Pope Benedict may issue apology at close of Year for Priests

We will do this, and the Church’s detractors will say, as usual, that it isn’t enough.

Watch the vocabulary in this piece from The Independent

My emphases and comments.

Pope will make historic apology for abuse

Vatican hopes unprecedented act of penance at June jamboree [?] will defuse anger over worldwide claims

By John Phillips in Rome

Pope Benedict XVI is planning to make the first general apology for the abuse of children and minors by Roman Catholic priests when he meets thousands of clergymen from around the world in June at the climax of the International Year for Priests, Vatican sources say.

In the past there have been papal or church apologies for individual cases of paedophilia or for abuse in specific countries, for example during the German pontiff’s recent visit to Malta. What is being prepared now would be the first time a pope seeks to atone publicly for the extent to which paedophilia has been a major stain on the modern history of the church [And while we all acknowledge that even one case is intolerable, this makes the problem sound more extensive than it was.] touching a constellation of countries, say the sources at the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy. It could be considered comparable to the historic step that the previous pope, John Paul II, took in apologising to the Jews for historic church anti-Semitism and for misdeeds during the Crusades, they say.

Vatican officials hope such an unprecedented act of penance by Benedict, together with thousands of clergymen in St Peter’s Square, 9-11 June, will do much to lay to rest [Not if the press can help it...] the scandal and defuse protests that might disrupt his trip to Britain in September. The encounter will form the climax of the special year of events designed in part to encourage vocations to the cloth but which instead has been marred by the mushrooming paedophile scandal.

[...]

Vatican sources said the Pope considers the jamboree [?] with the priests in June an appropriate occasion for him to lead the whole church in a "Day of Request for Pardon" of the victims and their families for the wrong done by a small percentage of priests in abusing children and minors in many countries, and the wrong done by bishops in covering up that abuse or protecting the predators.

The meeting would be appropriate for a day of fasting as well as penance, they say. On the papal flight last week-end Benedict made a second allusion to the abuse scandal, and its devastating effect on the moral authority of the church and its pastors, describing the church as the body of Jesus Christ "wounded by our sins".

The respected Vatican watcher added: "It is clear that Benedict has been reflecting and seeking to understand the abuse scandal with the eyes of faith. He seems to be developing a theological and spiritual frame for reading and dealing with this shameful and humbling reality in the life of the church in the 21st century and discerning an exit strategy from it."

Frankly, I think we will see in time to come more than apologies. We will surely start seeing acts of penance as some having been talking about. And people will be replaced.

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46 Responses to Pope Benedict may issue apology at close of Year for Priests

  1. Randii says:

    Lawler was the guest on The World Over with Arroyo this past week.

    Something he emphasized makes me think this apology will not come close to correcting the situation.

    Lawler said that in the past 20 years thousands of Catholic parishes and schools have closed, countless souls have been lost to the faith and billions have been paid out in lawsuits.

    Yet, in all that time, only 1 bishop has beeen removed – and note that Cardinal law was hardly punished with his new assignement though technically it’s a demotion as Raymond said.

    Lawler said if this had been any major corporation heads would have rolled immediately. Lawler said all bishops and others invovled in this cover-up must be removed.

    I agree with Lawler who can’t be accused of not being a strong, orthodox Catholic.

    Apolgies won’t do anymore IMO.

  2. Ligusticus says:

    The Catholic Church is simply NOT a “major corporation”!

    The Pope is not the CEO of, say, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs or Unilever.

    (I’m an Italian living in Italy, and know what Catholicism is.)

  3. Oneros says:

    The same closed clericalist culture that made bishops not report priests is the same thing that will make the Pope not fire bishops. At most some “resign”. But they’re not laicized, and so stay on the pay-roll.

    This Pope is simply too “nice” to step on toes like that. He isn’t a Rottweiler at all, in fact he is extremely skittish about any sort of actual discipline.

    “Penance” shows that they are still thinking of this as primarily a question of sexual sin…when really we all think of this as a question of a CRIME of victimization. Sin may merit penance, but CRIME merits PUNISHMENT.

  4. Oneros says:

    “The Catholic Church is simply NOT a “major corporation”!”

