Thursday, July 17, 2008

Accentuate the positive

Eliminate the negative. That seems to be the message of an RC Bishop here to the victims of RCC clergy sexual abuse. Barney Zwartz of The Age reports it here. For the Bishop, these complaining victims are simply "dwelling crankily on old wounds".

We might recall that around this time last year, one of the biggest settlement payout by the RCC towards abused victims was reported by the ABC News here.

In the case of the Foster (the victims' family name) kids reported in The Age article, they were apparently young kids when the abuse happened.

No one can really comprehend the attending hurts when kids get abused of whatever kind. It is further a double blow when they are sexually abused, the real damage happens internally, psychologically.

There is something that compounds the hurt, it is compounded when the one who stands in the place of Christ is the one that inflicts it. But there is more, the hurt is multiplied a million times over when then victimizer is a member of "The One True Church".

I hears some say that it is not so much that a crime can be committed by a member of the RCC, because anyone is capable of abusing any helpless victime, you do not have to be an RCC clergy to commit such a sin, it is that with the case of priest sexual abuse, the priest does not get prosecuted, see here for this type of story.

So back again, if this is "The One True Church". If the victimizer belongs to, say a Protestant group, well, one can reason - that is the fruit of belonging to a False Church anyway. The situation is not the same for the case of the RCC clergies because the RCC claims to be the One True Church. It belongs to a Church group that has a higher moral and more serious claim than the rest.

I suspect one can not help but wonder, if this is the One True Church, how come it seems like it has such a disease? People surely are attaching different meanings to the notion of what "One True Church" means.

For reference that such abuses have been going on "for ages", read a copy of Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere. In English it is translated Social Cancer. Though this is a novel, the stories have real precedence. Let me warn you though, do not be surprized when you notice you are filled with rage before you put down this book, I however, won't blame you.

Matt 18:5"And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me;
6but (D)whoever (E)causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea


Augustinian Successor said...

The Roman Church is "incurable", irreformable", "unchangeable" because it is tied to the Magisterium and the Papacy. It's striking how many so-called Lutherans refused to see this, and I'm referring to those within conservative confessional circles. You cannot be in a Church which seeks to hide evil, rather than expose it, as the BBC has exposed regarding the cover-up of evils committed by priests directed by none other than the pope himself in official documents.

Carrie said...

I suspect one can not help but wonder, if this is the One True Church, how come it seems like it has such a disease?

While I can in some ways understand the excuse that priests are still humans, it still doesn't jive with the "one true church" whose sacrament of Holy Orders supposed leaves a mark. And as AS said, the cover-ups are an even bigger concern.

It is all quite sickening.

LPC said...


I do not know but the so called 'confessionalists' are redefining what confessional means.

More often, if the blog is an indication, it means to be Roma-phelia.

No wonder where I am not many wave that flag 'confessional'.

Pretty soon the meaning of that word will be blurred just like the others.

If confessional means being pro-roma contra evangelia, then I am not. I am neither pro-roma nor pro-evangelia, because both are semi-pelagians in the end.

You can not say one is better than the other.


LPC said...


Yes it does not jive. The RCC must have a different definition of One True Church than the rest of us.


LPC said...


BTW, McCain speaks of an author Bodo Nisshan

Here is an interesting McCain quote Bodo Nischan appears to have a bias against what he frequently terms: “fanatical” or “rigid” or “zealous” Lutheranism, and so his descriptions of the doctrinal controversies and positions of both parties can not be said to be biased toward Lutheranism, thus making his descriptions of orthodox, “Concordian” Lutheranism, as he calls it, all the more authentic and interesting

True Concordian spirit IMHO is not fanatical nor zealous. It is level headed.

Remember I used the word 'fanatica' and 'fundamentalistic' too?


Past Elder said...

I would wager I have seen more of the phenomenon mentioned than all of you combined, and I will say no more about it.

The Roman Church's claim to be the catholic church of the Creeds or the "true" church is disputable and refutable on many grounds several times over.

To attempt to disprove a church on the conduct of its members, even its clergy, will come back to haunt you, and you will not like it.

LPC said...

I understand; here is my idea...

It back fires if one claims there are no hypocrites in his/her ranks and one denies that one may not himself be a hypocrite.

It backfires if there is no distinction between visible and invisible church.

The One True Church would nevertheless be expected to have a higher standard than the rest, I thought that should be a given - sin is a reproach to any people, be Christian or not - Proverbs 14:34

Rom 12: 3For through (E)the grace given to me I say to everyone among you (F)not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to (G)each a measure of faith.

"Not to think highly of himself", is applicable to churches, "not to think highly of yourselves".

Humility is not only applicable to us as individuals but to us as a chuch group too, correct?

True, the truth fulness of a teaching is not determined by the behaviour of those who teach it, it is determined by the compliance of the teaching with Scripture.

I guess we are condemned by what we claim for ourselves.


Anonymous said...

The whole thing leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
Did you see Fr Chris Riley on the TV last night? (For overseas readers, he's a young-ish Roman Catholic priest with a national profile in Australia due to his success rehabilitating street kids addicted to drugs & alcohol.)
Someone interviewing him asked him about the comments of the bishop you are referring to, and he got visibly angry and said the church is not capable of judging these matters and all such cases should immediately be referred to the police and the courts - let justice be done publicly. Only when justice has been meted out can the church hope to move 'towards healing'.
He then bagged Cardinal Pell's 'Toward Healing' program as basically an attempt to subvert recourse to the legal process and prevent bad publicity for the RC church ( I think the family in question was originally offered
$50 000 compensation by the church - bearing in mind that their two primary school daughters were raped by a priest, one subsequently commited suicide while the other became an alcoholic and was injured in a motor vehicle accident, requiring 24 hour care). I don't often agree with RC priests, but this was one occasion when I uttered a hearty AMEN! to his words.

Anonymous said...

Against the background of such abuses, the only way for RC apologists to claim for their church the distinction of being the sole "pillar and ground of the truth" is to define "truth" gnostically as mere intellectual concepts, doctrine but not practice.

Doorman-Priest said...

What strikes me about these allegations when thy surface in any institution is how long the period of denial is. This is often followed by some attempt at damage limitation and rarely full apology. Even when full apology is made there is always someone in the background trying to make excuses.

LPC said...

Pr. M.

Yes I have read Fr. Riley's comments. He gets that right. We can all agree with him on that score. Like what I heard, it is more the way the magisterium behaved on the matter that is the most concern for you do not have to be a priest to commit such a thing, but it is what those in authority do in pursuing justice for the oppressed and discipline for the oppressor.


LPC said...


They often say that doctrine and practice do not separate but they are related. Even Lutheran dogmaticians speak of the relationship.

You make good points here on apologies.

I can tell you more about this type of mix messages in the world of Filipino politics.