zaterdag 15 mei 2010

Why aren’t we there yet?

Enkele alinea's van een artikel in First Things van hoofdredacteur Joseph Bottum, over het misbruikschandaal, verdienen het geciteerd te worden (zie hieronder).
Maar lees vooral in z'n geheel dit uitgebreidere artikel dat dezelfde auteur op 3 mei schreef in The Weekly Standard.

Hier uit First Things:
A more accurate understanding, as I wrote in a recent Weekly Standard article, would see that the first part of the scandals—the most evil, disgusting part—is basically over. For a variety of reasons, Catholics suffered through a corruption of their priests, centered around 1975, with the clergy’s percentage of sexual predators reaching new and vile levels. The Church now has in place stringent child-protection procedures, and the cases now being discussed, real and imagined, are more than a decade old.
The second part of the scandals, however, involves not the mostly dead criminals but the living institution. The bishops who ruled over those corrupt priests catastrophically failed to act. There were never a lot of these Catholic cases, but there were plenty enough—with every single one a horror, both in the act itself and in the failure of the bishops to react. The Catholic Church did not start the worldwide epidemic of child sexual abuse, and it did not materially advance it. But the bureaucracy of the Church did not do nearly enough to fight that epidemic when it broke out among its own clergy. And for these failures, every Catholic is paying—in nearly $3 billion of donations lost in court judgments, in suspicion of pastors, and in deep shame.
Insofar as anyone comes out well from all this, it is Pope Benedict. However much the narrative demands that he be pulled in, nothing yet published has held up to serious scrutiny. Which ought not, really, to be a surprise. This man was the one who actually saw there was a problem—the one who, in 2005, openly denounced the “filth in the Church and in the priesthood.” A Maltese abuse victim who met the pope this April told an interviewer, “I did not have any faith in priests. Now, after this moving experience, I have hope again. You people in Italy have a saint. Do you realize that? You have a saint!”
Not that the Vatican has managed to tell this story. The responses of the bureaucracy in Rome have swung between unhelpful silences and wrong-headed whines. There may be good reasons not to play the publicity games—driven by media cycles and celebrity culture and dramas of shame and fame—in which the world is caught up these days. The wheels of Catholicism have always ground slowly, operating with a deliberation that will not, and should not, match the world’s hectic pace. Then again, there may be good reasons for the Church to take the world as it finds it, trying to move people toward Christ from where those people actually are.

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