Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Breaking Cricket Bats

Archbishop Welby recently backed away from addressing 'gay' issues because he said he feared that in places like Nigeria pushing that particular agenda in the CofE would cause problems for the Anglican Communion and Christians in general.

A priest who works in an Islamic environment tells me that the paedophile crisis is often exploited by Islamic evangelists: Islam sees men as strong valiant defenders of their religion, of the families, of fellow Muslims, whilst Christians see men as weak and effeminate, meek and mild; not surprising as their priests are either paedophiles and homosexuals and any man involved with Christians was probably likely to be drawn into that lifestyle.

Geoffrey Howe spoke of his relationship with Margaret Thatcher, in his resignation speech as Foreign Secretary,  "It is ... that their bats have been broken before the game by the team captain". La Repubblica's interview and the claim that one in fifty, two per cent of the clergy are paedophiles, seems very much like the sound of breaking cricket bats, yet again.

Now what was it Jesus said about Peter strengthening the brethren?


On the side of the angels said...

Yeah but it was a Scalfari interview - so how can we determine anything that was said by the Pontiff and what's mere hyperbolic 'interpretation' and ideological spin?
far be it from me to suggest that this is the repeated strategy of giving Scalfari deliberately unrecorded 'conversations' where one can say whatever one wishes and never be accountable for it.

Physiocrat said...

Yes, it is good to know that the Captain expresses such confidence in his team, and in public.

John Vasc said...

Yes, Father: exactly the same thought came to me when I read this bizarre '2%' allegation. That's all the media now needed to ratchet up their anti-clerical witch-hunt.

You and all our priests and bishops throughout the world have my special prayers this week, that your and their resolve may not fail.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.
'Inter spinas quae crescis lilium serva puras mentes fragilium tutelaris.'

umblepie said...

Oh for a few words of encouragement from this Pope!
Why do his public utterances appear to lack tact, common sense, accuracy - as his recent quote of 2% paedophile priests suggests - a figure that appears plucked out of the sky, and above all loyalty and, dare I say it, affection, for all those dedicated priests and religious and laity who love and work diligently and valiantly for Christ and His Church. As members of the Catholic Cricket team captained by Pope Francis, many
must be feeling low in spirit and confidence at the negative quality of his leadership. Of course, there may be many things unknown to me, which contradict what I say, in which case apologies are due.

Cosmos said...

"On the side of angels,"

Why would Scalafari "never be accountable for it." Not many have a bigger microphone than Pope Francis?

Aussie said...

If Pope Francis said that about 2% of Catholic clergy were involved in the pedaphile crisis, he was only stating what is common knowledge, the pedaphile crisis in the Church having been widely reported by the media for years now. In fact, the percentage he is said to have given (2%) is a lower figure than I have read elsewhere. For example, the writings of T. Plante published in the early 2000s quoted a Catholic cardinal saying 4% of Catholic clergy were involved. The media (Newsweek) highlighted that the 4% figure was roughly that for the broader population as well. Hence, Pope Francis' statement, if accurately reported, was conservative numbers wise. Sadly some priests are pedaphiles; thankfully they are a small minority.

On the side of the angels said...

Cosmos how can His Holiness ever be accused or blamed of defending, endorsing, promoting or promising anything when there is always that ineffable possibility that it's more Scalfari 'poetic license'?

It's a game - His Holiness can have all the liberal press declaring he said X
The traditionalist/orthodox commentators bloggers can't accuse His Holiness or being doctrinally or morally suspect because they can't concretely confirm His Holiness actually said anything...

and all those 'inoffensive' lukewarm laodiceans sitting on the fence can mould and shape the interview into any interpretation the reader or listener or zeitgeist acolyte - wants it to mean....

just like the roullette table the house always wins - His Holiness played a double zero - neither black nor red, neither odd nor even....

but it's now becoming a habit...and like all used habits - it's beginning to stink!

John Vasc said...

