The Instigator
brian_eggleston
Pro (for)
Winning
33 Points
The Contender
Protagoras
Con (against)
Losing
27 Points

Paedophile priests should be exposed (not literally, obviously, that's already a big problem)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/5/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,306 times Debate No: 4910
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (4)
Votes (12)

 

brian_eggleston

Pro

As most people know, many Catholic priests are paedophiles. Despite the Church's attempts to hush the whole thing up, some kiddy-fiddling clergymen have been caught out and publicly shamed. However, my suspicion is that most consecrated choirboy cuddling goes unreported and, because the priests know that the Church won't punish them (unless they are actually arrested), these corrupt Catholic clerics continue their perverted practices with impunity.

The only way the Catholic Church can begin to restore it's shattered reputation is to form squads of ecumenical investigators with the power to mount wholesale surveillance operations on suspected or known offenders and make random raids on all parochial houses.

I therefore affirm that the Catholic Church should be pro-active in bringing these sacrosanct sex-pests to justice.
Protagoras

Con

Thank you Brian Eggleston for initiating this debate, but, I disagree with you. I, am personally an agnostic and according to your profile, you are an atheist, therefore, I think that more people ought to respect this debate in light of the fact that our opinion is objective, for the most part.

I speak namely in virtue of the preservation of Catholicism. If we were to, from your rhetoric, "expose" the few Catholic Priest that have paedophiliac tendencies, we would be in essence, slowly delegitimazing the virtue and importance of Catholicism and colloquially every branch of Catholicism.

If we were to in fact my opponent's proposition in the real world, this would lead to a society that sees Catholicism as an immoral institution. At the point in which we are singling out a particular religious group, simply because of a few people with paedophiliac tendency,

From the rhetoric that, "there are rotten apples in every bunch", meaning in every institution there are going to be corruption from a few people, though these people ought to receive some level of punishment, exposure is not the way to go.

Exposing the priest would not hurt the Priest a such as it would hurt the Catholic community. After, the Priest, Monsignor Alan Placa, a long time friend of Giuliani, was "exposed" for sexually molesting two former students, ultimately it was Giuliani and the rest of the Catholic community that were harmed.

The only way the Catholic Church can begin to restore it's reputation from said events is from punishing these paedophiles, not exposing them, this is because exposing them would call for further strikes against Catholic reputation.

I also have to say that you presumption that "many Catholic priests are pedophiles" is far from accurate. O would say that this claim needs evidence, but I am pretty sure you can find a few examples in which this occurred, therefore, I'd like to just point out to you that this sort of statement ventures away from any proper discourse. This is a form of degration, in that you are insinuating that Catholicism is bad, you have to take into consideration the feeling associated with religion, this assumption is somewhat uncalled for.

I conclude by stating that though pedophilia is wrong, the debate should focus primarily on pedophilia and not exclusively catholicism.

__________

Thank you for your time and consideration,

- Protagoras of Abdera
Debate Round No. 1
brian_eggleston

Pro

With thanks to my opponent for taking up this debate, I should like to respond as follows:

I appreciate my opponent's point that to launch a full and open investigation into paedophile practices in the Catholic Church would highlight the problem and may serve to further damage the Church's reputation. This may well be the case, but in the long term, it would be worth it.

Say, for example, you were looking for a new car. You'd want one that would be fast, efficient, comfortable, attractively designed and many other things but most of all you'd want it to be safe.

Now, there are many car manufacturers competing for your business but some of their models have faults. From time to time a design fault comes to light that requires a product recall, even from the car makers with a good reputation. For example, I had to take my Audi back to the garage because they had discovered that there could, potentially, be a problem with the seatbelt pre-tensioners. Audi brought this to my (and the public's) attention voluntarily, even though, in the short term, it may have harmed their reputation for build quality.

And now let's say that every day you read about some terrible car accident in the news.

One day, it might be a car that ploughed into a bus queue. The next day it was an out of control car that careered into a field full of baby bunny rabbits, kittens, puppies, lambs and cute little ducklings causing mass carnage. The day after a car containing Nelson Mandela, Miss World, the Dalai Lama and Steven Hawkins drove off a cliff and landed, two hundred feet down, on a lifeboat that was busy rescuing a party of stranded orphans. The following day a car failed to stop at a level crossing and derailed a freight train carrying high explosives, plutonium, nerve agents and napalm, causing an explosion that wiped out an entire city, and so on, and on each occasion the car involved was made by the same manufacturer and the fault was always brake failure.

