Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Pope Benedict is deeply hurt

Anyone familiar with John W.O’ Malley’s book ‘What Happened At Vatican II' (2008) will immediately understand the colorful characters involved and their clashes with one another.  This book also offers a new set of interpretive categories for understanding the council’s dynamics – categories that move beyond the tired “progressive and “conservative” labels.  As we approach the fiftieth anniversary of the calling of this council, this work will help to explain why the Roman Catholic Church today, from the top down, is experiencing a huge crisis among its rapidly diminishing membership.

The depth and pain of this collapse within this once powerful worldwide institution is perhaps best mirrored by Pope Benedict himself when he recently said that he was ‘deeply hurt’ by German criticism as reported by The Tablet on August 24th, 2012 as follows:    

Pope Benedict XVI "is deeply hurt" by the negative way the German Church appears to regard him, according to the Vatican's nuncio to Germany.
Archbishop Jean-Claude Périsset, added that German Catholics' "rejection" of Pope Benedict XVI was doing them more harm than the Pope.

"It is a great loss for the Catholic Church in Germany that it heeds the Pope so little," he said. In an interview with the German weekly Christ & Welt he said:

"Each comes with his own opinion and thinks he knows better."
Benedict’s re-action to world-wide criticism of his Church is almost certainly the result of serious leadership problems attributed to infighting within the Roman Curia *. 
The German Church has become increasingly critical of Pope Benedict. Bishops have complained about conservative "informers", Vatican II's rejection of the Society of St Pius X (SSPX)  the new translation of the Missal and no doubt the more explosive issue of the Vatileaks.

The popular German on-line news magazine The Spiegel already reported in June of this year that “the mood at the Vatican is apocalyptic.  Pope  Benedict XVI seems tired, and both unable and unwilling to seize the reins amid fierce infighting and scandal. While Vatican insiders jockey for power and speculate on his successor, Joseph Ratzinger has withdrawn to focus on his still-ambiguous legacy.”

For a deeper insight into the problem which affects every Roman Catholic I invite readers of this blog to read the excellent summary filed by the Spiegel under the heading ‘Exhausted in the Vatican – The Final Battles of Pope Benedict XVI’.  The ultimate fate of the Church seems to rest on the continued political differences held by the Curia rather than just the poor leadership qualities of Benedict.

These same deep divisions are especially evident among Roman Catholics everywhere.  There seems to be no common ground on any of the major issues facing the Church.   Be it the sexual abuse scandal, same-sex marriage, contraception, homosexuality, among just a few sexually related issues.  Rather than addressing the spiritual needs of its flock some bishops have elected the dangerous course of translating dogma and doctrine into absolute and bipartisan terms.  Meanwhile the American bishops unashamedly have thrown their weight behind the Republican party thereby causing the rift or division among Catholics to grow ever wider. 

It is not surprising then that we find Catholics fighting among themselves to determine who is right, who is wrong, who belongs and who does not!  Just note the tone, or frustration, in this response to one of the typical ‘Catholic issues’ being debated daily and publically .         

The current pope has inaugurated his re-evangelization program in order to reproduce the "glorious" church that existed before 1962. He, like his predecessor, believes that hiring mindless bishops and firing intelligent ones will help make this happen. He also thinks that condemning respected theologians, dishonoring a major Vatican Council, enforcing a nonsensical liturgy, depriving thousands the Eucharist, dehumanizing nuns and women in general, demoralizing people of a particular sexual orientation, and just plain pissing people off on just about every corner of the earth, is the way to go. Now I ask you, is there a problem here?  Submitted by Br. Robert (not verified) on Aug. 17, 2012.

It appears that the current troubles are not likely to disappear quickly.   These issues must be addressed if the Roman Catholic Church is to survive in the next fifty years.

Finally, Geoffrey Robertson, QC in his introduction to his book ‘The Case of The Pope – Vatican Accountability for Human Rights (2010) has this to add to this miserable situation:

. . . . there is no doubt that the scale of the sex abuse scandal came about because of directives from the Vatican — specifically from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) — which required all sex abuse complaints to be processed in utter secrecy and withheld from local police and courts, under a Canon Law that was obsolete and ineffective and non-punitive. The Holy See claims the right to operate the system as one of its 'statehood' privileges, along with the exclusive right to speak and lobby at the UN to promote its theo­logical agenda: homosexuality is 'evil', and so is divorce; women have no right to choose, even to avoid pregnancies that result from rape or incest; IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) is wrong because it begins with masturbation; condom use, even to avoid AIDS within marriage, must never be counten­anced. The political power associated with statehood has proved beguiling for a Pope who, as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, was the Pre­fect (head) of the CDF from 1981 to 2005 and it was on his watch that a vast amount of the sex abuse took place. How much he knew of its extent, and how offenders were moved around parishes and trafficked to other countries and hidden from local criminal justice, will not be clear until the CDF is required to open its files, although enough evidence has emerged to make his moral responsibility — and that of John Paul II — a matter for anxious debate. His legal responsibility is complicated by his claim to sovereign immunity, but it is surely worth asking, at a time when Benedict XVI has set his face against essential reform, whether the Pope should be the one man left in the world who is above the law.

 * Curia (Latin curia senate-house) The groups and people who form the centre of government for the Roman Catholic Church and assist the Pope and bishops. Every diocese has its own curia. See also Wikipedia for more detail.
Links (within this blog): 

Pope Benedict - political gaffs

The Roman Catholic Church is seriously possibly ill




1 comment:

Catholic Mission said...

Friday, August 31, 2012
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, USA dismissed a priest who appealed to Cardinal Raymond Burke, Prefect, Supreme Tribunal, Vatican.Cardinal Burke supported the priest but Archbishop Wuerl refused to take him back in the diocese.The priest said he had the satisfaction of the decision of the Supreme Tribunal.

Cardinal Burke decides so many cases and Catholics seek justice at his office. He is respected for his honesty and integrity and traditional Catholic values.

Now it is Cardinal Burke who is not affirming the literal interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus without the Cardinal Richard Cushing error. This is the error of being able to see the dead saved in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire- and these cases are supposed to be exceptions to the literal interpretation of the dogma according to Fr. Leonard Feeney.

So along with traditionalist priests he assumes that those saved in invincible ignorance and a good conscience (LG 16) are exceptions to the defined dogma which says all need to convert into the Church for salvation.With this irrational and heretical position he offers the Traditional Latin Mass.