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Thursday, 25 March 2010

The Catholic Church, Pedophilia, and Lessons for Ugandan Evangelicals

The Catholic Church, Pedophilia, and Lessons for Ugandan Evangelicals

Kato Mivule | March 24, 2010

Recent news has been flooded with stories of sexual abuse, pedophilia, and the cover-up inside the Catholic Church in Ireland, Germany, and other parts of Europe. What made matters worse and more interesting was the cover-up that involved the current Pope of the Catholic Church.

According to media sources, Pope Benedict XVI was involved in the cover-up of some of the sexual abuse and pedophilia cases that he oversaw the transfer those priests who were physically involved in pedophilia to other parishes. The sex scandal is shaking the Catholic Church worldwide, attracting the keen interest of Lawmakers, Justice Departments, and Criminal Investigations.

The Catholic Church Institution has for long positioned itself to behave like they have different set of rules and laws from their parishioners to the point that protection was offered to the pedophile priests rather than to the Children who were victimized. Yet still this sexual scandal goes as far to reveal the foundation of the Catholic Church Institution as not being Jesus Christ and His Teachings but the teachings of mere men and thus a misrepresentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

As one commentator aptly put it, the Roman Catholic Church Institution and the New Testament Christian Teachings totally contradict each other. Take for instance the doctrine and teachings that Priests are not supposed to get married but are commanded to take vows of celibacy. No where in the New Testament are such teachings found and as such those who wish to be ministers in the Roman Catholic Church are forced into vows and agreements of celibacy that they cannot keep. Salvation then becomes a set of Rules and Laws created by mere men rather than Grace in Jesus Christ. To keep their celibacy vows and appear well in public, the priests then get back doors through which they satisfy their sexual desires, and sadly that is with minors whom they suppose will not talk about such occurrences.

This is in no way generalizing that all Priests in the Catholic Church engage in pedophilia but my point is that the root cause of the sexual scandals go back to to the very man-made rules and doctrines that do not provide Grace but rather unbiblical stringent rules and laws that bring with them a curse and judgment, in this case pedophilia.

Galatians 3:10-14 KJV For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. (11) But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. (12) And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. (13) Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: (14) That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Colossians 2:8 KJV Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

There are many Priests who have been faithful in their celibacy vows yet still this would be totally contrary to New Testament Teachings to force ministers into Celibacy. Yet this raises a question, would the some married Catholic Priests not engage in abuse of Children? Yes, it does happen among married couples but at least that would be minimized or at least greater accountability. Another question would be pedophilia cases in other Protestant Churches like the Evangelical Church were most ministers are married. While this is true, the level at which such abuses take place in “Protestant” Churches is not as rampant as in the Catholic Church and also there is always a quick response to expose the pedophiles rather than protect and shield them.

The Roman Catholic Church Institution yields tremendous power and influence over almost a billion Christian followers around the world who genuinely believe that by placing their faith in the Roman Catholic Church Institution, they are placing their faith in Jesus Christ. This is in no way to bash and demean well meaning Christians who attend Roman Catholic Churches with genuine hearts only to suffer abuse, yet this is the time that such Christians pick up their Bibles and begin a personal journey into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ rather than outsourcing their spirituality to intermediaries. The institution has made made the followers believe in intermediaries rather than have followers have a direct personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As such, the followers place tremendous trust in priests and in such environments, pedophile priests sexually take advantage of young boys.

Yet still the same traits of vice are happening in the Evangelical Church were the Church is being turned into an institution and a priest-like structure being built, Evangelical Christians find themselves in the same position as Catholic Christians, trusting man to be an intermediary between them and Jesus Christ. As such, Pastors take advantage of their flocks to abuse and extort money. Rather than have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, Evangelicals are increasingly relying on Pastors, Christian Books, CDs, DVDs, TV and Radio shows for their spirituality. The same error of the Roman Catholic Church to institutionalize Christianity is being repeated by numerous Evangelical and Protestant Churches, yet such institutions cannot at any one time fulfill their spiritual hunger and thirst as when one has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Secondly, Jesus Christ is Head of His Church and does not need man to represent him on earth to take over His role as Head of His Church. This too opens doors for man to rule the Church rather than Jesus Christ. In a number of Evangelical Churches, men have appointed themselves as Head of the Church of Christ just like the Catholic Church and the results are not more spirituality but carnality. The pedophilia scandals rocking the Roman Catholic Church are testament to that. The shaking is going to continue and The Lord will shake everything that is shakable that only that which is built on His Foundation – His word will stay standing...

