‘Say No to Clericalism’: Pope’s letter on sexual abuse

 

Matters India

20 August 2018

James kottoorNote:  If the words and pleadings of CCV, sent to all Indian bishops fall on deaf ears, let them at least listen to the heart broken exhortations of Francis to put a stop to revolting sexual misconduct and clericalism ruling the roost in India.

The Pope is speaking out loud and clear, also a wide ranging battalions of bishops in all countries especially in US are speaking out and taking action, but alas  not a single bishop in India opens his mouth. One who keeps quiet, says nothing! (Qui tachet nihil dicit). On whose side are they? Waiting to join the winning side?

 

CCV hits Lottery

But at last the CCV has hit a LOTTERY!  The young energetic bishop of Mananthavady, of all Indian bishops, came out boldly and wrote a constructive letter to CCV editor setting an example to the rest of the bishops, at least to speak out. He was dealing with Kadapa conumdrum and explaining various “impossible” procedures to be gone through by one man, if the editor is serious about the rot in Kadapa.

The editor replied that CCV was doing its duty of the watchman to alert the masters in the house of signals of impending  disaster. It is the for the masters to take action to stem the rot or block the Idukki like floods coming to drown, which no watchman can or  is expected to do.

One or two swallows do not make the summer, but a joint action of the whole of the hierarchical church, not action by individual independent  bishops, but joint action based on the principle of interdependence.

 

Kadapa laity clamouring

At dawn of Christianity it was the laity, the weakest among them, a lady Mary Magdalene who woke up the sleeping Peter, John and the whole battalion and pushed them to get moving. Similar thing is happening in Kadapa even while Francis Pappa keeps on repeating: “It is the hour of the laity, listen and take lessons from them, searching for ways to serve,  not to lord over them.”

Silence, Pope says, can send the message of complicity to the laity.  Are our bishops sending out such a message? Jesus alone is the WAY for his true followers to walk in. His way of life was that of the Cattle Class, not of the comfortable royal or princely class. Are you keeping quiet because you are serving both God and mammon? james kottoor, editor ccv.

 

Please read below the Papal Exhortation

published in Matters India

 

On Aug 20, Pope Francis released a letter responding to the massive sexual assault crisis involving 1,000 victims and 300 priests in the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania. Francis condemned “clericalism,” called the entire Catholic Church to fasting and prayer, and presented the scandal in terms of God’s judgment on an unfaithful church. In doing so, he may have inadvertently opened up the debate on clericalism that inspired the Protestant Reformation.

“The heart-wrenching pain of these victims, which cries out to heaven, was long ignored, kept quiet or silenced,” Francis wrote in a letter published Monday. “But their outcry was more powerful than all the measures meant to silence it, or sought even to resolve it by decisions that increased its gravity by falling into complicity.  The Lord heard that cry and once again showed us on which side he stands.”

The pope quoted the Virgin Mary’s song in Luke 1 — known as the “Magnificat.” “For the Lord remembers the promise he made to our fathers: ‘he has scattered the proud in their conceit; he has cast down the mighty from their thrones and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty,'” Francis quoted from Luke 1:53-54. “We feel shame when we realize that our style of life has denied, and continues to deny, the words we recite.”

The pope’s decision to quote this part of the Magnificat proved quite significant, as the Catholic Church so often identifies with the Virgin Mary and looks up to her (some would say it verges on worshiping her). For the leader of the Roman Catholic Church to quote the Magnificat as a condemnation of the church’s sins is quite significant, and suggests a fitting contrition following such a devastating scandal. It may also open the church up to complaints that it has lost its way.

Pope Francis also quoted Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (who would become Pope Benedict XVI days later) from Good Friday 2005. “How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to [Christ]! How much pride, how much self-complacency! Christ’s betrayal by his disciples, their unworthy reception of his body and blood, is certainly the greatest suffering endured by the Redeemer; it pierces his heart. We can only call to him from the depths of our hearts: Kyrie eleison — Lord, save us!”

 

Comments on FaceBook

 

Noel D'Silva

What is clericalism? It is a policy of maintaining or increasing the power of a religious hierarchy. Clericalism distorts the Church according to Pope Francis. If the Church were to make use of the undoubted talents, expertise and deep accomplishments possessed by the women and men of today in every field of knowledge; if clerics and religious were to truly believe that they do not have the monopoly on solutions for the numerous challenges thrown up by contemporary life; if the hierarchy were to believe with Pope Francis that “ the lay faithful are the protagonists of the Church and the world” and if those in authority were to agree with the Holy Father that they are called to serve the lay faithful, not to make use of them; then we will surely see an upsurge in the fortunes of the Church. Our Holy Father should bring in a new element during the Rite of Ordination of priests – the washing of feet as a powerful reminder of Our Lord;s action during the very first Ordination at the Last Supper.
 

 

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George Nedumparambil

The main problem affecting Catholic Church in Kerala at least is the enormous amount of worldly richness that it has come to own. The spiritual richness has taken a back seat, justifying what Jesus said in Luke 16:13 "You cannot serve God and money". Church and wealth should be separated just as church and state are. This will help the clergy to lead a life where they would have truly renounced everything for Jesus as he himself has said in Luke 14:33 "So, therefore, any one of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple." Technically the priest may have renounced family and anscestoral properties but where did they end up? An El Dorado of unimaginable wealth. The alternative would be to be just prayer leaders with a family to go back to which is my preferred option given priesthood is a Jewish tradition and that it is impossible for anyone to meet Jesus' demands to be a true disciple.

 

 

 

 

 

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