Saturday, August 25, 2018

Jesus Condemns Clericalism

The conservative Catholic Internet has engaged in yet another battle with Pope Francis.  This time it is about clericalism.  Pope Francis has spoken out against clericalism for his entire papacy, considering it one of the greatest evils in the Church.  Once more this past week, Pope Francis again condemned clericalism, naming it as the root cause of the sexual abuse crisis in the Church.

Many conservatives howled, declaring that Pope Francis was only trying to cover for homosexuals.  No one sums up the anti-Pope Francis tirades better than John Zuhlsdorf:
During The Present Crisis partisans of the loony and often homosexual catholic Left have attempted misdirection of attention away from the root cause – homosexuality – and toward clericalism. Watch: they will also try to connect the Crisis to traditional liturgy.
Some on the sane side of the non=”gay”, sound doctrine Catholic spectrum have been seduced into a least some of the clericalism argument.
Let’s face it: the real problem is homosexuality.
Homosexuality is what cause the vast amount of the abuse of power and victims of all ages.
You will notice that Pope Francis is no where mentioned here, but there can be no doubt that Zuhlsdorf is aiming this at the Holy Father as Pope Francis made it very clear in his letter that he blames clericalism for this evil in the church.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Pope Francis Says Root Cause of the Abuse Crisis is Clericalism

On August 20, Pope Francis sent out a letter in regard to the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report which reviewed 70 years of sexual abuse in Pennsylvania dioceses involving 301 priests and over 1000 victims.  You can read the entire papal letter HERE.  Pope Francis makes no excuses for the abuse. He wrote:
With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives. We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them. I make my own the words of the then Cardinal Ratzinger when, during the Way of the Cross composed for Good Friday 2005, he identified with the cry of pain of so many victims and exclaimed: “How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to [Christ]! How much pride, how much self-complacency! Christ’s betrayal by his disciples, their unworthy reception of his body and blood, is certainly the greatest suffering endured by the Redeemer; it pierces his heart. We can only call to him from the depths of our hearts: Kyrie eleison – Lord, save us! (cf. Mt 8:25)” (Ninth Station).
Many have cried foul at this letter. Some complain that this is just more words and no action.  Other are upset because nowhere did Pope Francis so much as mention the word "homosexuality."  After all, isn't homosexuality at the core of this crisis?

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Advice from Father Benedict Groeschel on the Sexual Abuse Crisis

Father Benedict Groeschel
The Internet is overflowing with suggestions on how to handle this latest phase of the sexual abuse crisis.  We are told that we need to throw out all the bishops, whether they are directly involved or not.  We are told that all named clergy predators need to go to jail.  Certainly people need to be held accountable and face the consequences of what they have done.

But what can we, as laity, do to help this situation.  The late, great Father Benedict Groeschel tells us in a beautiful article written in 2002.  The article, entitled, "Healing the Body of Christ" starts out:
The Catholic Church in America has been deeply hurt by the scandal involving the abuse of youngsters by some of the clergy. Loyal and devout Catholics have been particularly distressed by it.
 If there ever was a time for Divine Mercy, it is now. Our hurting Church is "the crucified Body of Christ" -- as I point out in my new book From Scandal to Hope. Click here for online catalogue. Only Divine Mercy can bring us the healing and reconciliation we so need. And that includes the victims and their families, our priests, our bishops, priests falsely accused of abuse, the abusers themselves, and the whole body of Christ.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Catholics Revel In Latest Church Scandal

The media will tell you that no story sells better than a fall from grace.  Exposing other people's sins is a lucrative business, especially when the one exposed had been up on a pedestal.

The murder trial of O.J. Simpson back in the 90's became an industry in itself.  Why?  Simpson had always been a good guy, someone we looked up to who had risen from a broken home and poverty and made it in society through talent and hard work.  Everybody loved O.J.  Then he had a spectacular fall from grace, accused of brutally killing two people, one being his wife and the mother of his children.

This was in the days before Internet, so people were glued to their TV's soaking in every aspect of the trial.  It was the main topic of conversation in America and around the world.  I remember when the verdict was announced.  It was in the middle of a work day, and we were actually allowed to stop working and watch it on TV, as if this was some momentous historical event.

We have seen this scenario played over and over again with celebrities.  Although the stories are important to the people involved, for most of us these incidents have no effect on our lives whatsoever.  Yet we still watch them and try to learn every sordid detail.

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