Hebrews 12:24-29 KJV And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. (25) See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: (26) Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. (27) And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. (28) Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: (29) For our God is a consuming fire.

Ironically the Catholic Church has withered the the storms of secularism throughout the centuries and kept the narrative on the Existence of God, Jesus Christ, Morality, Life After Death, Sin, Forgiveness and other Christian beliefs live in the secular discourse. For instance the Roman Catholic Church has stood strong conservatively on the issue of Abortion and Protecting the Sanctity of marriage. The Roman Catholic Church has given millions of dollars in Charities and stood for and called for Social Justice in many parts of the world. However, the Roman Catholic Church has only maintained institutional structures and doctrines that continuously place impediments between people and having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Now some Christians had a problem with the term “Social Justice” that I outlined in my previous article, claiming that the word “Social” is not found anywhere in the Bible but Justice is... Such responses and arguments are just a play on semantics. The Old Testament is full of scriptures in which prophets and ministers of The Lord call for justice for the weak, poor, orphans, oppressed, women, children, and widows, and if you are not dealing with social groups there, then there is something wrong witch such thinking. One Christian even mentioned that “Social economic Justice” is different from Christian Charity, I totally agree but totally disagree when one claims that Christian Charities should not be a voice for “Social Economic Justice” as long as they keep to the bounds of the Christian Faith and tenets, as “Social Justice” can be defined relative to one's beliefs.

Yet still many Evangelicals in the west hate any word phrase that has the term “social” in it, for them, it means socialism and communism, The very hypocritical Evangelicals always voice their opinion against Gay marriage and call out for Justice for the unborn babies yet they deny such justice for the poor, weak, widows, orphans, and all those cheated and defrauded by the greedy capitalist system they love and embrace. It is a shame that as long as one speaks out for Justice for the unborn babies, they are seen as “Patriotic” yet if one voices out for the poor and all those cheated by the current greedy capitalistic system, they are labeled socialists, ideas they borrow from 'McCarthyism', ideologies of a former US Senator, Joseph McCarthy an American extremist Right-wing Senator who sought to label all dissent as socialist and communist during the cold war, throwing fear among Americans then that there was a Socialist and Communist “Take Over” of America then, no different from the talking points of the 'Tea Bag Movement' today.

Interestingly, the Pedophilia Scandal in the Roman Catholic in Europe has drawn keen interest of the law enforcement authorities and calls for prosecution of priests engaged in pedophilia. This is one lesson that Ugandan Evangelicals failed to learn in their “fight against homosexuality”. The leaders of Uganda's Evangelical Church turned their fight against Homosexuals rather than seek prosecution against Child Abuse and Pedophilia. The fact is that many children, Teenagers, and young adults have been sexually molested and abused by big name pastors inside Evangelical Churches in Uganda. However, many of the child abusers are walking free today, while some freely preach on pulpits partly because of the distraction of the Ugandan Evangelical Leaders who lost strategy and rather sought Legislation to ban Homosexuality and including death penalties for Homosexual. Yet today the pedophile preachers and pastors in Uganda are still walking free not one has faced prosecution for the crimes committed. The push for laws against Homosexuality in Uganda served no purpose at all in seeking justice for the many young boys who have sexually been molested and abused by pedophile preachers and pastors. Perhaps the Ugandan Evangelical Church Leaders will learn from the Catholic Sexual Scandal in Both the USA and Europe and re-strategize in seeking Justice for those who have been victimized by pedophiles purporting to be preachers in Uganda.

It is going to be very difficult for the Roman Catholic Church to continue their secrecy, especially in Europe were many folks are less interested in religion and therefore will be less sympathetic. If the Catholic Church paid over 2 Billion US Dollars to settle the sexual abuse cases in the USA alone, the settlement in Europe will be far reaching and a bankruptcy is not far away, assuming other cases of sexual abuse emerge in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. This is really a shaking of the Catholic Church that will surely bring it down to her knees, though not crumble it. Yet Protestant denominations had better watch out, especially the Evangelicals and its Prosperity Gospel wing...whatever is not built on The Lord's Foundation will utterly be shaken and will crumble and fall.

Kato Mivule

Catholic Church pays 660 million dollars to victims of its religious abuses | Factnet

The Catholic Church and Sex Abuse | NPR

Trust in Catholic Church plummets amid abuse scandal | The Local de

The Great Shame of the Catholic Church | All Africa

Clerical abuse reports being exploited to discredit Catholics, Elizabeth Lev charges |Catholic Online

Irish bishop John Magee resigns over sex abuse scandal | The Telegraph UK

Claims of abuse flood Munich diocese | The Monteal Gazette Canada