This contribution, and the two comments which follow immediately, have been copied from “The culture of community”. The comprehensiveness of John Candido’s contribution suggests that it should be posted separately to allow for the points made to be explored.
John Candido on 27 Apr 2010 at 12:49 pm
The Catholic Church in parts is a thoroughly disgusting institution. The Vatican is insensitive to outside opinion because it is so wrapped up in its own collective ego and position of power. Nobody elects them except themselves. The laity have no say as to who will be a Bishop, or any other high-ranking prelate within our dioceses or within the Vatican. Ask yourself, do they talk to anybody outside their inner circle? No, they do not. Why not? Because nobody has any power to remove anybody within the Vatican except the Pope, who can only go by resignation or death. What is so obvious about the Vatican is that as an institution, it is self-perpetuating, unelectable, and therefore moribund as a consequence. This is the essence of the Vatican.
Parts of the Vatican are tainted by a disgusting group of celibate paedophile protectors, who have the gall and arrogance to defend clergy who have commited crimes against children. In addition, the Pope’s capacity to govern the church is now under question because of decisions he took while he was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and for former decisions he made while he was an Archbishop in his native Germany. His suitability to govern is also under question because of decisions he has taken while holding the office of Pope. Vis-a-vis, the apointment of Holocaust denier Bishop Richard Williamson as a catholic bishop, his risable comment about condom use in Africa, for his poor handling of ecumenical relations with the Anglican Church in England, and for inadvertently insulting the people of the Islamic faith through a speech he gave at a German university. Sadly, it looks increasingly the case that the Pope should resign his office.
Please pause for a moment and contemplate what has happend to thousands of vulnerable children around the world. What parts of the Vatican and other diocesan bishops have done by protecting priests who have committed serious crimes is to spit into the faces of children, spit into the faces of women who have been abused, and spit upon the very face of Christ himself! And in tandem with their own bankrupt policies of clergy management, they have also treated the law with total contempt. There is no question that the modern world is aghast by this and will not acknowledge the church as having any credibility or integrity.
The Vatican as an institution lacks the virtues of courage and humility, and a governing culture bounded by transparency and accountability. These virtues and values of governance are linked, because you need courage in order to be humble and you need both courage and humility in order to accomodate transparency and accountability. To wit, the church needs to humbly admit its searing errors regarding child abusers and summon the courage to reform its structures, processes, disciplines, policies, and doctrines. In addition, it needs a thorough updating through doctrinal reform by looking at the knowledge gained through the research of universities into the human condition. It must incorporate into its doctrines a modern understanding of psychology, psychiatry, genetics, sexology, sociology, and anthropology. To fail to reform their thoroughly mediaeval doctrinal positions on sex, sexuality, and birth control, is utterly non-catholic because it is not consistent with the truth of modern knowledge as the world knows it. To remain ignorant of a modern understanding of human beings in order to maintain the status quo on all her teachings, is to truely lack courage and humility. In consequence, the Vatican is a poorly led coward’s paradise populated by paedophile protectors and law breakers.
One essential starting point that the church cannot compromise on is the notion that every human being, believer and non-believer alike, is absolutely entitled to their own conscience. The primacy of the individual conscience is an unasailable reality that cannot be diluted by any individual or power structure. It will take some courage and humility for the Vatican, their apologists, as well as the multitude of sycophants and conservative ratbags around the world, to accept this unconditionally. Any attempts to dilute this teaching on conscience while the modern secular world is watching will be fatal for the church’s mission to spread the Gospel. Not only will she be exposed for the antediluvian fossil that she is, but the modern world will declare her a risible farce.
How do we resist a power structure that is dysfunctional, vainglorious, self-perpetuating, and unassailable? What I have done over the last decade is to stop going to mass for good and to take up Christian Meditation, as rediscovered and taught by the late Fr. John Main OSB and currently led by Fr. Lawrence Freeman OSB. I will never return to this dark and forbidding institution, which claims an affinity with Jesus Christ, until it is thoroughly reformed and reconstructed. The Vatican is a pox on the Gospel, but she will never see this in a millenia. In addition, don’t send your children to mass or to a catholic school and stop giving any money to their charities and schools. Children can still be taught about the Gospel through personal instruction and the example of their families. Use the internet and the mass media to highlight your disatisfaction, and wherever possible litigate against any church employed individual or structure, that you have reasonable grounds to believe has committed crimes or assisted criminals.
The modern, civilised, and cosmopolitan world that we have grown up in demands that we take whatever civilised and legal action that is within our means, in order to rectify error in our church. The Catholic Church is currently in a very poor state and it needs our activism and our prayers. She must rediscover humility and courage, together with modern values of governance, such as transparency and accountability. We the laity and whoever is with us, must seek to change what is a structurely moribund institution, by confidently exposing lies, obfuscation, criminality, and ecclesiastical dysfunctionality.
claret on 27 Apr 2010 at 9:35 pm
I know that this is the most serious of subjects but I can’t help wondering what made John stop when he had just got started?!
It would seem that his views on the ‘primary of conscience’ are a ‘get out of jail free’ card that we should all have. Taken to a logical degree it might even be a matter of consience for a priest deprived of a natural outlet for his sexual desires through marriage, as demanded by the Church, to successfully reason with his consience ( as some have done,) that the objects of their sexual perversions enjoyed what was happening to them
(as some would have at the time,)and so it was sinless.
That aside i wonder what posters thought about the letter from the Bishops of England and Wales that was read out at Mass last weekend. (John is excused this as he does not attend Mass any more. Incidentally does Fr. Freeman?)
For me it fell short as it did not address the harm done to those lay Catholics who have loyally kept the faith. It did not say a word about what would happen to any member of the clergy convicted of criminal offences in the future. It said nothing about reform. As John rightly points out this is a letter from unaccountable Bishops who would seem to have taken no account of what any lay Catholic has to say. A corrupt power system sustained by corrupt power.
st.joseph on 28 Apr 2010 at 8:45 am
The Gospel reading for todays Mass is taken from St Johns Gospel.12;44-50. It is worth a look.
When the Body of Christ is suffering we who belong to His Body suffers too.
But however the Gospel reading today ought to give us consolation and to hang in there,The Eucharist gives us Life.
And He has said it.
We are so Blessed to be able to receive Our Lord in the Mass.
Jesus did not deny His Body and Blood to Judas, so why should we deny it to ourselves! No one can say we are worthy of such a Gift.