Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lucia Letter to the Irish on sex abuse

Pope Benedict has issued a pastoral letter to the Irish people on the sex abuse against children that has occurred in their country. Have a look at WDTPRS for a great commentary by Fr Z. on the salient paragraphs: Pope Benedict explains the situation to the Irish.

I've been looking at the online news reaction to the Holy Fathers' letter, and it's not pretty. It looks like many in the media will not be satisfied until Pope Benedict himself is sacrificed to the lions and the Church commits suicide. That is the end-game of all this hysteria. And it's not going to happen. Even with the first pope being crucified upside-down, the Church continued to grow.

Pray for the Holy Father.

John 15:18-19
If the world hate you, know that it has hated me before you.
If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

Si mundus vos odit, scitote quia me priorem vobis odio habuit.
Si de mundo fuissetis, mundus quod suum erat diligeret : quia vero de mundo non estis, sed ego elegi vos de mundo, propterea odit vos mundus.

For the whole pastoral letter: You must answer to it before God ~ Chiesa

9 comment(s):

Sean said...

I often find The Economist takes a sensible view on most issues. Being a weekly they seem to take a deep breath before engaging pen to paper. Here is a recent short article on the overall sex abuse issue. I am not sure I agree with every point but overall so good advice for the Church:
Crimes and sins

It concludes with: "As in so many scandals, the cover-up compounds the original sin. The guilty secrets of the past must be flushed out. And bishops must admit their part in them. It is odd that an institution founded on honesty and penitence should struggle so. Today’s Catholic leaders might also recall that clerical abuses of power, defended by legalistic quibbling, greatly angered an itinerant preacher in Palestine two millennia ago."

Lucia Maria said...

Thanks Sean,

If you preach absolute moral values, you will be held to absolute moral standards. Hence, for Catholics and outsiders alike, the church hierarchy’s inability to deal with the issue is baffling.

Yes. This is it. So, how do I say this ... The problem is not so much the absolute moral standards, it's the inability to adhere to them, to actually follow the standards laid down by the Church.

Case in point. Last year I attended a Mass at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Wellington, the church of the Archbishop of Wellington. The sermon was on marriage, but not your traditional, death till you part type sermon. We were told that was the "official line". The unofficial line was that no one should ask about a couple's relationship (whether they be divorced and remarried), that all are welcome to receive communion.

I wish I'd taped it.

I sat there in shock listening to it.

That's one example of where priests, most likely with the full support of their bishop, feel free to act as if Rome is very far away and they can do whatever they like.

Anonymous said...

Lucia, I have read the pope's letter, and I can understand why there are so many gunning for him.

Perhaps he could have statrted with the victims, rather than leaving them until half way through.

Perhaps he couild have addressed the letter to the church as a whole;the abuse is not confined to Ireland.

And perhaps he could have done a mea culpa for his own part in hiding the abuse covering up for the abusers and allowing them to continue to abuse.

For far too long the church has been fullof black collar crime, and Ratzinger was complicit in this.

Lucia Maria said...


And perhaps he could have done a mea culpa for his own part in hiding the abuse covering up for the abusers and allowing them to continue to abuse.

IF, the Pope was hiding abuse, then he wouldn't be Pope. Not because it's impossible for a sinful man to be pontiff - it is, history shows that - but because at this point in time we need saintly popes, and Benedict is a saint. He would sooner throw himself into a pond with a millstone around his neck than hide abuse. You can count on it. Therefore, there is no hidden abuse, not by him.

Other than that, I stand by my earlier comments - it wouldn't have mattered what he said, people are out for his blood.

ZenTiger said...

People are gunning for the Pope irrespective of what he does or doesn't do. He has apologised to all the victims previously, this letter follows that.

The letter was a pastoral letter to the people of Ireland, in response to specific Irish matters.

There has been widespread reform in the Catholic Church over these issues - issues that are just as common in secular institutions, but get a mere yawn from the media. That's because the victims don't really seem to count if the news is from outside the church.

The reforms implemented in the US Catholic Church after the sex-abuse scandal of 2003 have been hailed by child protective services as the most comprehensive ever seen in a public institution and have been cited as a model for other institutions to follow. And many other institutions need to follow them, for those that read more than the front page of the newspaper.

Anonymous said...

Zen, I agree that exual abuse of minors is not confined to the clergy,but can you name any other institution, secular or religious, where it is so widespread as to be almost a part of the fabric; where it is routinely covered up; where perpetrators are moved like chess pieces, but protected from prosecution?

Yes, the Catholic Church does claim the moral high ground and we are entitled to call it on that.

Lucia Maria said...


Any secular institution that deals with children. When did you last see a CYF individual held responsible for what happened to a child they've been responsible for? Or a manager held responsible for the staff they've been in charge of?

Anonymous said...


"name any other institution, secular or religious, where it is so widespread as to be almost a part of the fabric; where it is routinely covered up; where perpetrators are moved like chess pieces, but protected from prosecution?"

The New Zealand government child care system for orphans in the 1960s-1970s. The New Zealand government mental health system until the 1990s. The entire Australian government orphanage system, especially against Aborigines, until the 1980s.

Take your pick. But does that make it right? No.

There is only one argument that has any validity in this case: if the adherents of the Catholic faith behaved like they BELIEVED it, especially the guilty priests and Bishops, then this would not have happened.

This is why St John Chrysostum was apt to quote: "the floors of hell are paved with the skulls of dissident priests and the skulls of wayward Bishops serve as its ramparts".

Do not mistake that Catholics are not annoyed or shocked. It is the liberal, dissident elements in Catholicity that have covered this up (and by doing so) aided an abetted it.

Their own version of Calvary is near.

ZenTiger said...

LRO, those cases are coming to light even now. Strangely, even with hundreds of abuse cases committed and covered up by secular institutions in NZ, it gets very little press. A story a few weeks ago outlined a collection of abuse cases that have had serious complaints laid, one over 10 years ago with no meaningful action, no charges laid, no real investigation. What is your excuse for that? Not some-one's job to critique our own government run institutions or the police to follow up on complaints? Disgusting. Had it been a case with a link to the Church though, I would bet it would have been far more prominent in the media. Many of these are relatively new cases, not reviews of what happened in 1950 and 1960.

What we are seeing is a tendency for pedophiles or sexual predators to move into ANY institution that works with young people and children, and then use the nature of such structures to hide. That can be by pleading with a manager that the incident was a "one off" or a "never again" and their superior being foolish enough to believe them. It can be simply by threatening the victim and misusing their position to keep the offending hidden from anybody until years later. The point is, secular anti-religious bigots are quick to assume the problem is the Church, rather than the nature of institutions and a small group of people that hide within them, fooling many people for far too long. Watch out though, the information is coming at us like a freight train. Others will speak out and we will discover the problem is more widespread than the Church. Indeed, the information showing this is already out, but it isn't acknowledged. Apparently, the anti-religious have bigger fish to fry than actually worrying about the victims.

I recall one recent law suit against a US church for millions, because they hired a a youth leader that went on to have sexual relations with a 15 year old girl. They paid millions for being fooled by this person, and yet the irony was it was the parents who invited this person to go camping with them and their daughter, and the offending happened right under their noses. They should have also sued themselves, but there's not much money in blaming anyone but the Church for being fooled.

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