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Catholic Church Confessional

We forgive you fathers because you have sinned.
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(+3, -4)
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Isn't it about time we had some kind of confessional booths that weren't affiliated with the Catholic church for members of the church to come forward and really get that load off their chests. For leadership this could also involve sins of the Catholic church itself in the past.

Forgive me world population for we the Catholic church have sinned. We are guilty of -

* Systematic destruction of any other culture by burning books, artwork and brainwashing.
* Torture of anyone vaguely suspected of being a witch or having an intellect greater than the local church representative
* Organised slavery and torture of anyone suspected of having low morals (up to the 1990's apparently). Mother Theresa was quite instrumental here.*
* Sexual abuse of minors worldwide.

These guys are the Taliban of the last few millennia and we will welcome full apologies, discreditation and recompense.

Note: This is the lazy version of the idea. Keen readers may wish to research the systematic abuse of the world over the centuries by the Catholic church in a neat organized timeline which is what I would like to have presented as a coup de grâce.

* I think there was a misunderstanding in some religions as to how people can better themselves. Piety and suffering growing pains soon developed into systematic torture to inflict artificial growing pains on others, thereby completely by-passing any moral teachings of e.g. being kind to others, offering charity etc.

God wants you to confess all your sins.

bigsleep, Feb 05 2013

Omerta http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omert%C3%A0
The mafia have been refining it, after licensing it from the church. [UnaBubba, Feb 05 2013]


       Jesus Christ, I'm behind you on this one, [bigsleep]. There has been more damage done to humanity by organised religion than any other agency, force, nation or cause in history.   

       //Taliban of the last few millennia// is a very apt description.   

       Can we round up the rest of them (all of the 40,000- odd Christian denominations, various Islamic sects, fundamentalist Jews, militant Buddhists, etc.) and have a big bonfire for the lot of them?
UnaBubba, Feb 05 2013

       [UB] Hopefully reasonably written. I was thinking I was all ranted out, but apparently there are a few left. I think the confessional reversal is a nice twist.
bigsleep, Feb 05 2013

       The Catholic church has relied on the principle of "Omerta" for 2,000 years. Think they're gonna change now?
UnaBubba, Feb 05 2013

       Can't you people find other websites to start flame wars on? If I see another one of these I might have to report all of you to the Catholic Church - to face the consequences. We can agree that Catholic clergy are good at torture and burning-at-the-stake when they want, right?
DIYMatt, Feb 06 2013

       No one expects the inquisition...   

       Maybe there could be a "Truth and Reconciliation Commission", but without the reconciliation part, just summary execution ath the end?   

8th of 7, Feb 06 2013

       I'm not that interested in dragging any particular Church through the mud of 1700 years of history. Any organisation that's as old as that is going to go through patchy stages. If the Roman Empire was once a Gleaming Temple of Organisation, then the Catholic Church is one of the final, crumbling pillar stumps amongst the ancient ruins of That Temple that remain today.   

       I don't think it's fair to blame the worlds ills on organised religion - sure, it's a convenient banner to piss on - but I think you need to include *any* ideology (Socio/Communism, Nationalism, any other kinds of -ism) in order to be fair in that critisism. That then opens the door to Moral Relativism - which isn't a great solution either.   

       Ideologies and the organisational structures that help promote them *are* particularly powerful tools for getting people to think, and act, single-mindedly - and when people all work as one - they can achieve great (and terrible) things.   

       We either find a safe way of achieving the kind of singleness of purpose that we need to see through large projects - without the usual tricky problems at the margins (whether it's the people who's village you flood in order to build your damn, or the people you send to the gulag in order to see through your political takeover, or the natives you fight/poison/convert/trade with in order to establish your extra-national colony) - or we settle into a world where lots of different thoughts and voices are all allowed to work at once, and hope that small emergent eddies and currents work together to build the things that previously we might have described as "Culture" or "Civilisation".
zen_tom, Feb 06 2013

       Ah yes, that would be the highly dangerous Moral Relativism that allows a patriarchal and overbearing organisation to justify treating young girls as slave labour in laundries, molesting choirboys, and then mounting a massive cover up and denial whilst all the while producing numerous illegitimate children, since priests can't marry … ?   

       Best avoid that … could lead to accusations of hypocrisy …
8th of 7, Feb 06 2013

       Right - but there's a difference here between The Church as an entity itself - and those cases where it has managed to make itself a part of the Establishment.   

       I think in all cases - there is every reason for applying the rule of law, and I'm not suggesting any special treatment be meeted out. But whenever you have an Establishment, it will commit horrible crimes of neglect and omission and overt cruelty. Take any Establishment you like - and you'll find sickeningly horrible crimes being committed under their rooves.   

       I'd definitely be 100% behind the full removal of all religious organisations from the workings of national governments. I believe there should be a separation of church and state - and where crime is committed, it should be covered by criminal law.   

       The Church can't be allowed to hide from the law - but then, nor can anyone else. Yes, the Church is a mess - but then so is the National Care system as well (consider stories of child abuse in various non-religious care-homes) The point I'm making is that it's an Establishment problem, not necessarily a religious one - my concern is that focusing on the religious/church aspects of the real problems here would result in missing out on other areas that need looking into.   

       Then again, maybe doing these things piecemeal is a neater way of getting things done.   

       Or put another way - let's take [bigsleep]'s list of distateful things:

       * Systematic destruction of any other culture by burning books, artwork and brainwashing.
* Torture of anyone vaguely suspected of being a witch or having an intellect greater than the local church representative
* Organised slavery and torture of anyone suspected of having low morals
* Sexual abuse of minors worldwide.

       I wouldn't doubt that this particular rap-sheet (modified so that for example context specific words such as "witch" are replaced by appropriate aliases e.g. "terrorist") could be applied to pretty much any government you might care to mention - certainly any organisation that's been around for more than 100 years.
zen_tom, Feb 06 2013

       So the idea is one of the following, I guess? I can't tell which.
(1) Catholics who have carried out, with the sanction or wilful ignorance of the Church, acts which are somehow deplorable have, in the booth, a place where they can make confession of their own misdeeds in an environment which is (a) familiar but (b) minus the tacit Church approval of, say, generally having antediluvian attitudes towards women; or
(2) Catholics automatically (morally or legally) assume a burden of guilt for the acts of people they have likely never met and are only connected with through their shared Catholicism, and consequently the booth represents a place where these morally acceptable Catholics can confess the sins of others; or
(3) Because all Catholics are culpable for the corporate actions of the Church, the idea is for a place where Catholics have to come to make good for the actions of a corporate entity?
calum, Feb 06 2013

       The Title's cute: visions of a "confessional type" announcement podium "it has been 17h43m since the last time..."   

       But the constant libellous litany is wearing. Said diatribe leads me to believe that UB [edit: whoops! it's [bigsleep]'s post, not [UnaBubba]'s ] either   

       a) was abused by some church, or somebody using religion as an excuse to justify abuse, or   

       b) committed(/ing) a criminal act against an organized religion and is projecting; perhaps he's a representative of a competing sect with nothing good to say about them, or   

       c) is a high-ranking Church official having us on.
FlyingToaster, Feb 06 2013

       I have a sneaking suspicion that the lot of folks on here who get their yayas out by throwing stones at churches, priests, and religious people in general have actual relationships with very few of them.   

       Scandal travels fast, the good that men do is often buried with them. Apply to the church as you see fit.
RayfordSteele, Feb 06 2013

       For those craving spiritual opiates, there is a perfectly good Church of England with a much lower (admittedly non-zero, but much lower) incidence of paeodophillia. Since god is of course English, why anyone should want to get involved with some funny foreign lot, especially Italians (now under German management, just like 1943), is inexplicable.   

       The whole celibacy thing is implicated. Until the 13th century, priests were allowed to marry …   

       The ire, ordure and big sharp lumps of rock are, you will note, uniformly directed against Roman Catholics, both in this thread and in the media.   

       <Obligatory "What have the Romans done for us ?" Python quote/ >
8th of 7, Feb 06 2013

       [+] I could write a book about this. I don't like to be self-referencial, but I must say the three worst years of my existence were while going to a catholic high school; until I moved to another school. Psychological manipulation it's an everyday exercise there, dogma against reason: you should learn to live in the contradiction; or you must leave.   

       For the idea, just some tweaks:   

       - A multimedia booth, with a camera, a microphone and its own youtube channel.   

       - A face pixelation could be allowed   

       - For social networking activity, two buttons: "I forgive you" and "I don't forgive you"; or "hell" and "heaven" if you like. The icons of these buttons could be angels wings and devil.
piluso, Feb 06 2013

       [8th of 7] Not only that, but actually believing in God would put you at the radical fundamentalist end of the Church of England.
hippo, Feb 06 2013

       Re: the Title. According to a well placed source, "A confessional is a small, enclosed booth used for the Sacrament of Penance, often called confession, or Reconciliation." I thought this idea would be to build an actual confessional large enough to hold the entire Church.

The church bashing seems a bit extreme. Although I don't believe Jesus Christ (nor JesusHChrist) walked on water or any of that stuff (see "Pantoons"), I do think the message of the original Jesus (or his historical biographers) was radical and spot-on. That would be "love even your enemies." That is a little different than "bash and insult your enemies."
sqeaketh the wheel, Feb 06 2013

       //"terrorist") could be applied to pretty much any government you might care to mention - certainly any organisation that's been around for more than 100 years.//   

       I think thats about right. Life was pretty rough and ready 100 years ago. Just 70 years ago, bombs were dropping all over europe.   

       The idea was simply the realisation that the Catholic church just seems to be getting rottener and maybe we should turn the tables and send the whole lot single file through a confessional.   

       //and when people all work as one - they can achieve great (and terrible) things.//   

       It would be interesting to see what kind of flock management will be used in future. Beguiling a population with psychotic dreams just doesn't cut it these days.
bigsleep, Feb 06 2013

       Today's message:"'Love' your enemies until they submit."   

       [bigsleep], I imagine it will largely resemble here, where some effort of discipline / control by influential peer pressure reigns supreme. It's a halfbaked world...   