Ann Frost - 'Common knowledge' it is not, merely isolated and unverifiable wild assertions whipped up by the media. There are no official Church statistics.

Now here's a statistic that *is* verifiably true, officially reported by the NSPCC, which is not known as a pro-Catholic organization: it is that only 0.1% of those convicted in the UK of a crime of child abuse in the UK and placed on the register, are Catholic priests. Not one in fifty, but one per thousand and not of the population, only of that criminal set.
So if anyone is alleging (on the basis of no figures) that 2% of all the Catholic clergy are paedophiles, that would mean the incidence of child abuse among the Catholic clergy would be twenty times higher than their representation among other child abusers.
This is so unlikely as to be challenged by any statistician.

Bandying these unverified figures around and giving the mass media more fuel for their anti-clerical campaigns does nothing to promote the visible unity of the Church, which should be the Holy Father's concern. It simply causes scandal.

Deacon Augustine said...

Meanwhile, one of the best news blogs I've read in ages can be found on Rorate regarding Cardinal Cañizares Llovera's endorsement of a doctoral thesis on Summorum Pontificum.

He very cleverly uses some of the Pope's own words to show that SP is here for good because it is essential for ecumenism and reaching out to the "peripheries":

"Benedict XVI displayed, with his legislation, his fatherly love and understanding for those who are especially attached to the Roman liturgical tradition and who risked becoming, in a permanent way, ecclesially marginalized; it is in this way that, speaking of the matter, he clearly recalled that, "nobody is in excess in the Church," showing a sensibility that anticipated the concern of the current Pope, Francis, for the "existential peripheries." "

Pope Francis should be taking his advice on communication strategy - not that of spin doctors.

Sorry for going off on a tangent from the blog, Fr., but if you have a read it might help to buck up the spirit. It did for mine.

Православный физик said...

What was it about repeating the same thing and expecting a different result?

Anonymous said...

Ann Frost, that is untrue. The numbers accused of sexual assault of a child or adolescent must never be represented as the number guilty of same. Only a minority of those accused had substantiated accusations and due process leading to conviction. And we know there have been priests erroneously convicted. See David Pierre's, "Priests Falsely Accused". The anti-Catholic establishment is not to be trusted on the matter. The mainstream Media have repeated lie after lie, and false accusation after false accusation. Does no one care about the truth anymore?

Unknown said...

"Yeah but it was a Scalfari interview"
Here we see the real depth of the problem. Papa has given several interviews with this proudly left-wing rag and every time, without exception, the Vatican has to either clarify or deny comments he allegedly made. You would think that he would cease to use such a worldly mouth piece that consistently misrepresents him? Unless...

Anonymous said...

John Vasc (in reply to Anna Frost) - "There are no official Church statistics".

But there are:

"The UCCR (a Catholic organization dedicated to the positive relation between faith and reason) in a recent article writes:

But how many priests are there stained with pedophilia? The Vatican has given a number before the fifty second Comitato Uno (a pro-life group) against torture: between 2004 and 2013 a total of 884 members of the clergy were reduced to the lay state because of the scandal of pedophilia. Other disciplinary measures were taken against 2,572 priests (often because they were in advanced age or ill). These are the figures that are the basis for speaking about this problem. If we add 884 to 2,572 we have in total 3,456 Catholic priests involved in pedophilia in ten years. The number of Catholic priests in the world according to the official Vatican statistics are about 410,000, an approximate average between the 405,000 in 2000 and the 413,000 in 2010, numbers similar to the number of priests in the ‘60s an ‘70s. The calculation is easy to do: the 4000 pedophile priests correspond to 0.8% of Catholic priests active in the past ten years. Even if it is true that only one case of abuse is too much, we can point out that we are not talking about a high percentage. On the contrary this is decidedly modest with respect to the percentages relating to parents, friends, teachers, coaches, and relatives in general (the greater part who are married, therefore not celibate).

Professor David Cito, of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, who works in this field with the institutes of the Holy See speaks of 400 cases per year that are sent to Rome to be evaluated. And he emphasizes that in 90 per cent of the cases the victims are adolescent males, from 16 to 18 years old. Therefore these do not concern pedophilia but rather ebophilia, linked to the phenomenon of homosexuality.


"In 2010 the 'grand inquisitor' of the Vatican, now the bishop of Malta, Charles J. Scicluna, a cohort of Benedict XVI in the great battle against the phenomenon of abuse of every type, said:

In these last ten years (2001-2010) we have evaluated accusations regarding about 3000 cases of diocesan and religious priests that dealt with crimes committed in the past 50 years. We are able to say that roughly 60 percent of these cases dealt with ebophilia, that is, due to sexual attraction to adolescents of the same sex, another 30 percent to heterosexual relations, and 10 percent that related to true pedophilia, that is, determined by a sexual attraction for pre-pubescent children. The cases of the priests accused of true pedophilia are therefore about 300 in nine years. This number is too high—for the love of God !—but it is necessary to recognize that the phenomenon is not as extensive as many would like us to believe."

This is from a blog published on Rorate Caeli. I don't agree with everything on that site, but this is useful.

Anonymous said...

And most of those cases are historical, relating to events occurring mainly in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s, when canon law (and the moral law) was not, generally, being followed, in respect of any suspicions, complaints. Modernist, relativist ideas within the Church caused actual instances of sexual abuse not to be treated as they were required to be by God's law and Church law.

Anonymous said...

The 0.8% figure is not a true representation of the prevalence of priests who have been reliably found to have committed sexual assaults (against children, adolescents) among priests as a whole - to get the actual prevalence one would need to take the period of time over which the given assaults by priests in these cases took place and calculate the number of priests in existence over this period. The disciplinary procedues may have concluded in the ten years 2004 to 2013 but most of those cases do not concern assaults that occurred during that decade, but rather the cases are from several decades.

Aussie said...

I agree Lynda that not all convicted of a crime are guilty. I don't believe, for instance, that Father McRae who has served over twenty years in a New Hampshire prison for pedophilia is guilty, and I hope and pray for his release. It is also likely that some who are guilty have not been fingered. I also agree with Thomas that pedophilia is being used as a basket term since the majority of clergy pedophilia cases have involved post-pubescent males.

The Church is and always has been under attack by the devil and those human beings who hate it, and those attacks are presently rather acute. We need to stand together, follow the directions Our Lady gave us at Fatima, and stop adding to the crisis of Faith by criticising the Pope.

Aussie said...

A suggestion:
Public criticism of our Holy Father is un-Catholic and unproductive. Let's do what we are meant to do and behave as brothers and sisters in Christ. Part of our Catholic family is suffering terribly in the Middle East and they need our help. Instead of criticising the Pope we could research and write about their plight and spend time praying for them. Such action would be Catholic, and it would be productive in proportion to the prayers involved. How about working together to mount a world-wide Rosary Crusade - Catholics globally praying the Rosary, preferably before the Blessed Sacrament - for the safety of Christians and for peace in the Middle East. Who are interested and how could we get this going? Perhaps there are others already attempting this. Do you know of such individuals or groups?

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

I agree with both John Vasc's comments.

Even the Guardian a couple of years ago admitted that what was known was that abusing clerics are a small and 'not remarkable' number - what was, unfortuanatly, remarkable was the ability of those few critters to keep it up without being caught.

The stout hearted men in the priesthood we have left need to be taking their daily cod liver oil. I guess we all do.

p.s. as for 'criticism' i.e. speaking about the elephant in the room, we are not yet at the point of oppression where 'John Nobody durst not speak'.

I guess the stripping of the altars has returned, only without the depopulating of the land of Catholics, but, as one commenter said, the depopulating of heaven of potential residents.

Genty said...

