Monday 3 September 2012

Just what is the colour of the sky in their world, part 4

Sexual abuse by clergy a 'mystery,' Pope saysVideo statement may spark new anger among Irish Catholics

"How are we to explain the fact that people who regularly received the Lord's body and confessed their sins in the sacrament of Penance have offended in this way?" the Pope said, referring to church staff who abused children.
"It remains a mystery," he said. "Yet evidently their Christianity was no longer nourished by joyful encounter with Jesus Christ. It had become merely a matter of habit."
"Your forebears in the church in Ireland knew how to strive for holiness and constancy in their personal lives," Benedict said in his message.
Somehow I missed this particular story last June. Probably doing something else :-)
This is the sort of story that should make most Roman Catholics understand that they will get no true change from the Papacy and Curia. I understand the rationale behind Ratzinger's (PB16) comments. He is a true believer in the efficacy of the sacraments. He believes that when someone receives the blood and body in the sacrament of mass, it will have a magical edifying effect on the person who participates in the mass. This is especially true for priests who take both the wine & host. 
Now we come to the restatement of my original article's title (It can't be true, and if it is, it's not our fault). The latest paper will read "Well I guess it's true, but it's still not our fault" (will upload to the website after it is edited). It you read BP16's remarks closely, it is clear that this problem must be the fault of the priests, the people involved have actively refused the nourishment offered by the mass. This, of course, would go further than just the abusing priests. It must be, therefore, that the bishops, cardinals, etc. who didn't "do the right thing" also refused to be nourished by the mass.
Honestly I don't really expect the Pope et al to actually start questioning the theology and validity of the Roman Catholic sacramental theology but that is exactly what is in question here.
The second thing that is in question is the assumption that in the past, the priests were better & didn't sexually abuse children - were really nourished by the mass. How in heaven's name does he make that assumption? Hasn't he been integrating the understanding that we now have about the intergenerational nature of pedophilia? Obviously not. And if you read the 2004 report that came out of the Vatican*, which I will review on the website at a later date, you will understand why. However, even that document has a whole section (pp. 13-17, if I remember correctly) detailing how the church has been decrying this issue since the later part of the first century C.E. Clearly, another case of those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it - especially if they are locked into an ideological position from which they are afraid to depart.
*Hanson, R. Karl, Friedmann Pfafflin and Manfred Lutz, eds., Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church:Scientific and Legal Perspectives. Proceedings of the Conference “Abuse ofChildren and Young People by Catholic Priests and Religious” (Vatican City, April 2-5, 2003). Vatican City: Liberia Editrice Vaticana, 2004.

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