Saturday, 11 February 2012

A Bishop speaks out!

After all the political manoeuvring by the Vatican dealing with the sexual abuse crisis one lone Archbishop in Ireland has finally and courageously spoken out.  The U.K. based Catholic weekly ‘The Tablet’ filed  this surprising report on their website  dated February 10th, 2011:

Dublin archbishop says Ireland not ready to welcome Pope Benedict

10 February 2012

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
The archbishop of Dublin has made the startling admission that the Catholic Church in Britain is now stronger than that of Ireland and has cautioned against Pope Benedict XVI visiting the country.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said the Church in Ireland was still recovering from the clerical sexual abuse scandal.

He hinted that were the Pope to visit during the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in June he would face hostility because the anger over abuse was "much more raw" than in Britain.

"Catholicism in Britain is a minority religion and in some ways it is stronger," he told RTE, adding that while there had been opposition to the Pope's visit to Britain in 2010 it had gone "extraordinary well."

Finally, we have a member of the Catholic clergy saying in effect, stop the charade of parading innocent victims of child abuse by broken priests in front of the Pope, or ‘staging’ public forgiveness programs when the hierarchy is still unable to forgive itself by not addressing the systemic and endemic culture that produced the problem in the first place.

The Vatican’s inability to deal with sexual issues other than to suppress them is indicative of an institution that no longer able to recognize God’s wondrous gift of our sexuality.  Recently an unnamed medical physician articulated this ongoing problem this way: 

The sexual issue is the chief manner by which the Institutional RCC attempts to control people with fear and self loathing. For a church that claims to understand a natural law, the Institutional "understanding" of sex is extremely distorted. Mind and body are part of a whole humanity one that uses eroticism as creative not as sinful.

The church attempts to define what is very natural the bodily function of human sexuality as something that can be perfected by advocating the mind over body in a perfect union with what they define as Godly. This division of mind and body via perfection vs human natural emotion and need is truly against nature.

What it does is to pervert the psychological mind set of any who attempt to practice celibacy for it attempts to remove eroticism of all kinds from the minds and hearts of these men. What we see instead of creativity in this mindset is perversion. We see the perverted eroticism at work in a Cardinal Ratzinger who censures the thoughts of nearly all the great theologians of our time.

Think of all the creative growth the church would have today had so many of these wonderful ideas had the chance to grow and develop inside of an Institutional church. Instead this creativity was stunted stopped in its tracks inside the institution. Ratzinger turned his own eroticism into a perverted perfectionism that is impossible of not only one finite person but an Institution of finite beings. The perfection of spirit required by a life time of celibacy has in of itself been shown to be impossible by the figures about celibacy derived by Richard Sipe (a married former Benedictine monk and Psychological therapist to priests) showing that around 90% of all celibates break their vows when their own definition of masturbation is included in this vow. I believe this figure is not 90% but 99,999 % plus. In other words the perfectionism required of their own clerical membership is impossible. Surprise, surprise perfectionism in a finite human is impossible!

The worst part about this idealization of human lack of sexuality, asexuality, is that it stunts the creativity of ALL who attempt to practice it because it introduces as a mortal sin the lack of perfection in man. Wow no wonder the only answer these men can come up with in the sexual scandal is that all humanity is indeed sinful and we must pray. This type of prayer has NOTHING to do with human spirituality but only is an exercise in officially sanctioned perversion of spirit that fails to lead humans to creativity and growth and development.

For those who are interested in this way of thinking, I highly recommend the book "The Unhealed Wound" written by Eugene Kennedy. Dr. Kennedy is a former Jesuit* who left to marry. He is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Loyola university and is a syndicated columnist. He lives with his psychiatrist wife in Chicago.

* see correction in commentary below  

Is it not time for real dialogue with the People of God?   Is it not time for the Catholic hierarchy to stop hiding behind the crumbling edifices in the Vatican?  

1 comment:

Bill Wilson said...

Excellent piece! For the record, Gene Kennedy was a Maryknoll Missioner, not a Jesuit.