Hopefully, the Irish people have learned something from the American, Canadian and Australian Pedophilia Priest Scandals by requiring their 5 bishops, involved in the Dublin Archdiocese coverups, to resign. The whole world applauds their determination to publically expose one of the main sources of the problems, the bishops. Unfortunately, the problem doesn't end with the bishops, because any moron knows that the bishops carried out an agenda set down by none other than the Vatican. The current Pope, as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, formerly the Office of the Inquisitions is incredulous when he says how shocked he is, for it was his office that reviewed all of the Priest/Nun Pedophilia complaints from all over the world, requesting the dismissal of Pedophiles in the clergy!
Typical Allen summary that obviously must pick and choose what to highlight. In his new book, Future Church, released prior to the Murphy Report, Allen states that the sexual abuse crisis is a passing moment; that it mainly impacts english speaking countries that follow the same legal system; he points out that the "new" southern hemisphere catholic church rarely pays attention to this issue.
What Allen misses is the connection between his point four - "culture" - and how Rome and bishops are the issue. This same type of culture will impact the southern church and as globalization increases, southern hemisphere nations will adopt legal systems that more closely align with current western nations - why? becuase they have evolved and best support human dignity and the gospel message. Does he really think that this evolution will never spread to the other hemisphere? He says that sexual abuse is just accepted as part of life - just like poverty, disease, etc. in Africa, South America, India, China. His views are narrow and short sighted.....
....What happens in Ireland will rebound on Canada, US, England, South Africa, Australia, etc. - the issue is the silence, cover -up, and lack of leadership in Rome. He speaks to only abuse of children but the current sexual culture of the church (western and southern hemisphere) have created huge issues - in his book he calls these isolated incidents?
There is no mention of current legal cases that are attempting to work around the foreign state status of the Vatican to hold bishops and Rome accountable for Allen's definition of "culture." If one of these cases is successful, everything Allen says here is moot. Nowhere does he state that it has been the catholics in the pews, the media, and legal means that have forced the church to reluctantly face facts - he again minimizes this or says it is a passing phase.
This next comment is painful and very sad in it's bald truth.
I'm afraid this is mostly garrulous and self-important rubbish. A "heads-up for the Irish"? "To prevent headaches down the line"? "Engage the pope early and often"? "Now that it's clear the crisis isn't just an American problem"?
The Church in Ireland is imploding. This is the same church whose venerable early missionaries carried the Gospel to the German tribes, and whose globetrotting brothers and nuns contributed more than anyone to the vitality of the Catholic Church in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is now utterly laid to waste, and very probably it will never recover.
Against all this, John Allen's tone of homespun advice from Tucson and Spokane just seems irritating and inappropriate.
Here's another straightforward and truthful observation:
Actually I believe the U.S. Church could learn from the Irish church. In Ireland there is clear leadership by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. His response to the report in writing and more importantly his stance on the removal of bishops is in stark contrast to the lack of leadership and lack of calls for resignations of U.S. Bishops.
And this comment draws a very pertinent analogy about the sexual and intellecual abuse enabled by the Vatican under Cardinal Ratzinger. (Edited for length.)
Pope Benedict, rather than "cleaning up this same mess" has done his part when he was Cardinal Ratzinger as head of the CDF. He heard all of the reports about pedophile priests and he had a chance to "cleaning up this same mess." At the same time he made the point of condemning some theologians while enabling the mess and torture of pedophiles to spread systemically. We know by this witness what the priorities of the institution really are and are not and it is more politically motivated than it is motivated by the power of the Holy Spirit.
While you continue to pray for the Pope, I will pray for the victims of sexual abuse and for the victims of intellectual predators in the Church. The RCC leadership has destroyed the lives of souls and destroyed all semblance and true character of the merciful and compassionate mind of Christ. Both types of predators will be unabated until the Pope and his entourage of ecclesiastical & lay enablers such as Opus Dei and the Legionnaires of Christ choose to allow the Holy Spirit to guide them and teach them. This is my hope, my prayer and dream that they will see the Light of Christ and be blinded like Saul and healed by Jesus. If they truly believed in Jesus Christ they would follow him.
Finally, the succinct words of Jim McCrea who frequently comments on this blog: (I didn't dare edit this one.)
Nowhere in this article do I find an expression of the need to engage the laity in participating in the design and implementation of corrective actions. Once again, it’s all about the clergy, including the pope. This is way too much self-serving navel gazing.
All well and good, but if the church in Ireland is to survive it will need to regain the trust of the people who decreasingly grace the pews, pay the bills and provide future candidates for the clergy and religious institutions. They are, after all, the reason for the structure that has failed them and itself so very miserably.
Without a recognition of rampant clericalism and the need to do away with that, this will all become just another instance of clergy-identified and clergy-defined persecution of the church, i.e., them.
Wake up folks --- or you’ll be preaching to emptier churches and dealing with emptier coffers.
I saved Jim's comment for last because he touches on the crux of any healing for the Church, it's victims, and the priesthood. Until the clergy admit that the abuse cover up is symptomatic about how insecure they are in their definition of priesthood, and that it was an exercise in unconscious self destruction, there will be no real healing.
If the Vatican and it's bishops were so sure about the correctness of their theology of the priesthood there would have been no motivation to cover up the flaws of those who couldn't cut the mustard. They would have acted with alacrity to laicize and prosecute offending priests.
The fact they did just the opposite says they really don't believe their own schtick. The Vatican needs to swallow the bitter medicine and mature the theology of the priesthood before national churches with in the global church begin to drop like dominoes.