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Sign of Hidden Longing?


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In my own reflections on the abuse scandals, I am quite prepared to read commentary as in the quote boxes below - and to reflect on it.  My hope is that truth will reveal itself, rather than me finding backup for my own point of view whatever it might be at a given time; however, I don't think anyway I can allow a different perspective(s), even perhaps if valid comment, to detract from the fact that the scandals are horrific and marked little children for life.  The abuses have been perpetrated by those who claim to represent The Church - and do claim leadership in our Church and as chosen and ordained by God to do so.

I keep thinking that our leadership does not get it, does not really grasp in an empathic manner, the shocking (I am unable to find an adequate word for it) nature of these crimes by criminals.  People we had trusted with our children - people who were nothing but criminals preying on our children for perverted sexual reasons.  We need to know the why of these crimes and to know that The Church is addressing the why of it all in a sound manner.  Out in laity land, the temporal secular to which we are called and where I have experience, we are still reeling in shock and degrees of trauma even.  My feeling is that our leadership cannot grasp why we are not moving on.

We need time to grieve and mourn, which can include anger.  We need time to address shock and levels of trauma - we need leadership that understands this, prepared to be supportive.

To my way of thinking, if The Church cannot move on from the scandals because of media comment to which we contribute, it just might be that consciously or unconsciously we feel indeed that our leadership really does not get it, cannot feel empathically from the heart the horror of what has happened to little children - and indeed to those that love them.  Does not really feel it all, while we do.  They might have the right words, but where is the heart?  If it is becoming a case of us and them, that divide was established centuries ago and built upon in the centuries that followed.  Not only that, we are not a democracy but a monarchy with Christ as Head.  Like it or not, Holy Orders is in a rank above Laity.   But on another level, we are equal in Christ with different roles and duties supported by The Lord and His Grace in all things.  The abuse scandals are not only an affront to faithful membership of The Church but equally to Jesus and His Grace.  We are all called by The Lord to service, to be servants and no matter rank in The Church.  How we serve and where we serve is the variation.  The why of our service in an ideal sense is stable through all the various ranks and vocations.


The attacks against the Church are a sign of a hidden longing


 (You will need to scroll down to read entire text)....

.......     Excerpts:


We are the Body of Christ and, as the Pope wrote in his Letter to the People of God, if one member is persecuted we are all persecuted, and if one member has sinned the whole body sins and suffers. Let us therefore experience before the world that the Church is truly one, in goodness but also in evil.



"My reflection arises from several words of Benedict XVI who said repeatedly that, precisely in its criticism levelled at the Church, the secular world reveals a hidden nostalgia, a great longing for something great and pure. In the human heart there is always this longing which becomes something of a challenge to believe that Christ’s Church truly represents something great and pure. Thus the criticism can also be seen as a yearning of those people who criticize us but do so because they want that greatness of the Gospel to be true, to be lived authentically.

There is, as it were, anger, regret that the Gospel cannot be sullied but must inexorably exist. In this sense a text in the second chapter of the Book of Wisdom, on which Benedict XVI f re - quently reflected, has been of great help to me. It says: “Let us lie in wait for the righteous man, because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions; he reproaches us for sins against the law, and accuses us of sins against our training”.

The Church is like a teacher who reproaches and thus gives rise to a harsh attack: “Let us see if his words are true, and let us test what will happen at the end of his life; for if the righteous man is Go d’s son, he will help him, and will deliver him from the hands of his adversaries. Let us test him with insult and torture, that we may find out how gentle he is, and make trial of his forbearance”.

Thus I believe the Church today is living through a period of trial, a moment in which she is being “put to the test”. In meditating on this text, Benedict XVI also understood it in this way: the world criticizes us in order to test us, to see if we are truly meek, whether the Gospel really is just and possible. Rather than complain about the the mass media’s harsh stance against the Church, let us therefore interpret it as a hidden longing, that the Church may truly be what Jesus wanted her to be




Edited by BarbaraTherese
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Well I cannot argue to much of what you have said. The scandal is what it is and the repercussions from this haven't even begun to be felt yet as.so many are still in shock. I don't know what will happen to the church after this especially now being in a weakened and crumbling state that it has been in already. Well I know one thing, the true foundation of the church will never change because Jesus founded it and He will never change. It's when man gets involved with his evil desires does trouble begin. I'm going to put my trust in Jesus because He will do what is needed to make His  church right again. I did find this article that I found interesting on this subject. Talk to you later...gary



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Welcome to Phatmass and thank you for your Post, Gary. :)   Rather often, here on PHatmass, we can be on either side of any fence and at times almost fiercely argue our point of view; however, we remain a community of brothers and sisters and we do try to apply the rules of community i.e. Charity.........we do also remain very faulted and fallibly human.  I think we need to allow space for that too. :) 


I will have a close look at the link you gave at a later date, but it was good to see a reflection on root causes of the scandals from hierarchy.  I did skim the article, but I need to give space and time to have a close read.  Thank you for posting the article.

I wonder if you have read this by Pope Benedict XVI when he was Cardinal Ratzinger - to me it is prophetic.......




"The church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes . . . she will lose many of her social privileges. . . As a small society, [the Church] will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members....

It will be hard-going for the Church, for the process of crystallization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek . . . The process will be long and wearisome as was the road from the false progressivism on the eve of the French Revolution — when a bishop might be thought smart if he made fun of dogmas and even insinuated that the existence of God was by no means certain . . . But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret.

And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals. But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already, but the Church of faith. She may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but she will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man's home, where he will find life and hope beyond death."  

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. "The church will become small." from Faith and the Future (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2009).



39 minutes ago, Gary david said:

I'm going to put my trust in Jesus because He will do what is needed to make His  church right again.

Well said, thank you.

It is what we all need to do especially at this time.  Other than that, always and at all times!

  I think that we need to pay attention to our humanity, our psychology, created by God - and give room in our life to grieve and mourn the loss of what was and create space for what will be in Hope and perhaps a very dark passage for a long time.........trusting in Jesus alone at all times.  Darkness of passage is never a reason to lose either Hope or trust.  It could be said to be a proving ground for Hope and trust because it is a time of very real stress, difficulty and questioning.  It is Faith under siege.

Psalm 146 "Put no trust in princes,

in children of Adam powerless to save.

Who breathing his last, returns to the earth;

that day all his planning comes to nothing"

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