feb 252019
 

Jeg nevnte de første to brevene skrevet av Xavier Rynne II for noen dager siden (se her) om bispesynoden “FOR THE PROTECTION OF MINORS”, og her tar jeg meg de viktigste delene av hans brev nr. 6 (se også brev 3, brev 4 og brev 5):

1. Did the summit recognize that sexual abuse is a global plague?

Even prior to the summit, Father Federico Lombardi, S.J., made this point and suggested that the Church ought to make combatting sexual abuse a pastoral priority. There seemed to be a tacit recognition of this among many of the participants. And the pope laid out the available facts in a lucid and concise way in his discorso concluding the meeting. ….

2. Did the summit recognize that, in a Catholic context, this is a crisis of fidelity that cannot be resolved by “best practices” alone?

Yes and no. …

3. Did the summit avoid using “clericalism” as an all-purpose explanatory factor in the sexual abuse crisis?

There were numerous references to the abuse of sacerdotal and episcopal power during the meeting, including a lengthy section of the pope’s final statement. And no one should doubt that “clericalism” in this sense of the term—taking advantage of the reverence for the priesthood and episcopate that is deep in Catholic DNA—was and is a factor in sexually abusive behavior by clergy. What was not said, or at least not said often enough and crisply enough, is that “clericalism” in this sense is a facilitator of sexual abuse, not its cause. ….

4. Did the meeting recognize that optional celibacy is not the answer to the abuse crisis?

Few participants in the summit seem to have bought the line being peddled by some in the meeting’s Off-Broadway dimension, that a married clergy would mitigate the crisis of clerical sexual abuse. …..

5. Did the meeting underscore the importance of a deep reform of seminaries?

This theme came up frequently, and it was good that it did. What is now necessary is another “exchange of gifts”: namely, those seminary programs that are models of reform (many of which are in the Anglosphere) helping other seminary programs (in old and new Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia) …

6. Did the meeting recognize that the abuse crisis is also a crisis of episcopal credibility?

If there was an “American issue” at the summit, this was it, and in many respects the meeting vindicated the approach that the American bishops have been trying to take (impeded on occasion by the Vatican) since the 2018 Summer of Shame. At least half of the twenty-one points for reflection proposed by the pope reflected American experience and American practice since 2002. …..

7. Did the meeting encourage bishops to treat their priests as sons and fellow-workers in a unified diocesan presbyterate?

This may have come up in the meeting’s small-group discussions, but it did not figure prominently in the summit’s public sessions. ….

8. Did the meeting recognize that episcopal authority is strengthened, not weakened, by drawing on the expertise of dedicated laity in the governance of the Church?

As suggested in #6 above, the door now seems open, across the world Church, to serious collaboration between bishops and laity in addressing the sexual abuse crisis and in addressing issues of episcopal accountability. This is a very tough idea for the standard Curial mentality to grasp, but ….

9. Did the meeting grapple with the need for reformed criteria by which bishops are selected?

In a word, no. But the critiques of episcopal misgovernance that were heard for four days surely point toward the necessity of such a reform. …

10. Did the meeting grasp that deep and authentic Catholic reform is every Catholic’s responsibility?

There was insufficient discussion of this, as there was insufficient discussion of the more comprehensive crisis of chastity in the Church. The Holy Father’s closing statement, however, pointed in this direction, and it is surely a theme to be stressed in the months and years ahead. ….

There was even modest progress on another issue that went largely, and unfortunately, unremarked during the meeting: the relationship of doctrinal dissent to the abuse crisis. ….

….. Perhaps (this is) the end of the beginning, in the struggle to get “Rome” to understand that the Americans were not exaggerating the gravity of the situation and its impact on the Church’s evangelical mission. Perhaps the end of the beginning of the struggle to get hidebound or fearful bishops to understand that engaging the collaboration of knowledgeable lay people does not diminish their authority but enhances it. Perhaps.

