Posts Tagged ‘Catholic Church’

Clergy Sexual Abuse: The Causes?

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 by JEL

The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops commissioned John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York to research the causes of clergy sexual abuse. The study concluded that homosexuality and celibacy were not to blame:

“The rise in abuse cases in the 1960s and 1970s was influenced by social factors in society generally. Factors that were invariant during the time period addressed, such as celibacy, were not responsible for the increase or decline in abuse cases over this time.”

This finding, if you were wishing to maintain the status quo of an all-male, celibate priesthood, was just about the best thing you could hope for. One wonders if an independent study, not paid for by the Catholic church, would reach the same conclusions.

“Grave Crimes”

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010 by JEL

In light of the numerous child sex abuse cases around the world, an increasing number of voices have been calling for the Catholic Church to change its stance on both the ordination of women and also on the celibacy vow for priests.

Last week the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith sent a letter to bishops worldwide setting forth new rules that will become a permanent part of church legislation. The letter states that the attempted ordination of women represents a “grave crime” subject to the same set of procedures and punishments which are delivered for sex abuse.

“At a briefing Thursday, Monsignor Charles Scicluna defended the inclusion of both sex abuse and ordination of women in the same document as a way of codifying two of the most serious canonical crimes against sacraments and morals that the congregation deals with.”

The Church and Labor Unions

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010 by JEL

If you want to set off fireworks at your next social gathering, bring up “unions” as a topic of conversation. Chances are you’ll get passionate views on both sides. But where do God and religion stand?

Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice recently published a document saying that:

“Catholic social doctrine is ‘forthright and unambiguous’ in regard to unions. ‘It states boldly that they are essential to the universal common good.’ [...] Opposing unions—that is, opposing the workers’ natural right of free assembly and right to decent wages and benefits—harms not only the workers directly involved. It also hurts society at large by lessening overall income and social solidarity and, thus, diminishing the universal common good.”

The impetus for the work was the anti-union activities of certain Catholic dioceses and Catholic organizations that were obviously not following church doctrine.

The Comeback Plan

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 by JEL

Christianity has been having a tough time of late. Child sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church (deemed “petty gossip” by a Vatican spokesman), Hutaree militias plotting to kill police officers, the list goes on. The Guardian’s Hadley Freeman has devised a decidedly tongue-in-cheek strategy to restore Christianity’s image:

  1. Ally itself with Apple.
  2. Check into a sex-addiction clinic.
  3. Embark on a tour of the national media to tell everyone that Christianity is now going into hiding.
  4. Hold press conferences at major group events to prove one’s humility, thereby ensuring that all attention is taken away from the other, competing religions.
  5. Marry Jennifer Aniston or Cheryl Cole.

Please note the “Irreverant” categorization of this post. We all need a little satire once in a while. Read the whole thing here.

Not a “Resigning Matter”

Monday, March 15th, 2010 by JEL

Child sex abuse charges are roiling the Catholic Church in Europe. It started in Ireland where 15,000 complaints have now been collected (out of a country of 4 million), and has since spread to Germany, Italy, Austria, and the Netherlands.

Yet Irish Cardinal Sean Brady has said he won’t resign over the scandal. This despite his collection of information in 1975 about Father Brendan Smyth who pleaded guilty in the mid-90s to 74 counts of child sex abuse. Brady then sat on the information for decades while more children were abused.

He told the Irish Times:

“Frankly I don’t believe that this is a resigning matter.”

The Pope, thus far, incredibly, he has not accepted the resignations of 3 other Irish Bishops implicated in the abuse cover-ups. He is in the process of writing a pastoral letter to the Irish people that contains a “clear and decisive voice.” About what, exactly, we’ll have to see.