Author Topic: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?  (Read 1266 times)

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Offline Ray1

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Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« on: September 22, 2018, 09:15:51 PM »
For a minute, put yourself in the shoes of Roman Catholics, would you or would you not leave the Church because of all the sex abuse scandals, and why?



Offline Volnutt

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2018, 09:47:48 PM »
If I believed in Catholic theology (especially Papal Supremacy), I don't think I would leave because of my commitment to Catholicism as the true Church. I don't know if I'd become a Trad or a Sede, though (both options seem kind of illogical to me for different reasons, but "needs must").

OTOH, one could make the argument that the sex scandal proves that the Catholic Church is not the true Church and that therefore Papal Supremacy has to be false, but I struggle with how far one can take that in terms of Christianity in general.

If I stayed, I would take great care to try and find a priest that I know I can trust, though. I'd also pray for the End to come soon (which Christians should always be doing, anyhow).
« Last Edit: September 22, 2018, 09:48:40 PM by Volnutt »
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Offline HaydenTE

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2018, 10:09:47 PM »
Speaking as a cradle Catholic, the sex abuse scandals aren't the impetus for my continuing journey eastward, but they are sealing the deal on leaving for good. I can't profess that the pope of Rome is Christ's sole vicar on Earth if he and his administration can be so easily corrupted. I can't submit to a man who, as far as I can tell, seems to be an antagonist to Christ's Church rather than a leader. It is impossible that the Roman Church is the Church which hell will not prevail against.
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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2018, 10:43:48 PM »
I didn't leave because I was mad at them.

The sex scandals began before I left.
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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2018, 12:12:04 AM »
If I were a cradle Catholic, I don't believe I would leave because of these scandals.  Things would have to get a lot worse than they are now.  Okay, let me rephrase that.  If I were a cradle Catholic who had great parents and a wonderful family and strongly identified with the Roman Church, it is very unlikely that I would leave.  You have to remember, that, for many Catholics (as well as Orthodox and others) the faith is a real motherhood issue, tied in with a person's identity.  Perhaps this, along with disapproval from certain church authorities, "original guilt" theology, etc. is to blame for the classic guilt feelings expressed by those who have left the Roman Church.

From what I have experienced (and I respect that your opinion may differ), there is also enough sacramental realism in the Catholic Church to keep "motherhood" Catholics in the Roman fold.  They sense the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  They have an intuitive grasp of the presence of God in a pregnant silence that happens in prayer after mass.   If you believe you have experienced God's presence in a profound way within a communion of which you are a member, you might not feel very motivated to leave that communion.


Of course, I've spoken to cradle Catholics whose families have been Catholic for untold generations who would have no great qualms about leaving Roman Catholicism.  Some of these people really do seem to be searching.  So my analysis obviously doesn't have universal application!

If I were a convert to the Roman Church, the present scandals would at the very least cause me to consider whether I had made the right choice.  I would definitely wonder if there were other options out there. 

I think it's fine to consider what has led to abuse like this in the Latin Church, but I'd also like to say that we Orthodox have nothing to be triumphant about when it comes to corruption.  A lot of the corruption (please don't misunderstand me, I am not necessarily referring to sexual abuse) in our churches finds its roots in historical tragedy.   Nevertheless, at times we seem to be very slow to rid ourselves of it, and in some cases (not all), it only seems to get worse.  In spite of this corruption, I believe that I have experienced the fullness of Christian Revelation in the Orthodox Church.  But I think we have to realise that many Catholics have very strong convictions about their faith as well.



« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 12:40:08 AM by Pravoslavbob »
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Offline Lepanto

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2018, 07:08:23 AM »
^This. Even if you are let down and really angry with many priests and bishops, what should you do?
You do not understand how this could happen and it makes you very sad. But where should you turn to? Where should you go? Ok, you could leave the church. But then? Become an atheist? No. You stay, for better or worse. I don't think there is a choice really for many Catholics. We cannot leave. As Pravoslavbob said, it is part of the identity. You cannot go away from yourself.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 07:09:39 AM by Lepanto »
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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2018, 09:07:09 AM »
^This. Even if you are let down and really angry with many priests and bishops, what should you do?
You do not understand how this could happen and it makes you very sad. But where should you turn to? Where should you go? Ok, you could leave the church. But then? Become an atheist? No. You stay, for better or worse. I don't think there is a choice really for many Catholics. We cannot leave. As Pravoslavbob said, it is part of the identity. You cannot go away from yourself.

I think sedevacantists would say that the identity left them back at Vat II. Not an enviable place to be, but I can at least understand where they're coming from.
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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2018, 09:59:40 AM »
i would leave the ROC not because of the Sex abuse scandals but because  i would find out about the truth of Orthodoxy.
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Offline Sethrak

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2018, 11:38:48 AM »
The Catholic Church has morphed and changed ~ as if directed by the Department of Motivational Research ~ maybe to appeal to a western taste ~ that's one thinge ```

They do have to clean house ~ and rid the priesthood of homosexuals ~ and anyone ~ who have and are using it as access to both children and adults ```

It is possible a good man coming in as pope could cure some of the big ills ```

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2018, 11:40:28 AM »
Bringing the Roman Church to Orthodoxy would bring this large Church to Life ```

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2018, 11:53:42 AM »
i would leave the ROC not because of the Sex abuse scandals but because  i would find out about the truth of Orthodoxy.

Who's to say you would?
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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2018, 12:14:55 PM »
Not a cradle, but I went from someone who had a deep regard for the RCC to one who won't step foot in one again outside of a wedding or funeral.
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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2018, 12:21:19 PM »
Not a cradle, but I went from someone who had a deep regard for the RCC to one who won't step foot in one again outside of a wedding or funeral.

+1
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Offline platypus

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2018, 03:06:31 PM »
There are problems in the RCC, no doubt. But the fact that it's run by sinners doesn't seem like a good reason to leave. I suspect the Church is often run by sinners, too. Pedophilia might not be Orthodoxy's problem, but that doesn't mean our heirarchy is made entirely of angels either.

Remember how monasticism started? Christianity got legalized and the Church was flooded with bad people, including bad clergy. A lot of the saintly people were so disturbed that they literally ran away to the desert to escape an atmosphere that was not conductive to salvation. But they didn't schism off into a new church.

Growing up, my Roman Catholic family attended about three different parishes on a regular basis in order to fit daily mass into our schedule. Not to mention youth group, pro-life activism, and a host of other activities with the church. Since priests were shuffled from parish to parish fairly often, we got to know a few dozen priests. And many of them are very saintly people. To devout Catholics like the ones I know, the solution is not to jump ship for another church, but to try to live in holiness. And that probably won't fix their church. But they don't see that as cause to leave.
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Offline PJ26

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2018, 04:23:02 PM »
I left Catholicism before the present abuse crisis but after the revelations of abuse in places like Boston and Los Angeles.  Sexual abuse and the related cover-ups were not THE reason for my leaving, but it was a part of my subsequent thought process.  The words of our Lord that one knows a tree by its fruit frequently came to my mind back then and if I were still a Catholic I think those words would be even louder, screaming, in my head now. 

One might be able to overlook a few bad apples, but the sheer scale of the abuse now coming to light and the efforts to cover it up are so huge that it would be tough for me to say, “yes, this is clearly the Church founded by Christ.” 

Sometime back, Rod Dreher, in one of his columns on the topic said:

“A reader summarized pithily one effect of the Catholic Church’s problem with sexually corrupt priests:

‘Listen son. The man in the white robe is the only one who can make the bread into Christ’s flesh. That man was called by God to be His intermediary on earth. Oh, and by the way, there’s something like a 50% chance he’s a total degenerate. No one knows exactly because none of the other priests have the guts to say. So stay away from him. He’s dangerous. But you have to revere the man too. Remember, he was called by God. Got that?’

