As of this hour, Zenit has more coverage of the USCCB meeting than CNS. But I’m sure the various internet sources will pick up the pace as the week trundles on. An interesting bit from Cardinal George, who thinks it’s time to but the clergy scandal to bed. So to speak:
Some would keep us in the past, the prelate said, or imprisoned in the sexual abuse scandals in recent years. Yet, at this moment, the “clerical ranks have been purged, priests and bishops,” he pointed out, and great lengths have been taken to protect children.
Thus, we cannot allow these things of the past to destroy current relations within the Church, the cardinal said.
Bishops have been purged? Is this right? A promotion to the Congregation of Bishops is considered a purge? Good to know.
As long as we’re talking a general absolution amnesty here, I’d like to propose a supplement.
A number of Catholics have been divorced and remarried, often with the benefit of age and maturity a previous marriage lacked in blessing. Many of these second marriages have the fruit of children, and of loving and sacrificial relationships. Not to mention the benefit of insurance programs authorized by the Church.
What if we were to carefully discern second marriages as being within the good standing of the Church, given an appropriate time and dispensation. The Orthodox will permit a divorce and remarriage in long-standing practice. The second marriage is not sacramental. But it would seem important, as Cardinal George suggests, to dig ourselves out of the past, to get out of the prison of scandal, and consider the great lengths some have taken to build a loving and God-centered second marriage.
What do you think of my supplement? Do you think the Catholic laity would trade a sensible approach to second marriages for a dollop of general absolution forgiveness? Or maybe you think the equation still needs balancing.