10 April 2010

Call it anything but sin

Bishop James Conley sticks up for the Holy Father.  Here are three excerpts that deserve special attention:

[. . .]

Sexual abuse of children cries to heaven for justice. It violates everything that is good and holy. It mocks everything Christ said in the gospels. Jesus compared the Kingdom of Heaven to the innocence of a little child. And for a Catholic priest to commit a crime and a sin like this is profoundly evil [Except for murder, I would say that there is no more evil act a priest could commit.  The damage done to children who have been sexually violated is enduring and often leads them into becoming predators themselves.]

[. . .]

And no person has done more to rid the Church of the evil of sexual abuse than the current successor of St. Peter, Benedict XVI. As archbishop of Munich thirty years ago, then as the Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and now as the Vicar of Christ, Pope Benedict has always been dedicated to his responsibilities of purifying the Church in this area [and this is likely why he is currently the focus of these vicious media attacks:  does anyone think that a permissive, doctrinally lazy pope would be attacked like this?].

[. . .]

No other world religious leader, Jewish, Muslim or other, would be treated in this way. Contempt for the Catholic Church—and don't be fooled; the contempt is directed not just at Church leaders, but at ordinary believers as well—no matter how vulgar or bitter, is the last acceptable prejudice. Why? Because the Catholic Church is one of the few remaining voices that speaks effectively against the moral confusion of our day. The Catholic faith does not and will not bless the damaging moral path some people now seem to prefer [Amen.  The general line of attack here is fairly obvious:  if you can't beat the message, beat the messenger and hope that the message is discredited in the process.  The duplicity here is exposed when media talking-heads and church dissents immediately start touting their reform agenda as the only possible answer to the crisis.  What do they fear?  That the Holy Father's sincere efforts to return the Church to the principal task of preaching and teaching the gospel will succeed in unraveling the unmitigated disasters of the Spirit of Vatican Two revolutionaries.] 
I wonder when some prominent member of the Spirit of Vatican Two cadre will man-up and accept partial responsibility for this mess.  As I have already noted many times, the root cause of the scandal is sin.  Not ecclesial structures.  Not processes, procedures, or policies.  So, the question is:  what has happened in the Church in the last forty years to turn sin into any and everything but sin?  We talk endlessly about psychological disorders, legal responsibilities, criminal negligence, financial culpability, and the failure to self-actualize.  Why have we been so reluctant to call this outrageous behavior what it is:  sin?

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