Priestly sexual conduct

March 5th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Yesterday, the Catholic church in Scotland quoted O’Brien as saying that there had been times “that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal”.

I would have thought any sexual conduct at all was ipso factor below the standards of being a Catholic priest?

The ban on Catholic priests having sex of course didn’t apply at the beginning. St Peter, the first Pope, was married.

The ban appears to have been first promulgated in the Synod of Elvira in 305 AD. Here’s some of the other canons or laws it laid down:

  • If a woman beats her servant and causes death within three days, she shall undergo seven years’ penance if the injury was inflicted on purpose and five years’ if it was accidental.,
  • Christian girls are not to marry pagans, no matter how few eligible men there are, for such marriages lead to adultery of the soul.
  • Catholic girls may not marry Jews or heretics, because they cannot find a unity when the faithful and the unfaithful are joined. Parents who allow this to happen shall not commune for five years.
  • Christians are to prohibit their slaves from keeping idols in their houses.
  • Landlords are not to allow Jews to bless the crops they have received from God and for which they have offered thanks.
  • If any cleric or layperson eats with Jews, he or she shall be kept from communion as a way of correction.
  • Christians who play dice for money are to be excluded from receiving communion.A woman may not write to other lay Christians without her husband’s consent.

I think it is fair to say that the Church has dropped some of their other edicts from 305 AD, and one day may do the same with the ban on priests marrying.

I always enjoy the quotes in the Southpark episode 6-08 where Father Maxi tries to persuade the Cardinals to stop priests sleeping with young boys.

FRENCH CARDINAL

What exactly do you suggest we change,Father Maxi.

 PRIEST MAXI

Well, for one, no sex with boys.

ANOTHER CARDINAL

The Holy Document of Vatican Law states that a priest, bishop, or cardinal cannot get married, so where are we to get our sex?

There’s some wisdom to those words.

And in case people say it unthinkable to change the church law, interestingly in 1970, nine German theologians wrote a letter calling for a discussion on the law of for priests. One of those nine was Joseph Ratzinger, now the Pope Emeritus.

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156 Responses to “Priestly sexual conduct”

  1. metcalph (1,293 comments) says:

    The Synod of Elvira only covered the Spanish Church and wouldn’t have applied elsewhere.

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  2. Harriet (4,010 comments) says:

    “…..And in case people say it unthinkable to change the church law, interestingly in 1970, nine German theologians wrote a letter calling for a discussion on the law of celibacy for priests. One of those nine was Joseph Ratzinger, now the Pope Emeritus….”

    I bet it didn’t include being gay or seeing sluts and the like! :cool:

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  3. Harriet (4,010 comments) says:

    I’d love the Catholic Church to go back to speaking Latin – and using Latin on Marriage certificates also- along with other ceremonial traditions.

    Civil Marriage would then look like the crap it is, and continues to evolve into! :cool:

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  4. ChardonnayGuy (1,023 comments) says:

    Ah, 1970. Three years after Australia finally gave its indigenous inhabitants the vote, wasn’t it, Harriut?

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  5. BlairM (2,266 comments) says:

    The Synod did not apply to the whole Church. There have been various rules for the Church throughout its history. Celibacy for priests was only made universal by the Catholic church after the Great Schism. Hence, Orthodox Priests may be married (as my own priest is), although Bishops must either be single or widowed.

    It would be a lot easier for the Catholic church if they would drop the celibacy rule and allow priests to marry. There is certainly nothing in the Bible which indicates a priest should be celibate. In fact, in Paul’s epistle to Timothy, marriage is assumed.

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  6. Andrei (2,429 comments) says:

    On the other hand serial adulterers, and other assorted sexual miscreants and deviants are perfectly fine as members of Parliament of course where they can happily make laws to corrupt a Nation and promote their deviancies as “normal”.

    The Church for all its faults at least sets standards which individual members may fail live up to but are not malleable to the whims of its leadership to suit their personal gratification

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  7. Andrei (2,429 comments) says:

    BTW Priestly celibacy, which so outrages secualarists, who are idolaters worshipping sexual pleasure beyond all else, is a discipline of the Latin Church and not a dogma – there are and always have been married men ordained as priests, even on rare occaisions into the Latin Church itself

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  8. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    This is a low-quality post. ‘Blogging by Wikipedia’ almost always makes for low quality posts. DPF sometimes gets the law wrong when when he plays at lawyer on this site – I have no confidence in his ability to pontificate on 4th century canon law.

    But there is something weird about the way people with no interest in Catholicism are so free with their advice to the Catholic Church. David Garrett is a prime example – his frequent errors of fact give him no pause in proclaiming what this or that Catholic doctrine says or means.

    In fact, the discipline of clerical celibacy is not a doctrine of the Church (in the same way as the male priesthood is). Instead, it is a discipline of the Latin Church. It does not necessarily extend to other churches in communion with the Sea of Rome and it takes all of five seconds to figure out that the Eastern Catholic Churches don’t all impose celibacy on the priesthood. As it is, it is the norm of the Latin Church – but with exeptions for converting clergy from other Ecclesial Communities (and before David Garrett has a fit – that phrase has a specific and particular meaning).

    As for the question as to whether mandatory celibacy turns priests into pedophiles – well that charge is completely unsupported. The fact that there are evil members of the Clergy is problematic and seriously damages the Church. However, psychological research consistently shows that Catholic priests are no more likely than other clergy or men in general to be pedophiles or abusers – however the media frames the issue.

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  9. BlairM (2,266 comments) says:

    This is an interesting read – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sexually_active_popes

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  10. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    BlairM, it is not only the Orthodox who ordain men – a great number of non-Latin rites allow for the ordination of married men (though as you pointed out, the episcopate is normally reserved for the celibate).

    It would be a relatively straightforward matter for the Church to loosen these rules.Indeed, I think we might soon see the time when some married men are ordained for service in larger parishes (though they might not be permitted to become parish priests).

    However, it would be a matter for the Catholic Church to decide. I have no idea why it would concern non-Catholics.

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  11. Harriet (4,010 comments) says:

    “…..Ah, 1970. Three years after Australia finally gave its indigenous inhabitants the vote, wasn’t it, Harriut?….”

    Ah 2011. The year that Rome finally gave Australia an indigenous inhabitant a Sainthood, wasn’t it, Shoddygayguy? :cool:

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  12. Redbaiter (6,465 comments) says:

    What is it with Farrar and Slater?

    Constantly turning the microscope on Christianity, but the cheats and liars and phoneys and perverts who promote the high church of socialism get a free run?

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  13. Doc Holliday (36 comments) says:

    Cato (281) Says: March 5th, 2013 at 11:47 am

    I have no idea why it would concern non-Catholics.

    Maybe because celibacy does not attract normal men and the Church has given paedophiles a safe home.

    What forced changes? Let me give you an idea. No, not the Church. The non-Catholics.

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  14. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Redbaiter – I don’t think that’s necessarily fair. DPF is generally a critic of interventionism in matters economic.

    They are simply not social conservatives. I would suggest that this is caused by a deficiency in systematic thinking. That is, they want a relatively free economy and fiscal responsibility – but don’t recognise that the price of that is an organic and self-regulated society that is incompatible with a libertarian social outlook.

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  15. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Doc Holliday – again, that is predicated on the unsupported contention that celibacy is somehow the cause of paedophilia. In fact, the contention has been rebuffed many times. Just because something is a media trope, doesn’t mean it is actually true.

    The sex-abuse scandal – and I agree it is a major scandal for the Church – isn’t that priests are more likely to engage in sex abuse (they aren’t). It’s that Bishops attempted to minimise it and thwart the course of justice.

    Remember, there are plenty of people out there who are celibate – not by choice – but because they are ugly or have repuslive personalities. Are those people transformed into paedophiles?

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  16. F E Smith (3,273 comments) says:

    Actually, I think the edict was very localised. From memory,  celibacy in the Catholic priesthood didn’t become the expected norm until around 1000 A.D., and even later in the Columban Church that was the main church in the Celtic lands.  I could have that a little out, as I haven’t gone back to my books on it.

    This from the Archbishop Cranmer blog:

    Ah, but celibacy is not a doctrine of the Latin Rite Church, you may say: it is a discipline. The distinction is semantic, not least because ‘doctrine’ simply means teaching, and clerical celibacy is mainfestly taught to seminarians despite its mandatory imposition being rejected at the Council of Nicea in 325. There was, however, considerable regional variation at this time – some bishops demanded it of their deacons and priests; others did not. Some popes sought to impose it (while themselves taking wives, concubines or young boys); others did not. It wasn’t until the First Lateran Council (1123) that celibacy was mandated for all Western clergy. The Second Lateran Council (1139) reinforced this by decreeing that holy orders were an impediment to marriage. The Council of Trent (1563) affirmed the authority of the Roman Church to impose celibacy as a discipline, and the Second Vatican Council (1965) maintained this tradition.

