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-   -   Is the Roman Catholic Church in Freefall? (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=321103)

Thor 2 29th June 2017 04:01 PM

Is the Roman Catholic Church in Freefall?
 
Cardinal George Pell is taking leave of his Vatican duties after informing the Pope he plans to return to Australia to fight historical sexual assault charges in court and clear his name.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-2...tralia/8664516

acbytesla 29th June 2017 04:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 11902590)
Cardinal George Pell is taking leave of his Vatican duties after informing the Pope he plans to return to Australia to fight historical sexual assault charges in court and clear his name.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-2...tralia/8664516

It's been in free fall for 50 years minimum. Pell isn't the only Catholic authority who is guilty of covering up for pedophile priests.There have ever been a few Catholic cardinals in the US and Ireland as well as the last pope who were also involved in such actions.

Thor 2 29th June 2017 04:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by acbytesla (Post 11902601)
It's been in free fall for 50 years minimum. Pell isn't the only Catholic authority who is guilty of covering up for pedophile priests.There have ever been a few Catholic cardinals in the US and Ireland as well as the last pope who were also involved in such actions.


The rate of decent has increased somewhat though I think.

From a related news item:

Quote:

The Vatican appears to have moved forward from the politically damaging and protectionist approach it took with Polish Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski.

Archbishop Wesolowski was the Apostolic Nuncio (Vatican ambassador) to the Dominican Republic from 2008. The Archbishop was investigated in that country after sexual abuse allegations were made against him, but the Vatican recalled him in 2013, invoking diplomatic immunity.

He was subsequently defrocked, lost his immunity, and died under house arrest awaiting an ecclesiastical trial — an internal Church process — in the Vatican.

Before he died, the Church indicated Wesolowski could also have faced charges in the Dominican Republic. But that did not happen, and the whole sorry matter was a public relations disaster.

The Church is in damage control and learned from previous mistakes.

In the light of the above one has to wonder if Pell asked to go and defend himself or was pushed. Some are now asking if the Church will cut him loose.

theprestige 29th June 2017 04:40 PM

Papists on suicide watch you guys.

abaddon 29th June 2017 04:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 11902622)
The rate of decent has increased somewhat though I think.

From a related news item:




The Church is in damage control and learned from previous mistakes.

In the light of the above one has to wonder if Pell asked to go and defend himself or was pushed. Some are now asking if the Church will cut him loose.

Nope. There still exists a generation that hold hard to the RCC no matter what. When they shuffle off this mortal coil, then things will move apace.

Just recently, a former neighbour passed and left her house and all her worldly goods to the RCC. Thus does the church accumulate wealth. That is, however, becoming rare where before it was commonplace. Before, it would be regarded as a holy act, now it is regarded as lunacy.

Personally, I do have a will. All I own goes to my kids equally. End of. In former times people reserved at least a portion for the RCC. Those times are ended. That will take some time to filter through. The RCC is epically slow at recognising reality.

Meadmaker 29th June 2017 05:10 PM

More like a slow, but inevitable, descent.

The Catholic Church is an institution run by celibate men. Now, why would people stay celibate like that? Is it because of their deep faith in Jesus Christ? Yeah, that could do it. Of course, it could also be because they are gay, and hiding from their own sexuality because actually living it out is against the law. Now that it isn't against the law, suddenly not very many people want to be priests or nuns. That leaves a big problem for the church. If they want to continue to have leaders, they are going to have to give up on something they considered definitive.

And of course in general they were opposed to sex, and it turns out that people kind of like sex, and once they figured out how to avoid making babies, but still having sex, they kind of turned their backs on an institution that was so anti-sex.

And then, it turns out that those guys who ran away from their sexuality, couldn't run all the way away. Some were actual pedophiles, and some others were those who preyed on the young and naïve. So these people who were so devout that they eschewed the company of women in favor of a relationship with God, actually weren't interested in women in the first place. Just boys and young men.

