Pope Francis speaks to a crowd in Ireland

Pope Francis received a disappointing turnout during his trip to Ireland. However, ongoing sex abuse scandals may only be part of the equation. (Matt Dunham/AP)


Pope Francis did not receive the warm welcome he was expecting during a trip to Ireland this past weekend. In past decades, a papal visit would be a must-see event for many Irish citizens. But for the majority-Catholic country, turnout at the pope’s scheduled stops was astonishingly low. Only 130,000 people showed up to a highly-publicized Mass led by Pope Francis at the sprawling Phoenix Park in Dublin. If that sounds like a lot, consider that event organizers were expecting in excess of 500,000 people to attend. Photographs of the surprisingly sparse crowd surrounded by acres of empty space were quickly shared across social media:

Pope Francis speaks to a smaller than expected crowd in Dublin

Only 130,000 people showed up to a highly-publicized Mass led by Pope Francis at the sprawling Phoenix Park in Dublin.


Event organizers blamed the low numbers on bad weather, but it’s worth noting that when Pope John Paul II held an event at Phoenix park in 1979 – the last time a pope visited Ireland – over one million people showed up. Fast forward 40 years, and Francis was lucky to get 10% of that figure. So, where did all the Catholics go?

Scandals Plague the Church

Given the timing of the trip, experts did predict a depressed turnout for certain events. Despite Francis’ individual popularity, the Catholic Church as a whole has been getting hammered in the press in recent months. From ongoing revelations of clergy abuse in South America, to a shocking grand jury report involving coverups across multiple dioceses in Pennsylvania, the Church is largely in “damage control” mode.

Ireland was itself devastated by decades of clergy abuse — a topic Francis was forced to bring up during his visit. “I cannot fail to acknowledge the grave scandal caused in Ireland by the abuse of young people by members of the church charged with responsibility for their protection and education,” he said during a speech at Dublin Castle. But many critics were furious that Francis didn’t take a stronger stance or announce any concrete plans to protect children and prevent future abuse.

Then, just when it seemed things couldn’t get much worse, a bombshell story dropped on Sunday alleging that Pope Francis knew about sexual abuse committed by former D.C. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. The allegations, penned by an Archbishop who formerly served as a Vatican ambassador to the United States, called on Francis to resign. When pressed on the matter by reporters, Francis simply responded: “I won’t say a word about it.”

Waning Enthusiasm for Religion

However, sex scandals may only be part of the equation. Another factor behind the low turnout – and one that should arguably scare church leadership even more – is an increasing trend toward secularization in Western countries. The underwhelming reception Pope Francis received also highlighted a changing Ireland. The country, once a bastion for Roman Catholics, simply isn’t as religious as it used to be. Irish citizens – especially the younger generation – aren’t drawn to religion like their parents were.

This marked demographic shift is reflected in recent moves toward more progressive laws, including a 2015 vote to legalize gay marriage, and a referendum to legalize abortion which passed earlier this year. Both of those votes would have been unimaginable a generation ago when the Church still held a firm grip over Irish society.

What Now?

Experts argue about the root cause of this striking exodus from the Catholic Church, but it seems readily apparent that the ongoing sex abuse scandals haven’t helped matters. As the Vatican brainstorms strategies for keeping the pews full, one thing is for sure: if the Church doesn’t figure out how to reform – and soon – they risk losing even more supporters.

Can Pope Francis inject new life into the Church’s message and find a way to bring latent Catholics back into the fold? It won’t be easy.

[Update 9/5/18]: During an interview with The Daily Caller, President Trump was asked to comment on the pope’s handling of the clergy abuse scandal. He responded: “It’s so sad to watch. The numbers, the length of time, you know, going back 70 years. I think it’s having a really negative impact on the Catholic Church. I think it’s very sad, to me it’s one of the sadder stories ’cause I respect so much the Catholic Church. And to me it’s a very sad story. The Pope is handling it, I guess, the best anyone can handle it. How is he going to handle it?”

 

67 comments

  1. James says:

    Humans desire correction and leadership. The meets get along and everyone gets a trophy faith is weak and penniless. If the Catholic church is to survive, she must return to the old way of leading by power and openly condemning evil doers and their ways. Why worry about others emotions if God is truely on your side and his word is you life! Live and love it, then no one can condemn your actions and will want to follow your way. That’s all I’m saying.

    1. Rev.Rene says:

      To have the legitimacy of leadership comes with responsibility. The church must lead in the way they relate to the people of any time frame, this is the 2000’s, not the 1900’s or 1950’s. They also must provide moral leadership, and when the previous pope departed, knowing full well he had swept many things under the rug, this current pope took over without correcting and finishing the correction needed to bring the ethical behavior of the Catholic church in line, and he also has never addressed the left behind thoughts of a past century!!! If this religion wants to survive it must be relevant to the people of this age, and it is not.

      1. Terry says:

        I whole heartedly agree. The church needs to rebuild upon the foundation set by our God, Lord and Savor. Although many are hurt and their faith may be shaken… they still believe. And for those whom have lost faith, surely it could be reignited. We all seek a light amidst the darkness.

        1. Lionheart says:

          And what exactly is the foundation set by your god that you refer to?

          I assume your god is also the god of the Old Testament, right?

        2. Jane says:

          I am just trying to understand why there is so many priests that are suppose to follow the word of God and they are doing unspeakable things

  2. Reed Mathis says:

    Ireland has suffered from Catholic abuse both physical and sexual. Watch the movie, “The Magdalenes.”

  3. Gerry says:

    Sad to see the RC church in retreat, but a more laity focussed church needs to take the lead and the unquestioning unconditional respect for the clergy needs rebalancing. Pope Francis has my sympathy and has a difficult job ahead of him, but zero tolerance of abuse, transparency and openness in running the RC church needs to start now,

  4. Gary Hynous says:

    The solution to this may be to allow priests to marry and have children. This idea of a priest being married to the church is just not working. Continued celibacy is obviously not going to solve this problem.

    1. Sonia Autuna says:

      Gary Hynous, that’s one Important way to solve this problem, even though the Bible never mentions anything about Popes, nuns, etc. Ask yourself why is it Rabbi’s, Ministers, etc. Can get married but not Catholic priests? The Bible even rectifies this ‘problem’ (1 Corinthians 7:9), but still the Catholic Church won’t allow it so who’s right, God or man, and why is this still continuing on in this day and time?
      Lastly, I saw NO mention of the Real solution to the problem, put God “and Jesus” back where ‘They’ belong, and let ALL know that God’s ‘Judgement Will come against those who harm children’, Matthew 18:6. The Pope and others should stop shielding these men, by sending them from church to church, but put them out so that no more children will have to go through this. Enough is enough already, because God/Jesus WILL punish ALL churches who destroy these children’s lives (Romans 12:19).
      Read the Bible and get to Know the True and Living God, and Jesus Christ for “yourself” and whomever, or whatever does NOT follow God and Jesus’ Will and Way, run away from it or them as fast as your feet will take you.

      1. Gary Hynous says:

        Hello Sonia, Thanks for your reply. A few of my responses have disappeared before being posted. I was raised in the 1940’s (yep, I’m old as dirt) in a home in which dad was Catholic and mom was Lutheran. I never could figure out why my folks went to different churches. In those days the Catholic church demanded that all children in this situation be raised Catholic. I was but years later converted to Lutheran to marry my first wife. In recent years I found myself gravitating toward Buddhism and have been a member of a monastery for a long time. I read the Dhammapada and the Upanishads every day and find a striking similarity in their messages which predate Christianity by hundreds and at times thousands of years. I had a problem with the Catholic triune God. i prefer to place God/Brahman at the top pf the pecking order and relegate jesus to His right hand to judge us sinners.All of this is of course a matter of hope and faith. We’ll all find the answer to these issues in time.

        1. Lea Weisenbach says:

          _/\_

    2. Carl Elfstrom says:

      It’s not little girls or women who those Nelly, old, closet queen priests have been molesting, so few of them would marry a woman if they could. The Roman Catholic church is definitely on its way out, and it won’t be long iether. All of those gay priests and lesbo nuns ought to come out of the closet, starting with his wanna-be holiness, miss thing, the pope. Then they should merge with the gay MCCR christian denomination. They don’t even have altar boys in that. Those good people are much more serious about religion, and wouldn’t even let people like Bob Fleuchsypants in the door. They’d straighten up those gay priests in a gay way, or send them on their way

      1. Carl Elfstrom says:

        Catholic priests should be encouraged to adopt gay boys from orphanages.

