Saturday, March 20, 2010

Benoît says

An excellent euphemism from Pope Benedict in his reference to the latest round of the decades-long Irish child sex abuse scandal --

canonically irregular situations

There's a lot embedded in that phrase.

And it came in one of the more troubling paragraphs of his letter to the Irish Church, one in which he repeated his long-standing argument that social liberalism and even Vatican II bear some of the blame for the scandal --

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, which has contributed in no small measure to the weakening of faith and the loss of respect for the Church and her teachings.

The clock can't be turned back. If that's part of his diagnosis, he's on the road to social irrelevance.

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