Capt Renault: I’m shocked shocked to find gambling going on here.
Coupier: Your winnings sir
Capt Renault: Oh thank you very much, now everybody out at once!Casablanca 1942
Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples,
“The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens (hard to carry) and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them.Jesus Christ Matthew 23:1-4
I know that everyone today is talking about the president’s speech (except Stacy McCain who I presume is still in mourning over the crushing defeat of Alabama by Clemson) but this piece at PJ media really jumped out at me.
Pope Francis sent an eight-page letter to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops this week blaming “efforts made to deny or conceal” allegations of sexual abuse for the “crisis of credibility” the church is experiencing
The Piece by Debra (Nice Deb) Heine quoted the pontiff thus
“In recent years, the Church in the United States has been shaken by various scandals that have gravely affected its credibility,” he continued. “The Church’s credibility has been seriously undercut and diminished by these sins and crimes, but even more by the efforts made to deny or conceal them. This has led to a growing sense of uncertainty, distrust and vulnerability among the faithful. As we know, the mentality that would cover things up, far from helping to resolve conflicts, enabled them to fester and cause even greater harm to the network of relationships that today we are called to heal and restore.”
There is a great deal of irony in this speech, as Deb’s piece, Raymond Arroyo’s tweet and plenty more considering the treatment of Cardinal
McCarrick by this pope and of the scandals concerning Papal favorite Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta which are only now getting traction in a press concluding that the Holy Father utility to advance their agenda within the church is trumped by the chance to permanently damage the Church which stands against it.
But while this irony is a good hook, the pieces in question miss one important fact: The Pope’s diagnosis of the problem is absolutely correct.
The sins of the individual priests were just that, the sins of individuals, they were heinous and horrible sins and were a betrayal of trust, but in the end they were still sins committed by them as persons rather than by the church as an institution and the responsibility of those sins belong to them.
However the sin of the Church as an institution on the diocesan, national and even international level was the sin of cowardice and or indifference. The attempts to hide the behavior of these priests rather than make a very public example of them for violation of both Church and criminal law was bad enough but the transferring of such priests to new locations completely is about as bad as it gets. It’s not only indifferent to the safety and needs of new batch of potential victims but it was indifferent to needs of the perps who they were supposedly showing compassion to. (If that sounds odd ask yourself if it would be compassionate to give a junkie, especially one trying to kick their habit, a job filling prescriptions).
It’s worth noting that Captain Renault corruption was not illustrated by his abrupt decision under Nazi influence to enforce the law concerning gambling at Rick’s Cafe, it was because he had for a long time turned a blind eye concerning the illegal gambling taking place at Rick’s place in exchange for him “winning” regularly at roulette. The comedy in hypocrisy comes from the famous scene quoted above illustrating his corruption even in the midst of enforcing the law
There is nothing wrong with rightly pointing out that the Holy Father’s moral authority in this matter is at best severely compromised , but in doing so we should not fail to recognize that his diagnosis of the cause of the problem is exactly right. This Pope’s failings doesn’t the truth false if he speaks it any more than the sins of any individual priest makes a sacrament he dispenses invalid. The conference of US Catholic Bishops would be well advised to acknowledge this fact and act accordingly.
Alas it seems unlikely that Francis will take his own advice to heart and act accordingly but you never know. After all I’m a man of faith and with God all things are possible.This site is paid for by you. Last year we managed $5294 of our $22K goal. We hope to do better this year. If you think what we do worthwhile please consider subscribing to help keep our writers and the bills paid. Of course one time Tip jar hits and always welcome too.
Either way it’s most appreciated.