I don’t have  problem with religion in general, or the religious.  And I have plenty of friends who are religious, I have been in the past, and I’m more than willing to admit that I might become so in the future.  People change over time, people who were once atheist turn to religion and the other way around.  This is the nature of things, and I have no way to say where or who I will be in 10, 15, or 20 years.  I’m not terribly sure what kind of person I’ll be next year, although I at least have a pretty solid idea.

I want to say that because when you say something critical of something specific about one particular slender arc of some religion, people get their panties in a twist.  But, to be even clearer- I have known plenty of Catholics, practicing and former, and most of them were just fine by me.  The girls I went to high school with who were Catholic were some of the nicest, most accepting girls I knew, and I knew plenty of really nice people in high school.  I count myself lucky in that respect.

I get that out of the way to say this: what the clergy of the Catholic church has done is heinous, monstrous, and almost unfathomable.  Not all of the clergy, I know there are plenty of priests who are wonderful men.  But the evidence shows that when those priests are NOT wonderful men, they are not defrocked.  Nor are they sent to jail.  Instead, they are moved, where they can victimize again.

Lest you think I am angry because of pedophilia, think again.  The Catholic Church seems to think that, and it is idiotic.  Pedophilia is horrible, but it is at the end a personal failing.  If they had sent these abusive, raping, horrible men away and turned them in, I would have no quibble with the church over this particular matter.  But they didn’t, they sent them to ‘therapy’ and then turned them loose in new places, where they could victimize them again.

This is, without a doubt, the most heinous thing I can think of for people in positions of authority to do.  When it turns out that there is a school teacher who is a pedophile, who is raping and abusing children, they get fired.  Almost immediately, they lose their job, and are sent to jail.

So, to repeat (it bears repeating) this is not about the pedophilia, the act itself.  This is about the church’s standard procedure of shutting people up and moving the priests so nobody knows it happens.

This is about the church allowing abuse to continue, once they found out about the priests in their ranks who were abusing their power and privilege and trust.

There’s evidence towards the Pope himself being complicit.

This is a disgrace, and for all of you who consider yourself religious, this reflects on you.  The people responsible for rape and abuse need to be held accountable for this, and I’m not just talking about the pedophile priests, I’m talking about their superiors who shielded them from the law and allowed them to continue abusing children.

I want to say this again, because it is important: Their superiors shielded them, hid them, and allowed them to continue abusing children.

I don’t think that can be said strongly, loudly, harshly enough.  This is as bad as the abuse itself, if not worse.