Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Matthew Fox on Benedict XVI (in Introduction to Norbert Krapf's Catholic Boy Blues): Suggestions for a Retreat for the Pope Emeritus

I'm doing a lot of reading lately, and it occurs to me to share the fruits of that labor with you by way of snippets from things I'm reading, with occasional commentary on those snippets: the following is from theologian Matthew Fox's introduction to Norbert Krapf's Catholic Boy Blues (Nashville: Greystone, 2014):

Former Pope Benedict XVI would do well to take a retreat immediately with these poems [i.e., the poems that constitute Krapf's book, his painful first-hand testimony about his abuse by a priest as a boy growing up in Indiana] in hand and read and pray these poems and then tell the world why his all-powerful office of the Holy Inquisition, responsible for wayward clergy, did not end child abuse by priests, some of whom, such as the infamous Father Maciel, were so highly favored by his boss, Pope John Paul II, who is getting canonized. And, while he is at it, let Cardinal Ratzinger (retired Pope Benedict XVI) tell the world why his office kept the lights on late at night to beat up on holy and hard-working theologians but kept mum on perverse pedophile priests (xxi-xxiii).

It bears repeating: institutions that want a bright future for themselves never decimate their intellectual class, drive off their thinkers, do in their poets and dreamers. This goes a fortiori for institutions that claim to be mission-driven, and whose mission is about reaching out to the world surrounding the institution and drawing that world into the circle of redemptive love.

And they particularly don't engage in such ugly, self-defeating, immoral behavior while cosseting members of their elite leadership circles who violate their most cherished ethical principles in gross ways that tarnish the image of the institution, when these violations become known to the public.

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