Provocative piece to put the recent controversies in perspective

Take a look at this:

“There are cases of sexual abuse that come to light every day against a large number of members of the Catholic clergy. Unfortunately it’s not a matter of individual cases, but a collective moral crisis that perhaps the cultural history of humanity has never before known with such a frightening and disconcerting dimension. Numerous priests and religious have confessed. There’s no doubt that the thousands of cases which have come to the attention of the justice system represent only a small fraction of the true total, given that many molesters have been covered and hidden by the hierarchy.”

You might be interested in a post by Italian journalist Massimo Introvigne on Mercator.

That quote at the top of this entry is at the top of Introvigne’s piece.  

Read and then discuss.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Denis Crnkovic says:

    I don’t know where to begin to discuss this. It’s too fearful.

  2. Robert of Rome says:

    I advise caution in deciding what to make of Massimo Introvigne’s fascinating and instructive post. I do not doubt its historical accuracy; however, for well-intentioned Catholics to make a claim that an artificial “moral crisis” is being manufactured today by anti-Catholic elements in society will appear to justify the charge that the Church is only interested in denial and cover-up where clerical sexual abuse of minors is concerned.

    A better way “to put the recent controversies in perspective”, in my opinion, is to continue to argue that clerical sexual abuse of minors has and is currently taking place in the clergy of other Christian churches and denominations, as well as in other professions in society at large, and that it has not been limited to the Roman Catholic clergy. [A very good admonition! Thanks for that.]

  3. puma19 says:

    The abuse scandal is horrendous for the Church and in the past history of the Church there have been far worse scandals in the Middle Ages. Some popes and many cardinals’ lives would be best left forgotten and hidden as their exposure has created major moral mayhem. But last night on TV in Britain there was a program on the ‘dancing boys’ in Afghanistan. This revealed the reality of a most amazing scenario where boys 12-14 are litersally taken off the streets in that country and then used as sex slaves, dancing as ‘girls’ for older men and mny of these are commanders, generals. police and public officials. This apparently is part of life in that country and to see all those men sitting around watching the boys dancing as girls, then being taken home to sleep with them was just amazing.
    This is a Muslim state where this culture exists.
    WHY has this type of action, culture not come under attack by the likes of Dawkins and Hitchens who have called for the pope’s arrest? Why have papers in the West not focused on this type of activity where there is exploitation of young boys and so publicly?
    A UN senior official was on the show and she said it is hard to bring to the public’s attention. It is so imbedded in Afghan life.
    BUT in light of the attack on the Church and its priests and the pope, isn’t it about time there was a focus on this debasement of young boys in a Muslim culture? It is Ok to attack the Catholic Church but not seen to be good to attack a Muslim culture which allows this amongst the highest in their society.
    What a scandal.
    Let’s get this all in perspective – the immoral activity of many older men on the young crosses all barriers and cultural boundaries and people like Dawkins and Hitchens ought get their attack dogs on all and be far more objective and rational.

  4. Mrs. O says:

    That is interesting.
    When I read history, especially concerning the Catholic Church, and there are times of great reform and turning back to God, I wonder if some did include sexual abuse of minors. BUT that is off topic.

    Unlike in Germany, in the US there were Catholics behind bringing the abuse to light because these men were still harming others. So, in the beginning, I don’t think there was a conspiracy to discredit the Church’s moral voice.
    Right now in the US, I think it is more of the lawyer trying to get a case going against the Pope than discrediting/hatred for the Church BUT I don’t think it is absent either. He is using media and people who hate the Church to his advantage so it is important to keep in mind the amount of abuse cases in total.

    The other countries that have abuse cases coming forward, God help them because it will be a very long night.

  5. catholicmidwest says:

    That’s Joseph Goebbels in the picture. He discredited Jews; he discredited Catholics. However, he was in the bunker with Hitler on the last night of the Reich. He had his 6 children poisoned and killed his wife to keep them out of the hands of the Russians. So much for Goebbels.

    I think it’s possible that there is a smear of Catholics going on for political reasons; I’m rather more sure that it’s a smear for cultural reasons. However, if you’ve ever studied the Third Reich with any seriousness, you’d realize that even if it is the same thing, it’s happening with an entirely different order of magnitude entirely.

    In 1937, the year referenced in this article, Dachau was already open and accepting political prisoners. Many of those prisoners were priests. In 1942, some polish priests were sent there. (They were sent to other camps too. St. Maximilian Kolbe, for instance, died at Auschwitz, 1941.)

  6. catholicmidwest says:

    And the whole Holocaust thing may be off-topic anyway. The phenomenon had another motive entirely, driven in the heads of the leaders of the Third Reich for very strange empire-building reasons. Our situation has another set of motives, I think. The culture doesn’t understand Christianity anymore, and thinks it holds them back from progress in some way. They worship progress–it’s been sold to them.

    Besides, the Catholics of Germany and Poland did precisely nothing to set off the persecution. Nothing. Any more than the Jews did.

    Now, if the USA gets into a really, really bad way economically or somehow crashes and we elect a madman looking for a scapegoat class, then…then…it could happen for real.

  7. kelleyb says:

    The silence of Dawkins and Hitchens on the subject of sexual abuse of minors in other cultures (like Afghanistan), child brides and genital mutilations of young girls is very illuminating to me. I conclude by their very profound silence that their outrage is not in defense of innocence, but in the silencing of the Church.

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