The cognitive dissonance would be hilarious if it weren’t so tragic.”

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/priest-degenerate-roman-catholicism/

If you believe what Catholicism teaches, particularly about the papacy, then I suppose you would have to stay regardless of the present crisis, but maybe the crisis will cause people to take a hard look at what they really believe and start asking themselves some difficult questions.

Fortunately, it’s not a binary choice between Catholicism and atheism as some suggest.  Hopefully, a few will investigate Orthodoxy...

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2018, 04:58:17 PM »
There are problems in the RCC, no doubt. But the fact that it's run by sinners doesn't seem like a good reason to leave. I suspect the Church is often run by sinners, too. Pedophilia might not be Orthodoxy's problem, but that doesn't mean our heirarchy is made entirely of angels either.

Remember how monasticism started? Christianity got legalized and the Church was flooded with bad people, including bad clergy. A lot of the saintly people were so disturbed that they literally ran away to the desert to escape an atmosphere that was not conductive to salvation. But they didn't schism off into a new church.

Growing up, my Roman Catholic family attended about three different parishes on a regular basis in order to fit daily mass into our schedule. Not to mention youth group, pro-life activism, and a host of other activities with the church. Since priests were shuffled from parish to parish fairly often, we got to know a few dozen priests. And many of them are very saintly people. To devout Catholics like the ones I know, the solution is not to jump ship for another church, but to try to live in holiness. And that probably won't fix their church. But they don't see that as cause to leave.

+1

From my own perspective, if the need arose, for example, if I were located in some place where there was a Tridentine or an Eastern Catholic parish but no Orthodox parish, I can’t see a compelling reason not to join them under those conditions.  I also think we should be wary of being triumphalist about this; there have been small numbers of sexual abusers in the Orthodox Church and also hiding on its fringes (recall Elder Panteleimon of Holy Transfiguration Monastery, who was a spiritual disciple of St. Joseph the Hesychast).

The devil attacks clergy and subjects them to torments of temptation; monastics also; the attacks experienced by St. Anthony as recorded by his biographer St. Athanasius were in scope, Wagnerian, but not unique or without precedent.  Many clergy fail when confronted with this temptation.  I do believe that some aspects of the Roman church contributed to a culture where failures of this sort became overlooked by a large hypocritical segment of the clergy, and this probably accounts at least in part for several of the internal reform movements we see in the RCC (the Cistercian reform of Benedictines, the Trappists, who are Cistercians of the Strict Observance, the Capuchins, and also the policy change among the Benedictines to raise the age limit from 10 to adulthood for oblates).
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2018, 08:00:52 PM »
My only problem with that is the sheer scale that the cover-up's taken on in the Catholic Church. I honestly don't know how any Catholic these days (especially a parent) places trust in their parish priest, let alone their bishop (ETA: see the Rod Dreher quote above). I can scarcely think of anything that honestly compares to it.

Maybe Wandile's right and things are better in Africa, no idea.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 08:03:02 PM by Volnutt »
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Offline Sharbel

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2018, 08:53:53 PM »
I know of family members who are hesitant to get their children baptized in the Catholic Church, uncertain whether it's a safe environment for children.  Not because some priests are sexual predators, much like in other professions where access to children is presumed, but because their bishops cannot be trusted as true shepherds who'd make sure that all parishes are safe from sexual predators, given their track record in aiding and abetting and covering up for them.
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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2018, 06:07:38 AM »
If I believed in the doctrine and didn't have huge liturgical problems, no. Such things cannot affect membership of the Church.
Well, in Poland such scandals haven't been something big (there is much more hug problem with celibacy, I mean priests geting into romances with women).

