NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER – Jan 25, 2019 by Robert McCabe
A month before the start of a global summit in Rome on the sex abuse crisis, a prominent church historian and theologian said last week that the issue poses the biggest challenge to the church in 500 years.
“This is not like the Protestant Reformation; it’s not,” Massimo Faggioli, a Villanova University professor, said in a talk at Immaculate Conception Church in Hampton, Virginia. “But, in my opinion, it’s the most serious crisis in the Catholic Church since the Protestant Reformation.”
In an hour-long presentation, Faggioli set out to show how and why this particular moment in the history of the church has become so critical and what the crisis is telling Catholics about the state of the church. The talk was sponsored by the Bishop Keane Institute, a ministry offered by the parish, which brings prominent Catholic speakers to south eastern Virginia.
While the crisis has gone global, said Faggioli, one strain of it is peculiar to the United States, where it is inseparable from such hot-button issues as sexuality, homosexuality and gender. The scandal in the United States has resulted in a “theological crisis,” he said. The crisis is also being used by some, according to Faggioli, to mount a campaign opposing Pope Francis.
Last year was a game-changer in the unfolding of the sex-abuse crisis, Faggioli said, a phenomenon that has become unrelenting.
“It’s a past that doesn’t want to pass; it keeps coming back,” he said. “It’s had an impact on me as a scholar and as a Catholic.”
Almost as if recounting a bad dream, Faggioli walked his listeners through the events of 2018, beginning with Pope Francis’ disastrous visit to Chile, his complicated visit to Ireland, the release of an Australian government study on the crisis and abuse-related reports that surfaced from India, Germany, France and Spain, noting that the year showed if nothing else that the crisis is no longer viewed as just an American problem, but a global issue.
Attack on Francis
It was, nevertheless, the firestorm that erupted in the U.S. church over the alleged abuse of seminarians and priests by former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, followed by the extraordinary letter by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, accusing Pope Francis of having known about and having covered for McCarrick, that pushed the crisis to a new level, Faggioli suggested.
When more than two dozen U.S. bishops later backed Viganò, the church moved to a place it had not seen for hundreds of years, he said: “You have to go back six centuries — the 1400s — to see a national church being split publicly about the legitimacy of a pope.”
The shocking part of the Viganò controversy was not his letter, but the decision by the band of U.S. bishops to take his side, creating the “church equivalent of the Cuban missile crisis,” Faggioli said.
In late August to mid-September, as the Viganò debate played out, Faggioli said he found himself “going to bed not knowing the next morning if we had one church or multiple churches.”
“That’s how bad it was, it seems to me,” he added.
Sandwiched in between the McCarrick disclosures and the Viganò uproar: the release of the Pennsylvania attorney general’s sex-abuse report in mid-August, leading to a domino-like series of similar investigations in other states around the country, all of which promise that this moment in the church’s history will continue to play out, Faggioli said.
The crisis has exposed fault lines in the U.S. Catholic Church, he suggested.
“It has become clear, more than before, that the abuse crisis is not simply a series of abuses that were covered up,” Faggioli told the audience. “It has become part of an ecclesial fragmentation that really puts at risk one of the four things that every Catholic says when he or she says the creed,” alluding to the “one” Catholic Church and the bishops who appeared to lay down a challenge to the pope.
Bottom line, there is one thing a Catholic bishop has to be about — communion with the bishop of Rome, he noted: “If that element fails, we have moved to a very dangerous situation.”
The crisis, he continued, has revealed a series of fractures in what’s called “global Catholicism.”
“The sex-abuse crisis is being manipulated into a crisis to radically delegitimize a pope that certain quarters in American Catholicism, from the very beginning, never acknowledged as legitimate,” Faggioli said.
Only months after his election in 2013, while Francis was still trying “to understand where was the kitchen in the Vatican,” certain quarters in American Catholicism “had decided that this pope is not a real pope,” he noted.
All of this serves as a backdrop to what transpired last year, a delicate moment in the U.S. church, Faggioli suggested.
An American problem
Most facets of the sex-abuse crisis — denial, cover-up, corruption, clericalism — there’s no question about any of that, Faggioli said, while adding that there is a second dimension.
“This version of the abuse crisis is really an American problem,” because it is linked inextricably, inseparably, to the divisions in the church about sexuality, homosexuality and gender, he said.
This had led to a “theological crisis which you don’t have in other countries with the same passion, with the same vitriol, with the same potential for, really, an ecclesial division,” he added.
In terms of what the crisis reveals about what needs to be done theologically, a “systematic, theological effort has barely started,” Faggioli said.
In an aside, he mentioned that in mid-January, he began teaching a course to undergraduates at Villanova focused on the sex abuse crisis.
For his students, born in the late 1990s, the abuse-plagued church “is the only church they know,” he said.
Among the theological issues the crisis raises are what to do with the Vatican, the papacy and the Roman Curia.
“The crisis is asking us: Do we want a centralized Catholicism as it used to be until yesterday or do we want to, do we think that we can, decentralize?” he asked.
