Thursday, August 11, 2005

Stop the Stoning

Whew.... A great day for the numbers -- almost 1,100 visits since midnight, referred from here, there and everywhere. What a way to hit 30K.

But, on more serious things, Amy the Fair asks a very pertinent question:
If Clark was liberal, would our reaction to this alleged situation be the same? That's all I'm askin'.
As I said last night, this whole thing is just damn sad -- not to mention a real distraction from the important work which actually is the church's mission.

But this is what happens when everyone gets their rocks off being the morality police; the big things get lost because it's just as human (and wrong) to be distracted by the tawdry news as it is to fall into the abyss. "Let he who is without sin...." Right?

A lot of combox people out there are looking to tie Gene Clark to a tree and whip the bejesus outta him, because he let their team down. And that reaction is, in itself, scary -- let alone un-Christian. "Let he who is without sin..." Right?

Look, the guy stepped down, we still don't know what happened, he didn't get a depressive co-ed drunk and go wild (that would be Mr. Deal), he didn't abuse the altar boys (that was Geoghan, Shanley, Stanley White, Jim Brzyski, et. al, et. al., et. al.), etc. etc. If anything, he had a long-term relationship that was consensual. She was married, but still.... It could be much worse and you all know it.

As they say of Rome, "They can handle issues when a male's involved...." Bad, bad double standard there, and Clark -- and especially McCarthy -- has suffered more for that bad double standard than others in very many cases you'll never see nor know. Think about it.

Bottom line: get off the old man, people. Let him be at peace.

I got an e.mail earlier that speaks to the sad truth of a dominant attitude of this day. Think about it for a bit:
"I guess when I was baptized... I was being baptized in a Church that wasn't really about forgiveness."
And it's that impression which is the saddest thing of all.

-30-

8 Comments:

Blogger Der Tommissar said...

"I guess when I was baptized... I was being baptized in a Church that wasn't really about forgiveness."

Umm, I thought someone had to repent to be forgiven. I have no clue what's going on in New York, or who did what, but to forgive someone the have to seek forgiveness.

I haven't seen anyone doing that yet.

11/8/05 17:51  
Blogger Julie said...

I think the saddest thing isn't his human weakness or people's lack of forgiveness. You're right that people's being judgmental is wrong and that he needs forgiveness.
This was, however, a highly visible clergyman who was preaching publicly about purity and virtue while simultaneously committing scandal. At this time when so many faithful Catholics have been maxed out by scandal and tempted to lose faith, how dare he be so cavalier to risk further breaching the trust of good people? Hearing of the impropriety and recklessness of his actions, however innocent they might turn out to be, is just sickening.
Yet another servant of Christ has proven himself unworthy of the trust of the flock. More spit on the Lord's face.These guys know they're held to a higher standard, and that means they'll be tempted more than the rest of us. It's part of the job description.

11/8/05 17:59  
Blogger edgleason said...

Forgiveness? almost all of the clerical perps stonewall the accusations..what ever happened to confess your sins?? Rocco asks us to cut Clark some slack!! well, tell that to the children just before their DNA tests to determine paternity..
The real story is that there is a hierarchal meltdown going on in this country..more to follow
Frisco Eddie

11/8/05 18:55  
Blogger Jeff said...

You know, in the old days (pre-Vatican Two! Run for your lives!) "renewal" meant scraping away laxity and excess in indulgence. Think of St. Teresa's renewal of the Carmelites. Think of Trent's many reforms.

"Renewal" OUGHT to mean being LESS tolerant of sexual sins, not MORE. Sure, let's combine less tolerance with ways to help secular clergy and others get more support from each other and enrich their spiritual lives. But if priests thought that living with mistresses or raping boys or getting an internet porn habit would probably mean humiliation, shame and dismissal from the priesthood, they would be LESS likely to indulge in them. If priests were encouraged to tell bishops if a fellow priest was in trouble, rather than being railroaded, silenced and defrocked, there might be some chance of keeping this under control.

Make sure that a lapse does not become a pattern, and individual patterns don't spread to become general ones.

I suppose some people just think everybody does this--it's human nature. If that's true, we Catholics are of all men the most unhappy, for our Hope is vain.

kantors@patriot.net

11/8/05 20:03  
Blogger granny redhead said...

Some of the people in those comboxes are merely working out their disappointments and frustrations.

Same as you, getting your rocks off at stoning the so-called liturgical police regularly here in your blog.

You should talk about cutting people slack.

12/8/05 00:32  
Blogger Sr. Bernadette Reis said...

What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Everyone else in this country is afforded this due process except...priests.
Why is it that we believe anyone who accuses a priest and yet when a woman accuses a male in the general population, she is the one that is generally not believed.... Some double standard here, I think.
Personally I think Rocco is saying that the Christian thing to do is to suspend judgment until the truth comes out.
With this, I am not defending priests, all I am saying is that what goes around comes around. If their right to due process is undermined, ours will also be undermined in the not too distant future....

12/8/05 04:32  
Blogger Tom said...

I agree with Granny Redhead. Simply as a matter of rhetoric, pleas for Christian forgiveness sound stronger when they do not invariably include mention of the same decade-old sin.

12/8/05 07:33  
Blogger patrick said...

Part of the problem is that the internet encourages extremism and hatefulness. That said, folks like Diogenes, The Wanderer, The New Oxford Review spend more time poisoning the wells than anything else. Faith without hope and charity is little better than ideology.

About 10 years ago, I attended a spiritual conference conducted by an Opus Dei priest - totally committed to the traditionalist position on everything - who told his audience (some of whom needed to hear this) that, yes, there were abuses in the liturgy, abuses in catechesis, scandals, and so forth. However, he said that the answer to these problems was not to scream and shout about heresy or wag fingers at the sinners, but to preach good doctrine and be a good example. He said, more or less, that people who tut-tut everyone are not only annoying, but risk destroying their own faith and perhaps even their own humanity in the process. I thought he was right then, and I think he is right now. We need more priests and more laity to give advice like this, not less.

12/8/05 10:45  

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