Anglican Samizdat

April 25, 2010

Pope will make historic apology for abuse

Filed under: Roman Catholic child abuse — David Jenkins @ 7:07 pm
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From The Independent, which in its subheading, is painting the Pope’s proposed apology as an attempt to defuse the scandal. It seems to me more likely, that this is a genuine act of repentance by the Pope of behalf of his Church; in light of their recent buffoonery, manic secularists will probably remain unappeased.

Vatican hopes unprecedented act of penance at June jamboree will defuse anger over worldwide claims.

Pope Benedict XVI is planning to make the first general apology for the abuse of children and minors by Roman Catholic priests when he meets thousands of clergymen from around the world in June at the climax of the International Year for Priests, Vatican sources say.

In the past there have been papal or church apologies for individual cases of paedophilia or for abuse in specific countries, for example during the German pontiff’s recent visit to Malta. What is being prepared now would be the first time a pope seeks to atone publicly for the extent to which paedophilia has been a major stain on the modern history of the church touching a constellation of countries, say the sources at the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy. It could be considered comparable to the historic step that the previous pope, John Paul II, took in apologising to the Jews for historic church anti-Semitism and for misdeeds during the Crusades, they say.

Vatican officials hope such an unprecedented act of penance by Benedict, together with thousands of clergymen in St Peter’s Square, 9-11 June, will do much to lay to rest the scandal and defuse protests that might disrupt his trip to Britain in September. The encounter will form the climax of the special year of events designed in part to encourage vocations to the cloth but which instead has been marred by the mushrooming paedophile scandal.

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April 15, 2010

Arrest Christopher Hitchens for supporting an illegal war

Filed under: Atheism,Roman Catholic child abuse — David Jenkins @ 5:18 pm
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As it happens, I supported – and still support – the Iraq war, but this is considerably more sensible than Hitchens’ crusade to arrest the Pope:

It should also be remembered that Hitchens was an outspoken advocate of the 2003 Iraq War which some international lawyers deemed illegal. A case could arguably be made, therefore, to have himself brought to the ICC for war crimes on the grounds of being a leading cheerleader for an illegal war. After all, he now seems to be a keen proselytizer for international law, at least when it suits his ideological goals.

April 10, 2010

Dawkins wants to arrest the Pope

Filed under: Roman Catholic child abuse — David Jenkins @ 7:04 pm
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From here:

RICHARD DAWKINS, the atheist campaigner, is planning a legal ambush to have the Pope arrested during his state visit to Britain “for crimes against humanity”.

Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, the atheist author, have asked human rights lawyers to produce a case for charging Pope Benedict XVI over his alleged cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic church.

The pair believe they can exploit the same legal principle used to arrest Augusto Pinochet, the late Chilean dictator, when he visited Britain in 1998.

The Pope was embroiled in new controversy this weekend over a letter he signed arguing that the “good of the universal church” should be considered against the defrocking of an American priest who committed sex offences against two boys. It was dated 1985, when he was in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which deals with sex abuse cases.

The letter in question is here, along with a rebuttal by the Vatican.

The Roman Catholic Church is one of the few remaining bastions against rampant nihilistic secularism; the horrible scandal that has beset it now is not only sad because of the children who have suffered, but also because it undermines the good that the Catholic Church does.

God is spring cleaning in the Catholic Church; it would be ironic if he used Dawkins and Hitchens as his broom.

April 7, 2010

What’s the difference between Toyota and the Catholic Church?

Filed under: Roman Catholic child abuse — David Jenkins @ 10:24 pm
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Toyota realises that covering up their blunders could put them out of business:

Toyota exec pleaded: ‘We need to come clean’

VP fretted accelerator issues might ‘put us out of business,’ emails reveal…..

“We better just hope that they can get NHTSA [National Highway Traffic Safety Administration] to work with us in coming [up] with a workable solution that does not put us out of business,” Miller wrote.

The Catholic Church doesn’t …..

Bishop Bishop Noël Treanor delivered a powerful homily in Belfast yesterday, Maundy Thursday, in the cathedral church of his diocese of Down and Connor. He spelled out his anger at the ‘inept management and cover-up by some bishops’ and his ‘bewilderment at seemingly inadequate communications systems in the Church.’…….

Irish Catholic Primate Cardinal Sean Brady’s authority is seriously damaged by the crisis. He has said he will announce at Pentecost his decision about his future. Sources indicated last night that he had made up his mind to go, but is more recently considering asking the Pope if he can cling on for another two years, with a co-adjutor Archbishop appointed to run the Roman Catholic Church alongside him, as he was appointed to assist Cardinal Cahal Daly in 1994.

Clearly, even now, he still just does not get it.

….. realise that at all:

A senior cardinal has said the Roman Catholic faithful will not be swayed by “petty gossip” about child sex-abuse allegations…..

Meanwhile, the Pope’s personal preacher has apologised for comparing criticism of the Catholic Church over child abuse to “collective violence suffered by the Jews” in a Good Friday sermon.

March 27, 2010

Suffer the little children to come unto me

Filed under: Roman Catholic child abuse — David Jenkins @ 7:21 pm
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In Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov one of the brothers, an atheist, Ivan– a 19C Russian Christopher Hitchens – argues with Alyosha, a Christian on the meaning of suffering. He asks Alyosha whether mankind’s redemption would be worth torturing to death one innocent child:

Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature — that baby beating its breast with its fist, for instance — and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears, would you consent to be the architect on those conditions? Tell me, and tell the truth.”

“No, I wouldn’t consent,” said Alyosha softly.

