Wednesday, April 24, 2019


Press title for full article, excerpt below. 

The Ratzinger Diagnosis  

Have any of the progressive critics engage Ratzinger’s argument? No. 

Paul VI makes Joseph Ratzinger (future Pope Benedict XVI) a cardinal in 1977. [Wikipedia]


In Benedict XVI’s view, the Catholic crisis of clerical sexual abuse was, in the main, an ecclesiastical by-product of the “sexual revolution:” a tsunami of cultural deconstruction that hit the Church in a moment of doctrinal and moral confusion, lax clerical discipline, poor seminary formation, and weak episcopal oversight, all of which combined to produce many of the scandals with which we’re painfully familiar today.  
This diagnosis does not explain everything about the abuse crisis, of course. It does not explain psychopaths like Marcial Maciel and Theodore McCarrick. It does not explain the abusive behavior by clergy and religious in pre-conciliar Ireland and Quebec. It does not explain the challenges the Church faces from clerical concubinage (and worse) in Africa today. But Ratzinger’s epidemiology does address, pointedly, the sharp spike in clerical sexual abuse that began in the late 1960s and peaked in the 1980s, before the reforms of the priesthood and seminaries initiated by Pope John Paul II began to take hold. 


Mark Thomas said...

"Have any of the progressive critics engage Ratzinger’s argument? No."

Progressives will not give Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI a fair shake. Except for the staunch support that he has given over the years to the Church's Social Teaching, the left-wing will attack almost anything that he says or does.

His situation with the left-wing is akin to that of Pope Francis in regard to the right-wing.

Right-wingers hate the Vicar of Christ. They will attack almost anything that His Holiness says or does.

Again...I have read one analysis after another of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's comment about clergy sexual abuse and the sexual revolution that has been offered by non-extremist Catholics.

One analysis after another has noted the good points that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI offered via his essay.

But his comments about clergy abuse and the sexual revolution have been rejected by one non-extremist after another.

His notion in question is very weak.

1. During the 1960s and onward, clergy sexual occurred in regions where the Sexual Revolution had not taken root.

2. Although microscopic in overall amount, one case after another of clergy sexual abuse was recorded during the 1940s and 1950s...long before the Sexual Revolution.

3. Clergy sexual abuse has been with us since the dawn of the Church.

Oh, well. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is entitled to his opinion in question. People are free to accept or reject his take on the non-existent "crisis."

We are not talking about dogma.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

One thing that has puzzled me over the years about Cardinal/Pope/Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is that by every account, he has a brilliant mind.

However, he has offered comments over the years that are, at best, extremely questionable.

The latest example in that regard is his very weak analysis of the supposed link between the Sexual Revolution and clergy sexual abuse.

Additional examples:

He insisted that the TLM and Novus Ordo are simply two forms of the one Roman Rite. Has anybody accepted that claim?

He praised the Arab Spring as a wonderful event. Conversely, everybody on earth was aware that the Arab Spring was a destructive fraud.

As John Allen reported during Pope Benedict XVI's 2012 A.D. Apostolic Visit to Lebanon, it was left to Maronite Archbishop Georges Bou-Jaoude of Tripoli, to, in charitable fashion, counter Pope Benedict XVI's strange positive analysis of the destructive Arab Spring.

In 1998 A.D., during a lecture to "traditional" Catholics, he declared:

"An average Christian without specialist liturgical formation would find it difficult to distinguish between a Mass sung in Latin according to the old Missal and a sung Latin Mass according to the new Missal."

Sorry, but a Christian, or otherwise, who had even minimal knowledge of the TLM would find it easy to distinguish between the TLM and Novus Ordo (even a Novus Ordo offered by the book).

He tossed aside the ancient Good Friday prayer for Jews as he claimed that the venerable prayer in question had served to "wound" Jews.

Again, I find it difficult to believe that many Catholics agreed that a venerable Roman Liturgical prayer was dreadful to the point that, after century upon century, deserved to be consigned to history.

In fairness to Pope Benedict XVI, he acted in union with Pope Venerable Pius XII's radical liturgical reform — a reform that featured the notion that "harsh" Roman liturgical prayers must be altered, if not discarded.

Still...the notion, promoted by Pope Venerable XII, Benedict XVI, or otherwise, that venerable, but supposed "harsh" Roman liturgical prayers must go, is puzzling.

Anyway, despite some questionable commentaries over the years, such as those related to clergy abuse and the Sexual Revolution, he is a holy and great man of God.


Mark Thomas

Carol H. said...

Many people forget that the "roaring 20's" were also a sexual revolution.

Christ is risen! Alleluia!

rcg said...

I thought Pope BXVI reinstated the prayer for conversion of the Jews and caught hell for it? I can see elements of similarity between NO and EF so a theologian might see the similarity as a toroid and a coffee cup. Im my estimation one does not hold water.

Anonymous said...

Most of those that abused others were manipulative opportunists. They joined organizations that gave them authority, camouflage, and prey. It wasn’t just the Catholic Church. It was churches, synagogues, schools, and any organization that met their criteria and served their needs.

John Nolan said...

Mark Thomas might be surprised at the number of tourists, including American Catholics, who think that the Solemn Mass at Brompton Oratory is Tridentine. It's in Latin, oriented properly, has deacon and subdeacon, Communion in one kind kneeling at the rail, no women in the sactuary, no congregational 'sign of peace', and is preceded by the Asperges with the older prayers.

Nowadays most Catholics have never attended a Solemn Mass in the Old Rite, so their confusion is understandable.

TJM said...

John Nolan,

The Brompton Oratory celebrates the OF as well as it ever could be celebrated. The music is magnificent and the inexperienced would likely believe they were experiencing the EF. Any time I am in London, that is where I go for Mass

TJM said...

As an aside, it is announcements like these that give my hope for the future: