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Sun Sep 9, 2018, 11:38 AM

On collective punishment of the RCC

Disbanding the church is unlikely to happen. There is no real mechanism to do it, and many people will still oppose it. But the church and every priest in it will suffer for the latest scandal if the RCC does not respond appropriately. Fewer people will go to church or donate money. There will be more lawsuits and more investigations. Priests will get less respect. Fewer people will want to become priests. The church's moral authority will be diminished for both Catholics and their non-Catholic sympathizers.

You can see how this type of collapse played out in Ireland, even though the worst abuses happened more than 50 years ago. The church has no moral legitimacy anymore.

This will all be through the actions of individual people. None of them will inquire of their local parish priest what his individual responsibility is. Each person will decide for themselves what the level of collective responsibility is and what punishment they will impose.

So whether you think 0.375% or 100% of priests are culpable, you have already been overruled. By the mystical body of Christ itself.

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Response to marylandblue (Original post)

Sun Sep 9, 2018, 11:45 AM

1. Already being done

Folks are leaving in droves. Pretty much only evangelical types now supporting it. Churches and schools closing everywhere.

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Response to snowybirdie (Reply #1)

Sun Sep 9, 2018, 11:46 AM

2. Exactly.

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Response to marylandblue (Original post)

Sun Sep 9, 2018, 11:50 AM

3. The danger is that it will collapse from the weight of its own

bad behavior, now that its secrets are being widely exposed. It exists through the support of its members. If enough of them leave and withdraw that support, it will no longer be sustainable as a global institution.

We're a long way from that, but the path to it can be seen.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #3)

Sun Sep 9, 2018, 12:00 PM

4. Could be, but I expect it will institute real reforms

as it sees it's own death coming. They are still in denial, but, nothing clears the mind like impending doom.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #4)

Sun Sep 9, 2018, 12:01 PM

5. Perhaps it will do that. I don't know.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #5)

Sun Sep 9, 2018, 12:03 PM

6. I don't know either, but I am thinking of the Reformation

First they tried denial and suppression. Then after a generation of losing they made real reforms and salvaged what was left.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #6)

Sun Sep 9, 2018, 12:17 PM

9. Well, the Roman Catholic Church has great momentum, but

that also means it has enormous inertia, as well. Changing it's direction or speed takes a huge force to make much of a difference. The RCC has change some of its doctrines, but not its basic structure. Its patriarchal hierarchy will be the last thing to change, and that change may never occur. It is the source of much of the church's current problems.

Even more importantly, knowledge has grown in an accelerated way, making the irrational aspects of religion less attractive as time has passed. That acceleration continues. I'm not sure the church can survive real knowledge.

It will lumber on, though, but the forces of change are affecting it, and will increase, I think.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #9)

Sun Sep 9, 2018, 12:41 PM

12. Social change is coming very fast, it will affect everything

including religion of course. The outcome is impossible to predict. The changes might not be for the better.

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Response to marylandblue (Original post)

Sun Sep 9, 2018, 12:12 PM

7. After the last round of revelations, it's hard for me to think it's worth saving.

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Response to Girard442 (Reply #7)

Sun Sep 9, 2018, 12:15 PM

8. Yeah, me too, but religions have a way of hanging on long past their sell by date.

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Response to marylandblue (Original post)

Sun Sep 9, 2018, 12:31 PM

10. RICO.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #10)

Sun Sep 9, 2018, 12:39 PM

11. I doubt that will work. It wasn't really intended for this sort of problem.

Even if a prosecutor could make a good argument, I suspect the case will go nowhere.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #11)

Sun Sep 9, 2018, 12:45 PM

13. All sorts of people and organizations have gotten

hammered with RICO. Itís use expanded way beyond the other organized crime family.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #13)

Sun Sep 9, 2018, 12:49 PM

14. I understand but this is not really the same as taking down a gang or corporation

You personally might think so, but there are awful lot of objections that can be and will be raised from the first motion to quash to the last holdout juror.

On edit: Even if you disbanded every diocese in America, you would still have believing Catholics who will build new churches. That's a major difference too.

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Response to marylandblue (Original post)

Sun Sep 9, 2018, 02:20 PM

15. A collective punishment is not really necessary

Those guilty of abuses both directly or indirectly through their actions to cover up or ignore the abuses need to be dealt with and have their day in court. Restitution of some sort needs to be provided to the victims. The Local and State officials charged with this will hopefully do the best job that can be done in pursuit of the truth and justice.

That said, the self inflicted wounds created by years of abuse, coverup and neglect have damaged the goodwill of the RCC for many and in the long run there will be a significant loss of both membership and funding, to say nothing of the loss of moral authority. In marketing terms, the brand is damaged and I am not sure that it can recover from that damage. There will always be a RCC, but I suspect that it will be smaller and have far less influence than it does today.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #15)

Sun Sep 9, 2018, 02:32 PM

16. Brand damage is essentially what I am talking about

I am using the term "collective punishment" as a metaphor here, because priests and bishops will suffer consequences even if they did everything right. Just like when a company's brand is damaged, low level workers who had nothing to do with it can lose their jobs.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #16)

Sun Sep 9, 2018, 02:58 PM

17. No matter the term used,

the chips are falling and will continue to do so. That innocent workers (and there are many good people in the RCC doing good work) will suffer from the poor decisions of management happens in all sorts of organizations and sectors. It may not be right, it may not meet with your approval, but it is going to happen. I would think the faster the better so that a hopefully more attentive organization can pick up the pieces and move forward.

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