So the pope has finally arrived to Lebanon, and for sure, the celebrations, the media coverage, the roads signs and the people have all created enough buzz about the event that no one in Lebanon can manage to stop hearing about it. The excitement that religious people hold has gone far beyond any public excitement I have ever witnessed in my life. Frankly, I do personally understand how sectarianism plays a role in overly exciting the Lebanese Christian population who feel threatened and marginalized by the same system which they actively and aggressively sought to protect. On the other hand, I do believe that it is their right and their freedom to think, and express in whatever manner they want (provided that their actions and expressions do not violate any human right of course). After all, we do live in a free democratic country.
But let’s give reality a break, every time I get to discuss the issue of the Holy See and the head of the Catholic Church (who also claims to be God’s “earthly representative”), I find myself shocked by the amount of ignorance and the extent to which the Lebanese public has been sucked into informational black hole . So, I decided I wanted to do the Lebanese public a favor and inform them about what their media does not expose them to. To make this article more interesting, let’s call these 5 facts you are about to read “the dark secrets” of the church. They’re not actually secrets, the whole world knows about them (other than the Lebanese public for sure). But since the term “secret” is by definition what is “not known or seen or not meant to be known or seen by others”1, then I guess the scandals are considered at least to be secret for the local crowd. The list is short, and though there are infinite documents documenting the different scandals and human rights violations committed by the church, naming them would require archiving a library as big as the Vatican’s Apostolic Library; so here are what I consider to be the “5 most interesting recent scandals”:
5. The IOR (Institute for Works of Religion), also known as the Vatican Bank, is deeply involved in money laundering2.
3. The Catholic Church was actively involved in child trafficking in different countries such as Cuba and Spain. Catholic nuns sold the kids of married couples after giving birth to their newborn and claiming that the couple’s newborn has died5.
2. The Vatican has sold thousands of pornographic novels. By the end of 2011, The Catholic church had registered an annual profit of $391,000 from what they have entitled as erotica novels such as “Call Me Slut!”, “Take Me Here, Take Me Now!” and “Lawyer’s Whore” through Weltbild; a major German publisher owned by the Roman Catholic Church of Germany.6,7.
1. Other than the well-known atrocities of the Catholic Church, the Catholic Church led extremely unethical and inhumane medical trials on a variety of children who were born from unwed mothers. In these trials, the children were exposed to different drug testings and medical experiments after falsifying their records and forcefully separating them from their mothers8.