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  17. Fletch (5,719 comments) says:

    What do you expect will be the difference in allowing priests to marry?
    Cardinal John J. O’Connor makes some points (article written during time of Pope JP II)

    It’s remarkable how determined some media and other people are that we priests
    should be married. How they sympathize with us over the supposed cruelties of
    celibacy being imposed upon us by a Pope who purportedly has no understanding
    whatsoever of the compassion of Jesus.

    [...]

    One of [the reasons most frequently given for abolishing celibacy]
    is simply outrageous, namely that it would end such tragedies as
    paedophilia. And this after all that has been published on this horror, all the statistics
    gathered? Are those who propose this unaware that most sexual abuse, including
    paedophilia, apparently occurs within families, not excluding parental abuse of
    children and younger by older siblings? Do they not know that married and single
    people of all walks of life are accused of perpetrating such abuse on children and other
    minors? No one has ever been able to correlate celibacy with sexual abuse. Some sexual
    abuses have been perpetrated by some priests. That’s tragic. But it has not been the fault
    of celibacy.

    Some priests are tempted to engage in sexual relations with women. Marriage, it is
    said, would cure their temptations. Perhaps in some cases. But are no married men
    tempted to be unfaithful to their wives? Are none of the huge number of divorces in the
    US attributable to ‘sexual incompatibility’? Human nature is weak. Would a priest who
    married a particular woman never again have ‘sexual problems’? That is, would he lose
    his humanity, hence, his weakness?

    But of course, given a priest’s training and self-discipline and understanding and
    sensitivity, one might expect his marriage to be idyllic. Would there be no illness, no
    poverty, no afflicted children, no drugs, no drunkenness, no boredom, no
    discouragement? Is that the case? Is it honest to say of a priest who is unhappy because
    required to be celibate: ‘Only lift the requirement, and he will be happy’?

    In my judgment, but wanting to be both sympathetic and realistic, many priests are no
    more exempt from an impossibly romantic concept of marriage than are many very
    young lay persons in love. Some expectations are rarely fulfilled, if not indeed,
    unfulfillable. Some marriages are, indeed, wonderfully happy, bordering on the idyllic.
    But pain free, sorrow free, trouble free?

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  18. metcalph (1,293 comments) says:

    The sex abuse scandal wasn’t caused by celibacy but with a change in disciplinary procedures in the 50s.

    Before the Priests that offended against kids were generally packed off to a mnastery and the family paid off. The secular authorities were quite happy about this practice (the protestant RUC even allowed the Church to handle in house a priest suspected of a bombing in the 70s).

    In the 50s, the Bishops became aware that pedophilia could be cured with therapy. Thus instead of packing the priests of to a monastery, they were sent to another parish and made to undergo therapy, the family paid off and the authorities happy. That the therapy didn’t work (or that treated priests should still be kept away from kids) was something that the bishops didn’t know until too late.

    So as the number of cases snowballed in the 60s and 70s, the bishops became involved in damage control and made a number of errors that only compounded the problem (ie another transfer! Please don’t touch anybody while you are there!) and ended up with the current disaster.

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  19. metcalph (1,293 comments) says:

    FWIW Orthodox Bishops are traditionally chosen from the Monastic Orders rather than the Priesthood. Thus they have generally taken a vow of celibacy (which Priests do not).

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  20. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    Ah Cato…and so we come to another day.

    Firstly I acknowledge – for the second time – that “eclessial” is indeed a word. I was unaware of its existence until yesterday, and I shall remain forever in your debt for introducing me to it.

    That all dealt with, you STILL have not responded to the central point David makes above, and which I made yesterday: that ANY “sexual conduct” by Catholic clergy is proscribed. O’Brien has admitted to “sexual misconduct”, so that is a double whammy.

    All your waffling about specific accusations, and the precise types of alleged misconduct, and with whom is all just that – waffling, and attempting to hide the facts behind a smokescreen of bullshit and semantics. And now diversion: whether in fact celibacy is a doctrine or merely a discipline. And whether the council of god’s know what covered more than the Spanish church….

    Finally, I have never purported to “offer advice” to the Catholic church; to do so would not only be absurd but pointless. I wish merely to point out the never ending examples of hypocrisy and cant exhibited by what in my view is one of the most evil institutions on earth…but you keep trotting along to mass, ritually eating the actual (by means of transubstantiation) body and blood of your founder, and obtaining absolution before you go off and do the same things again; why the hell should I care? But don’t expect those of us who have survived Catholic indoctrination not to have a field day every couple of weeks or months when a Cardinal O’Brien obligingly pops up…

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  21. Fletch (5,719 comments) says:

    ps, when I was a kid, we lived across the road from a Presbyterian minister and his wife.
    One day he confided to my mother that, although he loved his wife, if he had the chance to do it again he would not marry.
    He said that the problems and pressures of married life often conflicted with his ministry.

    I am reminded of what Jesus said in the Bible when the disciples said to him in Matthew 10, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.” and Jesus said, “”Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given.”

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  22. radvad (620 comments) says:

    Virtually all offending by pervert priests is homosexual so why is it a catholic issue only? Perhaps it has something to do with homosexuals being a protected species.

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  23. Redbaiter (6,465 comments) says:

    “Redbaiter – I don’t think that’s necessarily fair. DPF is generally a critic of interventionism in matters economic.”

    Well, sometimes but too frequently not.

    Anyway, what I was really alluding to is the faith system that is the basis of socialism, and the phoney preachers who stand at their pulpits and sway the masses with lies and distortions, and plead with them to believe, when the evidence that it is a completely failed belief system is all around us.

    If there has ever been a clique of preachers who deserve scrutiny and ridicule and scorn it is they (the high priests of socialism), and to a far far greater degree than any Christian preacher. (considering the numbers they have duped and the devastation that has resulted)

    But Farrar and Slater seem much more intently focused on shining the spotlight on the foibles of Christianity. Almost like an obsession.

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  24. nasska (9,489 comments) says:

    Should allowing priests to marry be unacceptable perhaps the deviancy angle could be sorted if they were at least allowed a wank every month or so.

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  25. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Oh yeah – I had forgot about your facepalm re “Ecclesial” v “Ecclesiastical” – I was more thinking about your embarrassing and factually incorrect pronouncement on the Church’s teaching on the doctrine of purgatory. From memory – I seem to recall you were correcting the practicing Catholics by telling them that the heresy of Feenyism was official Church teaching (rather than the pronouncements of the Popes and Ecumenical Councils on the subject).

    From my memory – your ‘expert knowledge’ on things Catholic was based on your understanding as a 10 year old about what some Marist Brother had told you about the doctrine of extra Ecclesiam nulla salus.

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  26. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Well – as bad as the Catholic Church is in some areas……..
    (and to be honest over the centuries sexual misconduct is pretty minor. Over the years the Christian Church (and that includes the various denominations that split off from the Catholic Church)slaughtered millions of people in the name of God. Other things like the ruination of the monasteries in England is a much greater thing.)…. the Catholic Church is the only institution to last as long as it has.

    And the interesting social thing is that now that being queer is legal and queers getting married is about to be legal, all of a sudden we find that some people have been up to this sort of stuff for centuries……………..and we all think its awful

    Maybe underneath everything we all know that being queer is wrong – or more correctly – un-natural.

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  27. Ed Snack (1,535 comments) says:

    Davids, both Farrar and Garret, have this strange and limited concept of “sexual conduct”; they seem to think it must involve intercourse or paedophilia it would seem, . All catholic priests will have a form of “sexual conduct”; I’m sure, regardless of their intentions, that they will think about it at the very least. Humans of almost all sorts are sexual beings and so engage in “sexual conduct”. The point is, that a catholic priest is expected as a discipline to have a very limited expression of that conduct.

    And for David Garrett, evil is as evil does, but to find you pontificating about evil seems, well, a little precious.

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  28. Andrei (2,429 comments) says:

    More to it than that Metcalf – A married Priest whose wife has died automatically becomes a celibate priest.

    There is also a strange thing “Ecclesiastical Divorce” whereby both parties to a marriage enter monastries appropriate to their gender and in this way a Bishop may have a living wife though she will be living as a nun in a convent if so.

    A Priest’s wife is special to his parish and part of his ministry, she is given a title “Presbytera” or “Matushka” and treated with deferrence.

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  29. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    All I can say to David Garret is, if you were baptised, you are still a Catholic.

    From one imperfect Catholic to another: it is lent – go to confession.