Actually, I know officialy about 2 and one unofficial scandals regading Polish Orthodox clergy (and since we have maybe 260 priests, you see, unfortunately, the scale) but it doesn't make me to leave the Church.
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Offline WPM

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2018, 10:17:53 AM »
I don't know.
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Offline MalpanaGiwargis

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2018, 11:08:11 PM »
I'm in the process of leaving the RCC for Orthodoxy and was before the scandals went public (this time around anyway). My reasons are chiefly doctrinal, as in I do not believe Catholic doctrine anymore, but I will admit that the scandals make it easier. There are a number of bad situations of this type that it turns out I'm not too far removed from: knowing one priest very well, knowing another's family, and having attended a number of Masses with a third. Only one of those involved a minor, and it was some time ago, but having that many situations close to home is disheartening. For those who were actually abused or the parent of someone who was abused, I can't imagine how hard it is to deal with the phenomenon of do-nothing bishops on top of the trauma.
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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2018, 11:39:24 PM »
...the phenomenon of do-nothing bishops...

Or as I like to call them, bishops.

Offline coptic orthodox boy

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2018, 06:41:28 AM »
Left in 2003ish.  Had nothing to do with the sexual abuses at the time; instead the main reason (and there were many) for leaving was a strong disagreement with papal infallibility.

After becoming Orthodox I nevertheless missed some things from my Catholic days: Eucharistic adoration, stations of the cross, the rosary (which I still prayed when Orthodox) and chaplet of divine mercy, a number of saints (Francis of Assisi, John of the Cross, Therese of Liseux, Father Pio of Pietrelcina), etc. 

Offline noahzarc1

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #23 on: September 25, 2018, 11:06:41 PM »
Prior to the most recent one garnering worldwide attention, about 7 months ago, one broke in my former hometown that did not garner much attention outside the city, but was huge news there. Major pressure was put on the Bishop and the scandals dated back to the 50's and 60's. I was pretty much on my way out (again) as news was breaking on that one. Therefore I've been watching this larger one unfold from a distance now to see how things play out. I've noticed two very disturbing trends:

Among sedevacantists and traditionalists, they don't see this as the "real Catholic Church" but a bunch of usurpers so in essence the Catholic Church gets a pass as it is still spotless. I think this angers many who feel this has gone on so long because no matter what happens, things get explained away in such a way as to give the Catholic Church a pass. However, many people in society are not familiar with these trad groups, so their opinions on the matter are mostly in the minority. Either way, any honest Sedevacantist will tell you none of this was committed by the Catholic Church, for she could never commit such atrocities!

Among the rest of the Catholic Church who are living through this (as the world watches), I see first the silence of Pope Francis, which is just an extension of all the Popes dating back to when these scandals began (and only God knows how far it really goes back.) Then I see Rome's apologists the world over calling for prayer and contemplation and all the rest of their explanations and once again, it seems they are going to gently acknowledge "problems" while finding a way to get the Catholic Church of their imagination through this. Again, many have writhed the Church will escape these harsh charges and the reality of this all with merely bruises and scrapes and no real change.

Yes, the reality of the scandals were part of my decision only because they were in the background of my mind coupled with the other realities of how the Catholic Church tinkered with so much in the name of "magisterium" and always gets away with it. Rome will always have her apologists to protect her. Many know this. I suppose they will escape this the way they've escaped everything else. So I suppose I miss the Catholic Church I always imagined she was or read about. Painfully, this last year I have been coming to grips with who she really is.

It is the coming to grips with who she really is that will always be the most painful for honest seeking Catholics.   

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2018, 12:47:03 AM »
Prior to the most recent one garnering worldwide attention, about 7 months ago, one broke in my former hometown that did not garner much attention outside the city, but was huge news there. Major pressure was put on the Bishop and the scandals dated back to the 50's and 60's. I was pretty much on my way out (again) as news was breaking on that one. Therefore I've been watching this larger one unfold from a distance now to see how things play out. I've noticed two very disturbing trends:

Among sedevacantists and traditionalists, they don't see this as the "real Catholic Church" but a bunch of usurpers so in essence the Catholic Church gets a pass as it is still spotless. I think this angers many who feel this has gone on so long because no matter what happens, things get explained away in such a way as to give the Catholic Church a pass. However, many people in society are not familiar with these trad groups, so their opinions on the matter are mostly in the minority. Either way, any honest Sedevacantist will tell you none of this was committed by the Catholic Church, for she could never commit such atrocities!

