Sunday, May 8, 2011

Joelle Casteix on the Beatification of John Paul and the Better Path to Sainthood

As I've repeatedly said on this blog, I think that Australian bishop Geoffrey Robinson is absolutely correct when he says that, if the Catholic church is to have a future and is to find healing for the ills from which it currently appears to be sick unto death, the path to healing lies in the witness provided by survivors of childhood abuse by clerics.  The attempt to suppress or ridicule the voice of survivors of abuse, which appears to be gaining strength in some quarters of the Catholic church now, is not only deeply unChristian.  It's also tragically short-sighted, since the knowledge that survivors bring to the Catholic community at large is essential for the entire church, if it wants to negotiate its present crises.

And in that light, I want to recommend--very highly--Joelle Casteix's posting two days ago at her The Worthy Adversary blog.  It's entitled "The Better Path to Sainthood," and is a reflection on the beatification of John Paul II.  An excerpt:

Exposing the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church is not about politics, nor is an assault on religion or faith.  It is about the institutional cover-up of abuse, abusers and evidence. The transparency and accountability we demand are components of morals, ethics and justice.  It is about the safety of children and the healing of the most vulnerable and fragile among us.  It is about adhering to the law.

Charity and good works mean nothing when we are forced to pay for them with the lives of our children. Since the citizenry of the United States demands accountability from every other aspect of our society, it is now time to demand it from Catholic Church officials.  The American people don’t wax poetic about the career of Richard Nixon and ignore Watergate.  And we can’t do the same thing here.

Joelle argues that if the Catholic church wants to find some path to sainthood better than the one to which the legacy of Bl. John Paul II points, it needs to put the needs of vulnerable children and of survivors of childhood abuse by Catholic authority figures ahead of the reputation, coffers, secrets, and power games of the institution.  

And she's right.

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