John Allen skriver i dag om gårsdagens tale til den romerske kurien, der pave Benedikt bl.a. tok opp spørsmålet om seksuelle misbruk i Kirken. Dette misbruket har kommet bl.a. pga en feilaktig moralteologisk metode kalt ‘proporsjonalisme:
In effect, Benedict asserted that proportionalism shaped a climate in which it was possible to justify pedophilia and the sexual exploitation of minors, even by priests.
As Benedict noted, “proportionalism” and its variants were explicitly rejected by Pope John Paul II in his 1993 encyclical Veritatis Splendor (paragraphs 75-76), in which the late pope insisted that Catholic moral tradition regards some acts as “intrinsically evil,” which can never be justified by a “proportionate reason.”
The danger of proportionalism has long figured prominently among Benedict’s “talking points” on the sex abuse crisis.
On his way to Australia in the summer of 2008, for example, Benedict targeted the moral theory by name, claiming that “with proportionalism, it was possible to think for some subjects – one could also be pedophilia – that in some proportion they could be a good thing.”
This morning, Benedict XVI returned to the same point, though without directly invoking the term. Here’s what the pope said, in the English translation of his address provided by the Vatican Press Office:
“In the 1970s, paedophilia was theorized as something fully in conformity with man and even with children. This, however, was part of a fundamental perversion of the concept of ethos. It was maintained – even within the realm of Catholic theology – that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a ‘better than’ and a ‘worse than’. Nothing is good or bad in itself. Everything depends on the circumstances and on the end in view. Anything can be good or also bad, depending upon purposes and circumstances. Morality is replaced by a calculus of consequences, and in the process it ceases to exist. The effects of such theories are evident today. Against them, Pope John Paul II, in his 1993 Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor, indicated with prophetic force in the great rational tradition of Christian ethos the essential and permanent foundations of moral action. Today, attention must be focused anew on this text as a path in the formation of conscience. It is our responsibility to make these criteria audible and intelligible once more for people today as paths of true humanity, in the context of our paramount concern for mankind.”
Since cure follows diagnosis, Benedict’s assessment implies that eradicating the influence of proportionalism, along with any moral theory which denies the intrinsic evil of certain acts, should be a core element of the church’s “exit strategy.” …