The Byzantine Forum
Newest Members
Annlouise, Taylor, Randy Danielson, TAFrazer, PNCC Random Guy
5,770 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 48 guests, and 33 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Latest Photos
Church of St Cyril of Turau & All Patron Saints of Belarus
Byzantine Nebraska
Byzantine Nebraska
by orthodoxsinner2, December 11
Church of the Holy Trinity (UGCC) - Brazil
Church of the Holy Trinity (UGCC) - Brazil
by Santiago Tarsicio, March 17
Papal Audience 10 November 2017
Papal Audience 10 November 2017
by JLF, November 10
Upgraded Russian icon corner
Upgraded Russian icon corner
by The young fogey, October 20
Forum Statistics
Forums26
Topics35,056
Posts414,079
Members5,770
Most Online3,380
Dec 29th, 2019
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 3 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 6
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,398
J
Member
Offline
Member
J
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,398
There is so much that one could say. Unworthy as I am, I offer a few thoughts. I think that we need to realize that the Church is both a divine, sacramental reality and a worldly institution. It is a worldly institution because the Church is in the world, is composed of fallen, sinful members, and it has developed corporate structures that while, in part, are based on the divine founding of the Church, are also based on the way that human beings generally run things in the world.

The tragedy is not that people have been abused. People being abused by the Church is as old as the Church. Our expectations are unrealistic if we think that there ever was a golden age in which all of the Church's leaders were holy and reighteous and there were no significant problems in the Church. The earliest Church clearly had sexual problems as evidenced in I Corinthians. Were there no significant moral problems in Church history, there would be no canon law, no councils, and no need for penance.

Having said all that, it seems to me that the whole sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church illustrates a weakness in ecclesiology. This weakness is one that has developed over centuries. Essentially, I think it is clericalism with a reflexive "we must protect ourselves and our reputation at all costs" policy that has been in place (even if unofficially in place) for decades if not centuries. I think older Roman Catholics might agree with me when I say that for decades and centuries, the attitude of the hierarchy was that the laity should "pray, pay, and obey," and keep their mouths shut about anything that might cause scandal. And this isn't simply something promoted by conservative clergy. This is across the whole spectrum.

What is needed? Well, an end to clericalism and more accountability to the laity. Also, the laity needs to make it clear that while they will unconditionally obey all genuine Church teaching, they will not unconditionally obey the clergy (and by the way, we need this in Orthodoxy too).

I certainly believe in the value of the father-children approach to the relationship between priest and layperson. But we shouldn't take this too far. We, the laity, are rational adults. And I believe that just as my parents have no authority to make unconditional demands on me (though I must listen to them and give them due respect) so no clergyman, or spiritual father, should be able to make unconditional demands on me. The priest/lay person relationship should not be an adult/child relationship but an adult/adult relationship. Just my two cents.

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 49
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 49
Some interesting points!
"Essentially, I think it is clericalism with a reflexive "we must protect ourselves and our reputation at all costs" policy that has been in place (even if unofficially in place) for decades if not centuries. I think older Roman Catholics might agree with me when I say that for decades and centuries, the attitude of the hierarchy was that the laity should "pray, pay, and obey," and keep their mouths shut about anything that might cause scandal. And this isn't simply something promoted by conservative clergy. This is across the whole spectrum."

I definitely believe there is alot of truth in this statement. In conservative politics there is a theory that says something like this: Institutions once created have a tendency to become self perpetuating.

As for obeying the clergy,.. here in the US that used to be the case but all you have to do is look at how many Catholics agree with the Churches positions on abortion and the growing indifference to the Church to know...here in America you don't have to worry about people obeying clergy! And if we reform the church we must be very careful about how we do this. -Empowering the laity, transparency, the Epicopal Church have fully embraced these ideas! And now progressive liberal politics runs rampant and unchecked!

If reform is necessary it must be done with great deliberation, prayerful meditation and tools or means to prevent politicizing the pulpit.

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,133
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,133
Excellent post. However when you say that we need the laity to "not unconditionally obey the clergy" in Eastern Orthodoxy I could see major problems.

We already have enough issues with people being disobedient undisciplined and disobedient in many jurisdictions. I don't think we need to encourage this behavior. In other words, I think the Orthodox Church is on the other side of the issue, at least in the USA. We need MORE obedience, and MORE discipline.

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,528
Grateful
Member
Offline
Grateful
Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,528
Originally Posted by Subdeacon Borislav
Excellent post. However when you say that we need the laity to "not unconditionally obey the clergy" in Eastern Orthodoxy I could see major problems.

We already have enough issues with people being disobedient undisciplined and disobedient in many jurisdictions. I don't think we need to encourage this behavior. In other words, I think the Orthodox Church is on the other side of the issue, at least in the USA. We need MORE obedience, and MORE discipline.



I suspect you are referring to spiritual self-discipline and devotion when you speak of a greater need for more obedience.

But that is not the topic of this thread. The topic is child abuse in Ireland, especially in the Catholic Church. And that abuse was facilitated by an attitude of obedience to clerics in the Church. For example,


From section 7.19 of Volume III of the Report, at http://www.childabusecommission.com/rpt/pdfs/CICA-VOL3-07.pdf .

