Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Catholic catch-22

Even though we live in the information age, where there's so much scrutiny, it's striking how the Catholic church was able to get away with so much for so long. Just imagine how much greater the scale of corruption and abuse in past centuries prior to the information age. Imagine what happened behind closed doors at monasteries and Catholic orphanages. And back when the Catholic church had much stronger ties with the civil authorities–the better to conceal wrongdoing. 

Odds are that some victims of abuse committed suicide. Their ordeal was inescapable. No one believed them. They were punished if they told outsiders what was happening. It seems statistically inevitable that victims killed themselves to avoid further torment–or from unbearable depression, shame, false guilt. 

And here's the clincher. They were denied Catholic burial because their mortal remains desecrated the hallowed ground of a Catholic graveyard. 

So the very people who made their lives unendurable, who pushed them over the edge, to commit suicide, were the same people who denied them burial in "consecrated" ground because they died in a state of mortal sin. Can you imagine a more diabolical dilemma? Reminds me of some definitions of catch-22:

a situation in which there are only two possibilities, and you cannot do either because each depends on having done the other first.

an impossible situation where you are prevented from doing one thing until you have done another thing that you cannot do until you have done the first thing.

a difficult situation in which the solution to a problem is impossible because it is also the cause of the problem.

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