Questionable Motives

March 20, 2010

Who (or what) is to blame for sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church?

This sound suspiciously like the pope is suggesting that that old bugaboo secularism lies at the root of this Irish problem! Leave it to the pope to set us all straight:

In almost every family in Ireland, there has been someone – a son or a daughter, an aunt or an uncle – who has given his or her life to the Church. Irish families rightly esteem and cherish their loved ones who have dedicated their lives to Christ, sharing the gift of faith with others, and putting that faith into action in loving service of God and neighbour.

In recent decades, however, the Church in your country has had to confront new and serious challenges to the faith arising from the rapid transformation and secularization of Irish society. Fast-paced social change has occurred, often adversely affecting people’s traditional adherence to Catholic teaching and values. All too often, the sacramental and devotional practices that sustain faith and enable it to grow, such as frequent confession, daily prayer and annual retreats, were neglected. Significant too was the tendency during this period, also on the part of priests and religious, to adopt ways of thinking and assessing secular realities without sufficient reference to the Gospel. The programme of renewal proposed by the Second Vatican Council was sometimes misinterpreted and indeed, in the light of the profound social changes that were taking place, it was far from easy to know how best to implement it. In particular, there was a well-intentioned but misguided tendency to avoid penal approaches to canonically irregular situations.

It is in this overall context that we must try to understand the disturbing problem of child sexual abuse.

How refreshing it is to see that the Vatican has taken on its fair share of the responsibility. Oh, that’s right; it is blameless, of course. Silly me. Why should senior leadership in any organization take any responsibility whatsoever for the actions taken under its policies and procedures, right? It’s not like the two are associated in any way if the effect of those policies and procedures is negative; that’s always the fault of middle management… which helps explain why, after all, this whole Irish problem of sex abuse brought about by rapid secularization  is obviously a problem for Irish catholic churches to overcome their failure.

Good grief.


  1. Might I suggest something that might at first seem a little creeperish but I assure you it is not meant that way at all:

    We are told in the Bible both old(Lev 18:22) and New testament(Rom 1:26-27) that Homosexuality is a sin.

    Now we Know psychologically, we know that men need that “companionship” and will get it by any means

    No where it the Bible does it not say that those in ministry can’t marry. Paul states in 1 Corinthians 7: 25-31, 36-40

    that those who can’t control themselves can marry. The problem it seems is clear.. as is the solution..

    just a thought!!

    Comment by Massey Nathanael — March 20, 2010 @ 7:28 pm | Reply

  2. Abuse has nothing to do with companionship. Just as rape has nothing to do with lust, it is to do with control and violence towards others – that is why it is abuse.

    Comment by misunderstoodranter — March 21, 2010 @ 4:41 am | Reply

  3. […] So much for all the commentary here and here that insisted that the catholic church no official policy of secrecy and denial and cover-up and collusion in the face of justified accusations and allegations of sexual abuse and rape and molestation by clergy against children. It seems the evidence that it did and still does just keeps on piling up, and the apologies by so many catholics on behalf of the church is not only growing stale but is really a major impediment against forcing an institutional change from the top down. And as long as apologists stay the course, it seems that the same policies of secrecy and emphasis on the church’s reputation will take precedence over fixing the problem that led to the global abuse in the first place. Just re-read the letter from the pope to to the Irish here… […]

    Pingback by Can anybody still be surprised that the Vatican intentionally covered up child abuse?? « Questionable Motives — March 26, 2010 @ 1:02 pm | Reply

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