Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Catholic scandal

A few emailers have asked why I'm not covering the Catholic scandal. Truthfully, it's because I'm so sickened that my ability to write invective-free is rather limited. But let me say this: The Latins have had many years now to sort themselves out and yet they've continued to not only let the monsters take up residence under children's beds, but have paid them to do so. Every day the media uncovers another person in a place of power - either through incompetence or nefarious intent - to be sacrificing children on the altar of the status quo. There are calls for forgiveness and prayer. If I may be blunt, the time for that has passed. This evil needs to be burned out completely. If it means drastically reduced clerical ranks, a sede vacante papal period, and a strong purgative at the seminaries that's a far preferable solution to pretending the people currently in power can resolve this themselves and that any number of mea culpas is going to move the excision process forward.


  1. As an ex-Catholic I have been reluctant to criticize the Roman Church too sharply. I've always thought it in poor taste when I see converts ripping their former spiritual home except in very rare cases (i.e. the Episcopalians). But this does seem to be a moment for blunt talk and drastic action. If I were still Catholic, I'd be looking to restore the Inquisition starting with a couple of stake and bakes in the middle of St. Peter's Square.

  2. This latest round of revelations is only from one single states grand jury report. Imagine if such a thorough investigation was done in all 50 states, or the rest of Roman Catholic world?

    And yet this is a very old problem. As Dante wrote, the homosexual/pedophile layer of hell is populated with clergy and professors. the Bishops are going to protect their own, and the laity of the Roman Catholic Church are going to look the other way as they have always done. At best a few token defrockings may occur.

    Orthodoxy is not nearly centralized nor buerocratically competant enough to ever pull off a cover up like this, but we are fooling ourselves if we think that we are somehow above it on our own merit. Perhaps that's why God sends us Islamic hordes, the barbarian communists, and of course the Secularists, all as I kind of judgement...Just imagine the damage we would do to ourselves and others if we were worldly organized...

  3. The RCC is under the microscope by those outside her, but its faithful and clergy are also cooperating in rooting these abuses out. Attacking the RCC for the abuses it has in many ways also cooperated in investigating (e.g., Cardinal O'Malley in Boston) is like blaming the doctor's diagnosis for one's sickness.

    We aren't healthy simply because we haven't yet been formally diagnosed, found out. Anyone who has spent much time in Orthodox clerical and monastic circles knows enough to know that's true, and that's not including the innuendo and rumors. Metropolitans to monks, in the world, on Athos and in Jerusalem, in both "liberal" and "traditionalist" jurisdictions from GOA and OCA to ROCOR, Serbia and Old Calendarists, at SVOTS and STOTS and HCHC. And we don't have many O'Malleys willing to help root it out.

    Those is glass houses...

    1. I hope we can agree "in many ways also cooperated" could also be matched with reluctantly, sometimes only after compulsion, and even then with continued obfuscation. If this were a race I'd say it's a competition between fixing the problem and the laity departing. Either they will race ahead and resolve the problem or they will be outrun and have no one to pastor.

      I'm not holding a stone in a glass house. There's probably over a hundred pokrov-type posts on this blog about Orthodox problems with sexual abuse. But you don't see a systemic configuration where a priest gets moved over and over as the accusations of abuse stack up. Due process has its place - there are stories on here as well of false accusations - but the Pennsylvania report should make every reader of it violently ill.

    2. The PA report should make one ill. The atate bothered to do a reoort based on the scale of the RCC. There is a lot of Catholic abuse because there are a lot of Catholics, it doesn't mean there is a higher rate of abuse than in any other church. It's similar to the mistaken notion Chicago is especially prone to gun violence when it's per capita rate is lower than many other cities' - there are simply more people, so more gun violence (in very specific, poverty stricken areas created by decades old redlining and the loss of US manufacturing.)


    3. We used to be able to say that - lots of Catholics means there will be lots of abuse, but there is institutional abuse at the child and seminary levels that exist in a fashion that perpetuates and expands abuse to unnecessary extremes. There will always be bad apples, but there don't have to be apple bruising machines that harm our youth and malform future clergy.

      As to Chicago... it's 6th out of 50 of the largest cities in per capita violence. That's not an enviable spot to be in.

  4. I agree with Joseph Flavius's initial post and his follow up in Reply. We can have visceral reactions to evil without giving over to passions. However, what I see as omission, not what is said, is the appeal to our prayers for the RCC, for the victims and the perpetrators and for forgiveness. Rome, after all, was with us (Orthodox) around the beginning and one of the first Churches and perhaps these catastrophes are strange messengers of a new hope someday for their return to sanity, that is, to rejoin the Church of healing. We're all wounded. But as to strong measures needed now such as Josephus Flavius calls for, of course, some real leadership perhaps even from a voice crying in the wilderness unknown to us at this time.

  5. 14th.

    "Despite its reputation, Chicago didn't have the nation's highest per-capita (murders per 100,000 people) homicide rate in 2015. Thirteen large cities -- population 250,000 or more -- had higher murder rates. Atlanta, Washington, Oakland, Memphis and Kansas City, for instance, all have higher violent crime rates. But Chicago's numerical murder rate has been higher than that of the country's two larger cities, Los Angeles and New York."

    Beside the point, of course, but the most dangerous places are where there is no acknowledgment there is a lroblem, not thise places being disinfected with daylight, so to speak.