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The Devil Hates Priests. This is why.

St. John Chrysostom, I am told, said that the floor of hell is carpeted with the skulls of priests. I have never located the source. Nonetheless, when we hear our Lord’s words about millstones and those who deserve them, and we hear his words about “to whom much is given” et cetera, it seems that some—no, a great deal—of trembling is in order. Priests, especially, should be terrified by these admonitions. The opportunities for either spectacular glory (not the world’s kind) or spectacular peril (also not the world’s kind) confront, each and every day, every single ordained man of the Catholic Church. A good sign that a priest grasps the reality of his responsibility and the price of failure is that he makes a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament each day.

And the Catholic laity must, must, must pray for priests every single day. The devil hates priests. He wants nothing more than to hand them over simultaneously to the disdain of the world and to the eternal pains of hell. Satan does not tire. Reports of the moral failings of clergy, from parish priests to princes of the Church, continue to embarrass the Church and discourage the faithful, and they remind us of our obligation to pray for priests, for their sake, and for the sake of those whose lives they touch for better or for ill, the seen and the unseen.

In all the chaos of disgraced cardinals on both sides of the Atlantic, you may have missed the unhappy news that a well respected and very well placed member of the clergy of an important East Coast diocese was accused a month or so ago of running a nationwide operation that peddled illegal methamphetamines. Also, he has been accused of laundering the money from said sales in a shop that vends devices designed to facilitate the practice of deviance. Alas, the charges continue: This priest is alleged to have indulged in these selfsame deviances in the company of other men in his rectory.

(I do not provide a link to the story for the very reason that even by mentioning it I risk provoking the fallen appetite for prurience that St. Augustine called “lust of the eyes” that has been exponentially exacerbated by the Internet.)

Should the sordid tale prove not to be a giant misunderstanding, it will be another terrible scandal the Church will have to bear and one that will shake the faith of who can say how many Catholics.

When I hear stories like this one, my go-to line is usually Belloc’s observation that the proof that the Catholic Church is a divine institution is that since the Crucifixion she has been thriving in spite ofthe shortcomings of those to whom our Lord entrusted her care. Nonetheless, this particular priest’s alleged behavior is disheartening. The debauchery of Pope Alexander VI, for example, who kept a few mistresses and arranged for positions for the children he sired, seems mild alongside our own age’s deviance.

Making matters more discouraging is that, in a very real sense, clerical deviance and its immediate victims are really the tip of the iceberg. In the case of the meth-dealing priest, his position, influence, and stature in his diocese cannot help but mean that the harm he caused is greater than we know. He was secretary to two bishops, and rector of the cathedral. It is anybody’s guess how much unseen damage this man did from these positions of diocesan authority. How many good priests did he prevent from becoming pastors? How many heretics did he see appointed to the diocesan schools? How much irreverent liturgy did he cause or permit, and how much good liturgy did he hinder? How many good vocations did he discourage?

How many souls did not get sound Catholic teaching or solid spiritual direction because of this priest? We really have no idea of the spiritualwreckage in the wake of this man’s career.

Pray for the victims of clerical sexual abuse. Pray for the priests whose transgressions have caused so much harm. Pray for the ordinaries who either deliberately concealed or turned a blind eye to the sins of their clergy.

And pray for the Catholics, whose number is known only to God, who suffered—some in ignorance, some in painfully acute awareness—the deception, scheming, irreverence, and heresy of clergy whose intellects and wills, intended for the service of God, were disfigured by their horrifying sins.

By Christopher Check

 













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12 comments

  1. Patrick Gannon Reply

    “I do not provide a link to the story for the very reason that even by mentioning it I risk provoking the fallen appetite for prurience that St. Augustine called “lust of the eyes” that has been exponentially exacerbated by the Internet.”
    |
    Google “Monsignor Kevin Wallin,” who bought the “Land of Oz & Dorothy’s Place” adult video and sex toy shop to launder his ill-gotten gains.
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    Note that he remains as a priest. He’s not bad enough for them to remove him, which gives you a pretty good idea of how much evil – including child rape – the RCC is willing to tolerate in their ranks. Of course the author here tries to absolve him by blaming the devil! Yeah, the devil made him do it. That’s the ticket. Blame the devil. Does that excuse keep you out of hell?

    1. Bob Reply

      Why don’t you take your trolling elsewhere. You don’t need to spread your venom here.

