Daniel, Susanna, and Priestly Sex Abuse


#1

I was reading through the story of Daniel and Susanna (Daniel 13), and I found it interesting.

The first thing I noticed is this:

These judges were lawless. Perhaps they were corrupted during their exile in Babylon. They started absorbing worldly Babylonian examples.

That year, two elders of the people were appointed judges, of whom the Lord said, “Lawlessness has come out of Babylon, that is, from the elders who were to govern the people as judges.”

Their lust took over their minds so that their judgement became perverted.

8When the elders saw her enter every day for her walk, they began to lust for her. 9They perverted their thinking; they would not allow their eyes to look to heaven, and did not keep in mind just judgments.

Initially they were ashamed of themselves. But they indulged their lust day by day. Feeding it. They willfully did no allow their minds to look to heaven, and did not keep in mind just judgement. Why? Because that would increase their shame and feelings of guilt.

10Though both were enamored of her, they did not tell each other their trouble, 11for they were ashamed to reveal their lustful desire to have her. 12Day by day they watched eagerly for her. 8When the elders saw her enter every day for her walk, they began to lust for her. 9They perverted their thinking; they would not allow their eyes to look to heaven, and did not keep in mind just judgments. 10Though both were enamored of her, they did not tell each other their trouble, 11for they were ashamed to reveal their lustful desire to have her. 12Day by day they watched eagerly for her.

Its also interesting how they seek each other to justify their evil actions. Sin is always easier to do when you have companions cheering you on. Telling you it is alright.

14But both turned back and arrived at the same spot. When they asked each other the reason, they admitted their lust, and then they agreed to look for an occasion when they could find her alone.

I think most sexual abuse involves a massive power unbalance. Those in authority and power abuse those who are under their authority to satisfy their lust. And perhaps the people around them share some of the blame because they tolerated such evil men. Although it is difficult to go against the powerful. It is still our duty to scrutinize the actions of those in power and oppose them when they are unjust. At least as far as it is within our ability

20“Look,” they said, “the garden doors are shut, no one can see us, and we want you. So give in to our desire, and lie with us. 21If you refuse, we will testify against you that a young man was here with you and that is why you sent your maids away.”

In short - there is nothing new under the sun. Sex abuse scandals have been with us as far back as the Old Testament. Evil and perverse men (and sometimes even women) will find their way into positions of authority and abuse those under their care.

What a tragedy, because it happens in the church as well.

God bless,
Ut


#2

Hi!

…the greatest tragedy is that the Church followed society in both imitating the behavior and in imitating the response to the sin/crime.

The Church was given a heavy blow as it allowed those with homosexual tendencies to operate within reach of potential victims.

The Church suffered a prolonged black-eye as “justice” seekers sought to punish her for the crimes of these abusers…

The Church forgot that her responsibility is far beyond society’s.

…but I wonder, would the slate be made clean by putting to death the perpetrators of the scandalous sexual abuse and the dismantling of the cloak of silence that gave then a sense of security?

Maran atha!

Angel


#3

Perhaps we have a too exalted view of where the holiness in the “Holy Catholic Church” resides. It does not necessarily reside in the physical magisterium. The old lady in the pew praying her rosary may be much more holy than the priest saying mass, or the bishop presiding over the confirmations and the ordinations.

I think there was a clear reason why they coined the phrase ex opero operandi. It means that the sacraments do not depend on the holiness of the priest for them to be efficacious. And the reason why this became such an issue was because there were so many bad priests and bishops at one point in the church’s history or another.

Yes the church’s “…responsibility is far beyond society’s”. But you only have to look as far as 1st and 2nd Corinthians to see that this is not always the case. Not to mention the 1st letter of Saint Clement of Rome to the Corinthians. And lets not forget that the apostles all fled Jesus in his hour. And Judas committed suicide.

The church is not made up of saints. It is primarily made up of sinners. Saints are the exception. We are called to be saints, but it appears that sanctity is the exception these days. At the very least, we can’t assume that just because a man wears a roman collar, that he is in some way a paragon of holiness.

I think having a realistic view of the church hierarchy is a good thing. We have to realize that these men are only human. They will fall. And sometimes they will fall in horrible ways. But we must not let that jeopardize our faith in Christ.

God bless,
Ut


#4

Hi!

I agree with your assessment of holiness; but I cannot agree with the tone of the post.

In minimalist Catholicism the Church is said to require that a person Confess his/her sins once a year… how does that work?

Can one participate of the Body of Christ while immersed in sin and sinful desire?

How is the minimalist approach reconciled with the obligation of the Sunday Mass?

So we must view the minimalist approach as the “minimum” standard of Catholicism applied where the actual circumstances merit it.

There are places in the world where a Catholic Priest is not seen by Catholics for months at a time… yet, these parishioners thirst for the Mass and for the Sacraments while millions of “Catholics” who have “the choice” of parishes refuse to partake of the Sacraments or even go to Mass.

Setting the goal of the Clergy to a run-of-the-mill sinners’ club is not the standards to which Christ’s Priests should aspire–nor should the Laity rejoice to have such type of representation.

Maran atha!

Angel


#5

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