Even though Dostoevsky was a Christian, I have always found the arguments he places in Ivan’s mouth convincing – though they present their own set of problems. Dostoyevsky’s own answer – told through Ivan – comes in the next section, the Grand Inquisitor, where Christ’s reply to the Inquisitor was not in words, but a kiss on the lips. Christ would only answer by demonstrating that he loved the Inquisitor. It didn’t change the Inquisitor’s thinking: “The kiss glows in his heart, but the old man adheres to his idea.”

Christ, of course, was innocent in that he was sinless, and he was tortured to death for the redemption of mankind – a fate that was not thrust upon him: he chose it.

Innocent children do suffer, yet, however great the payoff, we would all be with Alyosha: we would not consent.

And all this is what makes the present scandal of child abuse in the Catholic Church so horrifying: through repeated cover-ups and the moving around of pederast priests, children were sacrificed, not to save mankind, but to save the reputation of the Roman Church and the miserable skins of abusive priests. To use the excuse that child abuse has been rife in every organisation is simply not good enough:

If the Church suffers more — in the innocent victims, in the faith shaken, in the credibility of her preaching — than other institutions, that too relates to her mission. Sexual abuse of the young is prevalent in staggering numbers in every dark corner of society; yet only very few cases are brought to light. If the Church should be the place where more cases are exposed rather than fewer, that is for the good, for there is the possibility of grace and healing. Consequently, if the Church as a whole feels the pain of shame and disgrace, that can be an expiatory suffering for a sexually dissolute and depraved age. Expiatory suffering is, amongst other salvific things, what the Church exists for.

“In the past decade, nearly every pillar institution in American society — whether it’s General Motors, Congress, Wall Street, Major League Baseball, the Catholic Church or the mainstream media — has revealed itself to be corrupt, incompetent or both.”

The Roman church as the body of Christ has a higher standard set for it than General Motors, yet it has behaved in ways that would shame the most secular organisation. The Roman church as a human institution should be subject to the rules a civilised society applies to other human institutions: priests who engaged in criminal activity should be prosecuted. So should those who tried to cover up the criminal activity. And anyone who – even for a moment – placed the reputation of the church above the abuse of a child should be made to find another job.

March 22, 2010

An Anglican/Catholic exchange program

Filed under: Roman Catholic child abuse — David Jenkins @ 6:48 pm
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The Times is suggesting that Roman Catholic children might be safer from child rapists in the Anglican Church:

Has the time come for the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, to open the door to the many millions of British Roman Catholic worshippers who may be worried that their children are likely to be interfered with by priests? I think it’s correct that young children are slightly less at risk from the Anglican clergy, although it would be unwise of Rowan to offer any cast-iron promises, just in case.

A reciprocal arrangement could be made with the many Anglican clergy who want a male priest to interfere with them. A perfect arrangement: Anglicans send Rome all their pathicus clergy in exchange for Rome’s children.

March 11, 2010

Child abuse, the devil and Harry Potter

Filed under: Roman Catholic child abuse — David Jenkins @ 6:09 pm
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From here:

Child sex abuse scandals rocking the Catholic Church are evidence of the Devil’s presence in the Vatican, the Pope’s chief exorcist said yesterday.

Father Gabriel Amorth, 84, who has carried out more than 70,000 exorcisms in a career spanning 24 years said Pope Benedict ‘fully agreed’ with him in ‘casting out evil’.

I quite agree.

Father Amorth, who was ordained in 1954 and who is president of the International Association of Exorcists, said of the JK Rowling books: ‘Behind Harry Potter hides the signature of the king of the darkness, the devil.
He said Rowling’s books contain innumerable positive references to magic, ‘the satanic art’ and added the books attempt to make a false distinction between black and white magic, when in fact, the distinction ‘does not exist, because magic is always a turn to the devil’.

Possibly true, although I found the Harry Potter novels a thumping good read and an imaginative illustration of humanity’s participation in the drama of good vs. evil. I’ve forgotten where C. S. Lewis mentions it (That Hideous Strength, perhaps), but he has God chiding – not condemning – Merlin for dabbling in matters forbidden; I hope the same for Harry.

Celibate priests and pederasty

Filed under: Roman Catholic child abuse — David Jenkins @ 5:30 pm
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From here:

A leading cardinal today claimed that the sex abuse cases rocking the Roman Catholic Church were due to ‘priestly celibacy’.

Calling for a ‘change of vision’, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, leader of the Catholic Church in Austria, said the causes of sex abuse by priests could be found in ‘priest celibacy’ and ‘priest training’.

In recent weeks the church has been rocked by a series of abuse scandals in Ireland, Holland and Germany – where Pope Benedict’s retired priest brother Georg Ratzinger has admitted to hitting choir boys.

The 65-year-old cardinal, who is tipped to be a future pope, made the shock claims in a religious magazine.

Cardinal Schoenborn said: ‘The causes of sex abuse by priests? These need to be found in priest training, as well as the question of what happened in the so-called sexual revolution of 1968.

‘It also includes the issue of priest celibacy and the issue of personality development.

‘It requires a great deal of honesty, both on the part of the Church and of society as a whole, a change of vision.’

The abuse of children by anyone, in any way, is an unconscionable horror – particularly so if it is inflicted by church officials.

But to blame the sexual abuse of children on priestly celibacy makes as much sense as blaming animal abuse on vegetarians: there is no connection between voluntarily renouncing the God-given enjoyment of sexual intercourse and the evil of raping children.

Even though I don’t agree with Roman Catholic Church’s requirement that priests be unmarried, it seems fairly obvious that the problem is not one of priestly celibacy: it is that candidates for the RC priesthood are not being screened for pederastic sexual perversion.

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