Mudcat Café message #3968216 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #164703   Message #3968216
Posted By: Joe Offer
24-Dec-18 - 04:48 PM
Thread Name: BS: Clerical abuse of kids: More Revelations
Subject: RE: BS: Clerical abuse of kids: More Revelations
Yeah, I suppose the Catholic church at Ballyferriter is a valuable asset. It should be torn down and the property sold to developers who can build cute little prefab houses. Right?

Yes, there are justifications for bankrupting the Catholic Church. There are also consequences. All those mostly-empty "assets" cost a lot to maintain, so that tourists can come in and take selfies. Those old churches don't really function all that well for services that are suited to the times, but there's a raucous outcry from people who don't go to church, every time an old church closes or is modernized.

We Catholics acknowledge all the damage that was done by criminal priests in years past, but we also know that the vast majority of our priests were not guilty of these crimes. For most crimes, the guilty parties are the ones held responsible, and almost all agree that the criminals should pay the price of their crime. But in this case, it's different. The price is being paid by people who were mostly unaware of the crimes at the time they were happening. And because Catholic parishes have "assets," there are people lining up to collect those assets.

There's no question that we who are current members of the Catholic Church do have a share in the responsibility for reparations, but where does that responsibility end? When can we stop paying and go on with life?

Our parish just cut our music director from 40 to 12 hours per week - the congregation is shrinking, and there just wasn't enough money to pay her. We need a new roof, and that will cost $100,000. We thought our diocese paid for all those offenses at about the time they were reported, at about $100,000 per victim. But then came 2002 and the big reports of dioceses that hadn't paid, and we had to pay another million bucks per victim. We cut staff and closed buildings and learned to live on an austerity budget, but we still haven't recovered enough to pay a fulltime music director a living wage.

And yes, there are some dioceses who tried to evade their financial responsibility for the crimes their priests committed, and people are looking at us who already paid and thinking we owe more money.

And yeah, it does seem to me that there are some people who seek to take advantage of this crisis to put us out of business because they think we're evil, but we're not. We run homeless shelters and soup kitchens and food banks, and we are the strongest voice for justice for immigrants in the U.S. We want to get on with that work, and we are getting weary of those who dwell on the crimes a small minority of our priests committed in the last millennium.

So, yeah, go tear down the church and build cute little houses all over Ballyferriter, if that's what you want to do. We'd be better off without all those "assets."

-Joe Offer-

P.S. to ollaimh: My name is Joe, not "Holy Joe." You can take your honorifics and stick them up your ass. Merry Christmas.