Some Thoughts on the Church Scandal

As a Catholic, I think I do have a responsibility to speak up given recent events. I have said a bit on social media, and now I’ll say a bit more, here.

There is clearly a crisis in the Church, especially among the Church leadership. And it isn’t just the horrible fact that the abuses happened and were routinely covered up, but that the Bishops are now acting like politicians, trying to spin their way out of a PR jam. That is not how Bishops are supposed to act! But the fact they are acting that way shows just how this problem was allowed to happen, and then allowed to go on and on…the people in charge just didn’t care about the victims, the parishoners or the Church, herself. My view settled early on demanding the resignation of the Church leadership – certainly the American Church leadership. Along with that a demand for complete openness and let the chips fall where they may.

The Church will be a century repairing the damage to it’s image over this despicable crime. As a Catholic, I know the Church cannot be destroyed and I know it will be cleansed of its crimes. And, of course, the Church isn’t whatever collection of Bishops happen to be in charge at any given time: it is the Bride of Christ; it is all the people Christ has gathered to Himself, and Christ will make sure His Church does God’s will.

12 thoughts on “Some Thoughts on the Church Scandal

  1. Cluster August 30, 2018 / 8:18 am

    Follow the money Mark. Any “church” regardless of denomination is led by fallible human beings and when position, prestige, and power are at risk, human beings will lie about anything – even “religious people”. They were protecting themselves and this is one of the reasons why I follow no human being who claims to “know what Jesus wants”. I believe that anyone who attempts to interpret the Word, messes it up from the beginning with bias and ignorance and many times with ulterior motives.

    MSNBC sees racism in everything that revolves around the sun and have become the Dudley Do Right’s of the world and are out to “save the day”. Black people are obviously the most hyper sensitive people on the planet and Mika feels their pain and she “knows their worth” and she alone can spot racists a mile away – it’s a gift

    Here’s how petty the McCain’s are:

    Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, who was Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)’s running mate in the 2008 presidential election, has been excluded from his funeral. Breitbart News has independently confirmed an earlier report in People magazine, which reported that Palin was not sent an invitation, and was told through intermediaries to stay away from the ceremony.

    I would like to see more people stay away ……..

    • Retired Spook August 30, 2018 / 10:30 am

      From the Breitbart article:

      Palin said: “Today we lost an American original. Sen. John McCain was a maverick and a fighter, never afraid to stand for his beliefs.

      I would add — and never afraid to compromise his beliefs and principles when it was politically expedient. As an American and fellow naval officer I honor McCain’s service and sacrifice as a POW, but I’m not sorry to see him gone from the political scene. Hopefully he’ll be replaced by someone who actually has some non-compromising principles and sticks to them.

    • Amazona August 30, 2018 / 5:32 pm

      From an email sent by a friend who was a Navy officer:

      ” ”McCain, a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy, was a Navy pilot (they call themselves aviators). July 29, 1967 while on the deck and in his plane on the carrier U.S.S. Forrestal did an attention getting trick by doing a “wet start” up of his jet.

      When a pilot wants to be a wise ass or show off, this type of engine start creates a large startling flame and lots of surprise noise from the rear of a jet engine on start up–this was no accident. This and the large subsequent electrical surge and apparent (incorrect and against policy) weapon arming (by the pilot) caused the launching of a powerful Zuni rocket across the carrier’s deck hitting other parked planes that were packing 1,000 high-explosive pound bombs. The subsequent massive explosions, fire and destruction went several decks below and nearly sunk this major 82,000 ton U.S. aircraft carrier.

      (I think this means high-explosive bombs weighing 1000 pounds each, instead of 1000 bombs, but this is just my interpretation of the comment.)

      This stunt and aftermath caused the death of 134 sailors and seriously injured (blew off arms and/or legs, caused blindness and burns to another 161 sailors) and took the ship off the battle line for extensive repairs.”

      When your father and grandfather are, or were, four-star admirals, you can get away with something like this. McCain was routinely described by those who knew him in his early days a cocky smart-ass punk and spoiled brat. He was never held accountable for this jack-assery.

      • jdge1 August 30, 2018 / 8:01 pm

        Never knew or heard this. So much for laws & honor, who walks and who is pinned to the wall.

