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  #31  
Old Apr 14, '05, 12:43 pm
Tantum ergo Tantum ergo is offline
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Default Re: Cardinal Law, Saint or Sinner?

On the whole this thread has been pretty charitable, but I still see a lot of those "elder brothers" who are just livid that a public sinner has been forgiven by his father, and who think that anything (beyond a crust of bread, cup of water, and permanent internment in the family dungeon) that the Cardinal has is "too much", and certainly his appearance (gasp!) in the world as well as his holding a job (gasp!) for which he is qualified but certainly is neither an "ornament", a "cushy job", or an "opportunity for advancement" means that he just hasn't been punished enough to satisfy them.

We are supposed to forgive like Christians, right?

I guess a lot of people think that Christian forgiveness for the Cardinal means just enough to live on (preferably secluded from any contact with "good people"), lip service of "of course any one can be forgiven if he's sorry" coupled with a firm belief that the Cardinal ISN'T sorry and even if he is there are some things too bad to be forgiven, and, of course, the ability of the "Christian" to castigate and judge the Cardinal's failings while in the same breath he expects God to go all out in mercy for HIS failings, since he's a "good Christian" unlike that awful Law. . .

As for the Title of this thread my answer would be BOTH. . . AND NEITHER.

And I'd say the same answer for any of us as well.
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  #32  
Old Apr 14, '05, 1:10 pm
Simes Simes is offline
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Default Re: Cardinal Law, Saint or Sinner?

I write with limited knowledge of the American Church as I am an Englishman, but would offer a couple of observations.

In hindsight it would be very easy to find fault with Cardinal Law's handling of the situation. However, broadly speaking, child abuse was not recognised as a phenomenom in the West until around the 1970s, and if much of the abuse occurred in the 70s and 80s, then arguably, Cardinal Law did not have the benefit of the knowledge that we have now. Also, it is unlikely that the pernicious nature of paediaphilia was understood then as it is now.
  #33  
Old Apr 14, '05, 1:41 pm
Kevin Walker Kevin Walker is offline
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Default Re: Cardinal Law, Saint or Sinner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa4Catholics
For those who feel like the Holy Father did not do right with Cardinal Law.Let me ask you this? If you know what you have done or not done has caused so much outrage and hurt would you prefer to be 1)Living as a hermit 2)Keeping the position you had and being forced to deal with the anger and outrage on a daily basis What do you suppose Cardinal Law would rather do?Before you flame me think about what I said.
First: Ask how the victims of homosexual Priest rape feel that would not have been raped in the first place if Cardinal Bernard Law simply did his job and kicked out the well known and recidivist kid touchers.

Second: A well known sex abuse enabler, Cardinal Bernard Law, should never have been placed in a public position of prestige and honor, which is tantamount to the Vatican approving and rewarding the homosexual fetish existing within the Church.

Third: Other Priests have been defrocked for a lot less: e.g., heresy or embezzlement; and Cardinal Bernard Law should no longer be attached to the Roman Catholic Church.

Cardinal Law's very presence just adds fuel for criticism by the enemies of Catholicism and is a slap in the face to the sex abuse victims themselves, and very disillusioning to the faithful. The Catholic Church really doesn't need to produce any more lapse Catholics or walkouts.
  #34  
Old Apr 14, '05, 1:45 pm
Kevin Walker Kevin Walker is offline
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Default Re: Cardinal Law, Saint or Sinner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benedictus
I completely agree. Forgiveness doesn't mean we can pretend nothing happened. If forgiving Cardinal Law means that he should still get to play a high-profile role in the Church, then forgiving the pervert priests means everyone here should hire one as a baby sitter.
I agree. It seems to me that automatically forgiving any heinious act simply reduces the value of the forgiveness of sins.

