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The Temptation of the Flock

July 15, 2014

I received a comment yesterday on essay Temptation of the Frock and I am shown that it needs to be addressed in more detail.

 

Comment:

“I understand where you are coming from. And although I hate to hear that some priests in the Catholic Church are pedophilias, I know also that the disease cannot be cured. Also it is not in the catholic faith alone that abuse happens. It is also in the Episcopal, and in other denominations. Research shows. That episcopians have a big problem also.”

 

First, I must say, no, this poster does not know where I am coming from. This has been the attitude of so many “in denial” of what the Roman Catholic Church IS, and their allegiance to the institution I fear is beyond repair. The attitude of “everybody is doing it, therefore it cannot be stopped” is what I am sensing in this post. This astounds me, especially given the pope announced recently that cardinals and bishops are in question, which is no surprise to me (earlier SPIR essays). It starts somewhere, and seminary is/was a serious complaint from MANY seminarians, and the PROTECTION and SECRETIVENESS of the Vatican is what is so alarming! This is WHAT WE are talking about. And yet, this is where so many Catholics are in denial. I am sure that most Catholics did not watch the FRONTLINE special from back in February, and so, I post it again here in SPIR (after article).

http://www.religionnews.com/2014/07/14/pope-francis-raises-eyebrows-saying-pedophile-priests-include-bishops-cardinals/

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis has provoked a debate within the Catholic Church after being quoted as saying that one in 50 Catholic clerics is a pedophile.

About 2 percent of Catholic clergy, including some cardinals and bishops, are pedophiles, according to the Italian daily La Repubblica. The Vatican’s media spokesman is disputing the accuracy of the claim, which originated from an exclusive interview Pope Francis gave that was published on July 13, 2014. Creative Commons image by Stefano Rellandini
In the latest example of his get-tough stance against sex abuse — and his signature style of frank answers to tough questions — the pope told the Italian daily La Repubblica that the sexual abuse of children was like “leprosy” in the church and he pledged to “confront it with the severity it requires.”

But the exclusive interview with 90-year-old veteran journalist Eugenio Scalfari published Sunday (July 13) drew an immediate reaction from the Vatican that disputed the accuracy of the pontiff’s quotes.

“Even we have this leprosy at home. Many of my advisers who are fighting it with me are giving me reliable data that estimates pedophilia inside the church at a level of 2 percent,” the pope was quoted as saying.

“This figure should reassure me, but I have to tell you that it does not reassure me at all. Instead I consider it very serious. Among the 2 percent who are pedophiles are priests, and even bishops and cardinals.”

The number would represent 8,000 priests, based on the latest Vatican figures that count a total of 414,000 priests globally.

Last year, Francis strengthened the Vatican’s laws against child abuse and recently begged forgiveness when he met for the first time as pope with six victims of clergy abuse.

In his latest interview, the pope also hinted at finding “a solution” to priestly celibacy, raising the possibility that the church may one day lift the ban on married priests. The Vatican’s chief spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, disputed the quotes attributed to the pope about pedophile cardinals and the possible changes on celibacy.

Lombardi said this was not an “interview” in the traditional sense since Scalfari’s questions and the pope’s answers were not recorded or transcribed, and warned journalists to be careful in recycling the pope’s answers. Still, he said, the “overall theme of the article captures the spirit of the conversation between the Holy Father and Mr. Scalfari.”

Asked by Scalfari whether priests might one day be permitted to marry, Francis noted that celibacy was established “900 years after the death” of Christ. “It will take time, but there are solutions and we will find them,” Francis was quoted as saying.

Until now, the Vatican has declined to quantify the extent of clerical sexual abuse scandals in the church. Statistics are usually available only for countries in the developed world.

In May, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s ambassador to the United Nations agencies in Geneva, told a UN panel that the church had addressed the “worldwide scourge” of clerical sexual abuse. He said that 848 clerics had been expelled between 2004 and 2013, and the church had paid $2.5 billion in compensation to victims of clerical abuse in the U.S. alone.

 

 

A poster to the article:

Archbishop Tomasi, the Vatican ambassador to the United Nations was totally wrong in his claim that “the church had paid $2.5 billion in compensation to victims of clerical abuse in the U.S. alone.”

The people in the pews pay all the bills of the church, the clergy are only the money machines into which those people in the pews place their money.

The children sexually abused by clergy belonged to those same people in the pews who provided the money to be paid to their kids and to them for that abuse. That was very little of what was even court-awarded, Churchmen like Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, when he was archbishop of Milwaukee, WI, and numerous other bishops played all kinds of deceitful, immoral, unethical tricks to hide diocesan funds–the people’s money–so it could not be used for those court awards.

