27 April, 2010

Sex Abuse Questions: How would you answer them?

On Easter Sunday our pastor preached on the sex abuse scandal in the context of 5 people who were joining the Church. Our pastor is one of the most respected priests in the diocese. He was called out of retirement to become pastor of the parish after some serious difficulties the parish had been through recently. On April 11th he wrote a piece in the parish bulletin  (Scroll down to page 4) asking the following questions of himself, of us, and the Church itself. Here they are. See how you would answer them:

 I. The Problems of today [in the Church] were not handled as well as they could have been. The structure of the Church as begun by the Lord, handled problems differently than we might expect. Perhaps, some of the approaches to problems are archaic in our personal estimation. [Yes, No]

II. The following are general statements and do not necessarily apply to all circumstances (I put them in the form of questions for all to come to their own conclusions). .....

  1. Is there [currently] an archaic understanding of humanity and the human condition, especially mind and body ???
  2. Is there [currently] a misunderstanding of some maxims of theology; namely, as to the grace of God and the potentially terrible aspects of human beings???? [That] some people cannot be adequately and properly rehabilitated in spite of the grace of God. (Grace builds on nature).
  3. Is there an unfortunate disregard for the importance of civil law ????
  4. Is there a distorted understanding of the purpose of authority, leadership and accountability in the Church ????
  5. Is there a lack of proper care or concern for those affected by the changeable nature of humanity [human "nature?"] ????
  6. Is there a lack of courage to look at the fully human needs and aspects of human beings ????
  7. Is there an inordinate attempt to control information ???? [In other words], Is there an attitude of secrecy to protect the Church and Church personnel and at the same time a lack of proper concern for the victims of the distortion of human beings ????
Father made three statements after listing the questions. Briefly,
  • That in spite of these events and terrible revelation, that the Church will survive.
  • The Church must learn from this terrible chapter in its history. Never again should a situation like this be handled as it was.Justice and mercy must be properly balanced and properly imposed.
  • Our God looks down on the Church and asks, "What have they done to my people?" "How dumb could they be?" "How uncaring for all in the Church."
  • Father then expresses his faith and hope in the Church.
How will you answer Father's questions? Are they fair questions? What other questions could / should be asked?

Please use the "comments" page to answer the questions and/or estimate how Father or I have answered them.

I will post his and my answers in a couple of days !!!!

NOTE: (words in parentheses in the original)  [words in brackets were added by me for clarification]

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