Friday, June 04, 2004


Child Molesters Good, Gay People Bad, Americans Soulless?

I try to refrain from criticizing the Catholic Church as I often feel that they are the victims of a lot of unfounded criticisms and the church does do a significant amount of social work across the world. But some recent events have left me scratching my head.

First, last week it was announced that Cardinal Law (Whose name graces my Law School Diploma) was promoted to a post at Santa Maria Majore in Rome. I find this extremely problematic. Cardinal Law presided over one the worst pedophilia scandals in the Church. He knowingly shifted pedophiliac priests from parish to parish victimizing literally hundreds of children. The church for the most part, was silent on the issue and even critical of U.S. Bishops admirable attempts to fix the situation. Cardinal Law's mismanagement cost the church $85 million dollars in damages and the closure of 65 parishes in Massachusetts. Not once did the Pope condemn the scandal in language approaching what he used today to condem our Society.

Today the Pope calls American society soulless. Which America is he talking about?! Even a libertarian like the Elephant realizes that the United States has the highest regular church attendance of any industrialized nation. Somewhere around 43% of us attend church on a regular basis and donate our time to charitable causes. On the surface American culture can appear to vapid, self-obsessed, sex-crazed and such, but even those of us with more liberal social views can see that the day to day America is much more wholesome AND spiritual than it is perceived to be.

The church plays an important role in any society. It is an institution that changes at a glacial pace. Since the church is an institution that dictates morality, it's a good thing that the pace of change is slow. But the church's view of morality does change over time. I certainly wouldn't expect the church to endorse abortion or even gay-marriage, but I think it's fair to expect some consistancy. I mean, saying that an adoption of a child by gay parents is an "act of violence" while saying nothing on the pedophilia within the church seems to undermine the intended message and establishes a false moral equivalency. So, in that analysis, the gay couple down the street who adopted an orphan baby with a heart defect, paid tens of thousands of dollars to save her life are dangerous and soulless, but as a priest child molestation gets you a promotion?

America is a very spiritual and generous country. But we are also an accepting and tolerant country. Most of don't support gay marriage, but agree that long term same-sex couples should have some basic rights like visiting each other in the hospital. Recognizing and helping those at the margins of society, or merely just debating them does not make us soulless Mr. Pope, it makes us like Christ.

Pope's Comments

A Great Discussion by a former member of the Dominican Order on the Communion Controversy

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?