Spotlight on a Corrupt Catholic Church
We watched the film, Spotlight the other night. A fascinating film with fine acting and very tight writing. But the amazing aspect is what the film tells us of the Catholic Church as an institution. It suggests corruption at the core, and perhaps all the way to the top. The initial portrayal by the church was that a few bad apples had been at work. What the following investigations revealed is that the church has been following this corrupt practice for generations, perhaps centuries, and it has never done anything about it.
I don’t know what a solution might be to such a widespread problem. Perhaps, if the church hierarchy objected to secular remedies (20 years in prison??), then they might have embarked on their own. The church is famous for its monasteries, for example. Why couldn’t the church have built monasteries all over the world and then sent errant priests to those monasteries for lifelong devotion to prayer, and never let those priests back into society? That would have been ok by me (recognizing that I don’t count).
But the film also makes me wonder about the theological implications of this bizarre church order.
For example, what were the priests and their bosses thinking when first the priests engaged in the practice of raping little boys, and then their bosses took no serious remedial actions? Did they, for example, think/believe that God doesn’t pay attention to such minor matters, being so busy at managing the universe??? But, if that were true, then what is all this prattling on about crap like who’s eating meat on Fridays, or who hasn’t been to confession lately??? Surely, if God is too busy for rape, then she could not care less about who eats meat on Fridays. Or perhaps, the priests really, deep down, do not believe in heaven or hell, or even God herself?? And if that is the case, then what does all this say about the thing called organized religion, of the Catholic sort?? That it’s all a gigantic joke on mankind? I mean, I already understand that religion, all religions are really death cults. That is, they focus on the single most fearful thing facing all humankind, i.e., creatures who think—and that is death. They all promise that death is not the end, but instead the beginning of an afterlife world, in which everything is perfection. Unless, that is, you screw up . . . because then you don’t get to “live” there. Now, if you can get folks to believe that, then they will follow you anywhere.