Monday, March 15, 2010

They still don't get it

It may be old news here but it isn't in continental Europe. The reports of clergy sex abuse in Catholic schools have rocked Germany and are spreading to other countries, as well. The wrinkle this time is that now the pope himself has been at least indirectly implicated in his previous capacity as archbishop.

The New York Times had a summary story on Friday. As it reports, one obvious potential casualty is Benedict's campaign to "re-Christianize" Europe. What glorious Catholic past would he have Europe to return to? Andrew Sullivan, in two posts yesterday titled "The Current Vatican's Death Throes," reports in amazement that the church hierarchy is responding with the same reflexive defensiveness seen previously in the US and Ireland.

In the second of Sullivan's posts, he prints excerpts of a reader's report of German press coverage of the unfolding story. The reader reacts with incredulity to an interview with Regensburg Bishop, Gerhard Mueller, who says:

"Leutheusser is a liar," referring to Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, the Justice Minister. He goes on to says that the justice minister is part of a dark and secretive conspiracy led by Free Masons who want to bring the church down. This guy is just nuts. But how revealing of their strategy. Presented with undeniable evidence of abuse, they claim to be the victims!

The reader then quotes an editorial in the Bavarian newspaper Sueddeutsche:

The crisis of confidence affecting the church has not occurred because the church is an association of abusers. The church is in crisis precisely because, confronted with undeniable evidence of abuse, it expresses concern for itself instead of offering to help the victims of the abuse....

Repudiating Christ's call for self-denial, when under threat institutional Christianity time and again retreats behind walls of denial, blame and slander. It is unable to imagine its own welfare as not being identical with the mision of its founder. Nor can it imagine that its behavior could actually be that mission's greatest obstacle.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Conspiracy nuts. Too sad to chuckle I guess. David Mc