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  30. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    All I can say to David Garrett is, if you were baptised, you are still a Catholic.

    Just bend over and take it. There’s a good lad. :-P

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  31. Doc Holliday (36 comments) says:

    Cato (287) Says: March 5th, 2013 at 12:11 pm
    Doc Holliday – again, that is predicated on the unsupported contention that celibacy is somehow the cause of paedophilia.

    Tosh. I wrote:”Maybe because celibacy does not attract normal men and the Church has given paedophiles a safe home.”

    I throw crumbs on the grass and then I see sparrows. Bread into birds?

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  32. Lucia Maria (1,983 comments) says:

    Cato,

    A word of friendly advice: your treatment of David Garrett does not show you in a good light. I’d tone it down.

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  33. Lucia Maria (1,983 comments) says:

    Though, I totally agree with your 12:50 comment. :)

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  34. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Thanks for the advice. I think David Garrett ought to learn a little humility if he wants to mock others for their sincere beliefs. At the moment, he can’t help himself. Take his above post:

    - Catholic Church is one of the most ‘evil’ institutions on earth;
    - Comparing Communion to cannibalism;
    - Mocking the sacrament of pennance; and
    - Characterising Catholics as unthinking.

    If somebody wants to go around saying those things, they should be corrected. If it takes harsh correction to get the message through, then that’s what it takes.

    As for the confession comment – that at least was sincere.

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  35. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Lucia Maria – although I agree with the tone of your comment about what Cato is saying – you can be asured of two things…..

    1. David Garrett is big, ugly and crazy enough to take care of himself.
    2. Even though Cato might seem to be a bit unhinged (or possibly completely unhinged and deranged)- I defend his right to say whatever he likes – its the benefit or consequence (if thats how you look at it) of free speech.

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  36. Lucia Maria (1,983 comments) says:

    Cato,

    He’s not the only one. It’s hard not to react when people say things like that, however it is best to limit the reaction to when it was said, rather than bringing things up from the past. In my opinion, of course.

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  37. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    Cato: You are still at it! Endless obfuscation will not work…But I will spell it out again, just for you…perhaps point form might help? Then perhaps you can try and rebut each one.

    1. As a catholic priest – much less a bishop – “sexual conduct” of any kind is proscribed.

    2. O’Brien has admitted that his “sexual conduct” has been “less than expected of him” thus admitting firstly that he had indulged in sexual conduct in the first place (you cannot have misconduct without conduct), and secondly that it was unwelcome, unlawful, or even both.

    3. O’Brien is simply the latest of hundreds or even thousands of priests, brothers, nuns, and other “religious” to have either confessed to, or been found guilty of, at the very least grave hypocrisy, and in even the Church’s eyes, grave wrong. The latest one was “Brother” Bede Hampton, a teacher at my old alma mater, who did two years for generally interfering with boys. He was acquitted of buggery. (No, he didn’t; I can’t have been pretty enough)

    4. The heirarchy of your Church has been covering up the above for years, in exactly the ways referred to in earlier comments.

    Ed Snack: Go fuck yourself. My foolishness was 30 years ago, and doesn’t come within a bull’s roar of some priest interfering with young boys, and the Bishop(s) who continue to cover it up.

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  38. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    I was just thinking about the last corporate I worked for. A US outfit.

    The senior people were quite simply sexual predators. Power had gone to their heads.
    When they discovered that they could have much more influence over female staffers (than the male staff), they jumped on the “equality” bandwagon. “yea – we are all in favour of women in the work force”.

    Bullshit – it was nothing less than they’d discovered that they could ‘encourage’ female staffers to jump into their motel beds.

    And quite frankly – the local polytech in my town is just as bad. The top managers are re-known for sexual blackmail. Its well understood in two of the departments that if – as a female – you want to get on – then get into bed.
    And these departments were all male 15 years ago. Now theyre mostly female staffed – and theyre all getting less $$’s than the guys used to get paid.

    So – its win/win all round!!. The departments costs go down, the managers get what they want (sex and compliance), the staff get to keep their jobs.

    The Catholic Church as an organisation is just the same.

    Power corrupts no matter where it its used.

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  39. Lucia Maria (1,983 comments) says:

    Thanks Barry to your 1:13 comment.

    David Garrett,

    Hypocrisy is not failing to live up to standards, otherwise we are all hypocrites unless we have no standards. Hypocrisy is not believing in the standards you preach to others. Hypocrisy is propaganda.

    For more on this concept, read this post.

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  40. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    David Garrett – I don’t want to get caught up on this again and I wasn’t actually referring to it above. I was really referrnig to your historical attacks on Catholic doctrine – which are usually error riddled.

    Suffice it to say, we don’t know what O’Brien has admitted to specifically. Accordingly, we’re not in a strong position to judge. If it was something illegal, then that’s between him and the police. If it was something less than that, that’s between him and his conscience. Until, that is, all the facts come out.

    In any event – what does this tell us other than that there is a likelihood that Cardinal O’Brien did bad things and may be a bad man. What are the policy implications for that? Why the fixation? As a matter of logic, what bearing does that have on the question of truth?

    None, I would suggest – unless a smoker may not warn someone against taking up the habit; parents who swear are forbidden from correcting their children; and career criminals can’t encourage young people from avoiding a life of crime.

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  41. Manolo (12,621 comments) says:

    barry, what town do you live in? :-)

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  42. Doc Holliday (36 comments) says:

    Cato (288) Says: March 5th, 2013 at 1:11 pm
    Thanks for the advice. I think David Garrett ought to learn a little humility if he wants to mock others for their sincere beliefs.

    Sincerity is much over-rated. The reason paedophiles cannot be “treated” is that their belief is sincere, what they do is “normal” for them.

    Homosexuals have the same sincere belief, what they do is “normal” for them, and our society as decided informed consent makes homosexual acts acceptable. The call for “marriage” is a plea for “normal” to the rest of us.

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  43. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    I don’t think sincerity is overrated. I think you should say what you mean and mean what you say. There’s nothing honourable about claiming to believe something you don’t for other reasons – such as expedience. Prudence dictates reticence in the name of diplomacy sometimes.

    I don’t know … it really is a bit hard to respond to a blanket attack on an abstract noun.

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  44. Andrei (2,429 comments) says:

    The point really is that we live in a messed up world and we all screw up all the time.

    And who hasn’t got skeletons in their closet?

    Nobody.

    All we can do is look outside ourselves and seek to better ourselves and the world we live in – This is what the Church is for, to lift us lift ourselves out of the sewerage we are all swimming in.

    Some people like wallowing in the muck though and can’t see beyond it

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  45. Doc Holliday (36 comments) says:

    I didn’t say sincerity wasn’t good or necessary, just that it isn’t sufficient.

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  46. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    Cato:

    “DPF is generally a critic of interventionism in matters economic.”

    Unless it’s about taxpayer funding of some shitty political TV show wankery that no-one cares about!

    Radvad:

    “Virtually all offending by pervert priests is homosexual.”

    Graham Capill (while not a priest, a prominent Christian politician) was heterosexual. Most child sex offending is heterosexual, and I’m sure this extends to priests too. Do you have some sort of data to back up your claim?

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  47. iMP (2,150 comments) says:

    It works for the Anglican priestly breakaway. Celibacy as an institution is like fighting fire with spit.

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  48. Lucia Maria (1,983 comments) says:

    Tristanb,

    Go look up the John Jay report. Something like 80% of sexual offending by priests against minors is against boys aged 10 and over, and most of that is of teenagers.

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  49. iMP (2,150 comments) says:

    There is no causal link between homosexuality and pedophilia (or with heterosexuality for that matter) but they are obviously linked, because to be a pedophile. you are usually either hetero. or homo. It’s like saying most pedophiles drink water. The terms are selective, as most abusing catholic priests abuse boys and teenage men. Technically this is homosexuality but is classified usually as pedophilia, because that is an affront to the PC-thinking about homosexuality (which is hero-worshipped in some circles). It all comes down to the age of the victim.

    Paedophiles are human, mostly male, and homosexual and heterosexual.

    It’s pointless to try and categorise pedophilia as a sexuality…its about sex, deviency, brokenness and (mostly) historic abuse (in the perp.)

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  50. Azeraph (597 comments) says:

    I hope the next pope has the balls to do what the last weak bitch couldn’t do, unsheathe the scythe and clean the house. Could this be a beginning of a lemmings race to resign in order to save some face? Malachy’s vision might prove true except it might have been the pope in the vision that cleaned all those priestly bodies that he has to step on to leave the city.

