This past week has seen the conclusion of a special conference in Rome called by Pope Francis on how to deal decisively with the sexual abuse scandal in the church. We also have seen the condemnation of Cardinal Pell in Australia to 50 years in prison at his 70 years old in life. Today we are informed that last night was his first night in prison. As all convicted pedophiles he will be held in isolation and will be spending 23 hours a day by himself.
What a lot. We do have some sympathy for him. He seems to have very few, relatively "minor" slips, some call them "vanilla", in his long, illustrious career. We don't need to get into specifics, as you easily can find them online, elsewhere.
There are many types of victims here. Sexual abuse seems to happen in all sorts of arenas in various ways. I once ended up in a car with a man once, when young, and felt I escaped by the skin of my teeth. I was once grabbed in an alleyway and managed to run away when 13 years old. The man managed to kiss me on the cheek. I had to identify him in a lineup and testify in court. Stuff like this happens all the time, sad to say. The innocent and the minor are always the true victim. Yet, the adult cleric, sworn to celibacy is also a victim. Celibacy does not work for the vast majority people. St. Peter himself was a married man and had his wife with him. St. Paul writes that if one burns with passion one ought to marry and have a partner, as God and nature ordains and calls for. We are sexual beings and it is the odd man or woman out of the whole lot who can do without the closeness, intimacy, confiding, pleasure and comfort of sexual relations and life-long union.
It is the command for celibacy itself which must be removed and abolished. This is not something that I heard coming out in the statements from the conference. I would expect, therefore, that NOTHING constructive has been accomplished. Nothing whatsoever. -- The Pope said the church will come down with the "wrath of God" on the perpetrators. If the church continues in this unnatural and un-biblical stance to marriage, if may find the wrath of God coming down on it.
During and after the Reformation, Rome ridiculed the Lutherans for wanting their "wine and women" when they simply asked for biblical standards, serving wine at communion, as instituted by Christ himself, and permitting marriage for church leaders, as permitted by St. Peter and St. Paul, themselves. Why the Roman church persists in sitting "beside scripture", as Luther would always complain, is beyond comprehension and has led to the most deplorable spectacle possible. It ought to teach us about taking scripture supremely seriously. We dare not tamper with it. We dare not set ourselves up as superior in suppression of simple human needs to demonstrate a holiness that God never asked for nor designed. It is the peak of irreligiosity to do so.
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