Are you interested in reading more?

I wrote last Saturday about the Catholic Church’s proposal to excommunicate mafiosi in Italy, and commented that it wouldn’t work.  I was challenged in a comment to that article by fellow blogger Dad29 (whom I’ve known about for years in cyberspace via his blog, and I’m sure he’s a sincere, committed Catholic).  He felt that I was being unreasonable in my criticism.  Needless to say, I see things differently;  but that’s only to be expected, I suppose, given our respective backgrounds.

I’m thinking about posting an article (or a series of articles) analyzing precisely where (and why) I see the Catholic Church as having gone wrong, and failed its members very badly, in recent decades, culminating in the clergy child sex abuse scandal.  I may be unusually well placed to do so, having been an ‘insider’ at the time, and also being well schooled (at post-graduate level) in organizational behavior and organization development before becoming a clergyman.  Added to that, I have a lot of real-world experience in different organizations and environments.  I think that combination gives me a much broader background than most commentators on the issue, and also a lot of relevant education and experience from which to analyze the issues involved.

The question is, would I be wasting my breath?  Would you, my readers, be interested in learning more about the subject, or would it be boring and uninteresting to you?  I’d like to know before I invest a lot of time and energy in writing about it.  Please let me know in Comments, yea or nay.



EDITED TO ADD: Apart from those who left comments below (for which, thank you very much), I’ve had a number of e-mails from readers on this topic. There’s a lot to think about, particularly how to frame and structure the matter so as to shed light rather than heat (I really don’t want to do anything to damage anyone’s faith). I’m going to give it some more thought. I may end up writing a short book-length treatment, rather than just a blog article or two, and go into a lot more detail – but again, I have to be sure it won’t cause more harm than good. We’ll see.


  1. I spent a part of my school years under the tutelage of the Catholic Church, I'm interested in your perspective.

  2. I've become rather sick of the Catholic hierarchy, but I am also tired of most takes on the child abuse scandal.
    In around the 60s or 70s, some psychologists types were saying pedophiles could be rehabilitated. Catholics are generally well disposed to science, and made the mistake of thinking psychology (and psychiatry) is a science.
    Additionally, there's this retarded, myopic, refusal to notice there was a tradition of ordaining married men- and as ordinations dropped off, local men who were already well known to bishops should have been ordained to serve in their local diocese, rather than having various sub-par 'celibates' shuffled around.
    Most attempts at 'fixing' this issue have resulted in more bureaucracy. I remember one blogger noticing he'd have to go through several hours of classes and some paper work just to go into his kids locker-room to get him after soccer practice. The parents often don't have the time to jump through these hoops, but the pedophiles sure do.
    In fact, this is the primary problem- they are all bureaucrats now. Even the good ones. They'll ship priests around like they are at military posts, change them up every four years or so, and smother us in various hoops to jump through for various reasons- rather than have a real flipping community in the parish where everybody knows each other well, and a pedophile doesn't have a chance to slink around unnoticed.
    So, I am mostly in the 'don't write it' camp. Maybe google your own blog and give the links of all the stuff you've done before on it. I think you've done a lot at various times over the years. It doesn't need rehashing, and every time they try fixing it they just get more bureaucratic.

  3. Please do. Very few will have your perspective to write from and even less will have the inclination to do so.

  4. Perhaps an outline as preface, before going much further to avoid wasting effort?
    That said, I am curious since I am very much an outsider and have seen various reactions to it all. and am curious to how much of what is deserved – if anything at all is.

  5. Yes please do. I've often wondered about the failings of the Catholic Church and how it came to be as it falls so far short of what is expected from The Church. Yes I know where man is involved there will be shortcomings but this seems institutional. JMHO

  6. I have several times encountered the assertion, which I don't endorse of condemn, mind – that the percentage of Priests who abused children was no higher than the incidence of same in married Protestant Ministers, or schoolteachers, or any other group that works a lot with children. I have not had the time, energy, and resources (at the same time) to follow up on this. What do you think?

  7. I have encountered the same assertion as CSPS. If true, it doesn't change the scope of the problem, it points out that church people are pedophiles about the same rate as the general population. But it also doesn't exonerate the church bureaucracy's handling of it, either.

    Nonetheless, I'll be a naysayer here and suggest a very brief introductory statement/recap of the high points, and then I'll politely ask you to give me more novels rather than blog posts.

  8. I'd read it. I don't see anybody offering to pay for the privilege of reading it. There's something about writing for no money somebody once said.

    Useful suggestions followed would change that calculation to paid if not in money.

    Horse opera or space opera for money seems the logical thing to do.

  9. I too would be interested…but please do take some precautions. I would not like to see your death ruled a suicide, or hear you have had an unfortunate flight accident like Keith Green.

  10. I would be interested in reading it. As an outsider (lifelong Protestant), any incite to the Catholic Church would be appreciated.

  11. As someone who grew up in a very Catholic area and had a great deal of exposure to Catholicism but was and still is a Protestant I'd very much like to hear your take. As an outsider it seemed to me that the Catholic church was lousy with pederasts but at the same time I felt like the largely atheist or agnostic media was taking advantage of the situation to attack the Catholic faith itself and Christianity as a whole. They did this while utterly ignoring the same or greater abuse in Hollywood and the political class.

