Papal indulgences scandalized early modern Europe. For a price, the Pope would forgive just about anything. "When a coin in the coffer rings, a soul to heaven springs," quipped reformation wits.
In Connecticut today plenty of coins were ringing in Church coffers. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford just agreed to a $22 million settlement of some 43 claims of sexual abuse of parishioners by priests. Two years ago, the Bridgeport Archdiocese settled claims worth about $20 million. Good thing the church is tax exempt, how else could it afford to muster funds to pay for the extracurricular passions of its prelates? Preying in Church
Shockingly, the Church settled the dispute but could not, or would not, say where all the wayward priests now were. Several are dead, but what of the others? Are they still fiddling about? No one knows.
I can think of no other institution which could survive such systemic corruption, and such systemic complicity in the corruption. I suppose there is no accounting for the mysterious relation of God and man.
But, wait! ... What's that I hear? I new taunt. Reformation words turned to modern use. Can it be? Yes, why listen, and you, too, can hear it: "When a coin from the coffer springs, a priest to a child clings."
I say tax the church. That's what Nevada does its bordellos.