Your Regrets Are Not Enough


The news broke this afternoon about the latest Catholic Church scandal, which took place right in the Steel City’s backyard.  There is documented evidence of the rampant abuse and cover-up in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese.  The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette calls it “staggering abuse”.   The conservative Tribune-Review says “Priests sexually abused hundreds of children over decades”:

Hundreds of children were sexually abused  over four decades by at least 50 priests or religious leaders of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, according to a  statewide investigative grand jury report released Tuesday morning.

Clergy leaders allowed the abuse to continue by concealing it to protect the institution’s image, the grand jury alleged.

But none of the priests or supervisors were charged by the attorney general’s office, which supervised the two-year investigation. They could not be prosecuted because the statute of limitations for the crimes expired, some of the priests died and some victims are too “deeply traumatized” to testify, the attorney general’s office said.

“As wolves disguised as the shepherds themselves – these men stole the innocence of children by sexually preying upon the most innocent and vulnerable members of our society and of the Catholic faith,” the grand jury report said.

Perhaps the most repugnant comments came from the church at the release of the details.

“This is a painful and difficult time in our Diocesan Church,” said the Most Rev. Mark L. Bartchak, Bishop of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. “I deeply regret any harm that has come to children, and I urge the faithful to join me in praying for all victims of abuse.”

Excuse me???  It is a painful time for your church??? You regret any harm??? Why not say we regret the terrible harm that has come to hundreds of boys under our watch?   And, then your solution to this abuse is simply to pray for the victims???  How about: I am stepping down now and closing this church, as it clearly does not deserve your support after the terrible, illegal deeds that have been going on under our watch?

Enough is enough.

 What other organization could weather this level of deceit and criminal activity?  I hope parishioners wise up and leave in droves, while the Catholic Church looks at its own arcane policy of only hiring never-married, never-want-to-be married men as priests.   By definition, they are drawing from a pool that will include individuals with abnormal desires and cravings.  If instead, you put real mothers and real fathers in all leadership positions, including the priesthood, the problems would never reach the numbers we are seeing in Altoona-Johnstown.

If you also admit that your god, apparently, cannot protect your children in your house of worship, perhaps it is high time to re-think that whole g0d-thing and holy-book-thing and, instead, live in reality, where protection of the innocent takes actual caring of actual people on this actual planet.

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About SamStone

A Steel City Skeptic who thinks science and reason is the light that we should follow to find our way in this world.
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3 Responses to Your Regrets Are Not Enough

  1. Zeus0209 says:

    The core to the absurdity is our “being created in gods image”. We thereby necessarily adopt a holier than thou status compared to all other species anywhere and everywhere in the universe. Expanding, the whole immaculate trait sets the bar that the religion wants its followers to strive to attain in all facets of life, including but not limited to sexual adventures. Problem is, such a goal is simply unachievable. In truth, we’re just animals for christ’s sake! Slightly evolved in intelligence comparatively speaking (maybe), but animals nonetheless.

    Dear god in heaven above, I pray science one day stumbles on some evidence of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, if even an already extinct species. The implications would be devastating for earths religions. Perhaps they have mistaken just what gods image looks like….

  2. The Militant One says:

    Some studies seem to show that the real damage comes from the shame, not necessarily from the sexual activity itself. And there is nobody better than the christian religions at shaming. Just look at all the slut-shaming that they dish out in their abstinence-only programs for teens.

  3. The Militant One says:

    I think an even bigger problem is that the Abrahamic religions keep reinforcing their disgusting notion that human sexuality is evil and sinful thereby creating all sorts of dysfunction and paraphilias. That, and by insisting that sex is a subject never to be discussed, they create a climate of secrecy that is ideal for such abuse because it thrives in the shadows.

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