Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sins inside are sins indeed…

A reader and longtime supporter (yuk yuk yuk) sends this comment about, and a link to, a news story:

The church, in fact, was the problem, not the reporters, as evidenced by the Pope's remarks. He seems to say, that running and hiding and blaming will not solve the problem for the church, which the church, itself, created. Yes, the major journalism outlets, the reputable ones, were hard and forthright, but the Pope's own words confirmed that forthrightness and a hard point of view will begin to heal and help the church fix certain wayward aspects of its culture. The reporters did not commit the crimes of abuse, the church did, as Pope Benedict so correctly noted. We must repent.

Pope Issues His Most Direct Words to Date on Abuse (By RACHEL DONADIO Published: May 11, 2010)

LISBON — Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday issued his most forceful remarks on the sexual abuse crisis sweeping the Catholic Church. He called it “truly terrifying” and, in a marked shift in tone, suggested that its origins lay with abusive priests and with highly placed church officials who for decades concealed or minimized the problem.

The problem, he said, was “the sin inside the church,” and by implication not accusations from victims or the media.

“Forgiveness is not a substitute for justice,” he said, in remarks that underscored the Vatican’s recent if fitful efforts to break with a longstanding practice of handling abuse cases inside the church, rather than reporting abuse to civil authorities for prosecution. …

[His] comments, made to reporters on board a plane at the start of a four-day visit to Portugal, were by far his strongest, after weeks in which top Vatican officials sought to minimize the issue, despite new revelations of abuse cropping up around the Catholic world.

“This is as clear an example of the pope changing the Vatican’s public tone as you’re going to see,” said John L. Allen Jr., a Vatican expert and columnist for the National Catholic Reporter. …

But every step forward seemed to be undercut by other Vatican officials, who at turns blamed the media or perceived enemies of the church for the sexual abuse crisis. Most notable among these officials was Cardinal Angelo Sodano, a former Vatican secretary of state and dean of the College of Cardinals. On Easter, Cardinal Sodano dismissed criticism of the pope as “petty gossip,” words that offended many victims.

“The theory is that popes are insulated from understanding public perceptions of the church; it’s their aides who have to correct” a problem, Mr. Allen said. “Here, it’s the aides who have created the problem.”

“Today we see in a really terrifying way that the greatest persecution of the church does not come from the enemies outside, but is born from the sin in the church,” the pope said.

“The church has a profound need to relearn penance, to accept purification, to learn on the one hand forgiveness but also the necessity of justice,” he added.

No comments: