Sex, sinners, scandal, schism and the Church in crisis … but is the world’s oldest organisation dying?
SCANDAL AND THE DEATH OF RELIGION
The barrage of clerical perversion accusations has shaken the confidence of the world’s billion Roman Catholics. But underlying the sex scandals a more sinister drama is playing out in Rome. Vatican observers are warning that the Roman Catholic Church, a once monolithic religious presence and global voice of moral authority is in free fall. They also argue that no human being on earth will escape “unimaginable” repercussions if she fails. Some suspect that the present media spotlight, tirelessly scanning for paedophiles in cassocks, is masking the greater scandal. It not only smears the image of the Church, eroding public confidence in its religious mission, but also provides a smokescreen behind which schismatic factions within the Church itself beaver to consolidate a power base to change unpopular (to them) doctrines and disciplines.
Conservative church leaders are having to contend with near intractable problems on two fronts; the need to respond to the reformers (effectively moving the Catholic Church to accommodate a form of Government friendly Protestantism), and at the same time to steady the faith of millions of believers rocked by an admittedly tiny percentage of sexually predatory clerics whose crimes nevertheless are among the worst imaginable sins against God according to Catholic doctrine. This is the scandalizing of the “little ones”. The paradox is that detestation of this sin is so profound that the perfectly human instinct to address the injustice of the world-wide media feeding frenzy is paralysed.
To set the record straight at once, clerical abuse statistics referring to infants is so small that it would hardly be discerned on, say, a pie chart. Imagine a blue disc with a red hair line representing the crime. The actual scandal is the homosexual abuse of minors, technically termed Hebephilia (strong persistent sexual interest in post pubescent children, ages typically from 10-14), or sexual preference for mid to late adolescents which is termed Ephebophilia. Some evidence suggests that the more prevalent of these perversions is Hebephilia, yet almost all clerical convictions were for interference with youths. Paedophilia is the very rare sexual molestation of pre-pubescent infants.
It is scientifically described as a homosexual activity. The media is perfectly aware of this. They assiduously evade the homosexual line while propagating the lie that the deviant clerics are infant molesters. An immediate duty for all bishops would be to make clear such an obvious fact — that the media accusation of clerical paedophilia is outrageous. Despite the dreadful nature of homosexual abuse on young people it must be remembered that the statistically tiny fraction of the world’s clerics mentioned above was harvested from well over six generations of ministry, from ordination to retirement or death. The present admitted reality is homosexual activity between a few perverted clergy and boys, sometimes willing youths, usually termed “rent boys” or male prostitutes (in less attractive maturity many of these “boys” caught the scent of the bishops’ guilt money which most observers believe was too readily offered. It is a disturbing truth that too many accusations against clergymen were incited by the profit motive, very few of which were thoroughly investigated).
The Church’s defenders point out that since rigorous action was initiated to stamp out the ordaining of homosexuals the incidences of abuse of minors has all but disappeared. But the mud sticks.
Many Catholics are so fixated by endless false-news flashes about clerical turpitude that many have become habituated to the sense that their holy Church is now irredeemably corrupt and has become a thing of shame. And what also concerns Vatican Jeremiahs is that they are failing to alert the world’s bishops to the extent of the wider catastrophe facing the church. The abiding consolation for the faithful is that it is a note of the Church’s Divine guarantee that she will not only be hated by the world but also betrayed from within, ref. Judas Iscariot who betrayed Christ for thirty pieces of silver.
Homosexual scandal aside, the schism (some insist that it is actual heresy) is the most powerful ever to have threatened the Universal Church. But it also happens to be the biggest news story in history. Amazingly the media worldwide, blinkered to anything other than salacious gossip, ignores the potential death throes of the 2,000 year old mother of Christianity, the oldest organisation on earth.
Imagine there’s no Christianity.
Theologians are assessing the effects of the “unimaginable” — the consequences not only to religion but to the secular world as well should the Church be effectively silenced, even for a limited period of, say, five or six generations. The repercussions will be felt by everybody on this planet, every faith grouping, every political system, law and order. Just as experts in, say, the Pentagon burn the midnight oil making models of a post nuclear world, seeking for some salvaging of nations from the ruins, so experts in the Vatican are attempting to assess the unthinkable and its aftermath for humanity. Is this alarmist fantasy?
To give an idea of a world without Catholicism consider the harvest of human misery where militant atheism has forced mainstream Christianity aside; the Communist purges, the Gulags, torture chambers, mass executions of wretches trembling by the mass graves they had been forced to dig themselves are all recorded in film reels and grainy photographs. Who can forget the Jewish nation pressed into slavery, to labour in a state of agonising starvation until released by death when their fellows had to cover their corpses with a few shovels of earth where they dropped. Fathers and mothers perished gaping as the Nazi demoniacs feasted and sneered. These dear human souls had to wrap their dead babies in whatever rags or scraps of paper they could find and scrape out shallow graves; our agonised brothers with no hope of survival left them. But note; the first attack by the National Socialist Party of Germany was on Catholic pilgrimages, then their schools and colleges, then journals, and finally upon anybody who tried to speak out.
My friend, Albert Peters was branded with a number and tossed into Belsen because he was a Catholic journalist. The Left wing media responds by re-writing history and propagating the lie the Saintly Pope Pius XII was “Hitler’s Pope”. Pius actually stated that Hitler was possessed by the Devil. (Read conductor, Bruno Walter’s auto-biography, Theme and Variations which describes the active assistance Pius gave to Jewish people threatened by the nascent Nazis)
There was the murderous chaos brought to Africa by the Moscow contrived tribal marauders like the machete-wielding MauMau whose first target was the Catholic mission fields. The destabilisation has reverberated with serial massacres and endless famines which the wealthy West is unable to alleviate despite massive monetary infusions. The R.C. missionaries were always in situ until more or less wiped out.
Google the facts about North Korea, about millions living in fear and near starvation, or look back to the late Pol Pot and the mountain of children’s skeletons! An international Socialist lecturer with a fanatical detestation of Catholicism excused this thus: “But many of those young capitalists wore Clerks’ Sandals!” Unhinged? Indeed. But them’s the enemy!
Can anybody imagine Protestantism surviving such tyrannies, the primary support of which religion is usually the State. Anglicanism has been likened to a government ministry of popular ethics.
For how long can the press executives remain in denial; not only unwilling to defend the only certain moral voice in the world of men, but determined to scream it into silence?
The future is certainly bleak, even with the more optimistic faction of the Church’s bedside watchers who take comfort in their deeply held religious belief that Christ’s great prophecy concerning the Church will ultimately be fulfilled; that “the gates of Hell will not prevail against it!”
Against this the prophetic book of the Apocalypse (Revelations) promises that devastation awaits believers; an “hour of trial which will test the Faith even of the elect”. And an obscure text in St. Luke’s Gospel reads: “When the Son of man returns will He find faith in the earth?” “Without the leaven of Christianity even hell must increase in hellishness,” one last generation bishop said. He added: “But before sharing the frightening vision of a world without the earthly Church (It exists in heaven with Mary and the saints, and includes souls in Purgatory according to Catholic doctrine) Christ said: “But will not God vindicate his elect? … I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily.”
For many believers this is consoling; but to others it is a “hard saying!”
What IS the Church?
It began, it is claimed, like this; Christ founded His Church, not simply as an ennobling movement and culturally uplifting programme to drive the advancement of society while providing an omnipresent source of wisdom and encouragement, helping humanity to abide by God’s simple rules, and so live happily together in relative freedom. All of these desirable gifts are no doubt part of the package (or deposit of the Faith) but what historically occurred on a hill near Jerusalem was this according to the historical records known as Gospels; Jesus selected a rough sailor from the local fishing industry. He named him “the rock”, then proclaimed him to be the foundation stone of a new kind of Church. Finally He breathed some form of spiritual “fire” on that proposed body of humanity and hurled it like a comet at the structures of all evil, assuring His followers that the fiery rock would break and destroy the fortresses of lies, murder, cruelty, perversion and misery. He also authorised this Church to carry an amazing promise; that good men would never die; that they would pass from this life to eternal happiness in heaven. Heaven was described as being “created for men since the foundation of the World”. The dark place was instituted much earlier and wasn’t meant for people at all but “for the Devil and his angels”! Nevertheless bad guys are to end up there with such ferocious spiritual spooks for all eternity.
You may make of all that what you will, whether read as pure poetic metaphor or the profound essence of a spiritual, transcendental reality which cannot be explained any other way. Whatever you decide, what is rarely denied is that that particular vignette actually did take place in Palestine. A few years later the Jews, that great prophetic people who had foretold the coming of the Messiah and his novel dispensation permitting all peoples accessibility to the one true God were scattered. Their burnt offerings of slaughtered live-stock, blood anointed altars and the awful Holy of Hollies in their magnificent temple, were all gone from the earth, seemingly forever. No stone of the old house of God was left standing on another. Fascinatingly, if unwelcome to many Jewish people, the Catholic Church claims to be the flowering of the old revelation so that it hasn’t actually been abolished and that the new was the flowering of the old.
