Monday, December 31, 2007

God is Bankrupt?

God is bankrupt?

Last week there was a newspaper report that the Catholic Church of Boston diocese was contemplating to file the Chapter 11 protection from the creditors who sued the church for the sexual assaults committed by various Church functionaries and won millions of dollars for the victims.

The Boston diocese that holds over $1.2 billion worth of properties and bank accounts would become a pauper when the Church pays all the claims that filed at the court, and the Vatican is not ready to refill the lost coffer with their treasury from Rome.

To make the matter worse, the Cardinal at the diocese was summoned by the Grand Jury for the questioning whether he was a culprit to place the accused bishops and priests on the carousel transferring from one to other diocese in order to hide them from the victims and the authorities.

As far as the sexual debauchery in Christianity is concerned, no one is absolutely free from sin… that Jesus Christ admonished his followers in the sermon on the Mount: just looking at a woman with lust in his heart was the moral equivalent of adultery.

In this perspective, the church had already spiritually and morally bankrupts and the God’s business surely are destined to bellying up forever.

Are the Protestants any better?

You ask Jimmy Swaggart who got caught in a brothel.T

he following article is about the hypocrisy and duplicity in the Roman Catholic Church in the historical perspective.

Semper Idem (always the same)
The motto of the Catholic Church

“The very essence of the Roman Catholic Church is that it does not change; Semper idem (always the same), that flies in the face of modern society—the same yesterday, today and forever, the same in Washington, Madrid or Rome, the same in the Middle Ages, the Imperial period, or the modern democracy.”

Strangely the recent pedophilia scandals by the Catholic priests were reported by the mainstream media as somewhat rather an aberration that was committed by some bad miscreants than an ongoing systemic and inevitable abuse that rooted in the Vatican’s doctrine of all-male, all-celibate, and all-secrecy culture for centuries.

It appears self-evident that the Church has gone to great length to cover up this problem from public scrutiny through the benevolence of the Catholic tenets of forgiveness, redemption and penance.

The remarks by the Pope and other Catholic hierarchy suggest that the Church acknowledge some of their priests have violated the sacred trust, other bishops tried to deal with the matter with good-intentioned effort but failed to convince the parishioners, and finally the Pope addressed the issue with urging penance, understanding and forgiveness toward the repentant brothers who succumb to mysterium iniquitatis (the mystery of evil).
For the Pope, simple penance that includes recitation of prayer, fasting, and seclusion would cure the criminal sexual conduct of celibate priests.

In addition, the Church was reluctant to go pubic or notify the civic authorities, rather to go directly to the Vatican, a practice of in-house cleansing known as “re-insertion” to quietly shuffle an abuser off to treatment or to other parish and pay and hush the victim up, a systemic attempt to silence the wounds.

No one can pass down the historical corridor of the Roman Catholic Church without noticing a series of rampant sexual misconduct by either the celibate monks or nuns (there were many episodes reported in Europe that the workers found many baby skeletons and bones in the attic, basement or courtyard in the Middle Age monastery and convent during the renovation or demolition works.).

It is a common knowledge among the law enforcement agents that during their frequent “Vice Raid” in the city there were priests, ministers, and evangelists who were caught but allowed to slip away.
This practice was sanctioned and institutionalized through the ”Motu Proprio” decree by the Pope, which has forbidden Catholics to bring a priest into court for any civil crime whatsoever; Catholic cops, judges, or law-makers were forbidden to arrest, try, or make laws affecting any priest of the Church of Rome, and for the believers of Catholicism, the Pope is the sole, last and supreme judge of what is right and wrong and is absolutely infallible in all matters of everything and anything.

Considering the reality that the Roman Catholic Church is primarily not a religious institution but a dictatorial priestly empire, the Vatican would prefer to apply the jure divino (divine law) on their subjects to leave them in the court of jure humano (human law).

From the period of the Inquisition through the Protestant Reformation to the Counter-Reformation, the Catholic Church have fought with tooth and nail to silence the knowledge and truth that Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, and Giodano Bruno et al, had presented to the public, on the conviction that if the Church’s credo of infallibility could be challenged in the helio-centric concept of universe, it will jeopardize the Pope’s status as a final arbiter in every sphere of human life and as a final sayer in laying down the rules and the conditions for the doctrinal area of Christian life…baptism, confession, communion, penance, marriage, celibacy, education, prayer, and so on.

The Church even have sought to maintain Latin language in sermon and to prevent Bible to be translated into the vernaculars in order to keep their flock in dark and to limit the wider dissemination of ideas, as in England William Tyndale was martyred and John Wycliffe was posthumously brutalized for their efforts to have an English Bible.

