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Comparative theology in everyday life

As I've said before, I consider myself a "born-again agnostic," despite being raised Methodist. I've also been fascinated by Judaism, but never enough to more than casually consider converting. (Between my devotion to my agnosticism and the whole "ritual shedding of blood" from parts I really don't want anywhere near knives, that was never much of a possibility.) But I've always been interested in topics such as Biblical archeology and the origins of certain religious rituals and traditions.

One book I desperately need to find another copy of is Richard Ben Sapir's "The Body." In it, a Palestinian shopkeeper digging a basement for his shop uncovers what might be the tomb of Jesus -- complete with skeleton. The Israelis do the smartest thing they can do -- they seal the site, call up the Vatican and dump the whole mess in their lap.

During the course of the book, the priest sent to investigate works with an Israeli archeologist. During the course of their conversations, the story of Jesus chasing the moneychangers out of the Temple come up, and the archeologist explains just what the heck they were doing there in the first place -- a question I had wondered about.

She explains it in simple, non-theological terms, instead citing history, geography, politics, and economics. Look at a map -- Israel sits at the crossroads of three continents and, at the time, three great civilizations. Anyone who has ever travelled abroad will agree -- it's important to exchange your money for the local currency before you arrive there. And the Tempole was a easily-found landmark, not sacred to most travellers, and run by probably the least evangelical people on earth -- setting foot in the Temple to change money wasn't a threat to anyone's religious status. That, plus it was easy money for the Temple, to help them continue their good works.

Two more examples come from an ex-girlfriend, who was Jewish. We were watching "Excalibur" when she turned to me. "I've wanted to know this for years. What the hell is the 'Holy Grail,' anyway?"

I explained that it is the cup used at the Last Supper. I was halfway through my explanation when she excitedly interrupted me. "Oh, it's a Kiddush cup!"

That started the whole explanation about why Easter is so near Passover, and the rest. The Last Supper was a Passover dinner, or Seder, but Jesus rewrote the traditional services for his own purposes. But one of the traditions of the Seder is the Kiddush cup -- during the meal, a single, special cup is filled with wine and set aside for the Prophet Elijah, who has a standing invitation to attend any Seder he wishes. At the conclusion of the meal, if Elijah doesn't show, all the attendees of the Seder drink a sip of the wine in his honor, with the patriarch (or, in my ex's case, the matriarch) finishing the cup. Jesus' taking of the cup symbolizes that he was the leader of the Seder, and the passing of the cup wasn't anything new to his disciples -- he just added the Transfiguration element.

Finally, one night my ex was in high dudgeon over the latest news from the pedophile priest scandals, and went off on a rant against the Catholics. This time, she hit upon the whole "no meat on Friday" bit. "Do you know why they did that?"

"Um... no... remember, I was raised Methodist?"

That didn't slow her down in the least. "They did it to piss off the Jews."

"Huh?"

She explained patiently. "The Jewish Sabbath starts at sunset on Friday night, and the Sabbath dinner is the most important meal of the week. For a lot of poorer Jews, that meant that Friday night was the only night of the week they would have meat -- they couldn't afford it more often. The Catholics figured that if the Jews ate meat on Fridays, then they'd make a big point out of NOT eating meat on Fridays, to show just how un-Jewish they were."

I don't know if that is the real story behind it, but it certainly seems plausible to me.

J.


Comments (35)

Try reading Another Road... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Try reading Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins, not nearly as historically correct but a lot more fun than The Body.

Yes I alway ask my pacifist... (Below threshold)
Rod Stanton:

Yes I alway ask my pacifist friends if they know why Jesus was crucified. They never know. It was because he beat the shit out of those money changers your refered to. Assault and battery was against Roman Law. Punisable by death. Jesus was a violent man when mad.

A little correction on the ... (Below threshold)
Eric:

A little correction on the Kiddish cup. Every one at the Passover seder has their own cup of wine. It is drunk and refilled four times during the course of the seder. (With a huge meal in between the second and third cups, so you're pretty unlikely to get too plastered. Grape juice is an acceptable alternative.)

Elijah's cup sits on the table through the whole seder. At one point towards the end, the door is opened for Elijah to come in. At this point, while any children present are looking away, someone tips some wine out of the cup, and everyone tries to convince the kids that Elijah was there, but was too fast to be seen. (And Santa only gets milk and cookies. Take that!)

