• Roman Catholicism and Abuse Survivor Blogs

Roman Catholicism and Abuse Survivor Blogs

About 12 or 13 years ago, I did a lot of reading about Roman Catholicism. (I was brought up Baptist, and I’ve been in a questioning phase myself the last few years – as in, I don’t know how much I consider the Christian faith true or not, and how relevant is the Bible to me today, and so on and so forth.)

I came to the conclusion that I disagree with a lot of Roman Catholic views and theology. (Please be careful here and keep reading – my main concern with this post is not Roman Catholic beliefs per se.)

I’ve had Roman Catholic friends and co-workers over the course of my life, and I’ve met some here and there on other sites, and all are friendly and fine people.

However, I cannot come to share the view that Roman Catholicism is Christianity.

I can grant Catholics that there are issues with sola scriptura (as you may be aware, Roman Catholics frown on sola scriptura, to put Papal ex cathedra, their Magisterium, and Church Tradition on par with the written Word), but unlike other questioning Baptists (or Protestants), or those who feel they’ve been hurt or wronged by the Protestant or Baptist church, I don’t see the correction to that to be to dump sola scriptura and run out and join Roman Catholicism.

With our without sola scriptura, Roman Catholicism has its share of problematic theology.

My biggest gripe with Roman Catholicism is its rejection of sola fide. (And no, I am not posting this to entertain Catholics who want to debate this topic with me in the comments below, to convince me that salvation is not by faith alone but faith plus this, that, and the other).

In Roman Catholicism, in part due to the rejection of sola fide, you end up with a system of salvation that is ultimately works-based, though they will say no, no, it’s of grace. But that’s not how it works out in practicality.

Roman Catholics will say grace and faith plays a role in salvation, but really, there’s no guarantee of an afterlife in Heaven; one must continually run down to a Mass and receive more grace from a priest guy infusing it into a wafer (transubstantiation).

Some of your Protestants have beliefs I find similarly troubling: they will say that upfront, salvation is by grace through faith alone, but then, once “saved,” you are in Hell fire danger of “losing” this salvation through new sins you may commit, so you must continue to work to keep your salvation in place.

This Protestant view is sometimes referred to as “conditional security,” and is, in my view, another works-based form of salvation, and like the Roman Catholic version, is in contradiction to what the Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians chapter 3.

My post here is not intended to be a take-down or over-examination of Roman Catholicism. The Protestant/ Baptist Vs. Catholic debate has been raging for centuries, and I’m sure not going to solve it in my blog post today.

I’m not interested in de-converting Catholics and having them become Baptists, even.

(I was never terribly interested in converting atheists I met to Christianity even when I was at my most-Christian, either. That really perturbed many of the atheists I met.)

I don’t even want to use this post to argue for or against transubstantiation or the Bodily Ascension of Mary or the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, or all the other things Catholic Vs. Protestant debates usually get wrapped up in.

These debates have been going on for centuries.

Nobody can be argued into leaving one church for another, or for believing in a deity that they don’t believe  exists.

I can put my reasons out there for why I believe what I do, but I don’t want to waste my time or yours by bickering with you about these things, trying to persuade you to my view.

I think if someone leaves atheism for Christianity or leaves the Catholic Church for a Baptist one, it’s going to be through a process of self-discovery, something they do on their own, through research of their own, and/or through life experience that gets them to rethink their assumptions about God or religion – and not because some argument by me changes their mind.

That brings me to the usually unspoken stance on some abuse survivor blogs that it is always wrong to question Roman Catholicism.

It is assumed and a given on other blogs that Roman Catholicism is just as much solidly Christian as are Protestant denominations.

To reiterate, I’m not interested in trying to convince a Roman Catholic to jump RC ship to run around with Baptists.

My pet peeve resides in the fact that one cannot even mention the possibility that RCism is, or may not be, not ‘true’ Christianity on some of the survivor blogs, or criticize RC beliefs.

On the other hand, members on such blogs (Roman Catholic members) are allowed, by blog owners or moderators, to take subtle (and sometimes not- so -subtle) jabs at Protestantism or Baptists or Baptist beliefs.

