Thursday, March 19, 2009

Roman Catholic Church spent USD 436 million in 2008...

compensating victims who were sexually abused by priests in which "one in five victims were under the age of 10". And these clergymen are allegedly succeeding the Twelve Apostles. Sickening.

The Vatican claims that they are the true church because of their Apostolic Succession. Either they are right or not. But in this case, even if they are, it doesn't mean anything.

I think Jesus did highlight, though neither suggest nor reject, one option that the Roman Church can pick up if they still insist sucking sticking to their priestly code on celibacy:
"For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it." (Matt 19.12)

5 comments:

Rubati said...

First, it is only those ordained to the episcopate that are of apostolic succession, not priests and deacons.

Secondly, as the Anglican 39 Articles would put it,

"XXVI. Of the unworthiness of the Ministers, which hinders not the effect of the Sacraments.

ALTHOUGH in the visible Church the evil be ever mingled with the good, and sometime the evil have chief authority in the ministration of the word and sacraments; yet forasmuch as they do not the same in their own name, but in Christ's, and do minister by His commission and authority, we may use their ministry both in hearing the word of God and in the receiving of the sacraments. Neither is the effect of Christ's ordinance taken away by their wickedness, nor the grace of God's gifts diminished from such as by faith and rightly do receive the sacraments ministered unto them, which be effectual because of Christ's institution and promise, although they be ministered by evil men."

Thus, the 'unworthiness' of the priests does not impede upon the exercise of their priestly function. As St. Augustine would have put it, even if the devil himself managed to get ordained, the devil's exercise of his priestly office would be valid. And, if there are bishops involved in this scandal, their sin and unworthiness would not impede their apostolic authority to exercise the sacrament of ordination and pass on the episcopate.

Finally, I am sure similar language has been used to describe homosexual clergyman, but I take it that you do not approve of such language, why then do you discriminate between the sin of pedophilia and homosexuality? Both of them are sins and equally repugnant in the eyes of God, but what is required for both is loving restoration, not verbal abuse.

It may not mean anything to you, but it does mean something to the Catholics. And such language is hardly the attitude or way to get a dialogue or conversation going about their understanding of the holy office.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Rubati,

First I don't think the Anglican 39 Articles's view of the sacrament is normative or correct.

And second there cannot be made a case for exclusive Apostolic Succession of a particular churches/ denomination.

Third, I take pedophilia as abuse and homosexual relation between consented adults are not. But anyway I don't approve both for the office.

It doesn't mean anything not only to me, but also to the non-Christian and non-Catholic public. So what they have is only their private language, which I see as a desperate move to cling on to power.

Rubati said...

Lol... obviously you don't agree with the anglican/catholic view of the sacraments, otherwise you'll be anglican or catholic! But I am just saying that that's how the catholics and anglicans understand the holy office and the sacraments.

Apostolic succession is obvious open to debate, but that's not the point of your blog post, so another time perhaps.

But your point about not letting pedophiles and homosexuals hold office is strange. I have no objections to repentant pedophiles or homosexuals hold office (as long as their parish community is willing to accept their ministry), and also no objections to repentant murderers (St. Paul) and repentant apostates (St. Peter) and repentant exploiters and other repentant sinners to hold office.

Is homosexuality or pedophilia a more grievous sin than murder, exploitation and apostasy?

Well, Joshua, I am sure you read enough Rowan Williams to know that even the powerless or those outside the institutional power structures do also engage in the game of power struggle and attack via the power of abusive or mob language.

I recommend that perhaps to take Rowan Williams advice that some of the best way to testifying to corruption or abuse is by silence, powerlessness and simply being there and standing in solidarity with the powerless and transcending the fray of power struggle, whether it comes in the forms of canon laws issued from the Vatican or language of anger and provocation...

Rubati said...

Lol... obviously you don't agree with the anglican/catholic view of the sacraments, otherwise you'll be anglican or catholic! But I am just saying that that's how the catholics and anglicans understand the holy office and the sacraments.

Apostolic succession is obvious open to debate, but that's not the point of your blog post, so another time perhaps.

But your point about not letting pedophiles and homosexuals hold office is strange. I have no objections to repentant pedophiles or homosexuals hold office (as long as their parish community is willing to accept their ministry), and also no objections to repentant murderers (St. Paul) and repentant apostates (St. Peter) and repentant exploiters and other repentant sinners to hold office.

Is homosexuality or pedophilia a more grievous sin than murder, exploitation and apostasy?

Well, Joshua, I am sure you read enough Rowan Williams to know that even the powerless or those outside the institutional power structures do also engage in the game of power struggle and attack via the power of abusive or mob language.

I recommend that perhaps to take Rowan Williams advice that some of the best way to testifying to corruption or abuse is by silence, powerlessness and simply being there and standing in solidarity with the powerless and transcending the fray of power struggle, whether it comes in the forms of canon laws issued from the Vatican or language of anger and provocation.

Besides, it is also unfair to condemn the Vatican's language as a desperate attempt to cling on to power, in so far as you have no real evidence that that's the real interest served by their theology of the episcopate and the papacy.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Rubati,

It's clearer for me to clarify that when 'pedophiles' and 'homosexuals' are used, I imply them to mean 'those who are practicing'.

And I differentiate between:

1) Those repented ex-pedo or ex-homo who have not go onto the office, and

2) Those who are already on the office while committing these conducts, and then repent.

I'm more open to affirm the office of the first group.

Dom, don't assume too much on my reading! :)

Like everyone, we read a lot on particular thoughts but doesn't mean we agree with them all.

I totally agree that nothing is untainted with power or power claims, and what I intend the post to be is to show the danger of wielding such power. Especially when it's power supposedly derived from Christ or the Apostles.