For centuries, popes were all but invisible until Vatican I in the 19th century, followed by 20th century papacies that he likened to papacies “on steroids.”
The most critical, distinguishing failure of leadership during the sex abuse crisis lies with bishops, though “there is a paradox here,” Faggioli said.
One of the legacies of Vatican II was the empowerment of bishops, which essentially boiled down to something like this:
“This church cannot be an imperial church where the pope is like the emperor,” he noted. “We need a cohort of bishops that can govern this church. … The abuse crisis is a huge wake-up call.”
As a corollary of sorts to Vatican II’s buttressing of the episcopate was its emphasis on the power of the laity, though that theology, he added, has “remained largely on paper.”
The governance of the Catholic Church of the future is going to have to involve more lay people, though today they remain, in the big picture, largely invisible, a situation that is going to have to change, Faggioli said.
Another theological issue cited: the priesthood and, particularly, the formation of priests.
Seminaries are largely the invention of the Council of Trent in the mid-1500s, with the only real changes since being largely decorative, he noted.
While the curriculum has been updated, attention to candidates’ affective lives and development remains “totally secondary,” Faggioli said, adding that the priesthood has become even more idealized than it was in the past and that isolation from the people, particularly women, is still the model.
“That is a huge problem,” he said.
A delicate moment
Closing out his talk, Faggioli said that the abuse crisis is “a very, very delicate moment — it’s really hard.”
As a scholar, he said he sees his role as not just tracking the latest news but thinking “theologically” about what the crisis tells him and “what it calls us to think about.”
There is no exit, as it were, no escape from the responsibility: “Those who are in the church, they have to do something for those who can’t, because it is too hard for them to be in the church. Being spared by the abuse crisis means that you have to give something back. That is how I see this moment.”
During a question-and-answer period following his talk, Faggioli said he was somewhat optimistic about the upcoming summit in Rome on the sex abuse crisis, though he didn’t think it would have much impact on the United States.
The so-called Dallas Charter enacted by the U.S. bishops in 2002 has made a difference, he said, so much so that it has emerged as a model.
“The global picture is of the church that, paradoxically, has to catch up to the United States,” he noted earlier in his talk.
Asked afterward one-on-one about the prospect of a seemingly never-ending series of reports like the one issued by the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office last summer, Faggioli said, citing Pope Francis, that there is a need for a “hermeneutic,” an interpretation of the abuse crisis, a more holistic approach that transcends legal truth and who’s guilty and who’s innocent, as much as that’s needed.
The issue encompasses not just the perpetrators and those who may have protected them, but individuals who while not technically guilty or technically innocent, were on to it, who knew that something was happening, but did not act.
“They’re part of the picture,” Faggioli said.
[Robert McCabe is a former reporter for the Virginian-Pilot.]
98 replies on “SEX ABUSE CRISIS – WORST RC CRISIS IN 500 YEARS”
With any luck the church will respond in about 200 years.
Got bored reading this stuff which is written as if the RC church and it’s issues are centrally significant to humankind’s everyday life. They’re not!
They’re a load of insignificant coddswallop for both the majority of RC’s and others of different faiths and none.
I think the most telling part of this is the last few sentences culminating in “they did not act”. Why did they not act? Because they sought to protect the brand, the business . The sinfulness was neither here nor there. At all costs the brand had to be protected. The old adage: 🙈🙉🙊 came into play. This gets to the fundamental root of the problem. The RC church has become a global business and Christ now plays second fiddle to the business. Christ has become a commodity to keep the business going. Whether they believe in the commodity or not is immaterial to them. As long as they can keep selling it to cover their nefarious activities then they will continue.
To suggest (as Faggioli does) that the current ‘crisis’ in the Church (actually, ‘catastrophe’ is a more realistic word) is ‘not like the Protestant Reformation’ is absurd, and it comes from just squinting at this period of history: missing its details and nuances. Which is not what one might reasonably expect from even a mediocre Church historian, never mind one allegedly as prominent as Faggioli. (Frankly, I had never heard of the man.) On the contrary, the similarities between the events behind the Protestant Reformation and today’s dire state of the Church are stark, and profoundly shocking, the common denominator being a corrupt, worldly, and self-interested Church hierarchy as both the principal cause and catalyst of events in their respective times.
Like their predecessors, Catholic bishops will meet soon to agree a universal and standardised response to the long history of child-sexual abuse and its deliberate and canonical concealment in the Church, without addressing the root cause of this criminality: a culture of clericalism which has driven these men to self-interest and self-aggrandisement and, ultimately, to self-protection.
Faggioli – Mr Bean ! – knows what he is talking doubt. This is a crisis that compares to the Reformation, in that faithful Catholics are asking serious questions about the Church, its structure, its leadership, its hierarchy, its bishops, its priests, and the way it does business. I do not think that Catholics like me question so much the essentials of the Christian faith or the need for a community of Christians called the Church. But, we are questioning how it has developed and behaved, and come up with the conclusion that in many respects it is dysfunctional. The child abuse crisis is only one manifestation of this – perhaps the most egregious – but only one. The historical position and treatment of women is another.
