The Letter the Pope has written ostensibly to the Church in Ireland is obviously, as Fr Boyle points out, meant for the rest of the Church as well.
Fr Ray has seen the promise of what he calls Bootcamp in the letter. He interprets Pope Benedict’s words as,
without this National Mission, I don’t have confidence in you, not only do I think you are incompetent, unlearned, the fruit of a hermeneutic of rupture, separated from the mainstream Church but also, faithless.
I haven’t had time to read the letter yet and I haven’t bothered to read the stupid, shallow and bigoted response from The Times and some other MSM outlets. There is something despicable about blaming the innocent and gleefully manipulating the horrendous grief of the victims.
Nevertheless I really do think it is past time the slow decisions of the Church, like some kind of Ent Moot, were done and some action seen by us hobbits here. The problem we have of course, the problem the Church has; Her pope and hierarchy, is what to do that is really justice and healing while avoiding the revenge that can come from anger and frustration.
Perhaps there would be a lot less anger and frustration if hobbits could see that those who were destroying the Church we love were facing tough discipline up front.
Kate picks out more of the prescription for healing and that is a calling to all of us. Anyone with an ounce of catecheses should know that priests, because of their special calling are on the front line for special attacks as well. We should be praying for our priests and bishops. If we are not praying we will need to be circumspect in throwing stones.
That brings me back to the question of justice verses revenge. I think there is a feeling that something very strong needs to be done and done soon. We have suffered through quite a few years of horrendous cases coming to light and the cover up that went with it.
Most of the cases do come from the 70′s and 80′s as well a quite a few from further back than that, especially the shocking institutional violence in some (mainly Irish??) schools run by the Church with the State.
Some have asked “How on earth could anyone think the men who went after these boys and young men be ‘cured’ rather than incarcerated?”
Well, I worked in psychiatry in the mid 80′s and back then it was STILL believed that sexual predators and rapists could be “cured” with the right therapy. I did some work for Rape Crisis and the women there didn’t even accept that boys and men could truly be victims. Apart from some cases that came through the community services I can’t see where male victims back then would have got anyone to listen to them at all.
Meanwhile there were places set up to work with rapists and other sexual abusers. I tried to get a placement in one to follow on from my Rape Crisis work, but was denied a place. By the time I was working with adults in rehab it was already (about 1990ish) being recognised that these people were criminal rather than sick and that cure was probably not possible. Worse still, it was finally coming to light that rapists and pederasts were habitual offenders.
There were a few scandals; therapists and teachers came out rather badly in the ‘who is likely to sexually abuse?’ stats.
Fr Ray asks what role Freudian psychology played in the cover up. I don’t know, but by the time I was done training at the end of the 80′s Freud was considered more of a Kook than a guru. However we were in the thick of “I’m Ok, You’re Ok” and Rogerian therapy. Our mantra right through the 90′s was
Warm, empathic, non-judgemental, unconditional, positive regard.
As you can see the idea that some things are right and other things are wrong, let alone mortally sinful doesn’t equate.
The Church in too many places at local level bought into this secular agenda. On top of that, let’s be blunt, too many bishops wanted to cover their behinds. Whatever the silly Rogerian view of there being no such thing as right and wrong, “no ought ” as that old harridan on BBC radio used to say (what was her name? Ann something I think), the Church has always taught about sin and the dignity of the person. For a bishop to silence families is beyond the pale simply because the Church is NOT the SECULAR WORLD so they should have acted like bishops not some kind of agency.
Even in the hospitals we knew that sexual abuse was a horrible crime leaving victims mentally scarred, depressed and sometimes suicidal.
Fr Dwight has a good overview on the myth of paedophile priests. The MSM seems to be confused on the issue as usual.
So now what?
We wait. And perhaps the Holy Father will start asking for resignations from those who handled it all so appallingly badly. Priests who are guilty need to be prosecuted and stripped of their role.
Finally, the ridiculous over reaction that happened when all this initially came to light has damaged some very good and innocent priests falsely accused. No one is daft enough (Times journalists and those who believe them aside) to think this is easy to deal with. But common sense and respect go a long way.
So if the Ent Moot really is over, it’s time to burn down Saruman’s tower isn’t it?