I want to talk about the pastoral.
The pontifex wrote the pastoral to the Catholic believers, that they were waiting for, for approximately a month and until now he wrapt himself in silence. We were all expecting the words showing the direction, a strong and firm stand of the Church, a statement that would raise the trust, an apology and consequences that will be taken. We were waiting for a plan, A SOLUTION to the issue child-abuse in connection with the clergy. WAY FROM IT!
It is clear that the pope cannot bring the solution right out of his pocket, it is obviously nothing that can be solved in one night but the way this situation was dealt with by the head of the Catholic Church is just so far from any attempt.
For those that do not know what exactly I am talking about let me give you a brief summary of what happened and what the pastoral says.
Within the last couple of weeks the Catholic Church was confronted with the incapability of sticking to their rules. There was not one single day, without a new case of abuse in what kind so ever. Approximately a week ago, the pope himself got into the line of fire as he as a bishop when a priest convicted child abuse was sent to a different catholic boarding school. Further the pope’s brother admitted that he beat children in the choir he was leading. Christians all over the world are loosing their faith in church and we were all awaiting a clear declaration from our pontifex.
On Saturday the pastoral was read in the churches. The pope emphasised that he wrote the letter all by himself and there was no advisor helping him. He should probably have asked for an advisor as he was only addressing the Irish church and most probably he forgot the German victims that he was in charge of. He forgot all the other countries that have similar or the same issues.
The pontifex is writing sentences like:
I can only share in the dismay and the sense of betrayal that so many of you have experienced on learning of these sinful and criminal acts and the way Church authorities in Ireland dealt with them.
The pontifex is sharing what and where? So the German, Austrian and all other cases are lining up? I don’t understand that! I am really willing to believe and I am trying to understand because this is not an easy position that the pope is in for the time being. But I am sorry I can’t even if I try hard.
All too often, the sacramental and devotional practices that sustain faith and enable it to grow, such as frequent confession, daily prayer and annual retreats, were neglected.
I am sorry; does that mean that the sacramental and devotional practices were not provided to the priests that failed? Or does that mean that the victims have to pray more? I don’t understand it! I don’t understand what this is supposed to mean!
On several occasions since my election to the See of Peter, I have met with victims of sexual abuse, as indeed I am ready to do in the future. I have sat with them, I have listened to their stories, I have acknowledged their suffering, and I have prayed with them and for them.
This is opening two questions for me:
- How come the pope did not react earlier? How come the church could keep going like that? How come the pontifex says this?
- What reaction does the pontifex expect from the believers? What would an appropriate reaction be like?
You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry. I know that nothing can undo the wrong you have endured. Your trust has been betrayed and your dignity has been violated. Many of you found that, when you were courageous enough to speak of what happened to you, no one would listen.
I thought now the pontifex is getting started. I was happy to finally find the words I was waiting for and I thought now he will start getting global. I was so sure that at least now, he would make me understand everything, but he did not. He continued focusing on one area in this row of countries being in the identical situation.
I hope you understand what I am talking about and I hope you understand that I will not keep going because all through the entire pastoral, it didn’t change.
The pontifex finally decided to talk to his sheep, which he obviously doesn’t even adjudge the intelligence of sheep.
I am begging the Church to finally take position, show colour. We are believers, we want to trust, we want to be able to base ourselves on a religion, and this is what it is meant for. You let us down! Now you have to change the path, if you don’t want to loose us all! Don’t you think it is time to testify? I do and I am not alone!