"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Has the Pope been reading my Book?

In the newly released Christus Vivit I spy at least two places where the message overlaps with my new book Everything Hidden Shall Be Revealed: Ridding the Church of Abuses of Sex and Power. These two sections would suggest that certain messages seem slowly to be getting through to certain bishops, including the incumbent of Rome, about the multiple problems we group together as the sex abuse crisis. Consider, e.g., this:
42. For example, a Church that is overly fearful and tied to its structures can be invariably critical of efforts to defend the rights of women, and constantly point out the risks and the potential errors of those demands.  Instead, a living Church can react by being attentive to the legitimate claims of those women who seek greater justice and equality.  A living Church can look back on history and acknowledge a fair share of male authoritarianism, domination, various forms of enslavement, abuse and sexist violence (my emphasis).  
I talked here about the fact that people who fatuously wants to reduce this crisis to one solely caused by "the gays" have to deal with the newly emerging data on the abuse of women by clerics in the Church.

Even more clearly the exhortation echoes what I have been saying about the undeniably intertwined crises of sex and power both being abused concomitantly (my emphasis):
98. “Abuse exists in various forms: the abuse of power, the abuse of conscience, sexual and financial abuse.  Clearly, the ways of exercising authority that make all this possible have to be eradicated, and the irresponsibility and lack of transparency with which so many cases have been handled have to be challenged.  The desire to dominate, lack of dialogue and transparency, forms of double life, spiritual emptiness, as well as psychological weaknesses, are the terrain on which corruption thrives”.[53]  Clericalism is a constant temptation on the part of priests who see “the ministry they have received as a power to be exercised, rather than a free and generous service to be offered.  It makes us think that we belong to a group that has all the answers and no longer needs to listen or has anything to learn”.[54]  Doubtless, such clericalism can make consecrated persons lose respect for the sacred and inalienable worth of each person and of his or her freedom.
I address power directly and at length in the book, including the psychology underlying both the "desire to dominate" on the part of clerics, and the equally disturbing desire to be dominated, which one can find in not a few Catholics today, who, like their predecessors going back to the nineteenth century, are only too happy to have the men in black tell them what to do. Both are forms of psychopathology, and the sooner they are rooted out the better. 

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