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Church sees gray where there's only black and white
Seattle Post-Intelligencer/New York Times ^ | 5/4/02 | Maureen Dowd

Posted on 05/04/2002 9:27:33 AM PDT by ppaul

WASHINGTON -- In the Catholic catechism, schoolchildren learn the seven deadly sins.

There is Lust, which ran unchecked -- in a tortured, destructive form -- in the Catholic priesthood.

There is Greed, which prompted Catholic prelates to defame victims rather than face civil fines and depleted contributions.

And then there is Pride, which was on infuriating display last week in Rome, where the most compelling tableau was the row of empty chairs at a Vatican news conference. Only two of the 12 American cardinals there bothered to attend.

As American Catholics waited and prayed for a glimmer of humility, the princes of the church strutted off to what one church official called "other obligations," as if there were something more pressing than the rape of children.

And while conservatives back home yammered that the answer was a return to clerical austerity, Cardinal Edward Egan luxuriated at a five-star hotel near the Pantheon. (Add Gluttony to the list.)

When the cardinals issued a statement targeting "notorious" predatory priests, that notorious protector of predators, Cardinal Bernard Law, was hiding in a friend's apartment inside the Vatican.

This was supposed to be the moment when these shamed vicars would make an extraordinary act of contrition, when the men who usually urge redemption angled for their own.

But the leaders of a church built on symbols could not even manage the symbolism. The empty chairs sent an unequivocal message: They hadn't learned a thing.

The cardinals chose defiance over deference to the expectations of their devastated flock, which thought that celibacy, women priests and married priests might be discussed.

The shepherds opted for arcane legalisms over actual remorse, meaningless distinctions over meaningful changes: An abusive priest might or might not be ejected from the club, depending on the age of his victims and the frequency of his transgressions, and how long ago the abuse occurred. Was he a "serial" offender or a hobbyist, intent on abusing or inebriated? To the hair-splitting cardinals, these variables still seemed to matter. To enraged American Catholics, they no longer do.

We are angry that these spiritual arbiters are unyielding when the "sins" belong to us, not to them.

We have relatives whose lives were choked because they could not get annulments -- and thus remarry in the church -- after their spouses betrayed and abandoned them.

We know faithfully married women who are forced to violate the Vatican stricture against birth control if they don't want 13 babies. We are friends with gay Catholics who are expected to sacrifice intimacy to maintain their faith.

Rome has resisted modernity, clinging to black and white.

But -- astonishingly, disgustingly -- on the matter of molestation, which any sane person does see in black and white, the cardinals divine shades of gray.

It took them three days and a deafening chorus of disapproval before they ostensibly agreed on a one-grope-and-you're-out policy. They can still water that down at the bishops conference in June.

And it will be a miracle if they don't, given the increasing evidence that church leaders in America, and perhaps even the Holy See, have engaged in a huge conspiracy, spurred by fear of blackmail. They knowingly put children in harm's way because they did not want the priests they should have punished to divulge the church's hypocrisy.

Even as the cardinals were making their way back from Rome, the Archdiocese of Boston released new documents in the case of the Rev. Paul Shanley, an unabashed molester who made a speech in 1977 asserting that no sexual act in and of itself causes damage to children, not even incest or bestiality.

The documents show that Shanley threatened to spill the church's sexual secrets if he wasn't allowed to keep his street ministry. They also include a 1972 essay in which the priest boasted: "My name is to be found in the files of countless VD clinics in this fair land. One of the first things I do in a new city is to sign up at the local clinics for help with my VD."

In the cardinals' Vatican statement, they said of the church, "A great work of art may be blemished, but its beauty remains." Not at this rate.

Link to editorial HERE.

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TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholicbashing; catholiclist; children; courts; crime; criminals; justice; law; molestation; pederasty; pedophilia; pope; priests; rape; vatican
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It took them three days and a deafening chorus of disapproval before they ostensibly agreed on a one-grope-and-you're-out policy. They can still water that down at the bishops conference in June.

Sickening.


1 posted on 05/04/2002 9:27:34 AM PDT by ppaul
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To: ppaul
When the cardinals issued a statement targeting "notorious" predatory priests, that notorious protector of predators, Cardinal Bernard Law, was hiding in a friend's apartment inside the Vatican.

Law was probably with one of his homo/pedophile buddy Cardinals doing their homo sex rituals too?

2 posted on 05/04/2002 9:34:31 AM PDT by zbogwan2
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To: ppaul
The Words of Jesus, in Matthew chpt 7:

15 "Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep, but are really wolves that will tear you apart.

