Post Reply
2 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2012 - 9:39AM #1
cherubino
Posts: 7,277
Dolan says he gets it!! Gaudeamus igitur! Oh wait, let's qualify that just a tad. On second thought, let's forget the whole thing and as you were, snappers. Now, where were we?
Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2012 - 11:46AM #2
Buggsy
Posts: 4,624

Interesting series of articles.  Notice the use of the past tense in the first article:


He [Dolan] went on to observe how the scandal of clerical sexual abuse had challenged the church’s credibility on issues concerning sexuality. Especially in the wake of the 1960s, discussions of sexuality had become, in the cardinal’s words, “too hot to handle.” Amid his reflections, Cardinal Dolan most strongly emphasized the “towering” challenge to better present the cogency of Catholic views on sexuality.


There's deliberate strategy here.  Instead of saying ' . . . the scandal of clerical abuse is challenging the church's credibility' (present tense) the writer is trying place the scandal in another time.  He further mentions the 60s as if the whole thing is long gone and faded from the public mind.

Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2012 - 12:36PM #3
mokantx
Posts: 3,813

Cher, Buggs


I found the Dolan interview (first article) to be quite interesting.  If for nothing else, I think the guy is reinforcing in spades what many of us here have been saying for a long time.  Not in any way trying to distort his message, here's a list of a few quotes from the article:


- When asked whether the Catholic Church had “problems conveying its teaching to its own flock,” Cardinal Dolan responded, “do we ever!”


-Amid his reflections, Cardinal Dolan most strongly emphasized the “towering” challenge to better present the cogency of Catholic views on sexuality.


-But one of the real difficulties Catholicism faces is its perceived emphasis on sexuality to the exclusion of any other issue. [...] But another aspect is that Catholic teaching on sexuality is often the subject of heated debate within and between conservative and liberal circles within American Catholicism. It has become a point of separation; a pivot around which everything seems to turn.


-If one part is listening to church teaching--and realizing that it has something important to say--the other part is the church listening to those for whom the teaching is intended. It is easier to talk about advances in Natural Family Planning than it is to carefully listen to married couples who are struggling with serious marital and medical issues. It is easier to lecture young people about “hook-up” culture than it is to carefully listen to their concerns, struggles, and longings. It is easier to talk in abstract terms about “femininity,” than it is to carefully listen to the diverse voices of women and how they understand, receive, and live out Catholic teachings on sexuality. While the fear among some in the church might be that listening to this degree would simply encourage dissent, it is more likely that it will lead to deepening discernment and a renewed sense of community.   [BINGO!!!!!!]


There are plenty of other good quotable items from the article, but think the above makes the point.  And here's what I'm wondering.  If we can take Dolan's words at face value, then it would appear that he and the bishops are well aware of the root problem here, as described in the last quote provided above.  Is this not what many of us here have been saying for years? 


I've often stated here that I think the church has a lot of good things to say.  But I also believe that in general, an appropriate response to that statement is "so what?"  Human thinking today is evolving, and rapidly.  Everybody and every organization/institution has an agenda.  We understand this now.  So what has emerged is a collective mindset that says that the WAY we learn, the WAY we think, the WAY we decide simply MUST be to look at all sides, and not just those that say what we want to hear.  Sadly, far too many people out there still seek out what they want to hear.  But as a society, we're shifting to one wherein we want to hear both sides, and to talk about what's going on, before we decide.  To this point, the message from the church's leadership since Vatican II, and most certainly amplified by groups like Opus Dei and Benedict himself, is that the church is all about obedience.  And while that message was never an easy sell, it becomes almost ironic in today's scandal ridden church, wherein those demanding obedience refuse to accept accountability.  As a long dead friend of mine used to say, "that dog don't hunt."  So the young, who have been trained in this modern way of thinking, are leaving the church in droves


So with all of this in mind, Dolan seems to at least understand WHAT the issue is (or at least a big part of it) with regards to communications.  So the question then becomes this: if they KNOW this is the problem, why aren't they taking the necessary steps?  Using their own concepts, is this not a complete derelection of the duties imposed on the church's leaders by Jesus, who sent them out into the world, to reach the world where we live?


They understand the problem, but won't take the obvious steps.  Then they wonder why folks don't trust them, and why the young are leaving in droves...


Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2012 - 1:07PM #4
cherubino
Posts: 7,277

Apr 13, 2012 -- 12:36PM, mokantx wrote:


They understand the problem, but won't take the obvious steps.  Then they wonder why folks don't trust them, and why the young are leaving in droves...




And because our sexual vulnerability is fair game for them to judge while Tim Dolan's remains top-secret.

Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2012 - 1:27PM #5
Buggsy
Posts: 4,624

These guys all want to claim jurisdiction over people's genitals.  They rarely say anything about love and peace any more or about spirituality.  They're fixated on penises, vaginas and other naughty bits and what we do with them.

Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2012 - 1:46PM #6
mokantx
Posts: 3,813

Apr 13, 2012 -- 1:27PM, Buggsy wrote:


These guys all want to claim jurisdiction over people's genitals.  They rarely say anything about love and peace any more or about spirituality.  They're fixated on penises, vaginas and other naughty bits and what we do with them.