    It’s a multinational organization with a very clear power structure.

    This sort of exceptionalism, this sort of claiming exemption from the rules that apply to everyone else, is what led to the cover-up in the first place.

    If the hierarchy just defiantly ignores public pressure, they’re simply going to keep losing people and credibility.

    People expect certain things, and saying “Well, you shouldn’t expect that from the Church” is only going to make people more angry.

  5. Randii says:

    “The Catholic Church is simply NOT a “major corporation”!”

    It’s a multinational organization with a very clear power structure.

    This sort of exceptionalism, this sort of claiming exemption from the rules that apply to everyone else, is what led to the cover-up in the first place.

    ITA Oneros. More and more orthodox Catholics like Lawler and Bob bennet are seeing this too.

    Someone called Arroyo’s show and said things are better in the US now because of the new protocols. Lawler said yes and no. The problem he sees with that argument is that many of the bishops supposed to enforce the new procedures were part of the cover-up to begin with. Can we really trust them.

  6. BlessedKarl says:

    I hope the pope won’t resign!

  7. There were six credible reports of abuse filed in 2009 (ten in 2008).

    Would that other national organizations, e.g., our public school system, much less “multinational” organizations, could boast such a record.

  8. Justalurkingfool says:

    When will the Holy Father do the same for those marriages that have been destroyed(and continue to be persecuted with full knowledge of the clergy up through and including the Roman Curia), in spite of being found valid, in the annulment LUST that pervades Catholicism?

    What is the meaning of two decisions in favor of validity from the Roman Rota, when the Catholic Church, with your blessing, Holy Father, welcomes our adulterous spouses, stubbornly unrepentant and scandalously defiant with the complete knowledge and support of their clergy and bishops? They are not asked to repent and restore! They are encouraged to continue to violate their vows, to persecute innocent abandoned spouses and to be a living witness to the joys of adultery, TO OUR CHILDREN! My own Archbishop, likely to be named a Cardinal by you before too long, will DO NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING to act to encourage reconciliation of a valid marriage. Why would you make THIS MAN a Cardinal?

    When will you call for justice for those of us who have lost everything as priest after priest after priest and bishop after bishop after bishop continue to support unrepentant adultery and all the crimes that it entails?

    Where is our apology for our children who continue to be abused by the entire Catholic Church as it does not SCREAM, collectively, for justice for our marriages? Why do you seem to mock the faithfulness of abandoned spouses who remain faithful in the face of daily abuse by Catholic laity and clergy, by failing to do more than talk about this scandalous, longstanding full frontal attack on marriage. Your address to the Rota, annually, is pathetically, far short of even inadequate.

    When will you either come to America to meet with us or ask us to come to speak with you in Rome? Why is every single door closed in our faces when we seek the intercession of our bishops in these matters? How come you do not hear our cries?

    Where are you Holy Father? Do you not care about our children, our marriages or our faith? Judging by your ACTIONS and not your talk, there is legitimate reason to doubt your concern is sincere.

    There is not a single bishop in the United States with the integrity to speak up about this situation and to stand up for those of us who have defended our marriages for decades, as we see our spouses welcomed into every parish with open arms, WITH THEIR ARMS AROUND THEIR LOVERS, SOMETIMES UP TO THE COMMUNION RAIL!

    Stop this disgrace, Holy Father.

    This issue IS NOT different than the Child abuse issue. It is BIGGER and WORSE than that because only PART of this SCANDAL IS CHILD ABUSE, which is done with the full cooperation of the Catholic Church AND the State.

    We are waiting for your reply, Holy Father…….so is God.

  9. Randii says:

    “If the hierarchy just defiantly ignores public pressure, they’re simply going to keep losing people and credibility.”

    Exactly Oneros. This can be allowed to drag on only so long.

    Gerald Celente the futurist who predicted the “crash” of 2009 was on the conservative talk station in SF Friday.

    They talked about the tea parties and Mr. Celente said this is a sign of the loss of trust in all institutions. He mentioned the government and also noted that the same thing is happening with the Catholic church.

    Mr. Celente said he is Catholic and the same change he sees coming to the US government he sees coming to the Catholic Church. That is the emergence of more local control. In terms of the Catholic church and the current crisis how might that look? Well, if you go back to the early church, bishops were selected at the local level. By congregations as well as prebyteriates.