      2. Lionheart says:

        Yes, the sooner the Catholic Church folds the better, then all their gold refinery can be sold and the money donated to the poor. But of course we know that won’t happen. Money would be siphoned off somewhere to benefit the rich to get richer.

      3. Lori Mongillo says:

        Those priests aren’t gay. They’re perverted. Big difference, don’t you think? As for marrying, you’re right, they probably wouldn’t be looking for wives. They’d be getting into kiddie porn. These creepy priest need to be put in jail, along with those who covered for them.

        1. Lionheart says:

          Actually Lori, you can’t say that priests aren’t gay if they are having, and wanting, sex with their own gender no matter what age the recipients are. It’s seems to me that they are in fact gay, and also perverted. Having said that, some priests could be bisexual.

          1. Ethereal says:

            I wonder if the fact that its boys that have been molested isn’t a question of sexuality but more a crime of opportunity. Priests aren’t left alone with little girls, or women for that matter, but they are left alone with boys. So perhaps the sexual need was so great that in their weakness they took the only opportunity they felt they had. How they could hurt those poor kids is still beyond me, if you truly believe in your religion and the vows you took to get there, you abide by them regardless. The issue has gone on to long with no response from the Church. The Pope needs to stand up and realize this isn’t an issue he can hide any longer. Help the families. Do something.

    3. Eugene Hoem says:

      I have always felt this would be a great idea.

    4. Jim Roberts says:

      I agree priests should be allowed to marry. This would allow priests to grow a more complete understanding of family values, family issues, and enable priests to become more attuned to social issues.

  5. Alicia says:

    IMO, the RC church is a scam. It’s leaders are only interested in “sheep”, which translates to money. They pick and choose what’s “important” in the faith. Examples:

    1. Years ago, all females had to have their heads covered. I was (unfortunately) sent to Catholic school. I remember that we had to start the day at Mass and if a little girl didn’t have a hat, the nuns would give her a tissue to put on her head. Enter the 60s when beehives came into fashion and women refused to ruin their hair by wearing a hat. All of a sudden, it wasn’t required to wear hats.

    2. NO MEAT ON FRIDAY!!! Any Friday…no matter what time of year it was. But people liked their steaks, so that was changed to “no meat on Fridays during Lent”. Ah…but now…it’s “no meat on Friday during Lent UNLESS St. Patrick’s day falls on a Friday! In that case, pig out on your corned beef!

    3. Only a priest could give out communion. That, too, has changed. Now they have some people in the congregation who can pass out the communion wafers.

    4. Mass only in Latin. Well….that was boring, so now it’s in English (in the US).

    5. Women had to wear dresses. It was a must. Enter the age of pants and….POOF! No more dress requirement!

    Even at a young age, I saw how hypocritical this all was. No wonder people are getting disillusioned.

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      They never liked it when I peed on the wall in the bathroom of St.Mary’s Elementary School in Galveston, but I did it every chance I got, anyway !

      1. Lea Weisenbach says:

        😁

  6. Ann Wood says:

    Superstitious nonsense in the 21st century is simply a tool for corrupt politicians and oligarchs. We know of what the universe is composed, we know why bad things happen to good people, and we know that change happens with the efforts made by humans. not some unseen entity.

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      Don’t forget Ann, a lot of people were simultaneously praying and addressing their deities in magickal rituals when those changes took place. Are you sure the god and goddess, by whatever name, didn’t cause those people to take action ?

      1. Lea Weisenbach says:

        A lot of people stood up to the church..and were put to death.

        1. Lea Weisenbach says:

          Magic took to long…Its the people that are not giving their money anymore and putting it towards lawyers.

        2. Padre Obstato says:

          That didn’t happen until Constantine cut his deal with the Christian bishops, Lea. When the Church became the official religion of the Roman Empire, it became a secular political entity whether today’s clergy want to admit it or not. The Church remained when Rome as a political entity fell. The Vatican is a remaining vestige of that political power, and the College of Cardinals, or at least a strong faction within it, clings to the belief that God want them to have it back.

          It’s the strongest argument I know of for Separation of Church and State to be the Law of the Land.

  7. Minister Norman says:

    More people showed up for Limp Bizkit!

    Go figure!

    Think PRIESTS SADISTICALLY RAPING innocent little boys & girls, and the Pope & his phony-cronie hierarchy covering it up, had anything to do with it???

    Humm.