I don't know if the church will be able to remake itself as something other than an anti-sex league. I kind of doubt it. I think membership will continue to plummet, and within my lifetime they will be seen as mostly a curious holdover from the middle ages. There will still be millions of followers, but that's a small fraction of the total from my youth.

acbytesla 29th June 2017 05:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 11902622)
The rate of decent has increased somewhat though I think.

It takes a while to reach terminal velocity.

The Big Dog 29th June 2017 05:26 PM

Betteridge's law of headlines

acbytesla 29th June 2017 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Big Dog (Post 11902689)
Betteridge's law of headlines

Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.

As with similar "laws" (e.g., Murphy's law), it is intended as a humorous adage rather than the literal truth.

Trebuchet 29th June 2017 06:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Meadmaker (Post 11902673)
More like a slow, but inevitable, descent.

The Catholic Church is an institution run by celibate men. Now, why would people stay celibate like that? Is it because of their deep faith in Jesus Christ? Yeah, that could do it. Of course, it could also be because they are gay, and hiding from their own sexuality because actually living it out is against the law. Now that it isn't against the law, suddenly not very many people want to be priests or nuns. That leaves a big problem for the church. If they want to continue to have leaders, they are going to have to give up on something they considered definitive.

And of course in general they were opposed to sex, and it turns out that people kind of like sex, and once they figured out how to avoid making babies, but still having sex, they kind of turned their backs on an institution that was so anti-sex.

And then, it turns out that those guys who ran away from their sexuality, couldn't run all the way away. Some were actual pedophiles, and some others were those who preyed on the young and naïve. So these people who were so devout that they eschewed the company of women in favor of a relationship with God, actually weren't interested in women in the first place. Just boys and young men.

I don't know if the church will be able to remake itself as something other than an anti-sex league. I kind of doubt it. I think membership will continue to plummet, and within my lifetime they will be seen as mostly a curious holdover from the middle ages. There will still be millions of followers, but that's a small fraction of the total from my youth.

That is almost certainly why one of my college friends became a priest, although "against the law" is stretching it a bit unless you mean religious law. I don't know if he molested boys but I suspect it's the case.

acbytesla 29th June 2017 07:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trebuchet (Post 11902774)
That is almost certainly why one of my college friends became a priest, although "against the law" is stretching it a bit unless you mean religious law. I don't know if he molested boys but I suspect it's the case.

This is a horrible thought. Don't think much of your friend do you?

Meadmaker 29th June 2017 07:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trebuchet (Post 11902774)
That is almost certainly why one of my college friends became a priest, although "against the law" is stretching it a bit unless you mean religious law. I don't know if he molested boys but I suspect it's the case.

Bowers v. Hartwick (sp?), upholding a sodomy conviction, was decided in 1993, and only overturned in 2003.

Until 2003, homosexuality was illegal in some places in the US, although rarely enforced for several decades. Going back before that it was indeed a crime and frequently enforced. It was a capital crime in many places for centuries, and still is in a few, although not many where there are a lot of Catholics).

And of course, until about the 60s it was extremely taboo, socially. By the '80s it had started to be a bit more acceptable, and only in the last ten years has it become ok to most people, such that the ones who are not ok with it face more condemnation than the homosexuals themselves. (Of course, that varies from place to place in America.)

But of course, you get the point. For most of the church's history, it was either illegal, or strongly condemned socially, so one could not lead a normal life as a gay person. The Catholic Church provided a place where gay people could attempt to hide from their sexuality, by taking Holy Orders.

It was in the '80s when I started hearing talk about the prevalence of homosexuality among priests and nuns. I don't know if there has been a serious study that could be taken seriously, but I have heard voices from within the church say that the church needs to acknowledge that most of their priests are gay. Not some, but most. I don't know how seriously to take that, but it isn't just anti-Catholic outsiders who say it.

Trebuchet 29th June 2017 07:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by acbytesla (Post 11902811)
This is a horrible thought. Don't think much of your friend do you?

