Time To Take A Pill

The breaking news on abuse and cover-up is getting to people. It’s time for some bishops and priests to publicly show the courage to be Catholic. And take things down a notch or two.

Bad behavior department:

Bishop throws a tantrum over unfavorable editorials and asks clergy to cancel their print subscription.

Pastor gives the pope and bishops a public choice: own up or step down. This one falls short of a tantrum, unlike the deceptive Pewsitter headline, “Priest calls for Pope Benedict to resign.” Father Scahill defends his stance somewhat by the standing ovation he received. Well, heck, Archbishop Dolan gets the ess-oh, too. Has the liturgy become a setting for a pep rally for the Holy Father? This is unseemly no matter who does it. Even an archbishop.

I’d say it’s time for a moratorium at liturgy on the matter. It’s intrusive, unproductive, and self-serving.

That said, I think the best thing the pope could do is to apologize for his past inattention to clergy abusers and bishops who harbored predators. I think the best thing the bishops could do is lay off the press. Secular and church. Public statements–something sincere and heartfelt would be helpful. Stay on message. As for the laity, it would be best to disconnect from our favorite issues: gays, celibacy, democracy, culture of death, clericalism, and the like. We can stay on message too: bishops behaved badly and need to be held accountable. I think we too can show some compassion to victims, and reach out to people even if our bishops and clergy are stuck behind their press releases and pulpits.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Church News, Commentary, Liturgy. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Time To Take A Pill

  1. Amen! Thanks for your usual sensibility — Catholic, catholic, and otherwise.

  2. Sam Schmitt says:

    While I agree that calling on priests to cancel their newspaper subscriptions is dumb, neither can we be naive in our response to the media. This doesn’t mean that we should “attack” the media, but even non-Catholics not in sympathy with the Church’s moral agenda – former NY mayor Ed Koch and Alan Dershowitz and others – have been pointing out the obvious fact that the press is being unfair here.

    Apologies and public statements will do little in the current climate of moral hysteria where even reasonable voices like Phil Lawler are being shouted down as shameful hypocrites.

  3. Todd says:

    Apologies to victims will make a difference. Apologies, for the express purpose of proving we Catholics are nice guys? No, I agree with you.

    I wouldn’t characterize Phil Lawler as a reasonable voice. He’s pretty partisan from what I used to read of the man.

  4. Sam Schmitt says:

    Yes, apologies to victims can make a difference, if they are able to get through the media chaos.

    Yes, Lawler once ran for Congress as a Republican. But then this is not a partisan issue. He makes some basic points that the press has obscured / overlooked / ignored.

    If you don’t like Lawler, read Sean Winters, hardly a Republican hack, over at America. He sees that the current press coverage isn’t helping anybody. The truth, not shoddy reporting and misinformation, is what’s going to help victims.

  5. Dr. K,, D.A. says:

    Thanks for your sensible suggestion. We all have gone through this eight years ago, and the same papers have said the same things. If you can tolerate Catholics you believe one paper like the Washington Post that gave the statistics that sex abuse was the same across the board in all churches; if you hate Catholics like the New York Times , you will believe anything bad about us, and and they forget about the Rabbis that were on their own back page for a day for sexual abuse..
    There was only one Cardinal I can think of in the History of the Latin Rite in America who had any insight, intellect and brains – who came from a Presbyterian background, Cardinal Dulles. He disagreed with these outright laicizations by the Vatican for a number of reasons. Too many to speak of here. One was putting the few who were real pedophiles out on the street without the church keeping them in a safe place away from children. They should have done it before – now the church gave up their chance to do it. Once laicised the church could not protect the young from the real pedophile, but could no longer be sued – so damn the children – once again. Secondly, the laicisation for one’s offense without forgiveness moves us into Calvinism – where there is the saved and the damned. Is the repentant priest damned – it would seem so.
    if you read the decree of laicization.He becomes some sort of sub species of Catholic who can never rise to take a normal part in the Church.
    In the Decree Of Laicisation the Bishop is admonished to look out for the Spiritual Welfare of the priest – but that never happens – just go away and don’t bother the diocese again. The bishop doesn’t care if the laicised priest becomes a male whore as long as he doesn’t bother the diocese again. We must remember that many of these sinful men gave great service to the Church in their time.
    I will be back tomorrow – I was accused of abuse 14 years ago and was asked to seek laicisaton for “the Good of Holy Mother The Church”. Repressed Memories often are not the true memories and the Psychology Department of a few Universities question their validity – despite their popularity on TV;Looked what Cardinal Bernadin went through and that poor father with his family after a so called hypnotism. but I was lucky – I am happy not being a priest anymore. I do miss it during Holy Week – and I always loved to help people in the confessional to help them forgive themselves and see how much God loved them
    O, Well have a good night. Might be back tomorrow – anyway – good article – took a pill a long time ago. Love and peace.

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