Yes, I know who could get this going: The Pope.
Individually, I pray daily for the Christians in the Middle East and for all who are cruelly persecuted around the world because of their love for Christ.
In the bidding prayers at Mass, there's always some vague reference to justice and peace, but our beleaguered brothers and sisters in Christ never get a mention.

Jacobi said...

Of your three points Father, may I take up one, namely the Muslim accusation that Christianity is weak and effeminate.

There is some basis to this. From Urban II through Pius II and arguably up to when I was a young man, the concept of a masculine idea of love, that is, being prepared if necessary to risk and lay down one’s life for God and country was at the heart of the Western Christian and Catholic identity. It was a masculine interpretation of love as in Christ offering up his life and dying on the Cross for the Salvation of Mankind.

That has been replaced with the feminine concept of care. A glance into any Catholic church, certainly in my part of the world, will show this. The congregation is elderly and mostly female as are the various people who fuss around the Sanctuary during Mass. Young males in the congregation are conspicuous by their almost complete absence.

Results? Christianity continues to dissolve and Catholicism dwindles.

The Catholic and Orthodox Churches in the Middle East are systematically being eliminated. The reaction from the Catholic Church, well, nothing. The odd expression of regret, but essentially nothing.

Yes maybe the Muslins do have a point!

Physiocrat said...

@Jakobi - didn't Cardinal Heenan say something about the NO Mass not being "manly"?

Anonymous said...

No, as Catholics, and moral persons, we are not called to not criticise objective things said and done by the pope that are published, not in conformity with the Catholic Faith or morals, and which are leading souls away from the truth in Faith and morals, into grave sin. Catholicism is the religion of faith and reason. It never calls for its members to ignore or acquiesce with public objective evil. On the contrary. To do so is a sin, endangering souls. Objective good and evil never change - evil does not become good when stated by a pope. In fact, the evil has much greater evil effects.

To call people "paedophiles" is always wrong, against reason and the Catholic Faith.. A person is either guilty of a particular sexual crime(s) against a child (children) or he is not. It is a matter of morality, and a person is responsible for his moral conduct. A person can also sexually assault a child, and repent of, and make reparation for this most egregious of moral crimes, and return to a state of grace. The attempt to identify people with evil acts as if the evil is somehow inherent, is a lie, truly evil.

And, it is worth repeating that the vast majority of accused priests were never found guilty by due process, in fact (where statistics were gathered, over half, were positively found not to be substantiated). However, all these accusations were published by Media - over and over again.

The case of Fr MacRae is actually not that unusual in its early stages, including the Diocese accepting vague and incredible accusations as true. The difference in Fr MacRae's case is that it went all the way to trial, and a flagrantly unjust trial was held, and a flagrantly wrongful conviction made. Let us pray for all wrongfully accused, and those wrongfully convicted.

Anonymous said...

This is a false dilemma or dichotomy.

As for the ongoing extreme persecution of our Catholic or Christian brothers and sisters, not only in Iraq, Syria and the ME, but in many other countries, particularly Africa and Asia, there are various groups involved in ongoing campaigns against it, generally, and regarding prominent individual cases such as Meriam in Sudan. (I support these all I can, though one can always do more. I have a debilitating chronic illness and therefore am not as active as I used to be, in fighting injustice, mainly against the sanctity of life generally but can pray some, and sign many petitions on this phone from my bed.) I recommend, for instance, Aid to the Church in Need, and Tradition, Family, Property, amongst others.

Unknown said...

Rather than debate the accuracy of priestly sex abuse statistics and whether priests are better or worse than average, I was moved to comment on the loss of legitimate masculinity in the church.
As a child our small parish had two male organisations, the Guild of the Blessed Sacrament and the Knights of St Columba. Total membership of these groups were probably in the 60-80 range, I joined the Guild on my 16th birthday and we had teenagers to young pensioners.
Our PP could rely on these groups for constant active participation in parish life, particularly fundraising to build and support Catholic education.
Having though of all that, I was then moved, as was Physiocrat, to remember Cardinal Heenan's remark about the change in the liturgy.
Today, sadly, few parishes have men's organisations of any significance (and when I raised the matter at our pastoral council, I was accused of sexism).
Strangely, outside the male clergy, men are now marginal in the church and, I suspect few men see upholding the faith and participation in the life of the church community as key personal roles.