He was my friend 50 years ago. When he came to visit us 40 or so years ago, a couple of times, he always had a couple of teenage boys with him. I didn't know he was gay then, nor had near so much about Catholic sex abuse come out, but I thought it seemed a bit creepy.
I think much more highly of him now that he's come out and left the priesthood.

GT/CS 29th June 2017 09:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by abaddon (Post 11902661)
{snip}
The RCC is epically slow at recognising reality.

That's because in their minds they can't believe they no longer create reality.

Filippo Lippi 29th June 2017 10:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by acbytesla (Post 11902601)
It's been in free fall for 50 years minimum. Pell isn't the only Catholic authority who is guilty of covering up for pedophile priests.There have ever been a few Catholic cardinals in the US and Ireland as well as the last pope who were also involved in such actions.

And this pope, don't forget him

Thor 2 29th June 2017 10:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Filippo Lippi (Post 11902892)

Interesting article Filippo. The following was news to me, that some are comparing Francis to Trump:

Quote:

It’s not meant entirely seriously,’ says a well-placed source. ‘No one is suggesting that Jorge Bergoglio is tempted by the same sins of the flesh as Donald Trump.

‘And there’s another difference. The Americans can kick out their old rogue after four years. Francis doesn’t have to stand for re-election by the conclave. Which, believe me, is lucky for him, because after the misery and nonsense of the past couple of years he’d be eliminated in the first ballot.’

pgwenthold 30th June 2017 06:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by acbytesla (Post 11902601)
It's been in free fall for 50 years minimum. Pell isn't the only Catholic authority who is guilty of covering up for pedophile priests.There have ever been a few Catholic cardinals in the US and Ireland as well as the last pope who were also involved in such actions.

When I was in college 30 years ago, I took a course on "Religions of the World." We discussed the RCC, and the question is, "How long will the Church survive?" They were people in my discussion group arguing that it would be gone in 30 years.

Here we are, 30 years later, asking the question, "How long can the Catholic Church survive?"

SSDD

I'm sure there were those in 1520 asking the question, "How long can the Catholic Church survive?"

(recall 1517 was when Luther posted the 95 theses and started the Reformation)

Hokulele 30th June 2017 08:06 AM

It is also important to remember that while the RCC is stagnating in Europe and most of North America, it is still very popular and growing in Central and South America, as well as many parts of Asia and Africa. This can easily be seen in the rise in attendance in churches that cater to immigrant populations in the US. Since the RCC is still viewed as a "Western" institution due to the prominence of the Vatican, it would be a mistake to assume the arc of he church as a whole is accurately reflected in the woes presented here.

applecorped 30th June 2017 08:11 AM

Have we passed peak RCC?

Donn 30th June 2017 08:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by applecorped (Post 11903234)
Have we passed peak RCC?

It's in steeple decline.

abaddon 30th June 2017 10:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Donn (Post 11903254)
It's in steeple decline.

You nave. You should altar that post immediately.

3point14 30th June 2017 10:47 AM

The simple observation that the Catholic church does not provide moral leadership but merely follows, some 40 years adrift, the moral wondering of the population leads me to ask what the hell it's for anyway.

Donn 30th June 2017 11:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by abaddon (Post 11903398)
You nave. You should altar that post immediately.

Aisle think aboud' it. :D

abaddon 30th June 2017 11:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Donn (Post 11903441)
Aisle think aboud' it. :D

That kind of pun is likely to bite you on the apse.

Thor 2 30th June 2017 03:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 3point14 (Post 11903408)
The simple observation that the Catholic church does not provide moral leadership but merely follows, some 40 years adrift, the moral wondering of the population leads me to ask what the hell it's for anyway.


To provide a comfy home for guys who like to wear frocks.

Thor 2 30th June 2017 03:20 PM

The Italian press is all over the Pell story it seems.

Quote:

Chris Lamb, the Rome correspondent for Catholic journal The Tablet, said the Vatican had so far put on a show of support for Pell.

