You perhaps won’t be surprised if Bryan Cones of the über-liberal US Catholic threw a little nutty about the CDF’s new norms concerning graviora delicta, "exceptionally serious crimes".
Here is the piece in all is wondrous weirdness with my emphases and comments:
Sex abuse and women’s ordination?
Friday, July 9, 2010
By Bryan Cones
Great news from the Vatican, according to Catholic News Service: New norms against the sexual abuse of children will double length of time a victim has to bring charges from 10 to 20 years after the victim’s 18th birthday. It will also extend the penalties for sexual abuse of children to those who abuse the mentally disabled.
Bad news: The new norms will simultaneously add to the list of grave offenses against the sacrament of holy orders the "attempted ordination of women." Seriously? [Yes. This is about graviora delicta, right?]
Why is that bad? First, the "attempted ordination of women" already brings with it automatic excommunication, so making it one of the "delicta graviora" is redundant. [No, it doesn’t. The writer fails to understand that these norms make it possible to expedite the process for clerics who participate.] Second, it conflates two completely separate issues, and in effect, [watch this stunning piece of reasoning…] or at least in the minds of many people who will read the news, seems to equate the "attempted ordination of women" with the rape and torture of children. [He neither understood the document nor understood the explanation given during the press conference. Read my piece on the site of the Washington Post for a simple explanation. And, btw, in their wisdom WaPo changed the title of my piece and now everyone is obsessing about the word "logic". The real, original title was: "The Vatican’s new norms safeguard faith, morals and sacraments". Go over there and read some of the truly hate-filled comments from the liberals.]
[Let the real nutty begin!] Quite frankly, it is an outrage to pair the two, a complete injustice [Don’t you love hyperbole?] to connect the aspirations of some women among the baptized [Ooooo! Poor things!] to ordained ministry with what are some of the worst crimes that can be committed against the least of Christ’s members. [But, Mr. Cones, that is not what the new norms do!]
Furthermore, if I were a member or supporter of the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement, I would be opening a bottle of champagne right now. [I recommend Veuve Clicquot.] The Vatican has in effect given legitimacy and momentum to what is still an incredibly tiny movement with this clumsy legal manuver, tantamount to the United States dropping a nuclear weapon on Luxembourg – only more ridiculous because this will do absolutely no damage to women’s ordination movement. [Indeed! Tens of wymyn will now be even more inspired to get out there and get ordained!] It is more like a gift. None of those women are afraid of excommunication any longer; indeed, it is now the Vatican that appears fearful. [Not afraid of excommunication? Okay… I hope that’ll see them though that whole dying and judgment thingy. Personally, I think they are in for an ugly surprise.]
[The nutty continues…] This decision boggles the mind: [Is it really that hard for you to grasp what really happened?] The faithful have been justly demanding for nearly a decade clear guidelines for dealing with the sexual abuse of children, along with just punishments for both offenders and bishops who have abetted these crimes. What we have gotten is half of what we have been asking for (still no sanctions for bishops), [I think the writer missed something, namely: "§ 2. With regard to the delicts mentioned above in § 1, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, by mandate of the Roman Pontiff, may judge Cardinals, Patriarchs, Legates of the Apostolic See, Bishops as well as other physical persons mentioned in can. 1405 § 3 of the Code of Canon Law, and in can. 1061 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches." Yep. That pretty much covers every cleric in the world. But I noticed that because I actually read the norms and then thought about them for 3 or 4 minutes.] along with a completely unconnected and unnecessary condemnation of the ordination of women. [And there we have it. He wants women to be ordained. Right?] This is especially ironic given that many Catholics, and I include myself among them, see the absence of women in positions of power in the church as a contributor to the ongoing sex abuse crisis. [It must be the genius of their feminine relational wisdom, right? Remember that SNAP has been after the LCWR about how women religious superiors have covered up sexual abuse of children by women. This week a Lutheran bishopette in Germany resigned by failing to act in the obvious case of one of her pastors sexually abusing a minor. That’s just the beginning of the story.]
This move is a mistake, plain and simple, imprudent at best, at worst a serious further blow to Rome’s already damaged credibility.
The Anglicans are waiting for you, Mr. Cones.