At least one member, who I presume is Roman Catholic (“Christiane” – though at least one person says she is Orthodox?), not only subtly promotes Roman Catholicism (or her religion, whatever it is) on other sites, but she will at times, make under-handed, quiet digs at Protestantism or at Baptists.

I don’t see the blog owners asking her to knock it off.

No, knocking it off is really directed at people who hold reservations about Roman Catholicism.

A few years ago, when I was on survivor blog TWW, a guy dropped in to say he had been hurt in Protestant churches, so he said, he joined the Roman Catholic Church.

Looking back on this, I wonder if that guy was trolling the comments there?

At any rate, I’m pretty content to sit back and not bicker with Roman Catholics on other sites over Catholicism. If they want to remain RC, I have no interest in deconverting them, though I believe Catholicism is in error on many subjects.

My one exception over not confronting Catholics on other sites: Roman Catholics who are not content to “live and let live” with Baptists and Protestants, but who promote their Catholicism at the expense of both, by insulting them.

When this guy at the TWW not only mentioned he found personal happiness in the RC after dumping Prostestantism (he claimed to have been spiritually abused in Protestant churches), but he started openly and vehemently bashing Protestant and Baptist beliefs, I had enough and started firing back at him.

TWW (and Istoria Ministries blog) member Christiane (it’s my understanding she also posts to Southern Baptist blogs) is more quiet and not- so- obvious in her Baptist and Protestant bashing on Protestant and Baptist sites, but she does engage in it.

Why do these other sites tolerate Roman Catholics bashing and questioning the beliefs of Baptists and Protestants, but consider it verboten and “mean” for any Baptist or Protestant, or whomever else, to question Roman Catholic views? Or if Roman Catholicism is even truly Christian?

Such sites make one feel uncomfortable being forth-right about their misgivings of Roman Catholicism.

I’m at a loss to understand why some other sites have this standard (a double one?) in place where Catholics can “trash” non-Catholic views, but the non-Catholics cannot fire back and question Catholic teachings?

Why can members on some blogs pick apart Protestant Neo-Calvinism until the cows come home, but nobody is really allowed to pick apart Non-Protestant religious views, such as those found in Roman Catholicism?

(Not that I am a supporter of Neo-Calvinism, mind you. I don’t agree with it, either. But why is one up for critique, why is it open season on one, but not another category?)

I understand if you don’t want your blog to turn into a Catholic Vs Protestant debate forum, but. However.

If you have a blog, and you’re not going to permit people to question the Christian bona fides of Catholicism, why would you then allow the Catholics who show up to take swipes at Baptist views or Protestant views, or try to lure vulnerable Protestants over to becoming Catholics?

I’d like to reiterate that this blog post is not about Roman Catholicism vs Protestantism per se – it’s more of, why is there a full, unquestioning acceptance of Roman Catholicism on spiritual abuse blogs, and Catholics are permitted to strongly (or quietly) criticize Protestantism on those sites, but anyone else is heavily discouraged from critiquing Roman Catholicism in return?


More on This Blog:

Be Cautious: Faux Niceness, Victim-Bullies, and Survivor Abuse Blogs

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20 thoughts on “• Roman Catholicism and Abuse Survivor Blogs

  1. Why can members on some blogs pick apart Protestant Neo-Calvinism until the cows come home, but nobody is really allowed to pick apart Non-Protestant religious views, such as those found in Roman Catholicism?

    Good Question Daze

    • @ Megs48.
      I’ve asked you two questions on previous threads, including in this post ((Here)). You’ve not replied to either one.
      I would appreciate you answering the questions in that post, either under that comment, or here (under THIS comment of mine) if you like.
      I don’t feel comfortable allowing you to participate here (on the Daisy Blog) until I know you are not affiliated with or a supporter of “The Wartburg Whiner” blog or its owner. Thanks.

  2. The question is –if as a non Catholic, you would seek out Sites discussing Catholic Church problems/abuse, employ love bombing tactics over a long period of time to join in wringing hands over the horrible things in non Catholic Churches while promoting your Catholic churches supposed doctrinal beliefs as the anecdote. (Never mind that thousands of priests did not live out that supposed enlightened doctrine and the closed hierarchy covered it up for decades)

    This is more of a social psychological situation of how groups operate. Over time, because of the love bombing, people would not bring up the massive decades long Catholic Church abuses without a caveat such as, “others are just as bad” or some other apology. They were groomed and don’t know it. They don’t make those sort of blanket apologies for other groups when discussing abuse. There are some who think the Catholic Church is all fixed. How can anyone know that when it operates as a medieval closed system. They only know what victims tell them.

