Friday, March 19, 2010

Sad to be Catholic...

It's Lent. It's the season of anticipating Christ's resurrection. But something else - something ugly, evil and perverted - has resurrected itself in the Catholic Church and I'm very sad about it. And I'm also angry. Seems that Pope Benedict has his hands dirty in the pedophile scandal. But his reps are saying he knew "nothing" about reassigning predatory priests. I normally don't paint with a broad brush, but I'm going to do a little bit of that, since I've just learned something in my MBA classes about Hofstede's matrix. Seems that a scientist created a matrix in which he categorized cultural leanings and tendencies, and applied them in a business sense. You have several categories, and one of the most prominent was the amount of control a business has, and how it's organized in regard to a loose or tightly wound hierarchy. Germans, understandably, score VERY high on control. In order to do business in Germany, one needs to be prompt, respect deadlines and know the details of your project or proposal. Down to how many words are IN the proposal. The society is very technically-oriented and business is -- well, business. No wriggle room and no excuses for not doing something well. Sooooooooooo. Pope Benedict was praised by the prior Pontiff as a man who knew his stuff. The question now comes: What did he know about whom and what on earth (or in Heaven) prompted his belief that this would remain hidden? And most importantly: How could he sleep? How could he look himself in the mirror? How could he pray - and expect to be heard by a God we are taught to love, and Whose Son said, "Suffer the little children to come to me." I am disappointed beyond belief. Once again, the boys' club is in full swing. Only the lone voice of an Irish cleric calling for "transparency" in this mess - that's all we've got. Once again, normal pew-jockies like my family will be asked by countless friends, "How do you deal with that in the Church?" And the obvious answer is: "Apparently, we don't." We went through this with our own bishop, and I gave no quarter. I called for his sincere apology in an editorial in the local paper. He issued a "well, if I've offended anyone, I ask forgiveness, but I was working with what I have" kind of apology. To which I respond: Did God not give you a brain? Did God not give you common sense, eyes, ears, and oh - I don't know, some COMPASSION for children? Did you not have brains enough to see that reassignment of predatory priests was wrong on at least 5 levels? Didn't your gut scream at you, "This just isn't right" at least a dozen times? Or were you too worried about your own position? And if you were worried, tossing the blame on the victims was certainly not the Catholic thing to do, buster. Don't be saving your own butt. Get out there, Benedict, and be what you are supposed to be: God's representative on Earth. Because if you ARE doing that, and "The Pope didn't know" is the best your handlers can come up with, then God - and the rest of the faithful - will have been terribly disappointed. The Pope has effectively destroyed a generation of young people. And he's affecting those of us who were coming of age in the 70s because not only did our generation have some victims, but those of us lucky enough to escape the abuse are now in a position where we have to confront our faith and see it for what it is: a faith based on man's rules, and man's proclivities to protect his own. And that doesn't include us. It's a sad picture, and enough to drive many of us from our places in the pews. And the Church has nobody to blame but itself and its hierarchy.

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