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“Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin called on his episcopal colleagues to take responsibility for the Irish Catholic Church’s failures in dealing with child sexual abuse by priests….
“The church tragically failed many of its children: it failed through abuse; it failed through not preventing abuse; it failed through covering up abuse.”
America Magazine, April 5 2010

It is becoming more and more apparent to me that secrecy not celibacy is at the root of the child abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. What other organisation has offered protection from criminal prosecution, a guaranteed access to hundreds of children, an “old boy” network of support for abusers, and a system of intimidation of victims. Add to this the guarantee of “sacramental absolution” from other priests, what Catholic pedophile would not have been attracted to the priesthood?

 It is a surprise only that any psychologically healthy men could have put up with what was going on around them.

The bishops of the Catholic Church are not pro-life.

If they were pro-life they would have been anti child molestation, rape and sodomy. Clearly they have not been.

If they were pro-life they would have been anti priests who were child molesters and rapists. Clearly they have not been.

If they were pro-life they would have been pro children and not have allowed the destruction of the lives of thousands of young children from sexual abuse by clergy. Clearly they were not.

If they were pro-life they would have been pro-health care reform for children and adults who have no health care coverage because of poverty or pre-existing conditions. Clearly they are not.

The Catholic Church needs to rename its position: pro-unborn, or just be honest and say pro-clergy above all else and above all others.

Sorry if I sound bitter….I am.

In 2001, Benedict, who was then in charge of Vatican investigations of abuse allegations, sent a letter to bishops counseling them to forward all such cases to his Doctrine of the Faith office, where they would be subject to secrecy.

Monsignor Scicluna dismissed the idea that secrecy was imposed “in order to hide the facts.” Rather, he said, it “served to protect the good name of all the people involved, first and foremost, the victims themselves, then the accused priests who have the right, as everyone does, to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.”   New York Times, March 13

I don’t think this kind of argument is going to help the Vatican. Sadly there is no evidence that decisions were ever made to protect the victims, either the ones who came forward in the first place or the ones the accused went on to abuse in their next assignment.

 

Cry Out as if you had a Million Voices.
          It is Silence that Kills the World.
                                   –
Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)

If you want change in the Catholic church you have to add your voice to those who are refusing to give up on their church, refusing to accept there is no hope.
Check out the Future Church site by clicking on the icon above and become en-theo-sed once again!

“When Is Eternal Life? … Wondering how things will be for me after I die seems, for the most part, a distraction. When my clear goal is the eternal life, that life must be reachable right now, where I am, because eternal life is life in and with God, and God is where I am here and now. The great mystery of the spiritual life – the life in God – is that we don’t have to wait for it as something that will happen later. Jesus says: “Dwell in me as I dwell in you.” It is this divine in-dwelling that is eternal life. It is the active presence of God at the center of my living – the movement of God’s Spirit within us – that gives us the eternal life. ”  Henri J.M. Nouwen, Here and Now: Living in the Spirit. Crossroad Publishing 1994.

Lent is a time when thoughts may turn to questions of life after death. What is it we actually hope for?  Can we be with God after we die if we aren’t living in God now? And how do we do that? How do we allow God into the center of our lives?

One thought I have is that we cannot separate being with God from our being with or simply being anything else at all. God has to become the lens through which we see everything and everyone, through which we process and evaluate and decide all things.

John Paley

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