For example: if some nut rapes, mutilates, tortures, then murders my sister or daughter, and I automatically publically 'forgive' him, I think I would be seen as less than sincere by any intelligent peer (or my sanity and morality openly questioned). Even if I do forgive the reprobate, it doesn't mean nothing has happened or nothing should be done about it.

Cardinal Law needs to be forgiven and removed.
  #35  
Old Apr 14, '05, 1:47 pm
Lisa N Lisa N is offline
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Default Re: Cardinal Law, Saint or Sinner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simes
I write with limited knowledge of the American Church as I am an Englishman, but would offer a couple of observations.

In hindsight it would be very easy to find fault with Cardinal Law's handling of the situation. However, broadly speaking, child abuse was not recognised as a phenomenom in the West until around the 1970s, and if much of the abuse occurred in the 70s and 80s, then arguably, Cardinal Law did not have the benefit of the knowledge that we have now. Also, it is unlikely that the pernicious nature of paediaphilia was understood then as it is now.
This is something I've thought about as well. The reality is that we didn't recognize this kind of predatory behavior, nor did we understand it, nor did we realize, at that time, that such people cannot be cured or treated. You can only lock them away. We learned too little and too late to save many young men from a horrible experience.

But it's a lot easier to look at the situation with hindsight and say what should have happened. Hindisight is so clear and we look so brilliant now making pronouncements of what should have been done. Many of the bishops depended on treatment centers that claimed the perverts could be cured or had been successfully treated. Do we fault them for believing these professionals? Do we fault them for believing a supposedly contrite priest who claimed he would not offend again? I can only imagine if our priest were accused. I simply would not believe the accusations. To me it's clearly understandable that the idea that trusted priests were preying on young men was just not that credible at that time.

If we knew then what we know now, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Lisa N
  #36  
Old Apr 14, '05, 1:56 pm
Lisa4Catholics Lisa4Catholics is offline
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Default Re: Cardinal Law, Saint or Sinner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Walker
First: Ask how the victims of homosexual Priest rape feel that would not have been raped in the first place if Cardinal Bernard Law simply did his job and kicked out the well known and recidivist kid touchers.

Second: A well known sex abuse enabler, Cardinal Bernard Law, should never have been placed in a public position of prestige and honor, which is tantamount to the Vatican approving and rewarding the homosexual fetish existing within the Church.

Third: Other Priests have been defrocked for a lot less: e.g., heresy or embezzlement; and Cardinal Bernard Law should no longer be attached to the Roman Catholic Church.

Cardinal Law's very presence just adds fuel for criticism by the enemies of Catholicism and is a slap in the face to the sex abuse victims themselves, and very disillusioning to the faithful. The Catholic Church really doesn't need to produce any more lapse Catholics or walkouts.
Hello Kevin,I knew it was coming Anyway, as a victim of a sexual assault when I was 12 I can tell you that anger and unforgiveness is like a cancer that eats you up inside.I heard what the Holy Father said about the sex abuse scandal Kevin in he did not fluff it over Since when is forgiveness the same as rewarding someone?How many familys' hide these things?I came from being a protestant and they have the same problems they don't usually make the news with 2 hour specials.Also,with or without the scandal the Church is landblasted,I am the only Catholic besides my children in my family(they think I am going to hell and taking my kids with me) So Jesus telling us to forgive is optional?I do not minimize what has been done, what I will do however is believe that the Pope dealt with Cardinal Law as he felt he should.The Pope is a Holy man and I trust his judgement.God Bless
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  #37  
Old Apr 14, '05, 2:02 pm
Kevin Walker Kevin Walker is offline
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Default Re: Cardinal Law, Saint or Sinner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa N
Many of the bishops depended on treatment centers that claimed the perverts could be cured or had been successfully treated. Do we fault them for believing these professionals? Do we fault them for believing a supposedly contrite priest who claimed he would not offend again? I can only imagine if our priest were accused. I simply would not believe the accusations. To me it's clearly understandable that the idea that trusted priests were preying on young men was just not that credible at that time.
Hi Lisa N:

Both the Center for Living in Connecticut, and the St. Luke's Institute in Silversprings, Maryland, the Catholic Church psychiatric treatment centers for Priests and staff, had identified and documented the names of habitual and incurable homosexual Priests and identified these monsters as recidivist and dangerous around young men and boys. Bernard Law is documented, with his signature present on said documents from both these institutes, in knowing the conditions of these predatory Priests and their past transgressions, yet he still transferred them to other Diocese nationwide where they again molested young men and boys.

