As far as apologists go I kind of like Roman Catholics. Dave Armstrong may be extremely irrational. But he's always been fairly charitable. You can't help but like Scott Hahn and Jimmy Akin. Mark Shea seems to be an independent thinker. Phil Porvaznik has always been good to me. In terms of charity it's nothing like Triablogue or James White.
Since we do see a glimmer of charity in these people, when are we going to see some of them consider the continued sex abuse scandals and their own Pope's involvement and do some re-evaluation. Is this God's institution? I'm not asking you to be an atheist. I'm not even asking you to reject Christianity. But at least consider this. Is your Pope the Vicar of Christ? Seriously?
Heck, become like Gerry Matatics or Bob Sungenis at least. Admit that the current church hierarchy simply is not of God. Keep believing in Mary and all that stuff if you like it, but reject this present hierarchy. Have some bloody integrity. If massive child rape covered up by your hierarchy doesn't get you to reconsider, then what will?
Have you ever studied Pope history at all? Even a casual study of history shows that most Popes were nowhere near Saints. Some of them were even murderers.
The Pope's weak connection (as I understand it, via his brother) to the whole sex scandal is far less evil than what history shows previous Popes to be.
The Pope is not the head of the Church because of who HE is, but because of what the Church is.
Its the same apparent contradiction all Christians believe. For example, Christians believe Jesus is God even though he might have had acne, farted, and taken stinky dumps. In other words, Christians believe Jesus was BOTH human and God. Its must have been just as hard for the Apostles to grasp this while personally looking at the man.
Same with Catholics and the Church. It is both human and God's bride. The sex scandal merely shows the human side. And since Catholics believe Peter to be the first Pope, the only apostle to have denied Christ, its going to be hard to convince them that the Popes current actions in anyway takes away from his position as successor to Peter.
And I would argue rightly so, given their a priori paradigms.
That's not really the point, HP. I know these brilliant Catholic minds will find creative ways to justify remaining in this institution. There may even be an understandable logic to it. I'm saying get out of apologetics mode for a moment. Step back and look at what you are a part of. You're part of an organization that as an institution covers up and perpetuates child rape.
But Mt 16:18, feed my lambs, blah, blah, blah. I don't care. You're part of an organization that as an institution covers up and perpetuates child rape. Step back and re-evaluate. I'm not even in a mood to dignify their BS apologetics with a response. You want to believe man was made in a garden out of mud with a talking snake? You want to believe that stars located themselves above a manger or that donkeys talk? I really don't care. These are kids getting raped.
Despicable, for sure. And its something the Church has traced to relaxing its standards in the 60's - thats why these are largely very old cases. For the most part, the issue has been solved.
Lets also not forget that the Church is the largest charity organization in the world. Does more for the poor than any other institution in the history of man. Is the strongest force in support of the unborn, is against wasteful wars, etc. You get the idea. Whether we were created from mud with a talking snake is beside the point - the Church as a whole is quite a beacon of light.
What? No answer to HP's beacon of hope point Jon? Looks like another case of a Dawkins/Hitchens "religion is evil" argument crashing headlong into reality. ;-)
I have to give HP the last word sometimes. He's too damn persistent. I can be as well though. We're birds of a feather for sure.
But if you want to goad me in to a reply I'll offer one. The church has done a lot of good. I've talked about Latin America. The U.S. basically went to war against the Catholic Church in the 80's when they were critical of U.S. mass slaughter. I think HP makes a fair point in that while the sex scandal is awful don't forget about the good as well. So I do not subscribe to the "all religion is awful" argument of some (though in fairness I'm not sure this is Dawkins position but more of a caricature).
Note that I said I'm not asking people to reject religion and become an atheist. I'm pointing towards traditional Catholicism or some other denomination.
But I would say that what makes the RC good is not something that would necessarily need to be lost if you abandoned the hierarchy. Like America what makes some groups good is not their leaders necessarily but the people themselves. The present Pope appears to have had a hand in covering up child rape. Why not leave that organization and do good as part of another religion? Eastern Orthodox could use more members. They might do more good with additional support, and in that case maybe you're not backing a wicked hierarchy.
And I would also say that I'm not so sure the present hierarchy has expunged this behavior. A priest about a half mile from where I lived in Iowa was pulled briefly, then re-instated around the year 2000. This prompted the group that discovered his pedophile tendencies to go to the media, where they revealed how they had exposed him and how the RCC removed him briefly and then reinstated him without warning the members. They didn't intend to go public but felt compelled to do so when he was re-instated with no warning. Where was the hierarchy? This institution has some pretty serious flaws.
Here's some commentary from Hitchens that's worth watching.
See, I knew I could get you to have the last word, even if it's the last word on your last word. ;-) Here's another video from a famous atheist speaking on religion that's worth checking out...
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