UN: Vatican should pursue charges against pedophile priests (Question of the Week)

By Reuters

The United Nations torture watchdog called on the Vatican on Friday to cooperate with civil authorities in prosecuting all cases of suspected sexual abuse by pedophile priests and to set up its own independent complaints mechanism.

It was the second time this year that a U.N. human rights body has criticized how Roman Catholic officials have handled the decades-long sexual abuse of minors by priests.

Victims accuse the Vatican of still protecting abusers and covering up sex crimes, failing to punish perpetrators, refer them to the authorities or provide adequate compensation.

The Vatican told the committee last week the Church’s accusers were “fossilized in the past” when attitudes were different. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi said the Church had developed model child protection policies over the last decade that other states and institutions might emulate.

The U.N. Committee against Torture, which examined the Holy See’s record earlier this month, said Vatican officials should monitor priests and “stop and sanction” conduct that violates the U.N. treaty against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. The pact is known as the CAT.

It rejected the Vatican’s position that the Holy See has jurisdiction only in the tiny Vatican City State.

Any priest suspected of committing sexual abuse should be immediately suspended from his duties pending investigation and should not be transferred to another diocese to avoid punishment, it said.

The Vatican should “take effective measures to ensure that allegations received by its officials concerning violations of the Convention (against Torture) are communicated to the proper civil authorities to facilitate their investigation and prosecution of alleged perpetrators.”

WORLDWIDE RESPONSIBILITY

The U.N. committee, composed of 10 independent experts, said that the Holy See had a responsibility under the treaty that extended to its officials working worldwide.

It specifically voiced concern at the case of Father Joseph Jayapaul, a priest formally accused of sexually abusing youth in Minnesota, who has returned to his native India.

 

 


Question of the week (Results)

If you headed the UN, what else might you recommend to the Vatican, one of the U.N.’s “non-member” states?

Winner: Patrick

 “As an Irish citizen, If I were in a position to have the UN take action against the Vatican, I would want the UN to establish a crimes against humanity investigation regarding the recent revelation that the bodies of some 800 children were discovered, apparently hidden, in a septic tank (human waste disposal area), in the small town of Tuam, County Galway, Ireland. The bodies of these poor children were hidden by the Bon Secours Sisters. Apparently most of the children were starved to death.”

Runner up #1: Mary Lou

 I would suggest to the Vatican that they liquidate some of their ill-got assets and use the money to provide health care to the many, many Catholic victims of AIDS worldwide. What torment has been inflicted on those who were commanded by their “celibate” male church leaders or fundamentalist Catholic partners to eschew condoms …. regardless of overwhelming scientific proof of their prophylactic effectiveness! “

Runner up #2: Emujoe

I would have the catholic church override the non-contraception impediment and encourage women in those countries to use it (to reduce STIs as well). Although I’d discourage it, I would also allow freedom of choice in relation to abortion.”

84 COMMENTS

  1. As long as the Vatican authorities remain with their heads lodged firmly where the sun don’t shine, no one is going to get any sense out of them; they remind me of so many children, who’ve been asked to clean up their bedroom, but who cannot bear to even look at the filthy mess they’re responsible for, let alone start to clear it up.

  2. @OP – Victims accuse the Vatican of still protecting abusers and covering up sex crimes, failing to punish perpetrators, refer them to the authorities or provide adequate compensation.

    As long as the conflicts of interest remain unresolved and until matters are dealt with by bodies independent of the RC Church upholding its PR reputation,

    The Vatican told the committee last week the Church’s accusers were “fossilized in the past” when attitudes were different. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi said the Church had developed model child protection policies over the last decade that other states and institutions might emulate.

    What else would you expect, other than excuses, when the “council for the defence”, is allowed to sit in judgement on the case?

    Archbishop Silvano Tomasi said the Church had developed model child protection policies over the last decade that other states and institutions might emulate.

    The view through those faith-head self-aggrandisement-blinkers, really looks rosy!

    However! From an independent objective viewpoint……

    @OP- The Vatican should “take effective measures to ensure that allegations received by its officials concerning violations of the Convention (against Torture) are communicated to the proper civil authorities to facilitate their investigation and prosecution of alleged perpetrators.”

  3. They believe women can not be priests, that homosexuality is a choice, that water seeping from a wash room is really the Virgin’s tears, that miracles like wine to water happened and virgin births, and yet they accuse everyone else of living in the past when attitudes were different?