      1. Patrick Gannon Reply

        That was a great contribution to the discussion, Bob. Thank you for that enlightened, refreshing, innovative and mind provoking contribution.
        .
        The article insinuates that the devil made him do it. The devil is an immaterial thing like a soul, right? How does an immaterial thing affect the particles in our natural world? In order to make this priest do bad things, this force had to somehow affect the particles that make up his neurons, synapses, connectome, nerve cells, hormones, electrochemicals, etc. in order to make him do these things. The problem is that there are absolutely no forces that are needed to explain any activity of particles in our natural world. We know all the ways they can be affected, and all the forces that can affect them. We even know of other forces and particles that exist that do not affect them (like neutrinos). There are no actions of particles that require some god or devil force in order to explain them. Quantum mechanics makes predictions about the likelihood, of certain things, and QM tells us that the likelihood that there are forces that we have not yet discovered that can affect the particles in our natural world is so exceptionally low, as to not be worth the trouble of continuing to look for them. The chance that we will discover actions being taken on particles that can only be explained by unknown forces is about the same as the chance that a life size, pink, polka-dotted tyrannosaurus rex, holding lollipops in each hand, will manifest in your living room sometime this evening. QM says it could happen – but it suggests not waiting up.

        1. Gallibus Reply

          If you are looking for an interesting project, work out the probability that all the prophecies about the Messiah would all be fulfilled, and the probability that the prophecy concerning Cyrus the Great, king of ancient Persia, would be fulfilled and he would do as prophesied about 200 years before he was even born. Consider that the DNA / genes were far stronger in the days following creation, and calculate the rate of degradation of these genes to the present day and be amazed that you are still a functioning human being. Consider the fact that you did not ask to be born, you did not come here on your own and will probably leave against your will. Consider the question of WHY you were born at all, and don’t give me the biological facts unless you believe you have no soul (which biologically your parents couldn’t give you) and, in any case, seems to be more dead than alive. Calculate the probability of your existence as a functioning system if you were the result of random events.

          Consider how, post creation, siblings married each other and even lived to ages unimaginable to us today. If I remember correctly, since it is late and I am too lazy to look it up, Adam lived to be over 700 years old. Just imagine how many children he must have had not to mention those of his contemporaries and descendants. Is it so hard to realize that just as we cannot see these atomic and sub-atomic particles or even the electricity that keeps the kettle boiling (without a measuring device, of course) that we are visually blind to the spirit world? It seems to me that your intellectual arrogance keeps you stuck in your own views. There is none so blind as the one who does not want to see, or, as the Bible has it and I paraphrase it, you can’t teach anything to one who believes he already has the fullness of knowledge and wisdom, any more than you can put more water in a glass that is already full.

          Reflecting on your comments above, it is evident that you have absorbed an incredible amount of fake news about God, the Church and the Bible and imbibed it to the full. Are you seeking the truth or simply trying to display your bias, not to mention your intellectual arrogance? Prove that there is no devil, no God. Where is your evidence?

          1. Patrick Gannon

            Whoa! Hold on Gallibus. I’m not the one making the claim. You are the one claiming God exists. The person making a claim is the one who has to prove or defend it. Where is your evidence? Oh, that’s right, there isn’t any. I don’t know if there are any gods or not. If there are, however, they are irrelevant in our natural world, so it doesn’t matter.
            .
            The so-called prophecies are simple coincidences, cherry picked, often out of context – like the virgin birth – and in that case, the original Aramaic word was not virgin (betulah), but rather “maiden” (almah). Matthew was cherry picking, but he used the Greek translation that got that word wrong; so much for being inspired. (Of course none of the bible was inspired enough for Yahweh-Jesus to ensure that a single original copy would remain in existence. We have no idea what the original texts said, and we know they were modified, edited, copied with errors, etc. for hundreds of years before we had copies of copies of copies, that survived.
            .
            How can DNA/genes be “stronger” in days gone by? What the heck does that mean? One person can have “stronger” DNA than another? That is not a description of genetics I’m familiar with. What the DNA evidence tells us is that we descended from a pool of early ancestors numbering in the tens of thousands, and not a single breeding pair – otherwise our DNA would look very different. What the DNA evidence tells us is that there was no Adam and Eve, and hence no fall from grace or original sin, or need to believe, say and do the right things in order for Jesus to save us from himself (Yahweh). This evidence, which the Church is aware of but denies (just like they denied Galileo), is the most difficult thing challenging the legitimacy of the Church today. Paul was wrong. There was no one man, Adam – there was a pool of early ancestors, and they didn’t live in a garden paradise.. They struggled day to day to keep from being eaten and to live long enough to reproduce. What was their original sin? Learning to make fire and use tools? Establishing a certain level of intellect and self aware consciousness, or was original sin, learning to talk? Keep in mind that the Church accepts evolution, and having done so, they have dug themselves into a hole they can’t get out of, other than by denying truth.
            .
            We are not the result of random events. We are the result of natural selection. This is a misconception repeatedly told by believers who are either clueless, simply wrong, or lying outright. Natural selection is not the same thing as random events, but it takes a little education to understand these simple facts, and that’s tough for a religion where ignorance is blessed.
            .
            There is no evidence humans lived to the ages told in the campfire stories that made it into the bible. Back in those days, life expectancy was probably mid-20s, and no fossils of early man that we’ve discovered, indicate anyone ever lived hundreds of years. That’s just nonsense. I doubt the modern Catholic Church insists that you must believe that nonsensical stuff.
            .
            While we may be visually blind to the sub-atomic particles, electricity and other forces that are part of our natural world, we know of their existence by the effects that they create on other particles and forces. We know what these particles and forces do to other particles. We know all the things particles are capable of. We know there are no actions of particles that require some as yet unknown force to explain. We know there is no soul, god or devil force, that has any effect whatsoever, on anything in our natural world. If such things exist, they are outside our universe and of no consequence to us.
            .
            You suggest that nothing can be taught to one who already believes he has the fullness of knowledge and wisdom, but that doesn’t describe me. It was the search for knowledge and wisdom that led me to become a Recovering Catholic and to learn the facts about our natural world, rather than embrace the superstition of ignorance. What has religion ever done to improve our lives in the way science has? Even Jesus knew nothing about germs. He told his followers they didn’t have to wash their hands before eating. Think of the millions of helpless children who could have been spared horrible, painful deaths if Jesus had just bothered to say a word or two about germs, but god or no god, Jesus had no clue. No prophet, no religious figure EVER discussed in scriptures has known more about the world than the technology available at the time the text was written. You speak of prophecies – why didn’t someone reveal the existence of germs if they really wanted to save people?
            .
            You say I have absorbed “fake news” about God, but there is NO NEWS when it comes to Yahweh-Jesus. There isn’t a shred of objective, compelling evidence for the existence of any gods or afterlives, or we wouldn’t be having this discussion. As I said when I started. I don’t claim the existence of any gods or devils, so there is no burden on me to prove they don’t exist, any more than there’s a burden on me to prove unicorns and fairies don’t exist. That burden rests with you. You insist there is a god. Well trot him out and let him answer for his heinous deeds in his unHoly book.
            .

          2. Gallibus

            You yourself are the proof that God exists. Did you come into the world at your own behest? If God the Creator, did not exist, nor could you. Simple as that! As to being irrelevant, who says so? Who are you make irrelevant anything you don’t like or understand? As to cherry picking, you are the expert! Why are you so keen on rubbishing every piece of evidence presented to you? What are you covering up? After 2000 years, you know better than the writer? You are fooling yourself. Again, I ask you, “What is the root of you obstructionism?” Are you trying to justify your evil?

            The genes were stronger in earlier times because every time the genes are replicated, there is a chance of error in the replication. Over thousands of years, the errors mount up…. just as you claim that errors in copies of copies mount up. Clearly your sources of the DNA evidence are subject to review, since God was the Creator who lived then and now and for evermore, and He remembers perfectly. The Plan of God for salvation of mankind as recorded in the Scriptures is perfectly coherent- your version is not; it is simply rebellious conjecture. You are trying to make yourself god but you have neither the power nor the knowledge to do so – dust from dust which will return to dust.
            Did you know that a Catholic priest was the founder of the Big Bang theory? Oh gosh, how shocking!

            As to struggling to live long enough to reproduce, Adam lived over 700 years – I am too lazy to look it up – but you can check it out. Where is your evidence of their struggle to reproduce? How do you know that they only lived 20 years or so? Absence of evidence is not proof that something did not exist since evidence is notoriously difficult to preserve over time, particularly over thousands of years. The fact that you have not found the skeletons of millions of people is no argument that they did not exist.

            RE: “We know there are no actions of particles that require some as yet unknown force to explain”. Reply: Bear in mind that what we know now was unknown for centuries and these wonderful forces you talk about were unknown until recently – does that mean that they did not exist simply because they were unknown at the time? You are babbling!

            And while we are free to write off these spiritual forces while we on earth, when we pass into the spiritual world after death, they will continue to be entirely relevant – particularly when we meet them face to face, so to speak.
            Somebody once asked me if I believed in the theory of evolution. My reply remains the same; “I think that the theory of evolution should continue evolving until it meets the truth”.

