Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Part Of The Problem, Not Part Of The Solution

In a sign that the Vatican's ears are tuning in to the voice of the faithful, the Pope selected a crack team of Cardinals to head over to Ireland and set things right. The clerical sex abuse scandal has caused more damage to the Church than Martin Luther and Henry VIII combined, and something has to be done.

Who better to send than two clergymen who added to the problem?

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor had a pedophile priest on his hands back in 1985, and he immediately took action and....moved him to another ministry. The chaplain of Gatwick Airport wouldn't come into contact with children, would he? Or at least not too many. And they'd be traveling through, most likely.

Was it a shocking development when that very priest abused a child at the airport?

Cardinal Sean O'Malley took over Boston's troubled archdiocese after its former shepherd so thoroughly mishandled abuse allegations that he was forced out. The Cardinal tackled the deteriorating situation by....reinstating three priests who had earlier been removed from ministry due to abuse allegations. The State's Attorney in Falls River, Massachusetts, got so fed up with O'Malley's stonewalling that he took it upon himself to make public the names of priests accused of molesting children.

In the Pope's mind, these two men are perfect for the job of telling other bishops how to handle clerical abuse cases in Ireland. They've made the mistakes and have learned from them. Just like the pedophile priests confessed their sins and promised not to abuse again. That worked out well, didn't it?

The Irish delegation lacks a single lay person, yet it's the laity that's led the charge against the entrenched interests of the Church's executive branch.

To solve the abuse crisis in Ireland, the Pope has sent in men who added to the crisis by their failures. Selecting descendants of the Irish diaspora, who were raised in the ethos of Irish Catholicism, won't make a bit of difference. What matters is the fact that those who added to the problem are proclaimed as the solution to the problem that they made worse. Only entrenched executives living within a bubble would see that as progress.

The bishops of Ireland will welcome the Cardinals, show them around the place, say a Mass together, and listen politely. It's asking too much to expect them to do as the Cardinals say, and not as the Cardinals did.

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