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On This and That (Bishops new abuse policy, Catholic reaction, Padre Pio...) | June 17, 2002 | Stephen Hand, TCR editor

Posted on 06/18/2002 7:01:06 AM PDT by cathway

It’s been quite a week for Catholics! After an agonizing several months in which we were avalanched beyond belief with reports on the clergy sex abuse scandal, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops finally delivered its Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People which must now be reviewed and perhaps tweaked by Rome. On the whole I think the Charter is a good and fair one. It eliminates abuser priests from priestly ministry, from representing themselves as priests, from saying Masses in public, even from wearing clerical garb. Of course much of the media---including some of the liberal Catholic outlets---wanted these abusers dismissed from the priesthood altogether, even if such immoral behavior is perfectly congruent with much that the culture, and not a few Catholic dissidents, accept as mere realism at other times (ask the vile Mr. Kinsey; and remember the outrage and the boycotts the Boy Scouts were hit with when they tried to keep their teens safe? Ah inconsistency! thou art Progressive).

Those who say the bishops did not go far enough forget that bishops, and bishops conferences especially, the last I heard, have no authority or competence to laicise a priest or, for that matter, send a bishop into the penitential desert, away from his flock. Only Rome can do that. And in some cases Rome may do so indeed, once the dust settles. The important thing is that the abusers will no longer have ministerial access to the People of God, especially ministerial access to teenage boys. A policy is in place----and not a few District Attorneys will be watching with interest.

As for the question of homosexuality (1) in the priesthood, the Vatican’s spokesman, Dr. Navarro-Valls, in an interview with the New York Times back in March confirmed Pope John XXIII‘s 1961 "Instruction On the Choice and Formation of Candidates To The State of Perfection and To Holy Orders," which stated:

". . . Finally let those who are afflicted by the perverse inclination towards homosexual vice or pederasty, by whom communal life and the sacerdotal ministry would be gravely at risk, be prohibited from religious vows and ordination . . ."

Navarro-Valls, according to the Times, said:

"People with these inclinations just cannot be ordained." He “compared the situation of a man with homosexual inclinations who becomes a priest to that of a man with the same affliction who marries a woman unaware of his condition. Just as such a marriage can be annulled, considered invalid from the first, the ordination might similarly be invalid," he said, according to the Times. (NYT, March 3, 2002)

It has, I must admit, been somewhat amusing to see the far-out Integrists quoting that 1961 document since they mostly despise John XXIII as an arch-modernist, which he most certainly was not, and the father of the (wicked) Second Vatican Council which they are allergic to. But selective quoting serves their real intentions here again. They plan to throw the document of one pope into the face of another pope, John Paul II, in order to damn him publicly if and when some wayward bishops refuse to implement the policy which has never changed. They cannot agree on doctrines themselves; do not look for consistency among these motely “trads,” except one: they make themselves the measure of orthodoxy through private judgment. Quite a spectacle this.

It has also been difficult to behold National Review Online waxing eloquent in overheated righteousness during this sorrowful period. Why? Well, recall that their iconic conservative inspiration / founder, William F. Buckley, was one of the original dissenters from Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae, the encyclical which reaffirmed traditional Catholic teachings regarding sexual morals in general and against artificial birth control after the Council. National Review’s Mr. Buckley subscribes to that old Cafeteria Catholicism, and begs to be excused where both Catholic social doctrine, and, of course, the bedroom are concerned.

Meanwhile, Mary Jo Anderson, that astute observer of things written between the lines and of spying out the critical subtexts, observes correctly with regard to those poor rascals who fancy themelves “progressives“:

“An invisible war is being fought for the life of the Catholic Church in the United States – and it is a fight to the death. The war is more than a century old now, and this is a key engagement. The war is not about pedophilia or homosexuality, as repugnant as those two symptoms are. It is about an attempted coup d'état within the Catholic Church – one of only two global institutions on this planet. Whoever gets the Keys of St. Peter walks off with the power to change the world – or so the betrayers think.”

And it is certainly true, as TCR has pointed out so often, that the liberals have been pulling all-nighters, 24x7, since the beginning of the scandal to plot toward the next conclave which they hope cannot be far off, and to spin the sex scandal as one which reflects the need for a greater sense of diversity, sexual “honesty,” and a greater democratic participation of the faithful in all things Catholic. Go figure: the preachers of sexual diversity are supposed to be scandalized by sexual expression----- and therefore demand a more "realistic" and modern view of sex. That Apostle of confused identity, John Cornwell, decries the fact that Catholics can’t even masturbate alone, never mind with a “partner”!

Which brings me to the so-called “Voice of the Faithful,” that Boston area group which cannot assemble much more than a couple of hundred people for their meetings (the press outnumbers them every time) but which claims, according to press reports, a membership of over 10,000! You see, if you give them your email address at their website they claim you as a member. Now, we asked them two simple questions:

TOPICS: General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: bishops; clergyabusepolicy; padrepio

1 posted on 06/18/2002 7:01:06 AM PDT by cathway
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To: cathway
if and when some wayward bishops refuse to implement the [1961] policy ...

If and when?????

2 posted on 06/18/2002 8:05:05 PM PDT by Dajjal
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