Sunday, March 21, 2010

And my take

Posted are excerpts of The Holy Father's letter, and my take on them. (Emphasis and comments mine)

Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Church in Ireland, it is with great concern that I write to you as Pastor of the universal Church. Like yourselves, I have been deeply disturbed by the information which has come to light regarding the abuse of children and vulnerable young people by members of the Church in Ireland, particularly by priests and religious. (ZING!) I can only share in the dismay and the sense of betrayal that so many of you have experienced on learning of these sinful and criminal acts and the way Church authorities in Ireland dealt with them. (Someones ass is going to jail.)

For my part, considering the gravity of these offences, and the often inadequate response to them on the part of the ecclesiastical authorities in your country (Yes, the Irish Bishops are part of the problem, not part of the solution), I have decided to write this Pastoral Letter to express my closeness to you and to propose a path of healing, renewal and reparation.

All too often, the sacramental and devotional practices that sustain faith and enable it to grow, such as frequent confession, daily prayer and annual retreats, were neglected (Otherwise known as the bastardized "Spirit" of Vatican II). Significant too was the tendency during this period, also on the part of priests and religious, to adopt ways of thinking and assessing secular realities without sufficient reference to the Gospel (See prior opinion). The programme of renewal proposed by the Second Vatican Council was sometimes misinterpreted and indeed, in the light of the profound social changes that were taking place, it was far from easy to know how best to implement it. In particular, there was a well-intentioned but misguided tendency to avoid penal approaches to canonically irregular situations. It is in this overall context that we must try to understand the disturbing problem of child sexual abuse, which has contributed in no small measure to the weakening of faith and the loss of respect for the Church and her teachings (Satan won this particular battle, and the Irish Bishops who were part and parcel to the rapings and molestations were his foot soldiers).

To priests and religious who have abused children

You betrayed the trust that was placed in you by innocent young people and their parents, and you must answer for it before Almighty God and before properly constituted tribunals (You may go to hell... you may go to jail. Either way, you brought this shit on yourself. Sucks to be you).

I urge you to examine your conscience, take responsibility for the sins you have committed, and humbly express your sorrow. Sincere repentance opens the door to God’s forgiveness and the grace of true amendment. By offering prayers and penances for those you have wronged, you should seek to atone personally for your actions. Christ’s redeeming sacrifice has the power to forgive even the gravest of sins, and to bring forth good from even the most terrible evil. At the same time, God’s justice summons us to give an account of our actions and to conceal nothing. Openly acknowledge your guilt, submit yourselves to the demands of justice, but do not despair of God’s mercy.

To my brother bishops

It cannot be denied that some of you and your predecessors failed, at times grievously, to apply the long-established norms of canon law to the crime of child abuse . Serious mistakes were made in responding to allegations. I recognize how difficult it was to grasp the extent and complexity of the problem, to obtain reliable information and to make the right decisions in the light of conflicting expert advice. Nevertheless, it must be admitted that grave errors of judgement were made and failures of leadership occurred ("Failures of leadership" The death knell of anyone in a leadership position). All this has seriously undermined your credibility and effectiveness. I appreciate the efforts you have made to remedy past mistakes and to guarantee that they do not happen again. Besides fully implementing the norms of canon law in addressing cases of child abuse, continue to cooperate with the civil authorities in their area of competence (There will be NO silent "thin black line... period!). Clearly, religious superiors should do likewise. They too have taken part in recent discussions here in Rome with a view to establishing a clear and consistent approach to these matters. It is imperative that the child safety norms of the Church in Ireland be continually revised and updated and that they be applied fully and impartially in conformity with canon law (Cromwell couldn't have done better).

Furthermore, having consulted and prayed about the matter, I intend to hold an Apostolic Visitation of certain dioceses in Ireland, as well as seminaries and religious congregations (There's a new sheriff in town). Arrangements for the Visitation, which is intended to assist the local Church on her path of renewal, will be made in cooperation with the competent offices of the Roman Curia and the Irish Episcopal Conference. The details will be announced in due course.
Time to be brutally honest here. Ireland is a particular (and long sought after) jewel in Lucifer's crown. The Ireland that was the cradle of vocations. The Ireland that sent literally thousands upon thousands of missionaries throughout the world to spread the Word of Christ. The Ireland that is but a speck of an island, but a power house when it comes to Catholicism -- Canada, the United States, Australia, Africa, etc, etc... Ireland is no longer a Catholic country, no matter how much spin you put on it.

The Irish have abandoned The Faith because The Faith abandoned them. Please refrain from telling me that "The Spirit" of Vatican II had nothing to do with it. Anyone who says that is lying to themselves.

Anyhow, Lucifer has a new gem in his crown. And it's emerald green.


Blogger Adeodatus49 said...

It is time for the Pope to put some teeth in his words. First, I seriously doubt that the offenders are going to give themselves up willingly, so they must be turned over to law enforcement. Hopefully, the secular authorities will have the cojones the Catholic hierarchy lacked. Second, a wholesale purge of Church leadership in Ireland--bishops, abbots, abbesses, etc.--must be effected by the Pope. I further suggest that the Pope replace these leaders with foreigners (non-Irish) from faithful areas of the world (if there are any) such as Africa and Asia. That just might send a BIG MESSAGE.

However, like St. Thomas the apostle who was originally from Missouri, I say, SHOW ME! Let's see leadership in action starting with the top (the Pope).

9:10 AM  
Blogger tuleesh said...

Next stop ME-XI-CO.
Hear me G-d!!!!!

1:34 PM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

Great commentary to a papal letter long overdue. God bless our Holy Father!

Also, to "The Ireland that sent literally thousands upon thousands of missionaries throughout the world to spread the Word of Christ. The Ireland that is but a speck of an island, but a power house when it comes to Catholicism," might we add: The Ireland that was home to thousand sof martyrs at the hand of the Enlish Anglicans.?

6:27 PM  
Blogger Adeodatus49 said...

The Ireland that was home to thousand sof martyrs at the hand of the Enlish Anglicans.?

Actually, the worse was done by the English Calvinists--Cromwell, et. al. The English Reformation ultimately turned Calvinist. My original Irish ancestors migrated to America due to the Cromwellian laws regarding inheritance of the land.

11:49 PM  
Blogger popecjm said...

The Holy Father nailed it, head on, and I am especially pleased with the plan for an Apostolic Visitation. Personally, I'd like to see Benedict conduct it himself and also visit the Netherlands, Germany, and Austria. God's house is full of moneychangers and they need to be driven out in righteous anger. The coward bishops who allowed this to happen must go, and should be replaced with young, orthodox, and zealous men who believe in the existence of evil, the gravity of sin, and the importance of their ministry. The human heart is wicked, and while this problem will never go away fully (as it will not in schools, prisons, the military, and fraternities) as the biological solution takes hold these Judas priests will die off, good men will replace them, and these crimes will become almost nonexistent. I think its going to take about 15-20 years though.

1:14 AM  

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