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  51. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Azeraph – I don’t agree with a characterisation of B16 as a weak b—-. I do, however, share your hope that the cardinals select a man with the energy to ‘clean house’ and sweep the untrustworthy out of positions of power.

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  52. Sofia (780 comments) says:

    Andrei – This is what the Church is for, to lift us lift ourselves out of the sewerage we are all swimming in.

    just one small listing –

    Scandal threatens to overshadow pope’s final days – CNN.com
    As Pope Departs, Discord Remains at Vatican – NYTimes.com
    Cardinals meet in shadow of scandal, discord and intrigue | Reuters
    Vatican shifts tone on cardinals linked to sex scandals
    Sex, power scandals to loom over Vatican pre-vote talks
    Francis Cardinal George discuss recent Vatican scandal
    High ranking Cardinal resigns as Vatican scandal grows

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  53. Azeraph (597 comments) says:

    Pedophilia is about the lust of control and indoctrination, a child is usually trusting and that is where they get off the most, at the very beginning and this is where it is an abomination. The trust given to us as adults to protect that trust that they as children give to us. When my grand niece looks at me with those big dark eyes and say’s “Ok” and trundles back inside to her mother, that trust she gives me is what i will kill to protect, it is what most of us will do to protect. Break this trust and you have broken an unspoken law in life.

    When a little child crawls it’s way up on you to nestle in the crook of your neck to sleep, this is the trust and love that must be protected until they are of age to understand.

    and they want us to view Pedophilia as a normal thing?

    Treatment for those lost to it but never acceptance, regardless of the logic, we are not machines.

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  54. Tom Jackson (2,235 comments) says:

    We’re getting away from the actual story, which is that, yet again, a publicly anti gay bigot has been outed as a private enthusiast of sweet man ass.

    It’s always the same. Every time a public figure makes homophobic comments, I start the countdown to the inevitable exposé of them soliciting buggery in a public lavatory.

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  55. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Tom Jackson – way to steal a Christopher Hitchens quote and pass it off as your own.

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  56. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    Go look up the John Jay report. Something like 80% of sexual offending by priests against minors is against boys aged 10 and over, and most of that is of teenagers.

    Thanks Lucia. I’d imagine that would be because of the high proportion of homosexual priests. Also, I’d imagine that priests had much more access to boys than girls (who had nuns to look after them). Plus some child sex offenders may have been attracted to the job because of such access.

    To actually answer the question properly we’d need to know how many priests initially entered the priesthood as non-paedophiles. Then find out the proportion of the gay ones who went on to abuse children compared to the straight ones who went on to abuse children. This would need to be controlled for the access to either boys or girls.

    Such data would be hard to gather – and we’d need a large sample size. Perhaps these questions could be included in the next census of the world’s 400,000 priests.

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  57. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    Tom J: Well done…bringing us back to focus.

    Cato: You got all nice and gooey and conciliatory in your last comment…how about trying to rebut my last, @1.15, point by point? You dont know “Brother” Bede Hampton do you? There are more to be exposed from that cesspool…brother…

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  58. Harriet (4,010 comments) says:

    “…..I wish merely to point out the never ending examples of hypocrisy and cant exhibited by what in my view is one of the most evil institutions on earth….”

    Seriously Garrett…….the largest benign institution on earth is ‘evil’?

    Why then didn’t you call for it’s closure in NZ when you were in government?

    You were being serious about locking up kiddy fiddlers weren’t you….or is that just an ‘image thing’…..like the moustache ? :cool:

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  59. Azeraph (597 comments) says:

    Cato (291) Says:
    March 5th, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Ok, just for you Cato i’ll retract that statement but that’s what the church needs, someone not afraid to face it and the planetary anger (coming mostly from over the top non Christians who just won’t be able to help themselves, it’s like throwing the tastiest chocolate cake in front of three very big women and just watch how long they can hold out)

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  60. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Tristanb, if you are really interested in this issue the John Jay report is worth a read. It’s very comprehensive – covering something like 90% of US dioceses.

    In terms of research by psychologists, however, this has been pretty consistent – there are much better candidates for causes of the crisis than celibacy. This is one article that really got me thinking:

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/all-about-sex/201003/beyond-bad-apple-priests-who-the-pedophiles-really-are

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  61. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Sorry David G, I’m not sure what you’re talking about. I take your point but I’m not sure how its relevant. If your argument is that the fact of clerical abuse renders Catholicism untrue then I simply reject your argument on moral grounds.

    I’m also confused about what goey or concilliatory thing I said. Apart perhaps from my advice that you go to confession. I meant that.

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  62. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    Tom J
    harryit the case in point
    I am sure if he/ she/ it went and had a good old encounter of the homo kind in the local gay hangout it would finally be able to admit that it spends most of its time focused on penis and sphincter encounters and live a normal life with its sexuality fully integrated into its lifestyle.

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  63. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Azeraph – I agree. Your comments remind me of the words of the then Cardinal Ratzinger throwing up his hands: “How much filth there is in the church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him … The soiled garments and face of your church throw us into confusion. Yet it is we ourselves who have soiled them! It is we who betray you time and time again.”

    I also agree he wasn’t up to the task of imposing real administrative reform – though he moved in the right direction.

    A lot of Catholics tend to prematurely canonise the Pope when the claims of the Catholic religion are more modest in this regard:

    1- The Church will exist until the end of time; and
    2- The Holy Spirit will prevent the Pope from teaching doctrinal error.

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  64. Andrei (2,429 comments) says:

    Well Mr Garrett considering that in New Zealand in the 21st century far more children have been abused at the hands of Government employees, Teachers, CYFS social workers etc, than have ever been at the hands of Roman Catholic Priests the New Zealand Government must be even more wicked than the Catholic Church.

    This of course is true – it is

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  65. JC (838 comments) says:

    Someone sent me an email priest joke yesterday that triggered some memories.. so I went hunting some more on the internet. I found hundreds!, whats more I knew most of them from my 1950s days at a Catholic boarding school and my own wicked father.

    Here’s the thing.. in those days the sex jokes about priests were heavily male/female with the odd altar boy thrown in. But from the 60s and 70s we know from the John Jay report that it was actually male/male about 70% of the time.

    I don’t think those old jokes were wrong about gender but I think things changed from the 60s and 70s and Metcalfe mentions some of them but I’d note the John Jay report that shows that sex abuse was rare prior the 1960s and then increased *sixfold* 1960 to about mid 1970 and then subsided back to the 1950s level as the Church got to grips with it. The research also shows that male victims don’t talk about it till 25 years later and girls 18 years later.. hence the plethora of cases starting in the 1990s onwards.

    There’s various reasons why there was that huge bulge of abuse 40 odd years ago, but what I haven’t seen anywhere is the reason I (mostly) got estranged from the Church 40 odd years ago.. the bloody church went leftwing!
    Of course most Western religions have a social bent as a nature of the calling but in general they tended to be pretty mainstream in politics till the 1970s.. since then the CC has produced a lot of activist bishops who lie low when Labour is in power but come out guns blazing when the Nats get in.. suddenly this country discovers a whole slew of social problems.

    Maybe I’m wrong but I think the sexual revolution of the 60s, the rise of activist priests and nuns, the Feminist movement, the leftwards bent of the Church and the touchy feely attitude towards abusive priests and the flipflop from male/female to male/male are all related.

    JC

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  66. nasska (9,489 comments) says:

    Azeraph @ 2.27pm

    Good analogy…..watching a pack of moralistic nutters eating themselves is an irresistible blood sport. It provides grim satisfaction for those of us who neither want nor need the prayers or advice of interfering God addled meddlers.

    The only tragedy is the lives of the kids that have been wrecked by a pack of scum boy botherers.

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  67. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    Tom Jackson: yes.

    Another one bites the dick… oops… er, I mean, dust!

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  68. Tom Jackson (2,235 comments) says:

    Tom Jackson – way to steal a Christopher Hitchens quote and pass it off as your own.

    No idea he’d said something similar. Don’t read the hack. Doubt it’s original to him.

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  69. Sofia (780 comments) says:

    Andrei – Well Mr Garrett considering that in New Zealand in the 21st century far more children have been abused at the hands of Government employees, Teachers, CYFS social workers etc, than have ever been at the hands of Roman Catholic Priests the New Zealand Government must be even more wicked than the Catholic Church.
    This of course is true – it is

    No – White sheep, in New Zealand, eat more grass than black ones

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  70. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    And i quote:

    “Whenever I hear some bigmouth in Washington or the Christian heartland banging on about the evils of sodomy or whatever, I mentally enter his name in my notebook and contentedly set my watch. Sooner rather than later, he will be discovered down on his weary and well-worn old knees in some dreary motel or latrine, with an expired Visa card…”

    So the same sentiment – but not the same expression. I apologise.

