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4 years ago  ::  Mar 27, 2010 - 8:11AM #1
Mysty101
Posts: 2,009

Hi guys,


Does anyone want to try to discuss the latest horror?


Let a disgusting pervert live out his last days in the dignity of his priesthood?


Public disgrace would have been too good for him.


How can a man with such a distorted sense of justice lead the Catholic Church?


Prayers for us all,


SuZ

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 27, 2010 - 6:03PM #2
jane2
Posts: 14,288

Mar 27, 2010 -- 8:11AM, Mysty101 wrote:


Hi guys,


Does anyone want to try to discuss the latest horror?


Let a disgusting pervert live out his last days in the dignity of his priesthood?


Public disgrace would have been too good for him.


How can a man with such a distorted sense of justice lead the Catholic Church?


Prayers for us all,


SuZ




Suz


This is running hot and heavy on the DC board on more than one thread.


The attitudes in Rome never really change. In its many manifestations this has been a very old problem in the Church--centuries old. Those in the ivory towers know this but do not wish to deal with it, even though it is huge news in the old Catholic world of Europe. They've always known and they also know where too many bodies are buried among their own elite.


This is not a simple issue and cannot be dealt with simply. It is an embedded problem.


Many years ago I read that among European prelates even moral laws are simply ideals and most fall short with impunity. We are a society of laws with consequences. Depravity doesn't sell well here even in our flawed society.


Thomas Doyle, OP, who was serving in the Vatican offices in Washington, broke this situation in the US wide open in the mid-eighties. He has been punished ever since. I was reading Andrew Greeley about it at the time. JPII sent the American bishops home to solve "their" problem; we know how well the did. And it wasn't just their problem. Nor was it just an Australian problem. Now Europe has exploded; perhaps that will get a bit of attention, but I doubt it.


Four years ago I bought SEX, PRIESTS AND SECRET CODES by Doyle (same priest mentioned), Wall and Sipes. It is a good look at this very old problem.

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 27, 2010 - 9:59PM #3
Mysty101
Posts: 2,009

Hi Jane,


Thanks for responding---I probably should have started this thread in Catholic issues, but I really wanted to discuss it here, since I feel this goes far beyond what is discussed over there.


I am very sad to say that I do not feel Benedict can be the Spiritual father we despretely need in light of his handling of the Murphy situation.


SuZ

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2010 - 3:23PM #4
gilg
Posts: 5,199

Suz,


Having  read some of Ratzinger's work, I can't reconcile that the person who writes such insightful work is the same person that is the subjecct of this thread. It is as if he has two personalities, one as a theologian and student of human behavior and theology and the other as a bureaucrat that is more concerned with image than anything else. Doesn't make sense.


 


 

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2010 - 3:56PM #5
jane2
Posts: 14,288

Gilg and Suz


I think Gilg is correct in his explanation. Benedict is a fine theologian but a poor administrator: two different gifts and disciplines.


The Father Murphy story is also one of so many.


A question, among others, that needs to be addressed is the status given to the ordained priests and bishops. Vatican II did try to address it and the "servent model" priest was confirmed. In the end the Ottaviani crowd won out with the clery put back on pedastels.


As wavering suggests as I have also a good first step would be to get rid of all the monarchical garb except for liturgy vestment. Let the bishops wear clerical business suits as our priests do--and only then on official business. In my old parish we would run into our pastors in the grocery store--they would be in jeans and tee-shirts. (Of course, they bought their own food and cooked it, as they drove their own cars and cared for them, washed their own laundry or took it to the dry cleaners, visited local barber shops, etc.)


 

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2010 - 5:53PM #6
Mysty101
Posts: 2,009

Hi again,


Gil---I agree--something is definitely out of whack---perhaps the wonderful idealistic Benedict does not have enough of a good shepherd's characteristics to lead the Church especially spiritually.  A poll on msnbc has almost 80% of over 16000 votes callling for Benedict to stept down.


Jane--I think the garb may be helpful in keeping the spiritual role in the awareness. 


Do either of you feel that Benedict should step down?


SuZ

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2010 - 6:59PM #7
WaveringCC
Posts: 5,116

Mar 28, 2010 -- 3:23PM, gilg wrote:


Suz,


Having  read some of Ratzinger's work, I can't reconcile that the person who writes such insightful work is the same person that is the subjecct of this thread. It is as if he has two personalities, one as a theologian and student of human behavior and theology and the other as a bureaucrat that is more concerned with image than anything else. Doesn't make sense.




