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September 17th, 2009 05:27 PM
RGS318 Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius hardly ever talks publicly about her Roman Catholicism. But in a Washington Post interview this week, she speaks candidly about being ordered to forgo receiving communion by the archbishop of Kansas City—she was previously governor of Kansas—because of her actions upholding abortion rights.

Reporter: You are also a pro-choice Catholic, and I was reading some stories out of your home state recently where one of the bishops took an action. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Sebelius: Well, the Archbishop in the Kansas City area did not approve of my conduct as a public official and asked that I not present myself for communion.

What did you think about that?
Well, it was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced in my life, and I am a firm believer in the separation of church and state, and I feel that my actions as a parishioner are different than my actions as a public official and that the people who elected me in Kansas had a right to expect me to uphold their rights and their beliefs even if they did not have the same religious beliefs that I had. And that's what I did: I took an oath of office and I have taken an oath of office in this job and will uphold the law.

Do you continue to take communion?
I really would prefer not to discuss that with you. That's really a personal—thank you.
_______

I do like her last answer. She said the Archbishop "asked" her not to "present herself for communion." Apparently, primacy of conscience is taught by the Jesuits, but not is not allowed for politicians.

Any thoughts on this?
(Edited by RGS318)
September 17th, 2009 07:15 PM
Comfortablylomb
Quote:

Any thoughts on this?


Being publicly excommunicated would definitely give my friends something to talk about.
September 17th, 2009 10:03 PM
hchoops i wonder if the archbishop has taken similar action for any other perceived offense ? for example , child sexual abuse or covering it up ? o no ,those so called men of God were allowed to continue to distribute communion as well as receive it
rgs--why did you put the term "excommunicated " in your title ?
has the archbishop suggested that ?
September 17th, 2009 10:23 PM
HC1843 I guess if you want to be an active member in an institution that does not make a distinction between your responsibilities as a professional and your duties as one of the faithful (and, I can't say this is entirely wrong), then as a knee jerk reaction I am not that troubled by this.

However, once you get beyond the knee jerk reaction and delve a little deeper into the Church's hypocritical stance on certain key issues then I guess you just have to start questioning the value of being a member of an institution that holds its flock, but not its shepherds, accountable to its own dogma.

I'll let you all take an educated guess as to what "sin" - though in my opinion it is not a sin at all - the Church turns a blind eye to so that it may have enough shepherds to herd its flock.

Cheers.
September 17th, 2009 10:33 PM
HC1843 In many ways, I would think that many of us get the feeling -- or at least would appreciate the notion -- that the Church's motto should be, at times, "Do as I say, not as I do."

Cheers.
September 18th, 2009 07:40 AM
RGS318
Quote:
hchoops wrote:
i wonder if the archbishop has taken similar action for any other perceived offense ? for example , child sexual abuse or covering it up ? o no ,those so called men of God were allowed to continue to distribute communion as well as receive it
rgs--why did you put the term "excommunicated " in your title ?
has the archbishop suggested that ?


Good question: If she has been cut off from receiving communion, some might feel that the term applies "de facto." The press are using "excommunicated" but she herself has never used that term as far as I know.
September 18th, 2009 11:08 AM
CL Metsfan Just another in a long line of hypocritical actions by the Church; I can't get all worked up by this one. I will say that the Church tends to limit its strong-arming tactics to the people that it know it can strong-arm. I think they didn't take as hard a stance against the priests guilty of molestation in part because doing so would leave them woefully understaffed throughout the country. But making a political statement against a public official whose presence will largely go unnoticed? Game on!
September 18th, 2009 11:55 AM
faux65
Quote:
CL Metsfan wrote:
Just another in a long line of hypocritical actions by the Church; I can't get all worked up by this one. I will say that the Church tends to limit its strong-arming tactics to the people that it know it can strong-arm. I think they didn't take as hard a stance against the priests guilty of molestation in part because doing so would leave them woefully understaffed throughout the country. But making a political statement against a public official whose presence will largely go unnoticed? Game on!


