For over seven hundred years
there has been a doctrine within the Catholic Church called mental reservation.
The idea of mental reservation harkens back to a time when there were
two separate court systems - ecclesiastical courts run by the church and civil
courts run be the state.
Over seven hundred years ago the idea of
mental reservation was forged to protect the Catholic Church in civil court.
The doctrine of mental reservation claims that it is
morally justifiable to lie in order
to protect the reputation of the institutionalized Catholic Church.
The doctrine has been used quite extensively in modern times to protect the
Catholic Church from civil allegations that
the institution of the Catholic
Church allowed recognized pedophiles to continue to work with children.
a priest or nun is questioned about acts
of clergy that would be considered heinous, such as pedophila, the
priest or nuns are counseled by the
institutionalized Catholic Church that
morally justifible, not a sin,
under the doctrine of mental reservation.
"I'm certain there are many
Catholics who have never heard of the doctrine of mental reservation. Let's
call it what it truly is. It is standing in a public forum, swearing to one's
God to tell the truth and then lying." - Victoria Martin
"Over the years, it has been clear to the Roman Catholic hierarchy
that anything that undermines the
confidence of the
faithful in the church risks driving people away, thereby
dooming them to hell.
Therefore, the best thing to do about the
misdeeds of priests is to cover them up.
As the reasoning goes, the harm done to boys through molestation is far
less than that through eternal
damnation." - Rory Johnston
"Lying to protect the church's
reputation in sex abuse cases is a moral issue.
Victims of sexual abuse by
priests suffer lifelong trauma. Mental
reservation to protect the church is immoral." - Marie Pietrasant
2007 Los Angeles Archdiocese agrees to pay $660
million to settle claims of sexual
abuse committed by priests on children.
horrified and angered to
tears at the
hypocrisy and enormity of the
sexual abuse that took place in the
Archdiocese of Los Angeles over the last 70 years: 570
victims abused by 221 priests." - Jerry
"Priests don't emerge from a vacuum; those growing up from the
1950s on have been exposed to a mass
media culture with its pervasive "sex sells" mentality.
I visited a
Catholic monastery in Big Sur a few years ago and was impressed with its
film library - it looked like a small
movies was among the
monks' favorite pastimes, one monk said.
"How can people steeped in
childhood turn off basic human needs and
desires for their entire adult lives?" -
"Evidence doesn't line up with the ideology that it's always
harmful for kids to have sexual relationships with adults and a boy's sexual
experience with a priest could be
When I was a minor, I had sex with an adult.
I'd say on
balance that it was a perfectly good experience." - Judith Levine*, Harmful
to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children From Sex, Minnesota Star
Tribune, March 26, 2002
The Roman Catholic Church paid out more than
$1 billion in claims to victims of sex
abuse by clergy in the 1990s alone.
And then there was Dagoberto
Valle Arriaga who killed his son in the hope that church authorities would not
discover that he sired a child.
limbo417 ADCouncil of Carthage defines Limbo.
Limbo is the
place where infants who have died without baptism spend eternity in a state of
" natural happiness" but
are excluded from the presence of
The concept of limbo - from the Latin for "edge" - was meant
to address the paradox that unbaptised
infants could not go to heaven because their
Original Sin had not been
Theological Commission of the Roman Catholic Church finds limbo reflects an
unduly restrictive view of salvation and announces that unbaptised infants
would now be allowed through the Pearly Gates.
"We can all
breathe a sigh of
relief now that the Roman Catholic Church has abolished limbo and promoted
babies that have not been baptized to heaven. Too bad it took the Catholic
Church centuries to decide that
helpless infants shouldn't
be held responsible for their theological views." - James
"Wake me up when the Catholic Church acknowledges that the
Kingdom of Heaven
is within - and when it devotes itself to assisting individuals to be healthy
enough to pursue a relationship with
divine will, instead
of to building bigger cathedrals
and sending out updated bulletins on who gets to go to heaven." - Mary
"Every time the pope improvises the Vatican
Secretariat of State reviews and cleans up his remarks." - papal spokesman
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