It may be that the present clutch of leaders in the Church, who were brought up on the notion that the Church cannot substantially err, because God would not allow it to leave the tracks completely, still labour under the illusion that the present crisis is just something to be endured and got through, and then business as normal and can resumed. If that is the case, then they are terribly wrong. This crisis is an existential phenomenon for the Church. It is not just a little wobble. It has the capacity to undermine any trust and integrity that the Church and its leaders may have, and once that is gone then the whole edifice will come falling down. The situation is going to get worse before it gets better. Faggioli suggests that the US Church and perhaps some western Churches have begun to understand and deal with the present crisis, but there is undoubtably as bad or even worse behaviour to be revealed in other Churches, particularly those of the Third World, where there is not even the beginnings of a recognition of the problem. So, the problem will only become worse over the next few decades.
So, it is absolutely vital that the leaders of the Church grasp this nettle and come up with a way of dealing with it and ensuring that the Church is not undermined or overwhelmed by it. How ? Well, one of the phenomenon that has been clear throughout this whole matter is the issue of exclusivism, entitlement and clericalism. The issue at source has to do with a culture of exclusive people within the Church – priests and bishops – who have been able to engineer a culture and hierarchy that sets them apart and makes them so very special. This engenders behaviour that is not transparent or able to be challenged. That culture and hierarchy needs to be radically altered so that it is no longer exclusive and untouchable, but is transparent, overseen, supervised, and acceptable – and not only by itself, but by objective, independent oversight and scrutiny. Which means by the laity. The Church must become a more lay led community, with specific groups providing specific functions (e.g. priest = sacramental), but overseen by a larger and more lay dominated group. Accountability is key.
I am not sure that this will happen given the entrenched ‘droit de seigneur’ that is found within the clerical hierarchy, and the entrenched sense of entitlement and specialness that one finds there. They will resist. But, if change is not forthcoming, the existential dangers for this clerical class and for the Church itself are self-evident.
@09:42. Sounds like Presbyterianism or Congregationalism might suit you better as your wish list is found among them in almost full flower.
Have you thought of making the switch to our separated brethren? Feel the fear and do it anyway! You could become an Elder or Minister and feel very special and set apart.
Alex Guinness once played
Fr Brown. As he walked down the street in his priestly atire a small child took his hand and started to chatter about his day. Alex Guinness was so touch by the child’s absolute trust in the priest that he became a Catholic. We have lost that innocence and it is tragic.
Nice one, Karen. This nonsense about the “laity” all the time is becoming tiresome. I’ve seen the laity who rise to the top positions in parishes: the bossy, the opinionated, the poorly catechised, the do-gooders, the sjw’s, the solicitors, the teachers, the priest groupies, the pushy parents….. Rarely is it the holy, so the whole problem will arise again – just with a different group of people.
And who are you to determine that there’s no room for that poster’s views in the RCC? You surely don’t expect that our good God is as exclusivist and as intolerant as your conclusions?
Thank God we have lost that ‘innocence’! (Others might know it as ‘misplaced trust’, and it proved dangerous for God-knows-how many children.)
If what you say about Alec Guinness is true, then he assumed from a child’s trust that priests must obviously be trustwory. Not a wise equation.
If Alec were alive now, I doubt whether he’d make the same, uninformed assumption.
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No I don’t think he would. Why should the laity trust priests now when they talk about God.
‘This nonsense about the laity…’?
Given that the laity comprise the bulk of the Church, and pay ALL of its bills, I should have thought wise and relevant any discussion involving it. The Second Vatican Council certainly though lay people relevant, and not just for the bills they paid, but for the fact that they, along with all other believers, are the locus and conduit of the Holy Spirit.
Read, especially, ‘The Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People’. And dip into select bits of ‘Lumen Gentium’. These can help plug the gaps of ignorance in whatever ecclesiologcal knowledge you think you may have. 😆
Ha, ha, ha,ha. I am the laity and I’m inspired by the Holy Spirit within me to recognise codswallop when I see it.
What’s this nonsense about women in the Church? Women exercised authority as abbesses and bursars, and as religious teachers and nurses for centuries long before the secular world caught up.
That’s unless you see priesthood as an office of power from which women are excluded.
So many of the librarian/retired teacher/Tablet reading older people who complain about clericalism see the Church in intra terms, as a place where theological battles are won and lost. Instead the focus should be outward.
I always ask pushy advocates for women’s ordination how they got on in their particular patch of the vineyard and if their children are lapsed or their grandchildren baptised. They do not like such scrutiny.
Whatever else they have done in the Church, women tellingly have never been permitted to exercise magisterial authority, purely on account of their gender; and yet, Pope JP II described Mary Magdalene as ‘Apostle to the Apostles’ for her witnessing the ressurrection to an incredulous twelve (er, eleven, given Iscariot’s suicide).
