Bishops who believe and speak about the Devil as if our Enemy is real

I want to direct your attention to a very interesting report from the nearly ubiquitous former Rome correspondent for the liberal National Catholic Reporter, the fair-minded and well-informed John L Allen, Jr.  Mr. Allen wrote about recent comments of His Excellency Most Reverend Thomas J. Paprocki of Chicago, auxilliary in Chicago.  Bp. Paprocki delivered a "Red Mass" sermon in Grand Rapids, MI.  He said that the devil is behind recent crises in the Church.  (BTW… Bp. Paprocki, who was elected as the chairman of the USCCB’s canonical affairs committee is a supporter of the older, traditional form of Mass.  He celebrated often at St. John Cantius in Chicago.)

This really caught mey eye in light of recent comments of His Excellency the Secretary of the CDWDS, Archbishop Ranjith, which you can read here and here.  It strikes me that more bishops are speaking about the Enemy again.  I recall comments of Bp. Aquila of Fargo, for example.

It seems to me that something has shifted.  For example, in the opening address from the President of the USCCB, there was a strong emphasis on the judgement bishop’s will face and the state of their souls in their ministry.

Read this from Mr. Allen, my emphases and comments.  A real focus is the ongoing sexual abuse crisis and legal attacks on the Church.  Allen’s article and Paprocki’s comments are very helpful for understanding what is going on.

The title captures the whole thing!

USCCB Day One: ‘It’s the Devil, stupid!’
By John L Allen Jr Daily
Created Nov 12 2007 – 06:05

By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
Baltimore

Roughly a month ahead of this week’s discussion among American bishops about the causes and context of the sexual abuse crisis, at least one prelate pointed to a force unlikely to be cited in an analysis prepared by Fordham University and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice: the Devil.

“We must recognize that the church is under attack, and the law is being used as an instrument,” Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Chicago said in an Oct. 15 homily at a “red Mass” for members of the legal profession in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Paprocki did not mince words about who’s ultimately to blame: “We must use our religious discernment to recognize that the principal force behind these attacks is none other than the devil,” he said.

Paprocki, who holds degrees in both civil and canon law, is a candidate to become the chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance. His opposition for the post comes from Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis.  [He won.]

In his Oct. 15 homily, Paprocki argued that massive cash settlements which, according to some estimates, have cost the U.S. church $2 billion, don’t punish the clergy involved in misconduct, but rather the average parishioner or donor.  [And now dioceses and the USCCB are downsizing their staffs as their budgets are shrinking.]

Paprocki is not the only American bishop speaking out against legal pressures on the church. Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre recently spoke to another “red Mass” in Suffolk County, using the occasion to oppose legislation in the State Assembly that would extend the civil and criminal statutes of limitations for the sexual abuse of minors. In his homily, Murphy asked whether such lawsuits are intended “to profit lawyers more than victims.”

Paprocki gave a developed version of that argument.  [An elegant way to put that!]

“While the sexual abuse of minors is a sin that must be addressed by the church and a crime that must be punished by the criminal justice system, I would suggest that the current approach of awarding large monetary damages to victims is not only contrary to the purposes of tort liability theory, but also place an excessive burden on the free exercise of religion for Catholics in the United States,” Paprocki said.

“Monetary damages taken from a not-for-profit entity do not punish the wrongdoers, but only serve to constrain the scope of the entity’s charitable, religious and educational activities,” Paprocki said.  [Exactly.  Many of the suits are brought, in my opinion, not so much for justice, but out of hatred for the Church.]

In that context, Paprocki called for recovery of the legal concept of “charitable immunity,” which protect not-for-profit organizations against lawsuits seeking large monetary damages. Such immunity was once recognized in American civil law, Paprocki said, but was eroded in the mid-20th century by medical malpractice litigation.

By extending virtually uncapped litigation to other not-for-profit institutions, Paprocki argued, church-run charitable and educational enterprises are today “threatened with elimination.” He cited a recent $12 million settlement against Catholic social services in Chicago which, he claimed, has made it impossible for the church’s foster care program to get insurance.

Moreover, Paprocki argued, plaintiffs’ attorneys and some civil courts have treated parish property as if it belongs to the diocese, failing to respect distinctions made in the church’s Code of Canon Law that prevent diocesan bishops from “indiscriminately seizing parish assets for diocesan purposes.” In that climate, Paprocki said, “parishioners are rightly concerned about the ultimate destination of their donations.”

Paprocki distinguished three phases in the understanding of the sexual abuse of minors:  [This is really good.]

• Prior to 1960, it was understood largely as a moral failure, the proper response to which was “penance, absolution and a firm purpose of amendment”;
• From 1960 to 1990, it was understood as a disorder, with therapy being the prescribed remedy;
• After 1990, the approach has been litigious, focusing on monetary settlements.

Paprocki insisted that the church’s payouts from sex abuse-related lawsuits over the last five years amount to an infringement of its religious freedom.  [I think this is correct.]

“As a result of this highly litigious culture [This is part of a culture war, in which some are trying with all their might to marginalize God from the public square.  Thus, Pope Benedict's "Marshall Plan" aims at healing the devastation caused by the war both within and from outside upon the Church.  Through a stronger identity we will have a strong voice in the public square as well.] fostered under the color of law, an undue burden has been placed on our free exercise of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution,” he said. “This burden needs to be lifted.”

“While a full return to the complete charitable immunity of the past is neither likely nor desirable, the civil law of our land needs to reflect a more rational and reasonable balance between equitable remuneration … and protecting the charitable contributions that have been given in trust to be used for charitable and religious purposes.”

In the last section of his homily, Paprocki cited historical examples of the use of civil law to inflict wounds on the church, from ancient Rome through England in the era of Henry VIII. Again today, Paprocki asserted, the civil law is being manipulated to “undermine the charitable works and religious freedom of the church.”

“This attack is particularly directed against bishops and priests, since the most effective way to scatter the flock is to attack the shepherd,” he said.

At a spiritual level, Paprocki argued, these attacks should be seen as literally demonic.

“This may seem like a rather antiquated and unsophisticated idea to say to a highly educated and intellectual group of people such as yourselves,” Paprocki said. To bolster his argument, Paprocki cited a November 1972 comment from the late Pope Paul VI: “What are the greatest needs of the church today? Do not think that out answer is simplistic or superstitious and unreal: one of our greatest needs today is the defense from that evil that we call the devil.”

Paprocki thus called upon American Catholics to draw upon the spiritual resources of the church, including the sacraments and the intercession of the saints, in order to “carry the cross in this litigious culture.”  [A very good line.  Remember that one!]

Aftershocks of litigation related to the sex abuse crisis are still being felt. A federal appeals court in Philadelphia, for example, last week barred a group of alleged victims from suing the Catholic church under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), that would have sidestepped statutes of limitations on abuse cases.

 

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28 Responses to Bishops who believe and speak about the Devil as if our Enemy is real

  1. Barb says:

    Dear Father,

    It is good to see bishops speaking of the Devil and recognizing his presence behind a lot of this litigation. However, what about the fact that the American bishops have nothing in place to deal with the sexual deviants at their level? Just because someone (a bishop or a priest)does not abuse kids, should he be able to get a free pass for propositioning a man in a public park or inviting his boyfriends to his home? Isn’t the devil present here? How about a bishop who lets a priest retire early due to “heart trouble” when he is sued for sexual harrassment and then it comes out that he has had a girlfriend for over 30 years and has retired to live with her? And the diocese is giving him a pension? Isn’t the devil at work here, too?

    The whole duplicity regarding celibacy and chastity and the games priests and bishops are playing on this issue is certainly demonic. So what is the answer to this besides prayer? Nobody seems to be holding them accountable and this is why I believe people have availed themselves of the law. The devil is behind this in more than one aspect and he is way smarter than any human. It should never have come to this. As Our Lady of Fatima said, pray the Rosary every day, keep the five first Saturdays, make sacrifices and do penance because many poor sinners are going to Hell because they have nobody to pray for them.

