Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Commentary: Political Fall-Out as Catholic Bishops Face Reckoning for Covering Abuse Crimes; German Catholic Discussion of Bible and Homosexuality

More commentary today that catches my attention, and is especially interesting when read side by side: 

The leveling of criminal conspiracy charges against members of the Catholic hierarchy would be a stunning denouement for men who, until recently, regularly met with U.S. presidents and influenced public policy on everything from women’s access to contraception to the simmering argument about transgender identity. It would signal that after a century of acquiescence to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church as a separate political structure operating with impunity outside of the U.S. legal system, U.S. civil authorities no longer consider the Church above the law.

I don't know how much we'll see this in next month's election, but "enough is enough with the bishops" is bound to have some effect on the political alignment of Pennsylvania Catholics, because those bishops have been wholeheartedly aligned with the Republican project here. And Republican politicians in Pennsylvania have embraced the bargain: "Republican-Led PA Senate Refuses to Pass Bill To Help Victims of Child Sex Abuse." 
In 2012 and 2014 and 2016, those Republicans helping out their friends the bishops could count on support from Catholic voters who were being urged — and commanded, and lied to — to see all of this talk of the sexual abuse of children as nothing more than a witch-hunt by the biased lib'rul media. They werent angry about the abuse, they were angry at the media. But that's changing. 
If Catholic voters in Pennsylvania are no longer willing to overlook the indefensible, the indefensible will no longer have quite as easy a time of it in instructing them how to cast their votes.

Interviewed on the Wucherpfennig controversy by (the German Catholic Church’s official website), Bishop Peter Kohlgraf of Mainz has called for an open theological debate on the interpretation of St. Paul’s words on homosexuality in his Letter to the Romans. 
The bishop pointed out that the Pontifical Bible Commission in a major document published in 1993 had warned against "uncritical, literal understanding of Bible passage texts." 
He said it must be possible to employ the latest academic insights when interpreting scripture passages, since this is one of the key tasks of academic theology. 
Bishop Kohlgraf, who taught theology until his episcopal appointment to Mainz last year, said this was already practiced by the Early Church Fathers and had been confirmed by the Second Vatican Council.  
If every Bible passage were a "direct, literally revealed, irrevocable truth, we would have to stone adulterers, blasphemers, fortune tellers, disobedient sons and daughters and people who wash their cars on Sundays," the 51-year-old bishop said.  
"Religious education and theological research are necessary in order to rescue the interpretation of the Scriptures and prevent the Bible from being exposed to ridicule," he added. 

(Thanks to Sarasi for pointing us to the third article above.)

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