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.