    And since Boz is never going to be hired to “write a report” for the Catholic Church, not sure I trust his assertions that much. And I am not impressed he is Grahams grandson. People seem to be very proud to be close to him. But who wants to save corrupt organizations? I have never understood that. If they did not know it was wrong as Christians before they got caught, could it be Biz is helping paper over corruption for money? It makes no sense.

    • @ Lydia.
      I’m tired of the double standards on other sites or blogs where it’s assumed that Catholicism is Christianity, RCC is above reproach (and usually the argument is made, “I think RCC is true Christianity and peachy keen because I am close friends with a really super nice Roman Catholic guy”*), so no debate on RCCism is allowed, but (what kills me is on those same sites) some RCC members continue to push a pro-RCC mentality and/or to make subtle digs at Protestant beliefs.

      If you’re not going to allow Prot vs RC debates to take place on your blog or forum, fine with me, and if you don’t want Prots criticizing RC, fine, but don’t allow the RCs to trash Prots or to promote RC.

      I may recognize short-comings with Protestant views, but that by no means I am blind to the problems with RCC theology or with their church culture.

      (By the same token, for our suspected Warty Whiner blog sympathizer who keeps posting here, (“Megs”), just because I spot problems with TWW does not mean I am necessarily anti – TWW or that I support Neo-Cal or gender complementarianism.)

      *Similar to the Velour argument that Islam is above reproach because she is close, personal friends with a really, really nice Muslim woman. OK, but what about all the other Muslims (or RCs) who aren’t so darn nice?

      Edit. BTW, re:

      And since Boz is never going to be hired to “write a report” for the Catholic Church, not sure I trust his assertions that much. And I am not impressed he is Grahams grandson. People seem to be very proud to be close to him. But who wants to save corrupt organizations? I have never understood that. If they did not know it was wrong as Christians before they got caught, could it be Biz is helping paper over corruption for money? It makes no sense.

      There is a blog post dated Jul 10 at TWW blog with this title:

      “Why I Know That SNAP Is Not in It for the Money: Honoring Barbara Blaine, Barbara Dorris, David Clohessy, Jeff Anderson, and Amy Smith”

  3. Dale wrote this on another thread:

    “Christiane is using Jesuit casuistry to promote Catholicism and denigrate evangelicalism.

    https://xcjournal.org/the-errors-of-catholicism/jesuit-casuistry/

    Check out the definition of casuistry:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casuistry

    (“Casuistry destroys by Distinctions and Exceptions, all Morality, and effaces the essential Difference between Right and Wrong”).[5]

    This is exactly what a friend of mine parents use to try to rehab the image of the RCC, too. There is no obvious right or wrong. Only their “situational”definition of kindness. Therefore being direct is presented as “unkind” therefore worse than molesting Children.

    It’s why I would never trust these people with actual victims.

  4. I was a Roman Catholic until the age of 34. What eventually led me to forsake Catholicism was my study of the book of Colossians. In it, I discovered the preeminence of Jesus Christ and the fallacies of what I formerly believed.

