Long time no post... Sorry.
I've come back from spending time with my work and family at a time when taking shots at religion is a little like shooting fish in a barrel.
The recent scandals (I say recent but this spans several years now) facing the vatican, now topped with the abdication of the pope on health grounds has basically opened up the flood gates for cheap shots.
While the vatican needs to be taken down a peg (or even better totally disbanded), none of the current scandals reflect on the christian faith only on the individuals involved and on the institution that protected them.
This is a slightly unpopular position with some atheists but I think it's important not to make the kind of non-transitive, unsupported, ad-homonym attacks that we dismiss so quickly when they are used against the atheist position.
Just to be clear: The scandals facing the vatican are real and reflect badly on the vatican and its members and institutions - but while this undermines some of the claims of of piety that would otherwise support a position of faith, it does not undermine the position of faith directly - we have other arguments for that.
Where faith is failing is that people are placing trust in individuals within the church and giving them the kind of reverence they have for their faith. Priests and bishops are only human, subject to all the same flaws as the rest of us, assuming that they are incapable of moral failings just because they are trained in a religious morality is like assuming that a doctor cannot be an overweight, unfit, alcoholic or a drug user just because they are trained in medicine and understand these things to be unhealthy.
That is not to say that the vatican does not deserve to be opened up and have some of its larger festering wounds given a little air. If you cant stand the smell of corruption there is a great deal to see under the hood of the vatican, beyond pedophilia and the coverups there are mob ties, corruption, bribery, and political manipulation to be seen.
Two great articles to start with can be found here: