“We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics. My motto — Be happily and uncomplicatedly Catholic.”
Michael J. Sheehan
Archbishop of Santa Fe
The Catholic Church is Finished
The current issue of The Atlantic magazine presents 14 of “the most powerful ideas of the year”, and the above is one of them. For our discussion, I would like to add to the title “True or False.”
Going first, I would shout “false!”, but I think we who do not realize the Church has serious problems have our heads in the sand. Here are items listed in the June Catholic World Report:
- Cardinal Sean Brady in Ireland supports a national inquiry into abuse by Irish priests and religious.
- Pope Benedict accepts resignation of one admittedly guilty Irish bishop two more resignations expected.
- In 2001, French Biship Pican received a suspended sentence for covering up for a priest who had raped a boy and assaulted ten other.
- In Belgium, Bishop Vangheluwe resigned, admitting he sexually abused a minor.
- Bishop Muller in Norway resigned for the same reason.
- Sweden’s only bishop wants to resign for not having acted when informer of sexual misbehavior of his priests.
- In Germany, Bishop Mixa resigned, admitting having sexually abused children.
- The bishops in Switzerland apologized to victims of clergy sex abuse
- Archbishop Butitlhagale of Johannesburg said, “The image of the Catholic Church is virtually in ruins because of the bad behavior of its priests. We are slowly but surely bent on destroying the Church.”
- Bishop Koda in Tanzania aresigned for his “alleged moral failures.”
- In Brazil, three priests were suspended for alleged homosexual activities with teens and child pornography.
- Seven Ontario bishops and a Cardinal accused of cover-up of a priest who was later convicted of abusing 13 your men.
- Retired Bishop Lahey in Nova Scotia is accused of abusing a resident in an orphanage.
(for lack of space, I’ll not continue)
Positive action is required by our Church leaders to eliminate this cancerous condition.
Perhaps, as it is a man-made rule, celibacy for priests and women religious should be a choice. For the first 1,000 years of Christianity, married priests was the norm. Why not let the Church become of age by accepting women deacons and married priests? In my opinion, a priest has limited exposure for self-improvement because he doesn’t have a wife to point out his weaknesses along with his good points. Also, if the marriage of a priest doesn’t work out, divorce should be expected and accepted as it is in 50% of other marriages.
In telling of his work in Brooklyn, Father Anthony Andreassi, CO, wrote, “I am spending a wearying amount of time counseling discouraged parishioners and students, trying to offer reasons for them to stay in the church. They are turned off by statements and actions from church leaders who seem out of step with their lives. The latest onslaught of clergy sexual-abuse allegations and revelation of espiscopal mismanagement have only made their disillusionment worse.”
My personal blow was learning that my former daughter-in-law, who had very active in the Church since childhood, said she had a sudden “epiphany”, realizing she was in an all-mail church and has joined the Episcopalians.
In regard to corrective actions the Church should take, let me have your thoughts, which I will share with our other readers. (email@example.com)
Last week, the winner of the autographed copy of Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholic is Susan Fox in New Orleans. Here are the answers:
- The sons of Jebedee whom Jesus nicknamed “Sons of Thunder” were James and John.
- 130 is the maximum number of Cardinals permitted to elect a Pope
(Comment, I wish the maximum age were 50.)
- The patron saints of farmers is Isidore.
- Bishop Felipe Arizmendi in Mexico lit a blaze when he blamed child abuse by priests on eroticism on television.
- Commenting on the U.S, Conference of Catholic Bishops publication of “Setting the Record Straight,” Commonweal magazine said, “If the authors of this publication wish to seize a ‘new opportunity for the Catholic community to come together in defense of human life,’ they can start by not questioning the motives of those Catholics who disagree with them about how best to interpret the provisions of the new health-insurance law. On questions such as this, disagreement should not be understood as a threat to unity, but as a sign of the church’s intellectual vitality.
(Comment – AMEN!)
- Even though half of Catholic schools have closed since 1965, with a 20% drop in enrollment in the past ten years, Timothy Dolan, New York’s archbishop is working on a strategic initiative to save the Catholic schools in his archdiocese by co-operating closely with Catholic universities.
This is in opposition to converting the schools into charter status (as in Washington, DC) and they no longer operate as religious establishments.
(Comment – Congratulations, Bishop Dolan, may other Catholic educators follow your lead.)