a pretty ill-informed notion, however, since Catholicism has also supported union movements and democracies and even today espouses an official doctrine of exercising a preferential option for the poor.

    My favorite, though, are always @Reg’s quirky absurdities. I am amused by them (“A vegetarian cannot be a Catholic!”). I do worry, though, about the sort of intellectual bullying that lies at the heart of such approaches. It’s way too much like “punching down” for my tastes. One can beat up on anyone who isn’t well-informed on any subject, whether it’s their own Catholicism or their own country’s legal structure or just basic maths and geography. That can be humorous, but it can also be mean. Anyways, just some random thoughts. It is true that we Catholics have no particular problem being scientists; indeed I learned experimental method first from a nun in the 2nd grade. Dr. Bob


    So, do you ignore the sexual abuse of children as just another example of human complexity to be tolerated? That priest who do such things receive what amounts to a slap on the wrist answers my question.



    Lol rhonjon- this is exactly what a Christian apologist sounds like.

    Apropos of the child abuse aspect, the Catholic Church has a Captive insurance company (captives do not have public accounts) up here in Vermont that holds a $600 million reserve to pay off abuse victims with so they don’t go to court.
    There are no other ‘child-abuse connected’ insurance entities for sports and Boy Scouts and stuff.
    But I’m sure Bob will show us how Christian apologetics wriggle around inconvenient facts 🙂




    Doctor Bob is not an apologist. He is simply an affable curmudgeon. No axe to grind unless it is to grind the mind of those who are not aligned.



    Love me some lawyer rap 🙂

    I occasionally wonder if the Christians that come to this site, do so for some alternative titillation, since masturbation is a mortal sin for them.




    “I occasionally wonder if the Christians that come to this site, do so for some alternative titillation, since masturbation is a mortal sin for them.”

    Nice line. Good policy for Christianity to keep em feeling guilty for something they will keep doing anyhow. Better go to confession and do a bunch of rosary beads!

    Ever see the medieval Christian devices to stop erections while sleeping ?


    Ever see the medieval Christian devices to stop erections while sleeping ?

    Put a nun in your bed?? Nun for you tonight Holy Father!



    Ever see the medieval Christian devices to stop erections while sleeping ? Put a nun in your bed?? Nun for you tonight Holy Father!


    Three nuns were at a vegetable stand where they brought cucumbers on sale four for a dollar.


    First nun: Wait a minute. There are four cucumbers, but there are only three of us.

    Second nun: Well, we can always eat one.



    A nun and a canary share a cucumber in a coal mine.

    Nun: Oh you eat those things?

    Canary: Yeah, what else?

    Nun: Ask rhonjon…i don’t fucking know.

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