Saturday, March 27, 2010


Objectivity is difficult to attain. Catholicism and the Papacy in particular evince emotional responses that reflect our prior commitments, beliefs and life history. So the current news media assault on the papacy needs some distancing before reaching judgement.

There is no reason for a Catholic to assume that every decision made by a bishop who later becomes Pope is infallible. And given the history of the papacy, serious moral defects much be considered possible in the abstract. Criticism of Church leaders may be necessary for their own good as well as that of the Church as a whole.

But the Church is a Family which means that public humiliation of one's own family including parents and other family authority figures is only moral if there is no other way of achieving their salvation. So we must not refuse to consider the possibility of failure, even serious moral failure in the successors of the Apostles, even of Saint Peter himself. But neither must we engage in public speculation or condemnation unless as a very last resort.

So read the following and consider what merit, if any, these current news stories really have:

Keeping the record straight on Benedict and the crisis:

Intense scrutiny is being devoted these days to Pope Benedict XVI's history on the sex abuse crisis. Revelations from Germany have put his five years as a diocesan bishop under a spotlight, and a piece on Thursday in The New York Times, on the case of Fr. Lawrence Murphy of Milwaukee...

Read the whole thing.

(Via New Advent World Watch.)

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