Among the rest of the Catholic Church who are living through this (as the world watches), I see first the silence of Pope Francis, which is just an extension of all the Popes dating back to when these scandals began (and only God knows how far it really goes back.) Then I see Rome's apologists the world over calling for prayer and contemplation and all the rest of their explanations and once again, it seems they are going to gently acknowledge "problems" while finding a way to get the Catholic Church of their imagination through this. Again, many have writhed the Church will escape these harsh charges and the reality of this all with merely bruises and scrapes and no real change.

Yes, the reality of the scandals were part of my decision only because they were in the background of my mind coupled with the other realities of how the Catholic Church tinkered with so much in the name of "magisterium" and always gets away with it. Rome will always have her apologists to protect her. Many know this. I suppose they will escape this the way they've escaped everything else. So I suppose I miss the Catholic Church I always imagined she was or read about. Painfully, this last year I have been coming to grips with who she really is.

It is the coming to grips with who she really is that will always be the most painful for honest seeking Catholics.

What would have to transpire to make you think the same thing about the Orthodox Church?
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Offline noahzarc1

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #25 on: September 26, 2018, 01:12:29 AM »
What would have to transpire to make you think the same thing about the Orthodox Church?

It would probably have to start with the Orthodox Church calling a council and devising a doctrine of infallibility for the Patriarchs or something like that.


Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #26 on: September 26, 2018, 12:37:28 PM »
I don't think so, horrible things have been happening everywhere, including the Church, since always. Obviously this leads one to ask God why he allows the Church to be a ground such things, but evil is a problem we have to deal with regardless of abuse scandals.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2018, 12:37:41 PM by RaphaCam »
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Offline biro

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #27 on: September 26, 2018, 01:20:17 PM »
Good point.
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Offline MalpanaGiwargis

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #28 on: September 26, 2018, 02:02:51 PM »
So I suppose I miss the Catholic Church I always imagined she was or read about. Painfully, this last year I have been coming to grips with who she really is.

It is the coming to grips with who she really is that will always be the most painful for honest seeking Catholics.

This is pretty much spot-on.
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   and yet I have become occupied in shameful things!

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #29 on: September 26, 2018, 02:20:22 PM »
I don't think so, horrible things have been happening everywhere, including the Church, since always. Obviously this leads one to ask God why he allows the Church to be a ground such things, but evil is a problem we have to deal with regardless of abuse scandals.

I definitely sympathize with this perspective, but isn't there a tipping point after which evil and inaction becomes simply intolerable?
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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #30 on: September 28, 2018, 11:49:03 AM »
I don't think so, horrible things have been happening everywhere, including the Church, since always. Obviously this leads one to ask God why he allows the Church to be a ground such things, but evil is a problem we have to deal with regardless of abuse scandals.
I definitely sympathize with this perspective, but isn't there a tipping point after which evil and inaction becomes simply intolerable?
Psychologically intolerable? Maybe for man, but not for God (who works with man).

Remember how much atrocity the people of Israel did along the Old Testament and imagine how feasible it would be for some men to feel like Yahweh wasn't that great if he let so many evil kings and priests arise. It should be tempting to leave for Baal. But holy sacrifice continued, the doctrine of Moses was still pure. Even the Pharisees held to pure doctrine, Christ himself said their preaching should be followed, but not their acts. I remain an Orthodox Christian because I believe Roman Catholic doctrine is not intact, not because of evil priests.
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Offline Ray1

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #31 on: October 08, 2018, 08:37:54 PM »
Thank you all for taking the time to respond.