------------

Lamb said the charges put the issue of sexual abuse back on the agenda for Pope Francis.
"It shows it's not something that's going away from the Church and it's something that's going to have to be constantly looked at and dealt with," he said.
"I think there is still a need for better and policies and procedures in dealing with cases from the Vatican end … they need to get everyone on board to deal with this very serious issue more robustly.
"It's a landmark moment for the wrong reasons in the sense that Cardinal Pell is the highest ranking church leader to ever face formal charges.
"It is a big moment and it will have long term ramifications for the Church."

This line:

The Tablet, said the Vatican had so far put on a show of support for Pell.

Is an absolute gem for those who like to read between the lines.

psionl0 30th June 2017 05:03 PM

The RCC (and Anglican) churches have been under attack by Australian governments for decades. A series of inquiries and Royal Commissions have regularly unearthed pedophilia and cover-ups within both churches. The most famous scalp was former Governor General Peter Hollingworth, a former Anglican bishop who was implicated in abuse cover-ups.

However, the decline in church attendance by Australians predates most of this. Many switched to alternative churches or stopped attending church altogether. The outing of pedophiles merely acts as a confirmation bias for those who gave up on the RCC.

The RCC is still bigger than one country though. Catholic churches still fill the pews in Australia but the attendees are more likely to be of African or Asian origin.

rjh01 30th June 2017 07:43 PM

The RCC has been in slow decline since shortly after Johannes_GutenbergWP started printing books.

Thor 2 1st July 2017 12:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psionl0 (Post 11903766)
The RCC (and Anglican) churches have been under attack by Australian governments for decades. A series of inquiries and Royal Commissions have regularly unearthed pedophilia and cover-ups within both churches. The most famous scalp was former Governor General Peter Hollingworth, a former Anglican bishop who was implicated in abuse cover-ups.

However, the decline in church attendance by Australians predates most of this. Many switched to alternative churches or stopped attending church altogether. The outing of pedophiles merely acts as a confirmation bias for those who gave up on the RCC.

The RCC is still bigger than one country though. Catholic churches still fill the pews in Australia but the attendees are more likely to be of African or Asian origin.


Don't make me laugh, the Catholic church is not only not filling the pews it is not filling the pulpits. As I have read priests are now being imported from countries in Africa.

abaddon 1st July 2017 01:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 11903979)
Don't make me laugh, the Catholic church is not only not filling the pews it is not filling the pulpits. As I have read priests are now being imported from countries in Africa.

Correct. And this raises a further problem for the church. By and large, the remaining regular mass goers are of an ultra conservative mindset. Going with that is a built in racism. They are horrified that they might have to receive sacraments from a brown person. This has given rise to the truly bizarre phenomenon of church hunting, where one spends not a little effort finding a church where mass/confession/whatever is being performed by a suitably pale person. Thus, the parishioners are no longer going to their parish church, but to other churches. In turn this means that the church has to redeploy already scarce priestly resources to the parishes where people turn up for mass from all over.

The follow on from that is that the church redeploys the the brown people to the parish in question, which prompts the parishioners to migrate to a different parish church. Rinse, lather, repeat. The remaining church goers are the most ultra conservatives as a rule (with, it must be admitted, Quite a few exceptions).

Now even as an atheist I have direct experience of this. I helped a youngish priest of south american origin get settled in. He was a very pleasant gentle bloke, softly spoken, obviously highly intelligent. I couldn't bring my self to tell the sorry bastage that "Look, you are sufficiently black to get lost in a coal shed. People will hate you for no reason". What kills me about that is that he was a really nice guy. We instantly got an understanding that he was a priest, I was an atheist, and that was alright. I liked that a lot. But I also knew that the blue rinse brigade were going to eviscerate him. Sure enough, after a few months, he was transferred to "I dunno" and I lost track of the guy.