Gilg,


I have not read much of Ratzinger's writings.  To be honest, theology has less and less interest for me as I get older.  So much of it seems like a head-game - intellectual pursuit simply to exercise the brain, and often of very little relevance to the spiritual life.


I am wondering if you could give me some examples of Ratzinger's "insights" as regards human behavior.  Because as far as I have been able to discern, it really seems that he has almost no understanding of human nature, and certainly no understanding of the lives that most of us live. Everything I've read about Ratzinger says this - that he is most at home in academia, and has little to no understanding (or interest in) of "real" life and "real" people. Even this week I read an article about his tenure as archbishop in Munich that said he really wasn't excited about the job - his interest was theology, and especially doctrine. He wanted to be sure that everyone "thinks" the way he believes they should.


The little I've personally read of what he's written supports that conclusion - especially the letter on women in the modern world, issued in the 1990s, and the totally disastrous letter on other religions and churches a few years later (the highly insulting one about those sadly defiicient organizations that lack a valid priesthood and aren't "real" churches, for example) indicate that he has very little insight into human nature.  His gaffes, ranging from the talk on Islam he gave several years ago, through the Williamson affair, etc similarly indicate that he is a man who may have a high IQ, but also has a very low EQ (measuring "emotional intelligence") - which is far more important in the work of the priesthood - all priests, regardless of their particular role or "station". 


One doesn't have to have an advanced degree in theology to know that what has finally come to light (thanks to the "evil" media that is "out to get the church" and "out to get" the pope) is the true evil.  Andrew Sullivan is quoted as writing in the Atlantic Monthly -


Please: raping children is not a hard call for a Christian. Today or at any time in history. Covering it up is evil. If defending the perpetrators, rather than saving the victims, is not immoral, what is? So when will this Pope resign? And what happens to the church hierarchy's moral authority if he doesn't?


I wasn't asked, but I have asked myself - should he resign?  If that is "all" he did, I doubt much would come of it to actually change the culture that created the mindset that protecting the clerical class and the institution is more important than protecting children. And that is what needs changing, or it will all happen again someday.  We saw it happen in Chicago just a couple of years ago - yet George was elected to head the USCCB anyway!  I never liked Ratzinger, but I tried to reserve judgment when he became pope. He did a couple of things early on that gave me a flicker of hope - while not specifically declaring him "guilty", he did dispatch Maciel and ordered an investigation into the Legionaires. And he invited Hans Kung for lunch. But, after about three years, it seems he decided that if he was going to remake the church in his doctrinal image,  he should get to work.  The "scandal" has certainly been a distraction from that, though (I think that's all it is to him, even now) and he can't ignore it any longer.


What else could he do?  He could 1) create some kind of commission to look openly and honestly at what in the church's structure and teachings contributed to this moral blindness in its leadership. He could appoint Thomas Doyle and Geoffrey Robinson to head it up! Cool The commission should include laity (a majority should be lay people, men and women both) 2) he could make a few symbolic changes. He could send Law out into the mission fields, have him share a rectory with regular priests and work with real people. No luxury apt, no basilica to call his own, no staff to cook and clean for him, no limo and driver, and, of course, he should be removed from the committee that vets candidates for bishop,  3) he should replace much of the Curia and appoint members of the church who are not clerics to many top jobs - including lay men and women, 4) he should demote Rode, call off the investigation of the nuns, get rid of Levada, etc.  He should clean house, and demand a lot of resignations from bishops and cardinals. As a final symbolic gesture of atonement and humility, he should forbid bishops and cardinals from wearing anything other than normal vestments during religious liturgies and other religious ceremonies, and clerical suits for everyday. No more "princely" garments, that symbolize wealth and power.


And then, after he's done all that, he should resign.  But, I suspect they will just hunker down and wait for the hurricane to blow over again.  And nothing will change. If nothing changes, it is almost 100% predictable that sometime down the road, there will be a similar "scandal" - perhaps involving sexual predators (which is less likely in the short run because of the glare of the media and heightened public awareness and scrutiny), perhaps involving money, perhaps involving political ties with unsavory people. But, if the sickness in the very structure of the church that has nurtured these horrors only goes dormant for a while, it will come out again - if the causes are not identified and treated.


There is an interesting opinion piece from one of the Irish publications that shows how little the pope's 18 page "apology" to the Irish actually says (typical Vatican stuff - lots and lots of words, which usually seem designed to hide meaning.  The pope blamed everyone except for those responsible. Essentially, he blamed the victims - the Irish people).  This columnist says:


Pope Benedict XVI published his letter to the Irish church on the issue of child abuse on Saturday. What was necessary seemed clear. He had to acknowledge the cover up of the rape and abuse of children by priests, to take responsibility for it, and to show how he would ensure it never happened again.