            Re: “There was no one man, Adam – there was a pool of early ancestors, and they didn’t live in a garden paradise.” You prove that!
            As to coincidences, what level of probability do you accept as proof?
            As to natural selection, your arguments are unnaturally selective and born of intellectual arrogance based on personal bias. There was another who famously tried to elevate himself above God; it did not work out so well for him.
            If you are thinking of publishing a book ‘The World according to Patrick Gannon’ – don’t bother – you came on the scene too late to be credible and your so-called evidence is simply state-of the art conjecture.

          3. Patrick Gannon

            No, my existence in absolutely no way provides evidence that god exists. My existence is only evidence that I exist. Nothing more, nothing less.
            .
            You are making another claim – that if your god did not exist, we would not exist, and once again the burden is on you to prove or at least attempt to support this with evidence, which unfortunately for your claim, is completely lacking.
            .
            Yes, I absolutely and with no reservations can claim that I know more than the people who wrote the bible 2 – 3000 years ago. They thought the earth was the center of the universe, that the “firmament” was between the atmosphere and the moon, that earthquakes, comets, floods, wars, and other disasters were caused by their gods, and we know today that all that is nonsense. You also know much more than they did 2000 years ago. These were primitive people trying to explain a world and universe they did not understand, so they turned to the supernatural. We have no need for that magic any longer. You even know more than Jesus did. You know about germs. He didn’t. He told his followers they didn’t need to wash their hands before eating. Jesus, if he existed as a historical person, which I have come to doubt, was just as primitive and ignorant of the natural world as everyone else at that time.
            .
            You don’t appear to understand evolution. Errors either provide an evolutionary advantage or they do not. If they do not, the organism dies out. If they provide an advantage, the organism thrives and passes on its advantage to its offspring. It’s pretty basic, but you have to spend a little time learning before you start repeating nonsense you’ve heard from ignorant or dishonest people trying to attack evolution. Have you ever actually studied evolution? Start here: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/home.php
            .
            Yes, of course the DNA evidence is subject to review, but multiple researchers come to the same conclusions. Science has the distinct advantage of being able to adjust and modify based on the evidence. Has the bible ever been adjusted or modified based on evidence – for example, why hasn’t Genesis been rewritten to explain that the universe is billions of years old? Why hasn’t it been rewritten to admit there was no Exodus or conquest of Canaan, or global flood? Science corrects itself. Religion does not. If every single book we had was destroyed, 1000 years from now do you think the bible would come back exactly the same as it is now? No, of course not. Every physics book would come back the same though, because the exact same experiments would yield the exact same results.
            .
            There was no literal Adam as described in the campfire story, and there is absolutely no evidence any human lived 700 years. Again, you are making the outrageous claim, so you must defend it. You use the old argument that a lack of evidence does not prove something (like the Exodus) does not exist or did not happen, but that’s an extremely weak argument. Well I’m making the claim here and now that the moon is filled with green cheese. That there is no evidence for this does not mean it’s not true. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Now tell me, do I have the burden of proof here, or do you?
            .
            We have all sorts of fossil evidence that isn’t just thousands of years old, but millions of years old. You accuse me of babbling for pointing out that primitive humans did not know about quantum mechanics, quarks and muons, atoms, molecules and cells, yet we know today that these things exist. It is you who is babbling. Does the fact that the people living 2000 years ago did not know that there were other galaxies in the universe mean they didn’t exist? Perhaps a college near you teaches Logic 101. Take a class.
            .
            You think the theory of evolution should continue evolving till it meets the truth. Ah what a clever statement, and it’s actually true. Scientists continue to modify and revise the theory as we learn more and more. The theory is actually a bit different, aside from the basic premise, from what Darwin proposed, as it has been modified to fit the facts. That’s how science works. Will religion continue to evolve until it meets the truth?
            .
            You asked for evidence that we came from a pool of ancestors rather than just two. I made that claim, so it is incumbent on me to support it. Start here: http://biologos.org/blogs/dennis-venema-letters-to-the-duchess/does-genetics-point-to-a-single-primal-couple I have the scientific community at my back, you have celibate virgins dressed in robes who insist we call them “father” despite voluntarily leaving the gene pool. I’m going with the scientists. They don’t have an agenda to manipulate and use fear to control the ignorant sheeple, as do your sources. Unlike your sources, scientists have compelling, repeatable, objective, evidence. You have a primitive script written by people who didn’t understand a tiny smidgen of what we understand today.
            .
            I did not invent the theory of natural selection, but I, unlike you perhaps, have studied it and have a basic understanding of the process. Have you forgotten that your Church (I assume you are Catholic) has accepted natural selection and evolution, and that by denying it you are arguing against the last half dozen popes, who have agreed that evolution explains how we came to be who we are? This has created a big problem for the Church, as they dug themselves into a hole that they can’t get out of now; but the Church at least faced the facts, even if you can’t. They haven’t faced the facts regarding the DNA evidence that rules out a single breeding pair, but they will have to do so in time, just as they eventually had to admit Galileo was right. They still owe Giordano Bruno an apology for burning him at the stake, in part for suggesting that the stars were other suns that could have planets around them like our own – as we now know to be a fact. Your Church needs to come out of the Iron Age, and free its sheeple from the bondage of intentional ignorance.
            .
            And always the inevitable threat of Hell from Christians. “There was another who famously tried to elevate himself above God; it did not work out so well for him.” Christians never cajole me with the carrot of heaven. They never talk about what I’ll be missing, they ALWAYS revert to the threat of Hell. Christianity is a religion of fear. It cannot survive without it. Assuming this fictional, imaginary, character Satan actually existed, why on earth (or heaven), would there be any dissention? Heaven is supposed to be bliss. Why would Satan and a bunch of other angels so readily depart if heaven was so wonderful? Perhaps they got tired of their petty tyrannical god, and set out to restore truth and justice. After all the talking snake told the truth in the garden myth. They did not die when they ate the fruit, and they did learn the difference between good and evil (Gen 3:22) exactly as the snake predicted. Yahweh was so bent out of shape at having had his credibility destroyed that he punished them, illustrating right in the very beginning what petty tyrant he would be if he was real. Gen 3:22 is a warning that evil gods lie ahead, and indeed it’s not long before Yahweh provides chapter after chapter of evil deeds. Do you know (of course you don’t), that there were competing sects of Christians in the early days? The Ebionites, Marcionites, Gnostics and some others competed with the proto-orthodox to define Christianity. Once the proto-orthodox teamed up with Rome the others were wiped out, and proto-orthodox became orthodox, which became the unHoly Roman Catholic Church. In some of the early scriptures and texts that of course did not make it into the canon, Jesus is described as saving us from Yahweh. He was seen as Satan by some early Christians. (Source: “The Other Bible” a collection of texts and scripture that did not make it into the bible).
            .
            Take a course in logic and another in evolution and then we can pick this up again.
            .

