Thursday, June 18, 2009

Reflections on Article Ten of the Wanderer Series

This week's Wanderer series article has two very interesting sections that I want to point out to readers.

The first is the account of Nazi attacks against the Church, particularly Joseph Goebbels' diatribe accusing Catholic clergy of sexual immorality. People have often wondered how the late Pope John Paul II could have seemingly avoided the topic of the priest sex abuse scandals; I've heard it said that the pope was so very aware how often the Communists used the tactic of accusing Catholic leaders or other opponents of these sorts of crimes as an excuse to ruin them and incarcerate them with no hope of release. Now we can see that even before the Communists rose to power, the charge that the Church, especially its priests and monks, were a source of criminal sexual corruption was one that was often made by the enemies of the Church.

Does that mean there was never any truth in those charges? Sadly, as we have learned, there have always been people willing to commit terrible sins of sexual immorality and even crimes involving children within the Church herself, as there are in the world as well. But if it is the case that the fact that enemies of the Church have so often made this charge baselessly kept it from being prudently investigated when the charge had merit, what a terrible thought that is.

The other thing I found interesting is the mention of the Wanderer's coverage of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference’s 1939 Manifesto on Rural Life, and how the elements of the manifesto are still relevant today. Many people aren't aware that the National Catholic Rural Life Conference still exists, and promotes a kind of stewardship of the earth that doesn't view human beings as a pestilence on the planet.


PersonalFailure said...

The fact of the matter is, the Church knew exactly what was going on, as evidenced by their continually moving offending priests from parish to parish in order to hide them from complaintants. If a priest's behavior was particularly egregious, they were sent to "treatment centers", which were run by the Church in other countries, or in out-of-the-way locales, and were nothing more than hidey holes.

Nazis and communists had nothing to do with the Church's SOP in cases of child molestation. The Church was more concerned with protecting itself than protecting the congregant's children, plain and simple.

Red Cardigan said...

You know, it's easy to look at the Scandal and say, things like "plain and simple." Truth is, during a lot of the years that the moving/psychological treatment was going on, secular psychologists were advising the bishops that this was the way to proceed.

Granted, other voices, some within the Church, were raised saying that pedophilia can't be cured and that a pedophile will never be safe around children. But even our legal system is failing children by giving pedophiles absurdly light prison sentences and pretending that they'll be fine around kids once they're released.

Today, the untold story of predators involves female teachers in the public school system. So many of these incidents have happened in Florida that people are becoming outraged--yet the media is mostly silent about the problem, either because a female teacher with a thirteen-year-old "lover" isn't seen as much of a big deal, or because without the Church to bash pedophilia is the same old sad story it has always been.