    I’m guessing YES: And good for you Ireland! Let us pray the remainder of this “church” of the damned, follows your lead!

    ALL PROPS to Irish Singer, Sinead O’Connor, who called out this Global-Terrorist Organization YEARS AGO & took a ration of grief for it that sabotaged her career!

    You’ve been redeemed!

    Now for the rest of the congregation!

    1. Lea Weisenbach says:

      💝

  8. Waya5 says:

    Pope Francis has only been interested in what will get more members for the Roman Catholic Church. He could care less what is done in the name of that goal. In 2015, in an act that just told Native American Catholics to “just deal with it”, Pope Francis canonized a man who has been viewed as a monster by the very Native people who he had hoped to convert; Father Junipero Serra. Serra viewed California Native Americans as the “gente de razon,” the “people of reason,” and used them to build what he hoped would be his Catholic “utopia.” California Mission Natives were tortured, enslaved, kidnapped, and brutalized in public whippings to create Junipero Serra’s utopian goal. In Mission Dolores, hundreds of Native women in San Francisco gave dangerous abortions to each other, and were victims of rape from the nearby Spanish Military Presidio. So Native Americans have taken a walk from the Catholic Church. My family, my brother’s family and my parents have all left. Yeah, Pope Francis “apologized” for what Catholic missionaries did to indigenous people, but it’s not much of an apology when the Pope turns around and canonizes Serra, a padre who single-handedly tried to destroy Native culture, language and even families. It is, however, a slap in the face. Add this to the growing controversy of the sexual predation in Catholic Churches, and it’s not hard to see why parishoners walked. To my father, who was a full-blood Native American, he viewed the Missions as “Auschwitz.” To the Catholic Church, they are 21 California Missions masterminded by a Saint, and thus are considered valuable as tourism and pilgrimage sites. To be a Saint, it’s all about the numbers of people you convert, not what you did in actions that are despicable in order to convert them. It’s always been all about the money, and always will be.

    1. Lea Weisenbach says:

      💝

    2. Alicia Lynn Croshal says:

      Waya, I’ve never heard this story. It’s horrendous! My heart goes out to your people. I pray for truth to be brought out in our dark times. Love and light ❤

  9. Carl Elfstrom says:

    When I was an altarboy at St.Patrick’s there were a lot of altarboys who would have been glad to let the priests go down on them. We just wanted to put them in something. We didn’t care what it was. Unfortunately, all of the priests at our parish were straight, and never tried.

  10. Lori Mongillo says:

    The Catholic Church will eventually loose its power as people begin to recognize it has none. It is big business. The abuse, cover ups and laws that don’t allow priests to marry and women to become priests, are slowly beating it down. The only people still clinging to this religion are the ones who are still afraid to let go and choose ignorance. It’s fear that has been instilled in them over many years. It’s hard to understand why anyone would continue to support this church. Bad habits are hard to break. If they believe in a loving God, why do they condone this immorality? It’s bad enough that there are so many abusers, but why do the non-abusers try to cover for them? I left the Catholic church many years ago. It was just BS on so many levels. The big brotherhood of molestation needs to close up shop. Oh, I’m sure many good people still hang on because they want to be forgiving, but sometimes it is necessary to just say “no more” and start a new spiritual journey.

    1. Lea Weisenbach says:

      💝

      1. Kathryn says:

        I agree with so many comments. The Catholic church is corrupt, greedy, self seeking and by no means spiritual. It is an organization that encourages and condones child abuse, sexual violence, and disrespects womem. By it’s very nature it attracts sexual deviants because it is a good place to hide and be protected. It needs to collapse and be stripped of all of it’s power.

  11. Kirk says:

    Pope Francis is a nut. He is singlehandedly causing folks to leave the church with his overly liberal and hypocritical policies. “Catholic Services” have been taking huge sums of money to settle Muslims in huge numbers in small towns across the US. That alone is self destructive. The Catholic Church doesn’t seem to stand for anything anymore.

  12. Lea Weisenbach says:

    I’m a survivor of Christianity…Religion is only to control the poor because the poor would kill the rich.
    I have no heart for the Catholic church at all..After all that has happened in the past and present…It just amazes me that people still go..Shame on them.

    Jesus was not a Christian.
    Muhammad was not a Muslim.
    And Buddha was not a Buddhist.

