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Samantha Luty wrote:

Greetings,

I am not sure if this is a question that can even be answered. However, I am sending it anyway. For the most part it is just an observation.

For several weeks now, sexual abuse of children has been plastered in the headlines. When I first heard about them I, like everyone else, was appalled and sickened, and my heart and prayers went out for these young victims. What I didn't realize was that nearly everyone the these cases dated back to the 50's and 60's.

  • My question is, if these boys were so traumatized, why wasn't something done back then and why are they waiting 40-50 years after the fact to bring it up now?

Some of the priests, who allegedly abused them, can't defend themselves because they have passed away. It seems that they have had ample time to bring this up when the priests were still alive not after they have died.

  • Why are they so intent on going after Pope Benedict when he is the only one who has tried to make sure that it won't be happening again?

  • It seems to me that IF these priests were guilty, God would have judged them when they died so why are they now adding to the media feeding frenzy, throwing mud at the Catholic Church?

It makes me so angry that the whole world seems to take such great pleasure in always painting the Church in as bad of light as they possibly can.

I love my Lord and His Church and I love our Pope. Now I am hearing that some people in the Church are demanding that Pope Benedict resign because they blame him for not taking action
a lot earlier.

  • Why are they beating up on him?

To me, it's the same as beating up on Jesus all over again.

Thank You for listening, Yours In Christ,

Samantha Luty

  { Why is the media in a feeding frenzy against the Church? }

Eric replied:

Hi, Samantha —

The answer is because they have an animus against the Catholic Church and want to see it go down; that's my opinion. Der Spiegel (the German magazine) offered $1 million to anyone who can dig up dirt on the pope. The fact that they need to offer that much ought to tell you how desperate they are to incriminate the Church and how limited evidence there is. By bringing all this stuff up at the same time, they give an illusion that every Catholic priest is a pedophile and that the pope was an idiot for not taking care of it. It's like a hall of mirrors where you walk in and see a hundred images of yourself; it's multiplied.

This is not to reduce the seriousness of the crimes or the responsibility of those who had authority, but let's be realistic.

Funny how with all the recent allegations of teachers abusing kids, no one is demanding any superintendents step down.

Funny how, even though other churches have had the same problems (some studies say in the same proportions), no one is accusing them.

No one seems to appreciate the fact that until 20 years ago, this stuff was just not talked about by anyone and no one knew about the serious effects of abuse. It was routine for organizations to handle such matters internally. The idea of leaders sending these cases to the police just wasn't on the radar screen. Psychologists treated them, claiming they could be cured. Fifty years ago, priests were one step below God, their character was unassailable, such charges inconceivable.

I'm not saying no one is guilty. but please, let's put this in a little perspective.

Eric

Mary Ann replied:

Dear Samantha,

You have well expressed many of the conflicting feelings that many Catholics have. I do think there is a media campaign by enemies of the Church to destroy her but I also know that there is much abuse in the Church, and that the welfare of abusers was put over the welfare of families almost all of the time until very, very recently. It doesn't matter whether the evil psychological effects of abuse were known or not (and they generally were).

The evil has been known since the beginning, and the terrible moral effects and need for swift, severe, and permanent punishment have been pointed out through the centuries, by people like St. Gregory the Great and St. Peter Damian. For some reason, the leaders of the Church lost the horror that a normal father would feel at a sexual assault of his child or adolescent child. I think that people are bringing up old cases to show patterns of protection by the hierarchy, and to show generational abuse and generational systemic patterns of recruitment and cover up.

However, the very evils condemned by the secular press are advanced by it, in other areas, with the promotion of homosexuality and adolescent sex, which are considered normal. Some of the rage by the sexual radicals at the Church is caused by their hatred of her and by their perception of hypocrisy, just as they hate and destroy politicians who speak against immorality while privately living immoral lives.

Still, there is anger that is justified. They are not making up the crimes and the cover ups themselves, besides being unwise and immoral, were often an obstruction of justice among other illegal crimes. Repentance requires reparation. Pederasts and pedophiles have many, many victims, each one isolated in secrecy. It is necessary to publicize one crime so that the other victims may be released from the secrecy and receive justice and reparation as well.

Repentance, the Church teaches, requires reparation. Public sin requires public reparation. A good book to read on this subject is Sacrilege, by Leon Podles, who is a very serious orthodox devout Catholic.

I would add that in many cases canon law and common Church practice were not followed in abuse cases. If right had been done, all of this mess could have been avoided.

Mary Ann

Mike replied:

Hi, Samantha —

I just wanted to add a small comment to what my colleagues have said.

I find it humorous and illogical that when Benedict XVI was first declared Pope by the Holy Spirit, the mainstream media referred to him as "God's Rottweiler".

Now he's a lenient, sin-crazed “Rottweiler”.

My point: They are not interested in making an honest assessment. Otherwise they would not say one thing, "he's God's Rottweiler", then say the opposite, "he's a lenient sin-crazed Rottweiler".

Side note: Up until 2001, the responsibility for cleaning the filth from the seminary culture was the local bishop, not the Pope. [He has his own seminary to oversee in Rome!] It was in 2001 that the Venerable Pope Paul II asked Cardinal Ratzinger, (the future Pope Benedict XVI) to review all the files on these issues.

Mike
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