The drama unfolding today behind the lurid, obviously contrived media hysteria which would try to sell intelligent people the nonsense that the Roman Catholic Church is the single organisation on earth dedicated through its priesthood to the molestation of pre-pubescent infants, is just one of many onslaughts upon Christianity itself. Anything else the Catholic Church can be accused of seems fair game to the accusers, but, strangely, they never accuse it of the culling of multi-millions of babies in their mothers’ wombs, or of failing to criticise all forms of Fascism or state tyranny. Their insanely illogical slander is that the Church abuses babies by stoutly refusing to kill them. Read the minority U.N. report on the Church issued shortly after Pope Francis was elected.[As to the multi-million dollar abortion industry, were an enemy to contrive such an abominable massacre of babies still in their mothers’ womb, the free nations would sue for peace tonight, at any cost! But Mrs Teresa May, British Prime Minister leapt to congratulate the Catholic Irish for voting to associate with the death culture. Would the astronomical culling of babes in their mothers’ wombs ever been licensed if the Catholic Church had not been ignored by leaders like May and the new atheist “elite”? Can the death toll of innocence really be over one hundred million in the West alone?]
Meanwhile, the schism watchers point to the universal collapse of Catholic authority, vide Eire; the near silencing of its Magisterium; the collapse of candidates to the priesthood and religious life; the gradual disappearance of nuns and monks, and the obvious laxity of the Faithful. It is being argued that Catholics are almost but not quite approaching the agnosticism of the average Protestant. The observers stop short of suggesting that the Church has actually broken itself against the powers of atheism and moral depravity (evil) or that it can never recover. G. K. Chesterton pointed out that throughout history the Church seemed dead and buried but rose again from the tomb like its Divine founder. Jacques Maritain in a famous debate with two other acclaimed philosophers concluded that the Church would never recover its rightful throne among the nations as in Medieval times but would rise above the inevitable decline of millions who deny God to illuminate the darkness like the stars of heaven; individuals, groups and even nations. But St. Paul had prophesied the same.
Phase one; digging the dirt
As touched on earlier, the indiscriminate drive to chase down all suspected clerical abuse of minors has resulted in serious distortions of essential legal norms across the board. Of course, everybody suffers then. It is not only that Catholic priests are considered guilty upon initial suspicion (much as unfortunate old wives were accused of witch craft in the immediate post-reformation age) but distorted law has had deadly effects on the freedom and human rights of all people.
In the face of the strident, media accusations of paedophilia by Catholic priests it is too easy to overlook such basics of justice as the presumption of innocence until guilt is proven. But even law across the nations has been skewed to accommodate the tidal wave of condemnation of the Catholic priesthood. Safeguards such as the time scaled statutes of limitation have been swept away so long as Catholic clergy can be accused and arraigned, even when long dead, or senile. Again, if one section of society can be arbitrarily denied its legal rights then every other section can be deprived as well — and quite as suddenly.
Australian law and its people’s proud sense of fair play has been trashed in a legal farce by the pillorying of the gentle Ozzie giant, Cardinal George Pell. Nearly forty charges were initially brought against him relating to child abuse, and a female magistrate, made perfectly aware of the outrageous fabrications brought before the court and having been wisely pressed to throw them all out, decided to “save face” with the Sydney Morning Herald and the other anti-Catholic mobs responsible, and allowed one blatantly ridiculous charge to stand. This was an accusation that he had, as a younger man, thrown two boys up in the air at a public baths. Is there a big brother, or father, or granddad on earth who has not thrown a kid up at the seaside or in the baths? The lad or lass stands on dad’s clasped hands under water and is hurled up to somersault in the air. Oh, and the mother of the boys told the court they both admitted they were lying. Another disturbing bit of evidence in that pre-hearing was the one of the lads was a drug addict and had died. But the magistrate found nothing suspicious in that. It would make the Witch-finder General of Oliver Cromwell’s genocidal reign blush for shame.
But, Pell, the Cardinal in charge of rooting out real Vatican scandals has been forced to lay that sensitive duty aside. So long as he has been arraigned without a finding of guilt or innocence he is effectively chained to the public stocks. The female magistrate is the mere snout of the pig but its rutting will stink in our nostrils for a very long time. Meanwhile, Australia’s civil image has been degraded to the level of a banana republic in the eyes of all decent men and women. Even American Democrats are reported to be cringing.
From an article in Newshawk.co.uk
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