  2. Retired Spook August 30, 2018 / 10:49 am

    On a small scale I can relate to what the Catholic Church is going through. As I’ve mentioned here before, my wife and I abandoned organized religion back in the early 80’s for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was our oldest daughter (12 at the time) was molested at our church, but the Methodist Church was also in the beginning stages of being infested with political correctness, collective salvation and social justice. About a decade ago we were seriously considering going back to church, and then the One Nation Rally occurred in D.C. in the fall of 2010. In the list of sponsors, right along side the Communist Party USA and Socialist Workers Party was the United Methodist Church. The Methodist Church obviously received a firestorm of criticism because within a few days, before the rally had even taken place, its name was removed from the list of sponsors. In spite of that, we visited the Methodist Church closest to our house a couple years later. Not a single person welcomed us or even gave us so much as a smile. Needless to say, we never returned.

    Fast forward to this spring; new neighbors of ours invited us to attend church with them on Easter Sunday at a small country Missionary church. Of the 100 or so members of the congregation, close to half of them shook our hands and welcomed us to their small church. When the first words out of the pastor’s mouth were, “the mission of this church is to give glory to God, celebrate the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ and to serve him and each other,” I knew we’d found a new home.

  3. Amazona August 30, 2018 / 5:44 pm

    I think some American bishops have acted honorably and should not be tarred with the same brush. I also think the Church has more corruption in South America and Central America than it does in the United States. Overreaction can be as bad as slow reaction.

    Having said that, I do agree that heads should roll. The Church could take steps to bring in more priests, do a serious outreach to widowed and single men of middle age and even expand some priestly duties to deacons to take up the slack, but I think the problem now lies much more in the upper echelons of the Church than in the rank and file of parish priests. Thinning the ranks of bishops and cardinals, if any of these men had any role in covering up abuses, would not seriously harm the Church, as a lot of their duties are administrative.

    In my diocese, anyone who has any contact with children in any capacity undergoes a rigorous background check and there are regular audits of reports of behaviors, etc. This has been going on for years.

    I think the Church would benefit greatly by an associated commitment to separate itself from politics, as so much of the attitude toward homosexuality is distinctly Leftist in political orientation and the sexual abuse problems escalated soon after the Church moved to the Left.

    • jdge1 August 30, 2018 / 8:33 pm

      I stopped attending church some years ago, mostly because of the conflict I saw back then. Numerous supposed leaders and persons of authority within the church were giving conflicting information. A local Priest would say one thing, the local Bishop would say another and the Pope at the time would say something entirely different. Add to that, some lay persons who were believed to be highly knowledgeable about church affairs and rules would describe in lengthy detail a mix of things that was often at odds with certain church leaders. Needless to say, the confusion and lack of clarity lead me to pull back from all of it. Only then was I able to slowly regain a sense of balance, a calm and open relationship with God and strength of passion to serve Him.

      When I read articles like this I find it sad to say I don’t see how I could possibly return to the church, or donate to her causes as good as some of the assuredly are. I refuse to lend a financial hand to the destructive hideous creature that has taken ahold of her leadership. Unlike politicians who can generally be voted out of office, as far as I know, the pope can retain his position for as long as he toes a certain line while still continuing to damage the church.

      • M. Noonan August 30, 2018 / 11:17 pm

        As Belloc said of the Church:

        An institute run with such knavish imbecility that if it were not the work of God it would not last a fortnight.

        In large measure, it has always been like that. The Church, being universal, has all of the good and the bad that humanity can come up with. The problem has been, I think, that the leadership has been more interested in fashionable causes for about 40 years than about preaching the Gospel.

        I don’t get hung up on things like Priest A says this and Priest B says the other…there is wide latitude, actually, in the way one can interpret Church doctrine. But them some take that reality and proceed to make statements which directly contradict Church doctrine. It is one thing, say, to have a priest allow a divorced and remarried couple to receive communion because the priest knows the couple and also understands their underlying spiritual state…quite another when some Bishop out there proposes to merely let all divorced and remarried couples receive communion.

        It is a big, old mess…and only God can fix it.

      • Amazona September 2, 2018 / 11:17 pm

        I came back to the Church after a conversation with a priest, not one based on religion per se but in a social setting, who said it was not necessary to believe every single word of all the doctrine, that most priests don’t, but to merely accept the concept of the Church. And I thought that over for a decade or so, and starting going back to church.

        I think this was made possible by my evolution as a political thinker—-that is, the decision to base my politics on objective analysis of the philosophy, not on personality or identity of people associated with political parties or movements. Once I started to define myself in this way, I could accept the Church without paying the slightest attention to the personalities within it.

