Thursday, January 26, 2017

Bad Priest!

This is not Father Contin. He probably looks nothing like this guy.

So there's this genre in film dubbed "faux-Catholic" by academics who study such things. This the form of Roman Catholicism that gets shown in horror movies, which often has little to do with the actual religion. This concept is closely related to the Christianity is Catholic and Fantastic Catholicism tropes. Along with the fantastic awesomeness ascribed to faux-Catholicism, there usually is fantastic evil as well, propagated by "bad priests" who use the might and magic of the church for nefarious aims.

These sorts of films have led to the propagation of anti-Catholic apocryphal stories along the lines of priests secreting engaging in orgies, black magick, and other such nonsense, weird tales which generally are entirely false. But if this case turns out to be true, I suppose that would make it the exception that proves the rule. There's no evidence that the case involves anything magical or paranormal, but it still represents some really bad publicity for the Roman Catholic church.

A priest in Italy is under police investigation for allegedly organizing orgies in his rectory and pimping out up to 15 of his lovers, the Independent reports.

Police are investigating Father Andrea Contin, a parish priest in northern Italian city Padua, on suspicion of living off immoral earnings. He is also accused of pimping out several of his loves on wife-swapping websites.

According to the Independent, authorities seized a variety of sex toys and videos at the San Lazaro church, purported to belong to Contin. He also concealed pornographic material in covers labelled with the names of popes.

Police investigated after three female parishioners complained to the local police. They first told the local bishop, but church authorities failed to notify the cops.

A volunteer who said she had an affair with Contin reportedly told a local Italian paper, “there were a lot of women hovering around him. I didn’t understand that at first, only later.”

Up to a point, as long as everything done was consensual, I am of the opinion that it's nobody's business but that of the individuals involved, and that it's up to the police to determine whether any laws were broken. But the case is especially bad for the Roman Catholic Church, still reeling from sexual abuse cases going back decades. There is some speculation that those scandals forced the previous Pope to resign, and Pope Francis is still trying to get a handle on the fallout.

Contrary to popular opinion, Roman Catholicism does not actually appear to attract more sex offenders than other religions or denominations. The problem is that the church's monolithic structure gave its administrators much greater power to cover it up - and they freely exercised that power. Allegations that would have simply destroyed an independent church on the spot instead resulted in the reassignment of problem priests, making the entire church complicit in the abuse and a target for lawsuits.

If does turn out that these allegations are true and Contin was involved in pimping and prostitution, this is a public relations disaster for the church. Since the legal authorities are involved, though, it sounds like at least he is not being protected by the church and the case can go forward. We'll have to see where the evidence leads.

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1 comment:

Usedont Knowme said...

Cults are as cults DEW. YOU said, "The man known mainly as "The Teacher" would parade around the compound in Speedos and Ray-Bans." He was a Catholic who did a party scene in a Polanski film. Some thought he was trying to escape(keyword)the emerging AIDS crisis. YOU said, "They don't want balanced, enlightened peers. They want followers who they can manipulate. And you know what? Enlightened people are a lot harder to mess with and way too much trouble. So by proposing a bunch of extreme rules that nobody can live up to not only keeps those followers down, it means that the leader can always find an excuse to chastise anybody who, say, asks awkward questions about his or her "wisdom."" (40217)