  2. MJ Ryan says:

    I fully agree with the good Bishop. I have expressed these very ideas much to the dismay of some. I base my belief on my own personal experience.

    My father died when I was a young boy in 1974. Our local parish had my brothers and I work there doing odd jobs from the time I was 9 until 18. Besides being altar boys, we cleaned the Church and rectory, answered phones, counted collections, painted. It was a great opportunity because it provided us with a little extra money, kept us off the streets and exposed us to the clergy.

    It was a large parish and between all the priest that were assigned there, came on Sunday to say help say the 16+ masses, and taught me in high school, I had to be exposed to over 35 different priest.

    I can not recall a single incident of an off color remark or anything actions that would degrade the dignity of these great men. I appreciate (and I fully mean to use the present tense of the verb) the experience so much that I still say the rosary weekly thanking God for giving me the opportunity.

    While I do not doubt that there have been grave occasions, I fully believe a vast majority are either lies or where traps cast by the Devil.

    And while I am on my soap box, I wish the Church would bring back praying the Pray of St. Michael the Archangel after Communion and yes, I have been to thousands of Novus Ordo masses that were Holy and Spiritually rewarding. I am very happy that we have the opportunity to use both forms of the Roman Rite.

  3. FOLKS: Let’s not go down rabbit holes here.

  4. BK says:

    Diogenes at CWN has an interesting perspective on this:

    http://www.cwnews.com/offtherecord/offtherecord.cfm?task=singledisplay&recnum=4472

    “Furthermore, recognition of Satan’s touch in the matter would be an otherwise positive development, (forgetting for the moment that it comes roughly 40 years too late) except that when it comes to sex abuse in the Church, the devils started most of their work with the clergy and not with the plaintiffs; it does seem more than a tad off-target to notice just now demonic inspiration, and it stretches the imagination to think that a bishop in such circumstances is serious about the devil.”

  5. Derik Castillo says:

    I think that we have to back up our prayers
    for priests with remainders (if the occasion
    arises) that they are supposed to preach by
    example the imitation of Jesus.

  6. fr.franklyn mcafee says:

    Diogenes has an obsession with this issue and beats up on bishops and priest.It did so in commenting on this talk by Bishop”Tom” as they so disrespectfully call the auxiliary fromChicago. You can state along with the good bishop from Chicago that the crisis was a work of the Devil without excusing the sinning priests and the weak bishops.The Devil has managed to distort the issue leading people to believe that catholic priests are sexual predators and the other churches and instittions are free of this perversion.It has destroyed priests working with children especially boys,it has weakened the bishops’teaching authority and moral leadership,it has driven a wedge between the bishop and his priest.Mighty good work for the Evil one.

  7. WRiley says:

    The important fact which the bishop fails to consider in his analysis of the litigation crisis the Church has faced is the simple fact that individual dioceses made an informed decision to settle the cases they faced. No attempt to challenge the litigation on any real level (let alone as an interference in Free Exercise)was ever made. The problem isn’t with the lawyers, and certainly not with the victims. I think we all know the individuals that bear the ultimate moral responsibility.

  8. dcs says:

    There have been a number of accounts in the mainstream media about how the victims of abuse only resorted to litigation after the local Ordinary failed to deal with the problem as he should have. While I have no doubt that some of these accounts are self-serving hype intended to create sympathy for the plaintiffs, I have to wonder whether we would be seeing so much litigation if the abusers were handled properly in the first place.

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  10. Simon Platt says:

    What’s a rabbit hole?

  11. george minot says:

    Yes, this is being used to attack the Church, and yes the devil is behind the attacks. But who left the Church vulnerable to these attacks? The devil-friendly priests and negligent bishops. Diogenes may be ‘obsessed’ but it’s a healthy obsession, and nothing more than a reasonable concern for the general well-being of the Church. The moral and theological laxity that permitted the ordination of so many spiritually unfit men to the priesthood also led to the watering down of Church teaching, the banalization of the liturgy, the iconoclastic destruction of art and architecture, etc. The effeminacy that leads to a particular kind of sexual misconduct and toleration thereof also leads to an inability to defend and promote the tough theological and liturgical teachings of the Church.