But the letter failed to do any of that. There was no acceptance of responsibility for the now-established cover up....


The letter is clearly an effort to restore the credibility of a church rocked by the publication of three state investigations into clerical crimes and church over ups in Ireland. ...


And yet, disgracefully, he used his letter and this issue to attack one of his favourite targets, secularisation. We are asked to believe that the secularisation of Irish society led to abuse and cover up. In fact, it is the secularisation of society that finally led to the exposure of the crimes of the church.


The most horrific abuse was perpetrated, not in a secularised Ireland, but at a time when Irish society was dominated, socially and politically, by the Catholic Church. That the Pope appears to have wilfully ignored this established fact is a blatant and disgraceful deceit.


Some have reported that the Pope issued a heartfelt apology to victims of abuse. In fact, the word 'sorry' appeared just once in a letter running to almost 4,700 words. (note - that is roughly 16-18 pages of text)


The Pope said he was "truly sorry" that victims had suffered. But an expression of sorrow is not the same as an acceptance of responsibility. The letter does go some way to express remorse. But why is it impossible for this Vicar of Christ on earth to name truth in simple, unambiguous terms? Is that really too much to ask?


www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentato...


 

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2010 - 9:22PM #8
jane2
Posts: 14,288

Wavering


Glad you posted here. I was thinking of many of your remarks when I did.


Think you are on target about Benedict and his connection to people: it really doesn't exist. Some years back a group of us were having dinner with my fave "Father Brilliant" at a local bistro before the parish mission. He's the one that reads ancient Greek and Aramaic, studied in Rome and the Holyland, yada,yada. I asked him what he thought of Benedict's writings and in essence his coded reply was rigid. This priest is half Polish-American and half Italian-Jewish; his mother's family escaped Italy right before WWII.


You and I rarely disagree on the real although our approaches may differ. Truth is for years I have read much more about ecclesiology than about theology itself. I want to know about what makes the RCC tick. I think that tick-tock needs to change and the sooner the better.


You and I both have made this point before:


And finally, as a final symbolic gesture of atonement and humility, he should forbid bishops and cardinals from wearing anything other than normal vestments during religious liturgies and other religious ceremonies, and clerical suits for everyday. No more "princely" garments, that symbolize wealth and power.


While were at it get rid of the croziers and mitres, etc. even in liturgy. It's obnoxious.


SuZ


In these last comments I obviously disagree with you. I don't find it one bit spiritual. When in my former parish when we broke ground for our new building the archbishop with whom our current pastor and former pastors concelebrated mass he had a priest who wiped his brow. That archbishop contributed not one whit to the new church building. I would have preferred our pastor to be the main celebrant. The archbishop added nothing but an entourage, signifying not much.


 

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2010 - 9:25PM #9
jane2
Posts: 14,288

I don't have a vested interest in whether or not Benedict steps down. Would someone better take his place? The Curia and the Cardinalature are loaded with JPII types. He was even worse.

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2010 - 9:49PM #10
WaveringCC
Posts: 5,116

Mar 28, 2010 -- 9:25PM, jane2 wrote:


I don't have a vested interest in whether or not Benedict steps down. Would someone better take his place? The Curia and the Cardinalature are loaded with JPII types. He was even worse.




Agreed.


Even if the pope resigns, unless other changes are made, nothing will really change - it will be business as usual. And, like you, I think that JPII has more culpability in all this than Ratzinger.  Ratzinger actually tried to toughen things up a bit in his later years at CDF and he did get rid of Maciel.  But, as you point out, if he resigns, who would take his place?  How would anything change, given that the men electing the pope (including the one who would be elected) are all JPII appointees, and share his mindset.  It's a self-perpetuating mediocrity machine (mediocrity on a good day. On a bad day, as we know.....).


It would probably be better for the church for Ratzinger to stay in the job and actually DO something instead of just write letters and have them read.  It reminds me of the song in My Fair Lady - Words, words, words, I'm so sick of words...


Besides, it's all an academic question. He won't resign. And he signalled pretty clearly at his mass today that he too considers all of this to be beneath him - what he deems "petty gossip" is clearly not something that popes worry about.


""From God comes the courage not to be intimidated by petty gossip."


I try to stay on the Discuss Catholicism board as much as possible, and I try to avoid posting here. I only responded on this board because I really wanted to ask Gilg why he thinks Ratzinger is "insightful" and "student of human behavior."  So, I'll see you over on the other board.  Perhaps when Gilg replies, if more discussion is warranted, it might be good to move it over there with the related threads.

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