Quinn Abbey, Co. Clare; not only
the Irish Church is in ruins--it is
time for a new Reformation and
the faithful must demand change.
“Sexual abuse, corruption, authoritarianism, lack of transparency, and cover-ups have all been collapsing into and on top of the institutional church….The 'tipping point' has been reached, and the moral authority, honor and respect that the institutional church once elicited from most peoples and secular institutions around the globe no longer exists.”Now, according to press reports, the Pope, addressing the Catholics of Ireland during the Fiftieth International Eucharistic Congress being hosted in Dublin, said on Sunday that it is a mystery why priests and other church officials abused children entrusted in their care, undermining faith in the church "in an appalling way." I don’t mean to challenge the Holy Father’s infallibility but the sex-abuse crisis is no mystery—in Ireland, here, or elsewhere. It is the lack of transparency, the authoritarianism that leads people like the former Cardinal Archbishop of Boston to think they are above the law, the corruption that comes from influence pedaling and raw ambition in the Church (Archbishop Lori and Carl Anderson, take note), and the hypocrisy that thinks that all one must do is sweep the dirt under the rug and it’s gone that has led to the alienation from the Church of millions.
As a historian, I sincerely doubt that the institutional Church is capable of reforming itself. The faithful need to exercise their responsibility in holding the leadership of the Church accountable and with their feet to the fire of reform. I haven’t read Brother DeThomasis’ book and am not sure if I will have time to, but it seems to me that, at least in the passage quoted, he is saying no more than that. The boys in the red dresses had better wake up and smell the coffee that “the moral authority, honor and respect that the institutional church once elicited from most peoples and secular institutions around the globe no longer exists.”