Gates of Hell


#1

It seems like we catholics use the phrase that the church will prevail against the gates of hell as an excuse to tolerate the continuence of behaviour by our church leaders that is contrary to what Jesus taught.

The worldwide abuse crisis, of children and adolescents in the US, of brother clerics in Austria, of nuns in Africa, the horror stories from Ireland and the other former UK countries, point to a complacency within the church that is unexplainable.

These issues are not new, abuse has been condonded by Rome since the Latern councils.

How long are we as catholics supposed to wait for the Vatican to start acting on these issues as Jesus would?

Have we fallen into the trap of using the “gates of hell” arguement to allow abuse to fester?

Does the Vatican use the gates of hell arguement to resist change as opposed to being the vehicle of change that it could and should have been?

I find it difficult to believe that the Holy Spirit came to JP2 and Ratzinger when they prayed on this issue over the last 20-30 years and said to continue with the status quo.

This problem reminds me of the joke where the guy complains to God about not winning the lottery despite his prayers. God asks him if he bought a ticket.

Perhaps the gates of hell guidance from Jesus is not an excuse for the church to use to justify its lack of impeccability, but notice to us that we shouldn’t tolerate unChristlike behaviour from the leaders of our church.

Peace


#2

Does anybody think that the Holy Spirit tolerates how well our Vatican has handled this mess?

Perhaps somebody out there knows what official doctrinal justification all the popes and cardinals and bishops have used to allow the abuse of catholics worldwide to not just happen, but to happen in numbers that are only larger because of the inaction of the vatican.

Or am I mistaken to think that the HS might consider this an issue that would require any type of guidance from the HS.

Peace


#3

ricatholic, the abuse can’t be justified, the Pope does not condone the abuse, I don’t accept the abuse.

Did pope John Paul say that there can be no place in the priesthood for these priests ?
Some Bishops only added to the problem by moving the priests around, like they were suffering from Ostrich syndrome, bury your head in the sand.
I know there are a lot of disobedient Cardinals & Bishops, like the words of La Salette coming back to haunt us, I often wonder are we getting the truth out of the Vatican, as I heard a few seers say that the popes words are interfeared with, who knows ?
Anyway this is only a way of expressing hope these terrible times, & they are the words of Jesus, not us, JESUS must have known about the attacks on His Church in the future, or why would he have used those words.
I know it doesn’t give anyone a licence to abuse, but it does give us a little hope amidst the horror.
Put you hand in to a rose bush to pick a Rose, chances are your going to get thorns, life is like that, and the Rose reminds me of the pain we have to endure to obtain the good things.
The sooner all these Priests that abuse are defrocked the better.


#4

Unless the church has been teaching that it is okay to abuse young men or boys, what has that got to do with the gates of Hell? The Biblical promises of the church being free from error still stand. But even in the time of the apostles, the people of the church will continue to sin. The New Testament is filled with the sins of Christ’s people and leaders. The leaders of the Church are not exempt from sin. These issues are not the same.


#5

I share your frustration of what sometimes appears to be slow action on the part of the heirarchy in what is being done about the abuse crisis. However, I don’t know if I understand your question or the point you’re trying to make. I guess I never heard anyone argue “the gates of hell” to defend the abusers in the Church.

I think the “gates of hell” statement is best used to comfort and reassure people who are in fear that the Catholic Church will not survive the scandals. And that, despite the sinful acts of those entrusted with teaching the faith, the true Church teachings will never change - even though some may teach in error.

I think the closer argument would be comparing the abusive priests, etc. with Judas. Or even more closely is the story of separating the chaff from the wheat at the harvest (judgement day). However, neither of these examples defend the abusers either. It just helps explain how these terrible things can happen.

I think everything is being done to make sure this abuse crisis never happens again but also protects the innocent from false charges.


#6

Part of the problem that cicatholic is having is assuming that information flows freely and rapidly throughout the Church. The Pope, and most of the Cardinals in the Vatican, do not travel much; what travel they do is not likely to elicit much information on what is actually going on. Information tends to stay in small pockets, whether by intent or design, or just simply the fact that with a billion Catholics, there is simply too much information to digest; the result is that a great deal gets filtered out as it moves along.

I don’t think that there was any way the Vatican could have known what exactly was going on in one seminary in Austria. How many seminaries are there world wide? And how often should each one be checked on? And given what was happening there, how likely is it that the information would have gotten to a decision maker who could, let alone would, investigate? And how
likely is it, had someone from Rome (or a Bishop, for that matter) investigated, that they would have even found enough evidence to indicate there was a problem?