       Another observation, in such a rough-and-ready world, the sins of the church might not stack up so highly.
RayfordSteele, Feb 06 2013

       And how do you feel about Richard III these days?
RayfordSteele, Feb 06 2013

       //Beguiling a population with psychotic dreams just doesn't cut it these days// - apart from soap operas, Jermey Kyle, action movies, reality TV, 24 hour news, celebrity gossip - all of which seems to be doing a pretty good job of it to me. The problem being that the power of the mass media has replaced the medium of the Mass, and the message being communicated subverted from "Behave this way and you will go to heaven!" to "Buy this and your life will be heaven!".
zen_tom, Feb 06 2013

       In the politics of the monarchs, one either went along with the established powerful or found themselves in stocks. That the church managed to scrape together any good or reform in such an Machiavellian paradise is in itself a testament.
RayfordSteele, Feb 06 2013

       The church was one of the primary movers behind the monarchies of Europe, [Rayf]. They were kingmakers and breakers, holding vast financial and property reserves.   

       That's a large part of what the English Reformation set out to redress.   

       That this discussion keeps turning up here and everywhere else is recognition that many people feel it's time to further reduce the level of influence that religion and superstition exert on our societies.   

       The people can't get laws that allow freedom of choice in relationships, euthanasia, abortion, medical health delivery, entertainment and a whole host of other areas, passed to their satisfaction, is because they're hijacked by the organised God Squad that has pervaded parliaments and governments ever since their inception.
UnaBubba, Feb 06 2013

       The main problem that I have with the corporatisation of blame (which applies to formally corporate entities like The Banks and to informally or atypically corporate entities like the Roman Catholic Church) is that it misses the proper targets of our ire. The proper targets of our ire are the individuals who bear responsibility, whether direct (touching up the kids), or indirect (not being arsed about risk to borrowers and instead following company policy). The corporate entity cannot be responsible, because it cannot act without the human element. The failure of the banking system is not some sci-fi AI failure, it is an massive accretion of individual human failures. The failure of the Roman Catholic Church is the same, from rapey priest to wilfully oblivious bishops, to culturally cowed politicians.   

       Of course, the downside of my approach of not pinning blame on a corporate entity, but on the actors who move that corporate entity is that I have to give up the right to bump my gingivitis about, for example, the Spanish Inquisition, the political chicanery, the outright corruption of the church past. The victims of those misdeeds are all dead.   

       For the sake of clarity, I am not denying that the Roman Catholic Church has policies and positions which I find unacceptable or which I consider to be damaging. For example, of the handful of Labour MPs who voted against allowing homosexuals the last bit of political equality thus far denied them in England & Wales, a fair number were Labour MPs for areas of Scotland (hello West Lothian Question!) which skew Catholic and where the Roman Catholic Church has still some political clout. I am therefore likewise not denying that the Roman Catholic Church can have a negative impact on the lives of people today. But as to the historical shit? Let it go, it doesn’t matter any more.
calum, Feb 07 2013

       There is no statute of limitations on murder, nor on some forms of assault, [calum].
UnaBubba, Feb 07 2013

       //There is no statute of limitations on murder, nor on some forms of assault// Yes, but I've heard that it is quite hard to punish after the perpetrators are dead.
DIYMatt, Feb 07 2013

       //The proper targets of our ire are the individuals who bear responsibility//
//But as to the historical shit? Let it go, it doesn’t matter any more.//

       I don't think it is that clear cut. A corporation or church has momentum in its policies. A policy that might have been initiated generations ago may still be going as enacted by many smaller cogs in a complex machine. Take the banking crisis - not down to a small number of individuals but an increasing number of people doing shoddier and shoddier work. Hence the word institutionalised.   

       Once the rot has spread, it takes a bigger clear-up operation than just getting rid of one key decision maker. For the catholic church well, history teaches us we might as well just scrap the whole lot.
bigsleep, Feb 07 2013

       //scrap the whole lot//   

       Not sure how you do that... Rome wasn't built in a day, and its influences still echo through our lives, more than 1500 years after it fell.
UnaBubba, Feb 07 2013

       Maybe my argument is semantic, or maybe my argument stems from overthinking the nature of corporatism. Anyway, I agree that institutionalisation of naughtiness is an issue in certain power structures (e.g. Metropolitan Police) but the remedy is not to get the pitchforks out for the overall structure but to approach the individuals - racism cannot be driven out of the Met by ordering the Met not to be racist. It can only be improved by direct engagement with racists and those who enable racism within the Met. This approach is easier (though by no means easy) with public bodies than it is with private enterprises like the Roman Catholic Church but the RCC is necessarily subordinate to the rules of each jurisdiction in which it operates. So we have the means, we just don't have the political will.
calum, Feb 08 2013

       I don't deny that, [UB]. As always the issue became surviving the politics of power while climbing civilizations' tels of their time where democracy was but a dead Greek word.   

       Bad corporate structure and bad policy can bring about bad behavior. Otherwise governmental type wouldn't make that much of a difference, would it?
RayfordSteele, Feb 08 2013


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