It is incongruous that you would minimilize or defend the culpability of Cardinal Bernard Law in the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal.
  #38  
Old Apr 14, '05, 2:10 pm
Kevin Walker Kevin Walker is offline
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Default Re: Cardinal Law, Saint or Sinner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa4Catholics
The Pope is a Holy man and I trust his judgement.God Bless
Hi Lisa4Catholics,

Yes, the Pope, or any Pope, is a Holy man and I trust their judgement in theological matters inherently. Pope John Paul II unequivocally stood against (abortion, pre- and post marital sex, and homosexuality) in the Priesthood in 2002, much to his ever lasting credit. But I openly question the Vatican's human resource management policies.
  #39  
Old Apr 14, '05, 2:12 pm
catholic2 catholic2 is offline
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Unhappy Re: Cardinal Law, Saint or Sinner?

This issue of the treatment of high profile sex abuse enablers such as Cardinal Bernard Law goes beyond what we are discussing here. It touches not so much on forgiveness, which is foundational in our spiritual journey, but more on the avoidance of scandal. I accuse the Church of making horrible decisions on the treatment of those enablers which now dampens the spirit of those who look to the Church for guidance. To a large degree, the success of the Church depends on its orthodoxy, and it needs to reinforce that stance. It does not help by putting on the face of forgiveness and then cheapening it by displaying an irrational approach to the treatment of those abuse enablers.
  #40  
Old Apr 14, '05, 2:21 pm
Writer Writer is offline
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Default Re: Cardinal Law, Saint or Sinner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by catholic2
This issue of the treatment of high profile sex abuse enablers such as Cardinal Bernard Law goes beyond what we are discussing here. It touches not so much on forgiveness, which is foundational in our spiritual journey, but more on the avoidance of scandal. I accuse the Church of making horrible decisions on the treatment of those enablers which now dampens the spirit of those who look to the Church for guidance. To a large degree, the success of the Church depends on its orthodoxy, and it needs to reinforce that stance. It does not help by putting on the face of forgiveness and then cheapening it by displaying an irrational approach to the treatment of those abuse enablers.
Well said!
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  #41  
Old Apr 14, '05, 2:41 pm
JKirkLVNV JKirkLVNV is offline
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Default Re: Cardinal Law, Saint or Sinner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tantum ergo
On the whole this thread has been pretty charitable, but I still see a lot of those "elder brothers" who are just livid that a public sinner has been forgiven by his father, and who think that anything (beyond a crust of bread, cup of water, and permanent internment in the family dungeon) that the Cardinal has is "too much", and certainly his appearance (gasp!) in the world as well as his holding a job (gasp!) for which he is qualified but certainly is neither an "ornament", a "cushy job", or an "opportunity for advancement" means that he just hasn't been punished enough to satisfy them.

We are supposed to forgive like Christians, right?

I guess a lot of people think that Christian forgiveness for the Cardinal means just enough to live on (preferably secluded from any contact with "good people"), lip service of "of course any one can be forgiven if he's sorry" coupled with a firm belief that the Cardinal ISN'T sorry and even if he is there are some things too bad to be forgiven, and, of course, the ability of the "Christian" to castigate and judge the Cardinal's failings while in the same breath he expects God to go all out in mercy for HIS failings, since he's a "good Christian" unlike that awful Law. . .

As for the Title of this thread my answer would be BOTH. . . AND NEITHER.

