The Crumbling Walls of the Roman Catholic Church
At no time in history has the Roman Catholic Church come under such fire. At no time in history has it done more to deserve it. An institution inspired by Christ Himself has been falling apart so quickly that it appears to have taken an express train to irrelevance, if not something worse. The worst part of all is that it is the Church itself who is the conductor on the train. Their practices and policies have put them right in the cross hairs and it is only a matter of time before someone pulls the trigger. When that happens, one will be left to wonder whether it is a suicide, a homicide or a mercy killing.
Throughout the centuries, the Roman Catholic Church has been guilty of many atrocious acts to be sure. However, they now systematically bring shame and disgrace to the institution that was created to help people. The Church has done this by committing atrocious against those very people who they should be helping and for that matter, against society itself. By doing this, they have all but destroyed it. They have betrayed every single follower.
This may sound unduly harsh but the facts speak for themselves. Yes, the Church is indeed on the brink of destruction. Once one of the wealthiest institutions in the world, they are teetering on the brink bankruptcy, financially that is. They long ago declared moral bankruptcy. One is left to wonder whether they will try to reorganize. One is also left to wonder if they could.
For many years, the Church taught us about evil. It was and is necessary. However, they did it poorly, implanting fear and guilt instead of focusing on the need for good. They taught about the Devil and how he was constantly after our souls. That made him a very busy spirit. They also taught us about God and drilled it into our young heads that our God is mean and vengeful. Thus Satan was after our souls and God was waiting to spread His wrath against those who would sin. It was a pretty bleak picture if you thought about it. The bad guy was out to get you and the good guy was waiting for the opportunity to punish us. We were also told how utterly worthless we are and that we were nothing but sinners deserving whatever punishment God chose to hand us. This perhaps, was the birth of hopelessness. It is hardly a blueprint for self-esteem.
Not willing to wait for God or the devil to get us, the Church had its own brand of punishment. Humiliation tactics were a specialty of the Church. Corporal punishment was quite common. Anyone who ever went to a Catholic grammar school can vouch for that. Guilt and anxiety were always favorites of the Nuns. As if the fear of God they laid on you was not enough, the Nuns took matters into their own hands. More than a few children were hoping the devil got to them before the Nuns and their Rosary’s did.
They preached morality and counseled the married as if they had even an inkling about what marriage, love and sex were all about. They preached abstinence, railed against birth control and poured guilt on those who “confessed” any sin of the flesh. In case you are wondering what constituted a “sin of the flesh,” it can be summed up simply. Sex was strictly for procreating purposes and anything else was a sin. To confess such a sin usually resulted in intense humiliation. Perhaps worse than the humiliation was the fear of going to confession in the first place. What was created as a tool to help heal was, and still is, being used as a weapon. It does not heal, it wounds. Talk about corrupting something good.
The truly appalling part of this is the hypocrisy of the whole thing. The same Church that was building a foundation of shame and guilt in its followers were covering up its own shame, its own guilt, its own filth. Worse than the cover up itself was how the Church took on the role of the enabler. Pedophilia is not something that sprung up in the late nineties. It has been going on for as long as the Church has been in existence. The Church’s reaction to pedophile priests was even more appalling than the acts of those priests themselves, if you can imagine that. Pedophilia is not something unique to the Catholic Church. I cannot stress that enough. If you take any large group of people, you will find some pedophiles among them just like you will find murders and rapists. However, the numbers seem inordinately high. However, to cover up the activities of pedophiles and move them to another parish where they will work with children is simply moving a predator to a more fertile feeding ground. That is unconscionable. It is the ultimate evil.
The Church had a practice of “buying” off those victims they could not bully away or those on whom the guilt trips failed. They used the money that they collected from their followers. There is something criminal in that too. The Church preaches about helping our fellow man. They preach about the need for their followers to contribute to God’s work. They talk about tithing, which is the act of “donating” ten percent of your salary to the Church. I have often wondered whether they wanted ten percent of my gross or take home pay. I did ask that question once but I was told to stop being sarcastic. I was never told the answer. Between the government and the Church, it is hard to imagine how any Catholic survives. The Church took a vow of poverty and they seem intent on making sure that their followers do as well.