    Raping and torturing children hasn’t been an acceptable attitude for 500 years. The only recent changes are that more and more people are fed up with Catholic riches, lies, privilege and hypocrisy and have an internet to talk about it.

    • @ “Rosbif”

      “500 years”

      …That’s a stretch…The Vatican did not “outlaw” the Inquisition until early 19th century…History records but a tip of the iceberg what went on before then.

  4. If I were head of the U N-I would tell the Vatican to stay out of the business of being head of state-any state. Except the state of mind they’ve been in for the past 1000 years by waving their hands in the air, blessing people with their magic spells and incantations, babbling in Latin and speaking in tongues, one of which is a dead language-the other, no real language at all. And stop apologizing for the evasions and denials they’ve made throughout history, like not doing anything , but sit idly by during World War Two as millions of Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and others were sent off to their deaths by the Nazis, which by the way, the Vatican and the Catholic church made under the table deals with. Then there’s the Inquisition -I need not go on.
    David Smith

  5. @OP – It rejected the Vatican’s position that the Holy See has jurisdiction only in the tiny Vatican City State.

    Any priest suspected of committing sexual abuse should be immediately suspended from his duties pending investigation and should not be transferred to another diocese to avoid punishment, it said.

    The Vatican should “take effective measures to ensure that allegations received by its officials concerning violations of the Convention (against Torture) are communicated to the proper civil authorities to facilitate their investigation and prosecution of alleged perpetrators.”

    The U.N. committee, composed of 10 independent experts, said that the Holy See had a responsibility under the treaty that extended to its officials working worldwide.

    Question of the week:-
    - If you headed the UN, what else might you recommend to the
    Vatican, one of the U.N.’s “non-member” states?

    Compliance with these recommendations, or expulsion!

    • @ “Alan4discussion”

      …Right…and who exactly would be doing this “expulsion”…History says : Not the Vatican…Not the UN, which has no real teeth…

      If prosecutors at The Hague had any real testosterone, they’d ‘ve gone after the “Holy See” decades ago.

      The Vatican is slowly becoming irrelevant…too slow for most, I know, but I suspect the movers and shakers have come to realize this, and despite the continued evidence and reports of abuse, they have cynically decided that the Vatican is not worth the time or money to go after it and rightfully prosecute.

      Evil will not dissipate through the facility of pen and paper, or edicts, or weightless powder-puff UN demands for compassion and common decency.

      • james ballard Jun 25, 2014 at 4:26 pm

        @ “Alan4discussion” – Compliance with these recommendations, or expulsion!

        …Right…and who exactly would be doing this “expulsion”…History says : Not the Vatican…Not the UN, which has no real teeth…

        The UN would be doing the expulsion of the Vatican/Holy See from Permanent Observer status at UN meetings.
        If the UN has not the teeth to expel disreputables who ignore its requirements, from its own meetings, then it certainly IS a laughing stock with no credibility!

        The Holy See is not a member of the United Nations (not having applied for membership) but was granted permanent observer state (ie., non-member state) status on 6 April 1964. In that capacity, it has the right to attend all sessions of the United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Security Council, and the United Nations Economic and Social Council to observe their work.[1] Accordingly, the Holy See has established permanent observer missions in New York and in Geneva and has been able to influence the decisions and recommendations of the United Nations. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_See_and_the_United_Nations

        • @ “Alan4discussion”

          Quote :

          “then it certainly IS a laughing stock with no credibility!”

          …Yes. It is. And has been “the laughing stock” for a long time. Resending it’s own “non-member” mandate runs contrary to it’s fundamental charter; more importantly it would be a matter of indifference (i.e. hubris) from the Vatican’s point of view if in fact the UN had the testosterone to invalidate the Vatican’s so-called “Observer Status’. The UN is a mindless bureaucracy.

          Bottom line : Powder-puff politics. Completely impotent. That’s what makes them power-puff.

          The Hague has power. But does not use it.

          Sometimes change has to occur…behind the curtain.

  6. I grew up Catholic, but I had learned to reject Catholicism for its corruption and strange secondary religious beliefs. Said this, I must clarify that I still consider myself a Christian (weird having an account in this site and supporting the Richard Dawkins Foundation).