My understanding of the fis... (Below threshold)

My understanding of the fish on friday bit was that the Pope who decreed it had family ties to big-name fish merchants. Still at work & too tired to google.

Well did a little googling ... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Well did a little googling on the CAtholics not eating meat on Fridays (I am not Catholic as a disclaimer).

The general consensus is that they don't eat meat on Friday, because the early church made Friday a fast day, because that was the day that Christ died.

I think this story actually makes more sense-at least as to why the tradition developed. Fasting was a much more integral part of a Christians walk in ancient times than it is today.

They made a movie out of Th... (Below threshold)
Sarah:

They made a movie out of The Body, it was pretty good actually.

You're missing an important... (Below threshold)

You're missing an important point to the connection between the Last Supper and Passover. The last Supper is really the very last Passover meal (in Jesus' mind and to Christians). Jesus is called the lamb, and he replaces the lamb served at Passover. The need to sacrifice lambs ends, because Jesus himself is sacrificed one time for everyone, and at almost precisely the time prescribed under jewish law for sacrificing Passover lambs.

This site has more.
http://users.aristotle.net/~bhuie/po-eat.htm
and this http://www.leaderu.com/theology/passover.html

As I recall it, weren't the... (Below threshold)

As I recall it, weren't the money changers there mostly because while the currency in wide circulation in the land was Roman, the Temple only accepted the Tyre shekels (or is it Babylonian shekels, or something like that) for offerings (i.e., tithe). It fugures since the Roman coins would have some Caesar's portrait on its face, not exactly kosher. The demand for the required coins thus attracted the money changers.

If you recall your Gospel of John 2:14--And he found in the Temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money-changers seated--the animals were most likely meant for sacrifice. If one had to travel all the way from, say, Galilee to make some offering in the Temple at Jerusalem, bringing along "oxen and sheep and doves" wouldn't exactly be convenient. Buying them on the spot was much easier--hence the demand again.

Problem was, as always, the merchants, money changers *and* temple authorities were making a killing out of the whole deal. It might had began as "ministry" but easily became "business". Hence Jesus's ire.

Assuming what your gf said ... (Below threshold)
julie:

Assuming what your gf said is true, that meat was rare and generally served on Fridays; then fasting on that day means was truly a sacrifice for Catholics. Isn't that the aim of fasting?

Does this mean Easter is to... (Below threshold)
PTG:

Does this mean Easter is to be called off now? Seriously, is there anyone who thinks the Palestinian Retaining Wall now being constructed amounts to a rebuilding of the Temple? Is the Whore of Babylon out of the bag, dad?

Rod Stanton... (Below threshold)
Chris:

Rod Stanton

You're joking, right?

Actually, having grown up i... (Below threshold)
meep:

Actually, having grown up in the South, it was common that Sunday was the only day you could afford to eat meat, and usually you ate chicken.

In any case, it's common in many religious traditions to have the "best" meal on one's Sabbath. For the Jews, it's Friday evening, and for the Christians, it's Sunday.

Steve L. is correct. "the l... (Below threshold)

Steve L. is correct. "the last supper" WAS a passover meal. Most Christians even tend to forget that Jesus himself was Jewish. Why do you think a lot of our faith comes from Judaism? Because Jesus was supposed to be the 'fulfillment" of the Jewish Religion. He was the Messiah. Hence the "Kiddush" cup.
However, one of the first Council of Bishops in the Christian Faith (or was it the first? I don't remember), was when they were deciding whether to follow all the Jewish traditions and old laws, or whether they weren't necessarily needed anymore because of the way Jesus fulfilled the faith.

Henry, you're thinking of t... (Below threshold)
David:

Henry, you're thinking of the Council of Jerusalem in the Book of Acts.

thanks... (Below threshold)

thanks

I like learning about this ... (Below threshold)
jmaster:

I like learning about this stuff too. In the past six months or so, I’ve started researching witchcraft and paganism. There are a surprising amount of similarities between the rituals of the more modern religions and those of the “old” religions, all the way back to pagan times. Its interesting to plot out the time lines and see how beliefs have morphed along the way.