"Witnesses reported being introduced to a strict regime from the moment of their arrival in the School. We were met by Br ...X... he ruled the roost, he told us about the rules, said if we ran away there was severe punishment, the second time our head would be shaved and the third time we would be sent to ...named School.... He then stripped us off, told us to bend over the desk; he hit the desk with a leather strap and said, “Say the Our Father”. I could not say it. He hit me across the legs and warned me not to step out of line. He told us to get in the shower, cold water, “to scrub away your sins”, with carbolic soap. He then left and came back with clothes, comb ... he hit me with the strap when I had the clothes on because I should be in pyjamas. We went to the dormitory, the boys were asleep, he said, “This will always be your bed unless you wet the bed, then you will end up with the smellies with Mr ...Y...”. It was dark, there was no food. I was very upset and frightened. Then that night Mr ...Y... came walking down with his walking stick, he touched my penis with the stick and said, “Don’t ever let me catch you”. Later I could hear kids crying as he lashed kids with a stick, getting them up for the toilet. That was my first night . . . "



And that was one of the milder accounts of child abuse in Ireland at the hands of officials of the Church.

I trust that you can see --in light of abuse like this-- why "obedience" to clerics of the Church is not something that people will be inclined to perform, in any portion of the Church, . . .

. . . till God raises up another generation of saints to reestablish some moral credibility to the Church.

-- John



Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 2,881
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 2,881
It is easy to blame the Church as if it was something in the corner of the room. What is forgotten is that those who committed these terrible crimes against children, women and other vulnerable adults, were recruited from the rest of society. What does it say about their families and their communities and the place of these communities in the Irish nation. It means in short that Ireland needs to have a good long look at itself as see that Irish society is abusive as a whole (going back into the dark dawn of history)and not try to put all the blame into one corner. Strange as it may seem Ireland is no more or less abusive than any other nation on earth. I work in Child Protection, as do a number of others who post here and it is a good bet they are as busy in the CP sector in their own countires, as we are in Australia.

Last edited by Pavel Ivanovich; 05/23/09 05:13 AM.
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 1,405
L
Member
Offline
Member
L
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 1,405
I am sorry to say that I think abuse is more widespread than any of use would like to believe. It goes on in families and communities everywhere. The fact that abuse happened (and probably still is happening) in institutions run by consecrated men and women is a scandal because we expect more from them than from the rest of society.

What made the situation especially bad in the Industrial Schools and Reform Schools in Ireland was that there was no way for the victims of abuse to complain and be believed. But places like Artane and Letterfrack were abominations in themselves. For example, Artane had 800 boys, yet until 1950 the only toilets were dry buckets that were emptied daily by a farmhand, but never washed. The boys were dirty and hungry, as well as subject to physical and sexual abuse. Yet a whole society accepted the existence of these schools out of convenience. This is not just about the Christian Brothers or the Catholic Church. This is about a whole society closing its eyes and not wanting to see the suffering of its most vulnerable members.

The fact remains that the Christian Brothers have run and still run many excellent schools. The new Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, for example, was educated by the Christian Brothers. Father Henry Moore, who conducted a very critical investigation into Artane in 1962 on the orders of Archbishop John McQuaid of Dublin, was himself brought up in an orphanage by the Christian Brothers.

I want to maintain that calling for the Christian Brothers or any of the other orders involved in this terrible scandal to be closed down is grossly unjust and un-Christian. They must be allowed to prove themselves. If they repent and if they can still attract genuine vocations after such a horrific scandal, then they are surely worthy to continue.

Let us remember that the Christian Brothers were founded by Blessed Edmund Rice, who was very progressive for his time in his views on education. The Christian Brothers who ran Artane, Letterfrack and other places like them did not only betray the example of our Lord, but also the example of their founder. Let us pray that today's Christian Brothers may return to the example of Christ and of their blessed founder.

Blessed Edmund, pray for us!

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,437
Administrator
Member
Offline
Administrator
Member
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,437
I am sorry to say anyone that has a hand in covering up such a scandal as the Christian Brothers should be closed down, unless they show they can police themselves with Church superivsion. I really with those that want to sweep this under the carpet. This would send a clear message, that you can not abuse that which was entrusted to you.

If this was your child that had to endure such torture and torments would you be offering the same comments?

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+


Everyone baptized into Christ should pass progressively through all the stages of Christ's own life, for in baptism he receives the power so to progress, and through the commandments he can discover and learn how to accomplish such progression. - Saint Gregory of Sinai
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 1,405
L
Member
Offline
Member
L
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 1,405
Father Anthony,

I strongly disagree. In that case the Catholic Church in Ireland itself should be closed down, and so should the Irish Department of Education, and indeed the Irish Republic! Because all were complicit.

I do not advocate sweeping anything under the carpet. I have spent hours reading through the commission report, and I am sick at what I have read.

But Christianity is about repentance, forgiveness, and redemption, not about a vindictive settling of scores. The men and women (most of them dead by now) who committed these crimes were aided and abetted by the society in which they lived.

