15 April, 2010

Church crisis is not just about raped children - Full Comment

Jonathan Kay: Church crisis is not just about raped children - Full Comment


  1. There is an excellent observation by commenter Rob Misek:

    "Nobody can prove nor disprove the existence of God. Anyone claiming to know the truth about God is lying. If truth were defined by belief, conflicting beliefs would render truth meaningless."

    Vancouver is trying out a new form of entertainment: extreme fighting, aka mixed martial arts. It mostly consists of full-contact, somewhat-padded-with-body-armor street fighting with "rules." I suggest an added alternative -- extreme debate.

    Picture two opponents seated (tied down for safety, actually) in a big ring, flinging debate points and full-contact invective at one another. We can start with de Souza and Hutchens. Score it like a physical bout, and have the betting and attending ticket sales windows open well in advance.

    Can you imagine the boost to the economy?

  2. Jonathan is right. The rhetoric in the Post pages is not just about Cold War-era sex abuse. And even though I disagree with some of his conclusions, I think his reflection is a good analysis of what is on the mind of a lot of people.
    As he says, the attitudes our grandparents held towards sex abuse of any type in their day and age were much different from those we hold today. Why then are we digging up old cases and trying to judge the way these were handled way back then by the standards of today?
    And why can the media not get all the facts straight, so errors are not perpetuated over and over and over?

    For example, take the Kiesle case. It was not about the Pope protecting a predator, but about giving this priest a dispensation from celibacy at his own request. When Ratzinger spoke about the “good of the universal church”, he did not mean its mere “preservation”, but the “good” of giving in easily to allowing dispensations.
    This is thoroughly explained here:

    "During the entire course of the proceeding the priest remained under the control, authority and care of the local bishop who was responsible to make sure he did no harm, as the canon law provides….The abuse case wasn't transferred to the Vatican at all."

    Jon says there are 2 christian camps. While I cannot speak for non-Catholics, I can assure you that true Catholics (what you might call conservatives) do not look the other way at “history’s grim dossiers”. We are aware of the sinfulness of men (both within and outside the Church) within the hierarchy or amongst the lay members.

    Although this may be true of non-believers, the Church for us is not a powerful, secretive institution whose clergy we bow down to.

    The Church for us is more like a Mother, a Mother who suffers because some of her children have behaved abhorrently while others have been abused by them. We view her as the boat of Peter that shall never sink. We view her as a guide in moral clarity and purity of doctrine in a world where relativism reigns supreme.


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