I am going to hope that there’s a whole lot of commentary and quoting out of context going on at Patheos, because this wasn’t so good.
“A very bad example” and “a very serious offense”, not to mention a “not positive” answer to the abuse crisis and “an unfair attack”. Not mincing his words, Cardinal Marc Ouellet has condemned the “rebellion” against Pope Francis of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò and his ultraconservative co-conspirators. A “serious” issue, according to the cardinal, that must be resolved in a “spiritual” way, not a “political” one.
What the what?!? You know what I think is an unfair attack? Covering up harassment, molestation and rape. My gosh! We’re at the breaking point because we worry more about hurting peoples’ feelings than protecting the victims of these heinous crimes! While I’m completely on board with resolving this issue by spiritual means, why in heaven’s name are we considered “ultraconservative co-conspirators” if we simply want a FULL investigation and a release from Pontifical Secrets when it comes to harassment, molestation and rape?!?!?! Hope this was just standard Patheos babbling. This isn’t a rebellion against Pope Francis, it’s a crusade for the truth in an effort to keep this from happening again!
The Canadian prelate, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops in the Vatican, was speaking on the sidelines of the Plenary Assembly of the European Bishops in Poznań, Poland.
Oh, that must have gone over well with the solid bishops of Poland!
“We are facing a crisis in the life of the Church”, Ouellet acknowledged, referring to the sexual abuse scandal that has exploded in the Catholic Church around the world, from Germany to Australia, and just this weekend extended to the Netherlands, where 20 of the 39 bishops active from 1945 to 2010 have been accused of the cover-up of as many as 20,000 sex crimes against children committed by priests and religious.
YES, WE ARE FACING A CRISIS! Yet somehow you frame our ire over this as “political”?!? Give me a break! Again, Cardinal, if these are indeed your thoughts and not the Patheos spin, we moms and dads are completely aware that any of these victims could have been our children. Clearly this doesn’t compute for SOME of our spiritual fathers. IT. IS. HEARTBREAKING. You seem to see these cases as sad little third-hand stories, but we see them as reality. We see them as somebody’s children, and this doesn’t change no matter how old the victims are. Thousands of victims have been robbed of their innocence and faith, and thousands of parents have been devastated by the evil done to their children. We see our children’s faces when we hear these stories.
According to Ouellet, the sex abuse crisis is one being felt “at the level of leadership, of the bishops”. But beyond prescribing possible solutions to the problem, the cardinal went so far as to issue a clear warning to those prelates (and priests and faithful) who think that everything will be fixed by blaming, investigating or even sacking Pope Francis.
Again, it isn’t clear if this is Patheos or Cardinal Ouellet. Whoever it is, we’re not that naive, but an investigation would be a darn good start. You’d think the innocent would be on board with investigating the cover-ups which have been confirmed time and again to have taken place. Honestly, at this point, I’m suspect of any prelate trying to stop an investigation. It smacks of trying to suppress the truth. The solution can’t ever be to suppress the truth and hide those that caused this problem.
“To express solidarity with the Holy Father… is a conditio sine qua non of solidarity between ourselves as bishops to bring forward the mission of the Church”, the cardinal stressed in this regard.
Wait just a second. You are applying “solidarity with the Holy Father” in a ridiculous manner. This whole debacle on the Vigano testimony doesn’t have to do with a teaching on Faith and Morals. In fact, it has little to do with morals at all. It has to everything do with an accusation that MANY prelates covered up MANY evil deeds. Have you forgotten that? I’m reasonably sure that “conditio sine qua non” (indispensable condition, for those who like English) doesn’t apply to tolerating a cover-up which everyone admits happened but for which nobody wants to take the blame.
“We need the participation of more women in the formation of priests”
As for what can be done to fight against the scourge of sex abuse in the Church, the Canadian cardinal spoke clearly, affirming that “we need the participation of more women in the formation of priests: for teaching, [for] the discernment of candidates, for the balance of effectiveness”.
What we need is a release from Pontifical Secrets, as the women on the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors have said, but that has been ignored. While he throws a bone to the women demanding more say in the hierarchy of the Church, women who are already on commissions haven’t been listened to, so why would we EVER think that putting women in a position of forming priests would do a darn thing? Can you say, “lip service?!”
“Certainly with the recent news there is a growing awareness of the gravity of this problem of abuse in the Church,” Ouellet continued, adding that “something more needs to be done” regarding the prevention of aggressions against young people. Measures such as, for example, the creation of common “criteria” for judging negligent bishops who engage in cover-ups and the coordination of the various Roman dicasteries so that, at long last, the dispositions of Pope Francis in his motu propio As a loving mother can be put into action.”
Um, how about we just go back to St. Basil or St. Peter Damien’s ideas on the topic? Let’s go over those again:
Any cleric or monk who seduces young men or boys, or who is apprehended in kissing or in any shameful situation, shall be publicly flogged and shall lose his clerical tonsure. Thus shorn, he shall be disgraced by spitting in his face, bound in iron chains, wasted by six months of close confinement, and for three days each week put on barley bread given him toward evening. Following this period, he shall spend a further six months living in a small segregated courtyard in custody of a spiritual elder, kept busy with manual labor and prayer, subjected to vigils and prayers, forced to walk at all times in the company of two spiritual brothers, never again allowed to associate with young men.
St. Peter Damien:
Listen, you do-nothing superiors of clerics and priests. Listen, and even though you feel sure of yourselves, tremble at the thought that you are partners in the guilt of others; those, I mean, who wink at the sins of their subjects that need correction and who by ill-considered silence allow them license to sin. Listen, I say, and be shrewd enough to understand that all of you alike are deserving of death, that is, not only those who do such things, but also they who approve those who practice them.
Quite frankly, as a loving mother, it’s good for our children to know that there are consequences for their actions.
“ Another key part of the reform of the Church regarding the protection of minors, added Ouellet, must be to let the “anger”, “dissatisfaction” and “frustration” of the faithful come to the surface “in complete freedom”, since that “is the way for these problems to be treated”.
“I believe that pastors must not only listen but also invite the people who have suffered to manifest themselves, because if these wounds are not expressed, they will destroy peoples’ lives”, affirmed the cardinal. “There is a work of reparation [and] reconciliation that must be carried out”, he concluded.
So, let me get this totally straight. First, prelates and the faithful shouldn’t want an investigation on the Vigano testimony because an investigation won’t be fixed by investigating? (Not sure when anyone said that an investigation is a be all end all measure.) Next, we need women involved. (Most pandering suggestion ever, since women – from the women on the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors to the almost 50,000 women who wrote to the Holy Father asking pertinent questions – have already stated their solutions and have been ignored.) Finally, we need to let the “anger”, “dissatisfaction” and “frustration” of the faithful come to the surface “in complete freedom”, since that “is the way for these problems to be treated”. (At the same time, you tell them they’re practically schismatics for wanting an investigation of the Vigano testimony.)
Again, I’m hoping that the weird citing of quotes means this is Cardinal Ouellet out of context. If this is accurate quoting, however, I wish I had been able to participate in the formation of your priesthood. Probably would have hit you upside the head a time or two! If this is a Patheos spin, I sincerely hope Cardinal Ouellet will call them on it.