Friday, December 15, 2006

Pope's preacher calls for penance for abuse crisis

The Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, the personal preacher to the pope, has called on the Holy Father to declare a day of fasting and penance to publically repent of clergy sex abuse and declare solidarity with its victims.

He told the Holy Father, "The moment has come...to cry before God."

I agree.

6 comments:

Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

This may seem harsh to some, but before there can be true forgivness, there must be true punishment.

Call me old-fashioned, but a rapist, any rapist, deserves prison time, at a minimum. I don't care if that rapist wears a 3 piece suit to work, a pull-over shirt, or a Roman Collar. A rapist is a rapist, period.

True expiation of sin requires WORKS as well as Faith.

4HisChurch said...

As a Church, we need some good old fashioned repentance and penance for this.

Anonymous said...

While repentance and penance might work in particular cases, I think the whole crisis is going to be with us for a long time before serious purging measures are taken. There was a too long infiltration of seminaries and there was a tragic lack of papal authority and determination for decades that will keep the scandals popping up and bringing back the tiresome discussion about clergy celibacy in the anti-Catholic media.

As to Father Raniero Cantalamessa, Pontifical Household preacher, he is one of the initiators of the charismatic experience in the Church. His appointment, together with that of the liberation theology heretic Hummes for the Congregation of the Clergy, never failed to amaze and disappoint me.
Theophilus

4HisChurch said...

Well, Theophilus, I do agree with you on this point: I think we are going to bear the burden of this crisis for a long time to come.

mk said...

Liberation Theology tried to address the crisis of the poor, esp in Latin America. Unfortunately, it certainly didn't work. The rich, lay and clergy, oppressed the poor until it was intolerable. The charismatic movement on the other hand was a little bit like the situation with Martin Luther in that they were marginalized and feared from the very beginning, hence many left the church but they felt as if they were pushed out. Pope John Paul II was a charismatic although he was not public with it. I think in every case of failed religious movements and/or scandals in the Church the escalating failures can be traced back to inauthentic leadership within the clergy. I do think both the clergy and the laity should have a voice. This culture of silence in reaction to both positive religious movements and negative scandals and the innate weakness of being human is at the root. I do think this is a male trait to not want to communicate. The very word Vocation comes from the same root word as voice. People should talk about things. Dialogue early on, with both religious movements and sinful or upset feelings could nip alot of this in the bud. Communication is much more than immediately solving a problem or judging something different then ourselves. Talking just for the sake of recognising the humanity of others would really help. Becuase that is discouraged almost universally on our planet as an after thought, I think yes, they should be punished. Penance is needed but that is voluntary. Punishment is involuntary and WILL happen one way or the other. Calling it sowing and reaping or Karma it's the same thing.

4HisChurch said...

Oh, I agree. Penance is certainly voluntary, which is why it would be such a strong thing spiritually, if we, as a Church did communal penance for this.

You're right, too, about the punishment coming one way or the other.

I think Satan is going after the Church where it hurts--in the priests. Communication *is* key. It's a shame that so many of us human beings have such a hard time with it.

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"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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