Monday, April 5, 2010

Peggy Noonan on the Church Scandal -- a must read!

Thanks to my friend, Peggy L., for sending me this piece by Peggy Noonan, The Catholic Church's Catastrophe, in the Wall Street Journal. Noonan offers her perspective on the Sex Abuse Scandal in the Church in America and Europe. I think she nails it in the last paragraph -- although, I don't like to be thought of among the victims. I don't share the victim mentality that leads to an "oh, please pity me" attitude, and I'm sure many practicing Catholics would also feel the same. However, I think perhaps, in calling the work of the laity heroic in an effort to keep Mother Church holy, active and on her proper course, she indeed makes an accurate statement.

Peggy Noonan writes this in defense of Pope Benedict XVI:
Some blame the scandals on Pope Benedict XVI. But Joseph Ratzinger is the man who, weeks before his accession to the papacy five years ago, spoke blisteringly on Good Friday of the "filth" in the church. Days later on the streets of Rome, the Italian newspaper La Stampa reported, Cardinal Ratzinger bumped into a curial monsignor who chided him for his sharp words. The cardinal replied, "You weren't born yesterday, you understand what I'm talking about, you know what it means. We priests. We priests!" The most reliable commentary on Pope Benedict's role in the scandals came from John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter, who argues that once Benedict came to fully understand the scope of the crisis, in 2003, he made the church's first real progress toward coming to grips with it. (read the entire article here)

The pope has taken much heat in the press with regard to his alleged involvement in the scandal currently being investigated in Germany. Some wish to place the onus on him exclusively. This encourages the tragic mob mentality that has led to things like the Crucifixion, as marked in the liturgy by the reading of the Passion on Palm Sunday. What part did we the congregation play in that Passion? -- the angry mob. It is easy to be swept away by anger, passion and pain. We impulsive humans should tread carefully, think prudently and act virtuously in this regard.

On this Easter Monday, it's time to address this issue with some Easter hope and a firm resolve to repent and reform. Remember, the laity has a job, as Noonan points out. Let's use our prayers and our charitable words to ensure that the Church we love is strong, full of holy priests and faithful religious, and provides the laity with the spiritual food and safe haven that we need and deserve to live holy lives that will lead us to our heavenly home.

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