It’s not just a baffling contradiction, this exclusion; it’s a tragic one, given, too, that successive magisteria (including the Second Vatican Council) accepted Mary as the ‘Mediatrix of Grace’ (indeed, Pope Leo XIII, in his encyclical ‘Iucunda Semper Expectione’, describes Mary as ‘Mediatrix of Divine grace’.
The only reason the institutional Church has not yet made a dogma of this doctrine, and expanded the title afforded Mary to read ‘Mediatrix of All Graces’, is surely that it would call into question the exclusion of women not only from exercising magisterial authority, but also their exclusion from the ordained priesthood.
Karen, in the words of Bruce Forsythe, “you’re my favourite!” Thank God for a bit of commonsense on this blog, and without any verbose pomposity.
Faggioli is a member of the ultramontane, hyperpapalist, Francis-right-or-wrong gang who defend the woeful record on abuse of this profoundly compromised pope.
You’ve made a valid point about Pope Francis, whose once rising star is now spluttering as it ignominiously falls: we are seeing more and more of the man behind the contrasting media soundbites.
Both Faggioli and Francis are trying to cast a very wide net of causality, blame , and responsibility for the sexual abuse criminality in the Church and its routinue concealment to include not just clerics, but lay people in a conspiracy of silence. Faggioli is perhaps only marginally better than Francis, since he seems to have stopped short of blaming the devil for the criticism of bishops in their failings to protect children ahead of the institutional Church’s repution (which, let’s be honest, was largely a lie-cum-myth).
Got it in one! You said it! Francis is a gangster – still the club bouncer.
What message is sent to victims of priest sex abuse that the disgraced and (inevitably) gay, liberal, Cardinal Roger Mahoney will be a featured speaker at the upcoming Los Angeles Archdiocesan Education Conference, the largest Catholic gathering in the US?
Francis and his cronies and those he has promoted and favours in the American church are all homosexual non-believers.
Robert Mickens, author of this piece, is a gay liberal who was sacked by the Tablet. Even they found him too much. The photo has been carefully cropped to cut out the audience, as it would show row upon row of silverhaired coffin dodgers.
I don’t understand though, as we were told constantly that the spirit of Vatican II would usher in a new Pentecost.
The sheep and the goats; the division will come soon, I hope. Most with the label, “Catholic” today could not be convicted of that charge – and that includes most priests and bishops.
‘Overweight with dunge (sic)’ ?😲
Boy! Do you still have issues! (Not least with your professed belief in Christ, which is at stark variance with your conduct here.)
Robert McCabe is the author of the above article, not Robert Mickens.
Even if Mickens were the author, what has his being ‘a gay liberal’ to do with the content. 😕
Mickens has an agenda 👎
Karen @ 8:24, even Jesus had an ‘agenda’.
‘Agenda’ is not a dirty word.
It’s an even greater problem in society as a whole.
Children are being abused in the very safety of there homes across Northern Ireland as we speak by parents and close family relations.
It’s epidemic in the community and can’t be sorted out.
I was abused in the confines of my home by a grandparent as was many other family members, thankfully I could rise above it all with great support from family and Church.
What do you offer society to stop this abuse Pat? What I see is nothing!
You are extremely fortunate that you weren’t abused also by a priest when you turned to the Church for help. You would not be the first to have leapt from a frying pan into such a fire.
Your criticism of Bishop Buckley is puzzling. Isn’t blogging on child-sexual abuse in the Church helping to keep this criminality, and gross betrayal of trust, in the public consciousness (lest we forget)? For if we do forget, you can forget also about clerical accountability: there is here no deep desire for this.
Reminding the public of what happened is key to continuing accountability in the Church.
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I’m well aware of institutional abuse, don’t neet a fool/ keyboard warrior to lecture me on the dirty past of our Church!
I look to the future with my suffering past behind me with great belief that the Church is changing and been educated by it’s sinful horrible past.
I forgive my abuser and plead for God’s mercy on him.
I, in my lifetime have had nothing but good support and my family from the Church. All is not broken.
I ask the simple question again with manners, what does Pat Buckley offer society and the affects of abuse within home’s, simple answer for you to understand, nothing!
And what do YOU offer but steaming piles of residual anger.
Seems to me you are over nothing.
And your question about Pat Buckley has already been answered.
If only you’d paid attention.😆
Go you clown and take yourself off cause all are sick to the teeth with your bullshit, glorified rants!
It’s not about what I offer or never has been, but I’ll leave it like this, in my private and professional life I’ve assisted many with a helping hand and listening ear, much more than you and you’re sidekick Buckley, both over weight with dunge!
@11: 36 & 1:12;
You’re right; sexual abuse is a widespread societal problem. There are secular state agencies dealing with sexual abuse in family settings…etc.
I’m not an apologist for anyone, but Pat Buckley isn’t god! As Magna said, Pat is keeping the issue of sexual crime ,within the Church, in public consciousness and
‘the powers that be’
in the church don’t like it.
They’d much prefer this blog shut down. This blog is a window into clerical culture.
Unfortunately, the institutional church doesn’t need to educate itself about its sinful past.
You see, they know and knew all along…..there’s nothing new in all this for lots of clergy, and those in the hierarchy, other than, this criminal underbelly
of the institutional church going into the public domain and how to handle it. ( Not very well, to understate it).
Secrecy, silence and cover up is a major part
of clerical hypocritical culture.
You are fortunate to have found support from the church. That is not the experience of lots of people abused by clergy; lots of individuals abused by clergy wouldn’t look to the church for any kind of support. Their response is to be understood and respected.
I applaud you forgiving your abuser. That’s what Christians are called to
do, and it’s not easy;
that’s the Christian response.
Look to Christ , the gospel and a personal deep spiritual life, and not to clergy, or institutional church, or else your likely to be sorely disappointed.
11:36 makes a very important point. Statistically children are most likely to be abused, and adults most likely to face violence, from someone they know. This therefore means that parents count in this group, and the old idea of ‘stranger danger’ was flawed.
I agree that you are fortunate to have found the church supportive. I also agree that it is important to keep the disastrous management of abuse by the church in the spotlight, because it would dearly love to bury it.
There is a difference between the church and other agencies who have failed to handle abuse properly (perhaps I should say that I myself have whistle blown on abuse in the NHS and been thoroughly punished): the church claims to be the divinely instituted source of God’s grace in the world.
That’s why they mustn’t be allowed to forget.
That gay priest living with his “partner”, who was on this blog the other day telling himself and us all, that God is “relaxed” with him living a lie and his betrayal of his vows, telling the Pope and everyone to “butt out”, wasn’t long butting out himself and shutting his gub, when his identity began to show itself. He thinks people are fools. More fool him. Despicable man. Start treating your people with respect. Make up your mind. Are you a priest or an “out and proud gay man”? You’ll be exposed yet. Long runs the fox. “By their fruits shall you know them” and your “fruit” is the ill will you are sowing left, right and centre. People would be better with no priest than an excuse like you.
…and I am he ! Oh, such an angry man this Anonymous and 1142. Like so many others. I think what has been most instructive about my post is the anger and vitriol it has revealed in those who want to call themselves ‘faithful Catholics’ They are dripping in the stuff, and you can hear their guts tearing up with anger and hatred. So, no matter how misguided you may think I am, I assure you that I am closer to Christ in my living that you are in your hatred and anger. Think on it. You are only doing yourself so much damage by your attitude. It does not affect me in the slightest, but for you it must colour every aspect of your life and leave you feeling so drained and empty. I pity you, really. Please pour out more of your vitriol if you wish, but it will do me no harm, but it will do you irreparable harm. I pity those who are closest to you. It must be draining to have to be so near someone so unhinged, unhappy and angry.
This is a different commentator and you obviously are just a cheeky piece of sh1t who is leeching an easy living off the cash-strapped of a poor parish. Whoever approved you as suitable for ordination and the bishop who still tolerates you abusing Belfast people are sinful men. Anyone reading the nasty bile pouring out of you can see you for what you are – a nasty, disturbed, twisted, narcissistic, homosexual parasite. Nobody’s expecting you to be affected by the truths people are telling you, you moron, because it is more than obvious you have neither conscience nor insight. You’re a big slabber.
Keep your pity, you degenerate. Everyone who knows you, knows just how dripping with spite and vitriol you are, so don’t think you’re fooling anyone. The damage you are causing you will answer for. You haven’t a shred of decency or integrity and your arrogance and pride is going to be your downfall.
Fancy a fully grown man like you, I take, expecting another man to be celibate, priest or no priest.
At 12:42pm – you are one of most angry and bitter men who ever walked God’s earth, “Fr”! 😂
You’re “close to Christ”?? Really? This proves how utterly delusional you are – not that proof is needed for most of your parishioners.
Seriously, you need to deeply reflect on your life of lies and the damage you are doing. The priesthood is not for you. It never was. Do the decent thing before you are subject of another public scandal.
What’s very interesting is that this “gay priest” some people obviously think they know who he is!! And he is doing nothing to disavow them of their suspicions!! 😯🤔
Celibacy does not define priesthood (nor, for that matter, did a lack of it for the first millenium of Christianity, when priests were free to marry). And faithful observance of it 😅 (is this really possible?) does not make a man Christlike.
In my experience, steadfast celibacy can turn a priest morally indifferent, psychologically cold, and spiritually intolerant and judgemental, Failing these, there is always a surfeit of alcohol for him, or some other addiction. And there are more to choose from these days
Stop insisting on celibacy as an essential feature of ordained ministry. It isn’t; it wasn’t; and it never will be.😆
Magna dear, the problem with the person referred to, 4:55 and I presume others, is precisely his non-celibacy.
He is not celibate. He’s actively homosexual and yet STILL he is cold, judgemental, intolerant, etc.
So clearly, in his case, celibacy is not the issue. He’s not practicing celibacy and his behaviour is still very problematic.
