Thursday, October 1, 2009

And the problem is ......

Archbishop Raymond Lahey turning himself in to Ottawa police after being charged with possession of child pornography.

Everyone is aflame with talk about abusive priests, child molesters, sexual perverts, and the need for the church to allow priests to marry, to allow women priests, etc. etc. And yet no one is pointing out the real problem which is ..... PORNOGRAPHY!

Why don't people see this? There is an epidemic of pornography in our culture. If you don't believe it, visit
Focus on the Family
and do a search for talks by Dr. James Dobson on the subject of pornography. Dr. Dobson has been researching this for years, and he knows what he is talking about. He has interviewed men in prison who are serial killers and rapists, and the one thing they have in common is pornography.

I hesitate to use the word addiction for this, because that implies the person is suffering from something from which they can never be free. Unlike alcholism or drug addiction, which create physical dependencies, we need to view pornography as sin, pure and simple. Graver sin perhaps, but still sin. And the cure is repentance and forgiveness, plus taking the steps necessary to avoid the temptation.

Yes, we are terribly disappointed at this news of a bishop being charged with such a crime, but we should not be surprised. We should have seen this coming. When our society is sexualized to the extent that it is, it should not come as a surprise that we find the effects of that sexualization amongst our clergy. They are not immune to the culture, any more than the rest of us. What is so terribly upsetting is that we place such trust in our clergy, that this man (if he is guilty) has betrayed our trust in a way that very few other people could. We trust our clergy more than we trust anyone else, we turn to them for moral guidance, and we expect them to lead the way with their own moral behaviour. When we find that they are as sinful as the rest of us, and perhaps more, it breaks our heart. But we need to realise that, besides revealing their humanity, this tragedy shows that our culture is so rotten that it is now leaking into the area we thought was protected. We know there have been popes with mistresses and cardinals with illegitimate children, but the crime of children being sexually abused is something our culture continues to abhor. And it is all the more abhorrent when the spiritual leaders fall prey to this.

As Archbishop Mancini said "we don't know who we can trust anymore." Those are the words of a man who is feeling deep sorrow over this. Prayers for all are what is needed, not discussions of revamping the church, allowing marriage for priests, etc. None of those will effect the change that is required, which is a conversion of hearts to God who can purify us from all these sins.


RuralRite said...

There are just as many Protestant clergy doing the same thing yet they never make headlines.
Makes a person wonder...

BabyBoy1203 said...

I completely agree that celibacy is not the underlying problem, just as being married is not the underlying problem when a man is not "free" to sleep with other women but does.

So, if celibacy is the problem, how come married men, men living with their girlfriends, and boys who are sexually active ALL still look at porn/child porn? That doesn't make sense. You're right, the problem is the child porn itself.

The world thinks we're out of our minds, even "siding" with these fallen priests, when we still love and support them, terrible as their crimes are. But then, this is a world that no longer believes in unconditional love.

I know from my own conversations with priests back when the scandals broke out in NH that good priests around the world are suffering terribly by the harsh judgment of society. Their good deeds and upright lives are forgotten and overlooked because of what a few--compared to the number of priests worldwide--have done.

But then, aren't we as a society partly to blame, too? For ridiculing and mocking the priesthood through movies about adulterous/homosexual priests? For glorifying the unfaithful priests and completely overlooking those who are faithful to the Church? We have fun mocking the priesthood and attacking it as much as we can, but then we're shocked when they go and do the very things we made movies, plays and music about? Our priests lack support and it's showing. They feel worthless.

I can't begin to comprehend why priests have targeted little children. I just can't fathom it. An affair with a grown woman would be at least understandable, though horribly wrong in every way, but a child??? It's beyond humiliating. But God's mercy is for everyone, and it was Jesus Himself who said that the sick are the ones who need a physician. Who is more in need of mercy right now than these poor, fallen priests? They, too, are victims of the sexual revolution. Sadly, the world does not see it this way and will not forgive.

This is all so sad. And I am so tired of hearing about how celibacy is to blame! If I become unfaithful to my hubsand, does that mean that the married state is to blame?

Julie C said...

I think it is the matter of numbers as to why Protestant clergy don't make the news. There are just so many more Catholics, we outnumber all the other denominations added together by a long shot. So when a Catholic clergy is found out, the ramifications are that much greater.
A big stone in a big pond makes a big splash.

Julie C said...

I am very pleased with the comments made so far by our new Bishop Anthony Mancini. I hope he continues to speak this straight, saying things like "who can we trust anymore?" and saying in a private meeting on the Archbishop appeal, "I don't want your money, I want your hearts".
Full support for this man, I hope he sees this through to the end with integrity, no matter what comes.

Elena said...

the protestant clergy are also not celibate and, therefore, provide no ammunition for the anti-celibacy side. after all, if one is celibate then something HAS to be wrong with the person. (tongue in cheek)