    When will people learn to take responsibility for themselves and realize that the only place that is holy is their own heart. Stop looking outside of yourself..look within.

    1. Reverand Raymond Smith says:

      Very well said, Lea

    2. Lori Mongillo says:

      Yes Lea, Blessed be!

      1. Lea Weisenbach says:

        Thank you..Namaste

    3. maria Kranz says:

      Martin Luther left the catholic church because of how the poor were taken advantage of by the catholic hierarchy. They would give every penny they had to give to the church in order to get a higher place in heaven supposedly. Meanwhile, the priests back then were using their money to eat and live well while
      the poor were basically starving,

    4. Tj says:

      Not a surprise from a group that doesn’t preach all 66 books of the Bible end tells people they will burn in he’ll for ratting meat on Friday

    5. Jim D says:

      Lea, I think I love you. That was perfectly said.

  13. Veronica Deevers says:

    https://newswithviews.com/children-suffer-under-a-silent-church-part-1/ <a very profound article by Pastor Anghis. People feel the need for the herd mentality which is how certain types of belief systems find their victims. I feel zero desire to have a membership in any of the appx 4,200 man-made religions. Jesus said "follow Me"….not follow any one of these exclusive 'clubs'.

    1. Alicia Lynn Croshal says:

      I’m not sure I’d call that article “profound.” “Homophobic” may be a better word. I feel guilty just for clicking on it. Ironic, considering how this thread started out.

  14. sheryl A clyde says:

    People who prey on the vulnerable especially children are going to seek out places that people flock to and trust with their children. Why because it is the perfect hunting ground for them. That being said you should be very untrusting when it comes to your kids. People’s background’s need to be checks and doors need to be kept open when there are kids inside. The church was wrong by trying to cover it up and trusting their pastors admissions of “guilt and repentance”. They should have been removed from office and banned from any contact alone with kids at the very least and really should have been turned over to the cops. The church’s attempt’s to cover it up and keep it in the family so to speak like so many real families tend to do is why so many are angry and leaving the church. It should have not been covered up. To heal a spirit of openness and more untrusting of people who work with the vulnerable needs to happen.

  15. Helina says:

    I currently live in Ireland and to bring light to another atrocity inflicted by the catholic church was the imprisonment of women in the Magdalene laundries and the theft and sale of any children born in them for foreign adoption. This was done by the nuns. The church profited from the slavery of so called fallen women who where not released but made work in the homes doing laundry making money for the church but living as prisoners and the priests all the while abusing small children and their position of authority in general, I cannot tell you how many times I see so called holy men falling down drunk from pubs. That is not God’s work. Also the church took control of areas of land where the biggest gold veins are to be found, declaring them holy places.
    I can honestly say that in my opinion it is God’s work that the church is losing it grip on Ireland and humanity can be restored. Sinead O Connor only said what we all knew.

    1. Kathryn says:

      Very well said!!!

  16. O.H.O. says:

    When officers use their authority incorrectly they are withdrawn from their duties or brought to justice, why can’t we do something to those that teach right from wrong and hold the holiest position on the land ? As adults we know right from wrong but it is said , there will be wolves dressed as sheep. Fear, trauma, belief in higher authorities and embarrassment it what holds this folks from speaking up. We must pray to the Heavenly Father that justice will be served and once left in his hands thing will fall into order. God bless those that still suffer in secrecy and in fear.

  17. Kathleen Burgess says:

    I think when people realized that the 4 billion dollars the Vatican has paid to defend their sex abuse cases, came from regular folks donating with the intent of it going to poor people; and then realizing that their donation money also went towards feeding, clothing, and sheltering these monsters in a comfortable fashion where they didn’t have to work regular jobs and spend their time instead scoping out their next victims; so in essence all people who have donated are actually ENABLERS for these molesters; that perhaps they finally saw THE TRUTH and had the long awaited spiritual awakening of no longer seeking authority outside of themselves. One can only hope that this awakening may be the silver lining ?

  18. jack mabry says:

    Catholic Church has been corrupt for a thousand years!

    1. Lionheart says:

      If not much longer!

      Can you name a church that hasn’t had corruption from its members?

    2. Padre Obstato says:

      Since 380 when the Emperor Theodosius made it the official religion of the Roman Empire, to be precise. (Constantine legalized it, Theo made it mandatory.)