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  71. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    Andrei: You are either very stupid or you are being disingenuous…Even at their zenith of influence and numbers, catholic “religious” (their term for brothers and nuns I think, but Cato is the oracle here) were only 1/10th or less of the total number of all lay teachers, government employees and CYF workers… you would therefore of course EXPECT the number of abusers who were other than “the religious” would be ten fold….or a hundred fold that of priests and brothers…except that’s not how it went down…Like Maori in the prison system, catholic teachers are hugely overrepresented among sexually abusive teachers.

    I didn’t make “Brother Bede” up; Bede Hampton was convicted three years ago of charges arising from sexual molestation of boys at a school in Masterton where he taught before coming to my alma mater in 1972. At a reunion two years ago – six months after his conviction – the stories started to come out….35 odd years after the fact. Under the influence of plenty of piss, guys I have known for 40 years started talking….

    And that prick is just one example among dozens, and among hundreds in Australia…the so called “Christian Brothers” no longer exist (is that right Cato?) largely because of the abuse which has been uncovered about them in the last 20 years or so. If the Marist Brothers here hadn’t died out by attrition, I have little doubt the same thing would happen here. I very much doubt Brother Bede’s then boss is reading this, but if he is, yours is coming…Brother….

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  72. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Manolo (9,142) Says:
    March 5th, 2013 at 1:34 pm ……………..

    what town do I live in?

    well I could tell you but then Id have to cut your tongue out…..and have your fingures cut off.

    but You can be assured that where ever there is a polytech (I think they all want to be universities these days so they call themselves unitechs…) then there will be power blackmail going on. All you need to do is find a department that is full of females with a fairly longstanding male boss. If the mood in the department is crap – then its all about sexual predation.

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  73. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    You are correct insofar as “religious” is a term that can be applied to a member of a religious order living under vows. I am not sure, why on earth, however, you thinkt the Congregation of Christian Brothers. The Marist Brothers are certainly still active in this country.

    As to your other assertions: “citation needed”.

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  74. Tom Jackson (2,235 comments) says:

    So the same sentiment – but not the same expression. I apologise.

    Hey, he’s a much better writer than me, so I guess that’s not bad. I’m more of a Mark Twain fan.

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  75. Doc Holliday (36 comments) says:

    Cato (297) Says: March 5th, 2013 at 2:40 pm
    1- The Church will exist until the end of time; and
    2- The Holy Spirit will prevent the Pope from teaching doctrinal error.

    Not in this Universe it won’t. All such belief shows is evolution requires survival not sanity.

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  76. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    I’m not sure I take your meaning.

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  77. Fletch (5,719 comments) says:

    David Garrett, also check out the report by Carol Shakeshaft commissioned by the Dept of Education in the U.S.
    According to the report, “the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.”
    I don’t think they’re talking about priests who are teachers, but priests in general.

    In 1994, Shakeshaft published a report based on a four-year study of 225 sexual abuse complaints—184 in New York State and 41 in other states—against teachers made to federal authorities from 1990 to 1994.[3] She found that “All of the accused admitted sexual abuse of a student, but none of the abusers was reported to the authorities, and only 1 percent lost their license to teach. Only 35 percent suffered negative consequences of any kind, and 39 percent chose to leave their school district, most with positive recommendations. Some were even given an early retirement package.”

    A 2002 New York Times report quoted Shakeshaft, “Only 1 percent of the cases did superintendents follow up to ensure that molesting teachers did not continue teaching elsewhere. In 54 percent, superintendents accepted the teachers’ resignations or retirements. Of the 121 teachers removed this way, administrators knew for certain that 16 percent resumed teaching in other districts… Moving molesting teachers from school district to school district is a common phenomenon. And in only 1 percent of the cases do superintendents notify the new school district. The term “passing the trash” is the preferred jargon among educators”[7]

    A 2007 Washington Post report noted, “It’s a dynamic so common it has its own nicknames: ‘passing the trash’ or the ‘mobile molester.’” In addition, “Maine…has a law that keeps offending teachers’ cases secret” and that “in Hawaii, no educators were disciplined by the state in the five years the AP examined, even though some teachers there were serving sentences for various sex crimes during that time. They technically remained teachers, even behind bars.”[8] The report also said, “Laws in several states require that even an allegation of sexual misconduct be reported to the state departments that oversee teacher licenses. But there’s no consistent enforcement, so such laws are easy to ignore. School officials fear public embarrassment as much as the perpetrators do, Shakeshaft says. They want to avoid the fallout from going up against a popular teacher. They also don’t want to get sued by teachers or victims, and they don’t want to face a challenge from a strong union.”

    So the clergy weren’t the only ones pushing offenders from post-to-post.

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  78. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    Fletch: Yeah, I cant believe Andrei can actually be that stupid…so the other alternative must be the case. You dont need a degree in stats to know there will be at least ten times as many “ordinary” teachers as those in so-called holy orders…

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  79. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Why waste time with the catholic Ghost nonsense anyway…? Who cares what these moral and supernatural perverts think or say…?
    |
    They are binned by history and reason….now onward.

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  80. Reid (15,527 comments) says:

    This is quite a good article from an [alleged] leading Catholic writer:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2287074/Pope-resigns-2013-Gay-sex-rings-The-Filth-corrupting-Vatican–Pope-REALLY-quit.html

    O’Brien has admitted to “sexual misconduct”, so that is a double whammy.

    It’s interesting (to me) that many above immediately leapt to the conclusion it’s paedophilia and not “simply” homosexuality.

    I wonder what the public reaction would be if, rather than the allegations being about adult Catholic priests being inappropriately propositioned, they were about say, adult women who weren’t otherwise involved in a relationship.

    The wider question is, does this affect the Church? Of course it does, most would say. However it depends on what you regard as a “Church.” Outsiders, of any church, seem to hallucinate the church IS the faith and that therefore, when people from the church do things like O’Brian has admitted to, or people like say Brian Tamaki does what he does, that therefore, the people who worship at that church are worshipping apostatically.

    Personally I disagree with that view, although I understand it. I disagree with it because my faith resides not in my Church but in my personal relationship to God. I, me, are responsible for my thoughts and therefore my actions and it is those and those alone, I believe, which God will be judging me on. My church is a teacher, a rock, a place to fellowship, but it is not responsible for me and I am not responsible for it.

    Of course if I worship at a church I know to be irreligious, then yes, I AM responsible. But if that’s not the case and I approach a church in good faith, truly believing it is the way, the truth and the life after having fully exercised the gifts of discernment God has seen fit to grant me through His grace, but it then turns out despite that I was wrong, I don’t, personally, see that as having worshipped apostatically.

    I don’t of course presume to speak for any others, this is merely how I personally see this. And no, I’m not a Catholic, but I am an Anglican and for those unaware, that’s like being cousins.

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  81. Andrei (2,429 comments) says:

    So how many priests have been convicted in New Zealand in the past twenty five years David Garrett, and how many catholic lay brothers?

    Let’s have the Stats then

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  82. Redbaiter (6,465 comments) says:

    “….now onward.”

    Yay, keep the red flag flying comrade..!!!

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  83. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    Time for the night meds Russell….RUSSELL !!!

    You know the doctor says you have to have them every night….I wont let you wear your tin hat in bed russy wussy…..

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  84. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    It was you quoting numbers Andrei…you said the number of “religious” convicted of paedophilia would be far fewer than “ordinary” teachers and CYF workers….I have no doubt you are right, but since there are no doubt at least ten times as many of the latter, that would hardly be surprising…

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  85. UrbanNeocolonialist (133 comments) says:

    abstinence makes the church grow fondlers.

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  86. Andrei (2,429 comments) says:

    Aha Mr Garrett you have found that your exaggerated calumnies are exposed and now seek to divert.

    BTW I’m not a Catholic and cut my teeth on stuff where the Latin Poles, as they were called were the bad guys. The things those devilish Latin Poles did would make your hair stand on end

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  87. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    Andrei: Not at all sir…in fact I will bet $100 that if anyone can be bothered doing the research, they would find there were many more religious teachers convicted of boy fiddling in the last whatever number of years than secular teachers…so there’s an incentive for you…prove me wrong, and $100 is yours….

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  88. Johnboy (13,342 comments) says:

    Twas midnight in the crypt of St. Giles
    When an ear-piercing scream rent the aisles
    “My goodness my gracious” cried Father Ignatius
    “Lord Bishop beware of my piles” :)

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  89. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    Johnboy: I prefer: “It was half past three, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali said the Bishop had arrived for tea…”

    There is not better opening line for a novel than that!

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  90. Tom Jackson (2,235 comments) says:

    I’m not sure I take your meaning.