What Catholics do (did, rea... (Below threshold)
hobgoblin:

What Catholics do (did, really, except during Lent nowadays) on Fridays is called, properly, abstaining. As in abstaining from flesh of mammals or birds. Fish is OK, and if you've ever been to a fish fry during Lend, you'll understand that fasting is the farthest thing from the minds of most Caholics on most Fridays in Lent.

The exceptions are Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and various "Ember Days" during which a faithful Catholic should fast. Fasting means eating less throughout the day than you eat at the one normal sized (but presumably still spare)meal permitted during the fast.

Fasting is not the same as "Fish on Fridays."

Another interesting fact is... (Below threshold)

Another interesting fact is that Palm Sunday was obviously based on Sukkot. Waving palm branches and shouting "Hosanna!" is part of Sukkot.

Maybe Christians are celebrating Palm Sunday at the wrong time of year.

Joseph not really, because ... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Joseph not really, because Palm Sunday celebrates when Jesus came into Jerusalem the week before Passover, and the people who thought he was the Messiah expected him to proclaim himself King.

Not sure what Sukkot is, but there are lots of Christian scholars who describe how the various Jewish feasts were forshadows to Jesus' coming, and his death and ressurection (I admit I haven't read in depth how the various symoblisms work for all of them-so your comparison to Sukkot and Palm Sunday may be accurate).

Another thing about the temple, is that the ancient temple was divided into various courts-the outer court was the court for gentiles, and then the court for women, the court for men, the priests and of course at the inside was the Holy of Holies that the high priest entered only once a year (it was the curtain to this part of the temple that was rent, when Jesus died). Jesus was pretty pissed that the money changers, and business people were not only doing their business (and as already said most likely making a killing at it with lots of cheating involved), but they were doing on the temple grounds. There are a lot of Christian faiths that won't permit any business to be done (not even bakesales or fundraisers) on the church property, because of this story.

A lot of the events in the ... (Below threshold)

A lot of the events in the days recounted in the "Passion" (generically, not just the movie) are consequences of contemporary Jewish traditions. Jesus was left in the tomb Friday night and all day Saturday because it was the Jewish sabbath, and having anything to do with the dead was forbidden. Thus "on the third day he rose again." I suppose theoretically he could have risen on the second day, but the impact would have been diminished without witnesses.

[ducks, just in case of lightning bolt]

Seriously -- and less irreverently -- that portion of the Gospels really can't be appreciated without giving some thought to how these kinds of things relate to the practices of Judaism at the time.

Two quick thoughts:<p... (Below threshold)
James:

Two quick thoughts:

One, as far as a "non-religious" explanation of why Catholics abstain from meat on Fridays. I am given to understand that market days were usually on Saturday, and while everybody could and did fish (any time they wanted), a lot of the poorer working class bought their meat at market, when they could afford it. So, by Friday, last week's meat wasn't much good, and so the leaders (which almost always meant religious leaders) advised them to avoid eating meat on Friday. Could be way off-base here; it's just what I hear.

Two, my wife was raised Eastern Orthodox, and they're supposed to fast for all of Lent, except I think on Sundays, but still no meat. No meat for all of Lent. Also, none of what most Catholics pick and choose from to give up just one of (booze, sweets, etc.). Yes, I have told her it's crazy, but she seems to think that you're "more religious" if you suffer for your beliefs. She doesn't really do it much any more (at this point, she just stops between bites of steak and says, "Oh yeah, I'm not supposed to have this. Oh well."), but has respect for those who do. At any rate, Easter Sunday has this REALLY long vigil mass at midnight (I stood for THREE FUCKING HOURS, twice) followed by a HUGE party where everybody brings all sorts of meat dishes and booze. It's almost worth the trouble ;-)

I've heard the tradition of... (Below threshold)

I've heard the tradition of the Easter ham was also started as a statement of one's non-Jewishness.

I don't know if the same is true of any tradition of doffing one's hat on entering a church.

Chris no it was against Ro... (Below threshold)
Rod Stanton:

Chris no it was against Roman Law and it was a capital crime.