Your post suggests that you know him.
Prove it by naming him..😆
Oh he’s been named here many, many, many times, honey. There have been whole blogs devoted to him 😉 Friends of yours then is he? 😏
11.42 An unhelpful, judgmental and imbalanced post. What’s driving the anger and bile.
A man who ruins parishes and a desire that he be exposed for what he is doing to people – that’s what. Simples.
Two expressions in the comments above gave me food for thought: Anon @ 9.42 refers to ‘droit de seigneur’, and NNN to ‘coffin dodgers’: very apt in the circumstances
I’m mid ’70’s and left the seminary in 1968 when I was 24. Some of my former seminary colleagues are now bishops or in other prominent clerical positions. Like me, they too are in their ’70’s, and in the coffin dodger arena. Unlike me, they’re still “working”, often in positions of power. They’ve not retired, been made redundant, or in some of the other ways of commerce and business, been replaced by younger more active, inventive, or more ‘productive’ employees.
I wonder to what extent their understanding and thinking has developed in the intervening 50 years. Might it be the case that having remained within a sheltered mindset of RC exclusivity, their attitudes remain to a large extent similar to my own very limited world views of the mid 60’s? And to a considerable extent, it is clerics from that era who now “hold power” within RC catholicism, such as in the proposed gathering of bishops
What chance change? ‘Old dogs and new tricks’, or ‘leopards and spots’ comes to mind.
You are probably (almost certainly) right, MMM, about those clerics and proverbs: they very likely do go together.
I doubt whether any of your seminary colleagues who were ordained has read through more than six or seven spiritual works in that time. And I doubt more strongly whether any of them has dared think an independent thought either.
Not all truths set people free. And if is true that seminarians of your time were more driven by fear of damnation than enticed by the prospect of salvation (not so much running toward Heaven as running away from Hell), then I’d wager my doubts above are true. Linking salvation with absolute obedience to magisterial teaching is a powerful way of controllibg minds and hearts.
(The good news is that this control has now greatly ebbed. And it can only continue to do so, as news of more and more coruption rolls in. No wonder Church hierarchs hate the media.)
At the end of his article, Faggoili cites Pope Francis, regarding a need for a ‘hermeneutic’ or a wider more holistic approach to the abuse crisis transcending legal truth etc. They’re are part of the picture, claims Faggioli.
In my experience, this is very true. Over 40 years ago,
lay professionals, doctors, nurses, social workers and administration, within psychiatry in Ireland, were aware of clerical sexual abuse of minors. That’s fact.
I suspect, and research by Richard Sipe shows, that
some colleagues of clerical abusers, were aware of the occurrence of sexual abuse,
but remained silent for whatever reason or reasons.
There is a wider picture to this criminal phenomenon within the church.
You are, of course, right about knowledge of child-sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests, and its deliberate concealment, extending beyond a clerical constituency in Ireland. But you are profoundly wrong to allow your readers to assume that there was moral and legal co-responsibility here. You did not factor in (but should have) the obvious social effects of an inordinate degree of clerical deference, especially in a confessional state, like the Free State/Republic of Ireland. This was something Pope Benedict himself drew attention to and criticised in his letter to the Irish people about clerical child-sexual abuse.
From whatever angle this long and shameful episode in Irish history is examined, the social might and influence of the institutional Roman Catholic Church in Ireland will nearly always be dominant and decisive.
Magna, I was directing readers of the blog to Faggioli’s final paragraph. I’m assuming readers of the blog have read the article. In general, there’s no question of moral or legal co-responsibility. Of course there was clerical deference.Moral and legal responsibility for clerical CSA criminality and cover up, lies firmly at the feet of the Institutional church. However, life is a little more complicated and nuanced. There were (and possibly still are) lay foot soldiers, who did the biding of/for the church; not simply out of deference or loyalty to the church, but purely from selfish self interest. This included criminality.( I know factually).
I have no idea of the extent of lay involvement in such criminal behaviour, but it is part of this awful, corrupt, appalling mess.
No, we are discussing all of society. If ” clericalism” and celibacy are being cited as causes then we have to compare it with society in general where these are not the causes. So therefore, what are the TRUE causes?
6.13: You are correct in drawing attention to the reality that among many professional medical people there was an awareness of sexual abuse in every profession. Psychiatrists treated such people and often advised Bishops about the suutability of priests abusers to return to ministry. Their advice was considered professional. That is not to condone any abuse but to truthfully acknowledge the reality of abuse in every generation and in almost all professions. Look at the prevalence if abuse of all kinds within families. Look at various reports into past and present abuse in state institutions and services. The Church has abysmally failed, of that there is no doubt and its slowness now in responding effectively, meaningful and seriously is a huge morally indicting judgment. Vigilance, knowledge, awareness and insights are a constant need for all who are entrusted with the care of children and their well being. All of us.
10:23; Causes of what? What precisely are you referring to?
Sounds like Saville and his BBC and Stoke Mandeville cronies, not to mention Hollywood and the luvvies. Arse- licking see-no-evil silence is not confined to Catholic Ireland. Recognise it for what it is, individual moral cowardice.
