The Telegraph offers this by Gerald Warner (Gerald Warner is an author, broadcaster, columnist and polemical commentator who writes about politics, religion, history, culture and society in general.)
My emphases and comments:
Catholic sex abuse scandal: time to sack trendy bishops and restore the faith
It has become fashionable to claim that the sex abuse scandal currently afflicting the Catholic Church is “its biggest crisis since the Reformation”. Oh, really? Tell me about it. The abuse issue is just a small part of the much larger crisis that has engulfed the Church since the Second Vatican Catastrophe and which is more serious than the Reformation. [And we're off...!]
Abolish clerical celibacy? The last thing a priest abusing altar boys needs or wants is a wife. There is no compulsory celibacy in the Church of England, but that has not prevented vicars and boy scouts furnishing gratifying amounts of copy to the tabloid Sunday papers for the past century. Celibacy goes against the grain of today’s “unrepressed”, “non-judgemental”, let-it-all-hang-out attitude to sex; its continued existence is a reproach to the hedonist Western world; [actually... everything Catholic is that... not just celibacy...] so Rome must be persuaded to abolish it [not "persuaded", but "intimidated", "beaten-down", "badgered"] – likewise its condemnation of divorce, abortion, contraception, homosexuality and all the other fetishes of liberal society. Dream on, secularists.
“Irish abuse victims disappointed by Pope’s letter.” Of course they are. They were disappointed by it before they had read it, before it was even written. [NB:] Any other response would diminish the power they find themselves wielding against the Church.[!] Have they a legitimate grievance? In most cases, yes. They have a ferocious grievance against the “filth” (Benedict XVI’s term, long before he came under public pressure) who defiled them and treated them like animals.
How could clergy transgress so gravely against the doctrines of the Church? What doctrines? These offences took place in the wake of Vatican II, when doctrines were being thrown out like so much lumber. These offenders were the children of Paul VI and “aggiornamento”. Once you have debauched the Mystical Body of Christ, defiling altar boys comes easily.
The “neglected” sacraments and devotional practices that the Pope says could have prevented this did not just wither on the vine: they were actively discouraged by bishops and priests. [This is where I need to intervene. I am sure that some of the more traddy stripe are crowing as they read. I would remind them to supress that reptilian brain-stem a little and recall - before reading the next self-affirming quote - that we are all in this together. When clergy and lay people of the Church fall down, every one suffers. The whole Church needs to help the fallen to rise again. We need to do that by raising the level of holiness, of penance, and worthy worship, just as a rising tide raises every boat. Read on, now, and feel that affirmation...] In the period when this abuse was rampant, there was just one mortal sin in the Catholic Church: daring to celebrate or attend the Latin Tridentine Mass. [And that is pretty close the the truth!] A priest raping altar boys would be moved to another parish; as for a priest who had the temerity to celebrate the Old Mass – his feet would not touch the ground. [They were - and in some places still are - treated in much the same way.]
There was a determined resolve among the bishops to deny any meaningful catechesis to the young. That is the generation, wholly ignorant of the faith, that in Ireland achieved material prosperity in the “Celtic Tiger” economy. Initially it still attended Mass (or what passed for Mass) out of social conformity. Then the sex abuse scandal gave Irish post-Vatican II agnostics the perfect pretext for apostasy: tens of thousands who had never been abused, nor met anybody who had, found an excuse to stay in bed on Sunday mornings.
The abusive priests are not the only hypocrites. [This is so common today...] “I am so shocked by the abuse scandal I am leaving the Church.” Right. So, the fact that some degenerates who should never have been ordained violated young people – in itself a deplorable sin – means that the Son of God did not come down to earth, redeem mankind on the cross and found the Church? This appalling scandal no more compromises the truths of the Faith than the career of Alexander VI or any other corrupt Renaissance Pope. [Tell that to people with increasingly thin critical thinking skills and who are slaves of the mass media.]
