A Solution to the Sexual Abuse Crisis in the Catholic Church: Part I

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Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out
those who were selling things, saying to them,
“It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer,
but you have made it a den of thieves.”
(Luke, Chapter 19: 45-48) 

Let us take that passage from the gospel of Luke as an inspiration when we proceed to address the problem of sexual abuse in the Church.

Jesus did not limit his treatment of greedy people to discussion and accompaniment.  He drove out those guilty of the sin of avarice from the temple, from the house of God.

People guilty of the sin of greed so serious that even the place of worship is used as a means to satisfy their avaricious appetites do not deserve the privilege of staying within its walls. They must be cast out. Such seriously sick souls need serious medicine to bring them to repentance.

Similarly, those guilty of the sin of lust so great that they use their ordained positions in the Church to satisfy their lusts do not deserve the privilege of staying within its walls. They must be cast out.

Such clergy must be both laicized and excommunicated. Such seriously sick souls need serious medicine to bring them to repentance.

Expressions of lust that are criminal must have the sinner meet civil consequences. Sins of lust that are criminal offenses against minors or others should not be forgiven by a priest until the sinner is willing to have due justice carried out: the sinner should plead guilty in the civil courts and accept its judgment.  This is akin to the idea that, in the case of theft, one confesses the sin but cannot be forgiven unless the one intends to make restitution for the theft.

St. John Paul II forgave his would-be assassin but required that he serve time in prison for attempted murder.  Mehmet Ali Ağca asked forgiveness from St. John Paul II when the Pope visited him in prison. But justice demanded  that he serve time in prison for his crime and the Pope did not ask civil authorities to release him from that obligation.

The harm done by abusive clergy to young souls and vulnerable adults kills innocence and causes lifelong pain. Their pain cries out to heaven for justice.

By Marianne Bovee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Guards at the Taj’: “I killed Beauty”


photo: Milwaukeerep.com

 

Guards at the Taj: “I killed Beauty”

Two guards bathed in the blood
of 40,000
hands of Taj Mahal artists
who will never create again.

Hands sliced off
with a sword by one guard:
“I killed Beauty,”
he says.
The other cauterizes.

Following orders.
The audience laughs.
“The point is there is no point.”

Good clean-up job afterwards
gets them promoted.
The audience laughs.
“The point is there is no point.”

I can’t clean my eyes
from the memory of seeing that play.

“I killed Beauty” says the guard.

Box office hit with blood and body parts.
Utilitarian calculus.

Absolute Beauty and the Absolute Good
are synonymous, says Plato.
Moral transgression is ugly, not beautiful.

When evil is dressed up in splendid robes–note the acting,
how fine; and the set,
what sophistication–
Beauty has departed

and only a Counterfeit remains

and snickers.

 

By Marianne Bovee

RESIST Microchips in Our Bodies

 

ct-microchip-party-20170801

Three Square Market, a Wisconsin company, is putting data-laden microchip implants into the bodies of their employees,  according Jeff Baenen of the Chicago Tribune.  As indicated in his article “Wisconsin company holds ‘chip party’ to microchip workers,   “A brief sting is all employees of a Wisconsin technology company said they felt Tuesday when they received a microchip implant in their hand that will allow them to open doors, log onto computers or buy breakroom snacks by simply waving their hand.”

According to the principle of subsidiarity, as described  by the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co- ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.”

Inserting data-laden microchips into our bodies goes against the principle of subsidiarity.   The higher level “community” of managers/owners should not be inserting microchips into the bodies of employees.  People can log into a computer on their own. People can buy snacks by producing payment on their own. They don’t need technological assistance with an inserted microchip in their bodies. The chip in question doesn’t have a GPS. It doesn’t mean in the future it won’t have one. Having this chip inserted is voluntary at the moment.  If too many people comply presently, it’s likely the chip won’t be voluntary in the future.

Imagine not being able to buy anything without the chip, not being able to do banking without the chip, not being able to turn on your car or enter your home without the chip. Then imagine the havoc that could be wreaked with malfunctioning of the chip or the intentional malicious altering of data.

RESIST.

RESIST now, before it is too late. We are more than technology. We are more than data.

 

By Marianne Bovee

 

Nietzsche and Sartre in the Garden of Eden

Elisabeth_Keyser_Expulsion_from_the_Garden_of_Eden

Nietzsche and Sartre are walking in the Garden of Eden. God tells them: “You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and bad. From that tree you shall not eat; the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die.”

But the serpent said to them: “You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad.”

Nietzsche and Sartre end up eating of the fruit because they want to be like gods.

But why did the serpent tell Adam and Eve that they would know what was good and what was evil after eating of the fruit?  After all, didn’t God tell them that eating from a certain tree was evil and that eating from all other plants was good? By all appearances, they already knew what good and bad were.

But before they sinned, they only really knew the good!  They had no experience of what evil or turning away from God was. And the very act of rejecting God’s laws, of rejecting God as lawgiver, puts the person into the seat of being a lawgiver, into godlike status. He who does not serve God serves himself and creates his own personal laws. And a lawgiver presumably knows what good and bad actually are.

Once one turns from God—rejecting His commandments, His inspirations of grace–one has chosen another set of prescriptions for what is right and wrong. One has chosen one’s own prescriptions for right and wrong.

Nietzsche, author of the work Beyond Good and Evil, does not think that he must follow the values that ordinary mortals hold. God is dead to him. Nietzsche is the Superman or Űbermensch who feels he’s entitled to create his own standards for good and evil.

Nietzsche sends out an invitation to others to follow that path.

God does not exist for Sartre either, and therefore, says Sartre, there is no human nature, no ideal template for us to aspire to. We are pure freedom, pure possibility.  He says we are “condemned to be free.” This freedom is not the kind of freedom that has us doing the good in the sense of following the will of God, in the sense that Aquinas would maintain. Sartre’s kind of freedom is a burden because there are no rules, no standards of good and evil. We have to create those as we create our very selves because no God exists to have already done that job for us.

Sartre sends out an invitation to others to follow his path.

In eating of the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve went beyond the boundaries of good and evil given to them by God. Adam and Eve thought that eating the fruit–violating God’s law–was a good thing for them to do. In that act, they created their own notions of what was good and what was evil. And they rejected the nature God had given them, the human nature which was preordained by God to be happy only in doing His will. In rejecting God, they became like gods. For it is the role of a god to designate what is good and what is evil and to create the essence of whatever exists.

But it is not just Adam and Eve and Nietzsche and Sartre who formulate their own moralities, as a god would. It’s not just Nietzsche and Sartre who do not accept divinely ordained constraints on one’s actions and insist on choosing their destinies in complete freedom.  We do it, too, in each and every act of turning from God. When we say no to God, we are telling Him that we see something else as the good. When we say no to God, we reject the essence of our being that He created and substitute our own ideas of what an ideal human being should be.

We have met Nietzsche and Sartre in the Garden—and they are us.

 

Marianne Bovée

 

(image: Elizabeth Keyser, Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, http://www.jamesalder.co.uk/)