Church As Institutional Failure

By Rod Dreher

Many comments on this new Pope Francis thread from Catholics and others are really sobering and thoughtful about the state of Christianity in our country. A couple:


[Quoting another reader:]

The cover-up by the Bishops struck at the heart of the moral and spiritual authority of the Church in the West. There is now this kind of uncomfortable silence…and anger: “Don’t you even try to challenge us on the moral issues that we are dealing with in our complicated private lives, with the way you dealt with your own dirty laundry.””

I think this is very true and will be true until the Church engages in a fearless and searching reckoning of the crisis and is transparent with the laity. And the clergy who covered up these abuses must pay a price for the cover ups not retire to comfortable positions like Cardinal Law.

However, the laity is not justified in ignoring the commandments because of the transgressions of a small minority of the clergy and the Church does not belong to the offending clergy. It is so much more than the clergy. Do not let them take it away from us or cause us to discard it.

Elizabeth Anne:

It’s not just anger. The clergy scandal irrevocably and permanently altered the way all the Catholics I know think about the church. In short, except for a VERY small core of Catholics I know who are able to separate the men from the institution, none of them are at all willing to believe anymore that the Roman Catholic Church is in any way a special institution with a particular right to dictate morality.

I live now in a very Catholic area (Wisconsin) with Catholic family. And the abuse scandals simply undid their faith in the church as an authority. Most of them have either left and will not go back or go with an insistence on a hands off approach wherein the priests and especially the bishops have absolutely no right to dictate morality to them. A few have gone the other extreme and jumped into sedevacantist RadTrad camps.

I think this is nowhere more painfully obvious than in the statistics out of Ireland. But you can see it everywhere.


It’s not the sex abuse scandal.

Take my parish where my kids attend school. Very conservative, orthodox priest. He even has introduced Latin into our Novus Ordo liturgy. It is a parish in a politically/culturally conservative neighborhood. The school is amazing. Prayer is an active part of their school day, and they focus a lot on faith formation.

That said, hardly any of people who send their kids to school at our parish go to mass regularly. I’m in my early 30s and so are the other parents in my kids’ classes. It is nothing like I remember being in Catholic school in the 90s, when you saw everybody at mass on Sunday. If anyone does go, it is the mothers and kids. Fathers rarely go to mass.

Why is this not the sex abuse scandal? Because these people who don’t …read more

Via:: American Conservative


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