Here is a fine example of one of the many contradictions inherent in the modern world and its approach to our problems. The world is up in arms against the papacy for the unfolding European priest sex abuse scandal and demanding that the pope crack down on abusers and discipline lethargic bishops. Yet those same critics explode with indignation when someone in the Vatican hits the nail on the head and points out the obvious fact that this deplorable tragedy is linked to the presence of homosexuality in the priesthood. "How dare you insinuate that homosexuality has any connection to pedophilia!" the critics of the Church are raging. "There is absolutely no correlation between the two!"
All the outrage follows this statement of Cardinal Bertone in Chile this week:
"Many psychologists and psychiatrists have shown that there is no link between celibacy and paedophilia, but many others have shown, I have recently been told, that there is a relationship between homosexuality and paedophilia. This pathology is one that touches all categories of people, and priests to a lesser degree in percentage terms. The behaviour of the priests in this case, the negative behaviour, is very serious, is scandalous."
The world is constantly clamoring about problems but rejecting the obvious solutions to those problems, because the real solutions contradict the commonly accepted secular-humanist worldview held by most in the west. So convoluted is their thinking that they may actually take the problem and extol it as a positive virtue - as in this article the presence of homosexuals in active Church ministry is considered a positive good. Likewise, things that are positive are made into the culprits - like celibacy.
Cardinal Bertone is being so roundly condemned because his words violate two implied tenets of modern thought: First, that celibacy is an outmoded and unreasonable discipline that actually causes sexual deviancy; second, that homosexuality is a perfectly licit lifestyle with absolutely no unpleasant or negative aspects whatsoever. Because of these two firmly rooted assumptions, the modern world cannot and will not accept any explanation of apology from the Church that contradicts them. The real target here is celibacy. This is nothing less than a great big cannon of public pressure aimed at getting the Church to put the blame on clerical celibacy in order to abolish the discipline.
Is this minimizing the horror of what happened? Not at all. In fact, the Vatican shows it is willing to face up to what really happened because it is getting to the real root of the problem calling it out - the intolerable presence of active homosexuals in Church ministry. It is, paradoxically, the opponents of the Vatican who refuse to see the truth because they are unwilling to connect the dots and admit that maybe, just maybe, sticking active homosexuals in ministry is anything less than a great idea. It is the vociferous critics of the Church who are accusing the pope of covering up the truth that are in fact engaged in a massive fraud., their constant attempts to sell the world on the innocent goodness of homosexuality. But that is one of the many, bizarre contradictions of modernity.
You hit the nail on the head. This article should be reported in the first page of the Osservatore Romano, instead of the ridicoulous mirror-climbing they are accustomed of.
Greetings from Italy!
We had a priest in our Diocese of Beaumont, Texas that went to Houston for a conference in the late 60s or early 70s. He was shocked that "situation ethics" was being taught in the seminary. I feel that the ordination of young men with homosexual orientation and an ethical teaching that states an act is or is not sinful according to the situation they find themselves in combination could have had been a big dynamic for the situation.
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