Sunday, 30 September 2018

Wolves in shepherds' clothing and the eccentricities of Cardinal Marx

Today's Gospel is topical, in view of the crisis in the Catholic Church.
Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea.
When I came back to the faith years ago I attended whenever I could the Mass in the old Tridentine form and there I met many priests, including the famous Monsignor Gilbey, who complained in strong terms that the English bishops were modernists who subverted the faith. For all my deep affection for the old Mass and for the Church as it was before the Second Vatican Council I tried to keep away from ecclesiastical politics, though not quite so far away as to put much confidence in bishops from the First World, Cardinal Ratzinger excepted. 

The ones in the Second and Third World are fine, or so I thought until the present Pope came to what is no longer called the throne. Latin American priests, in fact, are often left-wing, trendy and sometimes heretics. Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa are the redoubts of Catholicism.

The books I read in the early 1990s by Anglicans and Catholics shocked me though. Anglicans who complained about referring to God as 'He' or using such terms as 'Lord' or
King' that implied belief in social hierarchy. Anglicans who said they believed in the creeds but felt the need to apologise for doing so and reassure the reader that they did not think non-Christians should leave the traditions in which they were brought up to become Christians. The Catholic priest I read about who told a Jew who wanted to convert that the covenant with the Jews was still valid and so he should not do so.

And then there was Hans Kung.

A friend of mine said the title of Kung's 'Why I am Still A Christian' should have continued 'Even Though I No Longer Am'. 

Evelyn Waugh said

In a more civilised age Hans Kung would be burnt.

and meant it, I'm afraid. But Fr Kung is not alone in not believing in the creed. Some Anglican clergy are outright atheists, like the Rev. Don Cupitt or Bishop John Shelby Spong.

In those days, had I had an audience, I could have ridden a coach and four through all this nonsense, but I was a troll of genius in an age before the internet was used.

Now it is different. All historical conflict is ultimately theological, even though theologians in our day rightly are shown little or no respect. Now the evils of the political world and the evils at the top of the Catholic Church are merging, forming an unholy alliance.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference, is a good example. 

Jung's theory that surnames have deep meanings might apply to the Cardinal as it might to Senator Flake. I suspect that Waugh might have wanted to burn His Eminence too.

Cardinal Marx recently criticised the Bavarian (Christian Social Union) government’s decision to place crosses in all government buildings, saying it
"would play people off against one another.”
A conference he organised in Munich agreed that the Church no longer claimed to possess the exclusive truth. 

He said that climate change is the biggest problem facing Europe. To be fair, he was talking about political problems rather than things like sin, but he could have mentioned the vertiginous drop in Mass attendance and vocations while the number of Muslims in the countries increases.  He could have mentioned a lot of things.

He told Die Zeit in July that a party that has the word Christian in its name (he meant the Christian Social Union) should not argue for restrictions on immigration. He said,

“Being a nationalist and a Catholic, that can’t be."
This would be news to Eamonn De Valera, or the Polish heroes of 1830, or a lot of other good Catholics now and in the past.
But you see what he is implying? You can ignore the Church on contraceptives and sexual morality, because almost everyone does and anyway the Church is a learning as much as a teaching church, but if you want tight borders closed to a flood of infidel migrants you are a heretic and outside the true Church. 

This is why an Italian Catholic magazine recently referred to Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini as Satan. Millions of Catholics in Italy, frightened of invasion, nevertheless vote for Salvini's League. 

Interestingly, Cardinal Marx did not say that the Christian Democrats in the Bundestag, whose party has Christian in its name, should not have voted for single sex marriage (Mrs Merkel abstained). In fact, he has said that priests should bless single sex couples, but only 
'on a case by case basis'. 
He said it was not single sex marriage but discrimination against homosexuals
 'that is a defeat for the Church'.
The bishops always referred to conservative Catholic writers as extremists, but there now seems to be a concerted effort by a number of cardinals and Catholic journalists to suggest that Catholics who disapprove of the sin of Sodom are 'far right'. These cardinals includes several who neglected to call in the police in respect of priests who allegedly committed child abuse.

Cardinal Marx is one of these cardinals and admitted his failures in the case of two priests, amid the great scandal caused when a 
report on child sexual abuse inside the Catholic Church in Germany was published on Monday. He does not seem likely to resign.

The report says 3,677 children are known to have been interfered with, by about 1,670 priests and religious between 1946 to 2014. 
This is, in the report's words, only 'the tip of the iceberg'.

Almost half the victims were aged 14 and over and they were overwhelmingly boys not girls. In these cases we are talking about pederasty rather than paedophilia. 

It is clear that the number of child abusers in the German priesthood is not a tiny proportion at all but a substantial number. 

It is also obvious that a very large proportion of the guilty priests, more than half, are not paedophiles, who tend to prey on pre-pubescent children of both sexes indiscriminately, but pederasts, who prey on boys who have reached puberty. Pederasts are predatory homosexuals, motivated by same-sex attraction. 

This is not better or worse, more or less harmful than paedophilia, but it is distinct from paedophilia. For some reason, people in positions of power in the Church and people outside the Church do not want to admit this. 

There are, it now turns out, astonishingly large numbers of practising or non-practising homosexuals among the priests, even though men of homosexual inclination are banned from the priesthood. 

Many Catholic laity and priests think that all the clerical child abuse cases are the fault of homosexuals in the priesthood. This is not so.

It is clear that there are very many priests (maybe almost half the total number of child abusers?) who have interfered with young boys (and occasionally but rarely girls) who have not reached puberty. These, so experts say, are not motivated by same-sex attraction but attraction to innocence. 

And some seem to have interfered with boys of all ages.

In all cases, whatever the victim's age, child abuse is a terrible evil. 

It is probably not a problem that is more frequent among priests than in other walks of life but priests who represent Christ and who do such wicked things are consummate hypocrites. How can such priests not resign or, if found out, not be defrocked?

Because forgiveness is the centre of what the Church teaches, I suppose, but for these sins the police should immediately be summoned. Nowadays and since the turn of the century it seems that they are.

Let us hope so, at any rate. The damage is has done to children will live on for generations, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons to the third and fourth generation.

The damage done to Catholic Church will also live on generation after generation. It took me longer to see this than anyone else, but I see this now. 

The best and most objective account I have read of the clerical child abuse scandals is here.


  1. In a series of lectures at King's College London last year, one theology lecturer (male) began by apologising profusely for the 'sexist' and 'discriminatory' language of the Bible. God as He etc. I wonder if he feels he should apologise for Jesus being male also.

    1. one theology lecturer (male) began by apologising profusely for the 'sexist' and 'discriminatory' language of the Bible. God as He etc.

      As I never tire of saying, Christianity's problem is that it does not attract healthy normal heterosexual men. It does not attract people who have a happy healthy appetite for life. It attracts sad diseased mentally ill creatures. It is not a healthy religion.

    2. Christianity in general or the Catholic priesthood?

    3. David in Belgrade1 October 2018 at 15:45

      But the "theology lecturer (male)" may not be a Christian.
      Not a convincing support for your opinion.
      A healthy, heterosexual man here :).

    4. Christianity in general or the Catholic priesthood?

      Sadly I think it applies to Christianity in general. Obviously there are exceptions but in my experience, and I've met quite a few, Christian men are mostly either girly men or they're hopelessly pozzed. And no-one who has embraced the poz can be described as healthy.

      It seems likely that the crucial factor in destroying Christianity has been feminism. Christian men have surrendered totally to feminism. And feminism is profoundly anti-Christian.

      And no man who accepts the premises of feminism can be called healthy.

    5. I don't know whether a feminist man can be psychologically healthy or not but feminism and Christianity are certainly incompatible. Christianity and modern liberalism might be incompatible. I am not sure. Christians have to believe in a divine order in the universe, God given differences between men and women and in the natural law. What does pozzed mean? The internet suggests it means infected with AIDS.

    6. What does pozzed mean? The internet suggests it means infected with AIDS.

      In alt-right circles it's used to mean infected with the whole gamut of cultural and social decadence and degeneracy (usually mixed with political correctness). It's kind of like a cultural equivalent of being infected with AIDS. Just as disgusting, and just as dangerous.

    7. Are you alt right?

      No. I think they're nutters. But occasionally they come up with good memes.

  2. The pedophile crisis in the Catholic church is the fruit of the infiltration that took place from the 1940s - 1960s. It's been a hugely successful project. So much so that Catholics remain totally clueless to this day.

  3. Despite living in a Catholic country for years, I hardly ever went to Catholic mass. Yesterday I did & got to listen to a very long, colourful speech on why priests are needed... Does this need explaining now?