Buggs


While I might not have put it quite that way, I DO think that this is one of the big points of breakdown.  It's all well and good for the church's leaders to preach the theory behind it's opposition to abc, for example, but in the real world, people face a myriad of often really complex issues that do have an impact on their decisions.  To suggest that a young couple must always and forever be open to conception with every sexual act might sound nice when written in a theoretical/theological piece, but when you're sitting in a rundown tenament in a less than wonderful place to raise kids, trying to eek out a living in a dead-end job, and hoping for a better day, that theory begins to lose some of its lustre.  Implications that using the pill is somehow objectifying each other begin to fall apart in that context, especially if the couple really DOES want, and hope for a better life and are working hard to make it happen out of a genuine love for each other.  And suggesting that this couple is somehow being selfish, when just about every fiber of their existence is being foucused on creating  a better life for themselves: a life not focused on amassing wealth per se, but on getting a safer place to live, getting health care, being able to afford a modest car, and maybe even (gasp!) some day being able to put a little aside towards a retirement...  in THAT kind of context, calling this couple selfish just doesn't ring true. 


I've used abc here, but I think a comparable logic can be built for just about every "hot button" issue faced by the church.  Those at the top all too often paint this all as a black and white kind of thing, and write all who might disagree off as dissenters.  But the truth is that there are a LOT of really good, smart, and thoughtful people out there who disagree, based on all they can see, with church position.  My point is that it is right here that the church's bishops are failing massively in their mandate. 


Their predecessors were sent on the road with little more than the clothes on their back. They were told to go out to where people really live, and to live with them, in their poverty, in their fears, in their oppressed status.  Their mission was not to build wealth, nor power.  Rather, it was to teach, to reach out to those who did not understand, and to teach them WHEREVER they were, in whatever language they spoke.  That requires dialog, plain and simple.  It requires listening, understanding, and compassion. 


By his own words, Dolan appears to understand what SHOULD be happening.  So the question is why isn't it?  And of course, it sure appears that a big piece of the problem is not just that the bishops are meeting the basic mandates of their office, but they've complicated their job immensely by living lives rooted in double standards: standards that say "these rules apply to you, but not us."

Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2012 - 3:37PM #7
Buggsy
Posts: 4,624

Apr 13, 2012 -- 1:46PM, mokantx wrote:

....... they've complicated their job immensely by living lives rooted in double standards: standards that say "these rules apply to you, but not us."




Exactly!  Although they may be very intelligent people with degrees in moral theology and ethics many of them tend to hold themselves at great remove from the very principles of morality they preach to others.

Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2012 - 3:48PM #8
StephenK.Adams
Posts: 1,472

The ultimate achievement that the Church hierarchy is trying to succeed at can be stated simply, but at the same time, it is highly complex.   Get the sexual abuse issue out of the way before the Church is economically destroyed.   In the process of trying to succeed at the above achievement, the Church officials are engaged in some of the most difficult verbal gymnastics that any institution has ever tried to embrace.

We have nothing to fear except our lack of understanding of fear itself.
Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2012 - 4:09PM #9
mokantx
Posts: 3,813

Apr 13, 2012 -- 3:48PM, StephenK.Adams wrote:


The ultimate achievement that the Church hierarchy is trying to succeed at can be stated simply, but at the same time, it is highly complex.   Get the sexual abuse issue out of the way before the Church is economically destroyed.   In the process of trying to succeed at the above achievement, the Church officials are engaged in some of the most difficult verbal gymnastics that any institution has ever tried to embrace.




Stephen


I think there's one really important factor you've not mentioned above, and that pertains to HOW they achieve their goal.  The key thing is that they want to achieve this without requiring any changes to their offices, their powers, or the way they get to run the church.  That's a HUGE constraint to work around.


Some might argue that by creating oversight boards, they have in fact given up some power.  But as we've seen time and time again, just because the board exists, one cannot assume that the bishop is keeping them informed, nor that even if they ARE informed, that the boards have any real decisionmaking power.  In most cases, about they best the've got is the ability to resign, and call a press conference.


So the "power" of these boards really depends on the local bishop.  Some use them quite well.  Some virtually ignore them.  And the fact that there can be this much variance suggests strongly that there is little real change here.  Those bishops that ARE heeding their boards, likely would have listened to  advisors anyway.  Those that do not, likely never would have.  So I don't see much real change in that item, and beyond that, I see precious little else to point to.

Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  Apr 14, 2012 - 11:17AM #10
StephenK.Adams
Posts: 1,472

Apr 13, 2012 -- 4:09PM, mokantx wrote:


Apr 13, 2012 -- 3:48PM, StephenK.Adams wrote:


The ultimate achievement that the Church hierarchy is trying to succeed at can be stated simply, but at the same time, it is highly complex.   Get the sexual abuse issue out of the way before the Church is economically destroyed.   In the process of trying to succeed at the above achievement, the Church officials are engaged in some of the most difficult verbal gymnastics that any institution has ever tried to embrace.




Stephen


I think there's one really important factor you've not mentioned above, and that pertains to HOW they achieve their goal.  The key thing is that they want to achieve this without requiring any changes to their offices, their powers, or the way they get to run the church.  That's a HUGE constraint to work around.





I hope you will not decide that I am being arrogant here but these individuals are brilliant to the nth degree.   What they are trying to do is put forward the impression that they are all for change when at the core of it all, in reference to their power, they are clinging, with all their might, to the idea of no change whatsoever.



At the risk of going out on a tangent here, I think there is a parallel to the Japanese faction in the second world war that knew that the war was lost but were willing to sacrifice millions of Japanese lives to maintain as much power as possible when the U.S.A. sued for peace.   The U.S.A. was supposed to become so disillusioned by their own losses that they would give up their demand for an unconditional surrender.  



If the Japanese leaders were so distainful for the lives of their own people, why should the U.S.A. throw away millions of American lives.  Using the Atomic bomb was the only thing to bring the Japanese leaders at the time to their senses.  Is there a parallel for the Catholic church in the above example?  Only the future will determine if that parallel comes true or not. 

We have nothing to fear except our lack of understanding of fear itself.
Quick Reply
Cancel
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook