Thursday, April 11, 2019

Benedict Undercuts Francis on Abuse Narrative: The 1960s Made Us Do It

Pope Benedict has written an astonishing letter on the abuse situation, which he calls a set of "notes" on this topic. Here’s my summary of his notes:

1. You're all on a downward slope to hell. 

2. Has been going wrong since modernity and democracy.

3. Something about God being left out of the German state and its foundational documents.

4. You know when it really began to go bad? 1960s.

5. It's about truth: do you know who has it? Clerics do!

6. They are not responsible for this mess—YOU are. You stopped itching for truth from clerical hands and you stopped obeying clerics and look what has happened.

7. Sex education in schools.

8. Posters of naked people in Regensburg — Regensburg, people!

9. Homosexuals in seminaries — seminaries, people!

10. Louche liturgy.

11. Oh, and those "little ones" Jesus talks about: they're not children. They're you, always being led away from your simple obediential faith.

12. Let me also assure you, if you don't get it: you have been on the slippery slope to hell since the 1960s. We will make you understand this if you refuse to do so.

13. We will ally with the worst people in the world as long as they oppose women's rights and LGBT rights, and uphold clerical rights.

"It is catastrophically irresponsible, because it creates a counter-narrative to how Francis is trying to move ahead based on the 2019 summit," he [church historian Christopher Bellitto] told Associated Press in an email.

Benedict received a positive re-evaluation for having defrocked hundreds of abusive priests. 
That legacy now seems likely to undergo another revision.

(My comment in response to Horowitz's second sentence above: I'll say! What a pathetic distillation of the entire theological-pastoral career of Ratzinger this inane letter is.)

"Why did pedophilia reach such proportions?" Benedict wrote, according to the Catholic News Agency, which published the full text in English. "Ultimately, the reason is the absence of God."

Why did anti-semitism reach such monstrous proportions with the mass murder of Jews by Christian people who believed in God?

Ultimately, the reason is the absence of God.

And that happened before the 1960s.

If Benedict wants to give a moral treatise on the effects of the absence of God in the world, he might be well-advised so start with that pre-1960 history implicating his own Christian people in the most direct way possible.

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