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…about sexual abuse of minors?
Turns out you just need to be the right kind of Roman and it’s not a problem at all!
All people are equal… but some people are more equal than others
You mean, “too-Shea, Mark”, dontcha?
Point well made, but can we expect the same moral rectitude from film directors as from priests? We do not. Even when we scale down our expectations to what is required of a non-religious layman, we do not. This is a backhanded compliment to celibate priests (we expect a lot more from them and do look up to them), but a moral blindspot we have for artistic genius.
Polanski had sex with a 13-year-old child. Here’s what the linked article concludes about him “He’s certainly no monster but a complicated man with a painful past.”
Isn’t that along the lines of what those out-of-touch, irresponsible bishops in the Catholic Church were saying about the sexual predators they had functioning as priests? “Fr. X is certainly no monster but a complicated man with a painful past.”
See, this is what happens when the Church drops her medieval traditions and adopts the hip and enlightened ways of doing business of our post-modern secular culture. The medieval tradition was that a priest who sodomized anyone, especially a youngster, if he wasn’t immediately turned over to the secular authority to be punished, would be sent to live at a remote monastery high atop some mountain cliff 200 miles from nowhere, to live out the rest of his days among the monks, in prayer and penance. He would garden, cultivate the fields, clean the monastery, pray, and study for the rest of his natural life.
But now we’re ever so much hipper than that today. We stopped doing that backward medieval stuff during the 1960s, when we started getting sexual predators functioning as priests to the headshrinkers, who say “He’s certainly no monster but a complicated man with a painful past. I believe he can be helped.” This was back in the 70s and 80s when headshrinkers (who are, by the way, the same headshrinkers tell us they know for certain that some people are born gay) used to think that sexual predators upon children could be “cured” with therapy. Well, it turns out, guess what? They can’t be. Turns out the headshrinkers were wrong. Gee whiz. Goes to show what they know about dip. But we’re sure some people are “born gay”. Why? Because the headshrinkers tell us they’re sure.
Anyway, it turns out the among the hip intelligensia who run Europe and here, raping or sodomizing underage children is . . . not desirable, but understandable. Especially if they’re brilliant, creative types. Who’ve had a tragic childhood. Which is pretty much the mindset that the bishops of the 1970s and 1980s had adopted toward those priests.
Luckily for the Church, our bishops finally, finally get that it’s never OK to harm a child in this way. It’s too bad that the hip intelligensia who run Europe and here don’t buy in.
“The medieval tradition was that a priest who sodomized anyone, especially a youngster, if he wasn’t immediately turned over to the secular authority to be punished, would be sent to live at a remote monastery high atop some mountain cliff 200 miles from nowhere, to live out the rest of his days among the monks, in prayer and penance. He would garden, cultivate the fields, clean the monastery, pray, and study for the rest of his natural life.”
I ask for proof of this. This isn’t cynicism as much as recognizing that things today probably are bad, as always.
Proof? By “proof” do I understand you to mean documentation? I read it somewhere on a site I trusted a few years back, and it stayed in my memory. I remember thinking when I read it, “good on you, medieval Church.” Sorry I didn’t save the URL.
No…I just am hesitant to figure that the Church:
1) ended up with a universal, international problem all met with the same leadership style because of the heirarchical concession to modernism. The problem with the Church was its heirarchical response. It was and is inevitable the priests will sexually abuse folks, and that is a tragedy. That did not explain the heirarchical response. For example, I think it is unfair to Cardinal Law to say that he adopted the “the hip and enlightened ways of doing business of our post-modern secular culture.” From the debacle that is the Philadelphia archdiocese and even Bishop Finn to a lesser extent, I think its a specific style of leadership selected for a specific type of leadership requirements (or so assessed) and that it is generational. In short, nothing in the leadership analysis suggests this hasn”t been the case for a long long time.
2) Many aspects of the heralded “Age of Faith” may be more myth than fact. It is highly unlikely that many of the population had as much adherence to the Sacraments as to pagan rituals, and rural France suggested as much. Clerics often were poorly catechized too.
In short, I find appeals to a better “age” of the Church always suspect. I (who have grand affinity for Catholic Worker ideology) reject Peter Maurin’s idea that the medieval communal arrangement was the idyllic structure he claims. (This concept too underpins distributism.)
I find the spiritual writers of varied ages always harkening to the notion of feeling that the Christian is a stranger in a strange land.
You make many interesting points. None of them, however, disproves what I recall read, that in medieval times, sodomite priests were sent away to remote monasteries to live.
Whether such practices make the times in which they were practiced “better” or “worse” might, from some standpoints, be in the eye of the beholder. And if you have six or eight really good practices alongside hundreds and hundreds of really objectionable ones, are those times “better” or “worse.”
So. My comment really wasn’t about whether medieval times were “better” or “worse” than our own. They were what they were. It is what it is. There were however, I would submit to the modern reader, certain things that the medievals got right that we post-moderns have lost. Or forgotten. Maybe such practices can be revisited. And revived. Maybe they can’t. The point is, I think the question is worth asking: was this not a commendable and wise practice, and is this something we might be able to revive?
So. Who knows? If we decide enough medieval practices were pretty wise and commendable after having eschewed them, and we successfully revived said practices, then we would have made our own modern times even better than they already are.
And if you say that that would not be a good thing, then I would have to conclude that you are one demmed tough customer.
Apparently Roman Polanski makes movies. I have not seen a single one and never will. I boycott them all as a matter of principle.
I boycott bishops as well.
All of them, innocent as well?
I have not met an innocent bishop so I have not had to make that choice. I do define “innocent” as a bishop that has criticized the handling of the sex abuse crisis, generally and offered constructive suggestions for improvement. There are two current criminal cases pending–one in Kansas City and one in Philadelphia. I expect an innocent bishop to have some public thoughts on the episcopal conduct in these cases.
I don’t consider bishops whoa re “silent” to be innocent.