Tuesday, March 30, 2010

SNAP's Director Unhelpful Statement on Pope Benedict

This will not be popular to bring up but it needs to be said and engaged. ALL THE BOLDING IS MINE. My comments after the his Op-ed.

If Pope Benedict were to resign (highly unlikely), it would no doubt bring short-term comfort to tens of thousands of deeply wounded and still suffering clergy sex-abuse victims across the globe. It would also provide some hope for millions of Catholics who desperately want to believe that their church hierarchy is capable of reform. It might temporarily scare and deter others who have, are or might be reckless, callous or deceitful regarding child safety.

But there's plenty it would not do. It wouldn't end centuries of secrecy in an ancient, rigid, self-perpetuating, all-male monarchy. It wouldn't unearth volumes of carefully concealed church records that contain names of predator priests and complicit bishops, some or many of whom are still in parishes and chanceries around the globe. It wouldn't strengthen efforts to reform archaic, predator-friendly laws that enable corrupt employers to hire and shield offenders while jeopardizing kids.

Benedict's resignation, at this point especially, would foster the tempting but naive view that change is happening. It would not address the deeply rooted, unhealthy, systemic dysfunctions that plague any medieval institution that vests virtually all power in a pope who allegedly supervises 5,000 bishops across the planet.

If the pope were to step down, like Cardinal Bernard Law did in Boston, it would create the illusion of reform while decreasing the chances of real reform.

In terms of how Benedict deals with clergy sex abuse and cover-ups, we've seen just the tip of an enormous iceberg. The tip is very ugly, and we suspect the rest of it is, too. But victims, parents, Catholics and law enforcement need and deserve to see the full picture. Benedict can show it to us. He should disclose the records of the hundreds of predator priests he dealt with during the years he headed the Vatican agency charged with this sorry chore. That is why Pope Benedict should not resign — just yet

Now it is not secret that many Catholics that are very angry and want reform also have an ambivalent relationship with SNAP (which is the main voice for Victims of Clergy Abuse and not just Catholic). This is not to say that there are not many good people in SNAP. However there are some that also have theological agendas and viewpoints. That is fine however I think it does there cause and their work harm.

Here we see that come into play. With all talk of all Male Monarchy and Medieval Papacy.

Even the Op-ed is a contradiction. He does not seem to like the fact that all power is in the Pope (which is a false statement on so many ways) and yet he is mad the Holy See did not use power to stop and supervise this problem . Which is it? If you want to Holy See to take responsibility and take direct control you can't try to destroy the Office.

Further the Op-ed does not engage or in fact give a clue that reforms have taken place on both the United States level and at the Vatican. We saw a flurry of this starting 2001. What is going right with those reforms in his views and what is going wrong? That would be helpful to know. I very much would like his opinion and viewpoint.

Also the director of SNAP is aware because there are SNAP groups in various Protestant and Jewsih faith communities that there is a problem there. None of these groups have a "Male Monarchy" and a "medieval papacy".

Now I don't expect David Clohessy to advocate for the office of the Bishop of Rome at since since he is now an ex Roman Catholic. I also feel and pray for him because he was the victim of Catholic Clergy abuse.

However I think it does his crucial cause no good to try to bring in unrelated issues. There needs to be reform but I am not sure getting rid of the Office of Bishop of Rome or Bishops is crucial to that case.

Again I am not sure that he MEAN'T to do it but the feeling one gets fron is Op-ed is that he considers other core doctrines of the Church as linked to the problem. However as we see ample evidence shows that the problem of clergy sexual abuse does not just happen in the Catholic Church.


libhom said...

You should be ashamed of yourself for attacking SNAP like that.

You have a moral responsibility to leave that child raping cult and demand that Ratzi go to prison for his crimes.

James H said...

I am not ashamed and you the fact that you think Ratzinger should go to jail when it is apparent he was the force that started a good bit fo the reform shows how misguided you are.

I am not attacking SNAP. I am offering some very good contructive criticism toward comments made by tis chief director.

If he wishes to battle the proble of Sexaul abuse(which I am glad he is doing) great. However bringing perhaps other agendas does the the victims no good. It just clouds and hurts their important cause