Part of the problem with the investigations is that they are usually telegraphed long before anyone shows up; the evidence is hidden, the investigator goes away wondering why the charge was made, and the situation goes back to whatever.

Most of the incidences are relatively isolated, within a small population of priests, nuns, etc. However, the amount of press they now get make it sound as if all are guilty, making it hard to keep any perspective. Please don’t misunderstand; there should be zero tollerance. But the sky is not falling, in spite of the press warnings.


#7

[quote=otm]Part of the problem that cicatholic is having is assuming that information flows freely and rapidly throughout the Church. The Pope, and most of the Cardinals in the Vatican, do not travel much; what travel they do is not likely to elicit much information on what is actually going on. Information tends to stay in small pockets, whether by intent or design, or just simply the fact that with a billion Catholics, there is simply too much information to digest; the result is that a great deal gets filtered out as it moves along.

I don’t think that there was any way the Vatican could have known what exactly was going on in one seminary in Austria. How many seminaries are there world wide? And how often should each one be checked on? And given what was happening there, how likely is it that the information would have gotten to a decision maker who could, let alone would, investigate? And how
likely is it, had someone from Rome (or a Bishop, for that matter) investigated, that they would have even found enough evidence to indicate there was a problem?

Part of the problem with the investigations is that they are usually telegraphed long before anyone shows up; the evidence is hidden, the investigator goes away wondering why the charge was made, and the situation goes back to whatever.

Most of the incidences are relatively isolated, within a small population of priests, nuns, etc. However, the amount of press they now get make it sound as if all are guilty, making it hard to keep any perspective. Please don’t misunderstand; there should be zero tollerance. But the sky is not falling, in spite of the press warnings.
[/quote]

=====

Perhaps you need to do a little research. Start at the Latern Councils hundreds of years ago, the popes were already aware of the abuse of pilgrims by the monks.

As for the little world of the vatican, they had approved of the US settlements , in the $millions at least 10 years ago and most likely approved of others earlier.

Don’t you think that Rome sees the $100,000,000.00’s that were spent before the crisis erupted into the public eye in Boston?

You don’t think that any victim of abuse wrote to the vatican and asked for help?

Sticking our heads in the sand and pretending that hundreds of bishops could be transferring abusers from parish to parish, dioceses to diocese and country to country and avoid any notion of the abuse getting to the Vatican is just total foolishness.

The vatican acts to excommunicate a bunch of noncatholics who ordain women in a matter of days and it takes centuries for them to act on abuse?

All the excuses that are used to protect rome by ardent supporters of the church are never used by rome, why? Has anybody in the Vatican ever said that they did not know what was happening?

I admire the fact that poeple want to support the church and its leaders, unfortunately our leaders do not deserve our support when it comes to this issue.

In a perverse way, the biggest abuse is being perpertrated by the leadership of our church, they have allowed thousands of additional abuse victims and while they profess to be pro-life, their inactions have led to more than one suicide.

It is shamefull how they have let peoples lives be destroyed and it is pitifull that they have the gumption to continue to insist that they do these things in Jesus’ name.

Peace


#8

Just a question for some of you who post that this is essentially a problem of abusive priests.

Why, if the rate of priests who abuse is similar to that of the general population and is in the single digits, why did we have such a large percentage of bishops and cardinals who transferred abusive priests?

Why did the vatican approved Jesuit magazine ,LaCivilta,call for continued secrecy involving the transfer of priests who previously abused to new parishes?

Why would somebody like Law get a promotion, even a ceremonial one?

I would suggest that it shows a higher concern for the things that Jesus taught not to be concerned about, than the things that Jesus specifically told the apostles to do which were to be servants to His flock.

Peace


#9

[quote=ricatholic]It seems like we catholics use the phrase that the church will prevail against the gates of hell as an excuse to tolerate the continuence of behaviour by our church leaders that is contrary to what Jesus taught.

[/quote]

How is this being done?

[quote=ricatholic]These issues are not new, abuse has been condonded by Rome since the Latern councils.
[/quote]

How was it condoned?

[quote=ricatholic]How long are we as catholics supposed to wait for the Vatican to start acting on these issues as Jesus would?
[/quote]

What do you think Jesus would do? On what basis?