16 You can detect them by the way they act, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit. You don't pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles.

17 A healthy tree produces good fruit, and an unhealthy tree produces bad fruit.

18 A good tree can't produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can't produce good fruit.

3 posted on 05/04/2002 9:35:14 AM PDT by berned
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To: ppaul
Rome has resisted modernity, clinging to black and white.

Oh if only that were true!

Dowd's biggest self-contradiction here is that she advocates "grayness" in virtually all areas of the faith. She's right to criticize the waffling and dishonest application of standards in the American cardinals and bishops. But her remedy seems to be to shift their waffling into areas where she'd like to see it, rather than to return to a firm moral standard in ALL areas.

4 posted on 05/04/2002 9:42:28 AM PDT by Snuffington
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To: history_matters,arrogant_bustard,gophack
And this is exactly why I strongly support all of my RC brethren, but without hesitation do not support the leaders in their church who have failed them.
5 posted on 05/04/2002 9:49:15 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: ppaul
When the cardinals issued a statement targeting "notorious" predatory priests, that notorious protector of predators, Cardinal Bernard Law, was hiding in a friend's apartment inside the Vatican

This is the most sickening statement of all. When I heard about this last week, I was in shock, that Catholic Leaders would condone child rape as long a it is held to a minimum. Raping one or two is ok, it is only raping a lot of little boys that is bad.

This religion needs to be abandoned, immediately, that or this man needs a good lynching, for he just said it is ok to rape YOUR little boy!!

6 posted on 05/04/2002 9:54:43 AM PDT by RaceBannon
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: ppaul
We know faithfully married women who are forced to violate the Vatican stricture against birth control if they don't want 13 babies. We are friends with gay Catholics who are expected to sacrifice intimacy to maintain their faith.

This is where she wanders off. If she wants to be a New York Times editorial writer she must adhere to the rules of her office. She is free, of course, to pursue something else.

I really don't think she is qualified to say what the doctrine of the Catholic Church should be. I don't think someone should just go into a denomination and say "I am Catholic, but I don't believe this this this and this..." and expect an entire Church to say "Okay, let's change our entire belief system to accomodate you." There is a religion to fit everyone in this Country. If there isn't, make one up yourself. It's done all the time. But this idea of verbal intimidation and coercion to force an assembled group of people to accomodate every contrary belief Maureen Dowd thinks they should is crazy. She makes herself into an Opinion Nazi when she does that. If she doesn't like it "No views for you!!!!"

8 posted on 05/04/2002 9:58:29 AM PDT by RAT Patrol
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To: ppaul
We know faithfully married women who are forced to violate the Vatican stricture against birth control if they don't want 13 babies. We are friends with gay Catholics who are expected to sacrifice intimacy to maintain their faith.

Typical Dowd column; long on rhetoric, short on facts. She leaves out the capital sins of sloth and wrath, which she has been repeatedly guilty of committing, including in this piece. Her contempt for Law and his fellow aiders and abettors, which is well deserved, is undermined by her venom for the disciplines and doctrines of Roman Catholicism.

9 posted on 05/04/2002 10:09:47 AM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: MarMema; *Catholic_list; frogandtoad; Domestic Church; BlessedBeGod; saradippity; maryz...
Thanks for the ping and the pesonal support.

Aside from Cardinal Bevilacqua and perhaps a handful of bishops, all of the rest have not only failed us -- they have failed Jesus Christ Our Lord.

Maureen Dowd has repeatedly attacked the Catholic Church, so lets remember her point of view has its own agenda and carries with it her own baggage.

But she is spot on when she notes how disgusting and perverse it is that the Cardinals see gray regarding sexual abuse -- when the rest of the world can see it in black and white -- and Catholics like me are seeing RED.

10 posted on 05/04/2002 10:13:00 AM PDT by history_matters
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
Yeah.
Interesting how she condems perversion within the church,
but defends it outside of the church.
11 posted on 05/04/2002 10:15:04 AM PDT by ppaul
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To: UKscot
Still violating the Eighth Commandment. Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide violates Scripture. You're still skating on thin ice, newbie with your thinly veiled attack against Catholicism. Don't be coy, evasive and spineless. Write what you really want to say.
12 posted on 05/04/2002 10:17:28 AM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: MarMema
And this is exactly why I strongly support all of my RC brethren, but without hesitation do not support the leaders in their church who have failed them.