What a great conversation.<... (Below threshold)
DBub:

What a great conversation.

on connections between Judaism and Christianity: Jesus was a Jew, so are the Gospel writers Matthew, Mark, and John. The book of Matthew was written as a testimony to the Jews. Matthew draws many connections between prophesies of the OT and the fulfillment of those prophesies through the birth, life and death of Jesus. The Jewish reader at the time of it’s writing would understand right away what Matthew’s claim is. That Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah.

The first command of the disciples was to preach the Gospel among the Jews. Paul wrote in Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

Romans 3:1-2 “Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? Great in every respect. First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles (the very words) of God.”

fasting The discipline of fasting is still practiced in the church. It is considered an act of obedience.

Mark 2:18-20 John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and they came and said to Him, "Why do John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?" And Jesus said to them, "While the bridegroom is with them, the attendants of the bridegroom cannot fast, can they? So long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. "But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.”

Fasting is about obedience and focusing on God. It has nothing to do with being righteous before men, but has everything to do with pleasing God.

Matthew 6:16-18 "Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.”

"But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”

The Jewish authorities hand... (Below threshold)
DBub:

The Jewish authorities handed Jesus over to the Romans on the charge of blasphemy.

Luke 22:70 And they all said, "Are You the Son of God, then?" And He said to them, "Yes, I am." Then they said, "What further need do we have of testimony? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth."

John 19:6-7 So when the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out saying, "Crucify, crucify!" Pilate said to them, "Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him." The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God."

Matthew 26:62-68 “The high priest stood up and said to Him, "Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?" But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, "I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God." Jesus said to him, "You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN." Then the high priest tore his robes and said, "He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy; what do you think?" They answered, "He deserves death!" Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him

IF and when you attempt to ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

IF and when you attempt to reason through anything about Jesus through humanistic methods (he was killed because he was mad, he was killed because he did/didn't do this/that/whatever, etc.), you'll proliferate false doctrines about who Jesus Christ was and is.

His message was that He was the Lamb of God. It wasn't a matter of what "law" or "action" he violated or failed to observe or whatever, but that He was intended to be sacrificed for the sins of humanity. Even Jesus rebuked the Apostle who suggested that Jesus not proceed with the crucifixion, rebuked that Apostle as being "Satan" (his speech represented the voice of Satan at that point, the MESSAGE, not the soul of that Apostle, and Jesus rebuked him as such).

Anyway, the entire purpose of Jesus Christ becoming human was that He was born to die for the sins of humanity. He knew it and went about using situations to illustrate His greater message and teachings and instructions through parable.

And, that "money changers in the temple" was one of those parables. As was the Last Supper.

About sexual perversion enacted by some in the Priesthood, it's really a shame to continue to read that it's assumed that Catholic Priests are pedophiles just because a few were, perhaps still are.

Pedophiles and sexual predators exist in all professions. And, sadly, what better way to defile the Catholic Church than to infiltrate the Priesthood with homosexuality and sexual misconduct...which was the problem as to those admitted to seminaries and later ordained, but which has since been very much modified to better screen who is admitted to Seminaries and who isn't.

It's a case of one group gaining admittance and then later allowing others of similar kind to be admitted to Seminaries and then to be ordained as Priests. It's horrible that some were victimized but it doesn't represent "Catholic Priests" that a few were sexual predators and violators of their very faith and vows.

But, it's not a characteristic of Catholic Priests that a few were pedophiles, sexual predators, violating their vows in such a horrid fashion (not that all violations aren't horrid).

James: abstinence and fast... (Below threshold)
-S-:

James: abstinence and fasting are two different behaviors but both are representational of devotions in Christianity.

Think of them this way and not in any demeaning way based upon what is chosen or deselected for either practice: a person denies themself a certain food (or even practice, but usually from among dietary concerns) inorder to represent a certain act of faith and/or devotion. The choice represents an act of the person's will in honor of a greater principle.

Abstinence is the withholding of targeted items and/or behaviors/acts. Fasting is the refusal of food items (sometimes, all food, even water when taken to the extreme) inorder for the soul/the person to focus on a religious principle and to also honor that principle or principles by that process. Going without breakfast before attending Mass, for instance, can assist in the focus on one's character and spiritual perceptions, by the mere fact that you deny yourself something you would otherwise value in order to honor and bring greater focus to something else that you recognize as being of greater importance than you temporary temporal needs.