RCSawston said...

You may be interested in this link which provides some statistical information about offending priests in the US Church

Unknown said...

Like many other Catholics I have desperately tried to understand Francis and his seeming ambiguity and ambivalence towards even the basics of the Faith. Then, to my horror, I read an open letter to him from a lady that has spent time with him at close quarters, a mathematics lecturer and mother of nine…
“When I first met you during these retreats, when you were still Cardinal Bergoglio, I was struck and puzzled that you never acted like the other cardinals and bishops. To give some examples: you were the only one there that did not genuflect before the tabernacle or during the Consecration; if all the bishops presented themselves with their cassocks and their clerical garb, because the rules of the meeting required it, you presented yourself in suit and clerical collar. If all of you were sitting on the seats reserved for the bishops and cardinals, you left empty the place of Cardinal Bergoglio and sat at the back, saying "I'm fine here, I feel more at ease." If the others were coming in a car corresponding to the dignity of a bishop, you were coming, later than the others, harassed and in a hurry, recounting aloud your encounters on the public transport by which you had chosen to come to the meeting.
Seeing these things — what a shame to tell you — I said to myself: "Ugh ... who wants to attract attention! Because, if you want to be truly humble and simple, is it not better to behave like the other bishops and go unnoticed?.”

Jacobi said...

@ Fred Brown

We have a problem.

I consider myself an ordinary orthodox cradle Catholic who has woken up, maybe a bit late in life, after a busy time bringing up a family and pursuing a career, looked at the Church I was born into and educated in, and been just horrified at what I see.

The confident, growing, respected, vital Church of my youth has collapsed into a complete and utter mess.

There are a growing number of intelligent, thinking, knowledgeable Catholic commentators, who are doing something I would have said in my youth was inconceivable. That is, questioning the public sayings and actions of our pope, and disturbingly I have much sympathy with them. The present pope has said things which on the basis of my Jesuit upbringing in RE, and at a Catholic school in the 1950s, I must judge to be at least in content, if not in intention, heretical.

What in Heaven’s name is going on?

Nicolas Bellord said...

It is interesting that the Catholic Herald used this story for its front-page article. Normally they are ultra loyal to the Pope and the Hierarchy. However their Editorial commentating on this issue approaches the comical:

That he [the Pope] is nevertheless pressing ahead is perhaps a message to us: that we should make new efforts to engage those whose world view clashes with our own.

Well I am sure we all make our best efforts when engaging with atheists (perhaps such happens more frequently in such a dechristianised country here in the UK) but surely we choose our words carefully. In the case of journalists we need to be particularly careful of what we say and if they misquote us then we should seek correction and redress. That does not seem to have happened here.

Supertradmum said...

If you have time, read this:

And I love cricket with excellent bats being used....

Et Expecto said...

It was a situation like this that prompted the Crucades. Perhaps that is what we need.

John Fisher said...

Islam uses sodomy as a form of humiliation and rape which any anthropologist will tell you it is.
The Pope is quite silly. The gay ideology and sexual construct seeps into the Church because Christians move in a very unchristian world and are corrupted by others around them and from within. The clergy as well are influenced by social and psychological fashion based upon sensuality and moral indifference. Most sexual abuse is of teens past puberty and finds its origin in gay ideology. So most clergy keep their celibacy but some give into social norms. A largely promiscuous society delights and enjoys the corruption of clergy because its bolsters its own vices.

John Fisher said...

The Lord’s descent into the underworld

At Matins/the Office of Readings on Holy Saturday the Church gives us this 'ancient homily', I find it incredibly moving, it is abou...