Thank you for your unity at this time of strife. I know that Catholics and our non-Catholic Christian brothers and sisters are united in our effort to expose the depravity of homosexuality and the lies of abortion, through love and prayer and truth. When we agree on so much, and work together to end the immoral acts of our generation sometimes our differences seem trivial.

God bless.

13 posted on 05/04/2002 10:21:37 AM PDT by Gophack
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To: ppaul
And while conservatives back home yammered that the answer was a return to clerical austerity, Cardinal Edward Egan luxuriated at a five-star hotel near the Pantheon. (Add Gluttony to the list.)

Is her point that Egan is a conservative or that he is hailed by conservatives or that the conservatives "yammering" are wrong?

The cardinals chose defiance over deference to the expectations of their devastated flock, which thought that celibacy, women priests and married priests might be discussed.

Some of us thought that dealing with priest-molesters might be discussed, or does that constitute mere conservative "yammer[ing] about a return to clerical austerity"?

14 posted on 05/04/2002 10:31:40 AM PDT by maryz
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To: history_matters
when the rest of the world can see it in black and white -- and Catholics like me are seeing RED.

Repetez, if there is molestation, there should be investigation of the accusation, and if charges are filed by a prosecutor, then the Church should allow the law to prevail. If the Church had taken this position, there never would have been this scandal.

I recently saw a show about pedophila, and there was testimony by child victims, and how many years these guys were locked up. While it dealt with girls, the pedophiles all told how careful and cunning they were. It was gross, but it explained how a priest could get away with his position of trust with little boys.

15 posted on 05/04/2002 10:39:00 AM PDT by Angelique
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
You are right on the money.
17 posted on 05/04/2002 10:42:47 AM PDT by Angelique
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To: abwehr
One notes that the TV evangelists, men of more conservative fews, when caught in acts, that if sinful, were far less serious than molesting children, were disgraced, their ministries collapsed and, if in violation of the law, prosecuted fully. One can only hope a similiar fate awaits these so called Catholic mountebanks.

That is, I am afraid, not very likely.

18 posted on 05/04/2002 10:52:33 AM PDT by ppaul
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To: Angelique

19 posted on 05/04/2002 10:53:06 AM PDT by superfluousdude
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To: ppaul
This person needs to talk to someone who is literate about Vatican II and how it has affected Catholic lives for the better. Come into the new century, please.
20 posted on 05/04/2002 10:57:03 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: superfluousdude
ROTF...You think RS now has a calling?
21 posted on 05/04/2002 10:59:02 AM PDT by Angelique
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To: ppaul
Gray is an appropriate symbol. Excepting economics Yes or No is beyond the capacity of any person in a position of authority. This is true of church, government at all levels, business and military.

"Christianity shall die of its own mendaciousness"-A Great Historian 1888.

22 posted on 05/04/2002 11:05:00 AM PDT by HENRYADAMS
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To: abwehr
One wonders if these perverts and their helpers were ever committed to the Church or was it just another institution amongst many that have been corrupted by the secular humanists and leftist ideologues.

This is where you hit it on the head. Despite the desires of many here to use this problem as validation for their irrational beliefs about the Catholic Church, the real issue is that the Catholic Church has been infiltrated by evil.

23 posted on 05/04/2002 12:07:44 PM PDT by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: goldenstategirl
"...infiltrated by evil."

Ditto.

24 posted on 05/04/2002 1:05:56 PM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: ppaul
Interesting how she condems perversion within the church,
but defends it outside of the church.

Dowd alert! She speaketh out of both sides of her mouth.

25 posted on 05/04/2002 1:12:48 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide violates Scripture

BTTT for the truth!

26 posted on 05/04/2002 1:13:53 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: abwehr
I doubt you will find many Catholics who disagree with most of your statement. The men responsible for these crimes, and those who had knowledge of the crimes and allowed them to occur, need to be removed from active duty and prosecuted, as necessary.

However, don't get sucked into the media myth that these crimes were pedophila. I believe there were only one or two cases of actual pedophila (sex with children). The acts that have been committed are HOMOSEXUAL acts with teen-age boys (post-pubescent.) This in no way condones the crime, which is an affort to God and His Church, in addition to hurting teen-age boys and their families, and being against the secular law.

God bless.

27 posted on 05/04/2002 1:15:24 PM PDT by Gophack
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To: RAT Patrol
Maureen Dowd, like others, understand that the Catholic Church is a powerful Church and that its teachings are sound moral teachings. The Catholic Church has been a staunch defender of human life from conception to natural death since its beginning. We have been joined by many of our Protestant brothers and sisters in defending human life.