    In terms of governance, Peggy Noonan said in a great column last week that if women had been sitting alongside bishops during these times that most of these priests would not have been transferred but instead stopped from being perpetually moved from parish to parish. That too could be a possible future change.

    At some point the folks in the pews who control the purse strings are going to demand accountability from the church. Another apology is not going to change the momentum coming for significant change in church governance IMO.

  10. Maltese says:

    *Frankly, I think we will see in time to come more than apologies. We will surely start seeing acts of penance as some having been talking about. And people will be replaced.*

    Very true, and although it is unfair to lay the blame at the feet on Vatican II, it is certainly not unfair to lay it at the feet of the aftermath that Vatican II created. Talk about a whole-sale exodus of holy Catholic priests, to be replaced by modernist and homosexual ones!

    That’s not to be mean, since I have a gay friend, but that is the reality.

    They say there is a period before the waters settle around any council until you know what it really means, but even Richard McBride’s “Encyclopedia of Catholicism” admits that, out of every council in the history of the Church, only one was wholly “pastoral” in nature: Vatican II. And it is the only modern-technology-other-religion-based council in the history of the Church.

    The reason for this is simple, in my opinion. Since Christ was born, the world worked slowly for around 1,900 years, then all of a sudden the technology revolution happened, and everything had to be fast, hip, cool and immediate. The Church, pressured from the world, tried to make amends with the world, whereas, in fact, as Christ Himself said, the Church shall always be opposed to the world.

    Still, though they failed, the Fathers of Vatican II made a nice gesture to the world, which still continues to hate the Church, despite their efforts.

    Though Vatican II was a valid council, it does not have attached to it the seal of infaliblity (as no new dogma were proclaimed,) so we can say: “nice go at it, Vatican II Fathers, you tried to do a good thing, but this council no longer applies.”

    Vatican II really was a nice attempt to reconcile the Church to the world, but Christ himself said such an attempt is always in vain, as Vatican II was. But, still, there are really nice words from this council, and it’s not the first vain council in the history of the Church (as even then Cardinal Ratzinger has said.)

  11. Justalurkingfool says:

    Oneros,

    As someone who is the victim of the CRIME of being forced out of a valid marriage, by the State and completely against my will and the will of each of our children, and abusively separated from our abused children, I assure you, penance is what is needed.

    The idea of punishment, that it seems from the tone of your posts seems to indicate, would, likely, appeal to vengeance more than it would for what is good for everyone involved. It is not a good path to follow. In know this to be true, I face that choice every day when I wake up. I would say to you, yes, there must be justice, but it must be justice that respects what is good for everyone, even, the abuser!

    As a Catholic, one must accept and attempt to incorporate this desire for true justice into their lives, or they run the risk of falling into vengeance by using false understandings of the teachings of Christ. When one is suffering, which can last a lifetime, it is more difficult to be able to discern, through the combination of injustices and intractable pain, the clear difference between justice, that is Christ’s and justice that is man’s.

    You also said, “people expect certain things”…..implying that unless one gets what one demands, there can be no peace.

    This is clearly evidence of vengeance, not justice. The Church does not have the power to grant vengeance, unless it were to fall into even greater sin, as a result. Do not ask this of the Church. It is scandalous. Seek justice that flows with real charity, both the abused and the abuser need it. This is the lesson I am asking of myself, everyday, and it is not easy. But it is the ONLY WAY.

  12. MrTipsNZ says:

    When asked to write an essay about “What’s wrong with the world”, GK Chesterton wrote (with the usual sublime brilliance and clarity;

    “I am.”

    Acts of penance need to start with us. We can only control our own approach to this. If we become more pure, then our offense and defense will become that much more effective. Leave the management to Benedict XVI, a great Pope (just like our last one) and his allies. And leave the surgery and washout to God. When Bishops and priests do good, tell them. When they do not so good, tell them. Above all support them and encourage them to align with the truth.

  13. KarenLH says:

    “Vatican officials hope such an unprecedented act of penance by Benedict, together with thousands of clergymen in St Peter’s Square, 9-11 June, will do much to lay to rest the scandal and defuse protests that might disrupt his trip to Britain in September.”