We’re not discussing secular society. We are discussing the Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ.
Priests claim to be alter Christus.
After much talk about Cloyne on the blog yesterday it has sent clerical tongues wagging in Cloyne. I do agree that focus needs to be directed towards this diocese. It’s a scandal and a can of worms like other dioceses I suspect. One Cloyne PP wants to get this blog shut down and you silenced Pat. We know who he is and he’s got lots to hide, believe me. Only one example of the toxicity that is Cloyne. It may be far removed from where you are up North but it’s worth keeping on your radar Bp Pat. Too many Priests on unexplained leave and sabatticals.
Email me his details email@example.com
4.55: I don’t think you are exactly a model of charity, decency, tolerance or understanding. Your comments are homophobic. Your threatening language is unacceptable. Hypocrisy, deception and lies are found in the lives of many people and often those who are quietly conflicted in themselves with shame and anger over their own sexuality are often the most vicious homophobes. Who are you to definitively condemn anyone?
@7:48pm – would you ever catch yer self on? Do you think we were born yesterday? I make no apologies whatsoever for calling this creep and excuse out for what he is – a bully, a tyrant, a liar, a seething morass of hatred and rage, a manipulator and a total hypocrite. He’s a joke and you and his creepy mates can **** away aff.
8.11: You prove the point I made at 7.48: you are as ugly, vicious, nasty, boorish and a morass of hatred and rage as the person you are condemning. I’m quite certain you would not use or speak that violent language publicly to those you intensely dislike. You know you’d be had for incitement to hatred and for the ugly racist you are. I have no idea who you are referring to in your homophobic comment earlier but one thing is demonstrably clear: You are an ugly bully, hater and racist. Not commendable virtues!!
“Incitement to hatred”? “Racist”? As an observer, where did you pluck these charges from? Out of your a**e?
I didn’t see any threatening language in that post. Lol, the old chestnut where anyone who criticises homosexuality is really resisting their own homosexuality. Is that the best you can do!!! The poster’s considered opinion is that you are not cut out to be a priest, and I agree.
Sweetheart, it’s not the criticising of homosexuality that counts, but the ‘passion’ (obvious self-loathing) behind it that matters.
Really!!! Catch yourself on! All that high-fallutin’ waffle from ye’ and that’s the best you can come up with. Strength of feeling is actually more often in proportion to the degree of love for what / who is being harmed. I don’t think Jesus whipped the money changers because He secretly wanted to be one – that’s your logic.
But then if you yourself/ves are homosexual then it’s probably self-soothing to tell yourself so.
Jesus, and the money changers? How does this compare with homosexuals and homophobes?
Jesus opposed the activities of Satan. Does this mean he envied the bugger?😆
Again I’ll say it. This junket will achieve not one good thing. A universal statement of condemnation of abuse will be adopted. Then it’s back to business as usual. Does anyone really believe that the institution will give up its abusers, compensate them and/or allow them to get justice? There’s no way on this earth that that’s going to happen. The evil within the rc institution is too deep seated and the abusers and enablers are in control. May as well just piss in the wind for all the good this junket will do. If they really wanted change then they would change themselves. These people are a cancer. RC church is about mind control. It’s a cult. No better than scientology
You may be right.That remains to be seen.
You’re very wrong.; Christianity and Rc Church is not about mind control nor comparable to scientology.
It’s not a cult.
It has, unfortunately, a considerable number of morally corrupt individuals masquerading as Priests.
7:35. Down and Connor Diocese is actively trying to get this blog shut down. Makes u wonder why if they have nothing to hide
7:35 & 8;01;
This blog potentially draws far to much attention to matters normally kept hidden from public attention.
Makes life uncomfortable for far too many! 😂
Well, they can’t hide Noel Treanor’s colosssal expenditure of other people’s money on luxuriating his large home. (Now, come on! It IS much bigger than the stable into which the Son of God was born…according to Matthew’s gospel.)😆
A big gaff needs more expensive straw Magna. ⛪
Now you are just being clever!😆
You fools attacking Fr X at 12:42pm need to realise that Fr X is a close personal friend of the bishop who relies upon him for advice.
Furthermore, Fr X and his friends in the priesthood who are also gay, are all good friends and confidantes of the bishop. They all are in key positions and parishes in the diocese. They are on important committees, and commissions, etc. They are at the cutting edge of decision and policy making.
So stop “slabbering” yourselves. Fr X has the bishop’s ear on many important matters and he is one of the very few that he turns to for advice.
You don’t like it? Too bloody bad for you then. Take yourselves off is what I say.
A bunch of uneducated clowns who never darken the church door and who think a priest should be at your beck and call? And who then take to social media and writing to this oaf Buckley, when you don’t get your way?
You go on social media and you can’t even spell, or string a sentence together, to complain about a good man who just so happens also to be a gay man?