Dowd, like others, don't understand the Church teachings. Artificial birth control has a lower percentage success rate than faithfully practiced natural family planning. However, many people think that human beings are animals when it comes to sex and can't refrain during the few days of the month that a woman can conceive. They have the secular "me-first" attitude. Why should we conform to please God? Why should we deny ourselves when we don't get immediate rewards? Why can't we have sex whenever we want with whoever we want? We have this wonderful thing called birth control, no consequences. Whoops, got pregnant! Condom broke! I can get an abortion.

The church has a moral position and some people don't like it. Fine, they don't have to. But don't expect the church to change because some people in this society think that the rules are unfair or too strict.

28 posted on 05/04/2002 1:26:33 PM PDT by Gophack
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To: Gophack
You said it better than I did.
29 posted on 05/04/2002 1:52:48 PM PDT by RAT Patrol
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To: history_matters
Amen, Amen, Amen!
30 posted on 05/04/2002 2:30:44 PM PDT by chatham
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To: Gophack
Well said.
31 posted on 05/04/2002 2:37:07 PM PDT by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: goldenstategirl
This is where you hit it on the head. Despite the desires of many here to use this problem as validation for their irrational beliefs about the Catholic Church, the real issue is that the Catholic Church has been infiltrated by evil.

Infiltration is one of the key questions. We know that the communists were trying to infiltrate the Catholic Church. There is that little book The Memoirs of an Anti-Apostle that now seems to be reasonable given current events. And there are the old satanist and luciferian groups that have longed to destroyed the Church.

Regardless of the group, you are spot on when your right that "the real issue is that the Catholic Church has been infiltrated by evil" because it surely has, and the smoke of satan is billowing forth from the sanctuaries.

32 posted on 05/04/2002 3:08:29 PM PDT by history_matters
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To: abwehr
What disturbs me is that these Cardinals and Archbishops, the elite of the church, stood before America and told us that Marxist warlords in Central America must not be defeated, that American efforts at self defense were wrong and would lead to war and we were to listen to them because they were men of faith and great moral rectitude

Add to that mix support for gun control and socialism here in the USA
33 posted on 05/04/2002 3:52:54 PM PDT by uncbob
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To: Gophack
animals when it comes to sex and can't refrain during the few days of the month that a woman can conceive.

If you eliminate those who use birth control you will be very lonely at mass on Sunday and the churches coffers will be bare here in the USA . And if anything the USA Catholics are probably the most faithful in the world
34 posted on 05/04/2002 3:59:20 PM PDT by uncbob
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To: history_matters
"The Devil like a roaring lion goes about seeking whom he may devour.." Office of Compline, many years ago.

Guess he found a lot of morsels. Was it C.S. Lewis who said that the Devil likes nothing better than for us to deny he exists?

35 posted on 05/04/2002 4:04:12 PM PDT by livius
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To: livius
C.S. Lewis said it was the devil's greatest victory to convince us that he did not exist.
36 posted on 05/04/2002 4:20:17 PM PDT by history_matters
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Comment #37 Removed by Moderator

To: Goldhammer
How many of the Catholic flock here expected ordination of women to be discussed?

None.
Zero.
Zip
Nada.
Jail the pederasts and pedopholes, and, excommunicate them.
Period.

38 posted on 05/04/2002 4:46:58 PM PDT by ppaul
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To: Goldhammer
women priests to be discussed?

Heaven forbid, we have enough to contend with the homosexuals who have infiltrated our seminaries and worked their way through the hierachy...now, we surely don't want lesbianism to take the same course.

39 posted on 05/04/2002 6:02:20 PM PDT by ejo
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To: history_matters;goldenstategirl;abwehr;americancolleen
Yes,the Church has been infiltrated. In Bella Dodd's Memoirs she tells of speaking before the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities.She was the former co-chairman of CPUSA(Communist Party United States of America)and testified in the late 40's early 50's. She testified that from the time of the Bolshevic Revolution and by the beginning of the 40's Communists had placed over 1000 candidates in Catholic seminaries in Europe and the United States. So it is not hard to discipher what happened by the 60's. They had risen to positions of power in the Church,seminaries and academia and commandeered the Church. But God in His mercy has given us yet another chance. We need to be wise as serpents and simple as doves.

Satan and his able emissaries on earth are within the walls.

40 posted on 05/04/2002 7:19:43 PM PDT by saradippity
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To: Goldhammer
The author seems to be an idiot.

ROFL

Understatement of the decade.

41 posted on 05/04/2002 9:04:44 PM PDT by B Knotts
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To: uncbob
Most contraceptives are abortifacients, and therefore shouldn't be used because they can kill a conceived child.

Regarding the Catholic teaching on contraceptives, I'm not an expert on this matter. I have never suggested that those who use birth control shouldn't attend mass; I simply stated that the Catholic Church should not change it's teachings simply because some .. even most .. in the church do not abide by its teachings.

On the "sin scale", I don't know where contraceptive use falls. Personally, I think it's a serious sin, but not a mortal sin unless the contraceptive is an abortifacient, in which case it is a mortal sin because it procures an abortion. However, I also believe that Catholics who are actively practicing should try their hardest to abide by the teachings of the church. There are sound moral and biblical reasons to not use contraceptives.

Finally, I just want people who don't agree to just stop trying to tear apart the church. They can silently dissent by not practicing what the church teaches, but to try and subvert the church by saying the TEACHING is wrong (when, in fact, it is a moral good, just not convenient) is doubly wrong.

I'm not explaining myself well, but I feel strongly about this. I try very hard to live by the teachings of the church because I believe they are inspired or demanded by God. Sometimes I fail. But when I fail, I don't expect the church to change because I did something sinful; I confess and repent and strive to not commit the same sin, through perseverence and prayer.

God bless.

42 posted on 05/04/2002 9:18:09 PM PDT by Gophack
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To: Snuffington
Not only what you said above but, Dowd further shows her lame liberal emotional thought processes with this silliness...

The cardinals chose defiance over deference to the expectations of their devastated flock, which thought that celibacy, women priests and married priests might be discussed.

She is incapable of understanding that these "remedies" will exacerbate the current homosexual problem in the Church.

I skimmed her article (thats as much time as I can devote to her silly screeds with getting sick to my stomach) and noticed that she did not touch on the "root cause" of the problem - homosexuality in the priesthood. Rather, she goes out of her way to talk about her Catholic homosexual friends!

I dare say the overwhelming majority of Catholics do not have homosexuals whom they consider friends! They know some, to be sure and some may even be family relatives but to say they are amongst one's circle of friends is outlandish - except for Dowd and her ilk.

43 posted on 05/05/2002 6:27:06 AM PDT by Seeking the truth
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To: uncbob
If you eliminate those who use birth control you will be very lonely at mass on Sunday and the churches coffers will be bare here in the USA .

The Church has never proposed "eliminating" them. It has always offered them forgiveness, no matter how many times they commit this sin.

Those who want to take vote on what constitutes sin, rather than faithfully trying to follow the will of God expressed through His Church, are separating themselves from the Church, not the other way around. Even if they leave on this basis, the Church will continue to hold a place for them and pray for their return.

And there has been quite enough concentration on the "coffers" of the Church in the USA. These coffers are bursting, while the souls of the faithful are neglected. If it comes down to a choice of faithfully observing the will of God, or having a wealthy Chuch (a false dichotomy I believe), the correct choice ought to be obvious.

44 posted on 05/05/2002 8:04:48 AM PDT by Snuffington
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To: ppaul
Aren't male paedophiles (or rapists of teenage children, if one insists on that not-very-meaningful distinction) often married (to women) at the time of their crimes? Doesn't that refute the proposition that celibacy vow = paedophilia?
45 posted on 05/05/2002 8:12:37 AM PDT by pttttt
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To: pttttt
Doesn't that refute the proposition that celibacy vow = paedophilia?

Are you implying that they are connected?
Has anyone?

46 posted on 05/05/2002 8:40:05 AM PDT by ppaul
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Comment #47 Removed by Moderator

To: UKscot
Not coy in the least, the scripture is quite clear.

And you seem confused about the commandments, so hear it is as you don't seem to know what you are referring to.

The Eighth Commandment.

Thou shalt not steal.

No, it is you who is confused. The Seventh Commandment is, Thou shalt not steal. Exodus 20:15, Deuteronomy 5:19. The Eighth Commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Exodus 20:16, Deuteronomy 5:20

And if you're going to continue to vaguely infer that the Roman Catholic Church is the whore of Babylon, just come right out and say it. God doesn't appreciate cowards and neither does Jim Robinson.

48 posted on 05/05/2002 5:22:31 PM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: ppaul
Why are people surprised? Look at who we are talking about. To expect these degenerate prelates to cleanse the priesthood of sexual predators is the equivalent of asking Yassir Arafat to run the terrorists out of the PA.
49 posted on 05/05/2002 5:38:41 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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Comment #50 Removed by Moderator


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