    I’m guessing that’s not why Benedict is doing it.

  14. Magpie says:

    Randii said:

    ”Mr. Celente said he is Catholic and the same change he sees coming to the US government he sees coming to the Catholic Church. That is the emergence of more local control. In terms of the Catholic church and the current crisis how might that look? Well, if you go back to the early church, bishops were selected at the local level. By congregations as well as prebyteriates.”

    I say: That’s fine and dandy, but we have a majority of lay ‘faithful’ who are not suitably disposed to carry out such a task. They have little knowledge or understanding of the faith so are hardly equipped to start choosing bishops. If we were to go down that road, we’d find that the large mass of people would gather for themselves teachers to teach doctrines which their ears so itch to hear.

  15. C. says:

    We need a Year for Bishops.

  16. Lurker 59 says:

    The Church has no prisons in which to place people. As such, she cannot view these things as crimes. Regardless, the proper response is to address these things as sins because that is what they are. Its gravely disordered individuals doing wicked things. A crime is just breaking the law. This is wickedness and darkness masquerading as an angel of light. Priests have been tempted and have fallen and those who serve the darkness have gotten themselves admitted to Holy Orders. The Church MUST address this as first and foremost a problem of sin.

    People are right, Bishops heads must roll because that is where the cover-up is.

    I am going to say this but in the rush to clean house we need to remember that one of the corporeal acts of mercy is to random individuals from prison. The Old Testament, the Desert Fathers, the Church Fathers are filled with stories of the Church helping individuals find peace with God without throwing them into the state’s prisons. We need to remember, as difficult as it is, that it is not the Church’s duty to throw criminals into the state’s prisons, but rather to help criminals repent and seek Christ.

    As hard as it is when our blood boils and we want heads to roll in more than a figurative manner we must always confront evil head on with charity, healing, and the hope of forgiveness.

    That of course doesn’t mean that some mitered heads shouldn’t spend the rest of their days doing penance.

  17. msgrbarr says:

    Wow! After reading these comments, I might begin to think that Hell’s Bible has sunk its devious hooks into otherwise sensible folk, actually getting them to believe what the chattering classes have been nattering about these past weeks; namely, that nothing good can come from the corrupt Catholic Church. And, as one Irish commentator said today in the Irish Independent, Pope Benedict has become the new George Bush, responsible for every dastardly thing done on the planet. We need to get a grip, and we need to forsake despair. As Charles Krauthammer, hardly a supporter of the Church, said recently, the Church has surmounted far more serious obstacles then the current sex abuse crisis; it will get its act together and rise above it stronger and purer.

    Give some credit to the Holy Father; his call for penance and apology at the closing ceremonies of the Year For Priests is a good idea. I’ll be there and am looking forward to representing our diocese and will welcome a strong and direct confronting of the issue. We are over one billion strong. Of course, much sin is present, but so much more good courses through our parishes. We are better then we think, and we surely represent more hope for good then those who condemn us unjustly.

  18. Magpie says:

    msgrbarr: I read that article from David Quinn in the Irish Independent too. An excellent piece.

    I think we have, as they say, no shortage of vocations to the Papacy, but lots of vocations to holiness which go unheeded. Everyone has their own wonder solution and agenda, but the one thing that is necessary is neglected (I’m guilty of this) – holiness. Holy bishops, holy priests, and holy laymen. It is time for each to take his proper place.

  19. Marg says:

    Remember Randii, that many seminaries in this country had “Nuns” as admissions directors. If you read Michael Rose’s book “Good Bye Good Men”(if you have the stomach)you will see that “manly” men were very often seen as not sensitive enough, especially if they did not agree that women should be ordained to the priesthood.
    Bella Dodd admitted to sending over 1000 Communists into the seminaries to ruin the True Church from within. I think we have seen the results. Although most of the damage was done years ago…I agree that certain Bishops should step down (retire). But I doubt the rabid anti-Catholic media will give up.

  20. C. says:

    Holy bishops, holy priests, and holy laymen. It is time for each to take his proper place.