    The Catholic Church has corrupted religion and destroyed many lives (what a strange contradiction from its public doctrine). Someone should stand up to the Catholic Church and prosecute all the child-molesters in it. Do you what they do to child-rapists in prison? Those savages with their twisted code of honor will rape those child-molesters if not kill them. Unfortunately this will never happen as long as its clergy polices its own (corrupt clergy covering more corrupt clergy). Maybe this is when and where an antichrist should come, overthrow the political agenda that protects the Vatican and lynch every single one of those child-molesters.

    • @ franko – I must clarify that I still consider myself a Christian (weird having an account in this site and supporting the Richard Dawkins Foundation).

      Not really!
      Many with religious views have, over the years, come to debate on this site. The rational ones make interesting contributions to the debates.
      The over confident “know-it-all anti-science” fundamentalists, assume atheists know nothing about their particular religion, and usually go on to demonstrate that they personally know nothing about any other religions (or even about their own), so sit in denial making fools of themselves.

      • The over confident “know-it-all anti-science” fundamentalists, assume
        atheists know nothing about their particular religion, and usually go
        on to demonstrate that they personally know nothing about any other
        religions (or even about their own), so sit in denial making fools of
        themselves.

        Alan,

        I’m confused. Did you call me a “know-it-all anti-science” or a fundamentalist? I don’t know it all. I wish I did, but that’s a different story. Besides, I like science having studied biology, chemistry and anatomy and I’m a Christian. I’m not a fundamentalist. The latter wackos only cause trouble. Just look at these people who think that mass murder of people who believe in other religions will grant them heaven and virgins affecting the whole concept of Jihad (Arabic for struggle).

        • franko – I’m confused. Did you call me a “know-it-all anti-science” or a fundamentalist?

          No.
          Sorry if I was not clear. I took you for one of the reasoning posters, but did not see why you should consider it unusual for Christians to post here. Unlike some sites, reasoned posts are welcome here, regardless of viewpoint.

          I don’t know it all. I wish I did, but that’s a different story.

          That clearly distinguishes you from those who THINK think they know it all. There are many examples of such in the archives of this site.

          Besides, I like science having studied biology, chemistry and anatomy and I’m a Christian.

          You should enjoy discussions on some of the science threads here, where you will be aware I participate.

          I’m not a fundamentalist. The latter wackos only cause trouble.

          Indeed they do, and it is to your credit that you recognise this.

        • Hi Franco,

          Alan’s comment is obviously putting you among “the rational ones” in his first paragraph, right after he replied “not really” to your bracketed statement.

          You may not be a “know-it-all” or “anti-science” but you are a Christian, which means you do have fundamental beliefs about reality that are subject to rational inquiry on a site dedicated to Reason & Science.

          You rejected Catholicism (& all? the other ‘business unit’ sects of that God cult) but are still a Christian, so which specific, infused dogmas & doctrine have you kept or selected to believe in, since the difference between a Believer & a Fundamentalist is purely a matter of degree?

          Best wishes on the rest of your journey to enlightenment – just one more god to go & you’ll be free of those mind-chains…. Mac.

    • Catholic Church

      A local priest returned the collar when he met, and got engaged to a young woman. Don’t know if he still considers himself a catholic, or if he’d stayed a priest if allowed to marry.

      One thing is for sure, he was considered an “old-school” type priest, but is now gadding about like colts in a pasture!

    • @ “franko”

      Quote :

      “Maybe this is when and where an antichrist should come, overthrow the political agenda that protects the Vatican and lynch every single one of those child-molesters.”

      Non sequitur. An “antichrist”, for sake of argument, would in fact protect the RCC’s behavior, not condemn it.

      More to the point : Summoning the same antediluvian principles of the Dark Ages does not a civilization make. We learned that during the 18th century’s “Age of Enlightenment”…so you might have some catch-up work to do.

      Would it shock your Christian sentiment if you were to suddenly find out that the gene for pedophilia has been discovered, and that centuries of enabling the distribution of that mutated gene (or cluster mutation) by the RCC is but a footnote in evolutionary history ?

      How does one imprint a “morality” code upon an organism genetically predisposed to pedophilia ?

      Through “Christian” indoctrination ?…Lynching ? How does “lynching” square with your “Christian” principles ?

      Although pedophilia has been, with impunity, repeated and emulated countless times under the insular protection of the RCC, parents in open (Western) cultures do not, as a rule, teach or lend instructions to their children on how to commit pedophilic acts upon other children (unless, of course, the parents themselves are pedophiles). That being said, there are many cases where the genesis of pedophilic behavior is clearly demonstrated, independently, among children themselves, “at play”.

