Abuse isn’t just a Catholic problem

by Steve Ray on April 23, 2010

Yes, the Church needs purging of paedophiles, and has brought in tough guidelines to throw them out, but what of abusers in schools and families?

Click here for the whole article which is very insightful, helpful and puts things in perspective.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Chris April 23, 2010 at 11:51 PM

Sadly, this problem goes beyond pedophilia but the root of the problem is a 1500 year problem that the church had addressed in Vatican 2 but have so far failed to implement. This is the role of the laity. Here are some specifics of the problem:

1. The over exaltation of the clergy/religious while making lay people second class citizens. The laity should have a respect for the clergy/religious proper to their office without deifying them! This is a problem in deeply Catholic countries especially in developing countries, where members of the clergy are typically treated like gods.

2. The failure of the clergy/religious to properly catechize the laity. When the clergy/religious teach the laity things that are against the teaching of the magisterium, the people listen to them. This is what you see now when you have Catholics advocating abortion and other things against the teaching of the Church. You see some members of the clergy/religious supporting them thus somehow “clearing their consciences.”

3. Although the proper role of the laity had been defined in Lumen Gentium, this has never been properly understood nor properly implemented. The laity is still seen as collaborators of the Hierarchy or Religious. I am glad that Pope Benedict has clarified this a few months ago by saying that the “Laity are NOT collaborators but CO-RESPONSIBLE in the Church” The apostolic role of the laity is not by being part of the hierarchy or “church structure” but by being apostolic in the very profession that they exercise.

Anyone familiar with St Paul and his disciples would understand this. Look at St Paul. He worked as a tent maker probably during the day. In the course of his work, he would probably do apostolate with this co-worker. He does cathecism to his disciples either in the afternoon or at night. Epaphras was probably a businessman/trader yet he converted Colossae probably during his frequent trips to that city. Or what about Aquila and Pricilla, the traders, laborers, senators and all the other early Christians. THESE WERE THE PEOPLE WHO CONVERTED THE PAGAN ROMAN EMPIRE! They did it by putting the apostolic responsibility in their hands. Now it is our turn!

4. The last problem is the failure of some Clergy/religious to strive for holiness. If they don’t strive for holiness neither will the laity.

This might sound simplistic to some people but if you think about it, we really need to change the way we do things. Although Church’s existence is guaranteed by our Lord, we have to do our share because the future of the Church is in our hands whether we are part of the hierarchy, religious or the laity!

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