Catholics shouldn’t pay tribute to a criminal. Maryrose O’Leary is right

When Maryrose was 14-years-old, she married her first love against the advice of her Catholic parents. “Despite the overwhelming emotion that overwhelmed me, I was aware of my obligation and consigned to God,” she wrote in her book One Chaste Marriage. She said the church told her it would burn her at the stake if she married in contravention of the law of the land.

She took a vow to her husband under a mountain in the middle of the Tertiary Forest – God willing – and assumed that was the end of it. “Though my deep-seated fears that I would break his heart were banished,” she wrote. “To my eternal shame I was convinced that ‘God’ had been present in that moment, for I had lived it as if I’d had a signed notice of divorce from His office.”

Sadly, as Maryrose explained in an interview with the BBC in 2007, one of the cardinal’s lawyers later threatened her and her husband with legal action. He went so far as to describe the marriage in legal documents as a ‘polygamous union’. The church, she said, has been “attacking not just my marriage, but the marriages of women and women who have had their marriages overthrown.”

Abusing children is a deeply-unjustified, inhumane and immoral act.

Ms. O’Leary feels that the church should call her to account for that poor father and to denounce the practice of both her marriage and that of her husband’s second wife.

In the United States, the Catholic Church is embroiled in a series of high-profile sex abuse scandals involving clergy, priests and religious orders. Moreover, the church faces a huge sexual abuse scandal in Chile. The newspaper El Mercurio reported that five priestly and 26 religious brothers were implicated.

“I would support a ban on the Vatican from being the permanent state representative at the UN,” Ms. O’Leary said. “It should not be at the forefront of human rights organizations, as it so clearly has shown that it is not… promoting gender equality, and human rights, at all. It is a huge, big elephant in the room, and that is why I think it’s the Vatican that should be seen as a world pariah.”

Ms. O’Leary told the Religion News Service that she opposes the “one man one woman” policy that are in place at the moment.

When asked how many children she has, she tells us, “There are four and I think they are all going to be priests, but I don’t know what their age is.”

Finally, Ms. O’Leary told me that the Catholic Church needs to be taken off the list of top 10 corporations because “It is actively taking advantage of children. Abusing children is a deeply-unjustified, inhumane and immoral act.”

I’d like to thank Maryrose for the detail and insight into her childhood. As a Catholic, I am very curious to know how she felt when the Vatican began attacking her marriage. I am also curious to know why the Pope would adopt the so-called “one man, one woman” policy when the position of Bishop was offered to him by Cardinal Bernard Law at the age of 33.

It’s clear that Ms. O’Leary is not likely to be threatened by this action, and it would make a lot of sense to carry on.

“In my opinion, the Catholic Church has an oppressive stance on women, and a regressive stance on human rights. I think the Vatican will get away with it for now, because it’s all about the material gain. When it comes to sex, the Vatican is insensitive to the rights of females as we know them. Sexuality has turned out to be a business model for the Vatican, which is not at all conducive to empowering women,” Ms. O’Leary said.

I agree with Ms. O’Leary completely. Let’s make the Catholic Church a pariah and call it what it is: a criminal organization. Let’s make sure that the Catholic Church no longer influences the human rights policy of the United Nations.

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