Policing the Priesthood : Part 2


So it goes ...
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The Courage to be Catholic
American Catholics divided over the future direction of their church have managed to agree on one thing in recent months: much reform is needed in the wake of the clergy sexual-abuse scandal. Weigel, a theologian and papal biographer (Witness to Hope: The Biography of John Paul II), outlines the shape he thinks it should take in this incisive analysis. More than a problem of clerical misbehavior, he writes, the present crisis is rooted in the church's failure to be faithful to its own teachings. He traces the current woes to a "culture of dissent" that he says was allowed to flourish after the reforming Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), creating an internal schism in the church. After the "truce of 1968," which allowed church leaders to publicly oppose Humanae Vitae, the papal encyclical on artificial contraception, without fear of reprisal, he says it became clear that the Vatican would not support bishops who wanted to maintain discipline among priests and theologians. Weigel lays much of the blame for the sexual-abuse scandal at the feet of the American bishops, whom he chides for acting more like corporate managers than apostles. But his criticism also extends to Rome, where he points to deficiencies in canon law and the Vatican's communications strategy. As expected, Weigel dismisses such reforms as abolishing priestly celibacy and ordaining women priests, but he counters with practical solutions, including changes in the way bishops are selected. This book should stimulate discussion among both progressive and conservative Catholics.
Amazon.com: The Courage to Be Catholic: Crisis, Reform, and the Future of the Church: Books: George Weigel

Goodbye to Good Men: how liberals brought corruption into the Catholic Church
Written shortly before the current scandal broke upon the Roman Catholic Church, Rose's book seems almost prophetic as he documents the systematic rejection of pious, orthodox seminary applicants in many dioceses and the encouragement of questionable attitudes and agendas. Rose (Ugly As Sin), who was editor of St. Catherine Review for seven years, is the author of numerous articles, essays, and books that question the wisdom of contemporary liberal Catholicism. Here, he discusses the causes of the chronic priest shortage, including the misuse of psychological screening and what appears to be blatant discrimination against the kind of young men who were once considered ideal candidates for the vocation. He gives a disturbing glimpse behind the scenes that may go far in explaining the church's present difficulties. Based primarily on interviews, the book is carefully footnoted and contains a bibliography of sources cited and consulted. Highly recommended for anyone interested in this prominent topic, and for public and academic libraries. C. Robert Nixon, MLS, Lafayette, IN
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Goodbye, Good Men provides the real story behind the sex scandal currently rocking the Catholic church. Investigative reporter Michael Rose has conducted countless interviews and exhaustive research to uncover several out-of-control seminaries as the root cause of the scandal. While most pundits and critics are calling for liberalization of the Church in the wake of these scandals, Rose presents compelling evidence that liberal influence is the very cause of the crisis. The revelations in Goodbye, Good Men will shock the nation and ignite a firestorm of debate on the subject.
Amazon.com: Goodbye, Good Men: How Liberals Brought Corruption Into the Catholic Church: Books: Michael S. Rose


This is far from the last word, and is particular to the US — I would suggest AngloIrish issues have their own root causes — in which case we can say the fault lies in certain sociopolitical issues rather than Church doctrine itself.

From own experience, the habit of the Irish of packing unwanted kids off into seminaries/monasteries/convents in the face of no jobs and no money produced a generation, if not generations, of people psychologically embittered by privations suffered by the obligation to live to a rule which under any normal circumstance they would not have chosen.

They suffered, and those in their care suffered moreso.