    I also obviously sympathize with the victims but I have serious reservations about accusations coming years and decades after the fact. While those things should be acted on by the Catholic church I don't think they should be the basis for legal prosecutions. I don't think mere accusations, sometimes decades old, should result in criminal charges. Without actual physical evidence it's far to easy for the innocent to be convicted on nothing more than accusation. Given the nature of the accusations you're viewed as guilty even if you're acquitted in a court of law. This is a serious problem especially since the statute of limitations being removed in molestation cases. You've got people hauled into court with no more evidence than the accusation of abuse that happened 30 years ago and just "remembered" after "therapy". I just can't agree with that sort of justice system.

  12. If you are interested, I'm game. I do an "inside baseball " look at my industry from time to time.

  13. Yes, please.

    And I always thought the Church was there to take care of our spiritual crimes, not our physical ones. Silly me. Then they go elect a friggin socialist as Pope. Oy vey.

    Benedict, the Church needs more like you..

  14. I'd gladly spend my time reading it. Whether you want to spend yours writing it is another question. August may have a point of maybe just writing a summary linking a lot of your previous work. It is a tiresome topic that invites a lot of vitriol.

  15. Homosexual priest abuse (see Jay report data NOT their CYA statement denying) you mean? Write whatever you feel needs to be written about. Personally not interested in digging up old fish, but I am just a Bear. Plenty of new problems without dredging up old ones. If you have an original take on it, go for it. Like I said, write what you think is important. People will like it or not.

    As always 🙂

  16. As of 1500 Eastern time, you've gotten 24 replies, Peter. That's a pretty big and rapid response, no?


  17. Yes, please write it. I find your articles to be well researched and reasoned, and enjoy reading them.

  18. Former Catholic, for largely the same reasons. If you write it, I will read it. My take, short version, is they bungled it badly, and then compounded the error. Very Badly handled. A man is supposed to *protect* women and children, not abuse them. There is no excuse possible.

  19. Some of those statistics Mr. Schofield mentions appear in this anecdote whose protagonist was Cardinal Nolan:

    On a new series about the RCC by Peter, I feel a little conflicted. If they could be done in a positive, constructive way, then I am for it.

    If not, well, nobody likes to see his mother's blemishes exposed in public.

  20. I think it would be good to not just cover what has happened, but to dwell on what could lead to it and how to avoid/ prevent it in the future – it might also fit as part of a larger discussion or critique of how the Catholic Church is interacting with and adjusting to (or not) modern society.

  21. I would be interested. I'm just starting my formation in the permanent diaconate myself. So I vote yes.

  22. It's up to you, especially as this isn't paid copy. Your blog, your rules. I'm a lapsed Catholic, I could not bring myself to support the Church after the local bishop covered up for pedophiles multiple times, even killed a man (drunken hit and run) and got away with it all. It left a bad taste in my mouth.

  23. I don't know that such a series would be a productive use of your time. Some things, such as the thing about the Mafiosi and the RCC's inability to really speak to the problem with any moral authority might be OK, but don't think that even that would be a good use of your time.

    Frankly, I think the effect on your blood pressure would not be beneficial.

    Frankly, the RCC has been shot through with sexual sin for centuries. The Lord said there would be "tares" and they would be dealt with in the end. I am not saying that the various protestant denominations are sin free in this regard. In fact, as the "mainline" denominations slide further and further left, they are abandoning the biblical standards on sexual purity as well.

    As time has moved on, there was always at least one denomination/group that upheld biblical standards. It appears that evangelicals are the end of the road as the SBC seems to be in the first stages of abandoning such things and the Pentecostal denominations seem to have reached the same stage.

    The question was asked about the time of Christ's return to the earth "will He find faith in the earth?" Looks like the answer now will be "very little." The end seems near and I say with the Apostle John "Even so, come Lord Jesus!"

  24. I'd be interested in your take. I'm fairly disgusted with my church's leadership. I'm at the point that I attend mass, but otherwise try not to get involved, or count on the church for much beyond dispensing the sacraments.

    I can't see how exposing corruption in the church could damage the faith of anyone familiar with church history. We've had popes that were the sons of previous popes for gosh sakes.

  25. @Annie Mouse: My e-mail address is in my blog profile. See "About me & contact info" in the sidebar.

  26. I'd be interested in a professional's look at the problem. (I'm terming you this, due to your broad and extensive background.) Reading stories by the MSM leaves lots of holes. Consider turning it into a small book, as compensation for your time.

  27. I would caution you. My fiance is a Catholic that goes to Mass every Sunday, but does not take communion due to some heinous (in her mind) thing in her past. Her family is devout. Anytime I ask or attempt to discuss the Church, past errors, organization or priest celibacy, it is greeted with hostility, as though I am attacking their core beliefs. It is much like using logic and reason with a Bernie Sanders fan. As an old combat Marine, I often broach taboo subjects and say inflammatory things like, "why is that?". Since I care for loved ones who happen to be Catholic, I stay away from this subject. To them, any fault of the church is just a cost of doing business, compared to the good that it does.

  28. Hmm… I would like to see it. Since I am Eastern Orthodox, we don't have the same structure or polity. We have had some bad apples, but typically a married priesthood changes the dynamics. It is more often affairs that arise. Harder to do institutional cover up (not impossible, I'm sure it has happened) simply because while we are hierarchical, it revolves around the synod (group of bishops) not a single all-powerful Bishop (i.e bishop of Rome).

  29. The Church survived the de'Medici popes in the 1500s, it will survive the current communist and gay mafia supporters that are purported to be running the place now, and the near-schism caused by Vatican II and its mistranslation and the Pope Pious and the SSPX issue.

    That is to say, yes, I'd very much like to hear more of it from an insiders perspective.

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