The Catholic Church makes all sorts of considerations for individual needs and conditions, however. If you're frail, ill, pregnant, elderly, must eat food inorder to take medications, all sorts of things here, you're not expected to fast but you are asked to make other concessions in your day to equate similarly to what others do when they fast by withholding a meal before Mass.

It's really all a case of individual conscience and obedience to spiritual concerns, not so much to dogma. If people practice behaviors because of dogma but not in honor of things greater than that within their own souls, it's at least a start but it's not the intent of what it is to fast and/or abstain.

During certain religious seasons in every year, people are expected to selectively go without something that they would otherwise value (so people make choices, like "no chocolate," or, "no new shoes" or whatever it is that represents to them a particular worth, affection, that they can withhold from their lives in honor of a greater spiritual intention), as in Lent. You chose to go without something in recognition of the gifts that Jesus Christ gave to us all.

Abstinence, however, is different and can be an aspect of a vow, in which case, it's a permanent change in behavior by choice out of devotion to a spiritual determination.

But, I liked that Southern rendition earlier on this thread, and can attest to that as being a culturally viable thing among most of the South, based upon the longstanding tradition there that Sunday was chicken dinner day and the rest of the week was vegetables and bread.

Judaism is a wonderful reli... (Below threshold)
Ami:

Judaism is a wonderful religion, though, unfortunately, often misunderstood, even by many Jews. While there are no efforts to convert people to Judaism, it is amazing how many people have been converting. If you are interested in Judaism, even casually, I would suggest rereading the Tanakh while ignoring all the reinterpretations of Christianity and the NT, which I am sure you learned along the way. Also remember to try to understand the text in its context, since it was written in the language of the people who wrote it.

"Pedophiles and sexual pred... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"Pedophiles and sexual predators exist in all professions."

I remember back during a debate somewhere on the pedophile priests that sexual predators were represented in the priesthood at the same percentage as the general public.

I think the issue with pedophile priests for me wasn't so much that some of them were priests, but that the church hierarchy sought to hide the abuses, and just moved the priests so that they could make more kids victims.

Pedophiles will often seek jobs/positions that will put them close to their victims, and the priesthood puts them close to victims with a certain level of trust, which makes the situation ripe for abuse.

I don't fault the church for having pedophile priests, I admit I do fault them for not doing anything to protect the innocent from becoming victims.

Just Me: here's what I und... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Just Me: here's what I understand about the issue of the Church, in your words (not mine), "(seeking) to hide the abuses,"...

The Church sequesters bad behavior, reasoning that it's best to send a pedophile/sexual predator to some location where he/she/usually he is in close supervision by people who are capable of redirecting, if at all but at least corraling, them/him/her/him.

That is, to send a person who has been removed from the Priesthood out into the public world, as does the, ahem, government, after recognizing a pattern of awful behavior, solves nothing, prevents nothing else from occuring. By, rather, sending a person such as that after removing them from the Priesthood into some cloistered, controlled and closed society of other religious, that person then is both well supervised and prevented from circulating in the public without supervision.

Most to my knowledge who were found to be responsible for this awful behavior were removed from ministry and later cloistered. The Church has also spent a great amount of money in trying to compensate for the crimes by some, to the point that Churches have been closed (and others are deprived of services), which doesn't, at all, make up for the harms done by a few, but it does indicate that the Church has taken and is taking steps to at least compensate victims and to cloister those who have victimized. And, like any other legally damaging situation, it's not like the Church can go vastly public about problems, even the very bad ones. But they can and have taken steps to remove victimizers from gaining access to the public, and certainly from the Priesthood.

But, just as you'd try to assist the most deranged human being, so you have to consider whatever is possible to assist those with the most sexually deranged behaviors. Since it's a Christian organization, the Church isn't going to execute people who are sexual predators, but they do try to cloister them and prevent further victimization, while allowing victimizers to remain in contact with the Church, in hopes of some level of spiritual healing. Stranger things have happened.

But, it's wrong to allege as some do that the Church participated in "hiding" and otherwise fascilitated sexual predators. "Hiding" only in the sense that predators once identified have been removed from public contact but not any actions that would fascilitate or allow for the sexual predation...plus, there was a long time where many adults refused to believe that such actions took place.