Should bishops be forced to resign? Oh yes – approximately 95 per cent of them worldwide. [!] These clowns in their pseudo-ethnic mitres and polyester vestments with faux-naïve Christian symbols, spouting their ecumaniac episcobabble, [whew!] have presided over more than sexual abuse: [here it comes] they have all but extinguished the Catholic faith with their modernist fatuities. [Do I hear an "Amen!"?] They should be retired to monasteries to spend their remaining years considering how to account to their Maker for a failed stewardship that has lost countless millions of souls.
Benedict XVI should take advantage of a popular wave of revulsion against the failed episcopate to sack every 1960s flared-trousered hippy who is obstructing Summorum Pontificum. It is a unique opportunity to cull the hireling shepherds and clear away the dead wood of the Second Vatican Catastrophe. It is time to stop the apologies and reinstate apologetics; to rebuild all that has been destroyed in the past 40 years; to square up to liberals and secularists as so many generations of Catholics did in the past; to proclaim again the immutable truths of the One True Church that, in the glory of the Resurrection, can have no legitimate posture other than triumphalism.
Okay! I am sure you are all ready to suit up and ride into battle now.
And that is a good idea.
But the triumphalism he suggests will be empty unless we all do penance, also for the sins of others.
We must also have a revitalization of Holy Church’s worship. What we have been doing for the last few decades is not working.
Something of my "manifesto" after the Notre Shame Debacle could be relevant here.
I urge all priests and bishops who read this blog with any slight quaver of resonance or benevolence, to consider this with care:
If you sense that something quite serious and important is going on right now, for the love of God rethink your approach to how you foster Holy Church’s proper public worship .
Do all in your power and through your influence to foster a worship of God which conforms not to worldly goals – as praiseworthy as they may be in a world still dominated by its dire prince – but rather to the real point of religion: an encounter with mystery.
Our worship must become more and more focused on the one who is Other. Seek what is truly above in your rites and raise people to encounter mystery.
You will be challenged and reviled, blocked and attacked as you do. You will be worn down and afraid under the weight of resistance.
But I think that to save the world we must save the liturgy.
The Church’s enemies, the Church’s deeply confused, can’t compete with the fullness of Catholic liturgy and sound preaching.
Reforming the liturgy along the lines Pope Benedict has proposed may be the most loving and effective option we have in these ever hotter times.
People will have to keep working very much in the sphere of the secular. Of course! Our inward Catholic Christian identity must find outward expression and bring concrete fruits.
But I think the real work now – where we will make some effective headway – must be done at the level of our public worship.
In the present circumstances, we are not going to argue most people out of danger or error. But together we can draw them in and along and back through worship.
So long as we remain doctrinally faithful and active in works of mercy both spiritual and especially temporal, if we get our public worship together we will have a strong bastion against error.
Holy Catholic worship will be an attractive force for conversion.
We need to foster worship which stuns, which leaves the newcomer, long-time practicing Catholic, above all the fallen-away simply thunder stuck. Worship must at some point leave people speechless in awe. We need language and music and gesture which in its beauty floods the mind with light even while it swells the heart to bursting.
The more people encounter mystery through liturgy, the more hollow will clang the false or incomplete messages of those who have strayed from the good path, either to the left or to the right.
Our goal must be that which is good and beautiful because it is true, that which reflects what is of God, not man’s image merely. Give us mystery, not fabrications smacking of the world, fallen and transitory.
Fathers, and you Reverend Bishops, if anything of alarm has sounded in your hearts and minds of late, rethink your approach to our worship. Examine your approach with an eye on the signs of the times. Take a new approach.
The approach we have had least last few decades isn’t getting it done. Really … it isn’t
Going neither left nor right along the road toward the Lord, even as He comes to us, take the flock now deeper, now higher on that path, but always to encounter the mystery which distinguishes truly Catholic liturgy… and therefore true Catholics.
Lines are being drawn, sides taken, choices made.
More than ever we need what Christ, the true Actor of our liturgy, desires to offer us through Holy Church’s worship.