Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Irish Catholic Church Meltdown: I'm Disappointed, But Not Disheartened

The Catholic Church in Ireland is in the news again. Another bishop has offered his resignation. As I wrote, earlier this month:
"...The usual apostles of Maria Monk and Thomas Nast will, probably, say this is what Catholics do all the time. Nothing new there. ("Catholics Don't Believe the Bible: Who Knew?" (September 26, 2008))

"American college professors, some of them, will see the Murphy Report as more proof that they're right about those people who wallow in "self-satisfied ignorance" - and aren't at all like tolerant, open-minded academic people. Again, nothing new. (" 'Self-Satisfied Ignorance?' Eucharist, Quran, and Atheist Book Trashed" Another War-on-Terror Blog (August 5, 2008))..."
(December 11, 2009)
A bit of background, from "Pedophile Priests: In Ireland This Time" (December 11, 2009):
  • The Murphy report, prepared by the Irish government, confirmed claims that
    • (Some) priests had abused children in Ireland
    • The Dublin archdiocese had tried to cover up the scandal
  • Utterly unacceptable as the abuse is
    • Only a few priests appear to be involved
  • The Vatican hadn't done anything to stop the abuse
    • Because the Dublin archdiocese hadn't mentioned it in their reports
    • Until the Holy See found out what was happening
      • Now the Dublin archdiocese is being scrutinized
      • An Irish Cardinal and Archbishop were ordered to go to Rome
        • Where they got 90 minutes up close and personal with Vatican officials
It would have been nice if this abuse had never happened. I wish it hadn't. But it did, and now it's being dealt with.

Bishop James Moriarty, the headline figure in today's news, isn't mentioned in the Murphy report: and appears to have been guilty of not doing something. In 20-20 hindsight, it's pretty obvious that he should have asked the Dublin archdiocese to look at the records of the one priest Bishop Moriarty caught taking photos of children while they were changing. (Reuters Canada, BBC)

Bishop Moriarty didn't have access to the records, himself: and didn't know that the priest had a record of unacceptable behavior.

And yes, he should have asked for a background check.

And the archdiocese shouldn't have been trying to cover up the mess.

And the priest shouldn't have taken those photos.

Now Bishop Moriarty is offering his resignation.

Hats off, by the way, to BBC. The British news service has put Bishop James Moriarty's full statement online: "Bishop James Moriarty statement in full" BBC (December 23, 2009).

Bishop Moriarty's statement, as posted by BBC, ends with these words:
"... I know that any action now on my part does not take away the suffering that people have endured. I again apologise to all the survivors and their families.

"I have today offered my resignation as Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin to the Holy Father.

"I hope it honours the truth that the survivors have so bravely uncovered and opens the way to a better future for all concerned.

"I will endeavour to continue to do my best, as I have throughout my 48 years of ministry, to share Christ's light and hope for the world.

"We are about to celebrate Christmas, a time when we welcome Christ as the 'light that darkness could not overpower'. It is this truth that leads us forward. Christ is our light.

"May the blessing, the grace and the peace of Christmas be with us all."
Hypocritical? Self-serving? Some will see Bishop Moriarty's statement that way. I don't, but I'm a Catholic.

It's not that I blindly trust every individual who says that he or she is Catholic, or every individual church official. I'm well aware that Catholic laity, deacons, priests and bishops are human beings. And that mankind has a long history of messing things up:
"For mischief comes not out of the earth, nor does trouble spring out of the ground; 2But man himself begets mischief, as sparks fly upward."
(Job 5:6,7)

The Body of Christ, The Temple of the Holy Spirit, and Me

The Catholic Church is more than a rogue archdiocese; more than a Catholic politician who supports policies that violate Church teachings; more than a Catholic layman who dresses up as Santa Claus and murders a family.

The Catholic Church is the Body of Christ; Temple of the Holy Spirit; with roots in eternity; supported by God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God in three persons, who created Heaven and Earth. My loyalty is to God and His Church: and my prayer is:
"Lord, send us priests.

"Lord, send us many priests.

"Lord, send us many holy priests."
(quoted July 5, 2009, unknown source)
Somewhat-related posts: In the news: Background:

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Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.