The War Room: Open Forum

Discussion in 'Phoenix, AZ' started by wardenx, Jul 9, 2003.

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  1. Master-Yulen-Ood Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 30, 2003
    You are absolutley right, Wardenx we as humans will have disagreements and differing definitions of right and wrong. And our individual lives sets us up for that. Like you said, my life may have taught me a different set of "rights" and "wrongs" than yours. Ideally we should each (and especially every leader being the mouthpiece for many) should have the maturity to value the opinion and beliefs of another and evaluate it for quality and even accept it if it measures up. If both sides do that - humbly recognize their faults and seek to be better - war would never be necessary. It's how we hold to our own ideas that causes the problem, the "I'm right and you're wrong" attitude that gets us into trouble. We don't have to be right, we CAN take suggestions, we CAN change and work together for the greater good, but do we? No. Our pride and desire to "save face" and prove our point is often stronger than our desire to do what is best. And that is one of the greatest tragedies of society. It is more important to appear right than to be right; the repentant (or learning and changing) soul is viewed as weak and easy to tromp.

    I guess my point is that by being humble and open to new ideas and ways of thinking we can join with our opposition and determine the best possible course of action for all involved.

  2. wardenx Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2003
    star 3
    LMAO Ronin, I see you're going to get a good read out of the Good Book. ;) Once again, it's back to perspective. How do you interpret the doctrine of the Scripture? How does it impact your life and those around you? If you looked at any given event in the Bible (or any other holy text, for that matter) and changed the foundation upon which you viewed that event, thus tinting it with a certain color, believing that it is true (as you would with the current belief) would it change the color of the rest and thus your perspective of the entire belief system?

    For example, if you read the Mahabarata of Hindu faith, you'll see that Krishna performed all of the same "miracles" as Jesus. He was also the avatar of God, or son, if you will; God made flesh here on earth. The similarities are astounding. Does this mean that the Judeo-Christian faiths stole the stories from India, who had the tales a thousand years before Christ? I'm not saying it is so, just that you can turn a perspective and learn something new.

    POINT OF FACT, by the way, did you know that, statistically, in a study done of the various Christian faiths (Cathloic, Lutheran, Protestant, Non-Denominational, etc...) there was an interesting revelation (no pun intended). All the media play has the Catholic Church looking bad (though I don't think that's in any way fair to the Church) about the child molestation charges and indictments. But, according to this study (which I will find once again and post, if anyone is interested) only 1% of the clergy from the Cathloic faith have had such charges brought to bear. While, in these other denominations of the Christian faith, the figure is closer to 10% (varying with the sect). So, I have to say that people should lay off of the Cathloic Church and simply pay attention to the person doing the crime and not his or her profession. We shouldn't look poorly on the Police because a Peoria officer was arrested and convicted of possession of child porn (among other things) or the US Marine in Paris who is being brought up on charges of child molestation because of the 12 year old London girl that met him in Paris. His computer had all kinds of child porn downloaded and video tapes and such. That doesn't mean we should look pooly at the Marines, does it? I don't think so.

    So, in a nutshell, I say they should lay off the Catholics. :D Wshoo. That put a cramp in my fingers, typing all that. LMAO.


    EDIT: Master_Yulen_Ood: It is more important to appear right than to be right; the repentant (or learning and changing) soul is viewed as weak and easy to tromp.
    Brother, that was beautifully said. Amen.
  3. PtrsonsZOO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2001
    star 7
    It's not the Catholic Clergy that are responsible for the recent attacks, it's the Church Organization and hierarchy that are to blame, had they not denied, hidden and flat out assisted this 1%'s existence (though realistically, those are the ones charged, the real problem is the ones who are never brought to justice), things would never have escalated to this level.

    The statistics say, that approx. 10% of all authority figures have a history of abuse in some way. That does not necessarily mean that they all have committed abuse, just have been acused of it. I got that statistic from my Education Advisor, where you can almost bet that 1 in 10 teachers has been acused of wrong doing at some point in their career (and some of them have been at fault, but that percentage is closer to the 1-2% margin).
  4. wardenx Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2003
    star 3
    Well, ZOO, I still say it isn't an issue with the Catholic CHurch. It shouldn't be an organizational thing. It's a personal issue. Accuse the person, try the person, convict the person. But leave the organization out of it. It's like talking bad about the Office of the President when it may be the person of the current or past President that you don't like. (Not-so-subtle plug there for the current Admin. ;))
  5. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    I think all organizations have good and not so good people on them. When people who have their own agendas and for whatever reason decide to misuse their power, all can suffer for it.

