The Catholic Church Needs Purification, Renewal and Restoration to Rise to a New Missionary Moment
Catholic Online intentionally chose to NOT enter into the feeding frenzy
The allegations concerning clergy who have committed egregious sins and succumbed to the basest of sexual deviance- by committing criminal, immoral acts against children - demand a brutally honest assessment concerning the morally depleted condition of our beloved Church in the more devastated parts of the vineyard. The perpetrators of these abuses must be stopped and face the consequences of their acts. There is mercy for them. However, it is on the other side of justice for the victims and housecleaning for the Church. They know that they have sinned and hiding will not free them from the bondage.
VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - All weekend long the European Press was rife with speculation over a 300 page report from three cardinals given to Pope Benedict XVI on December 17, 2012. It reflected the results of an investigation into the Vati- Leaks episode. Speculation over the content of the report led to a series of articles in the European press which filtered back to the States over the weekend. Catholic Online intentionally chose to NOT enter into the feeding frenzy. The sources were questionable and the tenor was sensational.
Some reports insinuated that the contents of the report could have contributed to the Pope's decision to resign his office. They offered no objective proof. That claim simply did not fit what we know to be true about the man who has served with such humility, integrity, holiness, theological profundity and quiet courage for nearly eight years, Pope Benedict XVI.
Among the more salacious claims was that the report exposed some sort of lavender mafia, a homosexual network of clerics which may have even attempted to blackmail the Pope. The feeding frenzy in the European press finally led to an editorial from Fr Federico Lombardi entitled A Penitential Time which can be read in its entirety here.
He noted "There is no lack, in fact, of those who seek to profit from the moment of surprise and disorientation of the spiritually naive to sow confusion and to discredit the Church and its governance, making recourse to old tools, such as gossip, misinformation and sometimes slander, or exercising unacceptable pressures to condition the exercise of the voting duty on the part of one or another member of the College of Cardinals, who they consider to be objectionable for one reason or another."
"In the majority of cases, those who present themselves as judges, making heavy moral judgments, do not, in truth, have any authority to do so. Those who consider money, sex and power before all else and are used to reading diverse realities from these perspectives, are unable to see anything else, even in the Church, because they are unable to gaze toward the heights or descend to the depths in order to grasp the spiritual dimensions and reasons of existence."
"This results in a description of the Church and of many of its members that is profoundly unjust. But all of this will not change the attitude of believers; it will not erode the faith and the hope with which they see the Lord, who promised to accompany his Church."
This report will be handed to the next successor of Peter. There is little doubt it will contain news concerning corruption within the Church, including sexual immorality and sin committed by clerics, priests, deacons and Bishops. This is a troubling time in our Church.
I recently received a distressing letter from a devout Catholic and gifted writer whom I greatly admire Monday morning. She found out that her home parish was a place where a sexual predator priest from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was sent by now Cardinal Mahoney after having been accused. She was justifiably angry and disillusioned that a child predator priest was sent to potentially victimize more children.
This came on the heels of the startling announcement that Cardinal Keith O'Brien of Scotland, a strong defender of life and marriage who as of Friday had denied allegations he had engaged in immoral acts with priests thirty years ago, had his retirement accepted by the Pope.
After the allegations surfaced last week the Cardinal had announced that that he had retained legal counsel and was going to attend the papal convocation. Though we must presume the good for all who serve the Church, the abrupt change in direction was distressing to say the least, especially for this seasoned civil trial and appellate lawyer.
The allegations concerning clergy who have committed egregious sins and succumbed to the basest of sexual deviance- by committing criminal, immoral acts against children - demand a brutally honest assessment concerning the morally depleted condition of our beloved Church in the more devastated parts of the vineyard.
Blessed John Paul II labeled the cultural climate that has given us the rancid fruit of unrestricted abortion, euthanasia, and growing disregard for the dignity of every human person a culture of death. There is a common root between many of the controversial issues that are at the foundation of much of our contemporary crisis, it is infidelity. The culture of death has crept into the sanctuary of the Church.
There is a failure to respect the dignity of every human person because they ...
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