Most of the responses mentioned that one's own faith in the Church's doctrines determines whether they would stay or leave. But I dare to say that a large number of Catholics don't know what they mean by Papal Infallibility, Immaculate Conception, Original Sin, etc. So to them, their faith is based on their trust in and relation with the Church's representatives such as clergy members, and when that trust is broken, it is difficult to find a reason to stay if you don't already know what you really believe. So one might say that those who may leave due to the scandal, already weren't fully informed about what it means to be Catholic, what the Church's teachings and doctrines are, and why they are true.

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #32 on: October 08, 2018, 08:46:59 PM »
Thank you all for taking the time to respond.

Most of the responses mentioned that one's own faith in the Church's doctrines determines whether they would stay or leave. But I dare to say that a large number of Catholics don't know what they mean by Papal Infallibility, Immaculate Conception, Original Sin, etc. So to them, their faith is based on their trust in and relation with the Church's representatives such as clergy members, and when that trust is broken, it is difficult to find a reason to stay if you don't already know what you really believe. So one might say that those who may leave due to the scandal, already weren't fully informed about what it means to be Catholic, what the Church's teachings and doctrines are, and why they are true.

Either that or they've decided that the moral desolation trumps the theology. It's a very personal and painful decision that no one can make for anybody else. All I can do is speculate about what I personally would decide.

I have no idea what I'd even say to a Catholic loved one who asked me if I thought they should leave the RCC (other than the positive reasons that I think Orthodoxy is better, of course, but those exist independently of these scandals).
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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #33 on: October 08, 2018, 10:16:22 PM »
I was one and didn't leave over the sex scandals, but the filioque and just coming to the conclusion Rome is on the wrong side of the schism. I have family that still is and I suspect they'll stay and let God be the judge, if nothing is done here.
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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #34 on: October 10, 2018, 12:42:15 AM »
For a minute, put yourself in the shoes of Roman Catholics, would you or would you not leave the Church because of all the sex abuse scandals, and why?

I would not leave in that case, because sex scandals are not a problem unique to the Roman Catholic Church.  Chassidic and charedi Judaism has had some shocking sex scandals of late; there have been a series in Evangelical churches, and in the SBC it was for a time feared by evangelicals that that denomination was at risk of becoming the “new Catholic church” in terms of sex abuse scandals.  There is a very good blog which tracks church abuse in Protestant churches called the Wartburg Watch, and if one reads through that one can see how pervasive this problem is.

There has even been abuse in the Orthodox church.

I am of the opinion we are particularly at risk, because I fear that clergy who were compromised and turned into agents by the KGB, the Securitate, or other organs of the Communist states, may have been compromised on the basis of some form of sex abuse, and some of these people are probably bishops, even senior bishops.  It is distressing to note that every single Orthodox church at one time or another, in the 20th century, existed under an oppressive, totalitarian regime, with the possible  exception of churches created in the diaspora, such as the OCA, and perhaps also the autonomous, but not autocephalous, Church of Finland.

So this creates a scenario where some priests in different jurisdictions, or some bishops, were undoubtably compromised by the state security services; some may have been plants from the start, but when you think about it, if you were a secret police officer, a Chekist or whatever, it would be easier to get into an organization by blackmailing people already in positions of power, than to send in agents at the ground level.

What is more, the devil delights in destroying clergy, and monastics, and thus everyone living a consecrated life in service of the Church or in a monastery is at risk for substantially increased temptations and demonic attacks.  The attacks of the devil on clergy is widely documented; it reached a Wagnerian level in the case of St. Anthony the Great, who endured a battle of wits with Satan that would probably drive most of us insane.

Since the Orthodox Church represents the normative fullness of Christian catholicity, it follows that the devil will attack our clergy with particular fervor.  Those who may already have stumbled and who owe their careers to the security services of various current and former totalitarian regimes I fear would be particularly vulnerable to succumb to further temptation.

 Thus it is imperative we continually pray for our Orthodox clergy, that they not be led into temptation, but are delivered from evil.

« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 12:43:06 AM by Alpha60 »
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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #35 on: October 10, 2018, 01:24:34 AM »
Quote
It is distressing to note that every single Orthodox church at one time or another, in the 20th century, existed under an oppressive, totalitarian regime, with the possible  exception of churches created in the diaspora, such as the OCA, and perhaps also the autonomous, but not autocephalous, Church of Finland.

Huh, I actually never put that together until now. It really is every single one...
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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #36 on: October 10, 2018, 03:50:42 AM »
Quote
It is distressing to note that every single Orthodox church at one time or another, in the 20th century, existed under an oppressive, totalitarian regime, with the possible  exception of churches created in the diaspora, such as the OCA, and perhaps also the autonomous, but not autocephalous, Church of Finland.

Huh, I actually never put that together until now. It really is every single one...

I believe the persecution endured by the Orthodox throughout history is a shining heavenly crown for the faithful confessors and martyrs, a great blessing on the Church, and a sure indicator of its divine standing.

However, we do know that the security services of the Soviet Union and its allies, such as the Derg in Ethiopia, followed in the grand tradition established by the Byzantine Emperors and continued by the Turkish Sultans, of meddling in ecclesiastical affairs for political reasons, and had agents embedded in the Church, who provided agencies like the KGB information on potential political dissidents among the clergy who required silencing, and even more valuable in some cases, comitted that great evil and divulged the confessions of the laity and other clergy, thus providing intelligence officers a grand highway into the sordid misdeeds of penitent Christians, which could then be used as the basis for criminal investigations or further blackmail efforts.

Not enough time has passed since the collapse of communism for us to be able to rule out the continued presence in the clergy and hierarchy of former agents of the secret police, and these evil pastors, wolves in sheep’s clothing, who in some cases are known to have profaned the sacrament of Reconciliation by violating the trust put in them to keep confessions in confidence, do represent, in my opinion, a potential ongoing threat to the faithful.  Thus, any schadenfreude concerning the present plight of the Roman Church is in my opinion deeply misguided and wrong, for the problems that happened in the RCC on a massive scale have happened, on at least a few occasions where they were reported, in the Orthodox communions.
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Offline WPM

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #37 on: October 10, 2018, 11:49:03 AM »
Hmm I think this is more of a Philokalia style or orthodox version of Christianity
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Offline noahzarc1

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #38 on: October 10, 2018, 09:18:30 PM »
There is a very good blog which tracks church abuse in Protestant churches called the Wartburg Watch.

Sometimes I just look for the gems. Never heard of the website, very interesting so far, very helpful. My wife came out of a very emotionally abusive cult just prior to when we met. Over the years as I've met her friends who also escaped, it was amazing the stranglehold they had on people. However, it was very interesting to see leaders who came out eventually apologize to those they know they hurt. Not long ago, after enough people came out, a local newspaper did a thorough investigation, and eventually the church was banned from the campus where they were so pervasive. I too, as I exited protestantism, realized they were not as squeaky clean as I thought going in. It took almost 20 years, but I probably suffered more emotional abuse over that time then I ever had as a Catholic.

These are very difficult days.

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #39 on: October 10, 2018, 09:22:57 PM »
Yes.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #40 on: October 10, 2018, 09:37:44 PM »
There is a very good blog which tracks church abuse in Protestant churches called the Wartburg Watch.

Sometimes I just look for the gems. Never heard of the website, very interesting so far, very helpful. My wife came out of a very emotionally abusive cult just prior to when we met. Over the years as I've met her friends who also escaped, it was amazing the stranglehold they had on people. However, it was very interesting to see leaders who came out eventually apologize to those they know they hurt. Not long ago, after enough people came out, a local newspaper did a thorough investigation, and eventually the church was banned from the campus where they were so pervasive. I too, as I exited protestantism, realized they were not as squeaky clean as I thought going in. It took almost 20 years, but I probably suffered more emotional abuse over that time then I ever had as a Catholic.

