Accusing in Church

A thoroughgoing accusation.

24 comments:

Dad29 said...

Man, there's a LOT of stuff in that letter.

james said...

Indeed.

I have wondered a bit lately about how best to describe what's been happening with the leaders of many churches during my lifetime. Athanasius faced an army of bishops (and others) who believed a heresy about the nature of God. I wonder if we have an army of bishops (Catholic and their equivalents elsewhere) who believe a heresy about the nature of man: that he has no "nature" beyond what he defines for himself. Anyone can redefine sin to suit himself.

I suspect this particular corruption wouldn't have gotten quite such a grip on the hierarchy if it hadn't found fertile ground. But history shows plenty of wicked leaders in the church, so maybe it is just our generation's version, with nothing more than old fashioned "go along to get along" needed to aid and abet it.

Aggie - said...

According to him, the Pope has known and actively managed the problems within the church for years. Throughout history the church has weathered scandals as it wrestled with the inner meanings of God, interpretations of religious faith, the setting of doctrine, matters of internecine warfare, etc. I’m not aware that the church has been through such a thoroughly disgraceful exposure of widespread institutionalized abuse as this one, though. And the exposure has been on many fronts, from many outlets, for many years, and abuse continues to be uncovered. The mighty ship has not altered course though, a testament to the sheer physical power and authority that still resides within this modern artifact. The Inquisition could stand on the institutions of its faith as the raison d'etre of its atrocities. What has this modern atrocity been done in the name of?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I oscillate between sadness and anger. The helplessness which faithful Catholics feel must be great.

Though I have read in one of Rod Dreher's reports that when one of the priests (in Omaha?) was publicly brought to task for corruption and covering up, the parishioners expressed outrage - against those who were being so hard on the priest that they loved!

Dad29 said...

@james: It's said that the Church's members undergo trials that they deserve. Maybe all that artificial birth-control and abortion going on actually IS evil, eh?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

https://babylonbee.com/news/pope-says-he-will-address-sex-abuse-scandal-once-hes-finished-talking-about-climate-change/

Grim said...

Classic.

Texan99 said...

In thousands of years, we don't seem to have been able to learn the lesson: charity to fallible human beings is not the same as condoning evil.

douglas said...

"Though I have read in one of Rod Dreher's reports that when one of the priests (in Omaha?) was publicly brought to task for corruption and covering up, the parishioners expressed outrage - against those who were being so hard on the priest that they loved!"

I doun't doubt it for a moment, and it's really a big part of the problem. I'd suspect you're going to find that most of these priests were charming, popular, and had built up around them at least a modest 'cult of personality', which would of course, give them cover. No one wants to believe that someone they like is doing something bad.

On twitter, a priest I follow shared a statement of a parishoner that gave him comfort- "Father, don't worry- I don't come here for the priests, I come here for God". She said that to reassure that the failures of the priests wouldn't destroy her faith, but it also is a good reminder to the rest of us what our focus should be at church- and it isn't our favorite priest- no offense or lack of appreciation for their good works intended.

I've always by nature been averse to cults of personality- when the crowd runs toward someone, I tend to at least back off a bit. This has probably allowed me to see more clearly the issues it creates, and this whole fiasco is surely one of them. It also points out that we can go after the priests who committed these acts (and should), but it wasn't just them. As James noted above, people tend to go along to get along, and end up aiding and abetting- and courage is found wanting greatly. There is much blame to go around. Introspection by all parties (which means all involved with the church- clergy or lay) is called for. But the most severe judgements should go against the leadership that covered for and knowingly allowed this to go on.

Ymarsakar said...

The Church of Rome is a human organization that lives up to its potential... for the killing of the saints and the destruction of the discipleship of jesus of Nazareth, of course. Holy? A golf club is more holy. It does not make as much money as the retirement funds of the unholy priesthood from Rome; humans tend to care about things like that more than not.

E Hines said...

In thousands of years, we don't seem to have been able to learn the lesson: charity to fallible human beings is not the same as condoning evil.

True. But a close corollary is that those placed in positions of authority over the rest of us must be held to higher standards, with commensurately sterner sanctions applied to their failures.

Eric Hines

Texan99 said...

Eric, you may have taken me for the opposite of what I was trying to express with my dichotomy. I keep hearing people defend the kid-gloves treatment of abusive priests in the name of avoiding vindictiveness. I maintain we can guard against the vindictiveness, but in the meantime they have to be de-frocked and prevented at all costs from continuing to use a position of moral and practical authority in the church to abuse victims. By all means, let's be charitable, but not at the cost of condoning their crimes. I'm sick to death of hearing that we have to condone crimes in order to sustain a loving posture.

Ymarsakar said...

A couple lied to Peter concerning how much they sold their property for when donating to the nascent church. Their spirits were immediately called to account for their lies before the Godhead and the Divine Counsel. Immediate death of the body was the consequence.

No Holy priest of the Holy Father could do whatever the hell they felt like, without consequences. They would have been obliterated from this existence long ago. When humans walk around free and clear as they prey on children, this is allowed to the heathens and the humanity of ignorance because it is your freedom to walk in ignorance. You cannot be punished for being born ignorant; that would be unjust. You cannot even be easily punished for things you do that you have no knowledge of the divine consequences of. In human law, it is easy to prosecute people even with such ignorant circumstances. Didn't know you had parked in a wheelchair disabled spot and towing zone? Shrugs. Bye car.


A human organization is allowed to do whatever they want, as this earth is their vacation and test.

Those humans under the authority of the Divine Counsel and the Godhead, the prophets of old and new, are held to much much higher standards than the rest of you human mortals.

E Hines said...

Eric, you may have taken me for the opposite of what I was trying to express with my dichotomy.

It wouldn't be the first time I've misunderstood something.

Now that you've made the obvious plain even to me, I agree with you. I also have been saying all along that the obligation to forgive is not the same as a requirement to forget or to forgo punishment.

Eric Hines

Aggie - said...

I think the Catholic Church would do themselves a huge favor by allowing priests to marry, raise families of their own, and grow within a more normalized framework of civilized existence in God's house if their faith compels them to that choice. Their presence within the clergy would be a healthy force that discourages the kind of poisonous lifestyle-choice legacy that the institution is currently struggling with. That culture has been attracting exactly the wrong people for generations (many, certainly not all). Our generation is seeing the lifting of the veil. Sooner or later the church will have to reckon with it.

Krag said...

Agree with Aggie - how obtuse does one have to be to create an all-male organization that forbids marriage and family...and then wonder why it's filled with homosexuals?

If you actively recruit abnormal/atypical males, you will get abnormal/atypical behavior as the norm for your organization. This is not a difficult problem to solve, and I scratch my head in confusion that so many highly intelligent Catholics keep avoiding the obvious.

Texan99 said...

Celibacy of the priesthood has been part of the Catholic church for many, many centuries. Doesn't the homosexual predation problem seem to be of very recent origin? I guess we might think that celibacy only recently became such an arcane notion in Western society as to exclude everyone but a particular sort of predatory homosexual, but I'd want a more searching look first. Although history may censor a lot of homosexual history, the impression one gets is that, in the past, when vows were openly flouted, it was by clergy who kept mistresses and established family, as in the case of the Borgias.

As I understand it, the value of celibacy has less to do with what we now consider an "abnormal" approach to ordinary sexuality and more do to with a clergy that is not primarily focused on family and even dynasty. I'm not sold on it personally, and am completely comfortable with my Episcopal priests with their spouses and children, but I'm not ready to write it off as nuts, either. In certain times it appeared to be nearly essential, and in all times it has at least its points. It's unfortunate that it gets bound up in odd notions of sex as impure, and even more unfortunate if it becomes a mere outlet for men who need a cover for an unmarried state combined with a sense of entitlement about acquiring more or less unwilling or covert sexual partners. The secrecy and dishonesty alone would corrupt any ordinary priest.

Texan99 said...

PS, Eric, the way I expressed myself was ambiguous. I said we should distinguish between A and B, without expressing a preference I took for granted! I should have taken into account that the whole point of the controversy was that the preference isn't that obvious--though I think it's pretty well shared here.

Krag said...

A career in the clergy is currently one of hundreds, perhaps thousands, that a young man capable of completing college can choose from. That is the starting point for the issue. I don't have the historical background to reasonably argue what the clergy was five hundred years ago. Today, however, it is one of many, many choices a young man can choose. At that starting point, how many "normal" healthy men do you think will choose the one career that tells them they can never have sex, never marry, never have children, and that their professional peers, supervisors, and underlings will be only men?

On the face of it, does that seem like a self-selecting population of men you would anticipate having sound mental judgments and attitudes on moral issues?




Texan99 said...

There is, as I suggested, the real danger of a new selective filter that was not dominant or even particularly noticeable when the doctrine of celibacy was devised. Nevertheless, the doctrine was devised for a reason, and the fact that it has a perverse effect in recent decades could argue equally for two completely different cures: (1) ditch the doctrine, ignoring its origin, long tradition, and benefits, or (2) preserve the doctrine while taking the relatively new danger into account by openly and honestly combating a predatory homosexual culture.

Aggie - said...

Cannot vows of celibacy still be taken and honored by the faithful who devote their life to Catholic pursuits? I see no reason why not. I agree that the Church's first step in all cases must be to recognize and reckon with the poison that is currently destroying its credibility, by 'openly and honestly combating a predatory homosexual culture', as you so nicely expressed it. I'm not convinced it's such a recent problem, though - maybe it's just one that's been recently exposed on the scale that modern communications and technology allows. I think removing the compulsory aspect of celibacy and allowing the prospect of family life would allow the Church to once again flourish and contribute within a modern environment. Its cathedrals have stood the test of time and are testament to man's worship of God's glory. Sadly, its current philosophies seem directed to pursue a goal of self-annihilation.

Aggie - said...

Speak of the devil.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/christinekenneally/orphanage-death-catholic-abuse-nuns-st-josephs

Ymarsakar said...

The priests being paid to practice their totalitarian system is the primary issue, not the celibacy issue. The take the celibate vows because of the power inherent in the Roman system. Remove the power and make priests work, like Jesus worked as a carpenter, then you wouldn't have such a flaky Leftist socialist system. It would reform itself like the Pilgrims. Had the Pilgrims not faced starvation under communal ownership, would they have ended it?

Tom said...

I think the Catholic decision on celibacy stems from St. Augustine's ideas back in the 4th-5th century.

The Catholic Church does allow a few married priests, and it recognizes many more.

Married Anglican priests who enter the Catholic Church in the Anglican Rite (probably the wrong term - can't remember at the moment) can remain married and be Catholic priests. I believe Eastern Rite priests can also be married.

In addition, the Catholic Church recognizes the validity of Eastern Orthodox orders, and most Eastern Orthodox priests are married.