Skip to comments.Church sees gray where there's only black and white
Posted on 05/04/2002 9:27:33 AM PDT by ppaul
WASHINGTON -- In the Catholic catechism, schoolchildren learn the seven deadly sins.
There is Lust, which ran unchecked -- in a tortured, destructive form -- in the Catholic priesthood.
There is Greed, which prompted Catholic prelates to defame victims rather than face civil fines and depleted contributions.
And then there is Pride, which was on infuriating display last week in Rome, where the most compelling tableau was the row of empty chairs at a Vatican news conference. Only two of the 12 American cardinals there bothered to attend.
As American Catholics waited and prayed for a glimmer of humility, the princes of the church strutted off to what one church official called "other obligations," as if there were something more pressing than the rape of children.
And while conservatives back home yammered that the answer was a return to clerical austerity, Cardinal Edward Egan luxuriated at a five-star hotel near the Pantheon. (Add Gluttony to the list.)
When the cardinals issued a statement targeting "notorious" predatory priests, that notorious protector of predators, Cardinal Bernard Law, was hiding in a friend's apartment inside the Vatican.
This was supposed to be the moment when these shamed vicars would make an extraordinary act of contrition, when the men who usually urge redemption angled for their own.
But the leaders of a church built on symbols could not even manage the symbolism. The empty chairs sent an unequivocal message: They hadn't learned a thing.
The cardinals chose defiance over deference to the expectations of their devastated flock, which thought that celibacy, women priests and married priests might be discussed.
The shepherds opted for arcane legalisms over actual remorse, meaningless distinctions over meaningful changes: An abusive priest might or might not be ejected from the club, depending on the age of his victims and the frequency of his transgressions, and how long ago the abuse occurred. Was he a "serial" offender or a hobbyist, intent on abusing or inebriated? To the hair-splitting cardinals, these variables still seemed to matter. To enraged American Catholics, they no longer do.
We are angry that these spiritual arbiters are unyielding when the "sins" belong to us, not to them.
We have relatives whose lives were choked because they could not get annulments -- and thus remarry in the church -- after their spouses betrayed and abandoned them.
We know faithfully married women who are forced to violate the Vatican stricture against birth control if they don't want 13 babies. We are friends with gay Catholics who are expected to sacrifice intimacy to maintain their faith.
Rome has resisted modernity, clinging to black and white.
But -- astonishingly, disgustingly -- on the matter of molestation, which any sane person does see in black and white, the cardinals divine shades of gray.
It took them three days and a deafening chorus of disapproval before they ostensibly agreed on a one-grope-and-you're-out policy. They can still water that down at the bishops conference in June.
And it will be a miracle if they don't, given the increasing evidence that church leaders in America, and perhaps even the Holy See, have engaged in a huge conspiracy, spurred by fear of blackmail. They knowingly put children in harm's way because they did not want the priests they should have punished to divulge the church's hypocrisy.
Even as the cardinals were making their way back from Rome, the Archdiocese of Boston released new documents in the case of the Rev. Paul Shanley, an unabashed molester who made a speech in 1977 asserting that no sexual act in and of itself causes damage to children, not even incest or bestiality.
The documents show that Shanley threatened to spill the church's sexual secrets if he wasn't allowed to keep his street ministry. They also include a 1972 essay in which the priest boasted: "My name is to be found in the files of countless VD clinics in this fair land. One of the first things I do in a new city is to sign up at the local clinics for help with my VD."
In the cardinals' Vatican statement, they said of the church, "A great work of art may be blemished, but its beauty remains." Not at this rate.
Link to editorial HERE.
"Christianity shall die of its own mendaciousness"-A Great Historian 1888.
This is where you hit it on the head. Despite the desires of many here to use this problem as validation for their irrational beliefs about the Catholic Church, the real issue is that the Catholic Church has been infiltrated by evil.
Dowd alert! She speaketh out of both sides of her mouth.
BTTT for the truth!
However, don't get sucked into the media myth that these crimes were pedophila. I believe there were only one or two cases of actual pedophila (sex with children). The acts that have been committed are HOMOSEXUAL acts with teen-age boys (post-pubescent.) This in no way condones the crime, which is an affort to God and His Church, in addition to hurting teen-age boys and their families, and being against the secular law.
Dowd, like others, don't understand the Church teachings. Artificial birth control has a lower percentage success rate than faithfully practiced natural family planning. However, many people think that human beings are animals when it comes to sex and can't refrain during the few days of the month that a woman can conceive. They have the secular "me-first" attitude. Why should we conform to please God? Why should we deny ourselves when we don't get immediate rewards? Why can't we have sex whenever we want with whoever we want? We have this wonderful thing called birth control, no consequences. Whoops, got pregnant! Condom broke! I can get an abortion.
The church has a moral position and some people don't like it. Fine, they don't have to. But don't expect the church to change because some people in this society think that the rules are unfair or too strict.
Infiltration is one of the key questions. We know that the communists were trying to infiltrate the Catholic Church. There is that little book The Memoirs of an Anti-Apostle that now seems to be reasonable given current events. And there are the old satanist and luciferian groups that have longed to destroyed the Church.
Regardless of the group, you are spot on when your right that "the real issue is that the Catholic Church has been infiltrated by evil" because it surely has, and the smoke of satan is billowing forth from the sanctuaries.
Guess he found a lot of morsels. Was it C.S. Lewis who said that the Devil likes nothing better than for us to deny he exists?
Jail the pederasts and pedopholes, and, excommunicate them.
Heaven forbid, we have enough to contend with the homosexuals who have infiltrated our seminaries and worked their way through the hierachy...now, we surely don't want lesbianism to take the same course.
Satan and his able emissaries on earth are within the walls.