    We’ve often spoken of the dilution of liturgical roles, with laymen fulfilling too many parts of the priest, and priests acting like they are equal to laymen.

    Watching the liturgy of the Solemn Pontifical Mass from the Throne yesterday (and listening to the commentary), it became clear to me that the same problem of dilution exists between bishops and priests – especially in the modern rite as normally celebrated.

    One example: whereas priests often dress too much like laymen, bishops often dress too much like simple priests today.

    Restoring the Pontifical Liturgy needs to be a priority.

  21. catholicmidwest says:

    I’m on board with whatever this pope wants to do next. He’s the best pope we’ve had since Pius X. We’ll get through this.

  22. TJerome says:

    I think the Pope should apologize when the New York Times apologizes for its deceitful, slimey, left-wing loon, anti-Christian, reporting. So Pope Benedict, you’re off the hook. Except I forgot that old saying “Being liberal means never having to say you’re sorry.”

  23. Peggy R says:

    Peggy Noonan’s ridiculous as usual. I don’t think women overseeing the hierarchy is a sensible solution. I’d bet many a laywoman looked the other way. In fact, some stories were that mothers (and fathers) refused to believe their kids’ claims that Fr did X. It was unthinkable. Further, some women religious orders have abuse histories as well, though maybe not necessarily sexual. Finally, as another reader noted, liberal women religious have mucked up vocations procedures in many a diocese.

    Our parish KofC handed out prayer cards for the Holy Father. Also, as it happens our bishop will be in Rome for the closing of Year for Priests commemorating his 40th anniversary as priest this year. He is not part of the abuse problem, as bishop here only 5 years. He catches hell for insisting on kneeling for the eucharistic prayer and for not accepting unjust financial judgments in abuse laswuits in which the judge threw out the statute of limitations.

    It will be interesting to see how our bishop participates in the penance.

  24. VEXILLA REGIS says:

    I agree with msgrbarr. Much of the above comment (save 4 or 5)is very disappointing and less than helpful. I started writing at greater length, but the only beneficial thing is to STOP.Whilst everyone is exclusively concentrating on what 2 plus per cent of Priests did 20 years ago, they are undermining the work of 99.9% of Priests TO-DAY. This whole exercise was the work of the Father of Lies 20yrs ago and NOW he is laughing his horned head off that he is getting a further run out of his original perversions.BASTA! Enough already!Let the Holy Father get on with his job. Pray for the victims and do penance for the sins of the 2plus percent.Stop feeding the frenzy.

  25. becket1 says:

    Quote: “Very true, and although it is unfair to lay the blame at the feet on Vatican II, it is certainly not unfair to lay it at the feet of the aftermath that Vatican II created. Talk about a whole-sale exodus of holy Catholic priests, to be replaced by modernist and homosexual ones!”

    But the real sad thing is that most priests and bishops will still go quoting Vatican 2, as if it were the greatest of all councils, and no action will be taken by Rome, except words. Your liberals like Hans Kung will still be legally “Roman Catholic”, and they will continue back stabbing the Church till it gives in. Since Rome has lost all backbone to take serious actions against blatant heretics like these people.

  26. becket1 says:

    Than you wonder why groups like the SSPX exist and will not budge one bit. What securities do they have with Hans Kungs running wild in the Church and nothing is done.

  27. Quirinus says:

    Than you wonder why groups like the SSPX exist and will not budge one bit. What securities do they have with Hans Kungs running wild in the Church and nothing is done.

    And what securities would we have that they wouldn’t start to consecrate illictily again? They are those who need to give assurances to the Church, not the other way around. More to the point, how is the issue of SSPX that relevant to the issue of scandals? Besides, do you think SSPX didn’t have their share of scandals, in one form or the other? Are they untouched by the original sin?

  28. Traductora says:

    I think episcopal resignations are very much in order. Most of them would be the older Vatican II “boy bishops” who were appointed young and have reigned for years and never been held accountable for the collapse of the Church in their dioceses. While it’s a little too late for this to produce any change in that lamentable state of affairs, at least it would be a symbolic statement. However, look for opposition from the press, because many of the very bishops who were responsible for this laxity (and even sometimes participated themselves, evidently) are the liberal darlings of the press precisely because of their loosey-goosey ways.