Consequently, every day, the manufacturer concerned issued a statement apologising for the problem, but said that, even though their brake pads were made from papier-m�ch� rather than metal, there were thousands of their cars on the road that hadn't suffered any problems so they saw no reason to investigate the matter further.

It's the same with the Catholic Church. They know they have a big problem with child-molesting curates (you never hear about that sort of thing from Anglican churches where the clergymen are allowed to get married) but rather than have a full root and branch, thorough and transparent investigation, they apologise every time a new kiddy-fiddling incident comes to light but do nothing to prevent future repetitions of perverted priests abusing their positions of trust to sexually interfere with little boys.

If the Pope was an honourable man he would hang his head in shame and resign for failing in his duty to address this endemic, sick and wicked practice amongst his clerics.
Protagoras

Con

No problem Brian Eggleston, I really enjoyed discussing this topic with you. Hopefully, more investigation will ensue.

Before I continue, I'd like to remind the community that this is a very touchy topic, so if you are inclined to vote based on your personal bias, please do not vote at all.

______________

My opponent agrees that this "exposure" would harm the Catholic community, yet, he says it may help in the long run. I respectfully disagree.

This pedophilia issue ought to be resolved, that is without a doubt. I am simply arguing that my opponent's approach to solve this problem is detrimental at best.

I propose a different solution. This problem ought to be handled as a high priority issue BUT it should be solved surreptitiously. If we expose these priests for there personal criminal activity it would add an unnecessary burden to the Catholic community.

I argue, as I have argued in the past, I speak namely in virtue of the preservation of Catholicism. If we were to, from your rhetoric, "expose" the few Catholic Priest that have paedophiliac tendencies, we would be in essence, slowly delegitimazing importance of Catholicism and colloquially every branch of Catholicism.

This issue should be solved by us arresting those accused of child molestation of indecent exposure etc, arrest them, not expose them. Every church ought to have surveillance in places where acts like this may occur, this surveillance ought to be seen by an outsider, possibly by a police officer.

Please disregard my opponent's arguments regarding the car example, I'd argue that this issue would be solved with tighter inspection, as would the issue of pedophiles in a church.

IN closing, this is an issue that is NOT unique to Catholic churches, and this issue should be solved immediately from churches to restaurants, it doesn't matter where this problem is occurring, it ought to be resolved immediately. It is wrong to blame the Catholic community and call them categorically wrong, when this only occurs in rare incidences.

I hope more debates over solving this issue will ensue.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

- Protagoras of Abdera
Debate Round No. 2
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by PoeJoe 8 years ago
PoeJoe
The fact that PRO made such a short R1 and then went on to make a completely hypothetical R2, and that CON had such a strong last word inclines me to vote CON.

I think this topic deserved more rounds.
Posted by Protagoras 8 years ago
Protagoras
Arg, so many grammatical errors!

I apologize if you misunderstand anything that I have said in my round 2. If you have questions, Brian, feel free to ask.

- Protagoras
Posted by CogitoErgoCogitoSum 8 years ago
CogitoErgoCogitoSum
I further agree that any church or organization that protects their criminal element should itself be prosecuted and ousted. But that is not to say an innocent priest shouldnt receive protection still. Priests, like anyone, should have to face their accusers. But, priests also have a lot to lose... the mere accusation is sufficient to end their careers.
Posted by CogitoErgoCogitoSum 8 years ago
CogitoErgoCogitoSum
I dont know whether to agree or disagree. Yes, any pedophile should be publicly known. But, hey, dont we already have Sexual Predator notices? Predators have to register... at least in the US. And any true pedophiliac priest should be prosecuted. I agree to that.

But your presumption that "many Catholic priests are pedophiles" is far from accurate. Most commonly I hear this argument from anti-theistic bigots who solely wish to undermine the churches credibility. And its also a claim that needs evidence. There are probably fewer pedophile priests than there are pedophiles living just outside the court-ordered radius from elementary schools. The chances that your own daddy raped you as a child is by far greater than the chances of entering every catholic church in the nation in the hopes of bumping into a pedophile priest.

Pedophilia is wrong. And if the evidence exists, prosecution should ensue. But we should focus the debate on pedophilia and not catholicism.
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