Oh, and I should note that such built-in racism is not from the RCC. They sent the guy here after all. No, that is peculiar to the remaining parishioners. It certainly is not all of them, but there are enough of them.

psionl0 1st July 2017 04:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 11903979)
Don't make me laugh, the Catholic church is not only not filling the pews it is not filling the pulpits. As I have read priests are now being imported from countries in Africa.

AFAIK finding men who were willing to take a vow of celibacy was always a problem in Australia and the priesthood was largely imported as a result. In days gone by, I believe that Ireland was a major source or RCC priests but you will more likely see them originating from Africa or Asia today.

I admit that any attendance figures I have today are mostly anecdotal.

Thor 2 1st July 2017 02:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psionl0 (Post 11904076)
AFAIK finding men who were willing to take a vow of celibacy was always a problem in Australia and the priesthood was largely imported as a result. In days gone by, I believe that Ireland was a major source or RCC priests but you will more likely see them originating from Africa or Asia today.

I admit that any attendance figures I have today are mostly anecdotal.


Boy oh boy. You make the comment that the Catholic Church is still filling the pews and then admit that the evidence you have to support this is not necessarily true or reliable.:boggled:

Do you go along with what abaddon says above, and please give us an opinion as to why Australian guys are so shy of celibacy?

psionl0 1st July 2017 03:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 11904625)
Do you go along with what abaddon says above,

That racism is the reason why white Australians deserted the RCC? I doubt that this was an overwhelming factor.

I would suggest that the RCC simply failed to make itself relevant to post-war Australians. The old "don't ask questions or you will go to hell" approach didn't cut it with the younger generations who were increasingly exposed to alternative information about God and the world.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 11904625)
and please give us an opinion as to why Australian guys are so shy of celibacy?

Who knows? There are probably many and varied reasons why Australians have been reluctant to enter the priesthood. Celibacy is just one of them.

The Big Dog 1st July 2017 03:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psionl0 (Post 11904672)
The old "don't ask questions or you will go to hell" approach didn't cut it with the younger generations who were increasingly exposed to alternative information about God and the world..

the what????:confused:

arthwollipot 1st July 2017 06:16 PM

Well, it's still the largest religious denomination in Australia, so I'm going to say no, it's probably not in freefall.

fuelair 1st July 2017 07:16 PM

Is the Roman Catholic Church in Freefall?


One can but hope!!!!!

Meadmaker 1st July 2017 08:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 11904792)
Well, it's still the largest religious denomination in Australia, so I'm going to say no, it's probably not in freefall.

"Freefall" is a pretty undefined term when it comes to religious denominations, but I took it to mean, "losing members and not likely to reverse the trend."

Your numbers show barely a majority of Australians identify themselves as Christians. I'll bet that's down quite a bit from a couple of decades ago.

I'm curious whether Catholics or others are falling faster.

acbytesla 1st July 2017 09:41 PM

More changes to Roman Catholic leadership.
 
We have just seen two major figures at the Vatican. The first being Cardinal Pell who is facing charges in Australia related tothe sex abuse of minors. Following on Pell's departure now is the Church's top theologian, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller.

Müller apparently is a problem for two reasons. The first is being too conservative and the second being that he was demonstrating "shameful" resistance in the Vatican's handling of the sex abuse scandals.

Thor 2 1st July 2017 11:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 11904792)
Well, it's still the largest religious denomination in Australia, so I'm going to say no, it's probably not in freefall.


Well according to the census results "No Religion" is the largest group now.

Thor 2 1st July 2017 11:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by acbytesla (Post 11904896)
We have just seen two major figures at the Vatican. The first being Cardinal Pell who is facing charges in Australia related tothe sex abuse of minors. Following on Pell's departure now is the Church's top theologian, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller.

Müller apparently is a problem for two reasons. The first is being too conservative and the second being that he was demonstrating "shameful" resistance in the Vatican's handling of the sex abuse scandals.


Yes, it is collapsing like a house of cards.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-0...-chief/8671440


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