Friday, July 15, 2011

Still Angering

If you look at the archives of Renegade Trads from last spring, I did a ton of posts about the "new" (European) child abuse scandal that was bursting forth at that point. There were lots of articles to quote, lots of things to say, and lots of anger to vent. Since then, there has been a steady trickle of revelations (combined with a continued "stay the course" attitude on the part of most of the hierarchy) that has, I think, kept a sort of resentment seething and simmering among Catholics who follow the news, a suspicion of Church authority that is going to linger for a long time.

The other day one friend chastised another (both devout Catholics) for calling the modern institutional church "apparently the biggest child-raping machine in the world" after the revelations came out about Cloyne in Ireland. In truth, it was pointed out, maybe these "revelations" didn't amount to all that much, a lot of the accusations themselves happened well in the past and a lot of the complaints were "purely procedural" (though
procedural justice is sometimes all we can hope for!)

Certainly I think the case of Bishop Finn or in Philadelphia are much more enraging. But when conservative Catholics try to defend the institutional church in individual cases like this based on "the facts"...they may be technically correct on this are that point, but are forgetting that people's anger is cumulative, and that the bishops have really lost the benefit of the doubt when it comes to accusations of this nature. Anger can be perfectly justified by the situation as a whole even if the specific moment that triggers it doesn't seem proportionate on the surface.

I think the
recent post on Vox Nova, and the sentiments expressed in the comments section, capture this anger that hasn't gone away, and the urgency with which people feel a need for dramatic acts of reform and leadership. As I said there, people still want to see heads roll. Enough of this bureaucratic pussyfooting and intra-institutional deference to office. I want to see a Pope out on the balcony publicly issuing anathemas and public penances and curial sackings (and banishments to monasteries)!

He’s an absolute monarch for crying out loud! If they’re not going to actually use the power they insist so much on theoretically…we might as well toss that teaching (God knows it’s what is preventing reunion with all sorts of other churches and ecclesial communities). But, as someone who does believe in the Pope's immediate universal jurisdiction, I think he should just grow some testicles (didn't they used to check after a papal election?) and use his power to fix things!! When will this nightmare end?!


Anonymous said...

Church needs to be governed by a Monarch, not a democracy.

PatO said...

The Pope and the congregation are going to allow the Catholic church to die a slow death, probably within 2 generations. More truth will come out, more devout Catholics will try to fight it, and more teenagers will become distrusting. That's really the issue, in my opinion.

In the future, every teenager will be tempted by friends who want them to drink, or take drugs, or have sex, or have an abortion, or skip school, skip church, steal, lie, or commit a crime.

Your kid will say he's a Catholic.

Their friends will talk about the Catholic church in Philadelphia, where Father Cudemo raped 12 year old Ruth, then took her for an abortion. They will show how the church knew about him, hid the truth, lied to parishioners. Kids will have proof online, in their Iphones, at their fingertips, in the Philadelphia Grand Jury report at

Father Cudemo went on to rape 17 children, and there are thousands of similar stories in the United States alone, many online.

No one would have an intelligent response, least of all a teenager under pressure.

Kids will sympathize with the kids that were raped, not with their angry, preachy parents and priests.

Had the church been respectable, told the truth, and helped the victims, your child would have a case. All the church had to do was to follow the 10 commandments and "What Would Jesus Do".

Catholics left their children with no defense, and they will give in to temptation, and get out of the Catholic church as soon as they can.

Of course, I could be wrong, and they will stay with the "biggest child-raping machine in the world", as your friend called it, skip drinking and drugs, skip sex, skip abortions, skip stealing, lying, and wake up early on Sundays. Cuz that's cooler.

Who Am I said...

Why is no one mentioning that this was a problem way back when in The 1700s (or was it 1800s) that caused a Bull to be issued on the subject. I think the fact that people are making it out to be The Church well after VII a bit sickening. How many people have really gone through The Church's doors with this kind of behaviour happening and NOTHING has been done.

A Sinner, with your permission, shall I post The Bull in question ? I don't know what would be more of a scandal (Yes, I'm using it in the proper sense :P), actually citing the article or keeping it to myself. What was so different then, that isn't the case now ?

Young Canadian RC Male said...

Well RTrad I'm suprized you'd even visit a blog like Vox considering the liberalism present there (with some neutrals to balance it out).

Grow some balls? I like that statement! As much as I love him, don't count on B16 to be that kind of pope. He is too humble in nature and to intellectual to take the reigns. You would have to elect a more stricter pope through promotion like Cardinals Arinze, Burke, or Chaput, (or even Oulette. Wouldn't that be something, a Canadian Pope eh? ;)). If the Vatican was that desperate, heck I'd sign up to be a priest right now and plow my way to the top spot to go all anathema and motu proprio on the institutional Church to correct it. BTW I did post a few comments there.

Who Am I said...


Are people REALLY that short sighted that they're only looking at the sex abuse problem in the current context as opposed to the EARLIER cases. Until what is REALLY going on is SUFFICIENTLY addressed (Not the whole its the gays, lack of discipline etc. ), we're only going to be doing patch jobs for something that really needs to be deconstructed and reassembled in light of what we know now.