    The press will protect them: Note how Rembert Weakland was recently able to stir up a storm pointing to everyone but himself, although he was the one in charge of the diocese and responsible for the entire process at the time. Yet the press protects his role in this, and attempts to discipline bishops in the Weakland mold will bring cries that the Pope is authoritarian, bringing back the Inquisition, etc.

    Meanwhile, we have things like a “demand” by a group of Jesuits in Spain that the Pope resign because of “incompetence” and “age.” Yet nothing happens to them; they are all teaching in Catholic universities in Spain, having big public meetings, etc. Personally, I think we could stand to see a little more authoritarian behavior on the part of Rome. Letting people in religious orders and Church teaching positions act like this is causing great scandal, and the press and the world are not going to like the Pope and orthodox bishops or cardinals no matter what they do, so the latter should go ahead and try to set this house in order.

  29. Mrs. O says:

    “this makes the problem sound more extensive than it was.”
    Fr, what is your litmus for extensive?
    One country with thousands of cases? Two? Three countries?
    More than 10,000 victims?

    I look forward to reading what the Pope has to say. It is of great value what he is doing because being able to respond well, and know how to apologize is like the much needed balm for the weary and sick.

  30. Jordanes says:

    Oneros said: “The Catholic Church is simply NOT a “major corporation”!” It’s a multinational organization with a very clear
    power structure.

    You are wrong, Oneros. No Catholic who believes and understands what Jesus says about His Bride would speak of the Church in the secular carnal terms that you do. As Ligusticus said, the Church is NOT a “major corporation,” and Lawler is wrong to expect the Mystical Body of Christ to act like one and be treated like one. To describe the Church as “a multinational organization with a very clear power a structure” is to barely sratch the surface about who and what the Church is, and there won’t be any ascertaining the Church’s proper response to clergy sexual sin until you do more than scratch the surface.

    This sort of exceptionalism, this sort of claiming exemption from the rules that apply to everyone else, is what led to the cover-up in the first place.

    It’s not claiming exemption (although the Church IS exempt from a lot of the rules that apply to others)– it’s truthfully stating that the Church is infinitely more than a major corporation, and her “business” is not the business of an earthly corporation. The Church IS exceptional. Ifyou don’t believe that, you’ve got far more serious problems than the Church does.

    “Penance” shows that they are still thinking of this as primarily a question of sexual sin…when really we all think of this as a question of a CRIME of victimization.

    It IS primarily a question of sexual sin (one that more often than not has a component of abuse of authority). The Church must always keep her focus on what is most important — the state and fate of the soul more than of the body. This isn’t primarily a temporal crime meriting atemporal punishment in this life alone. If you don’t accept that, you won’t understand the true gravity of clergy sexual misconduct.

    Sin may merit penance, but CRIME merits PUNISHMENT.

    Sin merits punishment too. But where sin abounds, grace abounds the more. “I will have mercy and not sacrifice,” the Lord says.

  31. chironomo says:

    I think episcopal resignations are very much in order.

    I would think that episcopal removals might be in order. A resignation is an admission that other people think you are guilty and therefore you resign because you are ineffective. Removal is a demonstration that you are either guilty or at least culpable. Having Bishops “resign” would simply allow them to continue going on about how “they did nothing, but resigned for the good of the Church”. That would achieve nothing.

  32. coletmary says:

    I can’t seem to get beyond “jamboree”.

  33. Frank H says:

    “Jamboree” is a big gathering of Boy Scouts. Weird to see the term used here.

  34. wanda says:

    Me neither, coletmary. I just had this picture of bib-overalls, straw hats, banjos and hog-calling contests.

  35. MAJ Tony says:

    chironomo (26 0806R APR 10): I would think that episcopal removals might be in order. A resignation is an admission that other people think you are guilty and therefore you resign because you are ineffective. Removal is a demonstration that you are either guilty or at least culpable. Having Bishops “resign” would simply allow them to continue going on about how “they did nothing, but resigned for the good of the Church”. That would achieve nothing.