      The genetic component is clearly implied; we just have not discovered it.

      Yet.

      “Antichrist” ?

      No. I am inclined to allow a more scientific approach to solve the problem of evil, bearing in mind that on both a cosmic and evolutionary scale, we are all mutations.

  7. As an Irish citizen, If I were in a position to have the UN take action against the Vatican, I would want the UN to establish a crimes against humanity investigation regarding the recent revelation that the bodies of some 800 children were discovered, apparently hidden, in a septic tank (human waste disposal area), in the small town of Tuam, County Galway, Ireland. The bodies of these poor children were hidden by the Bon Secours Sisters. Apparently most of the children were starved to death.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27710206

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/mother-and-baby-scandal-hidden-in-plain-sight-271157.html

    One has to wonder what sort of an organisation can stoop to these depths of depravity….

    • While I am not inclined in any way to defend the catholic church, or any other church for that matter, I will speak against misreporting and general poor regard for the truth.

      Please read the plethora of retractions by the press with respect to their initial hyperbolic accounts of this.

      Yes, far too many children died over the period. Were they “flung into sewer?” No, apparently they were not. Nor did much, maybe any of the other and wildly inflammatory aspects of this occur as initially reported.

      Following the reality trail through this brings to light some despicable social attitudes, political blindness, near countless personal tragedies, and a deepening contempt for the involvement of the RCC in Irish affairs in general. But are they guilty as charged initially in the Tuam baby deaths, certainly not.

  8. If I headed the UN, I would suggest to the Vatican that they liquidate some of their ill-got assets and use the money to provide health care to the many, many Catholic victims of AIDS worldwide. What torment has been inflicted on those who were commanded by their “celibate” male church leaders or fundamentalist Catholic partners to eschew condoms …. regardless of overwhelming scientific proof of their prophylactic effectiveness! Isn’t one of the Vatican’s mandates to relieve suffering? And wouldn’t starting with the suffering it caused make sense? But who am I kidding; when has a religious organization worried about making sense OR admitting to its own culpability?

  9. The advantage of being an non member of the U.N. For the Vatican is that it can claim that it has no say over what the church says or does. If I was a member of the U.N’s committee I would simply tell this wretched excuse for a church to put the child accuser’s needs first, like the rest of the world and not its usual canonical laws nonsense. It thinks it is a real country now try acting responsibly like one for a change.

  10. The first step is for the U.N. to acknowledge that religious leaders/members can not and should not be permitted to be above the law under circumstances. The only people who believe they have some divine right to be above the law is them and their followers. They are not divine. No human being is. These men are as mortal as any other criminal. The U.N. would do well to acknowledge that this goes well beyond a treaty regarding torture. Religious organizations should have no authority or say in how these criminals are dealt with. Religious organizations have more than demonstrated that they are not capable of being impartial, will always prioritize protecting the criminal abusers over brutally victimized children and will simply continue to allow this. This is monstrous child abuse, the likes of which would under any other circumstance be punishable by criminal law. I am not quite sure how one fights criminal acts of the largest unchallenged cult in the world when so many are so willing to look the other way. The much needed discussion regarding the harms of religion is never truly on the table amongst any group willing to protect it at all costs and I fear it never will be.

  11. The vatican, in the person of the Pope, should make a statement that “canon law” (church doctrine in a fancy container) may not be interpreted to allow the clergy to violate the laws of the locale and nation in which they happen to reside.

  12. The first step is for the U.N. to acknowledge that religious leaders/members can not and should not be permitted to be above the law under any circumstances. The only people who believe they have some divine right to be above the law is them and their followers. They are not divine. No human being is. These men are as mortal as any other criminal. The U.N. would do well to acknowledge that this goes well beyond a treaty regarding torture. Religious organizations should have no authority or say in how these criminals are dealt with. Religious organizations have more than demonstrated that they are not capable of being impartial, will always prioritize protecting the criminal abusers over brutally victimized children and will simply continue to allow this. This is monstrous child abuse, the likes of which would under any other circumstance be punishable by criminal law. I am not quite sure how one fights criminal acts of the largest unchallenged cult in the world when so many are so willing to look the other way. The much needed discussion regarding the harms of religion is never truly on the table amongst any group willing to protect it at all costs and I fear it never will be.

  13. I’m concerned about the tens of thousands of women in catholic countries who cannot get contraception or abortions. Many of these women die annually from back yard abortion attempts and many more suffer life-long medical issues creating misery in their lives.

    I would have the catholic church override the non-contraception impediment and encourage women in those countries to use it (to reduce STIs as well). Although I’d discourage it, I would also allow freedom of choice in relation to abortion.

    Interestingly, the Raelian religious group runs a clinic to repair fistulas in poorly aborted women in one of these countries.

    • @ “emujoe”

      …Your well-intended plea falls short of the forest (for the trees)…As long as the RCC exists, there will continue to be such miseries, unending and ubiquitous, as you so eloquently describe.

    • It would be nice if they could embrace a change of perception regarding large families as well. Who am I kidding? This is not going to happen; large families equate with poverty and poverty goes hand in hand with subservience and piety.

    • I’m concerned

      Like, and appreciated. If only that were the natural state of affairs.

      encourage women

      Oh, I don’t think that would be necessary! I’ve the opinion all women on planet Earth would give their eye-teeth for contraception.

      This leads to your next freedom point. A CNN article fleshes out the simple, common sense notion that affordable, easily obtained contraception = less unwanted pregnancies. Of course, in reality, it faces monumental hurdles.

  14. @*Reply David Smith * June 25

    . stop apologizing for the evasions and denials they’ve made throughout history, like not doing anything , but sit idly by during World War Two as millions of Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and others were sent off to their deaths by the Nazis, >

    Don’t forget the communists as well. I think this segment of the community consigned to the death camps is conveniently forgotten by those wishing to create a link between the Nazis and communists.

  15. The recommendation that the Vatican publicly accept full responsibility for all its service members actions and behaviors, good and bad. As part of this responsibility, I would recommend they immediately relieve those members suspected of wrong-doing and allow for independent investigation of the civic authorities pending the outcome of those findings. Perhaps this type of accountability would help guide the thoughts of the priests ahead of making bad decisions.

  16. Penalties would be hard to implement as long as priests continue to explain away these dreadful crimes by claiming that pedophilia is found in every niche of society. They are doing this and poor, gullible fools are sucked in. I frequently hear these statements used in defense of the catholic clergy and I know that the local priest is responsible for putting forward these arguments.

    As long as they fail to take responsibility for their wrongdoings, the RCC will play the part of the injured party. ‘Poor us’ they say, ‘the victims of all those who hate the Catholic Church!’ Eventually the accused take on the attributes of the victim.

    When it comes to the iniquities of the Inquisition or the treatment of indigenous inhabitants across the globe during periods of colonisation, they counter by saying that brutality was the custom of the day.

    I place a great deal of hope in the good sense of young people. This is where the change will start. Fewer and fewer are sticking with the faith and the number signing up for a future in the clergy has dropping to a tiny trickle.

  17. The Vatican told the committee last week the Church’s accusers were “fossilized in the past”

    Pretty much what the Irish Catholic Priest said a couple of weeks ago in relation to the almost 800 bodies of infants shoved by them into a sewerage tank (because they were bastards and didn’t deserve the care their unwed mothers would have tried to give them). something like “You cannot judge them from the standards of today”. Funny I had no idea 1930′s Ireland allowed the disposal of infants you have malnourished to death in sewerage tanks. I can certainly judge the church now for trying to avoid responsibility. I am getting to the point where I am going to stop being polite to people who stay Catholics in full knowledge of what they admittedly hate but continue to support.

  18. Re: Tuam murders.

    Although these deaths occurred between the 30′s and the 60′s, as far as I am aware civilised society have ensured that their loved one’s were buried with some sort of dignity and respect. Even in prehistoric times the dead were buried with some level of respect. Disposing of those poor children’s remains in a waste disposal area exhibits a distinct lack of respect for humanity. I suppose like any criminal if you commit a crime you will try and hide the evidence. I don’t accept the argument put forward by some sources that “these were the times we lived in etc etc”, respect for the dead is an ancient indicator of a civilised society.

    On a separate note, and I know this is not the subject matter of this debate, but I think the main problem is that in countries like Ireland, we still have to live with the constant scourge of indoctrination and brainwashing tactics being employed against the next generation of kids. Anyone who has witnessed the 1 minute “angelus” propaganda advert, which is broadcast every evening at peak viewing time (6pm) before the evening news, will know precisely what I am talking about here. This promotional video clip, which features images of children on park swings being watched over by smiling mothers, who occasionally glance at the religious icons who are watching over their loved ones, is every bit as good as anything produced by Leni Riefenstahl for the Nazis during the war in Europe.