And I'd say the same answer for any of us as well.
You've missed the point. No one that I have read advocates punishing the Cardinal (well, Kevin does, but he's actually in Boston and might know a bit more about it than the rest of us). No one has said that he shouldn't be forgiven. No one has said that he should be excommunicated. No one has said that he should be starved, or deprived of the werewithal for a comfortable life. No one has suggested that he have his priestly faculties removed. No one has suggested that he not be allowed to celebrate Mass or hear confessions and grant absolution. All that's been suggested is that His Eminence might better serve the Church by voluntarily withdrawing from any visible position. There are lots of contemplative communities that need chaplains. AND might I add that being the Archpriest of Saint Mary Major in Rome is indeed an "ornament," a very plum job indeed if you're a priest!
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  #42  
Old Apr 14, '05, 3:28 pm
Lisa N Lisa N is offline
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Default Re: Cardinal Law, Saint or Sinner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Walker
Hi Lisa N:


It is incongruous that you would minimilize or defend the culpability of Cardinal Bernard Law in the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal.

Kevin, I really don't know about the reports you have and when I have more time I'll go back to the link. I think we need to get beyond the idea that Cardinal Law is the ONLY problem. He was one of a number of Bishops who either by ignorance or fear or arrogance did not stop this problem immediately when informed.

I have not defended Cardinal Law's actions. I have said I understand them in the context of the time, in the context of the way the Church operates and in the context of following legal advice.

I have simply defended the Holy Father's decision to make the appointment and that appointment led to a public appearance. I cannot know what is in either man's heart and I certainly don't know what Cardinal law has done regarding confession and repentence. I have to assume that the Holy Father was satisfied that he had done his penance. I also think Cardinal Law suffered serious punishment and cannot fathom the continued hounding of the man. In no way do I think he as responsible as the perverts for what happened. Yes he has culpability but he did not to anyone's knowledge either molest boys or maliciously make appointments knowing that such molestations would occur. He made some poor decisions but he is not an evil man.

Lisa N
  #43  
Old Apr 14, '05, 4:55 pm
bones_IV bones_IV is offline
 
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Default Re: Cardinal Law, Saint or Sinner?

I also would add that it's a sin to judge a priest. We have no right to judge a priest, even when he's in error. Leave Cardinal Law alone. I forgive him, let's get over the past and move on.
  #44  
Old Apr 14, '05, 5:01 pm
Kevin Walker Kevin Walker is offline
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Default Re: Cardinal Law, Saint or Sinner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa N
I also think Cardinal Law suffered serious punishment and cannot fathom the continued hounding of the man. In no way do I think he as responsible as the perverts for what happened.
Hi Lisa N,

I must disagree that Cardinal Law has suffered serious punishment; he too was simply shuffled around inside the Catholic Church the way he shuffled around known sex offenders allowing them to offend again.
  #45  
Old Apr 14, '05, 6:00 pm
Lisa N Lisa N is offline
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Default Re: Cardinal Law, Saint or Sinner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Walker
Hi Lisa N,

I must disagree that Cardinal Law has suffered serious punishment; he too was simply shuffled around inside the Catholic Church the way he shuffled around known sex offenders allowing them to offend again.
You don't think the public humiliation, loss of the Boston diocese, loss of any hope of advancing in the church, loss of prestige, loss of home and having to move to a foreign country away from family and friends was not punishment? I do. Maybe he wasn't 'demoted' far enough but I think someone who was in such a high place, so well respected must suffer greatly to know that he is constantly being publically scourged. Imagine if he were to read this forum.

Again I cannot defend his actions or lack of action. I just think he's been given a pretty serious punishment. For someone like Cardinal Law who loved and served the Church, to lose that respect and reputation has to be one of the worst possible punishments. I bet he'd rather break rocks in a prison yard than be held up to public ridicule and humiliation.

Lisa N
 

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