Shame on all of you. You’re a bloody disgrace as far as I’m concerned. Fr X has plenty of support. It’s a few malcontents trying to stir up trouble with this Pat Buckley character. Take yourselves off, you bloody bunch of losers and get a life for heavens sake. 🙄
And Jesus wept.😂 Or does Jesus matter? 💔
8.42 exactly The whole thing is like a Easter egg wit nothing in it. Shiny on thoutside sweet sod all ith middle. Time to burn the temple (metaphorically speaking) rebuild as thearly church did hi
8:35pm are you for real? 😯😶 Words fail
So, the question: “What’s wrong with the Church in Down and Connor?” has just been answered.
And by the way, I’m an observant Catholic and fully literate with an exceptional I.Q. as if that matters to God Almighty. Half of me thinks this poster wrote this tongue in cheek; talk about self-indictment!
I must have blinked.😆
8:35 & 9:22
I reckon it’s symptomatic of what’s wrong with the church, near and far! 🙏 👼😠
Do any of these lads read the Gospel or pay attention to the Gospel if they read it? 😭😈⛪
The charming poster at 8:35 illustrates a clerical attitude normally kept out of the public domain. 🎭
No wonder clergy and hierarchy want Bishop Pats blog shut down! ✋
I think it could be tongue in cheek somewhat @8:35; but, sadly, from what I hear about this geezer and his clerical pals, they do seem to have “influence”.
@ Magna 9.44
I’m not as slow as I walk aisy.
@8:21pm Oh yes you do 😉 Know exactly 😉. Who is being talked about😉. You one of his wee “friends”? 😘
Take your feigned outrage and affected high dudgeon and blow it out through your rosy red ass 🤡
At 8:35pm, are you a comedian by any chance because I am 🤣
10:25; Judas had influence and look what happened to him.
Bp Pat a few new clergy changes in Cloyne announced. That priest you wanted the details about slagging you off is William O’Donovan from Conna.
Just had a squint at the latest Cloyne clerical changes.
Aquin Casey CC, just back from his holiday (oops, meant to say sabbatical) entered Maynooth as a late vocation in the mid-1980s, so he must be hitting 60 if he’s a day. That’s a brave age to be a curate though it used to be said that Clogher’s Denis Dolan was the All-Ireland champion in that regard.
There are a few other supperanuated CCs knocking about Cloyne diocose. Gabriel Burke won’t be made a PP because he celebrates the Latin Mass.
Meanwhile the new PP of Kenturk has to be Adm elsewhere too. Could’nt one of the vintage CCs take up the slack?
Up here in the black north the politicians banned double-jobbing but it must still be a thing in the Free State.
Magna at 9:44pm, now now magna! We don’t want you falling back so quickly into your old nasty ways! Is this problem priest one of your composite by any chance? Are you matey with him? 😉
Now would you ever?😉
Magna at 9:20pm said: “Sweetheart, it’s not the criticising of homosexuality that counts, but the ‘passion’ (obvious self-loathing) behind it that matters”
Sweety, you have been very strident in criticising their rampant bumming of each other. Does this mean you secretly fancy being a bummer or a bummee yourself? 😂
Oh, you very naughty boy, you!😒
Magna: It’s unclear if this comment from Anon @ 10.59 is directed at you in a negative manner. Whatever, just ignore it. Your most recent comments have been insightful, instructive and incisive. Do continue in this vein, and resist rising to the limitations of those who just fail to understand.
WOW – I’m still surprised at the excitable vitriolic reaction my original post has elicited. And saddened. Because they are posts of such anger, bile and vitriol. I do hope none of you has had a seizure or a stroke when writing your posts. I am the priest who is gay, partnered and still ministering. You are all wrong about whom I might be. Not Fr X. Not Belfast. Never mind. You won’t find out. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is how nasty you can be. Poor things. If any of you are priests, then I am so glad I’m not in your diocese or in your parish. Bye for now.
Your reverence, I bet your partner is looking at Grindr while you’re looking at Pat’s blog. Fidelity is so boringly hetero.
@11:45pm Little Britain’s Dafyyd Thomas “I’m the only gay in the village” sums up well the affectations of outrage and paranoia of pathetic creatures like you when you are challenged.
You’re trying to cover your tracks now, of course, but we know your ilk. You may or may not be the excuse for a “priest” being obviously referred to, but it doesn’t matter. We have the measure of your type and your lying hypocrisy.
Bye for now 😉
No one cares about your identity. All that was said, after your initial post, is that you REMIND people of a certain priest who is known to be an active homosexual but who is also a nasty piece of work to his parishioners, among whom he refuses to live.
You may or may not be him. No one cares and it is irrelevant. What we can deduce though, from your writings is that, like the other fella, you too are nasty, extremely arrogant, deluded, hypocritical, a liar and full of sinful pride.
What has been written here by various persons applies to BOTH OF YOU (though many still will suspect that you are that other geezer).
You can be very certain of this too “Fr” – many many people are grateful to God that you are not their priest; and many priests too are thankful that you are in some other diocese/religious order – and not theirs.