It’s hard out here for a pope. See, when it comes to religious history, the list of Catholic Church transgressions makes for pretty uncomfortable reading. Despite exalting virtue and kindness in its teaching, church leadership has spearheaded a long history of outright unforgivable Catholic actions.
You might remember some of these improprieties from school – the Inquisition, Joan of Arc, and the trial of Galileo should all ring a bell. But not everything here is medieval. Though Vatican violence goes way back, a number of disturbing episodes are from recent history. Some of this repugnant behavior comes from popes, some was church-endorsed, and some, most unsettlingly, was just straight-up regular church practice.
Dark church history contains scandal after scandal rife with every vice and taboo you can imagine. When the church was at the height of its power (at which point it was the most powerful organization in the Western world), it’s safe to say everything went to its head. Combine that with church leaders seeming to stubbornly resist adapting to changing morality and you’ve got a whole lot of unforgivable moments on your hands.
In the decade since The Boston Globe broke the story about the cover-up of pedophile priests in the Boston Archdiocese, countless Americans have shared their stories of clergy abuse. Bob Hoatson is a former priest who was abused as a teen by church leaders. He speaks with host Michel Martin. (Advisory: This segment may not be suitable for all audiences.)
Some 5,000 people joined an anti-fascist march in Sarajevo in protest against a Catholic mass to commemorate the killings of Croatian Nazi-allied troops and civilians by the Yugoslav Partisans at the end of World War II.
Police said 5,000 people attended an anti-fascist march in central Sarajevo on Saturday against the holding of a Catholic mass which opponents claim glorifies people involved in crimes committed by Croatia’s WWII-era Nazi-allied Ustasa regime.