“This isn’t about people being gay. It’s about abuse of power,” said “Father Peter”, who admitted in the Observer report which broke the story that he had been involved in an inappropriate relationship with the cardinal that led to him needing counselling. “The emotional and psychological power Keith O’Brien had over me was incredible. He was utterly manipulative.” guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/24/keith-o-brien-accusers-deny-gay-cabal-claims
When we fall into sinful habits, we put ourselves into the greatest danger. Aside from damaging our relationship with God, we place ourselves in contact with other sinners, we make ourselves vulnerable to blackmail.
Internally, I hope this situation is dealt with sternly. Externally, I’m hoping it fades from newsprint quickly. The press loves Church scandal, yet fails to adequately cover the tremendous amount of good the Church accomplishes. This repeating pattern of secular attacks upon the entire Church based on the indiscretions of a limited number of flawed humans is despicable. I can’t stand it.
Yes, they do come across as attacks, but that is just a point of view. One is not a bad person/Catholic if they wish to see justice done.
The problem is that the Church has not been dealing with this “internally” as they do not have the same right of law (as they had in the Middle Ages for example) to do so. In those days this crime and paedophilia etc.** was punished by execution**. This sentence being ruled by the law courts of the Church. In these days, the clergy is accountable for these crimes to the civil authorities.
What the Church should be doing…is making sure that their clergy who’s sins become/are public, do public reparation and make personal restitution for them. The three conditions for forgiveness apply to all grave/mortal sin and apply, perhaps moreso, to the public sinner.
Apologies made and put out to the media, is only just that. An apology. It appears that the Church is doing the reparation and restitution for them.
It would go a long way to regaining the respect of the outside world, and restore the confidence of the Faithful, if these ‘public sinners’ were to undergo a public penance imposed by the Church, and personal restitution (perhaps having to pray for their victims for x period of time) in the public domain.
Indulgences in the past had certain time periods attached to them by the Popes(this has been dropped in the newer Enchridion of Indulgences).This applied to public sinners, who had to do this penance in public for the said amount of time, which was applied to the souls in Purgatory.
This concept is not new to the Church - just somewhat out of fashion in contemporary times. Perhaps our new Pope Francis may just have this in mind already, hopefully.:highprayer:
*] The 4th Lateran Council (1215) and the Council of Basle (1449) both recognized the fact that curbing the vices depended on cooperative superiors. The canon from the Lateran Council is succinct:Prelates who dare support such in their iniquities, especially in view of money or other temporal advantages, shall be subject to a like punishment.
The other unique feature of this period is the collaboration of the church with secular authorities in the enforcement of ecclesiastical laws. The Catholic Church was the only Christian denomination and the dominant social force in the medieval period. Separation of church and state was unheard of which meant that the boundaries between the secular and religious were often blurred. Church authorities considered celibacy violations to be more than a purely religious matter. They caused some degree of scandal and therefore were a matter of public interest. To enhance the opprobrium the church often tried accused clerics in the ecclesiastical tribunals and then turned them over to secular authorities for additional prosecution and punishment. Penalties were harsh and sometimes included execution.[