Regarding the Catholic Churchgreenspun.com : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread
This week I had two people ask me what the AME stance is regarding the controversy in the Catholic church regarding priests who are pedophiles. One person is a professor and teaches sociology and the other is a trustee of my church. One of the things I realized in my conversations with both persons was that I suspect there will be many who will leave Catholic Church. Latest polls are showing only a 39 percent satisfaction rate with the Catholic Church's handling of this problem. Many Catholics I suspect will turn away from God and other's will join protestant denominations. We have begun to see this happen already in our church. Yes the pope and other leaders will handle this matter but what are your thoughts? I particularly think of the latino community. How do show the love of God to those who are hurting by scandal.
-- Anonymous, April 11, 2002
God has been purging His church for several years now. He purged out one corner of His Kingdom a few years ago with the Baker/Swaggart scandals. It looks like He's doing the same thing in the Catholic corner of His Kingdom now. Praise His Name, it's painful but necessary. I pray the Catholics handle this His way. They'll be better for it. In the meantime, loss of members is part of the price that's paid. Hopefully people will leave for the right reasons, and stay for the right reasons as well. I pray that those who leave will find a place where they'll grow.
-- Anonymous, April 11, 2002
The scandals are serious unfortunately, they are not new. It is important to be sensitive to the the victims of sin as well as holding sinners accountable and offerring them forgiveness.
-- Anonymous, April 16, 2002
Catholics turning away from God and joining Protestant denominations?? Isn't God there, too? My own personal belief is that if this incident causes Catholics (oops, I mean the Romish Churchfolk) to leave their church and find God somewhere else, toot the horns, ring the bells, and shout hallelujah! More people for us to bring in from the cold.
I would tell the people to hate the sin, but not the sinner. The disappointment they are feeling with the church is the result of putting their trust in the servant (flawed)and not the Master (perfect).
Moses and David, were punished for their sins, but were two of God's greatest men. Paul, the architect of the New Testament, suffered all of the pain that he put God's people through (during the Saul years). The priests will be punished by God (As Jimmy, Jim, Jesse, Bill, and a number of priests discovered). The priests will be punished by man for their crimes (unless they are tried in Los Angeles).
As for OUR stance, you should ask your Pastor/Presiding Elder/Bishop about that, but I think that we should sweep around our own front door before sweeping around someone else's, especially in the press.....Just like 9/11 sent a wake-up call to the cold and lukewarm Christians in the US, the Catholic debacle is a wake-up call to those ministers who can't (or won't) keep their pants up or legs crossed.
-- Anonymous, April 22, 2002
I was heartbroken last week to find that two of our church members coming out of Catholic backgrounds had both been sexually abused in their pasts. One by a priest, another by her brother who later became a priest. Both harbored tremendous unforgiveness, and we had to have a deliverance session for them.
I'm learning that this problem in the Catholic church is more widespread than I'd first imagined. Beyond pedophilia there is a problem with homosexuality. One report I heard stated between 1/3 to 1/2 of all American priests are homosexual.
This church's problem goes beyond the pedophilia, the homosexuality, and the coverup. It suffers a leadership crisis. This church has taken stands against these areas in its doctrine, but it was lax in enforcement. Now the problem is so vast that they can't enforce their own doctrine without gutting their staff. This comes at a time when they're already short of priests.
Even now the Catholic church is dropping the ball in front of our eyes as they refuse to adopt an automatic "one-strike and you're out" policy. They've softballed the matter by stating that many cases involved adolescents, and therefore don't qualify as pedophilia. Well, one of the cases involving my friend happened after he was 18, and he's still plenty upset about it many years later. My greatest disappointment involves the Pope. He's on the right side of the issue, but he's not ordering the American cardinals to do the right thing. He's letting them handle the issue at a lower level, and they're blowing it. Is he the boss or isn't he? He needs to exercise his authority like a true leader.
When my own denomination went through its version of this in the 80's with Swaggart and Baker (who committed their sins with adult women) I was glad to see the leadership act forcefully and quickly. Now the stain of that matter is largely removed, though we continue to deal with less well-known preachers from time to time. Again they're quite tough in these matters. One friend of mine caught in a violation tried to resign, but the district wouldn't accept it. They insisted he be dismissed. Tough for my friend, but necessary.
The Catholic church brought their current problems on themselves through poor leadership. They provided a big fat target to their enemies, and now they're taking hits. When it's over you'll likely have two Catholic churches. One will be mighty for God, and the other will be diluted and irrelevant. Whether it involves a formal split remains to be seen.
Let every church in the world take a lesson. Bad apples exist in nearly every barrel. If the leadership won't clean up the house, God will.
-- Anonymous, May 05, 2002
RP...I agree with you 100%! The problems that exist in the Catholic Church was not properly addressed by leadership. There must be zero tolerance for offenders. If the offenders had been protestants, I think (someone correct me if I am wrong) state law requires immediate identification. Why is it different for Catholic priests?
-- Anonymous, May 06, 2002