This should make everyone’s eyebrows raise very high. And they should never close again, at least not until required celibacy is ended, women are ordained, and the people in the pews have full participation in all matters concerning their church. After all, they are “The People of God.”

 

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I should rest my case after this last post, but I see there is much more to be said in all of this. First, allow me to again post the Frontline special from February 2014.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/secrets-of-the-vatican/

 

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I had a priest, one in Rome, tell me the pope’s hands are somewhat tied. I have shared in this before in SPIR. “Papa”, top leader, head of the Roman Catholic Church cannot change the system within his own office! I was told Pope Fran did not want to proceed with the canonization of John Paul II, but because the former pope, Benedict, had this already under way, it could not be stopped. How convenient for Benedict to leave his legacy. Is this also true for the sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church? It started centuries ago, therefore it can’t be stopped? This is mind boggling. The people in the pews ARE REQUIRED to be a participant in what their leadership enables. Is the LAITY enabling the abuse through their ignorance and denial? I have many Catholic friends, and I know I offend them by discourse on this, but even JESUS OFFENDED his “friends” by what he shared! Do you people not see? The Roman Catholic Church refuses to make change because they are guilty of much more than just sex abuse. WE ARE OFFENDED by the lack of effort, ignorance, refusal to stand up to this hierarchal madness, and quite seriously, what was instituted long ago: claiming to be THE CHURCH stated in Matthew, and no, I do not believe anyone to be “the people of God” just because they claim to be. People claim a lot of things, but it does not make it so.

Allow me to share a few passages from HOLY SCRIPTURE—GOD’s WORD.

 

For the love of money is [the] root of every evil; which some having aspired after, have wandered from the faith, and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

 

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

1 Timothy 5.10

 

And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Matthew 23.9

 

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22″Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23″And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

 

You who enable these lawless acts … think about this. Read the essays and the articles posted in SPIR. INFORM YOURSELVES ON WHAT YOUR INSTITUTION HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN. Do not assume the commands of your institution replace or supersede God’s Word. Sometimes I just can’t believe I am to even write any of this.

 

 

100_0675

 

I realize that much of what I write in SPIR is for the Spirit-risen Sojourner—the one called, and the one ANSWERING that call.

Matthew 22:12-14

12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

 

The poster claiming the “the disease cannot be cured”, says she knows that is cannot be cured, but does she know what has caused its rise and perpetration within her institution? Jesus says, Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. So too does this passage apply: Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

The poster likely saw my essay title “The Temptation of the Frock” (previous essay title) and assumed I meant that the sex abuse of children is a temptation of the priesthood. I have said before regarding Scripture that there is more than one way to HEAR  what is written, and this would include the Word of God. What I was discoursing on is the FROCK as TEMPTATION. It’s title, ego and initiation practices, and how the laity as its body endorse this MINDset is a sentencing of what? And this would include the titles of bishop, cardinal archbishop, pastor, pope … (was it not the frock that caused the former pope Benedict to want to become a cardinal? and what has he done about the life and deeds within the RCC institution during his vocational outposts?) In the Scripture passages, Jesus is saying, “if you live by the frock then by the frock you shall die. If you live by the gods of men then by the gods of men you shall die. If you live by the institutions of man then by the institutions of man you shall die. If you live by money then by money you shall die. If you live by the ego of man then by the ego of man you shall die. I have already shared in SPIR that one must first know Love before he can enter PEACE. One must first know What is God before he can know Peace. If a priest allows himself, or his institutional leadership, to be called FATHER, and to be seen as GOD TO THE PEOPLE, then he shall die by this same endorsement. LET THEM SAVE THEM (see previous essay for this story)But … remember what is written:

 

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22″Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23″And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

 

If you never read Scripture and discern, but allow the men of your institution to decide how you are to conduct yourselves, how will you know God? How will you even open yourselves to hear that invitation to DO THE WILL OF THE FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN?

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Revelation 3.20

 

If the clergy and hierarchy won’t asked the questions, maybe it’s time you laypeople ask: Has the FROCK BEEN A DETERRENT IN HEARING GOD? HAS THE BRINING IN SET DOCTRINE—-OFTEN FATALISTIC DOGMA—PREVENTING “HEALING” OF THE RAMPANT ILL CAUSING MORE HARM THAN GOOD?

Listen to this … I read of a police commissioner offended that there were so many memorializing the man who killed a cop. I scrolled down to read the comments, half expecting to read nasty remarks about the brutality of this killing—things like: toss him into a deep, dark closet and throw away the key … but what I read surprised me. Almost every single post, and I read at least ten or more, said something similar—that the cops had an attitude and have for years used their “uniform” (title) to abuse when it served them. Apply this to the frock of the religious. There is no question that the RELIGIOUS of TITLE have misused this endorsement. I do not care how many degrees a person gets inside their hollow caves … LOVE is forever moving.

 

Now, I once had a bad experience with a cop. I was in a new area and had a problem with my car. I was on my way to a mechanic who said he would look at my car, but I was lost and could not find the mechanic (this was long before GPS and cell phones). A cop noticed a leak coming from my car, pulled me over and proceeded to yell at me, and when he did not recognize the town on my license, he yelled at me for that, too. I didn’t cry, but he made me feel even worse. I had done nothing wrong. I tried to explain about my situation but his intent was to bully, and show off his title with rudeness and insensitivity. Do I think all cops are like this? Of course not, but it does allow one to question.

My dear poster friend referred me to a priest in her parish. This is the same priest who had my artist statement censored at the Abbey Art Show back in February 2011. I tried to tell her my situation—what had happened—but she denied that  “her” priest would behave in this manner. As an artist, and a woman, she should know better, and she so quickly forgot what her own children endured as a “minority” in the States. Like the verbally abusive cop, her priest made me feel even worse. I urge her now to go directly to him and ask him why he did what he did to me. We shall see the kind of PASTOR he is. I wanted to speak with him to help me better understand what another priest had done to me. This was an issue concerning his ego. His frock allowed him to get away with what he did. I am hugely disappointed in the women in both parishes who were involved in this malpractice. God’s people? This remains to be seen.

I see my first parish rejection as FRocking 101 and my second parish rejection as FRocking 201. 

 

100_0776 you see, Love is forever moving.

 

Which does not excuse the malpractice at the hands of those two priests, but I do understand how THE SPIRT moves, which is why when another priest yelled at me to “get over it!” I said no, I GO THROUGH IT:

I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE; NO ONE COME TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH ME. So, you see what I mean by the priest, bishops on up not being of “that framework”? These are NOT Christ on earth. It is THE ESSENCE OF THE SPIRITUALITY OF CHRIST THAT IS THE DELINEATOR IN THESE WORKS, not man. Man-human, even angelkind is merely a vessel (instrument) used. I highly doubt the Vatican teaches these ethics to its titled.

 

Moth to the flame. Christus and the Money Changers The Money Changers

 

DEFROCKING has meaning, despite what many write in forums, but is it saying enough? The answer is so easy, I can say it with my eyes closed. Yes, this is a hint on something that needs addressing. You see, we of this gift see much. You who call yourselves “the Church”, or God’s People, or God’s Chosen … or BORN-AGAIN … need to REMEMBER what is written:

 

My beloved is mine, and I am his,

He who shepherds his flock among the

lilies.

Until the day dawns and the shadows

depart,

My beloved, turn back, and be as

likened to

A gazelle or a young stag

On the mountains of the ravines.

Song of Songs

 

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Peace and Love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Comments
  1. Maria A. Morales permalink

    I am not in denial . I know the Catholic Church has big problems and I glad that the new pope is addressing them. Changes will not happen in a week or month. My point was, that the Catholic Church is Not the only one with this awful problem, but it is the only church that is talked about more. This problem has been around for years . That does not make it 0k. It is disgraceful that it should happen at all! It does not happen in the church alone, it happens in homes , among families and it is also hushed and buried and not talked about. Does it make it less guilty than abusive priests , No! The problem should be address in all the ways that have been happening , and have kept hushed by priests , parents , aunts and uncles, etc. I feel that if we are going to be fair and do domething we have to find where else is this Leprosy and take care of it also. It is not enough just for the Catholic Church alone be address , what research is there in the other churches ? Or is it that the one who counts is the RCC? What about I’m the Orthodox churches , any research? The disease has not been maintain only with the Catholics, so let’s deal with all of it now , that everyone knows what has happened. Look at the Penn State case. It took 5 five years and God only knows , really , how many of this kids suffered . And any knew but the reputation of the school was more important!) Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. opheliart permalink

    Yes, Maria! Spot on!

    Thank you for posting. I am glad you clarified your response, and what you share needs to be heard throughout all sectors where leadership is concerned, and considered.

    Peace and Love.

    Added: oh, and let the LITURGICAL CATHOLIC CHURCH (not the INSTITUTIONAL Church, as they seem more concerned with reputation and power-housing) take the bull by the horns and show the world WHAT they are made of!

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