Departing the Vacuousness
Started by Recusant, February 20, 2019, 04:23:27 PM
QuotePope Francis said on Wednesday that people who spent their lives denouncing the Catholic Church were friends of the devil, as survivors of sexual abuse by clergymen accused him of snubbing an invitation to meet them.Speaking on the eve of a conference he has convened to guide senior bishops on how to tackle widespread abuse that has decimated the Church's credibility, Frances said its mistakes should be corrected.But those accusers who did nothing but criticize the Church were "friends, cousins and relatives of the devil," he told worshippers at the Vatican.
QuoteThe pope's closing call for "all-out war" against sexual abuse included no specific course of action. Missing was a declaration that any priest guilty of sexual abuse or any bishop guilty of covering them up would be immediately dismissed from the clergy and reported to law enforcement authorities.
QuoteOne, the church must recognize sexual abuse and assault as a law enforcement problem, not a church discipline problem, and immediately turn over all cases of alleged sexual and/or child abuse, on the part of perpetrators as well as those who covered up the crimes, to proper authorities. Priest or not, what happens to the guilty party should be up to the district attorney, not the bishop.Two, the church must abandon the mandate of celibacy for the priesthood. Even the church admits this is a matter of discipline, not doctrine. It has little, if any, biblical foundation. It was not required by Jesus. He may not have married, but his apostles did.St. Paul "recommends" celibacy, but never said it should be required for the priesthood. In fact, the Catholic Church did not mandate celibacy until the 11th century. And today, only the Roman Catholic Church, not Eastern Catholics, continue the practice.Getting rid of celibacy would not only help the church solve its serious problem of a shortage of priests worldwide, it would add the value of more sexually-balanced and experienced clergy to serve the faithful.Three, it's long past time for the church to end outright discrimination, to stop treating women like second-class citizens, and to welcome women to the priesthood.As other religions have discovered, women can lead a church as well, if not better, than any man, and are far less likely to abuse their power by preying on others. Ordain women and the problem of sexual abuse among priests could largely disappear.So, it was good for Pope Francis to meet with his bishops. But without these fundamental changes, the Catholic Church is just nibbling around the edges — and the problem of priestly sexual abuse will continue.[Link to full article]
QuoteThe Vatican said on Monday that priests cannot bless same-sex unions and that such blessings are not valid, in a ruling that greatly disappointed gay Catholics who had hoped their Church was becoming more welcoming under Pope Francis.In some countries, such as the United States and Germany, parishes and ministers have begun blessing same-sex unions in lieu of marriage, and there have been calls for bishops to de facto institutionalise these.But conservatives in the 1.3 billion-member Church have expressed alarm over these practices, particularly those in Germany where at least two bishops, including Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, one of the pope's top advisors, have shown support for some kind of "pastoral" blessing.In response to formal questions from a number of dioceses on whether the practice was allowed, the Vatican's doctrinal office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), issued the ruling: "Negative".Pope Francis approved the response, the CDF said, adding that it was "not intended to be a form of unjust discrimination, but rather a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite" of the sacrament of marriage and the blessing associated with it.[. . .]The Church teaches that being gay is not inherently sinful but forbids same-sex sexual activity.A separate explanatory note from the CDF said that while the blessing of same-sex couples was not licit, the decision "in no way detracts from the human and Christian consideration in which the Church holds each person".It also said that Church could bestow blessings on gay individuals."(The ruling) does not preclude the blessings given to individual persons with homosexual inclinations who manifest the will to live in fidelity to the revealed plans of God as proposed by Church teaching," it said.[Continues . . .]