About Pope Francis and the molestations: Is his reaction just PR?

Pope Francis just released a letter talking about the child molestations reported from Pennsylvania. He said:

”We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them.”

I read about this in a piece by the Daily Mail, which I can’t link to. That article ended by pointing out that the Statute of Limitations has run out on most of these crimes. 

For a variety of reasons, I’ve had a lot of hope for Pope Francis, but I found his talking about mercy for child molesting priests without talking about their victims utterly disgusting, business as usual from a Pope who I thought was not about business as usual. 

Here’s how we’ll know how serious Pope Francis is:

The Church has no Statute of Limitations. 

We know what he said. Let’s see what he does. 

Views: 49

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on August 20, 2018 at 8:01am

Even for such an exceedingly top-down organisation, I think the institution is too large, wide-spread, too personnel-entrenched, for any one leader to root this out entirely. Attempts must be made, of course. 

The core issue, I have held, is that the celibacy requirement, whatever benefit the Church believes may accrue from it, by its nature invites psychosexually compromised men who would, naturally, seek the shelter of, the neighborhood respect conferring, benefits of this unique institution. Absent the celibacy rule, the percentage of these compromised men in Church service would fall bc the haven would not be quite the protective haven it remains, now, for these men and fewer would seek the priesthood.

Comment by koshersalaami on August 20, 2018 at 8:32am

If we look at the issue of child molestation, the first issue is the most feasible way to reduce the number of molestations. They won’t root out molestation entirely any more than the United States can root out murder entirely. 

We don’t know how available eliminating the celibacy requirement is as a solution. That depends on how faith-based that requirement really is. If the Church really views that requirement as divinely mandated, it isn’t going anywhere, aside from which there’s a more obvious remedy available more quickly that doesn’t involve going against doctrine, and that’s to stop tolerating molestation within their ranks. Maybe this issue will grow in public perception enough to bring a solution as drastic as eliminating the celibacy requirement into play but it’s guaranteed not to be where they start. 

I’m not discussing the merits of the celibacy requirement. Clearly I disagree with it, among other things because my religion does, but that’s a theological question I’m not currently in a position to address within the context of Catholicism. We clearly have to start with the obvious. Stop sheltering priests who do this because molestation is clearly a religious violation. 

Comment by alsoknownas on August 20, 2018 at 11:01am

There has never been a Pope who gave me hope.

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on August 20, 2018 at 11:49am

The Church has mandated priestly celibacy since around the year 600.

Prior to that, there were no rules, only the Pauline notion that celibacy (for everyone) would be a terrific way to go spiritually (if only it made any practical sense...). 

If/when it comes to a question of Church institutional survival, there would be a hundred spiritual arguments in the College of Cardinals for ditching the celibacy mandate and ditching would win hands down.

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on August 20, 2018 at 11:52am

...and whoever the Pope may be at such a perceived crisis-point, 'liberal' or conservative, he'd be on the ditching side of the argument. 

That is the nature of institutions that old and that vast. They do alter themselves in the name of perpetuity.

Comment by Ron Powell on August 20, 2018 at 12:37pm

"... the celibacy requirement, whatever benefit the Church believes may accrue from it"...

During my lifetime quest for the truth re the source and genesis of racism, I discovered an element and component of the source of the vast wealth of the Catholic church.

It's really quite simple yet is immensely profound in it's application and impact on the ways and means in which the Catholic Church accrued and accumulated it's wealth and holdings:

The principle of primogeniture:

"Primogeniture (English: /prməˈɛnɪər/) is the right, by law or custom, of the paternally acknowledged, firstborn son to inherit his parent's entire or main estate, in preference to daughters, elder illegitimate sons, younger sons and collateral relatives..."  ------Wikipedia

The clerical vows of chastity and poverty when combined with the requirements of celibacy ensured that the Catholic Church would inherit the estates of deceased clergymen who, as first born males,  would inherit the estates of their parents.

During the Middle Age, or Dark Age, feudalism was the common economic and financial paradigm...The rule of primogeniture was a controlling factor in the acquisition and distribution of wealth..

The Catholic Church engaged in the practice of selling indulgences to feudal lords which oftentimes included the exchange of a prominent position in the Church's clergy to the firstborn son for the promise of salvation and entrance into heaven ...

The kid got to become literate and a priest or a bishop or cardinal and the Church got richer from the kid's inheritance of the estate of his parents. Due to his vow of poverty, everything he would inherit went to the Church...

A few hundred years of that can cause the Church to want to hide all manner of debauchery, depravity, and perversion..

Comment by koshersalaami on August 20, 2018 at 12:43pm

600? Decent grounds for a shot, then, though I doubt it will be precipitated by this. I think what will precipitate it is if they ever get a shortage of priests. That might happen if the Church reinforced the molestation prohibition, if the percentages are that high, which I don’t know, but that’s I think what it would take. 

Ron,
Funny how follow the money always works

Comment by koshersalaami on August 20, 2018 at 8:34pm

Glad to see that this thread has spawned two posts that started out as comments here. 

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