[quote=ricatholic]Does the Vatican use the gates of hell arguement to resist change as opposed to being the vehicle of change that it could and should have been?
[/quote]

I’ve never read or heard it used for this purpose.

[quote=ricatholic]I find it difficult to believe that the Holy Spirit came to JP2 and Ratzinger when they prayed on this issue over the last 20-30 years and said to continue with the status quo.
[/quote]

On what do you base the claim that all is the same?


#10

Since the Church is not Bishops or even priests, it is wrong to say the Church has condoned the actions you describe. (BTW shouldn’t the other former UK countries where abuses are taking place which you bemoaned be laid at the feet of our Protestant friends?)

Your post really wasn’t written with the purpose of generating discussion. The way you present your posts you leave yourself free to criticize anyone who tries to respond to you with anything less than agreement as either blind, or a supporter of abuse themselves.

There are obviously many people out there, both in and out of the Church, who are guilty of heinous crimes against others. This is one of those times where it would be easy to question God, and ask Him why he gives us free choice even to the point of hurting each other. Questioning God, however, is not the answer. Blaming “The Church” is also not the answer.

We, individually and communally, have an obligation to bring these atrocities to light and punish the evildoers who perpetuate them regardless of whether the criminals happen to hold holy orders or not.

As long as our Church is populated by people who are willing to do more than complain and try to pass the blame and responsibility off on others, then the gates of Hell will not prevail against us!

Praise God that I have met and read about so many people, priests, laiety, civil servants, educators, etc., who are willing to go the extra mile to end these atrocities!


#11

Ri,

Are you going to do this again? Every post you have ever made has been on abuse. You have used it to justify your own rejection of catholicism. I think you will find folks in here will be less likely to go along with you on that route. Most know that the Pope is not the one to blame. It is those who dissent from the church’s teachings that are the problem. I think you need to find some other topics to discuss.


#12

I personally think its time for a new Pope. JPII is a very holy man but I dont think he was cut for administration of such a huge body of people. We needed a firm hand where JPII had only gentleness. I doubt he has the mental and physical faculties to personally address the issue now anyways. It’s enough to make one long for the inquisition again.

Everyone knows the Church’s position on homosexual behaviour so these people were in direct violation of church law. But the homosexual network in the church and gay lobby are trying to prevent the faithful from addressing the issue and keep making excuses for it or misdirecting blame.


#13

Anyway Ric have a look at these, if you want more I can get them, it doesn’t justify abuse by the Catholic Church, but it seems that other Churches abuses are been brushed under the carpet, time to unearth them.

reformation.com/ here the 19 Presbyterian link can’t be found, :hmmm: I wonder why ?

freerepublic.com/focus/news/659629/posts

worldmag.com/world/issue/03-30-02/cover_1.asp

tmatt.gospelcom.net/column/2002/06/19/

Abuse molestation is disgusting from whatever quater it comes from, but I think your suffering from tunnel vision.


#14

[quote=hawkeye]Anyway Ric have a look at these, if you want more I can get them, it doesn’t justify abuse by the Catholic Church, but it seems that other Churches abuses are been brushed under the carpet, time to unearth them.

Abuse molestation is disgusting from whatever quater it comes from, but I think your suffering from tunnel vision.
[/quote]

Are you saying that because other religions have abusers, our leadrs have a legitimate excuse for their actions?

Since you have basically little knowledge of me, how do you conclude that I have tunnel vision? I abore all abuse, but since I am catholic, I have a vested intrest in seeing that our church be at the vanguard of cleaning up abuse worldwide.

Am I mistaken in believing that the catholic church is the deposit of truth and that the truth of Jesus included direction regarding children in specific, but in a more general command told the apostles(and the Vatican through apostolic succession) to be servants of the people?

As a catholic I can stick my head in the sand , as the church’s leaders want us to do, or I can advocate that all the leaders of our church act like men of Jesus and not simply as caretakers for the institution.

Peace


#15

[quote=Rattivore]Ri,

Are you going to do this again? Every post you have ever made has been on abuse. You have used it to justify your own rejection of catholicism. I think you will find folks in here will be less likely to go along with you on that route. Most know that the Pope is not the one to blame. It is those who dissent from the church’s teachings that are the problem. I think you need to find some other topics to discuss.
[/quote]

As Cestus Dei on the other site, you continually attacked me personally. I asked you many times to indicate in any instance where I was deceptive or posted anything that was untrue.

You say the pope is not to blame, but you have yet to post any action of the pope to diminish the effect of abuse prior to the crisis in Boston. You unfortunately do not have any facts on you side.

I have been a catholic much longer than you and have no ax to grind with the church or anybody that follows Jesus. But, perhaps because of the great number of wonderfull saintly catholics that I have encountered over the decades, I feel that the leaders of our church have let the congregation and their Saviour down with the way they have allowed by action or conscious inaction a multitude of preventable abuse by clerics to occur to catholics.

Now you may feel that the pope was too busy or ratzinger had bigger issues to contend with, but if that is the case then they should have had the good sense to delegate the problem to men that knew abuse was wrong.

But if the pope had time to address the issue and didn’t(yet had time to review settlement documents) then that is another question.

But as long as faithfull catholics do not act as Jesus would and those actions are condonded by people such as you we will always have abuse of one sorty or another, but you can sleep easily knowing that it is more important that the church be protected from scandal than the congregation be protected from evil.

Peace


#16

ri,

You have attacked and lied about the Pope, Cardinal Ratzinger, and any other prelate who dared defend the faith. Also we both know you are not really Catholic. You have never met a dogma you did not deny. For example you deny that Paul was an apostle and do not accept his letters in the NT. All of this is just a way for you to avoid believing in the faith while in fact attacking it. I still don’t know your real reasons for this. Certainly abused children don’t concern you. You still only care about the issue as a club with which to beat the Church.

Folks,

Ri and I go way back. Every post he makes is about the abuse crisis. Basically he denys the infallibility of the Church while touting his own. Just letting you all know in advance what to expect.


#17

[quote=ricatholic]As Cestus Dei on the other site, you continually attacked me personally. I asked you many times to indicate in any instance where I was deceptive or posted anything that was untrue.

[/quote]

BTW, Cestus Dei or Rattivore or one of the many othe rnames he uses was unable to dispute my posts with facts . I am unsure if Catholic.com allows the personal type of attacks that Rattitore is so fond of, but when you are trying to dertermine legitamacy of an arguement, it is actually the facts and concepts that dertermine the legitamacy of the argument not the ability of one or another to personally slam the other person.

Peace


#18

[quote=cestusdei]ri,

You have attacked and lied about the Pope, Cardinal Ratzinger, and any other prelate who dared defend the faith. Also we both know you are not really Catholic. You have never met a dogma you did not deny. For example you deny that Paul was an apostle and do not accept his letters in the NT. All of this is just a way for you to avoid believing in the faith while in fact attacking it. I still don’t know your real reasons for this. Certainly abused children don’t concern you. You still only care about the issue as a club with which to beat the Church.

Folks,

Ri and I go way back. Every post he makes is about the abuse crisis. Basically he denys the infallibility of the Church while touting his own. Just letting you all know in advance what to expect.
[/quote]


#19

Cestus as I have asked in the past, please be so kind as to indicate a specific lie or deception that I have posted about anyone. You never replied to that opportunity and probably will not in the future.

As far as the abuse issue goes, when you in the past called me a pervert for bring up the abuse issue, I told you of my direct experiences with the issue. If you think that I have no concerned for the abused, then you know nothing of me and what I know directly about the abuse issue in the US catholic church from a personal standpoint and how the church still treats those that have been abused.

While you continue to attack me and lie about me, I wonder about your motives. What do you get out of it?

I will no longer respond to your attacks. I wish you good health and prompt healing.

Peace


#20

Ri,

I did point out one of your lies. The Pope is not to blame for child abuse. The ones to blame are the ones who did it. The Pope was disobeyed, so it is wrong to blame him. If people had done what he asked them to then this would not have happened. So there is just one lie of yours.

I will give you some truths. Child abuse is NOT a Catholic problem. As has been pointed out to you umteen times it afflicts all religions and peoples. Most children are abused by relatives, coaches, and as recently reported teachers. Hundreds of thousands of children are abused and very very few by priests. You focus on only one segment for a reason. To undercut the Church. You could care less about abused kids. They are simply objects for you to use. That is the truth.

Do you deny what I said about your view of St. Paul and his writings? I didn’t think so. Btw, it is heresy to deny the NT canon. You can ignore me, but you can refute what I say. It won’t take long before it is noticed that all you do is bash the Church and use children to do it. There are no liberal anti-Catholic mods here to save you. You are pretending to be a Catholic when you are in fact an anti-Catholic bigot. I don’t think that will work here. I hope you are healed of your blind unreasoning hatred.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.