    That if I were to be falsely accused of plagiarizing from a published author, I would dream it would be Twain, the greatest wit ever to grace this earth. An example:

    Barring that natural expression of villainy which we all have, the man looked honest enough.

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  91. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    DG – it’s your allegation, ought you be the one to do the legwork in establishing it. Semper necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit and all that? (Knew you would like that).

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  92. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    I could spend my time working on a mathematical proof that the earth was round too….but I am happy to rely on a combination of observation, common sense, and the work of others…

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  93. Johnboy (13,342 comments) says:

    Folk that have been naughty should always show proper deference to folk that can quote Latin! :)

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  94. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    That would be redundant when you could just leaf through your copy of De Caelo and see Aristotle provided one several thousand years ago. That’s a bit different to holding an unproven belief on the basis of media framing without casting around for some evidence. For all I know, it could be out there of course. I just doubt it affects much in terms of religion or philosophy.

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  95. Johnboy (13,342 comments) says:

    I don’t have to of course cause I don’t know the Latin for “wanking prick”! :)

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  96. Redbaiter (6,465 comments) says:

    You guys need to give Davey a bit of a break. You know what he does when he gets harried.

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  97. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    It doesnt affect philosophy at all…it DOES mean the Catholic church (still can’t get rid of instinctive capitalization) is riddled with paedophile priests, bishops and monsignors who cover up for them, and apologists like you who remain in denial…or chose to create smokescreens to try and obscure the unpleasant reality…

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  98. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    You’re expected to go without for LIFE if you get anything above an entry-level job in the church. (Oh no, there’s no way this could ever lead to sexual deviance. What are you talking about?)

    But we don’t like those HOMOSEXUALS, there’s something not right about THEM.

    God bless the true church (of hypocrisy) eh?

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  99. Johnboy (13,342 comments) says:

    Whats wrong with digging up the past Red?

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  100. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    Ah Russell! You’ve taken the pills then, like a good boy? Mummy will let you wear your hard hat to bed now….

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  101. Redbaiter (6,465 comments) says:

    Got the hanky out yet Davey?

    BTW man, that stuff about the pills- so old..

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  102. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    I’m not an apologist for the behaviour of the clergy – though i aspire to be one for the tenets of the faith, i suppose. If you can be bothered to look beyond stereotypes and anecdotes you will easily find plenty of rigorous surveys that demonstrate, pace the headlines, offending by Catholic clergy is at, or is slightly lower, than the general male population. Draw your own inferences.

    Of course, i am appalled by any abuse in the Church – it is my Church. I can’t see why a non-Catholic would be especially outraged at the Church as opposed to the Boy Scouts and the Teaching profession.

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  103. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    Although it is getting rather late Russell…but at least you have stopped denying you are Russell….. former rig man, a legend in the outback and PNG….Can’t remember your surname now, someone will remind me…

    But since you bring up tears….You’ll be one of those stoics who sheds none when mum dies I guess Russell…whadda guy…Pinetree Meads and Charlie Upham have nothing on you Russell….

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  104. Johnboy (13,342 comments) says:

    You only aspire Cato. What, do you feel, are your failings?

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  105. eszett (2,264 comments) says:

    I can’t see why a non-Catholic would be especially outraged at the Church as opposed to the Boy Scouts and the Teaching profession.

    That exactly is the tremendous hypocrisy of catholics. I couldn’t have put it better if I wanted to.

    Unless of course, you accept that the Church has no more moral authority than the Boy Scouts and Teaching profession.

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  106. Johnboy (13,342 comments) says:

    Now now David. Keep your eye on the ball! :)

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  107. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    There’s just a real double standard that speaks to a sign of contradiction. Buddhist clergy are celibate and the Delai Lama agrees that any sex outside of a monogamous (conjugal) marriage violates the Third Precept of Buddhism. Are Buddhist clergy therefore more likely to be paedophiles?

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  108. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    Why are we outraged? (although that is putting it too strongly; amused scorn would be more accurate) Because guys like O’Brien are such HYPO-CRIT-ES…loud denunciation of homos only to find, as someone said earlier, they were found down on their weary knees in some sordid public lavatory….

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  109. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Well, I’m not sure I’m very good at it. I don’t pretend to have the mind of Thomas Aquinas.

    And eszett, try learning the meaning of the word hypocrisy.

    If one informs themselves that a given action is prevalent across society, but arbitrarily singles out one group that one is predisposed to dislike anyway, then that person is open to accusations of insincerity.

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  110. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    DG – that is not the meaning of hypocrisy. Never mind Latin or Greek – improve your English. Here’s Dr Johnson:

    “Nothing is more unjust, however common, than to charge with hypocrisy him that expresses zeal for those virtues which he neglects to practice; since he may be sincerely convinced of the advantages of conquering his passions, without having yet obtained the victory, as a man may be confident of the advantages of a voyage, or a journey, without having courage or industry to undertake it, and may honestly recommend to others, those attempts which he neglects himself.”

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  111. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    I’m sure we all have a very clear idea of what hypocrisy is Cato…it’s like, you know, the Rev. Graeme Capill, preaching sermons about the evils of sex outside marriage and even kiddy fiddling, and then going and doing the very same thing himself….Or Cardinal O’Brien, talking about homos being an abomination is the sight of the Lord,,,,and then heading off to the nearest cottage…

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  112. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Consult a dictionary.

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  113. eszett (2,264 comments) says:

    Only it’s not arbitrarily, Cato.
    Those who claim extraordinary morality are subject to extraordinary scrutiny.

    You are the prime example of those who constantly claim the moral high ground suddenly find it convenient to start comparing themselves to other organisations when in hot water.

    However if you are saying when it comes to the subject of morality the catholic church fares no better than that say of the teaching profession or the boy scouts, I would tend to agree with that.

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  114. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    Well dear boy, (I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase after mass) I happen to have the Concise Oxford – a somewhat later authority than Dr Johnson – right here..

    “simulation of virtue or goodness; dissimulation; pretence”…..

    Sounds like the Cardinal to me….

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  115. Lucia Maria (1,983 comments) says:

    DPF says:

    The ban on Catholic priests having sex of course didn’t apply at the beginning. St Peter, the first Pope, was married.

    He was married before he became a priest and then pope. After becoming a priest, he no longer had relations with his wife. To all intents and purposes, he was celibate or more accurately, continent.

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  116. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    When have I ever claimed the moral high ground? When have I ever claimed impeccability? If only!

    When has the Church ever claimed moral impeccability or extraordinary personal morality?

    The Catholic Church has never claimed anything other than the truth of its beliefs. Argue with that instead of strawmen of your choosing.

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  117. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Thanks DG – thats basically in agreement with Dr Johnson. Now, to establsih hypocrisy please point to a statement by Cardinal O’Brien that he lived a morally blameless life as an exemplar of virtue instead of being a sinner in a Church of sinners.

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  118. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    No Cato…YOU disputed our claims of hypocrisy on the part of your church leaders…YOU advised that we consult a dictionary….don’t now run off behind another smokescreen of “moral impeccability” or “extraordinary personal morality”….and on the latter, that is in fact EXACTLY what catholic religious claim…which is the very reason a good freind of mine who is both gay and a comitted catholic never became a priest…because he knew he couldnt meet the high standard of personal morality required….

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  119. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    You’re totally full of shit Cato…what is really sad is that you probably can’t even see it….

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  120. eszett (2,264 comments) says:

    Cato (308) Says:
    March 5th, 2013 at 9:46 pm
    When have I ever claimed the moral high ground? When have I ever claimed impeccability? If only!

    When has the Church ever claimed moral impeccability or extraordinary personal morality?

    The Catholic Church has never claimed anything other than the truth of its beliefs. Argue with that instead of strawmen of your choosing.

    ROTFL. Now you are just being childish.

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  121. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Ummmm not quite. YOU are levelling the charge of hypocrisy and YOU can’t show any – remembering that hypocrisy is not defined as failing to abide by advice one precribes but as advancing virtues one does not actually believe in.

    It is YOU who is basing all of your opinions on Catholicism, not on study or reading, but almost exclusively on personal anecdotes.

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  122. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    We have a continued barrage of moral Proselytising on kb
    In fact some of the religious nutters insist that any and all discussion on kb is a valid place for pushing church proscribed morals on the rest of us.
    And they then wonder why we point out the catholic churches repeated hypocrisy’s.

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  123. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Eszett – show good faith and show one part – any part – of that statement that is false. The Church has always maintained that the clergy, like everyone else, are subject to temptation and sin. If the Pope thinks he is perfect why does he go. To confession.

