I haven’t read the MSMs attacks on Catholics and the Church. I don’t see the point as hacks never will understand anything. But fortunately in a techy world there are bloggers, unpaid and unashamed to write the truth. Many Catholic bloggers have looked hard at the abuse scandals that are being regurgitated across the papers and made some excellent analysis.
There’s the abuse in schools and residential children’s homes in Ireland, the sexual abuse scandals across America, UK, Ireland and other places and the, not interesting to the press, abuse of the liturgy to the detriment of the Faith of people struggling to find God in their lives. Lots of people have come up with lots of very good analysis on this; but I have been wondering what is the root of it?
I know the stats on sexual abuse show the Catholic Church is better than just about any other institutional set up; but, the stats show that the majority of sexual abuse in other places is across the board, men, women, children, whereas the vast majority of abuse from our Church was pederasty- that is young men and adolescent boys. That’s got to mean something. The hiding of the abuse was just unbelievably nasty. Various researchers and books have come up with answers that I suppose are pretty good, and the fact that nearly all these cases are 30 to 50 yrs old and some even older says those researchers who looked at the massive hermeneutic of discontinuity that happened after the war are probably right. I also accept that when the Liturgy is wrecked that this has a huge knock on effect on people’s behaviour. It was essentially a Golden Calf incident where the god of the fake liturgies was fake too. I have to say far too many liturgies worshipped the god people saw in the mirror each morning. The what’s in it for Me Myself and I (unholy trinity) approach is bound to effect the way people live their everyday lives-and it’s not the Christian way is it?
But there is another root in these stories and I think it is this: whenever the Church gets into bed with the Government nasty, horrible things happen. And the vast majority of the time nasty horrible things happen to children or vulnerable adults.
The Church cannot in any of Her works take money or make alliances with the Government and expect to remain Catholic or even remotely Christian. In fact I would say that even a cursory glance at history shows that in just about all places over all time Governments were the natural enemy of the Church. The scandal in Ireland is surely a stark example of what happens when the Church cuddles up to the State to provide education and care. It was simply terrible.
For the first 300+ years the Government actively persecuted the Church and her people. Saints and martyrs abound. Then Constantine who didn’t become Catholic til his deathbed decided the Church was the answer to peace in his Empire and set about protecting her. Even then he didn’t dare try and run the Church-although I bet he would have liked to- he left it to the Pope. As a result an independant and free Church was able to get a lot of stuff done; the canon of Scripture was finalised; the Nicene Creed was written and then a bit more at Constantinople and even though there were constant attacks from both inside (Bishop Arius for example) and outside- the slaughter from Muslims in the east, the Church remained strong and Catholic.
I really don’t believe Leo the Great would have got anywhere near Attila the Hun if he had been in canoodling distance of the Empress do you?
The Church HAS to remain independent if any good is to be done.
Danae has written this thoughtful post about the attack on faith schools. But the major problem faith schools have is they take money from the Government rather than trusting in God and His people to provide. As a Wise Man once said “The love of money is the root of all evil.”
Even the desperately tragic story of Marcial Marciel has money and power at it’s root. Red Maria’s comment is very apt in this context; bishops need to behave like bishops; that is father’s and not power crazed politicians. The reason people like Archbishop Fulton Sheen and Cardinal O’Conner of New York are remembered fondly is because they were not aloof from the great unwashed. They remembered who they were and who they were there for and Who they served.
I am not suggesting that by taking the State out of the Church that there would never be sexual abuse or other mortal sins; obviously there will always be terrible sinners in the Church because that’s Her job; healing terrible sinners. But at least the sins would be understood as that in the light of Church teaching, rather than seen as a bit of an embarrassment to be hidden, but otherwise just part of the culture. We need to get back to the fact that the Church isn’t obsessed with sex, the culture is and the State’s sex-ed pushers like Ed Balls and his pals in the abortion mill industry.
It’s time to get away from the state and get back to the Faith of the Church. Back to Charity in Truth in fact. Are the bishops listening yet?