I think that represents a societal change in awareness, that sexual predators have been identified more easily, moreso than any handicap by the Church or Priesthood. Just that society has become more aware of sexual predators and the damage they do and the preposterous absence of ability to change by many of them. The Church is, after all, simply a collection of human beings, a reflection of society, as to human awareness about many things and can only function as do various individuals.

Another/last thing is that there were actual groups of sexual predators (also practicing homosexuals) who were discovered to be in the Priesthood and who were actively recruiting others of similar behaviors. As in, once one or a few of one set of behaviors were admitted to Seminaries, others followed by various helps and helpers there. Which is also the same practice of infiltration in other/many other human organizaitons, but the Church, as I wrote earlier, took steps to prevent and conclude those trends as to who is admitted to the Seminary and later ordained in the Priesthood, and made more officially available to all means by which complaints can be investigated and course of action to be taken when they happen. Which is, again, a similar reflection of societal changes in other human organizations.

You can't fault the Church ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

You can't fault the Church in any dedicated or isolated fashion for sexual predation, but can fault human society for that. Meaning, it's not a problem in all capacities limited to and only existent within the Church, but within society itself. And, the Church, like society, has advanced the awareness about the problem as I understand it and has made it possible for complaints to be dealt with more effectively.

Ten years ago, even, for instance, within society itself, it was far less likely that a child, a victim, was believed when/if they even made their complaint/s known, when any authority figure was responsible for sexual abuse (parent, relative, teacher, law enforcement, minister, Priest, Rabbi, employer). Many victims would never even complain, fearing public ridicule, aware that they were not believable when compared with an authority figure, by society itself.

So, again, the Church is just one facet of human society and the changes taking place in awareness about the problems of sexual predation upon victims and the experiences by victims are all more readily accepted today by society itself, at least, more likely to be heard out and not ridiculed, so more people speak out in comparison than before, and more complaints are taken more seirously. Throughout society, in all walks of life.

Who could have ever believed the behavior by Mary Jo Kopeckne and others like her? I mean, it wouldn't be likely to have passed a principal's office ten/fifteen years ago, much less charges filed, etc. Same thing applies to creepy sexual predators wearing a costume posing as a Priest: society at least now won't blame the victim and all concerned can act accordingly, which is a huge change.

As to official silence, etc., it's more a reflection of awareness and requirements of lawsuits than anything else, as to refusal to publicize, and make public statements about it and such.

I left physicians off that ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

I left physicians off that list of authority figures who most in society would never believe could or would ever sexually predate upon others. Which has now since changed but barely, meaning, many sexual predators who are also physicians/dentists are less likely to be believed as being responsible for sexual predation by society, and so can, in fact, remain hidden and contine to victimize others.

It's a case of taking steps to act on all complaints and investigate them all, despite the persons involved, is what I express here, that society has become more tolerant about, something that is relatively new, last decade or two in appearing among human societies. Prior to that, victims were ridiculed and not believed based upon social assumptions about who and what authority figures were anticipated in being (but some weren't).

Forget all the other book r... (Below threshold)

Forget all the other book recommendations. Read Christopher Moore's "Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Friend."

-S-:You know I love ... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

-S-:
You know I love you, but I gotta point this out:

At the height of the pedophile priest scandal, it was revealed that 117 of 175 sitting US bishops -- just slightly above a perfect 2/3 proportion -- had been involved in the scandal. Either they had been accused of abuse themselves or had worked towards transferring abusive priests and persuading victims to not go to the police. 2 out of 3. 66%. Lower numbers than that have led to RICO indictments for other organizations. The Church has much, much to answer for -- if not to our courts, than to a higher one.

J.

-S-The church shou... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

-S-

The church should have been reporting these abuses to the police, not moving the abusers to other churches (and the fact of the matter is they were moving them to other churches, many of these priest's victims were from different churches). The church sought to protect itself, by trying to hush the victims, and shift the priests elsewhere. They may have eventually been cloistered, but that wasn't the first thing that was done.

The church was too busy protecting priests, and forgetting its mandate to protect the church members. The Bible mandates that the pastors(Shepards) of a church protect and lead their members (flocks)-the church dropped the ball big time on this one, and chose instead to protect the priests, and offer up more victims in the proccess.

Jay is right, the church has much to answer for in this scandal.




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