    We have a history of doing just that very same thing* in the military with high-ranking personnel with a suitable degree of sucess**. It sends a message that certain behavior will not be tolerated whilst protecting the reputations and privacy of victims. It sends a message to other prelates that, while they might not be proverbally strung up, they will essentially have to admit that their services are no longer valuable to the Church if, through their own gross negligence, they fail in their Missio divina.

    *resignation in-lieu-of termination or legal procedings
    **See Gen. Byrnes, fmr. Sgt. Maj of the Army McKinney et al

  36. Jim of Bowie says:

    I have read a lot of comments on this blog in the last several days about removal of bishops who transferred abusive priests or who otherwise covered up sexual abuse of children. Maybe I’m just uninformed, but other than Cdl. Law and maybe Mahony, I’m not aware of any active US bishops who are guilty of or accused of this serious offense. Shouldn’t those who are making these accusations name names? Otherwise all bishops are being harmed just as all priests were harmed by the very few who abused children.

  37. robtbrown says:

    “The Catholic Church is simply NOT a “major corporation”!”
    It’s a multinational organization with a very clear power structure.
    Comment by Oneros

    Its power structure is more like KFC (franchising with local ownership) than IBM.

    There were various reasons why not much was done under the previous papacy to reform the Church, among which in no particular order are:

    1. Inability of older priests to think that the problems were as serious as they were.

    2. Liberal resistance

    3. JPII thought the conditions in the Church such that the time was not right for reform (see #2)

    4. JPII’s tendency to think the problems were merely a consequence of Western decadence. This changed with the case of the Abp of Poznan reared its ugly head.

    5. A tendency to think that loyalty to the pope, no matter how nominal, to the Pope was sufficient.

    6. A belief that the sorry state of the liturgy and theology was the work of the Holy Spirit.

    Et continua.

  38. robtbrown says:

    I can’t seem to get beyond “jamboree”.
    Comment by coletmary

    NB: a previous thread on country music.

  39. Oneros says:

    “Its power structure is more like KFC (franchising with local ownership) than IBM.”

    Except, if that were the case there could be competition. Men could be ordained priests more easily, and try their hand at it if they thought they could do a better job. And if they succeeded, they’d succeed, and if they failed, they would feel. You would know them by their fruits and competition would force their not to be such an inefficient bureaucracy and such mediocre liturgy and pastoral care.

    This has been discussed here:

    http://renegadetrad.blogspot.com/2010/04/dangers-of-monopoly.html

    “It’s just so frustrating. In any other ‘industry’ I could look at the situation, see that there is a major (read: almost total) lack of quality, see that there is widespread dissatisfaction among the consumers, bet that my own ideas and God-given skills and talents could be competitive in such an environment, and become an entrepreneur. Just in this case success wouldn’t be measured in financial profits (though solvency at least would be nice). But in this situation, all I can do is watch in horror as they don’t listen, stay the course of incompetent apathetic mediocrity, and keep driving this amazing institution, with all its immense potential and infrastructure already in place, into the ground, onto the rocks, squandering all their capital.”

    You can call that “carnalization” of the Church all you want, but the fact is it isn’t talking about the Church in terms of the Mystical Body of Christ or the Heavenly Jerusalem. The HUMAN institution, the human mortal hierarchy, IS human and IS subject to all the same political and sociological (and economic) laws and phenomenon as any other human institution. And a “monopoly” model on ministry is simply not going to be lead to excellence.

  40. Magpie says:

    Oneros:

    I think here in Ireland the diocesan system is not really fit for purpose. I think the future of the Church in Ireland will be the new religious communities who are faithful to the Holy Father and the faithful remnant who seek out the Faith in those places. These include the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal as well as other orders which are already in Ireland (though small in number such as the Institute of the Incarnate Word) or those considering coming here. I have little faith in most of the bishops and priests, who it seems to me are indifferent or unwilling to implement the reforms of Benedict XVI. They have their own ideas, they are comfortable, and are quite content for things to continue as they are. So sad. In their refusal to preach the Gospel and obey the Pope, countless souls are being lost. Oh well…

    Of course there are some good priests, but they are few, and only a small remnant of people support what they are trying to do. Most of the ‘Catholics’ in Ireland would be quite happy for more of the same demonic ‘Spirit of Vatican II’.