The Church also love to be surrounded by the secrecy, as if a totalitarian police state adamantly refuse the right of habeas corpus to its people…for example, the Church has not revealed up until now for 400 years on what specific charges of heresy were based in burning Giodano Bruno alive at stake in 1600, and the latest edition of Catholic Encyclopedia does not mention about the fact that the Church has burned him alive with his tongue tied to prevent him to address the spectators.

In addition, the Church abhor utterly to acknowledge their wrong like a bully at the street corner…and only grudgingly admitted in 1992 after 12 years of deliberation that Galileo Galilei in 1633 was right in supporting the Copernicus’ theory.

But on the Bruno execution the Church have not admitted any wrongdoing and still lamented his intolerance, declaring that “his attitude of mind towards religious truth was that of a rationalist". (His writings are still on the Vatican’s list of forbidden texts.)

It appears that the Church still have grudge on him not to recant on his theory as Galileo did to avoid the hammer of the inquisition, and the Vatican want to place Bruno even after the execution under the deadly Christian curse: whose sins thou dost forgive, they are forgiven; and whose sins thou dost retain, they are retained.

On the issue of woman priesthood, the Church have adamantly refused to accept the role of woman in the church hierarchy in contrast to the increasing participation of women in the social ladder at the secular world.

The Christian misogyny was aptly described by the Vicar of Crantock in England in early 1900 as follows:
1. Man’s priority of creation. Adam was first formed, then Eve.
2. The manner of creation. The man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man.
3. The purport of creation. The man was not created for the woman, but the woman for the man.
4. Results in creation. The man is the image of the glory of God, but woman is the glory of man.
5. Woman’s priority in the fall. Adam was not deceived; but the woman, being deceived, was in the transgression.
6. The marriage relation. As the Church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their husbands.
7. The headship of man and woman. The head of every man is Christ, but the head of the woman is man.

The Christian doctrines on woman are no less despicable than the Hebrew treatment of women: In Talmudic education on man, Jewish male should not walk between two females, or two dogs, or two pigs and in the same manner males should not allow a woman, dog, or pig to walk between them.

Contrary to the public understanding that the priest celibacy was somewhat sanctioned by the New Testament, the Church’s opposition to priests marriage was based more on worldly materialism than spiritual and anti-sexual dogma from the beginning: since early 11 century the Church was deeply concerned about the properties of churches and monasteries that were owned by the various clerics who intend to pass them on to their children or siblings, and the Church eventually have secured their property under “Dead Hand”, mortmain, placing all the Church estate held without the right of alienation by the “Trinity” Corporation.

Again, the Church would have more control over the priests who are deprived of home and family would lose their national identities, thus more loyal to the Vatican.

In addition to these antiquated doctrines of misogyny, priestly celibacy, and cloistered secrecy, the Church have kept close to its breast tight a cornucopia of nonsense, such as Immaculate Conception, the virgin birth, the Holy Trinity and Pope’s Infallibility.

Four decades ago, the Pope John XXIII convened the Vatican II, the general council of bishops and sought to bring the Church more up to date on the issues of social justice, woman’s role in church, and the choice of native language in sermon.

However, his brief efforts such as giving more authority to woman and laity on the pastoral issues and supporting the Liberation Theology in Latin America was abruptly ceased by the succeeding Pope John Paul II whose homilies are more about the personal sin than the social inequities and injustice, and he has acted, as if a CEO working exclusively for the shareholders, rather to protect the power, properties and interests of the Church than a role of the ombudsman and arbiter of the global affairs.

The Church have gone back to the old business of a diseased institution that do not hesitate to suppress charges against the Church’s wrongs when it could, deny them when it could not, and reach agreements with victims that force absolute silence.

The Vatican is the longest surviving priestly Empire in the human history for almost two millennia, and it has prospered and become stronger through the military-style hierarchical system that denies any reform or change in its dogma, Semper idem (always the same).

Historically, the Church have endured and sustained its dogma through a maze of complex social upheavals, Crusades, Inquisitions, Renaissance, Reformation, Counter-Reformation, Enlightenment, Darwinism, and Democracy.

Through their vast breadth of historical experiences, the Catholic hierarchy instinctively understand that the Church become most vulnerable at the every reform movements it ever had attempt to address.

For the Church after preserving centuries of outmoded doctrines of Semper idem, it would be better to ignore the outcries of modern life than bring the Church under the intolerable control of laity.

Just pray, forgive, and forget about the things and a while later the Church remain Semper idem as usual.

Then why change now?

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