Friday, December 11, 2009

The Pope to write a pastoral letter to the Irish people.

Concerning the sexual abuse scandal.
Reports today describe the Holy Father's reaction to the sexual abuse report from Ireland as: "The Holy Father shares the outrage, betrayal and shame felt by so many of the faithful in Ireland, and he is united with them in prayer at this difficult time in the life of the Church," the Vatican statement said.  Adding: "the Vatican also said he would write a pastoral letter to the Irish people about sexual abuse in Ireland and the Vatican's response to the crisis.  It will be the first time a pope has written a document exclusively devoted to sexual abuse of children by clergy." - Source
A few days ago I mentioned in a post how it now seems necessary for the Holy Father to issue some sort of Apostolic letter affirming Church teaching regarding homosexuality; hopefully the proposed pastoral letter to the Irish people may do that while carefully explaining the seriousness of these crimes of abuse, as well as their effects - specifically, loss of faith.  Having known a few Irish priests in my day, I can assure you I understand the don't ask don't tell code of ethics that was followed in Ireland.  Sometimes abusing priests were sent abroad - some were even sent right here. 
That said - I realized a definitive document has already been issued by the Pope - who at the time was better known as Cardinal Ratzinger, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  The document was published at the request of John Paul II and is titled, On The Pastoral Care of the Homosexual Person.  The document contains concise and clear teaching regarding Church teaching on homosexuality.
Of course the sex abuse reported in Ireland, our country, and elsewhere is not limited to homosexual perpetrators - especially as it is legally and politically defined as pedophilia.  Yet by and large many, if not most cases involved the sexual abuse of adolescent males - by males - who themselves identify as same sex attracted.  Naturally the Holy Father's document will probably not focus entirely on homosexual influences, but I would imagine such a document cannot be intelligible without addressing that problem at least indirectly - if only by affirming  the 1986 CDF letter on the subject.
The Ratzinger letter.
That letter is more relevant today than ever, and ought to be read by those concerned with the growing acceptance of homosexual behavior as normal, and equal to heterosexual sex and marriage.  Perhaps deviating from the original subject, I want to print a couple of excerpts from the CDF letter:
Nevertheless, increasing numbers of people today, even within the Church, are bringing enormous pressure to bear on the Church to accept the homosexual condition as though it were not disordered and to condone homosexual activity. Those within the Church who argue in this fashion often have close ties with those with similar views outside it. These latter groups are guided by a vision opposed to the truth about the human person, which is fully disclosed in the mystery of Christ. They reflect, even if not entirely consciously, a materialistic ideology which denies the transcendent nature of the human person as well as the supernatural vocation of every individual.
The Church's ministers must ensure that homosexual persons in their care will not be misled by this point of view, so profoundly opposed to the teaching of the Church. But the risk is great and there are many who seek to create confusion regarding the Church's position, and then to use that confusion to their own advantage.
9. The movement within the Church, which takes the form of pressure groups of various names and sizes, attempts to give the impression that it represents all homosexual persons who are Catholics. As a matter of fact, its membership is by and large restricted to those who either ignore the teaching of the Church or seek somehow to undermine it. It brings together under the aegis of Catholicism homosexual persons who have no intention of abandoning their homosexual behaviour. One tactic used is to protest that any and all criticism of or reservations about homosexual people, their activity and lifestyle, are simply diverse forms of unjust discrimination. - On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons

Photo: Source


  1. I do hope I can say this well enough, because I certainly love and appreciate several of my friends who are practicing (?) their sexual inclinations, both homosexually and heterosexually. Not for that reason, of course.

    Whenever I read about the "unfairness" of the Church's views on homosexuality, I almost always consider the many millions of single Christians who practice chastity (as do married Catholics, in their own manner). The Church (and tradition and popes and Saints/Apostles XYZ and Jesus the Messiah) asks nothing more of them than it does of any person who wishes to follow the narrow way.

    Is it more "unfair" when applied to a person who is homosexual (than to a person like myself, who happens to be heterosexual)? I fail to see that.

    If one does not wish to be a Catholic/Christian, then it is none of my business (between consenting adults). As you have stated before, Terry, this pedophilia business (in the Church) does seem to be strongly related to men of homosexual leanings, but it is so politically incorrect to state. Would it be okay to say that men who prey on girls are heterosexually oriented? Speaking of very young children, it appears to be a crime of opportunity and indiscriminate for some (any young boy or girl will do). Certainly it is a grave sin, one whose effects may last through generations.

    Let the Pope speak.

  2. I agree with Pennyyak.

    82% of the cases in the clerical sex abuse scandals involved men with "post-pubescent boys."

    What's almost never said is that only a tiny amount of the remaining 18% involved men with women or women abusing women and sometimes boys.

    The preponderance of those 18% of cases were a tiny number of cases of "true pedophelia", but mostly men with pre-pubescent boys, men with consulting adult men, men soliciting men and being arrested for that, and men with possession of pornography.

    Summaries don't describe the pornography but it can be assumed that most of it is homosexual in nature.

    It may not be politically correct to state this but it should be shouted to the housetops.

    These attacks on children have created the biggest scandal in the Church, maybe ever. Over two billion dollars have been paid out already by the Church and her insurers. And it is not over. Cases are still being filed.

    And we are supposed to pretend that this never happened and we should begin admitting active homosexual men to our seminaries again?

    Being half Irish, I'm sick in learning about what had happened over there. There is another aspect to it that we haven't seen here. Physical child abuse.

    I read quickly the report for County Kerry where one of my grandmother's dad was from. Most of that report consisted of tales of priests and brothers physically beating boys in their industrial schools. We would just call them orphanages.

    It is a sad story arising out of the poverty of famine ridden Ireland. Many men in Ireland in past times became priests and brothers, not because they had a vocation, but because they needed a job.

    And like in this country, much of the actual blame lies with those bishops who were unprepared for and unwilling to deal with the problems when they encountered them. That was the real crime.

    Pray for Holy Mother Church and for us all.

  3. I remain so very grateful for this pope. Long may he live.

  4. WEll said, Ray!

    Well said, Penny, too.


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