Seriously, EVERYTHING has a genesis and this is no different. Something ELSE is going on, that no one has sought to legitimately engage with.

LM said...

@Who Am I,

What is really going on? I want to know because none of the "usual answers" (i.e., homosexual priests, lack of orthodoxy, lax discipline, too much Vatican II, not enough Vatican II) are satisfying to me.

Anonymous said...

We need another conservative Italian Pope. These Germans and Poles are unreliable.

LM said...

In my previous post I meant to say that the usual answers are *not* satisfying.

Young Canadian RC Male said...

Anonymous in post #7, you are a bloody racist in that remark. Furthermore if you know your general Church History not all Italian popes are great. Ever heard of the Popes from the Medici family in Italy? Better yet here is a quick web search find for the 10 most corrupt popes in history:

Who Am I said...

@LM: That is precisely what I am asking people to engage with. I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic with your reply herein, but I do believe that a structural reform IS necessary. Because you see,its not only the sex abuse scandal, but every other interconnected structure. However WHAT needs to be reformed within that structure is the more delicate of matters.

You see, in some way shape or form I do perhaps naively believe that VII ATTEMPTED to address these issues (Sadly, with the most horrible level of execution.) Yet in all that clutter,there was the potential to truly manifest a RENEWED pastoral approach between The Church and the people she is meant to lead towards salvation. The Church changed her pastoral approach towards distinct cultures and people, towards particular sinners etc., which are all good and commendable, yet the most basic of structures remained the same. The Liturgy changed, but not the engagement of clergy towards those they serve. I'm interested in a diagramed layout and INTENSIVE study concerning the structures within The Church that are hurting her most. Any suggestions ?

A Sinner said...

I've suggested what needs to change before: celibacy, seminaries, salaries.

Let married men become priests, don't send candidates to creepy adult boarding-schools, and rethink the conception of the priesthood as [only/largely] a caste of full-time salaried men (as opposed to having a largely part-time volunteer presbyterate)

LM said...

@Who Am I

I wasn't being sarcastic at all. I guess tone can be difficult to figure out on a blog. I'm just getting sick of all of the usual conservotrad talking points, especially that more orthodoxy would end the scandal. This is why the Ireland scandal is so vexing, because it seems to me that Ireland was the most "orthodox" country in the West for decades, and it only made the rot more pervasive (incidentally, Sinead O'Conner was abused in one of the Magdalene laundries and that was why she tore up JPII's picture on SNL. Given what we know now, was she justified?) I think that the intent of VII was good, but somehow the things that needed to be changed weren't and the things that didn't need to be changed (I.e., liturgy) were. I agree that a detailed study of sex abuse in the Church needs to be studied in a systematic way, but I don't know what realistic this is or even if it did happen if the suggestions would be implemented.

A Sinner said...

"somehow the things that needed to be changed weren't and the things that didn't need to be changed (I.e., liturgy) were"

And the thing that needed reform most were the institutional aspects, the sociology of the clergy.

It wasn't that they needed to offer a new product. It was that they needed to reform management.

But of course, it can be a lot easier for the messengers to think they need to change the message than to think they need to change themselves.

Who Am I said...

I've suggested what needs to change before: celibacy, seminaries, salaries.

Let married men become priests, don't send candidates to creepy adult boarding-schools, and rethink the conception of the priesthood as [only/largely] a caste of full-time salaried men (as opposed to having a largely part-time volunteer presbyterate)"

That seems to solely address economic and pastoral care. However, you'd have to address a legitimate reason for WHY the previous model failed. As it were, you'd have to revisit the seminary model implemented at Trent. Are you willing to go that far back ? I guess this likewise addresses LM's question (@LM). The truth is, it would take more than a mere case study or changes in policy here and there to address these issues. As I've stated previously VII could have done a GREAT DEAL of good IF people didn't use it as a smoke screen for every liberal agenda they have. As I've cited before, Traditionalism defines itself not so much against VII, but rather against the aforementioned group. As such, any and all changes that do not adhere to their pet canons that AREN'T dogmatic in nature, but that they've fetishized to the point of dogma WILL be met with resistance. Hence statements like: "Traditional Roman Low Masses became an abuse of The Liturgy, when Priests came to employ it on a regular basis as opposed to cases of emergency." etc. Little things like that are met with a GREAT deal of antagonism that do not allow for an honest intellectual discourse of the matter. It merely becomes easier to scapegoat the problems onto a particular group OR do a patch job without uprooting the precedents for those problems, either discarding them OR nuancing them so as to more appropriately engage with the frameworks created as a result. Its a case of structural reform, but of the BALANCED variety (IIRC, that was the point of Renegade Trads: Conservative minds and liberal hearts.). Not everyone liberal or traditional is willing to properly engage the reform that IS necessary.

Who Am I said...

Just curious, was this post title inspired by the show that fictionally takes place in Illinois, "Still Standing" ? I'm curious that is all.

A Sinner said...

Nope, never heard of that show.