    To indict an entire organization for the misdeeds of a relative few is not a good way to go in my view. Yet at the same time, the actions of a few people can be symptomatic of a larger problem.
  6. PtrsonsZOO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2001
    star 7
    Maybe I didn't speak clearly (it happens a lot :p ), the problem that created the media feeding frenzy, was the fact that the Catholic Church carried on a systematic policy of moving those accused of abuse around, and even placing them back into the same situations where the abuse occurred. And we aren't just talking about suspected abuse, we're talking about men who had been repeatedly accused of these heinous acts upon children under their care. By the hiearchy of the church giving tacit approval of those acts, by protecting these men from criminal prosecution, and offering no support to the children, upon whom a great injustice was done (and in some cases these families were persecuted by the church organization) the Catholic Church set themselves up for a huge fall once the wall of silence was brought down... It was an enormous wall, and as such a much bigger mess once it is knocked down and the light is shed into the darkness of those acts.

    Now, I don't believe that the abuse is only happening in the Catholic Church, or that they are the only ones who fought to keep it out of the public eye, but their abuse of the judicial system is unforgivable. By holding themselves above the law, they violated the words of Christ they were avowed to live by. "Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's." They set themselves up for this particular fall from grace. And it is up to them to restore that grace. Maybe the current media storm is more than they deserve, but you cannot sweep it under the rug, your have to ride it out and work to correct the mistakes of the past. Own up to the wrongs, and make the Church a better place.
  7. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Edit: Nevermind. Misunderstood.
  8. Master-Yulen-Ood Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 30, 2003
    I certainly do not condone the actions of those accused or those who assisted in hiding them, but one must wonder how big of an issue would this be were it not for the media. Television and radio newscasters earn their money by getting higher ratings or by being "popular" in the public view. Would we (public as a whole) be more captivated by a news report talking about all the good the Catholic church does or by flashing headlines like "Scandal in the Catholic Church!"? Or which is viewed more, Barney & Little House on the Prairie or Professional Wrestling & pornography? Did anyone see Gladiator? The gladiator games were brought about because they were risky, on the edge, intense and thrilling. Not because it was in the best interest of the people. Not because it taught morals and encouraged well doing or understanding and tolerance. Our media does the same thing. It gives us what we want, carnal gritty drama in all its unholy glory.

    I believe from what I've read here that all of us pretty much agree that the media is overdoing it even though the actions were wrong and need correction. Not one of us here has accused any member of the Catholic church of being a party to it or of even approving it. We all are to some degree sympathetic towards the unfair attention the church is getting. As individuals, we think rationally and with compasion, understanding, and tolerance; however, people en masse (the public, society, etc.) don't think like individuals - "they are dumb panicky animals" (-Tommy Lee Jones, Men In Black) We too often surrender our judgement to society and allow others who do not have our best interest in mind make up our minds for us.

    [Side Note: this forum is way cool! :), I value everyone's thoughts and opinions and feel priviledged to be a part of it. It is quite refreshing to see so many great minds actively thinking and discussing important and sensitive issues with all the maturity these topics require. Way to go Phoenix Fan Force!!]
  9. wardenx Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2003
    star 3
    ZOO and Master_Yulen_Ood I agree with you both. Thanks. Very eloquently put, both of you. Though I agree with what you are saying, in theory, I disagree in practical reality. If you were the Church and you found out that one of your priests was being accused of child molestation, you'd investigate, of that I have no doubt. Now, I don't think the Church as an organization is stupid, by any stretch of the imagination. So I will assume, since you and I can all agree that you'd want to find out the truth before the media got their hands on it and charges were brought up. Now, doing so, you find out that the "abuse" just happens to be what is construed as groping or pawing, fondling, if you will. Priests are generally good-hearted men (and women?) who try to bring joy to their constituency. Let's say the priest is simply playing with a child and the child hears about what is called "child abuse and molestation" in school or from their parents. This child, who was touched on the bottom by the priest just the other day, says so to their mother or father. Mom and Dad decided to keep a close watch on the actions of their local priest. They see him pat the bottoms of several children or what they view as far too much petting or interest in being with the children (I'm trying to make a point here so bear with the analogies). I mean, who of us hasn't patted a child's bottom? Is it wrong? Of course not. They start to make accusations to their friends in the church. These people start to watch their priest carefully. It's going to get back to the priest that this is happening or to the Cardinal of the area, in a worse case scenario. So, what started out as a simple fondness of a caring man for children, a man who can have no children or the love of his own children or a wife, becomes something evil and twisted. The child is now hurt by something that wasn't bad, the parents are hurt by their own perceptions of what was bad and the priest and Church are hurt by the well-intended actions of one priest that got turned around into something bad.

    So, the Church steps in and investigates. They find out that the situation is exactly what I have just described for you or something fairly close. So they decide to stem the tide and relocate the priest because they know he's a good man and things just got out of hand. But the scar remains: in the former constituency; in the priest; in the families that were involved. In future investigations (due to our over-informed and under-enlightened populace), these scars will become open wounds again, as they are now. The Church was simply trying to do the right thing by their priests and their respective constituencies.

    If the Church had gone public with each of the claims of sexual abuse it would have put them in exactly the same situation they are in now. It was a risk to try to keep it quiet, but one I think most people would have done, given the same situations.

    Now, I'm not saying that all of the charges were false or misrepresentations of what really happened. In fact, many may have been exactly what they were accused of being. The point is, from the point of view of the Church, I can see that it was an investment in loss to relocate these priests and try to regain some sense of stablility in the local areas and in the Church as a whole. Nothing wrong with that, in my opinion. If they were hiding actual abuses and covering them up, now that's something different. But most of the "abuse" charges we hear about are indistinct and non-specific. Because most of the super-sensitive sheep want to see issues where there are none, these problems crop up all over the place. We see it in the news constantly. I liken it to when there is a poilice car around you on the road. You can be doing everything perfectly by the letter of the law. But still you are a little nervous. Why? Because you know they can pull you over for no reason and find something to cite you with. Your ignorance of the law and the consequences makes you afraid (among o
  10. PtrsonsZOO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2001
    star 7
    Okay, I've been trying to avoid this one, but it seems I can't. Long before child abuse was discussed in open forums of any kind, back in the dark ages of the 70's ( :p ), I was living in a community rich w/ Catholics (Maryland was founded by a group of rogue British/Scottish Catholics). And a boy I had known my entire life (our parents grew up together) had been involved in one of these situations w/ a relocated priest. Not only had this man (we found out much later) been involved in numerous accusations of molestation (and I'm not talking about simple touching either), but he was being relocated to Catholic schools across the US and Canada. It took 20 years of abuse before someone was finally able to break through that wall of silence and bring this man to justice. There was no media storm involving this case. The families of the abused children and the children themselves received no compensation, or any kind of support from the Church, in fact one of the families (the one who was finally able to inact justice) was excommunicated from the church about 2 years before formal charges were finally brought against the man.

    During the course of the investigation, the Diocese was found to have been in collusion w/ the man by hiding his acts and not coming forward w/ information to the proper authorities. Also, while the investigation was going on, it was discovered that he was not the only one, and other charges were looked into.

    Myself, not being bound by a gag order (that has since ben rescinded), have little sympathy for a group that shows no remorse for their actions until light is shed on them. I have no enmity towards the people of that church or the ideals it claims to live by, but I cannot condone the actions taken by them, and feel great shame that they can still consider their actions done in the interest of their parishioners and Christian charity.

    I believe they should own up to their wrongs (and no I do not believe this comes w/ monetary recompense), work to eliminate this cancer (through counseling and adherence to the laws of the land), and strive to make the church a place where everyone can feel comfortable again.

    I have nothing against the Catholic faith, in fact I find it to be a wonderful philosophy, in theory. The ideals they uphold are wonderful and to see them carried out by the faithful is truly a thing of beauty to behold, but the organization behind that faith is in dire need of change and radical improvement.

