Sunday, July 18, 2010
Disbelief
posted at 10:35 AM | Permalink | comments (2)
This is not a post about liturgical or cannonical disbelief.  It is a post about disbelief - nay, open-mouthed astonishment - at this week's Vatican pronouncement.  Disbelief because although the Pope is rumored to be dismayed and angry about pedophile priests, the statement was vague and weak about what the institution of the Church will do about and/or to them.  There apparently will be no automatical dismissal or removal, no banishment from the fold.  Which seems odd to me, having grown up in an intensely Roman Catholic household (my parents were converts in their late thirties).  Banishment from the RC fold over the years has resulted from transgressions both puzzling and, to some, not transgressionally important.  Some examples: getting married outdoors; getting married in a not-RC-sanctioned/blessed church; a woman not covering her head, elbows and knees in church; marrying someone who's been married before; eating meat on Friday; a priest fondling the private parts of a little girl; not putting money in the collection tray; not going to a Catholic college; a priest having an affair with a married woman. . . .   Since ordaining women has punishment attached (defrocking), and pedophilia does not, the logical conclusion is that the Vatican thinks women are sui generis more sinful (or sin-inducing) and more dangerous.  Great.

To add to the confusion and moral morass, the new Vatican document which supposedly focuses on pedophilia tosses in a few presumably well-chosen thoughts about women being ordained as priests.  Always an interesting subject, but why join ordination of women and pedophilia?  It can't be that in their heart of hearts they want women to "resume" their "place" in the kitchens and bedrooms of the world because pedophilia actually was worse back in those good old days.  Yet this document calls both pedophilia and ordination of women “graviora delicta” (grave offenses).  It seems to me that one can only stare at the words in disbelief.  Ah, but wait, there's more: clerics who attempt to ordain women will be defrocked.  Yes, defrocked.  Be stripped of their careers and lives.  It's almost as serious a punishment as what's afforded bishops who approve saying mass in Latin (but that's a subject for another day).  Well, the next obvious question is what this document says will be the punishment meted out to pedophile priests.  Unbelievably, the document does not say.  It fails to suggest even a possible punishment.  Bottom line: women priests would be dangerous beyond the moral, metaphysical and criminal pale; pedophiles, not quite so much.  Got it?

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