    Authentic Christians don’t claim impeccability – never have – though they do make stupendous claims to right belief.

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  124. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Griff – yeah. Damn that proselytising Catholic fundamentalist David Farrar for doing yet another blogpost on the Catholic Church causing Catholics to react in an entirely defensive fashion!

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  125. Andrei (2,429 comments) says:

    LOL Griff that is rich coming from you the biggest moralizer of all who spends day after day filling up the GD thread with dire warnings that if we don’t mend our wicked ways we are doomed, doomed I tell you, to be drowned by the melting North Pole or something

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  126. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    Actually I give no warnings of doom I only point out the science.
    I keep the bad stuff to myself.
    Like permafrost and fifteen years.
    You guys can not cope with the simple fact of agw The really scary stuff would have you all freakin out.
    http://stephenleahy.net/2011/02/22/permafrost-melt-soon-irreversible-without-major-fossil-fuel-cuts/

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  127. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Whatever.

    It’s not my fault that Griff, Garrett and Eszett insist on conflating the concept of hypocrisy with the concept of akrasia in the face of clear evidence to the contrary that they have different meanings.

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  128. Doc Holliday (36 comments) says:

    Cato (311) Says: March 5th, 2013 at 10:03 pm
    … remembering that hypocrisy is not defined as failing to abide by advice one precribes but as advancing virtues one does not actually believe in.

    Far too narrow a definition – that suits your purpose. Hypocrisy includes behaviour as well as belief.

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  129. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    No – that’s akrasia – weak willedness. While unfortunately, the correct definition doesn’t lend itself to easy chants of “hypocrisy, hypocrisy!” to basically every human being – it is fairly well settled as a matter of plain English.

    http://www.lifebythelesson.com/2011/04/what-makes-word-hypocrite-most.html

    http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=2NkOAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA245&lpg=PA245&dq=akrasia+versus+hypocrisy&source=bl&ots=kyF4o5tOVQ&sig=roZ4CsReqFLWTZM_4SLeCsGz3g0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ssM1UZuVDY2YkgW0hIHQAw&ved=0CGAQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=akrasia%20versus%20hypocrisy&f=false

    https://www.law.upenn.edu/live/files/330-yankahlegalhypocrisypdf

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/04/i-do-not-think-that-word-means-what-you-think-it-means-hypocrisy-edition/

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  130. Doc Holliday (36 comments) says:

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/hypocrisy

    hypocrisy [hɪˈpɒkrəsɪ]
    n pl -sies
    1. the practice of professing standards, beliefs, etc., contrary to one’s real character or actual behaviour, esp the pretence of virtue and piety
    2. an act or instance of this
    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

    That is the meaning of the word as used by ordinary people today. What difference does a word make anyway? We have men telling us what their god wants us to do and doing something else.

    The Catholic Church attracted sexual deviants and misfits and people trusted them with their children because they were priests, men of God. It’s about as great a betrayal as you can get.

    You can’t hide behind semantics and statistics.

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  131. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2288260/Disgraced-cardinal-Keith-OBrien-facing-possible-police-investigation-emerges-church-officials-told-live-hermit.html
    At Mass at St Andrew’s Cathedral in Glasgow last night, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, Cardinal O’Brien’s temporary replacement, said there was ‘little doubt that the credibility and moral authority’ of the church had been ‘dealt a serious blow’.

    Your evasion and excuses are not the official church position.

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  132. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Your protestations are incoherent. They just demonstrate a conflation of hypocrisy with human weakness – dictionary shopping notwithstanding. At best, they just represent a big Tu Quoque – which is logical fallacy.

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  133. Doc Holliday (36 comments) says:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/vaticancityandholysee/9908687/Vatican-accused-of-cover-up-over-Cardinal-Keith-OBriens-sexual-conduct.html

    …Cardinal O’Brien’s replacement as leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, admitted that the scandal had dealt a major blow to its “credibility and moral authority”. Addressing a Lent mass in Glasgow, he said: “Many reproaches have been aimed at the Church and at individuals over this matter.
    “The most stinging charge which has been levelled against us in this matter is hypocrisy, and for obvious reasons.
    “I think there is little doubt that the credibility and moral authority of the Catholic Church in Scotland has been dealt a serious blow.”

    Cato, read this too:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motivated_reasoning

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  134. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Doc – wiki ‘Appeal to Motive’

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  135. big bruv (12,328 comments) says:

    “He was married before he became a priest and then pope. After becoming a priest, he no longer had relations with his wife. To all intents and purposes, he was celibate or more accurately, continent.”

    Ha ha ha ha…no wonder the Catholic church can get away with child abuse. Their stupid followers will believe anything.

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  136. big bruv (12,328 comments) says:

    http://nzconservative.blogspot.co.nz/2013/03/pornography-turning-children-into-sex.html

    More insane madness from the equally mad Lucia. She makes the ridiculous claim that porn turns kids into sexual offenders while ignoring the mountain of evidence that Catholicism is without doubt far more dangerous when it comes to churning out sexual offenders.

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  137. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    Good point BB…in fact taking that a step further, I wonder if there is any research on the the number of preistly “buggers” who were themselves regularly buggered when they were altar boys, by Father, round the back of the confessional after mass?

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  138. Longknives (4,041 comments) says:

    “She makes the ridiculous claim that porn turns kids into sexual offenders while ignoring the mountain of evidence that Catholicism is without doubt far more dangerous when it comes to churning out sexual offenders.”

    Not to mention Teachers College. That place must be a haven for perverts and sex offenders…

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  139. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    Those joining us this morning may wish to check out the comments duel between Cato and several of us from about 7pm last night…in short, Cato gives us his definition of “hypocrisy”, tells us Cardinal O’Brien isnt guilty of it, then invites us to consult dictionaries…his first response to the result of that is to dispute the meanings uncovered, then when that becomes overwhelmingly, to dismiss dictionaries altogether ( he was “not going to get into a duel of dictionaries”) but to come up with an obscure word no-one has ever heard of to describe the good Cardinal…who is apparently guiltly of “akrasia” – a weakness of the will – rather than hypocrisy.

    But that all rather fizzled like a damp squib in the light of a quoted statement by Cardinal O’Brien’s replacement, who didn’t exactly say “O’Brien was guilty of gross hypocrisy” but came as near as dammit….and so the battle was left at stumps on the first day…

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  140. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    It didn’t fizzle out because my point had been refuted. It fizzled out because the time was 12.02 am!

    All I can say is I hold Bishop Tartaglia as any particular authority on the correct use of English and that I don’t want to get into an argument about the relative merits and demerits of the Oxford English Dictionary, Merriam Webster and Samuel Johnson versus http:///www.thefreedictionary.com. I believe that words have a specific meaning and that where there is ample evidence that a word is being incorrectly used as a cudgel, it ought to be corrected. Perhaps if you weren’t so contemptuous of latin or greek we would see eye to eye here. However, just because you subscribe to a dumbed-down version of English doesn’t mean I have to.

    But the point is that even if O’Brien was shown to be a hypocrite – assuming it is somehow possible to prove his opposition to gay marriage is insincere – that would prove … precisely nothing. It is an ad hominem argument along the following lines:

    -A criticises B
    -A is also guilty of B
    -Therefore, A’s criticism of B is invalid.

    Your opponent’s position is not made invalid or unsound because of his or her’s failure to act in a manner consistent with that position. Besides being unseemly, emotional responses don’t overcome that logical problem. You clearly think that position is “full of sh–” but we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    That’s all I have to say on the subject – time for the caravan to move on. Have the last word, if you will.

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  141. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    It depends entirely on the type of sexual offender, as to whether porn has played an influence in their behaviour.

    ‘Sexual Offending’ covers a very big area.

    A kid, perhaps 17 years of age has sexual intercourse with his 15 year old girlfriend. Her parents report it to the police who are obliged to charge the young man. He is convicted, probably put under supervision, and has a record as a sexual offender for life.

    Then there are pedophiles, who are sexually excited by the immature form of a child. A ‘sickness’ that can never be cured in them, and their only hope of non-offending is by acknowledging what they are, and receiving the support and constant supervision by family/friends etc.

    Of course there is another type of pedophile, not necessarily turned on by the immature form, but rather a desire to ‘degrade, torture, and at times kill their victims’. Part of the degradation process involves violent sexual acts.

    As well as those we have ‘flashers’, people who rape out of anger, and a variety of other behaviours.

    Then we have priests, school teachers, scout leaders, and the friend old guy down the road that likes to baby sit other peoples children. I think these people come under two different catagories. Those that are pedophiles and turned on the by immature form and fight against it, but give in to the temptation (they don’t set out to hurt, but do), and those that due to some form of conditioning (perhaps excessive religious concentration causing obsession/curiosity etc) have developed a sexual deviance that makes them ‘opportunists’, and they received sexual gratification where their can, against their normal societal role, and in secret.

