Ok, I’ve heard enough. I don’t often agree with Lefty columnist, Maureen Dowd, but here she makes some undeniable points about the incomprehensible way in which the Catholic Church has dealt with it’s pedophile priests. Leftwing sharks smell blood in the water, but we can’t simply dismiss them.
A NOPE FOR POPE – By Maureen Dowd
The church has been tone deaf and dumb on the scandal for so long that it’s shocking, but not surprising, to learn from The Times’s Laurie Goodstein that a group of deaf former students spent 30 years trying to get church leaders to pay attention.
The pope is in too deep. He has proved himself anything but infallible. And now he claims he was uninformed on the matter of an infamous German pedophile priest. A spokesman for the Munich archdiocese said on Friday that Ratzinger, running the diocese three decades ago, would not have read the memo sent to him about Father Peter Hullermann’s getting cycled back into work with children because between 700 to 1,000 memos go to the archbishop each year.
Let’s see. That’s two or three memos a day. And Ratzinger was renowned at the Vatican for poring through voluminous, recondite theological treatises.
Pope Benedict has continued the church’s ban on female priests and is adamant against priests’ having wives. He has started two investigations of American nuns to check on their “quality of life” — code for seeing if they’ve grown too independent. As a cardinal he wrote a Vatican document urging women to be submissive partners and not take on adversarial roles toward men.
But the completely paternalistic and autocratic culture of Il Papa led to an insular, exclusionary system that failed to police itself, and that became a corrosive shelter for secrets and shame.
If the church could throw open its stained glass windows and let in some air, invite women to be priests, nuns to be more emancipated and priests to marry, if it could banish criminal priests and end the sordid culture of men protecting men who attack children, it might survive. It could be an encouraging sign of humility and repentance, a surrender of arrogance, both moving and meaningful.
Cardinal Ratzinger devoted his Vatican career to rooting out any hint of what he considered deviance. The problem is, he was obsessed with enforcing doctrinal orthodoxy and somehow missed the graver danger to the most vulnerable members of the flock.
The sin-crazed “Rottweiler” was so consumed with sexual mores — issuing constant instructions on chastity, contraception, abortion — that he didn’t make time for curbing sexual abuse by priests who were supposed to pray with, not prey on, their young charges.
American bishops have gotten politically militant in recent years, opposing the health care bill because its language on abortion wasn’t vehement enough, and punishing Catholic politicians who favor abortion rights and stem cell research. They should spend as much time guarding the kids already under their care as they do championing the rights of those who aren’t yet born.
Decade after decade, the church hid its sordid crimes, enabling the collared perpetrators instead of letting the police collar them. In the case of the infamous German priest, one diocese official hinted that his problem could be fixed by transferring him to teach at a girls’ school. Either they figured that he would not be tempted by the female sex, or worse, the church was even less concerned about putting little girls at risk.
We can safely and with confidence dismiss outright Dowd’s points about nuns and and priests being allowed to marry. These child abuse cases involve HOMOSEXUAL priests with a penchant for little boys. Marriage would do nothing to address that kind of perversion, and neither would a female priesthood. That’s just the usual Lefty anti-Catholic hostility speaking. She’s trying to use this crisis as leverage for everything else she hates about the Catholic Church. One thing she conveniently forgot to mention though was the more obvious solution– disallowing HOMOSEXUAL PRIESTS. Ban homosexuals, and pedophilia within the Church disappears overnight. Overnight. But that’s not even on Dowd’s radar.
It’s become increasingly difficult, however, to deny her other points about the Church’s timid handling of pedophile priests, when they’ve come down like a hammer on other infractions. So far I’ve not heard any explanation that satisfies me, and believe me I’ve waited patiently. The way in which the Catholic Church has dealt with these pedophiles is nothing short of criminal.
So as friends of the Catholic Church, how should we deal with this crisis in a way that is credible and intellectually honest?
By my reckoning, there are three types of sin in this world: 1) individual, 2) ideological, 3) institutional. Ideological sin involves a worldview that is inherently dark, destructive, or evil. Examples of ideological sin would be something along the lines of racism, misogyny, or the God-denying worldview of Secular Humanism/Progressivism. These are ideologies or worldviews whose mere existence are an affront to God.
Ideological sin often leads to institutional sin, which is any man-made physical embodiment of that first ideological sin. Institutional sin, therefore, is the organized and systematic practice of that sinful ideology. Examples such as the KKK or Nazi Party come to mind.
And finally, we have individual sin, also known as human frailty. It’s what every single one of us is guilty of at any given point in our life. Deceit, corruption, PEDOPHILIA, etc. This kind of sin– or human frailty– is precisely what INDIVIDUALS within the Catholic Church appear to be guilty of. And I don’t know how high up in the hierarchy this human sin goes in the context of this current crisis, but it appears to go pretty high. And those held responsible for these crimes and omissions should also be held legally and morally accountable to the fullest extent.
The Catholic Church is an institution, and like all institutions it is run by human beings– fallen, sinful, frail human beings. In the case before us, we aren’t dealing with ideological nor institutional sin, but with individual sin. Roman Catholicism is a God-pleasing, life-affirming ideology. And the Catholic Church is the organized and systematic practice of that God-pleasing belief system. The sexual scandal that has currently engulfed the Catholic Church is a dark stain that will be hard to remove, but it does not change that simple truth. The sin in question does not reflect on the Roman Catholic belief system, nor the vital importance the Catholic Church serves in this world. On the contrary, this crisis is an assault on the Catholic Church by the sinful individuals of which we speak, as surely as it was an assault on those children.
As we confront the crisis of pedophilia in the Catholic Church, and the possible coverup of these crimes, it should always be with this perspective– that we are dealing with individual, not ideological nor institutional, sin. So let us not buy into the Leftwing agenda which desires nothing more than the utter destruction of Christianity and it’s largest Earthly institution, the Roman Catholic Church. God is not guilty of crimes committed by his believers, nor is Roman Catholicism responsible for the sins committed by it’s followers. The sin here belongs to the perpetrators and those that covered it up. It goes no farther than that.