Are you saying that a substantial percentage of the clergy are pederasts? If so, set forth your sources supporting this, need I say it, reckless allegation.
September 18th, 2009 12:14 PM
HC1843
Quote:
faux65 wrote:


Are you saying that a substantial percentage of the clergy are pederasts? If so, set forth your sources supporting this, need I say it, reckless allegation.


kind of difficult to do when the Church hides its pedophiles by shipping them around from church to church and then allows the people who oversaw such actions flee to the safety of the Vatican.

Cheers.
September 18th, 2009 12:19 PM
Comfortablylomb
Quote:
faux65 wrote:


Are you saying that a substantial percentage of the clergy are pederasts? If so, set forth your sources supporting this, need I say it, reckless allegation.


How you define substantial is up for debate but I think at this point it's safe to say that the church has a pederast problem.
September 18th, 2009 12:43 PM
CL Metsfan
Quote:
faux65 wrote:


Are you saying that a substantial percentage of the clergy are pederasts? If so, set forth your sources supporting this, need I say it, reckless allegation.


First of all, I think it's pretty amusing that you consider someone saying that there's a problem with sexual abuse among members of the clergy to be a "reckless allegation."

As lomb says, "substantial" is a very relative term, and 43 correctly points out that the Church has taken serious and, in come cases, despicable measures to cover up many priests who were accused. But I can confidently say that "far too many" members of the clergy are pederasts. I hope that doesn't ruffle too many feathers.

My larger point, however, was that the Church was having difficulty already with the dwindling numbers of priests before the sexual abuse scandals reached their peak a few years ago. So yes, I believe that high on the priority list for the Church was to protect their ranks so that they are not left even more shorthanded than they already are.
September 18th, 2009 12:47 PM
faux65
Quote:
Comfortablylomb wrote:


How you define substantial is up for debate but I think at this point it's safe to say that the church has a pederast problem.


I agree that there is or was a problem, especially on account of the glee with which the media handled the truly reprehensible way some bishops handled some situations. But to imply that, if the church cleaned house of these unfortunates, it could not function in seeing to its pastoral duties, far overshoots the mark. Let your man prove his case, and not run his mouth as he, more often than not, tends to do.
September 18th, 2009 01:24 PM
CL Metsfan
Quote:
faux65 wrote:


I agree that there is or was a problem, especially on account of the glee with which the media handled the truly reprehensible way some bishops handled some situations. But to imply that, if the church cleaned house of these unfortunates, it could not function in seeing to its pastoral duties, far overshoots the mark. Let your man prove his case, and not run his mouth as he, more often than not, tends to do.


Ok, since I'm just "running my mouth," here are some stats for you. Between the years of 1965 and 2003, the numbers of Catholic priests in the U.S. dropped from 58,632 to 43,634, a loss of 15,000 priests (or roughly 25%), despite the fact that the Catholic population in the U.S. increased by nearly 18 million (+40%). During that timespan, the number of parishes without a resident priest increased from 549 to 3,040. For those keeping score at home, that's more than a 550% increase.

http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Christianity/Catholic/2005/04/Is-There-A-Priest-Shortage-Worldwide-U-S-Statistics.aspx

Now, combine that with the results of a draft survey done at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2004 which revealed that 4,450 priests were accused of sexual abuse between the years of 1950 and 2002, chronicling more than 11,000 instances of abuse. Of those instances, 6,700 were investigated and substantiated, 1,000 were unsubstantiated, and 3,300 were not investigated because the priests had died by the time the allegation was made. So using the same percentage of substantiation (87%), let's assume that roughly 3,870 priests during that time were guilty and should have been dismissed.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/02/16/church.abuse/

And since the first study covered a 38-year span and the second a 52-year span, let's drop that number of guilty priests by another 25%, bringing us to 2,900 priests. If we look at the earlier loss of 15,000 priests, we're talking about increasing the number of lost priests for the Church by 20%.

And THAT, my friend, is a substantial amount.
September 18th, 2009 02:14 PM
HC1843
Quote:
faux65 wrote:


I agree that there is or was a problem, especially on account of the glee with which the media handled the truly reprehensible way some bishops handled some situations.


Yes, I remember the day the news broke on Channel 10 just like it was yesterday. The news anchors, almost jumping for joy, reported that they had discovered the fantastic news that a legion of priests in Massachusetts had been accused of raping boys and girls across the state. They were so overwhelmed with joy that they were giggling as they relayed the news to the mortified masses.

As to how many Bishops screwed over their parishioners by allowing their children to be exposed to known pedophiles, that is not the point. It does not excuse the hierarchy because it was only some bishops. The Church has an indelible stain because of how it handled matters and let's not pretend that only because some bishops countenanced the actions of some priests that many did not know about the ongoing problem within its ranks.

The Church demonstrated throughout all of this just how much like a corporation it is. They lawyered up, shut up and did their best to settle for as little as possible. Their best interests were in seeing the money flow in from the pews not from protecting our children from monsters.

Their actions don't have to be quantified to acknowledge that a serious problem exists.

Cheers.
September 18th, 2009 04:24 PM
faux65
Quote:
CL Metsfan wrote: . . .

And since the first study covered a 38-year span and the second a 52-year span, let's drop that number of guilty priests by another 25%, bringing us to 2,900 priests. If we look at the earlier loss of 15,000 priests, we're talking about increasing the number of lost priests for the Church by 20%.

And THAT, my friend, is a substantial amount.


You are mixing apples and oranges in your analysis. Your numbers just don't work. Even taking your numbers, a liitle more than 4 per cent of the 110,000 priests serving during the 52-year period were accused and less than 3 percent were found (by who) to have engaged in this vile activity. Is this a substantial number? I suppose it depends on your bias. I say no. Somebody who is really exercised by the fact that even one child groped by one of these people, is one child too many, might disagree. Putting that aside, I agree with your general premise that there is a problem and that it has been botched by the "hierarchy".

My issue with you is that rants such that set forth in your original note tend to validate the impression among the uninformed, both Catholic and non-Catholic, that every man wearing a Roman collar is chasing li'l Jimmy around the sacristy. You know that is not true and so do I. it appears that you have invested considerable time and effort into your conclusions and that you feel strongly about them. You are very facile in remonstrating with me over the Church's "problem", but propose no solutions. Just for the hell of it, contact your bishop to see if you, as a concerned and sophisticated layman can do to ameliorate the "problem". If you cannot or will not contribute to a solution, I've got two words for you. . . .

By the way your baseball team is an exercise in futility

(Edited by faux65)
September 18th, 2009 06:27 PM
CL Metsfan 3-4% out of 110,000 is not a substantial number? Yeah, I guess it does depend on your bias. And my numbers do work; I don't what you mean that it's apples and oranges. I said it very plainly: the clergy's numbers have dropped significantly while the Church's membership grew, and the loss would have been 20% greater if the Church had held the guilty accountable. What part of that is apples and oranges?

As for your other statement, as a former member of the Church, I feel no obligation towards proposing a solution to an institution that is so out of touch and out of date that it makes my baseball team seem like a Swiss watch by comparison (by the way, very mature bringing that up in this thread of all places).

Of course I don't believe that that everyone wearing a collar is an abusive monster, and it takes a defensive complex of "substantial" proportions to suggest that I have made it seem so. You can try to minimize the problem if you want to (and it appears that you do), but you're kidding yourself if you think that the Church's greatest strength (the clergy) wasn't in serious trouble before the frenzy a few years ago, and in even greater trouble now. And if you really think that such a state didn't affect the way that the Church handled the abusive priests, then I guess they're lucky to still have people like you who are so willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

September 21st, 2009 12:03 PM
faux65
Quote:
CL Metsfan wrote:

As for your other statement, as a former member of the Church, I feel no obligation towards proposing a solution to an institution that is so out of touch and out of date that it makes my baseball team seem like a Swiss watch by comparison (by the way, very mature bringing that up in this thread of all places).



Since you have no skin in the game, your position
" . . .is a tale . . . full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

I apologize for offending your sensibilities with the Mets reference. I couldn't resist it.
September 21st, 2009 03:47 PM
CL Metsfan Well, when you get around to removing your fingers from your ears, hopefully you'll realize that the outsider's opinion is often the most unbiased and accurate one.
September 21st, 2009 04:41 PM
RGS318
Quote:
CL Metsfan wrote:
Ok, since I'm just "running my mouth," here are some stats for you. Between the years of 1965 and 2003, the numbers of Catholic priests in the U.S. dropped from 58,632 to 43,634, a loss of 15,000 priests (or roughly 25%), despite the fact that the Catholic population in the U.S. increased by nearly 18 million (+40%). During that timespan, the number of parishes without a resident priest increased from 549 to 3,040. For those keeping score at home, that's more than a 550% increase.

http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Christianity/Catholic/2005/04/Is-There-A-Priest-Shortage-Worldwide-U-S-Statistics.aspx

Now, combine that with the results of a draft survey done at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2004 which revealed that 4,450 priests were accused of sexual abuse between the years of 1950 and 2002, chronicling more than 11,000 instances of abuse. Of those instances, 6,700 were investigated and substantiated, 1,000 were unsubstantiated, and 3,300 were not investigated because the priests had died by the time the allegation was made. So using the same percentage of substantiation (87%), let's assume that roughly 3,870 priests during that time were guilty and should have been dismissed.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/02/16/church.abuse/

And since the first study covered a 38-year span and the second a 52-year span, let's drop that number of guilty priests by another 25%, bringing us to 2,900 priests. If we look at the earlier loss of 15,000 priests, we're talking about increasing the number of lost priests for the Church by 20%.
And THAT, my friend, is a substantial amount.


CL,

I don't see the number of priests who died. Considering the rapid increase in the average age of priests, that could account for a good portion of your loss. Where do you note priests who left and joined the Anglican church to get married (I personally know two - as well as some religious brothers)? Do your numbers take into account others who simply lost theor vocation/faith for reason not related to your data on sexual abuse? When you take out all of those factors, the amount is not as substantial as your spin might make it seem.

I personally believe the Church BADLY mishandled this entire affair and ONE case of sexual abuse by clergy is still one too many. However, these men are also human and in any large group you will find this sort of misconduct (as is also found among the clergy in virtually every other faith). Even if the church leaders who did not act can "explain" their lack of intervention, it does not excuse it.
(Edited by RGS318)
September 21st, 2009 06:10 PM
faux65
Quote:
CL Metsfan wrote:
Well, when you get around to removing your fingers from your ears, hopefully you'll realize that the outsider's opinion is often the most unbiased and accurate one.


Unbiased? The venom oozing from your original post belies any claim that you are somehow a neutral observer. Methinks that .. . [you] protesteth too much.
September 21st, 2009 08:09 PM
CL Metsfan
Quote:
RGS318 wrote:


CL,

I don't see the number of priests who died. Considering the rapid increase in the average age of priests, that could account for a good portion of your loss. Where do you note priests who left and joined the Anglican church to get married (I personally know two - as well as some religious brothers)? Do your numbers take into account others who simply lost theor vocation/faith for reason not related to your data on sexual abuse? When you take out all of those factors, the amount is not as substantial as your spin might make it seem.
(Edited by RGS318)


The numbers of priests lost are primarily (I assume) those who died. All I provided were totals in 1962 and in 2003, with that later number being 15,000 fewer than it used to be. That means that as priests are lost (due to death, personal reasons, or any other reason), they are not being replaced. I'm not spinning anything with regard to why priests are leaving the Church, just pointing out that the priesthood is not nearly as popular of a career path as it used to be, and that the hierarchy probably took this into consideration when it came to dealing with those accused of abuse, believing that they couldn't afford an even greater loss of manpower.
September 21st, 2009 10:59 PM
RGS318 I thought you were implying that all departures were linked in some was to abuse. Sorry if I misunderstood. There has been a shortage of new vocations for many years now. Celebacy is not as popular a choice as it once was. Selflessness is also in short supply.
September 22nd, 2009 11:32 AM
SoCalSader You all need to chill....the church is of the people, a community (hence "Catholic"). No one in church is infallible...we/they (priests and clergy) are all human, and all go to confession. Their actions will not be blessed by God, and they will not be rewarded in the afterlife.

