Catholics around the world have voiced growing concern over what they call a â€œcritical challenge facing the Christian worldâ€. Bishops from 15 Catholic states organized a forum in Zurich from March 12th-15th to discuss the pressing issue of child obesity. Catholic indignation was sparked in Milwaukee and Wisconsin, where local priests were the first to find themselves struck by a severe shortage ofÂ regular-sized boys.
The cleric community drafted a list of food outlets which include McDonalds, KFC, Applebeeâ€™s, Friendlyâ€™s and Artashi Mot to which they discourage Catholic kidsâ€™ attendance. On announcing the list, Father McKenzie of the Dublin congregation also appealed to the parents of these children:
â€œIn the name of Father, Son and.. whatâ€™s-his-face, I kindly ask all parents to pay more attention to their childrenâ€™s health. Please, please, keep out of junk food and fast-food restaurants. By raising your kids fat, you will not only harm them, but indirectly harm us..Â Our church needs healthy, slim and well-washed kids,â€ â€“ concluded McKenzie.
The Catholic Forum provoked controversy among civil society organizations and the general public. Some of the organizations were reminded of the ongoing issue of child molestation by priests. This, however, was promptly curbed by Vatican officials. PR Cardinal Antonio Plori told theÂ media:
â€œIt is simply a shame to once again raise the hackneyed topic of Catholic priests molesting a few kids. The Vatican has duly punished all alleged clerics. We have already cut back on child abuse by 30% this year and we have created strong incentives for priests to refrain from sex with under age adolescents. The numbers talk best here:
There was a decrease from 30 kids per priest in 2008 to only 10- 12 kids by 2009.â€
Armenian Theology Expert Hovhannes Hovhannisyan links the anti-obesity campaign to the potential surge in child abuse by bishops: â€œItâ€™s really fishy that Catholic priests would suddenly get so anxious about child obesity. Iâ€™m positive there is a connection between the two things, but Iâ€™m not sure how exactly they are linked.â€
On the other hand, some of the psychologists have suggested that child obesity is a tactics of self-defense against holly predators. â€œChildren instinctively eat extra fat burgers and pastry to distract potential abusers,â€ say the experts.
One of the Catholic hospitality survivors, Tony Shultz, 20, remembers: â€œBack a few years ago when weâ€™d do most of confessions in church, were realized that most of what priests did to our butts was not directly linked to religion.â€ Tony is one of the 30 youngsters who raised first allegations against priests in 2008. â€œTheyâ€™d whisper naughty things into our ears, would do naughty things do out butts which we later discovered were defined asÂ ‘molestation,â€ Tony mentions nostalgically .
â€œThen we noticed that the priests took less interest in the fat kids.. sorry, whatâ€™s the politically correct term?.. oh, the externally-challenged ones. So we opted for more food and it paid off,â€ remembers Tony.
As concerns over child molestation remain high, more and more parents are taking their children to McDonalds and other anti-Catholic food outlets to protect their youngsters from Catholic risks.