It pains me to sit in Church and listen to the priests talk about their need for money. Without directly saying so, they lead you to believe that you can buy your way into Heaven. It pains me even more when I watch the elderly, those who can least afford to give it reach into their pockets and give more. So many of them live on fixed incomes and do not have the money for the medicine they need to survive. However, you never hear a priest tell them that they should only give what they can. I have never been against giving money to the Church. Certainly the Church helps millions of people and the money has to come from somewhere. We should indeed share our blessings. My problem with them was being told how much to give. Then to find out where so much of that money goes is mind-boggling. Dioceses are going bankrupt because of the money paid out to those the Church has abused. It is heinous. In most Churches now, there are two collections. One wonders if there will be a third someday. They will probable call it the “Archbishop’s annual abuse appeal.”
This sounds very bitter and it is. However, don’t take this to mean that I am against the Catholic Church as an institution because I can assure you that I am not. I very much love God and the Church. The story of the life of Jesus Christ is not only the greatest story ever told; it is also the most important. Christ’s teachings are the key to salvation. I wish that the leaders of the Catholic Church would read them. It kills me to see it being destroyed from within. More than anything, they have failed to see the evil within their midst. They are being systematically destroyed by Satan and they fail to see that. You hear a lot of talk about the modern Church but it seems to me that they took a giant leap forward all the while looking backwards. They had no idea where they landed and they are now lost in a place they don’t know how they got to.
I have investigated hauntings for many years and I have seen some things that are truly horrendous. I have seen how the power of God has stopped those hauntings. There are demons and devils in this world. There are those who would argue that point with me to the death but the fact of the matter is that those beings do exist and if you have walked the road I have walked, you know that to be so. Now the church needs to walk it because without the Church, none of us has a chance.
No one can deny the presence of evil in this world. Rather than work to combat it, the Church has done much to propagate it. They are now paying for their sins. Sadly, so are we. Their hypocrisy, their meanness and their blatant ignorance has piled on top of them to the point where they are struggling to breathe. They have hurt countless people. Worse still, they have shattered the faith of millions. People turn away from the Church and find themselves walking a difficult terrain completely alone. Yes, God is with them but to so many, the Church represents God. They need to know that He is not the Church and never was. He is so much more than that. The modern Church pays little more than lip service to the concept of evil. Perhaps that is because they are swimming in it themselves. They are doing yet another disservice to their followers. They should not fill young heads with the notion of a Devil waiting to snatch their should for some trivial sin. Rather, they should discuss his existence and point out that through God, a loving God, Satan and his minions have little power. Emphasize the goodness of God. Don’t make Him out to be a wrathful, vengeful God bent on punishment. He should not be portrayed as a God everyone should fear. They should simply tell the truth. I doubt they will because they have leaped forward to their past.
When faced with evidence of supernatural afflictions, they often turn away. They make it extremely difficult for the person suffering from a being that they themselves fear. Pope John Paul II is a sick man and one I fear has little time left on this earth. When he does pass from this world into the next, I truly believe the Blessed Mother herself will be there to greet him. She will surely wrap her arms around him and lead him to Heaven. Heaven’s gain will be our great loss. My fear is that the Church will spiral downward after his death. May God help us if it does. Without a strong church, we are all doomed. John Paul knows about evil and he has preached against it. I cannot say that I agree with everything he has said but there is little doubt that he is a pious man, a good and honorable man. He may be all that is holding this beautiful Church together.
Perhaps this is overly apocalyptic. For our sake, I hope so. The leaders of the Church must wake up and see what is all around them. They must see the mess they made and seek God’s guidance in correcting those problems. They must put aside their greed, their egos and their arrogance and ask for help. They need God’s help first and foremost and He will give it, if only they ask. Can they? Will they? Then they need our help but we must be willing to give it. However, they have to be willing to listen to all of the suggestions, God’s and ours as well. Certainly they should not do everything we tell them. However, they must listen to our needs and find ways, through God that will help us all. It can be done. After all, the Church was inspired by Christ, Himself. If left alone, evil spreads like a cancer, destroying everything in its path. It has spread far already. One can only hope it has not reached the terminal stage.
© 2003 T. Cooney