  19. jack mabry says:

    If mankind had any smarts, they’d get rid of all religions. But they won’t, because the main thing any church sells, is an afterlife. Most people can’t handle the thought that they’ll just disappear after they die.

  20. Jacqueline says:

    When enough people are truly centered in the heart chakra abuse of others will no longer be a reality and people will not look to religion, priests and popes for Truth. They will find Truth within.

  21. SeekerOfTruth says:

    There are so many scandals:

    BBC documentary exposes 50-year scandal of baby trafficking by the Catholic church in Spain | Daily Mail Online

    300,000 babies stolen from their parents – and sold for adoption: Haunting BBC documentary exposes 50-year scandal of baby trafficking by the Catholic church in Spain

    Up to 300,000 Spanish babies were stolen from their parents and sold for adoption over a period of five decades, a new investigation reveals.

    The children were trafficked by a secret network of doctors, nurses, priests and nuns in a widespread practice that began during General Franco’s dictatorship and continued until the early Nineties.

    Hundreds of families who had babies taken from Spanish hospitals are now battling for an official government investigation into the scandal.

    Several mothers say they were told their first-born children had died during or soon after they gave birth.

    In reality, the babies were sold to childless couples whose devout beliefs and financial security meant that they were seen as more appropriate parents.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2049647/BBC-documentary-exposes-50-year-scandal-baby-trafficking-Catholic-church-Spain.html

    1. Juan Alatorre says:

      Greetings in The name of the Father The Son and The Holy Spirit. Please read Revelations 17,1-9 it’s already written in the word’s of God. Be patient pray and have a strong faith. Live life by the fist Commandments. We in good standing with the Lord and love one another. Feed my sheep, take care of my sheep and watch my sheep. We all are in search of salvation and spiritual eternal life.

      1. Lionheart says:

        Thank you Juan, spoken like someone that’s been totally indoctrinated into religion his whole life and has become blinded by it. This is exactly why people are still clinging to the Catholic Church and all the other mythical religions even though corruption is still rife.

  22. Church of the One says:

    I live in Ireland and it isn’t just the Catholic church where numbers have fallen. The Church of Ireland in my town only has services twice a month and shares a part-time non stipendary rector with 2 other parishes. I have attended some services there over the last 2 years and except for Christmas day and Easter Sunday attendances are between 6 and 12, mostly people in their seventies. In living memory there were services every week, the parish had its own full time rector, and there were both a choir and an organist whereas now music is provided by CDs.
    Christianity seems to be in mortal decline not just in Ireland but all over western Europe. I was a Mormon for 45 years and they are growing, thanks to an aggressive missionary force, but three quarters of their converts have left within a year and most of them here are foreign immigrants who are probably looking for friends and somewhere to belong. I know that both physical and sexual aberations took place in the Mormon church in Ireland and no action was taken. Where missionaries were involved they were moved out of the branches they were serving in and we were never told what had happened to them. Things are coming to light about that church, especially in Utah, but as many of the higher ranking police and judiciary there are Mormons and loyal to that church very little has been done. When I lived in Wales a prominent bishop of the Church in Wales (Anglican) had to resign because of sexual abuse against young boys. Roald Dahl in his autobiography wrote how a former headmaster of the school he attended who had abused pupils went on to become Archbishop of Canterbury.
    There is a saying, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” and I think that is what has happened in these organisations. I think there will be a lot more coming out concerning many other religious organisations leading to a further decline in religious affiliation.

    1. Carol W Waldenburg says:

      That saying is a great one and in this case so appropo.

  23. Father Fred says:

    The Catholic church is in trouble for the same reason that many other churches and people get in trouble. Not acknowledging wrong-doing, and if not covering up, giving the appearance of covering up.

  24. Brian (@pontiacman64) says:

    Awww… tsk, tsk. People are waking up to the fact of religion being used as a cash cow and a control vehicle. What are the fools in charge going to do now?

  25. Secretary3rd says:

    Maybe by chance that all that praying to Jesus seems to be a waste of time. Reading a 2000 year old book that was made when man was the center of everything and Heaven was just above the clouds and Hell was feet below where you stood. It seems that all praying to the Pope for a better life have falling short. Being force to give your money to a Church or your going to Hell is also falling by the side. Having a Male Chauvinistic Pig telling you how to live your life is getting rather dull. SDince you can start you own religion with your own rules who needs the Pope in the first place.

  26. Anna-Marie says:

    Since we are talking about the Catholic Church and their selling babies. I’m wondering if anyone can help me in my search for information concerning the selling of babies of unwed teenage mothers by the CC in Minneapolis, Minnesota . I tried to look into my adoption records and was told by the State they are sealed. When both of my adoptive parents passed on I was told by a relative on my mother’s side that they went to Catholic Social Services and paid ten thousand dollars for me through the Church. Any information would be helpful.
    Thank You
    Anna-Marie Livingston
    beautiful_dreamer1955@yahoo.com

  27. Jim D says:

    I might be a little late to the party with this, and perhaps no one will read it. But so what? It’s not costing me anything.

    The Catholic church and it’s problems is like a bazillion-layered onion. Peel each layer, and you find something new to hate about them. But I’ll try to keep this wrapped a little tighter, just in the interest of time.

    I like comparing and contrasting. Makes it way easier to highlight the blemishes. So, let’s compare the Catholic church to Judaism.

    First, the Catholics got it wrong from the very beginning. They sent missionaries to the deepest jungles in Africa and South America to convert these primitive cultures to Christians. Why, because these primitive people needed it? Hell no! For the Catholics it’s about the numbers. You can’t be the biggest religion in the world if you don’t force a few people to belong to your church. As for the Jews, they don’t send missionaries anywhere. They don’t cold-call or solicit their religion one bit. In fact, they make it hard for you if you want to become Jewish. C’mon, who remembers in “Sex and the City” when Charlotte had to convert to marry the Jewish guy. That was not walk in the park for her, but she did it.

    Second, only men can be priests, they cannot marry, and they cannot have sex… ever! Men and women can be rabbis, and they can marry and have all the sex they want, but they can’t eat a bacon cheeseburger. If you had the choice of giving up sex or bacon cheeseburgers for the rest of your life, which would you choose? As an aside, we all know there are a fair number of priests that have engaged in sex in the form of abuse toward minors. Now, I’m not suggesting rabbis are perfect people, and I don’t have first hand knowledge of this, but I would guess there are rabbis that have indulged in a bacon cheeseburger, or at least a pork chop here and there. The difference is the cheeseburger does not surface ten years later and accuse a rabbi of eating it, and the other rabbis don’t conspire to cover up the transgression.

    Third, there is an issue of optics. The Catholic church is one of the wealthiest organizations, if not THE wealthiest organization on the planet. The opulence is almost overwhelming. Every morning the Pope drops a deuce sitting on a 24 karat solid gold toilet. Meanwhile, a large part of the congregation are some of the poorest people in the world. Really? The pope needs to take a dump on a gold toilet while little Jose and Juanita in some dung heap of a village in South America don’t know where their next meal is coming from? Hell, I bet some of those people have never even seen a toilet, let alone one made of gold. And thus is the problem with centralized power. All the wealth accumulates in one place, and goes to the benefit of one man… the one at the top. And every few years they have an election, voted on by the very men (and not women) that stand a chance of being the lottery winner. It’s a racket the likes of which should the mob jealous. Jews, however, do not have centralized system. Each synagogue pretty much fends for itself. Sure, Jerusalem is their holy capital, but there does not exist a seat of power and a grand high exalted mystic rabbi eating matzoh balls rolled by virgins.

    And lastly, the Catholic church just can’t seem to get away from major controversy… Abortion, birth control, child sex abuse and cover-ups, the Holocaust, discrimination against women, Jews, Muslims, heretics, homosexuality and trans-genderism, the Crusades, the Inquisition (parts 1, 2, 3 and 4)… the list goes on. So what’s so controversial about the Jews? They don’t believe Jesus was the Messiah? Next. They don’t eat pork? ENHHH!! Sorry, wrong answer. They dress funny? Okay, well, if you’re talking about Hasidic Jews, I’ll give you that one. But that hardly rises to the level of major controversy.

    So, the Jews have kept to themselves, they don’t bother anyone, they don’t try to convert people, and for the most part, they are not the center of controversy. The Catholic church is the complete opposite. Yet, the Jews have been persecuted throughout history for keeping to themselves, quite often by the Catholic church. So is all that missionary work designed to increase a congregation, or is it to build an army? You decide.

  28. jack mabry says:

    Totally agree with you. Catholic Church is the most corrupt organization that has ever been on this planet.

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