Protestant vs. Catholic Corruption
Today’s news highlights differences between Protestantism – especially its “conservative” wing – and the Catholic Church. Both involve corruption and the love of money, but in very different ways.
The first involves a corrupt televangelist, though his crime in this case did not involve televangelism (here). The televangelist preacher also ran a catering operation, which was affiliated with his ministry. He told some of his church-going flock that God called them to contribute their labor to his catering business, and that refusal might jeopardize their eternal salvation. He was extorting them into a form of indentured servitude.
The Christian Post, the evangelical journal that ran the story, did not mention anything about the preacher’s gospel. It worked for many years. Furthermore, his flock were even less informed and more easily exploited than it first appears. Fifteen years earlier, the good preacher was convicted of the same crime. Despite periodic checks to ensure he was complying with the law, the good preacher nonetheless repeated his crime. Not only was his flock simple to begin with, they were apparently incapable of learning.
The corruption of the Catholic Church is far different. It is an organized affair rather than the action of a single, deviant minister. Due to about 75 cases of child abuse, a diocese in Montana is declaring bankruptcy (here). SNAP, the victims’ organization, complains (here) that this is an attempt “to hide behind bankruptcy protection to avoid potentially embarrassing and expensive child sex abuse and cover-up civil trials…. church officials filed for federal protection on the eve of a July trial to ensure that victims and the general public never know the true extent of sex abuse and cover-up throughout eastern Montana.”
Not only does this freeze the abuse trials, it serves to suppress information about the assets of the Church and further impede the efforts of the victims. Nothing is mentioned of the bishop’s shedding assets prior to the trials, but this often happens. The NCR article suggests the bishop is trying to shelter assets within the diocese.
In short, first deviant priests screwed dozens of children, and then, after attempts to cover-up and neutralize the crimes failed, the bishop screws the entire diocese. This is not an isolated case. This is now standard procedure in America’s Catholic Church.
Pope Francis recently said it was a grave sin for a business to close down one of its locations [Pope Francis Screws Up Again]. He has not commented on the process of partially shutting down a diocese with 50 parishes and 50 missions in order to evade accountability. Needless to say, the pope maintains the Vatican has no obligation to the diocese or the victims. I suspect he considers this a sound business practice, and certainly no sin.
Here we see one important difference between Protestantism and Catholicism. Protestants are generally small-timers, including small-time crooks. The Catholic Church operates on a grand scale, much like the Mafia in its halcyon days.