    The one thing that most have in common, and it is not an excuse, but something that must be acknowledged, that the very large majority of sexual offenders, have themselves been victims of sexual abuse.

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  142. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    Cato, when one is out argued – or simply proved to be wrong, as I was regarding the word “ecclessial” – one comes out of it with a great deal more kudos if one graciously concedes, or withdraws and apologises, as the case may require. Rather as I did when you kindly drew my attention to a word I hadn’t heard of.

    In this particular case, something like: “Yes, you are right, as his replacement has suggested, Cardinal O’Brien was a flaming hypocrite” from you should do the trick. Otherwise you just look like a complete wanker…

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  143. Doc Holliday (36 comments) says:

    Cato (318) Says: March 6th, 2013 at 9:40 am
    … the relative merits and demerits of the Oxford English Dictionary, Merriam Webster and Samuel Johnson versus http:///www.thefreedictionary.com.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/hypocrisy
    hypocrisy [hɪˈpɒkrəsɪ] n pl -sies
    1. the practice of professing standards, beliefs, etc., contrary to one’s real character or actual behaviour, esp the pretence of virtue and piety
    2. an act or instance of this
    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

    Can you not read, Cato? It’s the Collins English Dictionary. It is perfectly clear what the word hypocrisy means to everyone else, but you’d rather wriggle and squirm than face the truth. You are a gutless wonder, Cato.

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  144. Doc Holliday (36 comments) says:

    http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/hypocrisy?q=hypocrisy
    Definition of hypocrisy noun (plural hypocrisies) [mass noun]
    the practice of claiming to have higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case:
    Origin: Middle English: from Old French ypocrisie, via ecclesiastical Latin, from Greek hupokrisis ‘acting of a theatrical part’, from hupokrinesthai ‘play a part, pretend’, from hupo ‘under’ + krinein ‘decide, judge’

    Here, Cato, you can be wrong to a “higher” standard if you like.

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  145. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    Doc Holiday says:

    the practice of claiming to have higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case:

    God lord, that includes damn near everyone I have ever met.
    Can you define it a little more precisely, I’d like to be able to exclude myself if possible.

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  146. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    I am now showing akrasia – by indulging in a further post when I said I wouldn’t.

    The OED definition clearly pertains to claiming higher standards than one actually believes – i.e. one is insincere about those noble beliefs. That is what I have been saying the whole time. Rather than repeating this ad nauseum I shall simply once again link to Sparkes for the purposes of your edification: http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=2NkOAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA245&lpg=PA245&dq=akrasia+versus+hypocrisy&source=bl&ots=kyF4o5tOVQ&sig=roZ4CsReqFLWTZM_4SLeCsGz3g0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ssM1UZuVDY2YkgW0hIHQAw&ved=0CGAQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=akrasia%20versus%20hypocrisy&f=false

    That is a better explanation than I could ever give. If you’re that way inclined, you might also check out the Wikipedia entry on hypocrisy.

    What I will concede is that it is arguable that, through incorrect usage as exemplified by yourselves, the word ‘hypocrisy’ has been debased in common parlance. To that extent, I guess Cardinal O’Brien could be called a ‘hypocrite’ in the same way a copyright infringer could be called a thief.

    That is not the same as DG simply claiming a quite common word doesn’t exist – something I never really cared about but which he keeps bringing up.

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  147. Doc Holliday (36 comments) says:

    Judith (1,715) Says: March 6th, 2013 at 10:57 am
    Doc Holiday says: the practice of claiming to have higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case:

    God lord, that includes damn near everyone I have ever met.
    Can you define it a little more precisely, I’d like to be able to exclude myself if possible.

    Get down on your knees, woman.

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  148. Doc Holliday (36 comments) says:

    Cato. I accept what you say. But it makes no difference to the facts.

    To argue against homosexual marriage is one thing, to argue against accepting homosexual activity in society and yet indulge in homosexual behaviour is something else. Hypocrisy. In the normal everyday meaning of the word.

    It is more than that. As Judith has pointed out, we are all hypocrites to a degree. It is dishonest. It is despicable. It is sickening. It is the last straw for decent rational people.

    The Catholic Church is full of it. Contraception, condoms …

    Yes, I see the difficulty when one believes something is wrong and one succumbs to temptation, still believing it wrong. In that case one might be better to pontificate a little less and sympathise a little more.

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  149. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Doc – I agree with you to this extent – it should give you humility about how you approach people. I think of a divorcee father advising his son to avoid adultery and all the hurt brings, because it has ruined his life. If the father’s advice to the son is sincere and comes from authentic contrition and regret then I wouldn’t call him a hypocrite by any definition of the word.

    For the same reason I think everybody should back off alluding to aspects of one fellow commenter’s past misbehaviours (though I was guilty of that once, too). This isn’t because we all have done foolish things in our 20s (and we all have) or because he has shown contrition (which he did) or because we don’t have all the facts (which we don’t). Instead, we should strive to focus on what he says.

    The reason I’m unconvinced that Cardinal O’Brien needs to be pilloried is that I have yet to see any evidence that he has claimed to be a moral paragon or personally condemned gays. As long as his actions have been to enunciate his religion’s opposition to homosexual acts (while upholding the dignity of homsexual individuals – as people) then his own shortcomings aren’t really that relevant.

    What would be relevant is if he had shown spite or hatred towards gays – but then we would be condemning him (rightly) for a lack of empathy.

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  150. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Perhaps I am biased, but I say all this because as a Catholic I know that Cardinal O’Brien has had a reputation for upholding the dignity of gay people while affirming traditional belief on homosexual actions. I can recall that he fought to ensure that gay people could teach in Catholic schools for instance, so long as they did not publicly contradict Church teaching, for instance. That might not satisfy gay activists but it is a far cry from having hatred or an ‘irrational fear’ of gay people.

    This whole ‘Cardinal O’Brien is a homophobe’ started because his policy objection to gay marriage endgendered a hyperbolic media reaction.

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  151. Doc Holliday (36 comments) says:

    Cato. It may come as a surprise to you, I rejoice not one whit in the cardinal’s fall from grace. He is a homosexual trapped in a place that forbids him sex.

    I do not think O’Brien is an evil man. I seem to remember he advocated priests marrying.

    We are here by accident and we are all deeply flawed. I find homosexuality revolting but I find persecution of homosexuals even more unacceptable. My tolerance does not extend to changing the meaning of marriage to a comforting word.

    But my tolerance of the Catholic Church and religiosity is a polite mask too. Hypocrisy? Where would we be without it?

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  152. Azeraph (597 comments) says:

    I hope this is just the start, not that i’m gleefully rubbing my hands together with a wicked smile at something shiny, no, It’s time and if the church loses millions then so be it, in the end, millions will desert her anyway.

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  153. SPC (4,634 comments) says:

    On sexual offending against minors

    1. most is against females and here the rate amongst clergy is lower than the norm because of the lack of access of these men to females
    2. the rate of offending is higher than the norm in the case of males of school age, because there is more access

    2 does not outweigh 1, so offending against minors by clergy is no higher than the norm (if that).

    Most offending is by males in their 20″s (nearly half) with access to children.

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  154. Doc Holliday (36 comments) says:

    SPC (2,333) Says: March 6th, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    … offending against minors by clergy is no higher than the norm (if that)…

    All of which shows what? This is a select group espousing celibacy and preaching conditional sex as their god’s commandment. Then, when caught, covering up truly vile behaviour.

    There is nothing on this Earth that compares with this betrayal.

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  155. SPC (4,634 comments) says:

    In the case of O’Brien the hypocrisy was, as you have noted, in declaring against same sex activity while apparently seeking to initiate some with other adults. I think on balance hypocrisy is the right term in this case – as an approach was made to others, rather than an approach being made by others. As when opposing adultery, there is a difference between approaching a married woman to being approached by her and tempted into a breach of one’s own standards.

    The problem with the church, is that it appears that they placed their reputation before child safety. They moved clergy about whom complaints were made but would not presume to judge. Thus they left these people in position to further offend in new locations. Each area presumed they had done the right thing – one removed the potential threat, the other refused to rush to judgment – yet collectively the priests were not helped and the children at new locations were not protected.

    PS Jesus did say that offence to the innocent children was not to be tolerated. If a work was supposed to make the world a better place for the next generation …

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  156. UglyTruth (3,003 comments) says:

    Hypocrisy? Pauline Christianity is built on it.

    But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men [and] brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
    Acts 23:6

    Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
    Matthew 23:15

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