I read the letter and it is brilliant. First he acknowledged the issue of sex abuse, but listed the need for evangelisation as equally important. In a very sophisticated method of organising and presenting the letter he inverted the order of events that must take place, placing he need for to re-evangelise ourselves last. Essentially he drilled down through the social manifestation of the sex abuse scandal through the thorns that have grown up around the Church in public and social interactions to the Self that needs to get closer to the teachings of the Church and to God. I bet there were some damp cassoks after that greeting.rcg
Bishop Finn should be held to the same exacting standard.
I have mixed feelings about how the pope should depose a bishop. In some cases it is very clear cut, but there should always be due process, a mechanism to judge how a bishop should either be deposed or censured depending upon the nature of the ecclesiastical crime and/or civil crime. It seems to me that the Catholic Church already has ecclesiastical courts in place and that a trial in some cases should take place. That could be applied evenly across the board with a recommendation to the pope as to how to proceed although not binding him to act in one way or another. I think the case of Bishop Finn is more complex and involves certainly poor judgment but not necessarily intentional and certainly there was a failure of administration. Does this rise to the case of an ecclesiastical trial? Perhaps and maybe this type of trial could lead to clearing him, censuring him or proposing he step down or be removed by the pope--what is needed is a fair process.
We have an opportunity to develop a model for the world on how to deal with this sort of problem in the hierarchy. The situation at Penn state is almost exactly the same, including, unfortunately a group of Catholic community role models. The biggest challenge is that any action taken by the Church challenges the authority of the next higher level, if not more. Dealing with it effectively will enhance the authority, dealing with it poorly will ruin it. We have the wounds to prove that.rcg
Hey! That's my Bishop, Edward Kmiec of Buffalo, right up there in the front. I do not recognize any of the other guys -- wonder how many people would recognize their Bishop if he walked down the street in front of them?James Ignatius McAuley
The Pope and the Catholic church have proven a level of cowardice and heartlessness that would make Jesus puke.After Catholic priests have raped an estimated 100,000+ children, then moved and hid known pedophile priests, the church has NEVER begged the victims to come forward to help them heal, and the standards of Catholic Christianity are so low that the entire congregation thinks that is ok.The obvious reason is that children that have been damaged by being anally raped by a priest at age 10-12 will have psychological problems that will require intense psychological therapy. That costs money, and there is no way the Catholic church is giving up their huge buildings to pay for therapy as a result of their own sins. Catholics think God loves big buildings more than children. The Catholic church believes that it is better for God's children to suffer, and keep the big buildings. Jesus would be irate about the approach of all popes and bishops in this matter, but would be more disappointed that the congregation didn't have the guts to throw these "false idols" out of the church and do God's work rather than bishop's work.Regardless, on your judgment day, God will be surrounded by 100,000+ victims of Catholic child rape, and He will ask you what you did or didn't do. Your eternity will depend on it, and you will get the eternity you deserve.
Your stereotyping of the Catholic Church is rather amazing. This is a human problem affecting all human institution, big,like the Church (Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox) other religions, like Jews and Muslims, Public schools, scouts, coaching programs, male and female victimizers. It also affects small institutions such as families. In all cases, keeping the dirty laundry secret was the cultural driving force. Admit the whole thing and protect all children! And call all institutions, small and large to the same standard you desire for Catholics! Consistency would help ALL children a great deal.
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