Apr 16, 2010

An Un-Holy, Holy Week with ¨Locker Room Gossip¨

¨In a truly disgusting display during Holy Week, the Vatican has attempted to cast itself as the “victim” in all of this comparing itself with those who suffered the Holocaust.¨ Father Geoff Farrow

¨Imagine for one moment that the Cover-Up scandal involving Catholic bishops was about superintendents of schools instead of bishops. What if it were grammar school teachers who were pedophiles? Imagine the offending teachers being transferred from one school to another and parents/guardians being given financial settlements with provisions that effectively prevented the victims from making public statements regarding the abuse. Can you imagine what would happen to the Superintendent of a school district who obstructed justice? How long would it take before the local District Attorney pressed criminal charges?

Here is where the analogy fails. Unlike the Public School System, Roman Catholic Diocese are corporations. Corporations enjoy all the legal rights of individuals without the legal responsibilities of individuals. Add to that the social/political clout of the bishops and their extensive financial power and you begin to understand why not one bishop has been prosecuted for obstruction of justice in criminal cases. These are not “white collar” (no pun intended) financial crimes, but crimes in which minors have been sexually abused.

This is why the Cover-Up is actually as bad as the pedophilia itself. The Cover-Up not only is an obstruction of justice in which victims and their families are marginalized and left to fend for themselves. The Cover-Up actually facilitates new case of abuse because bishops/superiors who knew of the abuse transferred the pedophile to new parishes. In several cases, the pedophile was moved across international boarders, thereby undermining any judicial action. All of this has been done to protect not the pedophile priest, but the institution and its reputation and wealth.

In a truly disgusting display during Holy Week, the Vatican has attempted to cast itself as the “victim” in all of this comparing itself with those who suffered the Holocaust. Cardinal Angelo Sodano then dismissed countless legal cases as “rumor.” As if the testimony of thousands of victims and the judicial proceedings of many countries are comparable to coffeehouse and locker room gossip

Pope Benedict has made worse just about everything that is wrong with the Roman Catholic Church and is directly responsible for engineering the global cover-up of child rape perpetrated by priests, according to this open letter to all Catholic bishops by HANS KÜNG

¨Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, and I were the youngest theologians at the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965. Now we are the oldest and the only ones still fully active. I have always understood my theological work as a service to the Roman Catholic Church. For this reason, on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the election of Pope Benedict XVI, I am making this appeal to you in an open letter. In doing so, I am motivated by my profound concern for our church, which now finds itself in the worst credibility crisis since the Reformation. Please excuse the form of an open letter; unfortunately, I have no other way of reaching you.¨


¨Call for a council: Just as the achievement of liturgical reform, religious freedom, ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue required an ecumenical council, so now a council is needed to solve the dramatically escalating problems calling for reform. In the century before the Reformation, the Council of Constance decreed that councils should be held every five years. Yet the Roman Curia successfully managed to circumvent this ruling. There is no question that the Curia, fearing a limitation of its power, would do everything in its power to prevent a council coming together in the present situation. Thus it is up to you to push through the calling of a council or at least a representative assembly of bishops.

With the church in deep crisis, this is my appeal to you, venerable bishops: Put to use the episcopal authority that was reaffirmed by the Second Vatican Council. In this urgent situation, the eyes of the world turn to you. Innumerable people have lost their trust in the Catholic Church. Only by openly and honestly reckoning with these problems and resolutely carrying out needed reforms can their trust be regained. With all due respect, I beg you to do your part – together with your fellow bishops as far as possible, but also alone if necessary – in apostolic “fearlessness” (Acts 4:29, 31). Give your faithful signs of hope and encouragement and give our church a perspective for the future.¨ HERE

· Thanks to Father Geoff Farrow, sidebar
· Thanks to HANS KÜNG
· Thanks to The Irish Times
· Thanks to Thalamus Center, sidebar
· Thanks to Flickr Photo Sharing


motheramelia said...

God bless Hans Kung. Wouldn't it be wonderfully amazing if his open letter did any good. Here is a man who has been muzzled and yet he remains a faithful teacher and theologian.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Amen, amen! and a prayer for swift Reformation!

David G. said...

The concerned speak and write, yet the hearing aids are switched off and the reading glasses are conveniently left somewhere else.

It was disgusting in the 80's and it's beyond disgusting now.

Doorman-Priest said...

Thanks for keeping us informed.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Oh my! What a splendid letter - the voice of a true prophet. Thank you, Leo.

icearc said...

The reason why the Holy Father was the doctrine of infallibility of the office of the Papacy and the magisterium by extension promulgated at the first Vatican council. Ever since then, the Holy Fathers intoxicated by that absolute power, have found it unnecessary to admit mistakes let alone ask for forgiveness. We learn from history that any person or institution entrusted with or acquires absolute power becomes more concerned with retaining it than the concerns of those on who they lead and will NOT admit inequities of any sort, They are always right. They make the miscalculation that doing so weakens their infallibility of the office when it's quite the opposite, NO doctrine will breed trust of the laity, the flock, but honesty does wonders. A return to humility is required!

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Thanks Icearc,

I fully agree. Time after time I have viewed in my lifetime the results of ¨humility¨ as opposed to ¨arrogance¨ (which oddly is a sometimes imagined sign of strength but is usually plain fear)...every difficult situation I have ever seen has ended in a more positive way when more positive actions are able to be taken when my ¨failure¨ is confessed because I DON´T KNOW...for me, it´s often in the ¨not knowing¨ when I release my death grip on ¨being right¨ that God moves quickly with proper actions for healing life around me...I often think of it as ¨Nature taking it´s course.¨

icearc said...

True words, Ricardo. It's also poignant that faith is all about having hope in the unknown. That "not knowing", that uncertainty and how we react to it, defines us.