    This is a real bug bear for me personally. How can I ensure that my kids grow up in a free society that doesn’t try to indoctrinate them into a sinister cult like the catholic church without moving to relocate to China or some other secular country ?? To make matters worse, despite the fact that this organisation has raped and murdered our young over the past number of decades, the current Irish leader has recently invited the Pope to visit Ireland, at the tax payers expense of course!! I remember the last time the Pope visited Ireland in ’79 I think, it seems that I was the only person who wanted him blocked from entry…

    To me it seems that my country has stepped into something which is stuck to it’s foot and it cannot remove, no matter how hard we try. If we stop the indoctrination of our children, then we stop the process of brainwashing the next generation. I’ll step down from the podium now ;-)

    • Hi Patrick,

      The thing about this whole Catholic thing that really bugs me is they have the hide to suggest that they have the pipeline to ultimate morality. I cannot imagine much more horrific than starving infants to death and chucking the corpses of these toddlers into a sewerage pit. They defined and preached the evil of unwed mothers, they then through their guilt forced them into homes to discreetly have these girls deliver away from the judgemental eyes of their Catholic neighbours where upon their children were malnourished to death and if they survived sent to work houses (read slavery) or sold to American Catholic parents who could not conceive (I suppose they were the lucky ones – relatively). These are the actions of Brides of Christ? People who prayed numerous times a day and devoted themselves to the social justice?! And not one Nun spoke out to anyone that mattered, not one Priest organised for the quite reburial in a more dignified fashion of tried to contact the mothers so they could mourn properly for their babies. No in the 1970′s when two boys discovered a sewer fully of skeletons the local priest came by and blessed the site and covered it up again! I’ll stop ranting now.

    • david smith – The late Christopher Hitchens also stated that religion wouldn’t ever completely disappear from the face of the earth, just that it would eventually become less over-bearing and violent than it is right now.

      Who knows? Human populations could be divided into the technically advanced societies, – with various wild conservation reserve areas for the primitives.
      A bit like the sci-fi “Time machine” story by H.G.Wells – even if he did get the moral issues backwards. All that would be required would be an enforced moral code forbidding primitives being given or sold high-tech machines, communications, weapons etc.

      The problem with the present politics, is that scientists are giving Bronze-age, science denying, half-wits, control of modern nuclear weapons, communications equipment, dangerous chemicals, environment destroying technologies, etc.

      • It isn’t scientists who control the distribution of technology, harmful or otherwise; capitalism is responsible for that end of it.

        I know I’m going to regret asking this, but I have to know: in what way did H. G. Wells “get the moral issues backwards” in The Time Machine?

        By the way, Wells had his own ideas about your “primitives” and how they should be managed. Conservation reserve areas? The mind boggles.

        O brave new world, That has such people in ’t!

        • It isn’t scientists who control the distribution of technology, harmful or otherwise; capitalism is responsible for that end of it.

          Yes! That is the problem I explained. – In some places effectively a free market in everything from high-powered guns to dangerous drugs.

          Katy Cordeth – I know I’m going to regret asking this, but I have to know: in what way did H. G. Wells “get the moral issues backwards” in The Time Machine?

          He cast the technically capable, working population, as the the caricatured reprehensible cannibal “evil mad-scientist” types, while casting the herd of feckless compliant surface dwellers as morally superior.
          It probably reflected the attitude of the leisured aristocrat elite “chaps”, to the entrepreneurial technically competent industrialists of the day.

          Probably in a similar way to the attitudes of superiority of Popes and priests of the 19th and early 20th centuries, to the science and scientists contradicting their dogmas. (First Vatican council section 9)

  19. Richard01 Suggestion to the Vatican: Catholics should use contraception to give the world a chance to recover from the population explosion and its consequences (which include global warming.)

    Most of the educated ones do, if family size is anything to go by!
    Unfortunately the heavily indoctrinated backward sheeples don’t!

  20. A poet once wrote-”Imagine there’s no heaven. It’s easy if you try. No hell below us. Above us only sky.
    Imagine all the people-living for today. Imagine there’s no countries. It isn’t hard to do.
    Nothing to kill or die for. And no religion too. Imagine all the people. Living life in peace.
    You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us.
    And the world will live as one.

    David Smith

      • @ “Bob Springsteen”

        “According to Forbes the poet (Lennon) had a net worth of 800 million dollars. I smell bullshit!”

        Hear ! Hear !

        Hypocrisy originating out of Britain ! What’s the world coming to !!??

        I always preferred his “Working Class Hero” (Dec., 1970) :

        …”As soon as your born they make you feel small
        by giving you no time instead of it all
        Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all
        Working Class Hero is something to be
        Working Class Hero is something to be

        They hurt you at home and they hit you at school
        They hate you if you’re clever and despise a fool
        Till you’re so fucking crazy you can’t follow their rules
        Working Class Hero is something to be
        Working Class Hero is something to be

        When they’ve tortured and scared you for 20 odd years
        then they expect you to pick a career
        When you can’t really function you’re so full of fear
        Working Class Hero is something to be
        Working Class Hero is something to be

        Keep you doped with religion, sex and T.V.
        and you think you’re so clever and classless and free
        but you’re still fucking peasants as far as I can see
        Working Class Hero is something to be
        Working Class Hero is something to be

        There’s room at the top I’m telling you still
        but first you must learn how to smile as you kill
        if you want to be like the folks on the hill…

        Working Class Hero is something to be

        Yes , A Working Class Hero is something to be
        If you want to be a hero well just follow me
        If you want to be a hero well just follow me…”

        …Lennon did much better without Yoko Ono influence when it came to expressing his real sentiments…Don’t see how else one could reconcile the obvious conflict between the two public personas he projected, within less space in time than a year. At least he was a bit more honest preceding the release of “Imagine”; a flakey, naïve song at best.

  21. $800 million ? A mere piss in the ocean compared with the likes of Bill Gates and Carlos Slim.

    Even Karl Marx never blamed individual capitalists for being capitalists and exploiting their workers. The Beatles were thrust into the world of the capitalists by their phenomenal success as a rock band, working class boys who suddenly made good.

    Of course imagination is not enough. Yes we would all like things to be be better. The sentiment of the above mentioned poet should be taken more seriously.

  22. @ “Mr DArcy”

    Quote :

    “…working class boys who suddenly made good.”

    …Hence his great lyrics “Working Class Hero”, (above), a far more politically charged and socially potent (“potent” as in relevant) than anything “Imagine” brings to the table…

  23. @Rachel Black

    Below “Post comment” there are two check boxes. The first will notify you by email when there has been a direct reply to your comment.

    Hope this helps!

    Hi Rachel. Just a heads up to let you know that the email notification thing doesn’t seem to be working, at least not for me and a few others.

    If you could have a word with the site engineers and ask them to address this, that’d be super.

    Thanks in advance.

  24. PS: Is there anyone for whom the email notification thing does work? Perhaps it’s just me, Steven007 and Red Dog whose inboxes are noticeably free of responses from RDFRS.

    I sign in to the site using a Hotmail account if that makes any difference.

    Ticked Notify me of follow-up comments by email, and Notify me of new posts by email.

  25. Recommendation to the Vatican:
    Stop pontificating about sexual and marital matters. Roman Catholic clergy have, by definition, (in theory) no current, practical experience of the subject. They would seem to be the least qualified group in the world to lecture the rest of us.
    PS. Atop the mountain of wickedness, debauchery and depravity, which is the history of the Roman Catholic Church, sits a man who claims. Infallibility in faith and morals. To say that this claim is ludicrous is akin to saying that the universe is quite big.

  26. Look at this from a Machiavellian point of view. The church has a major problem recruiting new priests. Traditionally the #1 perk it could offer was safe, unlimited sexual access to children. It also provided the paedophile with extreme authority to terrorise children into compliance. The church would cover and provide a cloak of respectability. With that gone, who would step up to be a priest? Without paedophile and paedophile voyeurs, there is almost no one left. You can’t very well expect an institution to slit its own throat.

  27. Ordinary mortals go to jail for sexually molesting children and yet thousands of hypocritical priests have
    been reprieved for similar crimes over the years, with the Church acting as judge and jury without any
    interference from the Police or the Civil Judiciary. Of those over 700 were de-frocked for the more
    serious cases including rape and yet they too were able to walk free. As the Yanks say – THE PITS.

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