My friend Fr. Ray Blake, P.P. of St. Mary Magdalen in Brighton, continues to post good observations on his personal blog. I stress “personal” blog, because he was forced to change the blog’s name to reflect his own name rather than the name of the parish of which he is pastor and to which he is so dedicated.
The Pope attributes the present state of Catholic Liturgy to a disregard for the Liturgy as “a given” and the same could be said for the state of confusion in catechesis.
The Pope has been urging bishops and priests to return to “doing the red and saying the black” [Very wise. Perhaps people in Ireland should give their priests and bishops some Say The Black stuff.] – basically following the rules. It is interesting that in Peter Seewald’s book the Pope when speaking of the sexual abuse in Ireland he cites the change in ecclesiology being at the root of the problem.
Pope Benedict says: “The Archbishop of Dublin told me something very interesting about that. He said that ecclesiastical penal law functioned until the late 1950s; admittedly, it was not perfect – there is much to criticise about it – but nevertheless it was applied. After the mid-sixties, however, it was simply not applied any more.
“The prevailing mentality was that the Church must not be a Church of laws but, rather a Church of love: she must not punish . . . This led to an odd darkening of the mind, even in very good people.”
Asked by Seewald about the overall impact of the Irish sex abuse crisis, Pope Benedict says: “In Ireland the problem is altogether specific – there is a self-enclosed Catholic society, so to speak, which remained true to its faith despite centuries of oppression, but in which, then, evidently certain attitudes were also able to develop. I cannot analyze that in detail now.
“To see a country that gave the world so many missionaries, so many saints, which in the history of the missions also stands at the origin of our faith in Germany, now in a situation like this is tremendously upsetting and depressing. Above all, of course, for the Catholics in Ireland itself, where now as always there are many good priests.”
Be sure to review the Holy Father’s letter to the Catholics of Ireland. Take special note of his recommendations.
Also, keep in mind that the Holy Father has planned to travel to Ireland.