As far as the original topic, I think the primacy of the conscience is still a valid Jesuit teaching. I do not think it very Catholic for someone to get elected, and then impose their beliefs on Jesus, creationism, the immaculate conception, much less abortion on all their constituents. I thought that the church had moved away from conversion at the point of the spear, and inquisitions? For them to deny Sebelius communion on these grounds is fragile at best. I am sure she has polling data that indicates what her people support, and she is bound by the law, and God to protect that. She could support her district's wishes while still preaching a culture of life. There is a large difference between holding the line and "defending" the faith or Catholic Church, and spreading your dogma and beliefs on the unwilling. If she was in a 100% Catholic district, then we can talk.
September 22nd, 2009 11:36 AM
HC1843
Quote:
RGS318 wrote:
Celebacy is not as popular a choice as it once was.


it was popular at some point? :-)

and what percentage of priests are truly celibate? I have often heard how seminaries are notorious for their lack of celibate attendees.

Cheers.
September 22nd, 2009 12:58 PM
KY Crusader 75
Quote:
RGS318 wrote:
I thought you were implying that all departures were linked in some was to abuse. Sorry if I misunderstood. There has been a shortage of new vocations for many years now. Celebacy is not as popular a choice as it once was. Selflessness is also in short supply.



The good news in the Louisville Archdiocese is that we now have many more seminarians studying for the priesthood than in recent years. I hope that becomes true nationwide and holds true for decades.
September 22nd, 2009 04:00 PM
RGS318 KY,

That is great to her. Their energy is much needed. In Vermont the parish has a West African missionary priest. Clergy there is in very short supply.
September 23rd, 2009 07:10 PM
Crusader09 it was popular at some point? :-)

and what percentage of priests are truly celibate? I have often heard how seminaries are notorious for their lack of celibate attendees.

Cheers.
[/quote]


Do you have any data of any type that in any way substantiates this claim?
September 23rd, 2009 08:30 PM
HC1843 no, I just like making this sh__ up to piss people off.

google it.

oh, hell, please forgive the pun, here is an article.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28677174

Cheers.
September 23rd, 2009 10:38 PM
Crusader09 You didn't quite "make it up" (I do, however, think a lot of your comments are intended primarily to "piss people off"), but you clearly didn't research too well, either.

The article you cited is spawned from a release of the same day by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which indicates that, in general, the commissions investigating the moral life of seminarians is quite pleased with seminaries in taking proper action when homosexual activities do exists. Unless they have a source other than that release (which I doubt they do) the AP release emphasizes one aspect of a larger commission on the general health of American seminaries, and does it with a deliberate bias and angle that is not genuine to the report itself.

Essentially, the release you cited was a sensationalized version of a rather banal report from the USCCB.

That doesn't mean that all seminaries (or seminarians) are perfect in regards to celibacy, but say they are "notorious for a lack of celibate attendees" is not a statement founded in the article you cited.

It's also an offensive generalization, and I think you knew that when you posted it.
September 23rd, 2009 11:38 PM
HC1843 you are going to read into or out of the article what you will...we all do and this is but one article on the topic.

and, of course, the Church is quite pleased with its actions...they are not going to say that a significant "problem" still exists within their ranks. Further, the Church apparently is only pleased with how it has addressed the issue within seminaries but seems to remain troubled by the issue in schools run by religious orders.

Read the article again. Ever wonder why the satisfaction level with this "problem" is characterized as "adequate" in the 220 seminaries, yet the report went on to suggest "stronger oversight of students during their free time, including monitoring their use of the Internet." These are future priests. Why should seminaries be concerned about their Internet usage during their free time?

I can't help if you are offended by my use of the word notorious. I will try to be more sensitive next time. However, commissions, generally speaking, are not formed to address minor issues in the Church. It became significant enough of a "problem", and I truly hate that characterization on this issue, for the Church not only to investigate but to ensure that "appropriate" responses are being taken to address it.

Cheers.
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