April 6, 2010 11:07:00 AM
olumn "The Pope''s Apology" (p. 5A).
"During a frustrating argument with a Roman Catholic Cardinal, Napoleon Bonaparte supposedly burst out ''Your Eminence are you not aware that I have the power to destroy the Catholic Church?''"
"The Cardinal, the anecdote goes, responded ruefully: ''Your Majesty, we, the members of the Catholic Church, have done our best to destroy the church for the last 1,800 years.
We have not succeeded and neither will you."
(Ross Douthat, New York Times)
...and no one else has succeeded either in the 200 years since the words of the unnamed Cardinal were uttered to Napoleon. Neither will the "current Catholic crop" do any better, though not for lack of effort!
Simply stated, the Catholic Church both in its head and in its members is always aware of its need for reform and renewal ("Ecclesia semper reformanda est").
Paul J. Ackerman, Columbus
KJ commented at 4/6/2010 1:48:00 PM:
I often wonder how catholics can continue to sit in their pews secure in the knowledge that the Pope lacks the moral fortitude to answer for his role in their church's systemic sexual abuse of children. I suspect that for many of them, it is forever. How sad that they would continue to prop up an institution which is incapable of doing the right thing and acknowledging the wrongs it has done; except in cases where those wrongs are independently brought to light. At which point it dismisses facts as "petty gossip." It then points out that other people molest and rape children, too. It blames the press (who as far as I know did not molest or rape any children) for reporting facts. It paints itself a victim while failing to acknowledge the victims (all of the victims, not just the ones we know about, but the ones THEY know about, too) that it created, much less deliver them justice. How sad, indeed.
I posit the following: the church hierarchy knows that if they admitted even to the portion of crimes of which they are aware that many, many more people would find the act of sitting in those pews even one more Sunday intolerable.
Nate commented at 4/6/2010 5:08:00 PM:
Unfortunately KJ there are bad apples in every organization be it the police, the school system, elected office, business, and yes, even religions of all flavors. The people sitting in those pews on Sunday morning do so with the knowledge that humanity isn't perfect and with the desire to themselves try to strive to be the best they can be.
I certainly don't condone the abhorrent behavior of the Catholic clergy involved in these acts nor the way the hierarchy of the church handled it, but I never wonder why people "continue to sit in their pews". FAITH IN GOD and security in HIS knowledge is why. They are there to worship GOD, not the Pope nor the Cardinals nor the priests.
Nate commented at 4/7/2010 1:17:00 PM:
Once again KJ, the people worship God, not the church. God will determine the fate of the church and he will judge all in the end.
KJ commented at 4/7/2010 4:10:00 PM:
But that's the point...if it is the worship of god that is important, why must it be done in communion with people who couldn't find it in their hearts to remove offenders from situations that endanger children and instead shuffled them off to fresh pastures without so little as a warning, free to molest, abuse, and rape more children again and again?
If the setting in which one worships, the context of one's worship, is so important that those crimes can be ignored and their perpetrators unpunished, then maybe the church--not god--is the priority for those in the pews as it so obviously is for those in the hierarchy.
Nate commented at 4/7/2010 8:03:00 PM:
You are the only one saying that. Perhaps you should ask God to guide you.