  12. Federico says:

    Just a minor nit: Rome has been asking American bishops to align the civil law structure of their dioceses to the canonical structure for a long time. The bishops have failed to do so, as the corporation sole diocesan model is by far and away the most common in the nation.

    Little shock, then, if civil courts fail to see a distinction between the juridic person of diocese and parish. You reap what you sow.

    I remain ready to share model parish corporate bylaws and articles of incorporation suitable for the civil incorporation of parishes consistent with canon law. Any pastors out there, feel free to contact me. A good friend of mine, Fr. Jason Gray, also has good material on this topic at his website.

  13. Deborah says:

    This talk is a little off target, in my opinion. Yes, I agree that satan is behind attacks on the Church, however, let’s take a look at and question how satan was able to enter the Church through people disobeying Her teachings by allowing homosexuals into our seminaries, and bishop’s ignoring deviant priests’ behaviours.

    Why not give a talk to these lawyers about more harshly prosecuting not only the predators who sexually abused innocent children but also those who enabled it through child endangerment. Maybe people wouldn’t ask for such large sums of money if they saw that the punishment fit the crime so to speak.

    I am speaking from experience. My 11 year old son as an altar server was knowingly exposed, on a number of occasions, to a pedophile priest who has since been put in prison. This is only in the past few years and yet our diocesan bishop and priests who knew won’t acknowledge and even deny they did anything wrong. It certainly makes me think of monetary litigation for child endangerment in order to hold those who knew of this priests sex abuse history accountable.

    God has on more than one occasion in history allowed satan to attack His people as chastisement and to get their attention. Money seems the most effective way so far.

  14. Dob says:

    Anything that prevents us from doing Christ’s work or that damages the body of Christ is, by definition, anti Christ or demonic or Satanic. Whether it be a legal system, a political system, abusive priests Bishops or cardinals, bad seminaries, poor catechesis, profane liturgies. heresies ………..

    I really don’t know why people get very nervous when you mention the name Satan or his works – evil, but they do. I suppose it is such a strong polarizing word. Also, because there is still so much irrational fear of Satan it may be a little frightening. St. Paul’s tells us about the battle, it is not flesh and blood that we fight. Satan is every man’s enemy, even his victims. It’s good to put a name on things then you know what to do with it. In this case KICK HIM OUT, out of our legal systems, our political systems, our Churches, our seminaries, our teaching,our liturgies, our theology ………..

  15. RBrown says:

    The liturgy often has been a bad Protestant joke, seminaries have mocked Church doctrine, pushed good men out and encouraged dissenters (sometimes poofters) to be ordained. In religious orders the rule for religious life largely has been ignored, and the hierarchy has seemed more interested in being friends with the Church’s enemies than in propagating the faith.

    Satan is the first cause of evil, so it’s fine to finger him. But I like to look to the more proximate causes I mentioned in the above paragraph.

  16. Jordan Potter says:

    Deborah said: I am speaking from experience. My 11 year old son as an altar server was knowingly exposed, on a number of occasions, to a pedophile priest who has since been put in prison. This is only in the past few years and yet our diocesan bishop and priests who knew won’t acknowledge and even deny they did anything wrong. It certainly makes me think of monetary litigation for child endangerment in order to hold those who knew of this priests sex abuse history accountable.

    I understand your consternation. I do. But in your case, you have no grounds for either a criminal or civil case, unless more happened to your son than him being in the same church building and serving at the same Mass as the sexually abusive priest. We don’t permit people or entities to be prosecuted or sued merely because they might have done something bad, but didn’t actually do it.

  17. Deborah says:

    Thanks for the info. Jordan Potter. What you say is true and I have been told the same by another lawyer as well. It is an awful feeling as a parent to know that someone you trusted put your child in the midst of a known sexual abuser. My son says he never wants to be an altar server again after we had to question him about the times where he was alone with this priest and it has damaged his Faith. Anyway, sorry for going down a rabbit hole here…this just hits very close to my heart.

  18. Cassandra says:

    First, the scandal is not one of pedophilia but of homosexual ephebophilia, and let’s say so.

    george minot is correct as to where the Devil is. He may be in some lawsuits. He most certainly is in a number of sodomite clergy. Sorry folks, but the following indictments have more truth than fiction, and it’s time certain clergy fess up: A number of seminary and Church officials are guilty of:

    – acts of defamation, calumny, slander, and liable

    – the fabrication of charges and the the asserting of trumped up charges

    – punishing a whistle blower, and other unlawful retaliatory action and unlawful punishment

    – cronyism (favoring homosexual seminarians)

    – maintaining a hostile work environment in the seminary, and exposing seminarians to unqualified and un-experienced supervision, and supervision by predatory homosexuals

    – tortuous interference with person and employment

    – intentionally infliction of emotional distress

    – negligent infliction of emotional distress

    – employment discrimination against heterosexuals

    – wrongful termination from the seminary for the stated reason of being “too conservative” but in fact because of a seminarian’s stated objection to homosexuality

    – violation of the civil rights of seminarians to due process, to freedom from coercion, to a good living environment and to right of privacy of their persons and papers

    – violation by the seminary’s psychologist of his obligatory silence and confidentiality under the professional code of his state’s association of psychologists, and his coercing seminarians to wavier their right of privacy

    – fraudulent misrepresentation, fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, concealment for the sake of fraud, and conspiracy to commit fraud

    -– obstruction of the course of justice by perjury, suborning perjury, intimidating witnesses, failing to assist law enforcement or by making false or evasive statements to law enforcement, concealment of files and other evidence, tampering with evidence, fabricating evidence, moving evidence and accused to hidden locations or to foreign countries or to places secure by diplomatic immunity

    – fraudulent inducement of funds, done by soliciting funds from laymen and parishioners and businesses, ostensibly to benefit the work of the Church, but in fact to maintain a clandestine homosexual subculture

    – gross negligence, by showing willful indifference and a reckless or intentional disregard to warnings and grievances; by ignoring and not responding to official and unofficial reports, warnings, and grievances by seminarians and parishioners; by indifference to message of a whistle blower, and failure to investigate and otherwise act upon the whistle blower’s report; by neglecting the duty to protect others against injury which these officials could reasonably foreseen; by continuing to employ incompetent and abusive management after grievances were made known; by inadequate background checks of seminarians, priests, and seminary officials; by hiring and maintaining in employment homosexual officials; and thus by subjecting seminarians and laymen to the detrimental effects of such bad employment.

    – THE BIG ONE: breach of fiduciary duty by Church and seminary officials — all of whom have the duty to care for the well-being of fellow employees, seminarians, their families, laymen, and particularly teen aged males, –the grievousness increased by the fact that the seminary is assigned and thus almost the only option for these seminarians, and that Canon Law obliges laymen to attend a particular parish, and thus the only option for them as well; and the breach of fiduciary duty of church officials by continuing to provide a fertile environment for abusive management of seminarians and the corresponding abuse of laymen, especially male teenagers

    – conspiracy to to all these things, and maintaining a firm to so conspire, and thus in violation of RICO laws.

    And I’m not even mentioning shear heresy and obscurantism and the pursuit of agenda not the Church’s!

    Dob, it is the lawsuits which will flush out the bad and will allow the Church to go about her mission. Sadly, some bishops did not and will not see the doctrinal light, but they will feel the fiscal heat. I told me bishop 22 years ago what was going on in the seminary. He refused to listen. Now its time to pay the piper.

  19. Little Gal says:

    Mr. Allen also reports on some of the other electees…Bishop Gerald Kicanas, was elected 2008 Vice President of the USCCB. Allen reports a funny anecdote from his recent visit with Bishop Kicanas:

    “Kicanas, however, is no slouch himself in the wit department. On Monday of this week I was in Tucson, giving two presentations to the priests of the diocese along with a public lecture in the evening, all held in the gorgeous Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks. Despite a busy schedule and a nagging cold, Kicanas spent most of the day with us. At one point, he told the priests that he had recently been in Jerusalem as part of a pilgrimage group, where he made a stop at the famed Western Wall. While there, Kicanas said, a man approached him and asked if he could pray over him.

    “Of course,” Kicanis responded.

    “Brother, what is the name of your wife?” the man asked.

    Clearly dressed in clerical garb, the startled bishop responded, “Oh, I’m not married.”

    Draping Kicanis in his prayer shawl, the man then boomed out, “Dear Lord, please grant this man a wife!”

    With a gleam in his eye, Kicanas wrapped up the anecdote by telling his priests: “I guess we’ll see.”

    —————————————

    On another note: both the USCCB President, Vice President and Head of the Committe of Canonical Affairs are all from Chicago…

  20. Jeff Pinyan says:

    I wonder if Bishop Paprocki “cross”-checks!

    But in all seriousness, this is excellent news. Some US Bishops are aware Satan still exists.

  21. RBrown says:

    The sad truth is that the bishops were doing nothing to clean up this filth in the priesthood until the news media picked up the story and lawsuits began to be filed.

  22. RBrown says:

    It’s nice that Bishop Paprocki has said this, but I wonder whether he would be as candid about Cardinal Bernardin.

  23. anon says:

    Fr. Z,
    I have to agree with Cassandra on this one. She listed all the reasons I would give to spotlight Satan’s real handiwork. Without Church leaders looking the other way this never could have happened. Within my own extended family there exists the utter devastation of soul after clerical sexual abuse. Personally, I do not believe the Church or her leaders would lose anything valuable if deprived of every single earthly possession and all worldly influence. Nowhere does Christ tell the Apostles to amass great wealth and worldly power. (If you had 12 hours to evacuate, what would you take?) In our diocese, there are accused priests whose defenders continue to blame the victims, no matter how many come forward. They say the devil hates the Church and he is behind it. By this they mean the victims are in the wrong. These good, holy people simply cannot think ill of some priests. I find that laudatory yet very dangerous. A financial judgment is designed as a remedy allowed by our courts and it is sometimes the only way to facilitate change. My parents taught me that if Catholics simply lived our Catholic faith, the entire world would convert. I still believe it.

  24. Recidite Plebes says:

    Tut. Tut. Tut.

    I actually need to restrain my anger here. So, if some of your commentators are to be believed, it is the Devil who is making the church pay out for priests involved in raping, sodomising, brutalising, and traumatising innocent victims.

    Let me show you how your comments betray a cruelty, naivety, insensitivity, and offence to human decency on your part.

    “Paprocki insisted that the church’s payouts from sex abuse-related lawsuits over the last five years amount to an infringement of its religious freedom. [I think this is correct.]”

    Are you suggesting that it is your religious freedom to sodomise and rape young men if you choose to do so in the name of the RCC, and that you should some how be exempt from the normal consequences of the law of the land if you do so? You may not like the litigious framework of society, but you are bound by it the same as every other citizen of the Land. You are therefore subject to the authority of the courts and the rights of the individual to use the judicial process to seek recompense. If the RCC doesn’t like it, it should have done something about recognising the criminal nature of the activities of its priests instead of viewing them as merely “disordered”

    “Paprocki distinguished three phases in the understanding of the sexual abuse of minors: [This is really good.]

    • Prior to 1960, it was understood largely as a moral failure, the proper response to which was “penance, absolution and a firm purpose of amendment”;
    • From 1960 to 1990, it was understood as a disorder, with therapy being the prescribed remedy;
    • After 1990, the approach has been litigious, focusing on monetary settlements.

    No, actually, it isn’t “good”. It is a shockingly cynical view that aborogates the church’s responsibility while absolving itself.

    ““Monetary damages taken from a not-for-profit entity do not punish the wrongdoers, but only serve to constrain the scope of the entity’s charitable, religious and educational activities,” Paprocki said. [Exactly. Many of the suits are brought, in my opinion, not so much for justice, but out of hatred for the Church.]”