    Do I think they deserve the witch hunt that currently surrounds them? Not to the degree that it has escalated, however, the phrase "reap what you sow" is pretty near the mark on this one. If you sow seeds of mistrust and enmity amoung your people, you will reap the oats of those seeds.
  11. wardenx Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2003
    star 3
    Hmm. I see. Agreed. In every way but one, I agree. You are right and I believe as you that there should be justice in these cases and the people in the Church who allowed these acts to continue should be made to pay for their involvment, along with the priest. It still shouldn't point to the Church. I'm not Cathloic but I wouldn't want any organization to be made to pay for the deeds of those under its auspices. If the organization had a standing policy to break the law or to hurt people for it's own ends, in whatever manner, then I'd bring up charges against the institution and have those mandates changed. But the Church doesn't condone this behavior. Some of the upper echelons may try to cover it up or even (though I doubt it)_ support the behavior. But don't blame the institution. Two separate issues. The Church is innocent in these cases because It doesn't condone the behavior. In fact, it clearly denounces the behavior, through scropture and through proclimation of the Papacy. Therefore, justice should be lain upon those actually involved.

    But, again, I agree with your point, in theory. I would apply my principle to anyone or any group, across the board. Try the people, not the organization, unless it's the organization that has a policy of illegal or illicit behavior. And the Church, as an organization, has no such policy.

    I should reitterate that I am neither Catholic nor Christian but I support both institutions and the people involved in them (as I do for all such gropus that don't hurt others or infringe on another person's rights or freedoms.) I'm just making the case for specific application of the laws and making sure that the actual culprits of an injustice are brought to light, therefore clearing the name of those who are innocent. It's like the gun issue. Guns don't kill people, people kill people. The Church is just a tool, like the gun (pardon the analogy). How it's used is what makes it good or bad.
  12. PtrsonsZOO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2001
    star 7
    I might agree w/ you if this was the case in only one Diocese, but when these stories start popping up in nearly every Diocese across the country and in Europe (another thing we don't hear very much about), I find it hard to believe that they are adhering to their public proclamations. And I know this is a stretch, but Hitler publically proclaimed that there was no Jewish Directive, there were no camps, the was no wrong done to them, they were just leaving. None of that meant that the camps weren't in operation or that millions of Jews weren't being destroyed.

    When you have a "figure head," that doesn't mean the machine behind it doesn't perpetrate some pretty heinous acts, it's just a matter of (that evil word again) plausible deniability.
  13. wardenx Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2003
    star 3
    I agree totally. But you can't blame the Church, as an organization, because It has no policy or doctrine that would support or condone the behavior. Nor does the Church mandate that it's proests preform such behavior. So, blame the people and try to clean out the rot within the Church, but you can't blame the organization for the deeds of it's people. That's just the legal point of view, and, I think, the honest point of view.

    If we treat the disease (i.e. the rot within the Church) the symptoms willl disappear or diminish. If all we do is treat the symptoms (i.e. the individual cases of the molestations and abuses) then the rot not only continues but festers. But it's still the poeple in the organization that have to be rooted out and changed. The doctrine remians solid and innocent.
  14. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    I definitely agree with you, Warden. When you have good people leading a diocese or parish, the results can be strikingly good. When you have people who have no business being in a position of leadership (let alone a priest), people often suffer as a result.
  15. PtrsonsZOO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2001
    star 7
    I understand what you're saying, but if it wasn't some kind of "policy" then why would churches all over the world adopt the exact same means for dealing w/ their problem and assist one another in shuffling these people around. It may not have been a written standard, but it was a standard none the less. I doubt we'll ever hear of the proverbial smoking gun in this thing, so it's still theory, but it's theory based on the laws of probability.

    And I don't punish the church, however, I do believe that it is the church's responsibility to adhere to its own tenents and help its people in any way they can. Leaving them hang out to dry is not doing that, in my opinion.
  16. wardenx Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2003
    star 3
    The only thing I can see as an unspoken encouragement of abuses is the lack of punishment that the Church refuses to bring on the accused priests. It's like saying that it's OK to do these things. But that's still the actions of people within the organization, not the institution itself. Like the priest who has good intentions when playing with those kids I mentioned in an earlier post. he gets relocated without punishment. He, in honesty to himself, finds that he got some pleasure from the children that wasn't pure in intent. So he pushes it a little farther. He gets cought again. He gets relocated again and again without punishment. He does it again and gets relocated again. On and On... Is that the CHurch saying that it's ok to molest kids? No. It's the people who make those decisions who have let the behovior continue. And it's those people who should be brought to justice with the priest.

    But, through it all, the Church is innocent.

    KnightWriter Thanks for the imput. ;)

    ZOO But you're still talking about the Church which is an institution that doesn't condone or encourage the actions in question. Bring the people to justice but not an innocent institution.

    EDIT: Zoo, I think the Church has done much to assist those who were supposedly taken advantage of by the priests. Perhaps not enough or what you may think they should have, but there is some attempt made.
  17. PtrsonsZOO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2001
    star 7
    The Church is caught in a Catch 22 w/ helping people... If they help them, then they admit the problem exists, if they admit the problem exists they lose their insurance. When a church is run for the good of the business that is the church, then who is left to care for the congregation (re-wording a quote often used in the medical profession and a movie I think)?
  18. wardenx Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2003
    star 3
    I think you're right, ZOO. There just has to be a distinction between the people and the organization. I'm just trying to protect those who are innocent. In this case, it's an institution. It's no different than our governemt. If you don't like the people in charge, vote them out. Take a stand and say so, for the good of the system and the organization called our counrty. :D
  19. PtrsonsZOO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2001
    star 7
    That's where we differ (in the case of the Catholic Churcha anyway), since I believe it is the system itself which at fault. It allows these kinds of things to occur and yet provides no relief to those in need. The only reason that system is still functioning is because of the extraordinary efforts of those individuals striving to live by the ideal the system claims to ascribe to as well (yet falls very short in most cases). If not for those amazing people who do work to guide their parishioners and the work they have sworn to do in the name of Christian Faith and Catholic Charity, then the Catholic Church would have fallen some time ago.
  20. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    It allows these kinds of things to occur and yet provides no relief to those in need

    I don't see how that can be true. Men with weaknesses allow these things to occur, not the system or faith itself.

    If the Church did provide much better relief to those in need, how true would that statement be? Beyond that, if every priest lived up to his calling and followed the doctrine of the Church, would any of these crimes be happening? Doubtful.
  21. PtrsonsZOO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2001
    star 7
    I think we may be caught in a little bit of Chicken/Egg or Nature/Nurture cyclone... Does a system that allows these behaviors to continue, create an unsafe environment, or are the people perpetrating these behaviors the sole reason for the trouble?

    As with the Nature/Nurture arguement, I believe it involves equal parts of both. So, in this case we're both right... Depending on a certain point of view ;)

    EDIT: KW I think your last point is the crux of my every problem w/ organized religion as a whole. No one group has ever been able to hold themselves up to that ideal... Yet (and I can only hope and pray that someday, that will be a false statement)
  22. jada_marnew Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2003
    star 5
    We've been talking about issues in the church and other organizations with the example of people in "power" abusing their position through molestation, abuse, etc.

    What about the church/organization that preys on people to give beyond their means, those institutions that take advantage of a generous spirit to the point of being harmful to the individual.

    In example, say an older woman with some amount of disposable income attends a church and they subtly find ways to "encourage" her to give (I've seen this done through the instrument of prophecy, faith healing, etc.) That woman gives because 1)she is generous and 2) she has issues and by giving these issues are met albeit in an unhealthy way. Then once she is bled dry, the church abandons her. Is she just stupid for having gone along with it or should there be accountability for the church?

    (BTW - I've seen this happen, it didn't happen to me. Although I've had "prophets" try to manipulate me so I am extremely cautious about personal prophecy.)
  23. wardenx Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2003
    star 3
    ZOO I'm with ya, sister. ;) No organized religion for WardenX. I'm pretty much against most any organized anything. LMAO Not really, but close. I think organized religions run contrary for what they were intended. They separate people from other people. They only bring people together under the umbrella of Us. And We are not Them. That just divides people more and more.
  24. jada_marnew Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2003
    star 5
    WARDENX If you're so against anything organized how'd you tolerate the incredible organization of the PFF?
  25. wardenx Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2003
    star 3
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