    In particular, I came to discover that I disagree on the who, where, when, what, why and how of Jesus Christ. WHO HE IS: I formerly believed that He was a transubstantiated wafer, and one of many mediators (amidst popes, priests, saints, Mary, sacraments, etc.). I now believe He is the only Mediator and is not a piece of bread to be worshiped. WHERE HE IS: I formerly believed that you could visit Him any time you wanted – just go to mass or worship Him in the monstrance. I now believe He is in heaven where He is interceding for His people even now. WHEN HE SAVES: I formerly believed that I needed to attend many masses in order to be infused with enough righteousness to eventually qualify for heaven. I now am certain that Jesus accomplished my salvation 2000 years ago. WHAT HE ACCOMPLISHED: I formerly believed that I needed to merit my salvation with the assistance of the Catholic sacraments (I needed to DO). I now believe that what Jesus did was sufficient for me (it is DONE and accomplished). WHY ONLY HIM: I formerly believed that Jesus was only part of the provision of salvation, and that Mary, the priest and the saints were very important. I now believe that only Jesus could (and did) accomplish my salvation, since it is His righteousness and his covering for sin that is effective. HOW HE SAVED ME: I formerly believed that I was initially born again when I was baptized as an infant, but that I needed to go to a priest to confess my sins, and that I would probably get into purgatory based on my good deeds outweighing my bad. I was taught that all sincere people qualified for heaven, even if they never come to faith in Christ (e.g. Muslims are saved through what is known as the “Baptism of Desire.”) I now believe that one must be born again (for me it was age 34), that it is by faith alone in Jesus and that the Holy Spirit applies salvation based upon God’s timetable, method and means.

    As a Catholic, I was told to submit my mind and spirit entirely to the teaching of the Catholic Church, which included its infallible Tradition and Magisterium. I now believe it is everyone’s personal responsibility to confirm all those who claim spiritual authority.

    Since I disagree on who Jesus is, where He is, what He did, when He did it, why He had to do what He did, how He did it, and through what means I can be certain of these things, I question those who claim that we (Catholics and evangelicals) agree on the gospel and that we are both Christian denominations. It seems to me that for knowledgeable evangelicals and Catholics to pretend otherwise is to lie.

    • @ Dale.
      Thanks for your input.
      I’m not sure how you’re viewing this blog, but if you’re using the Word Press notification thing (rather than visiting the blog post itself), you may be missing two posts (one with questions for you) that member Lydia left for you (( Here )) and (( Here ))

      I’m glad I have a blog here to at least allow people to speak up and about these things. Had you tried to discuss your views on your disagreements with Roman Catholicism at the TWW blog (and certain other abuse survivor blogs), you most likely would’ve been told to “Shush up and Move along” – while the Catholic folks on such sites are permitted to continue to take subtle jabs at Protestant views or to continue to promote Catholicism.

    • My husband was raised RC. He became born again at 26. He does not miss the RC church. He always says God was very distant in RC church….too many hoops to jump through to find Jesus. He still views it as deceptive, although believes some devout Catholics are saved but ignorant of the RC’s follies.

  5. Dale, I have a friend who was raised in Catholic royalty here. (Parents big community stalwarts of Catholicism on many boards, etc) He is the only sibling of six to officially leave. It was like he converted to Islam or something. His parents refused to enter a non Catholic Church to see their 12 year old granddaughter baptized. They told him: She was baptized.

    What was interesting about him is he questioned nothing until the pedophile scandal and how the church initially handled it. From there he started questioning everything. A new thing for him. His position was that the corrupt institution deserved to fail globally. The whole thing just seemed to hit him like a ton of bricks. And he was right that only a closed hierarchical system with blind followers could carry that on for so long.

    I am a bit more loose goose when it comes to finer points of doctrine but not when it comes to closed systems, meaningless traditions and the Catholic biggie which is mystery but I call what it is: superstition.

    The RCC maintained its political trappings as a state church. “The teachings of the church” business. The Vatican has a PR/communications arm rivaling that of governments. They literally tell Catholics what to think. They don’t ask what they are thinking. Catholics have no clue how their global institution operates. I hear all the time from them how benevolent they are. But facts are they have lost people and money for decades. I was shocked to learn how much land the Archdiocese owned here when they had to sell a bunch off. They owned shopping centers!

    Another thing most don’t know is the RCC, through many different NGO’s, gets billions to do “charity” work from resettling refugees to community work programs. Lots of Federal and UN dollars. The Charities here receive about 20,000 per refugee. They put them in federal housing (no cost to RCC), get them on government benefits (no cost to RCC) and their job is done. They also receive grants from Feds to teach ESL, etc (no cost to RCC and schools have same program so a duplicate)

    I call it a jobs program for them. Not enough money to keep parishes open but lots of money pouring in from governments to do what the RCC calls “charity” work. It’s such a closed system, people have to follow the money from the opposite direction to get a clue. It is in the billions and its global. The power from this alone is incalculable. And it is in their interest to promote it as compassion and if you don’t think such things are tenable long term, then you are mean and hateful.

