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Eminence, the emeritis cardinal archbishop of HGN

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Whose Sins

Pope Benedict on his way to Fatima in Portugal had this to say: "Today, we see in a truly terrifying way that the greatest persecution of the Church does not come from outside enemies, but from the sin within the Church itself," the pope said on the plane taking him to Lisbon for the four-day tour."

Benedict needs to be more specific about the sin within the church. If Benedict is going to keep pointing the finger at others blaming them for the sexual abuse crisis without looking at his role, the role of the clerical system as part of the sin within the church, then there is not much hope for reform.

It seems talking about the sin within the church is another theological diversinary tactic.


  1. I couldn't agree with you more. Certainly every individual sins, and yes, even the pope.

    But you bring up something that I've been saying in one form or another for awhile:

    Human beings (in this case men) even those who are good and honest as well as those with evil intentions can create, foster, and structure organizations in ways that dehumanize people.

    It is the power centered, impersonal, rule bound operation of the Institutional Church that IS THE SYSTEM. Those in leadership (especially the pope, cardinals (ugh) and bishops), now get caught in the web of their own making. The result is power grabbing, secrecy, and cover ups.

    More than any individual, it is the SYSTEM that kills. The SYSTEM must go. I'm not sure that Benedict realizes his error in admitting that "members" of the "Church" sin but that the Church, itself cannot sin! If "we" set up structures and procedures that lack justice and mercy in their day-to-day operations, the SYSTEM is evil and sinful and, thus the "Church" is sinning.

    Anyone who reads my blog will see that, practically speaking, I have come to the conclusion, that as much as I may Disagree with Benedict, he is the only one in a position to alter things for the better now with regard to sex abuse. My hope, admittedly small, is that this could be a significant step in truly reforming the "Church" so that the People of God can breathe again.

    The big question is Will he take ACTION? And when?

  2. Sebastian, I agree with you that the SYSTEM is evil and sinful. Benedict does not seem to be the one who will reform the system and the church. As much as he may want to reform and make the church better, he seems too stuck in the past.