What are the crimes of our own day to which we fail to object? What about all the children who are conveniently diagnosed with ADHD and pumped full with drugs so that their parents and teachers can get some rest? Let us look to our own faults before condemning others.

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,437
Administrator
Member
Offline
Administrator
Member
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,437
Well that is what you seem to be advocating, sweeping it under the carpet. If the orders especially the Christian Brothers can not stand up to public scrutiny and allow the sins of its members to be punished, then let them be banned. Anyone that covers this up, and still professes to be representing God is sick in more ways than the physical. They are using their resources to protect the offenders, and that is the lowest form of life outside of the offenders themselves.

Also I resent you trying to deflect the discussion by bringing in outside issues and parties. We are talking religious orders that openly by their actions condone physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+


Everyone baptized into Christ should pass progressively through all the stages of Christ's own life, for in baptism he receives the power so to progress, and through the commandments he can discover and learn how to accomplish such progression. - Saint Gregory of Sinai
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 1,405
L
Member
Offline
Member
L
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 1,405
In what way do you think the Christian Brothers are failing to stand up to public scrutiny? Is there something I have missed here? I believe the evidence presented by the commission is credible, but it would not be accepted by any court of law because of the statute of limitation and the lack of physical evidence. Also, the criminals are mostly long dead.

The commission report may best be compared with the work of South Africa's truth and reconciliation commission, which did not aim to punish anyone, but to let the victims be heard.

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,437
Administrator
Member
Offline
Administrator
Member
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,437
Try by successfully suing in the courts of the Irish Republic in 2004 to have all names of members of that order that are accused from being entered into the public record, thus making it almost impossible for prosecution. It is in the same document that you were reading.

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+


Everyone baptized into Christ should pass progressively through all the stages of Christ's own life, for in baptism he receives the power so to progress, and through the commandments he can discover and learn how to accomplish such progression. - Saint Gregory of Sinai
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 1,405
L
Member
Offline
Member
L
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 1,405
True. But how does that help the Christian Brothers? Those who know, know who the accused are. Those who don't know will suspect everyone!

Also, in justice, an accusation is not the same as a conviction. Because of the unforgivable lapse of time, and hence the absence of any physical evidence, there will be no reliable convictions. Therefore, it is not right to publish names.

This is a crime perpetrated against the poor and the innocent by a whole society, and all society must take the blame, starting with the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and the district courts which were responsible for having children detained in these "schools" (don't tell me they didn't know there was abuse happening there!), through the orders and congregations which ran these places, to the Department of Education which "inspected" the schools, to the public which condoned the schools' existence.

I am happy to find that there were some people, like Dr Anna McCabe, a government medical inspector, who worked hard to ensure that children were at least fed and clothed properly. Still, she failed to uncover the physical and sexual abuse that was going on.

I'll be surprised if the Christian Brothers can survive this, but if they do, I wish them all the best!

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,437
Administrator
Member
Offline
Administrator
Member
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,437
Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
In what way do you think the Christian Brothers are failing to stand up to public scrutiny? Is there something I have missed here? I believe the evidence presented by the commission is credible, but it would not be accepted by any court of law because of the statute of limitation and the lack of physical evidence. Also, the criminals are mostly long dead.

The commission report may best be compared with the work of South Africa's truth and reconciliation commission, which did not aim to punish anyone, but to let the victims be heard.

So you say, then again some may be still alive and going about in their lives today. I would not be so sure a statue of limitations should be in effect for something like this. Many countries did away with that in cases just like this. I would compare what this should be as a preliminary to a Nuremburg type of court.

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+


Everyone baptized into Christ should pass progressively through all the stages of Christ's own life, for in baptism he receives the power so to progress, and through the commandments he can discover and learn how to accomplish such progression. - Saint Gregory of Sinai
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 1,405
L
Member
Offline
Member
L
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 1,405
If the commission had discovered any living persons that could be suspected of committing a crime like this, they could not publish their names. But there would be nothing to stop the commission from reporting their names to An Garda Síochána.

As for the statute of limitation, there is even a statute of limitation for the crime of murder, and for good reason.

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 2,881
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 2,881
This is just the allegations against the Catholic Church. what were the rest of the nation up to out there. This is just the tip of the abuse iceberg in Ireland.

In Australia the Christian Brothers who were left after the abusers had either died or left them needed councelling. It challenged the few men left to get back drop many of their posh schools and get involved with disadvantaged youth and get their hands dirty for a change. Sadly for all the good men who did positive things for boys over the years, the name 'Christian Brother' is now a new word for Paedeophile. They really dont have a future here anymore.

Page 3 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 6

Moderated by  Father Anthony 

Link Copied to Clipboard
The Byzantine Forum provides message boards for discussions focusing on Eastern Christianity (though discussions of other topics are welcome). The views expressed herein are those of the participants and may or may not reflect the teachings of the Byzantine Catholic or any other Church. The Byzantine Forum and the www.byzcath.org site exist to help build up the Church but are unofficial, have no connection with any Church entity, and should not be looked to as a source for official information for any Church. All posts become property of byzcath.org. Contents copyright - 1996-2020 (Forum 1998-2020). All rights reserved.
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5