    If the diocesan system is too be salvaged, what we need are less bishops – put in a smaller number of proven, faithful, orthodox men. Then all the priests must sign oaths of faithfulness to their Bishop and Pope. Those who refuse can be excommunicated.

  41. robtbrown says:

    Oneros,

    Except, if that were the case there could be competition. Men could be ordained priests more easily, and try their hand at it if they thought they could do a better job. And if they succeeded, they’d succeed, and if they failed, they would feel. You would know them by their fruits and competition would force their not to be such an inefficient bureaucracy and such mediocre liturgy and pastoral care.

    1. You missed the point, which was that the Church cannot be compared to the structure of, say, IBM.

    2. Although the Church has serious problems, you’re doing a best case analysis of business. Ever hear of GM or Chrysler? How are they doing now? Wang Computers? Data General?

    3. You are all wrong on Church bureaucracy, which is much more efficient than other bureaucracies. I have been on the phone this morning with the VA, talked with two different people, was directed to a third, who didn’t answer. The problem still hasn’t been resolved.

    4. It is not easy to be ordained because a) there needs to be a considerable period of reflection on the part of the candidate and the bishop’s rep (rector, et al), and b) this period of reflection is based on formation. Theoretically, it is much like Ranger School, which is intended to both train Rangers and weed out certain candidates.

    5. Of course, the system right now is obviously not in good shape. I lived in Rome with priests from 18 different nations and came away with two impressions: Most who study for the priesthood have good intentions, and they are the most poorly trained group of professionals I have ever seen. They were cheated out of good formation–by bishops, by seminary rectors, and by formation committees of religious orders. A lot of those who are good priests are men who did a lot of reading on their own.

    It’s simply going to take years to straighten out this mess.

  42. Aaron says:

    The pope and all the bishops could dress in sackcloth, allow themselves to be pilloried for a week, and then commit group hari-kari, and the mainstream media would say they didn’t go far enough.

    So I hope that whatever he does, it is not an attempt to smooth things over or pacify the press, but to Do The Right Thing. It sounds like he’s been doing that so far in private talks with victims, but maybe there’s a place for a public version of the same.

  43. ndmom says:

    “if women had been sitting alongside bishops during these times that most of these priests would not have been transferred but instead stopped from being perpetually moved from parish to parish.”

    That is nonsense. Women can be some of the worst enablers of clerical misconduct, beginning with the mothers who allowed their sons to hang out with priests in inappropriate settings (to make up for the too-often absent dads), to the “church ladies” who circled the wagons to protect priests accused of wrongdoing, to the nuns who looked the other way in schools and other institutions.
    Not to mention that MANY children are abused by mom’s boyfriend or second husband or father or brother. And, of course, women run most public schools in this country, where sexual abuse cases are rampant, if unpublicized.

  44. PostCatholic says:

    Frankly, I think we will see in time to come more than apologies. We will surely start seeing acts of penance as some having been talking about. And people will be replaced.

    That is the point at which I’m ready to say “what took you so long?” instead of “it’s not enough.”

  45. catholicmidwest says:

    People don’t pay any attention to apologies anymore because a) too many have been already given, and b) they looked insincere.

    Replacing people will do far, far more all around than apologies.

  46. Dr. Eric says:

    “The Church has no prisons in which to place people. As such, she cannot view these things as crimes.”

    Not true, there are very severe penances in monasteries for this stuff. Read St. Peter Damian’s take on it all.

    “Take, for example, the spiritual and physical penalties declared by the 4th Century architect of Eastern monasticism, St. Basil of Cesarea (322-379AD), for the cleric or monk caught making sexual advances (kissing) or sexually molesting young boys or men. The convicted offender was to be whipped in public, deprived of his tonsure (head shaven), bound in chains and imprisoned for six months, after which he was to be contained in a separate cell and ordered to undergo severe penances and prayer vigils to expedite his sins under the watchful eye of an elder spiritual brother. His diet was that of water and barley bread – the fodder of animals. Outside his cell, while engaged in manual labor and moving about the monastery, the pederast monk was to be always monitored by two fellow monks to insure that he never again had any contact with young men or boys.”

    http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/articles/damian1.htm

    http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/articles/damian2.htm