    Here is an interesting article about the Pope using these tactics. The author is someone whose articles on social morality I always found interesting from his perspective as a psychiatrist in the British prison system. But even more interesting are the comments from Catholics. They really do have some problems with reason and logic and especially non sequiters.

    http://www.libertylawsite.org/2013/07/22/pope-francis-should-seek-clarity-on-moral-responsibility/

  6. Dale, I do have a question about the Catholic understanding of “confession” to a priest which would not be allowed to be asked in most venues.

    How does this work? The “priest” can forgive sin? Why? He stands in place of Christ for people?

    And what if a priest confessed molesting children to another priest? The seal of the confessional becomes a problem, right?

    Can someone like a molesting priest confess the same horrible activity of sin over and over and receive absolution from it….each time?

    How does such a confession system become anything but a rote feel good activity?

    • Lydia, you are correct in stating that the “priest” stands in the place of Christ. The priest is considered the mediator of salvation in the Catholic Church. He is the “alter Christus,” another Christ, in that he takes the place of Jesus in the process of remitting sins.

      You are also correct in deducing that Confession has been a major factor in the child sexual abuse scandal. Children are required to confess their “sins” directly to the priest. This gave priests one-on-one access to children. The consciences of the offending priests were seared because confession of sins “cleaned the slate” in the minds of the pedophile. Since the sacrament is considered a sacrament of cleansing, it encouraged the bishops to believe that the pedophiles could be transformed through the sacraments. By placing priests on a spiritual pedestal, it discouraged reporting by those children and families affected.

      • Dale,

        Thanks. I figured there had to be a psychological connection with with the concept of confession as a sacrament (means of grace, they believe)

        While the possible problems with Neo Cal doctrine is debated many are reluctant on certain blogs to allow discussion of how Catholic practice might have added to the long time abuse in the RCC. It isn’t PC, I guess. But the elevation of priests as ‘standing in for Christ’ is a huge factor! It also serves to downplay the function of the Holy Spirit in the priesthood of believer. We are all priests. Same type of authoritarian bent.

        Richard Sipe, former priest featured in Spotlight said that the whole culture of secrecy surrounding “celibacy” was a big factor in the cover up. When I brought this up on TWW, I was skewered because many thought it was equating pedophilia with adult heterosexual or homosexual sex. But Sipe was not doing that. His point was the ingrained culture of secrecy around a taboo topic for priests actually helped pedophiles operate more freely. They turned a blind eye to it ALL. Sadly the culture of secrecy continues with political correctness.

        So glad we can talk about this!

  7. I still attend a Protestant church, but it has a bunch of its own idols. Instead of Marioitary we have matriolatry. They don’t go so far as to say you have to be married to go to Heaven but they come pretty darn close. They also worship children or The Family and Mammon.

    As long as the Protestant churches worship the unholy trinity of Hymen, Venus and Mammon they have no right to criticize Catholics.

    I’m also sick of how stupid Protestant churches encourage people to be. We used to be about studying the Bible; part of our heritage. Nowadays those who attend church are biblical illiterates–it shows in the shallow praise choruses we chant. Instead of studying the Word of God we watch TV or read shallow, frothy novels–supposedly Christian

    Instead of Poverty, Obedience and Celibacy our church members have to have Money$$$$, Independence, and a spouse and kids! If you don’t you’re not welcome and they take no trouble to hide it.

    • @ Rachel.
      Not much to add here except to say I agree with you that the majority of Protestant churches marginalize anyone who is not married with kids – which isn’t very “sola scriptura” of them, since the Bible they say they respect doesn’t instruct believers to magnify marriage at the expense of singleness or childless-ness.

    • Rachel,

      I think I have retained my right. I am not a Protestant. :o) personally, as a student of history, I think the reformation was political with a religious fish slapped on it.

    • I am sorry you and Daisy have experienced this in your church. I do believe it’s somewhat wide spread in some evangelical churches. My unmarried daughter has commented on this subject to me as well.
      I try to be all inclusive to gender/ age / marital status. We are good friends with a fourtiesh, single male, have a nice friendship.
      I hope you all can find a place of worship where marital status is not magnified.

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