  2. Gallibus Reply

    Pray also for those priests wrongly accused and jailed – their lives turned into one of spiritual and physical suffering. Priests are sitting ducks when it comes to false accusations especially of the hidden crimes of sexual abuse and this particularly in a puritanical culture, not to mention one that hates Catholics based on a false understanding of the religion.

    Pray that the Lord enlightens us all. False accusation is one of satan’s favorite tools – if he can’t successfully tempt them, he can nail them with false accusations. Either way, he scores. and then he scores by the sins of those who vilify others. Jesus said in a modern day message: ‘Do not let the sin of another lead to your own condemnation’. Wise words from the Just Judge whose judgement no-one will escape.

    1. Patrick Gannon Reply

      If we have a Puritanical society, (and we do to a slowly but ever lessening extent), then this is because of Christianity and in particular the Catholic Church’s manic obsession with sex.

      How many false accusations are there, compared with the thousands of cases of clerical sexual abuse and rape? There is no devil. These men are disordered. There is something about them that makes them different from other men. They didn’t fit in with the rest of society, so they found sanctuary within a disordered organization that protected their sexual deviancy.

      To the best of my knowledge only lions have males that live together as celibate virgins when they are unable to obtain a mate. At least the lions don’t play dress-up in robes, in an attempt to escalate their pathetic status. The Church scorns LGBTs, but if that activity is disordered, as the Church insists, then it is even more disordered to live as celibate virgins, given that this is not the norm in the natural world. The good news, is like those lions that can’t get mates, these clergymen do not (or at least are not supposed to) contribute to the gene pool, and for that we should be grateful.

      If a few priests are wrongly accused, that would just be a tiny, insignificant step in giving the Church a taste of the karma it so very much deserves. You speak of a false understanding of the religion – what false understanding do you speak of? Most Catholics have never read the bible or the catechism. Most Catholics don’t understand their own religion. Most Catholics don’t even know that the default position of the Church is that aborted, miscarried and stillborns who are not baptized are sent to HELL. If the Catholic god sends complete innocents to Hell, that god is incorrigibly evil, and deserves contempt, not worship.

      As for praying, all the prayer studies carried out, that I am aware of, have failed miserably. Show me an amputee who prays back a lost limb, and then we can talk about the efficacy of prayer.

