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A German Catholic asks: “If you get divorced and remarry you can’t take communion, but someone convicted of molesting children can hold mass for the rest of his life” ? Good question

The NYT is carrying a piece about a priest who (then) Archbishop Ratzinger "permitted to work" within his Diocese. The Catholic blogosphere is replete with responses, but you won't find any in this article. Nevertheless, it is an interesting question for Church authorities to consider.

The degradation of public opinion of priests is sadly evident when the question is preceded with... "she also said it was time that the church stopped hiding abuse cases and questioned why priests seemed to be held to a less strict standard of morality than ordinary parishioners (emphasis added).

The 'Year of the Priest' indeed.  To think that the common consensus (at least as expressed in the NYT story) is that we as priests should be expected to produce fruits of lesser quality than what is expected of others, is a tragic stain upon the entire body of the priesthood.  A great deal of penance and suffering is being visited upon the Church and her priests that will be measured in thousands of lost and wounded souls.


  1. I shudder every time I have to read the secular press carry on their anti church agenda with single minded devotion.

    It's almost like it's not child abuse unless it involves a priest.

    What is also being missed (hidden ?) is the fact that almost all these incidents took place in the 1950's and 1960's. The incidence of such cases in the last couple of decades is negligible.

    Of course I am also confused how a so called Catholic who was abused finds comfort in destroying the very church he believes in and how receiving large financial compensation really resolves the issue at all.

  2. Good points Sanwin. It is a sad situation indeed...Seems like the Church is the scapegoat for the sexual problems suffered by an entire generation, the world over.
    True, clerics ought to offer a better example, but were they not also victims of the sexual liberation of the 60s and 70s?
    A brief google search will show that perversities around the globe are rampant in society at large. Those who blame celibacy for clerical abuse have it all wrong. The problem is not celibacy, it is our libertine society.

  3. Why should anyone as a young innocent child and victim of sexual abuse by a member of the Catholic Church be further denigrated and be called today ‘a so called Catholic’? If they are still Catholics today it is a tribute to their faith – not the church. Is it the fault of the victim that the Catholic Church has intentionally hidden the truth behind sexual abuse for so long? Is it the fault of the victim if a member of the Catholic Church abused the person? How can you be so sure these incidents are not taking place right now? It is only now after all these years that many are finding the courage to speak up. If you were a victim would you rush up to the media in front of your family, friends and co-workers? If you were that victim and had suffered enormously, perhaps requiring years of professional treatment would you not want to be reimbursed for your pain and suffering? Is this how you would expect to be treated by your church? Your right about one thing the money may never compensate and bring resolve. That would mean the victim will have to live with the pain for the rest of their life. The church could, if it so decides bring the matter of sexual abuse of minors to the Light. However, it has a long way to go to resolve its own tragic understanding of human sexuality.

  4. Nisy.

    After reading Anonymous 17 March above, I am appalled about the statements that are being made. The writer thinks that a large monetary settlements help the victims find their courage!!! It is the first time that I hear that money bring closure to injustice unless,you are facing Bankrupcy. Money may help my finance, but not a person's conscience or pain.The only reason anyone would suffer a lifetime is because they lack a lot of faith. God will deal with the problems. God is in charge not the Catholic Church, and He does not deal in cash settlements. Let us put the problem in the hands of God, and let him do his job. God does not need any help from our Justice Court and he is cheaper than a Lawyer. He will also win and liberate you of the pain. He will also deal with the Guilty.


  5. Nisy,

    In my opinion you are way off base with your statement about the abuse victims. You make a good witness for the rights of the pedophile priests and the clergy that covers for them, that includes way up to the Pontiff.

    You lack sensitivity for the victims, you think it is all about money. Do you not think the Church is not all about money? If churches have to closed so be it. Build a more personal relationship with God your Savior. Stop the re-victimize of the victims. You are just sore because the poor priests are going through a tough time. Hey, it is their vocation, they don't like, let them do something about it. Help uncover the crimes within the Church if not leave. Oh that is right, they are afraid to leave maybe they have nowhere else to go after all they do not need to worry about having a roof over their head, food, a car, cell phone, etc..(in this country anyway)? Better to listen and obey their Bishop, that is so much easier. That means the beat goes on and nothing is still being done.

    Let the clergy offer their pain and sufferings for the souls of victims and pray for the numerous poor souls that took their lives because of the Church's teachings, only one true church, preaching fear, guilt, and it is not right to sue because the victims should just turn the other cheek and be martyrs for the Church after all it is a jewel in their crown in heaven. That is just plain barnyard honey in my opinion.

    I am happy the Church is going through this long, long purification and I pray for all, especially for the justice system that is helping the real victims.

    Shame on all who sticks by the Roman Catholic Church no matter what wrong it does. You should remember you cannot buy your way into heaven.

    Here is a quote by Dolores on Mar. 17, 2010. This is what many Catholics are thinking and heading for:

    "It has taken me most of my adult life to separate God from religion (man made)
    and to separate what I have experienced as God (universal love) as the real Truth that I must practice. What price we have all paid for the institutionalization of God. May God have mercy for us."

    Amen to that!!!

  6. SmallTownGuy19 March, 2010

    Time Moyle, why do you censor my comments and not allow me to express an opinion. If you only allow opinions friendly to the Catholic church, the blog is a waste of time. What does it accomplish. Nobody can learn anything if only a certain line of thinking is allowed.

  7. Smalltownguy: Sorry, but I don't think that I have censored anyone. Perhaps there was a problem with the computer, but I have never refused to post a comment (save for one which believe me was over the top in a VERY BIG way - more profanities than I used to hear when I worked in the nickel mines at INCO!!)

    Fr. Tim


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