Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"The Second Vatican Catastrophe" and Clerical Abuse

    How could clergy transgress so gravely against the doctrines of the Church? What doctrines? These offences took place in the wake of Vatican II, when doctrines were being thrown out like so much lumber. These offenders were the children of Paul VI and “aggiornamento”. Once you have debauched the Mystical Body of Christ, defiling altar boys comes easily.

    The “neglected” sacraments and devotional practices that the Pope says could have prevented this did not just wither on the vine: they were actively discouraged by bishops and priests. In the period when this abuse was rampant, there was just one mortal sin in the Catholic Church: daring to celebrate or attend the Latin Tridentine Mass. A priest raping altar boys would be moved to another parish; as for a priest who had the temerity to celebrate the Old Mass – his feet would not touch the ground.
So writes Gerald Warner — Catholic sex abuse scandal: time to sack trendy bishops and restore the faith. This paragraph also stands out:
    The abusive priests are not the only hypocrites. “I am so shocked by the abuse scandal I am leaving the Church.” Right. So, the fact that some degenerates who should never have been ordained violated young people – in itself a deplorable sin – means that the Son of God did not come down to earth, redeem mankind on the cross and found the Church? This appalling scandal no more compromises the truths of the Faith than the career of Alexander VI or any other corrupt Renaissance Pope.
Mr. Warner concludes, "Benedict XVI should take advantage of a popular wave of revulsion against the failed episcopate to sack every 1960s flared-trousered hippy who is obstructing Summorum Pontificum" and "to proclaim again the immutable truths of the One True Church that, in the glory of the Resurrection, can have no legitimate posture other than triumphalism."

[link via A conservative blog for peace]

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Blogger Mark in Spokane said...


Filthy hippies!

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Dano said...

I seriously doubt very many people actually left the Church over the abuse scandal... mostly because anybody who might have left over those scandals had already left years earlier, thanks to the implosion of every other aspect of Catholic practice. Even many of the people who claim that they left over it probably were barely hanging on to begin with.

2:14 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Mark, Amen! I tend to like hippies, just not as bishops.

Dano, you're probably right. As an aside, I entered the Church in 2002, amidst all the headlines in the Boston and the rest of the US. I never once considered them a reason not to enter the Church.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Enbrethiliel said...


There are reasons and there are excuses. Anyone who says "I am so shocked by the abuse scandal I am leaving the Church" has a great excuse--but that's not the real reason.

5:41 PM  
Blogger Joel said...

I myself am rethinking any desire to enter the Catholic Church based on this recent history.

If priests are this hormonally challenged then perhaps they should become married priests, no?

Yes, they shouldn't have become priests. Or, maybe they made excellent priests, yet needed to have their sexual urges met in marriage to another person, something healthy. But they became sick, maybe because of the dogma, the system, isolation, the internet?, and their poor choices.

I know many priests who I trust, but this lack of movement to punish and protect from those in authority seems to be draining their authority, leaves me wanting to keep my children steer clear from this particular community.

Am I off base? Can someone explain the doctrine of unmarried besides a commitment to marry with God?

Anyway, currently, I am sticking with agony of what is Anglicanism or eventually venture into Eastern Orthodoxy, despite nationalism. I am not shopping or anything, just want to raise my kids in a solid liturgical tradition, where there's no fear of the confession booth.

4:38 PM  
Blogger Enbrethiliel said...


As Joshua pointed out in another post, if what you want to prevent is the abuse of young boys, then marriage to an adult woman isn't going to magically do the trick. If we had lots of priests suddenly coming out with steady girlfriends, then, perhaps, that argument would hold water.

To address your question about celibacy: it's not a doctrine; it's a discipline. The Church could drop it tomorrow without blinking, but probably won't because hundreds of years of the practice have proven that it works. The rationale behind it is based on the fact celibacy is not a natural state, BUT that a man can be given the grace to be a "eunuch for the sake of the Kingdom." So with celibacy as a requirement, only men who have that grace would be admitted into the priesthood, which would effectively put the Holy Spirit in charge of choosing priests.

Does that always work out? Of course not! There may have been men throughout history who have fallen way, way short of their promises, yet any objective look will reveal they are always a tiny percentage of the entire population of priests.

And now please pardon my cattiness, but I think it's worth noting that insurance companies in the US have paid out more money to victims of abuse in Protestant churches than to victims of abuse in the Catholic Church. What makes the Catholic abuse far more scandalous is the fact that bishops have been hushing it up and moving priests around. So I can understand someone wanting to disassociate himself from a hierarchy like that, but celibacy itself is the wrong (if easy) scapegoat.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Joel said...

your cattiness is welcomed. just wanted someone to tease out the tensions for me and you did just that, thanks.

I am still left thinking about prevention. i suppose many don't come out with steady gf's because they'd loose their place. i have no idea.

but if you could point me in the direction of some good reading that describes why celibacy 'works', in light of this context of these trends, please share. i am still of the opinion that sex with another adult does help, and/or more supervision and disciple, unless you care to flesh things out more. perhaps many of those accused of any tradition succumbed to an isolationism? a celibacy gone bad, or a marriage gone bad, a community lacking perspective?

of course, i am speculating again. help me out.

5:30 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Enbrethiliel, thanks. Joel, I have class in a few minutes, and then need to get home, but Enbrethiliel is right that celibacy is a discipline, not a doctrine. But even EOs agree that bishops need be celibate.

The problem here is not so much celibacy, but that the bar was lowered with Vatican II and lots of gay priests got in seminaries and liberal bishops were appointed. A cleaning of ship is needed, but this won't sink the Barque of Peter.

6:31 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Joel, I would recommend The Catholic Encyclopedia's 1917 articles on Celibacy of the Clergy.

It's old school and on target, but I'm not sure if it explains "why celibacy 'works', in light of this context of these trends." I think the trends are root of the problem, not celibacy.

7:53 PM  
Blogger Joel said...

I'll give it a read, thanks.

Note: married men can become priests in the Eastern Orthodox church, it does not allow priests to marry.

I know my response was muddy, these 'trends' may be a source of the problem, but I am wondering if allowing married priests would solve some of them.

hmmm, you've given me some reading. i'll try to get to it.

3:15 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Here's what a married Catholic priest (convert from Anglicanism) had to say on the matter: The Myth of Pedophile Priests.

10:13 PM  

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