Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Inverse Relationship

My charitable feelings toward the Roman Church's hierarchy are developing an inverse relationship to the continuing news breaking about sex abuse, cover-ups, and re-assignments that have gone on from centuries ago to today. I have for a few years made it a standard practice not to go to Mass because I can't receive, except with people or for respite from a hectic week and there is a Mass (whose structure will calm my nerves) being offered on a weekday. Now, however, that's intensifying. If the person I wind up spending the rest of my life is Catholic I won't be going to church with them.

Our children will not take part in that Church, and that's not even entirely about protecting them. I will not expose them in any way to a Church system that does not even try to give the appearance of true repentance, and I won't endorse it by any sort of participation. I am losing more and more faith in the management of that historic expression of Christianity. I don't even want to point a finger at someone to hang; I'm not looking for someone to blame or someone to get blamed or be a fall guy (and it's only guys in this case). I want to hear "We're sorry. This has been a problem. We are fixing it. What can we do to help?" Rather than "We're sorry, but this was someone else's jurisdiction," or "We're sorry, please don't talk about this, here's some money for damages," or "We're sorry, but these things happen. What can you do?"

What I don't want to hear is accusations and people's fury being dismissed as "petty gossip." I don't want to hear comparisons of uproar about abuse compared to anti-Semitism. And apologizing after the fact for saying it doesn't make it okay. When you posit yourself as the arbiter of truth, opposing gay marriage and reproductive rights and rallying thousands of dollars to those campaigns, and talk about things tearing the fabric of society but then are as corrupt, if not more so, than other large corporations, you've surrendered your self-indignation, particularly when the accusations are about some of the least of these, defenseless children who trust in authority.

"Trust us" is too late. The faithful have been trusting you...and are met daily with new accusations, more people coming forward. And rather than helping the people move forward, the Church is saying "Just trust us. We've got this under control. Don't listen to those people at the New York Times. They're trying to make us look bad because they just don't like Catholicism. Nothing really has gone wrong." Dismiss and deny isn't working out anymore. WE no longer live in an age where we just trust authority figured. And clinging to a bygone era just gets you left behind -- with everyone mad at you.

1 comment:

  1. It was the whole comparing criticism of the church to anti-semitism that really pissed me off.

    I was like, "really? Really, guys?"