        One thing I have learned over the years is that people have filters, some of them quite odd, and that the same information going in can be remarkably distorted on the other end. (I once joked about a Lefty taking her newly minted degree and her thesis with its good grade and her Birkenstocks into ranch country to tell us ranchers what we had been doing wrong, and a young woman who heard this later said she hesitated to show me her new shoes because she knew I didn’t like Birkenstocks. Filters.) So there are some very wacky definitions of what qualifies as Christian belief. Erick Erickson thinks of himself as deeply religious, yet he got kicked out of Red State because he simply could not/would not stop haranguing people about how vile and unprincipled they were for not hating Trump enough, and he tends to frame his rejection of belief in redemption, salvation and forgiveness as defense of Christian principles. That’s his filter.

        I like the Church. I like that it is the original Christian religion, the one established by Christ, and that even with its glaring faults and messy history it DOES have history. I like the ritual,though when I left the Church it was during the Latin Mass days and it was quite an adjustment getting used to the New Mass. This morning at the end of Mass some people, probably tourists, actually applauded at the end of Mass. ????? I am NOT ready for Mass as musical theater. I personally have no use for the current Pope, and think he is an example of what happens when politics take over religion. I think he ought to pick a lane and stay in it. I think that as long as any religion has to get its leaders from the human gene pool it is going to get some clunkers, and I am very encouraged by the fact that so many Catholics,including priests, are speaking out against corruption even at the highest levels of the Church.

        As for the question about whether it would be possible to remove a Pope, I have no idea. But I do know that Catholic teaching says that the Pope has moral authority (infallibility) only in matters of Catholic doctrine, and I think that losing his moral authority would make him a hollow figure clinging to the trappings of the papacy but without the authority to go with the position. The Church has had some pretty crappy Popes, a couple of times having dueling Popes arguing about who had the authority, and we got through it. I do sense a strong movement within Catholics to clean house, to hold people responsible. My priest this morning said that some payments were legitimate, to truly help those who needed help to get over their abuse, and some were to cover up abuse, and it is up to the Church to examine each and every penny spent to determine the motive for the expense. He was pretty wound up—called some of the defenses “BS” and said some people were just trying to cover their rear ends. Interesting language in a homily. I once heard a priest tell the congregation they should read what the Pope writes, just to know what he is saying, and not to worry that by doing so they would be committing heresy. American Catholics are not blindly defending this guy.

        EXCEPT the politically motivated, who see this as a challenge to their political positions, particularly on homosexuality.

    • jdge1 August 30, 2018 / 9:38 pm

      It will be interesting to see how this plays out in criminal trials with priests and bishops being forced to tell the truth in a court room setting unable to dismiss or ignore the allegations set before them and then seeing jail time. Unfortunately, in many of these cases the stature of limitations has run out. That won’t stop people, both church members and otherwise, from demanding truth and punishment. Of course, their defense will likely be paid for by the people who have previously donated to and those who still attend church & donate to the church. It’s almost like United Way campaigns where they try to misdirect anyone’s objections to donations of certain entities whose philosophies you may not agree with by saying you can specify where you want your funds to go. All that means is, you donate money to entity A thru United Way and they can then donate more to entity B, even if your intention was that entity B would not get any of “your” funds.

      • jdge1 August 31, 2018 / 3:26 am

        If this story is true and Cardinal Wuerl is trying to leave the US to avoid prosecution, what do you figure the fallout will be besides the Vatican losing a great deal of credibility and whether or not this becomes self-implication to the point where he, other cardinals / bishops / priest in similar position, and even possibly the pope are either put on trial, jailed or forced into some form of exile? Is the pope untouchable within the Vatican City? Can those who voted the pope into his position change course after the fact and remove him? I’m not aware of any Canon Law that allows for the removal of a living pope.

      • Amazona September 2, 2018 / 11:25 pm

        jdge1, this has been a long time coming and I for one am ready for it. When I read about nuns promoting and defending abortion, I get seriously ticked off. When I see Nancy Pelosi, who not only advocates for abortion but uses her power and position to advance the cause, being given a private audience with the Pope, and being allowed to continue receiving the sacraments, I am infuriated. The Jesuits used to be the muscular warriors for Christ, and now they sound like an even wimpier Chuck Schumer. I get a Jezzie newsletter and can seldom force myself to read a full article, they are so Leftist.

        I think the money collected by my parish goes to parish needs, including support of a home for unwed mothers as well as a building fund, I have no idea how much goes to Rome. I do think we have a good bishop and a good diocese.

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