      1. Gallibus Reply

        Re: ‘If we have a Puritanical society, (and we do to a slowly but ever lessening extent), then this is because of Christianity and in particular the Catholic Church’s manic obsession with sex’.
        Reply:
        If one has sex (conjugal love) the way the Creator intended it then there is no need for puritanical guilt; sex was designed for pleasure and the procreation of children. However, if one engages in illicit hedonistic relationships then there is every basis for shame and guilt as is generally found in these relationships that are so deceitfully promoted by popular culture.

        The Catholic Church advocates beautiful, loving sex in licit relationships as designed by the Creator; if that is redefined as ‘manic obsession with sex’ then one of us is not speaking plainly. What I would describe as a ‘manic obsession with sex’ is the acceptance of unbridled sexual intimacy whenever and with whoever. This is using the partner as a sexual prop to satisfy one’s selfish passions; this is not loving or caring – it is abuse, plain and simple. In all the talk of the right to abortion, there is scant mention of the fact that a woman has a right to have her body respected rather than being treated as a punchbag for passion and thereafter savaged in her most intimate parts to remove the fruits of inappropriate intercourse.

        There has been sexual abuse by clerics who, as part of the fallen human race, are just as susceptible to sexual abuse and sin as anybody else. Yes, we do consider that they should be above this sort of sin since they have supposedly chosen to devote their lives to a higher calling and we hate hypocrisy in others. Jesus, in His modern Messages, has said that He is cleaning up His Church, starting at the sanctuary and that these sort of things will not be hidden or tolerated.

        The Messages (True Life in God and those to Debra of Australia) also note that some clerics will be falsely accused. Nevertheless, two evils do not make a good in my humble opinion. Falsely accusing a person and destroying their character and livelihood is a second only to murder; in fact, I think it is worse. If one follows your argument, then all of us are should be held liable for the evil done by others. If there is no such thing as evil, what are you complaining about? If you think that there is no devil, then you can keep on sleeping until you meet him. He probably won’t bother you much now since he has fooled you already and you are unlikely to put up much resistance; he has already defeated you.

        As to celibate lion males who are virgins, I have no knowledge of them; I leave that to you. It sounds to me like a contradiction in terms but I daresay you have studied it as a justification for your own view. Animal behavior is not a model for humans who have a higher calling but I grant you that in many ways their behavior puts many humans to shame.

        Your logic is deficient; exceptions prove the rule and it is ridiculous to taint the whole priesthood with the sins of few, just as one cannot claim holiness for all based on the holiness of some. In any population, if one can determine the norm then, by definition, there are those on either side of the norm. As to dressing up, don’t we all dress up? These days ugliness is in fashion, the uglier, the better and we hate those who don’t dress the way we do just as we hate those who behave differently. Satan, in his spite, hates all of the Lord’s creation and mankind, as His highest creation, is Satan’s target; the more he can debase humans by making them ugly in mind and matter, the more successful he is in exercising his hatred of the Lord God. So, defile your natural beauty with tattoos and ugly, indecent clothing and defile your spiritual beauty and you are all his to torment forever.

        Re: ‘These men are disordered. There is something about them that makes them different from other men. They didn’t fit in with the rest of society, so they found sanctuary within a disordered organization that protected their sexual deviancy.’
        Reply: Yes, their behavior is disordered and they don’t fit into decent society any more than the deviants in the general public. But, as long as there is life, there is the chance for abandoning evil and embracing goodness. By the way, the legal system is protecting sexual deviancy these days – does that make your argument ridiculous or simply politically incorrect?

        Re: ‘You speak of a false understanding of the religion – what false understanding do you speak of? Most Catholics have never read the bible or the catechism. Most Catholics don’t understand their own religion. Most Catholics don’t even know that the default position of the Church is that aborted, miscarried and stillborns who are not baptized are sent to HELL. If the Catholic god sends complete innocents to Hell, that god is incorrigibly evil, and deserves contempt, not worship.’
        Reply: You are right that many who claim to be Catholics do not know their religion much less practice it. Many have not read the Bible in its entirety nor even understood it. This is due to poor catechesis for one or more reasons but there is a lifetime to redress this for each individual – life is an on-going process of spiritual growth and people are all in different stages so one can expect ignorant, half-baked and unwise opinions and beliefs in the interim. It is up to the wise to teach the ignorant.

        The Catholic Church teaches that these unbaptized babies do not generally enter heaven but they do not experience the eternal damnation and associated suffering of hell, just as the just did not suffer eternal suffering in hell before the Resurrection of Christ. You can check out the catechism of the Catholic Church. I would go further than you and state that most Christians do not understand either their own religion or the Catholic religion or they would become Catholic. God did not suddenly change His mind about His teachings to accommodate Luther’s views.

        Regarding miracles, the Church investigates these claims very rigorously, you will be pleased to discover. Miracles happen even today. Study the evidence, e.g. the basis for canonizations, and opinions of experts and do not rely so heavily on your own preconceived ideas.

        1. Patrick Gannon Reply

          Gallibus, you speak of having sex as the Creator intended. Let’s see that would include:

          1) a man with a woman (Gen 2:24), 2) a man with his brother’s widow (Gen 38:6-10), 3) a man with his wives and concubines (Abraham, Nohor, Jacob, Eliphaz, etc. not to mention Solomon’s 300 concubines, 4) a rapist and his victim (Deut 22:28-29), 5) a man, a woman and a woman’s slaves (Gen 16), 6) a soldier and a prisoner of war (Numbers 31:1-18), 7) a man and many women (polygamy – many references), and finally 8) a male and female slave. Indeed sex in these relationships was for procreation and the man’s pleasure. Women were chattel.

          However before we even get there, we have to confirm that this Creator exists, and of course we all know there’s no objective evidence for that, or we wouldn’t still be debating it. The foundation of the Creator you worship has washed away.. There was no six day creation, no two-person DNA bottleneck, no global flood, no mass Exodus from Egypt and no conquest of Canaan. We know these things beyond reasonable doubt, and without these things, what foundation remains to support Yahweh-Jesus?

          Sex is personal and intimate and thus a powerful tool to use to manipulate frightened people – an evil art that Christianity mastered. Nobody is arguing here that it’s OK to abuse women for sexual pleasure – you’re trying to demonize me by associating this non sequitur. What I define as manic obsession is the fact that the Church can’t let anything having to do with sex pass by without the commenting on it. This forum is full of articles that discuss sex and reaffirms the rules the Vatican has laid down with respect to what we can and can’t do with our genitalia – and they don’t even use theirs in the way evolution intended that they should! (Or so we are led to believe. I suspect there’s a lot more hanky-panky going on and probably most of it gay).

          Jesus in his “modern messages” is cleaning up his Church? What the heck are you talking about? What modern messages? Can I find them on YouTube? By the way, please note your admission that the Church needs to be cleaned up. These things you say that will not be hidden or tolerated went on for centuries, and are surely still going on, given that fresh new stories surface rather frequently.

          You are also misstating my argument when I mentioned that perhaps a little karma was due to the Church as an organization. That does not imply that I think innocent priests should be wrongly accused – again you attempt to unfairly demonize me. And drop the straw man arguments. Did I say there is no such thing as evil? Please provide the quote where I said that. What we disagree with is not that there is no evil, but whether it is evil for an organization to leverage shame, guilt and fear to control people for its own selfish purposes. Do you have any idea how rich the Church is? Their tens of billions could solve poverty in a big part of the world, if they put their money where their mouth is. If they just embraced contraception, they could improve the life of millions, but the Church would rather watch children whose mothers can’t afford them, starve and die of diseases, just as they would prefer to see the spread of AIDs rather than allow condoms. This is sick, vicious, cruel, and heartless – but very Christian!

          Of course, like most Christians, you don’t try to tempt me with the joys of heaven, but instead turn quickly to the threat of torments in Hell. Christians always do this. It’s like heaven doesn’t exist – it’s not really something to aspire to. All that matters is avoiding Hell – but which one? There are four of them (Sheol, Gahanna, Hades, Tartarus) – all words translated to the pagan word “Hell” and none of them meaning “Hell” as we were indoctrinated to think of it. After you prove that the Creator exists – please prove that the devil exists, and then explain why Yahweh-Jesus created the devil in the first place, if being all-knowing, he knew what was going to happen in advance. I mean how stupid was that? Hmm. I think I’ll create a protagonist today… spice things up…. Dumb move big guy.

          You suggest my logic is deficient without providing any examples of how this is so. Clearly when I’m speaking of the disordered, celibate virgins dressed in robes, I am referring to the entire organization, not individual persons, some of whom are surely good people. It is the Church itself that is evil, and of course a fair number of the clergy helped make it and keep it, that way. Christianity is a religion of separation and dressing up in robes, along with insisting that they be referred to as “father,” is one way the clergy separates themselves from their sheep, attempting to stand aside and above the common people in order to command an undeserved respect. Apparently, unlike you, I don’t hate people who dress differently from me. Those people are exercising their individuality. The Church is exercising its authority and (perceived) superiority. If you hate people who dress different then you do, we have even less in common. Your lack of acceptance for your fellow man, is very Christian indeed. I’m fine with tattoos, piercing, short skirts, and even pants that hang down too far – though I find this unpractical – but it’s just a personal expression, and that’s cool.

          You suggest that the legal system is protecting sexual deviancy but of course we’re talking about close-minded, bigoted views of LGBTs, right? This is all part of that manic obsession with sex and the Church telling people what they can and can’t do with their genitals. As long as the Church refers to gays as “disordered,” I will continue to refer to the clergy using that term. If LGBTs are disordered, then so too are the clergy. If we define “normal” as heterosexuals, then logic dictates that everyone else including celibate virgins dressed in robes must be disordered, right?. I applaud the legal system for putting human rights ahead of imaginary invisible gods that live in the sky, and the disordered organization, Catholic and evangelical, that attempt to take away these civil rights.

          “The Catholic Church teaches that these unbaptized babies do not generally enter heaven but they do not experience the eternal damnation and associated suffering of hell, just as the just did not suffer eternal suffering in hell before the Resurrection of Christ.” This is not entirely accurate. You are referring to Limbo, and that is not official doctrine. The Church allows you to believe in Limbo, (they don’t care about truth – they care about believing), but the catechism is pretty clear that the default is Hell, and it is eternal damnation. They are denied salvation (though I fail to see the allure of heaven). Why would Augustine have needed to invent Limbo if not for acknowledging how evil it would be to send unbaptized infants to hellfire? Limbo is not biblical. I have studied the catechism on this in some detail. It says the Church knows of no way to salvation outside of baptism, and only leaves us with “hope” for those who die without being baptized – including infants. There is another Vatican document that specifically addresses the issue of unbaptized infants who die, and all it offers is hope. Not faith, just hope that Yahweh-Jesus isn’t a complete monster. Also, please note that you first need to prove heaven exists. As to the second part of your statement, prior to the “good news” of Jesus, everyone good and bad alike went to Sheol, which was not a place of punishment. It was a place of permanent unconsciousness. Many Jews believed that at the end of time those in Sheol would be wakened and judged. The good would get a renewed paradise, and the bad would be destroyed – fair enough. However with the “good news” of Jesus, now we are judged instantly when we die, and if found wanting, instead of simply being destroyed, we are to be tortured in hellfire for billions and trillions of eternal years. I fail to see how our condition has improved with the “good news” of Jesus. To destroy a mere human for not measuring up is one thing. To send one to eternal torment is the most evil concept mankind has ever come up with. You worship a god who you apparently believe does this. I cannot respect that. It would be like respecting someone who worships Hitler, only worse.

          There was a notice from the Vatican recently stating that they were going to ramp up reviews of miracle claims – but historically we all know this has not happened, and the only reason it’s happening now is that science is debunking one so called miracle after another, when provided the opportunity to do a proper investigation. Miracles do not happen every day. A miracle by definition is something that seldom or never happens. The real question though is how would such things occur? A miracle means affecting particles in our natural world with something immaterial. How does something immaterial affect the particles in our neurons or in our bodies or anything else? We know all the characteristics of particles. We know all that they can and can’t do. We know of no unexplained actions by particles that could only be explained by some as yet undiscovered force like a soul or consciousness. If you want to cure a cancer, you have to move particles around. How does something immaterial that has never been observed in countless experiments do this? This problem goes back at least as far as Descartes, and the answer has not changed – material things are not affected by immaterial things. If they were, we’d have to completely rewrite physics. Quantum field theory tells us with an exceptionally high degree of probability, that if there were forces that affected particles in our natural world, we would know about them by now. Believing miracles happen, doesn’t mean they do – and if they do, why are they so limited? Why can’t Yahweh-Jesus grow back an amputated limb? Does he hate amputees? He never, ever cures them, but he can put a microbe on a host dropped to the ground, turn it red with bacteria, and then call it the blood of Jesus and proclaim a miracle. Utter nonsense.

          My ideas are not preconceived. I was indoctrinated into Catholicism and practiced the religion into early adulthood. Then I committed the grievous sin of learning how to think. In religion, ignorance is blessed, but I walked away from that blessing. Reading the bible was what actually sent me down the path to agnosticism. The Church does not go out of its way to recommend that Catholics read the entire bible, because they know it creates more atheists and agnostics, than reinforcing the believer. Once one realizes how evil Yahweh-Jesus is, it’s hard to worship this god any longer. Kill every man, woman, child and beast, but keep the virgin girls for yourself? Kill 70,000 innocents because Dave took a census? Punish innocent Egyptians with pestilence, and murder their firstborn because their leader was played like puppet (Yahweh hardened his heart). I can go on and on… I can’t worship such an evil god, even if it exists, and even if it results in some sort of Hell. Better to burn in moral superiority.

          1. Gallibus

            You’re kidding! Right?

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