    Why shouldn’t the men and women whose lives were ruined by sexual preditors dressed up in robes and collars hate the church? They have every right to do so. Who are you to sit in judgement?

    I was pointed at your blog as being “sensible”. Frankly your comments sicken me, your attitude offends me, and if it were in my power to do so I would silence you until such a time as your nonesense were publicly recanted.

    For as long as priests like you exist our children will never be safe because you are an apologist for deviant criminals. That is why I decided not to have my children raised as Catholics as I can’t trust them in the hands of a church with a mentality like this.

    For all of your exhortations about other putting their souls in danger of burning in hell, I’d suggest the thermal environment yours is facing is a lot warmer than just an open oven door if you think this is in any way acceptable. I don’t “pray for you”, I pity you.

  25. Henry Edwards says:

    RP: I actually need to restrain my anger here.

    I wish you success in attempting to do so. However justified your anger may be by your personal experience or problems, it seems misdirected. The only remark in red to which (so far as I can see) you might possibly be responding is this one:

    [Exactly. Many of the suits are brought, in my opinion, not so much for justice, but out of hatred for the Church.]

    But surely it is possible believe (as I do) that this remark — which expresses no judgment regarding any particular litigants, some of whom may be motivated by justice, some by hatred, some by the Devil, some by both or all — is factually based, while at the same time sharing entirely (as I do, and I am certain Father Z does) your outrage at both the clerical sexual abusers and those whose cover-ups enabled and protected them.

  26. Recidite Plebes says:

    Henry said: “which expresses no judgment regarding any particular litigants, some of whom may be motivated by justice, some by hatred, some by the Devil, some by both or all —is factually based,”

    Then bring forth those facts. Show me an example of someone admitting that their legal action was instigated by the devil, and not by a priest who had violated the individual.

    Priests are citizens of this world. They might like to believe they are otherwise, but they are citizens non-the-less. They have the same rights and obligations as the rest of society – to litigate against, and be litigated against. I was never sexually abused by a priest, but I find the mentality that suggests that the main motivator of anyone who seeks to hold the Catholic Church accountable, by the best means available to them, being “the devil” sickening. It’s denial, and it is distancing oneself from reality, not to mention denegrating the victim and reducing them and their experience to a concept that fits what the clergy wants it to so as to externalise the cause.

    If the author of this blog is genuinely outraged let him state publicly that:

    1. Sexual abuse is not a disorder but a crime and that the criminal ought to be punished and not prprotected or hidden;

    2. That to classify a crime as a disorder is to insult the victim, show a grave and fundamental misunderstanding (possibly willful) of the act, and that the RCC was wrong to attempt to do anything other than discharge its responsibilities of ensuring that the perpetrators of those crimes were prosecuted to the full extent of the law;

    3. That the greater scandal was that the RCC allowed sexual crimes to happen in the first place and that the victims were innocent and were not the cause of the scandal (as was often assumed to be) but were the victims;

    4. That diocese and bishops ought to be corporately accountable and that the consequence of their actions i, and ought to be, financial restitution;

    5. That if the diocesan coffers are depleted as a result of their arrogance that they are required, as a result of “natural justice” to work harder to fund other charitable means and not bemoan that fulfilling their obligations is a “diversion” or in any way anything less than fully deserved.

    The Bp of Orange County Ca could always sell the multi-million dollar properties he bought for his cronies, Card Mahoney could have spent the money on the new Cathdral better and carried on using St Vibiana’s. Just like the Bishops in my country (England) could have stopped spending vast sums via the Conference of Bishops on flights of fancy.

    So come on, what say you priest?

  27. Recidite: For as long as priests like you exist our children will never be safe because you are an apologist for deviant criminals.

    Don’t be stupid.

    As they say in Rome (and I paraphrase): “The mother of idiots is always pregnant.”

    Talk about misreading a text. Folks, this is classic.

  28. Guy Power says:

    Simon: “What’s a rabbit hole?

    Rabit hole = tangent, i.e., veering off on an unrelated topic.

    –Guy