Sunday, July 22, 2007

It's An Age Old Question
But I think I know the answer

If someone gives a monkey a loaded gun, and that monkey shoots someone... do you blame the monkey or individual who gave the monkey the gun in the first place?

Father Raymond J. de Souza, chaplain to Newman House, the Roman Catholic mission at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, has penned a crackerjack (I love that word... "crackerjack") article simply titled Sin and Expiation.

The article itself is centered on the gazillion dollar pay-out by Cardinal Mahony in Los Angeles, and as Fr. de Souza correctly points out;

The Church in the United States has become far too bureaucratic and institutional, rather than innovative and evangelical, over the past three generations. The only way to curb bureaucracy is to starve it of funding. This is not the most pleasant way to do it, but it will serve that necessary purpose.

Overall, it's a spot-on piece by the good Father. There's only one real flaw I read;

...the Church has now removed from her ranks those priests who did prey upon the most vulnerable, betraying in a most iniquitous way the grace of their ordination. New procedures, prompted both by genuine horror at the abuse and the fear of future liability, have been implemented so that it would be near-impossible now for an abuser to continue in ministry. Children are indeed safer.

Now we come to the monkey and the gun conundrum. Father de Souza places the focus (and blame) directly on the minuscule percentage of "priests" who preyed on kids. The generally accepted number is approximately 2.5%. That's pretty much the same number as doctors, fry-cooks, lawyers, construction workers, architects, retired Marine Corps Master Sergeants (like myself), rocket surgeons, brain scientists, etc.

But do we place all the focus and blame on the 2.5%, or the roughly two thirds of American Bishops who allowed, and in many cases, protected priests accused of sexual abuse to remain in close proximity to children?

Yes, Fr. de Souza has correctly pointed out that the Church has now removed from her ranks those priests who did prey upon the most vulnerable... but I can't help but wonder when the Church will remove from her ranks those BISHOPS who ALLOWED sexual predators in Roman Collars to prey upon the most vulnerable.

As for me, I blame the individual who gave the monkey the gun.


Blogger Dogface said...

Give it time. We all know who they are, the "bishops" who are culpable, and justice will prevail in God's Own Time (although, personally, I'd like to see some heads roll now). Fact of the matter is, these "bishops" lost their moral authority a long time ago. If you want to send a message, stop dropping dough in the collection basket. Better yet, drop in a note saying why you're not contributing until these reprobates are gone. I live in the Archdiocese of La-la land... the land of the Taj Mahony... and I won't give 'em a plug nickle because I don't want to support the gay and lesbian alliance or who knows what. Instead, I donate to people I know who do good Catholic works.

4:54 AM  
Blogger swissmiss said...

A chunk of my family attends a parish in WI where a newly ordained rad-trad priest, who was a pedophile, killed two people because one was going to go public with his suspicions. The priest later hung himself when police began to suspect him of the killings. Aside from this huge tragedy, the parish was greatly affected. It made people question their faith and the Church. It divided the congregation.

The monkey should've never been let out of the zoo where someone let him play with a gun. The "not fit for duty" stamp needs to be brought out in the seminary, before these wolves are dumped in the laps of weak or ineffective Bishops.

9:11 PM  

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