Do you feel like the abuse you felt from Protestant churches was specific to those communities that you were in or is it something that's somehow endemic to Protestantism itself (at least as it exists currently)?
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Offline Agabus

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #41 on: October 11, 2018, 04:49:09 PM »
There is a very good blog which tracks church abuse in Protestant churches called the Wartburg Watch.

Sometimes I just look for the gems. Never heard of the website, very interesting so far, very helpful. My wife came out of a very emotionally abusive cult just prior to when we met. Over the years as I've met her friends who also escaped, it was amazing the stranglehold they had on people. However, it was very interesting to see leaders who came out eventually apologize to those they know they hurt. Not long ago, after enough people came out, a local newspaper did a thorough investigation, and eventually the church was banned from the campus where they were so pervasive. I too, as I exited protestantism, realized they were not as squeaky clean as I thought going in. It took almost 20 years, but I probably suffered more emotional abuse over that time then I ever had as a Catholic.

Do you feel like the abuse you felt from Protestant churches was specific to those communities that you were in or is it something that's somehow endemic to Protestantism itself (at least as it exists currently)?

I was at one time a member of a community that walked the cult line (seriously, we took the "are you a cult?" test and came in one point shy of a definitive "yes") but has since dropped some of those tendencies — in some cases, the leaders have publicly repented — and moved not only into the more mainstream but into real, healthy ministry that not many others are doing.

In that case, it was a matter of old leadership stepping down and the new leadership maturing. So it was specific to the community, I guess.

And that's where I would hesitate to say it's endemic to Protestantism rather than religion in general. You can find some terribly toxic cults of personality in Orthodoxy, Catholicism or white chick yoga Buddhism.
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Offline Ainnir

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #42 on: October 11, 2018, 05:28:08 PM »
Or secularism.  Pride and the fallen inclination to worship God turn into being/worshiping idols, and that makes such a phenomenon possible in any time and context.  The face of it just changes.
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #43 on: October 11, 2018, 06:10:40 PM »
There is a very good blog which tracks church abuse in Protestant churches called the Wartburg Watch.

Sometimes I just look for the gems. Never heard of the website, very interesting so far, very helpful. My wife came out of a very emotionally abusive cult just prior to when we met. Over the years as I've met her friends who also escaped, it was amazing the stranglehold they had on people. However, it was very interesting to see leaders who came out eventually apologize to those they know they hurt. Not long ago, after enough people came out, a local newspaper did a thorough investigation, and eventually the church was banned from the campus where they were so pervasive. I too, as I exited protestantism, realized they were not as squeaky clean as I thought going in. It took almost 20 years, but I probably suffered more emotional abuse over that time then I ever had as a Catholic.

Do you feel like the abuse you felt from Protestant churches was specific to those communities that you were in or is it something that's somehow endemic to Protestantism itself (at least as it exists currently)?

I was at one time a member of a community that walked the cult line (seriously, we took the "are you a cult?" test and came in one point shy of a definitive "yes") but has since dropped some of those tendencies — in some cases, the leaders have publicly repented — and moved not only into the more mainstream but into real, healthy ministry that not many others are doing.

In that case, it was a matter of old leadership stepping down and the new leadership maturing. So it was specific to the community, I guess.

And that's where I would hesitate to say it's endemic to Protestantism rather than religion in general. You can find some terribly toxic cults of personality in Orthodoxy, Catholicism or white chick yoga Buddhism.

Good points, yes.
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Re: Would you or would you not leave the Roman Catholic Church?
« Reply #44 on: October 11, 2018, 06:17:16 PM »
I encountered an abusive cult that had taken over a parish in one of the Old Calendarist jurisdictions, a parish which had been a part of a canonical church but broke away.  One of the unpleasant persons from aforesaid hosts a popular and useful website of Orthodox information.  So one has to be careful of cult like behavior even in Orthodoxy.
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