For the moment, no further damage was done. And a door that was closed this past November seems now to have been opened. So full marks to those who made some modest but real accomplishments possible—and who gave the people they serve grounds for hope.

feb 232019
 

En kjent amerikansk journalist og redaktør, Peter Steinfels, har skrevet en svært lang artikkel der han kritiserer The Pennsylvania Grand-Jury Report (som kom i august 2018, er på 800-1300 sider, og går gjennom alle kjente tilfeller av seksuelt misbruk av katolske prester i seks bispedømmer i Pennsylvania de siste 70 år), og kaller den “Inaccurate, Unfair & Misleading”. Han skriver bl.a.:

In fact, the report makes not one but two distinct charges. The first one concerns predator priests, their many victims, and their unspeakable acts. That charge is, as far as can be determined, dreadfully true. Appalling as is this first charge, it is in fact the second one that has had the greatest reverberations. “All” of these victims, the report declares, “were brushed aside, in every part of the state, by church leaders who preferred to protect the abusers and their institutions above all.” Or as the introduction to the report sums it up, “Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all.”

Is that true?

Almost every media story of the grand-jury report that I eventually read or viewed was based on its twelve-page introduction and a dozen or so sickening examples.
On the basis of reading the report’s vast bulk, on the basis of reviewing one by one the handling of hundreds of cases, on the basis of trying to match diocesan replies with the grand jury’s charges, and on the basis of examining other court documents and speaking with people familiar with the grand jury’s work, including the attorney general’s office, my conclusion is that this second charge is in fact grossly misleading, irresponsible, inaccurate, and unjust. It is contradicted by material found in the report itself—if one actually reads it carefully. It is contradicted by testimony submitted to the grand jury but ignored—and, I believe, by evidence that the grand jury never pursued.

Hele artikkelen kan leses her.

feb 202019
 

Tidsskriftet First Things publiserte under bispesynodene i 2015 og i 2018 mange artikler skrevet av den anonyme forfatteren “Xavier Rynne II”, og de fortsetter med denne praksisen under bispekonferansen som begynner i morgen. Første artikkel (fra i går) begynner slik:

The whole course of Christianity from the first … is but one series of troubles and disorders. Every century is like every other, and to those who live in it seems worse than all times before it. The Church is ever ailing … Religion seems ever expiring, schisms dominant, the light of truth dim, its adherents scattered. The cause of Christ is ever in its last agony.

-Blessed John Henry Newman, Via Media (1834)

John Henry Newman’s tart view of the ongoing mess that is the history of the Church was written when he was still an Anglican, but it seems unlikely that his sense of things changed materially after he entered the Catholic Church—indeed, it probably intensified. Nonetheless, Newman’s panoramic, if mordant, overview of Christian history can be consoling whenever Catholicism finds itself in crisis, as it surely does now. Things have undoubtedly been worse than they are today. And for all the muck, pain, and anger of today’s Catholic crisis of sexually abusive clergy and failed ecclesiastical leadership, the Church has not been abandoned by its Lord or by the Holy Spirit. Many good and life-giving things happen throughout the world Church every day: the sacraments are celebrated and grace is bestowed; sins are forgiven and wounded souls healed; those with nowhere to go find a home. And in its social doctrine the Church continues to bear a message that an increasingly incoherent postmodern world badly needs to hear. …

Dagens artikkel (nr. 2) kan leses her.

Vatikanet har egne nettsider for denne konferansen for å samtale om overgrep og beskyttelse av barn (fra torsdag 21/2 til søndag 24/2).

feb 152019
 


Jeg må innrømme at jeg før denne uka aldri hadde hørt om de hellige Faustinus og Jovita av Brescia, men nå skal de minnes i en tradisjonell latinsk messe jeg feirer i dag – katolsk.no har en lang og informativ artikkel om dem. (Og Brescia ligger mellom Milano og Verona i Nord-Italia).

De hellige Faustinus og Jovita (it: Faustino e Giovita) levde på begynnelsen av 100-tallet i Brescia (Brixia) i regionen Lombardia i Nord-Italia. De skal ha blitt født i Pregno di Villa Carcina (?) og var ifølge Legenda maior brødre og riddere og tilhørte byens adel. De skal ha blitt omvendt av den hellige biskop Apollonius, som også skal ha vigslet den eldste broren Faustinus til prest og den yngste Jovita til diakon. Ifølge legendariske overleveringer ble de halshogd i Brescia i år 121 under keiser Hadrian (117-38) på grunn av sin iver for kristendommens utbredelse. I motsetning til biskopen på stedet, som holdt seg i skjul under keiser Hadrians forfølgelse, hadde de åpent stått frem og bekjent sin tro. Ikke noe annet kan sies med sikkerhet om dem. Men en from legende gir flere detaljer:

Les videre her

feb 132019
 

Den tradisjonelle messen jeg skal feire fredag i Porsgrunn er en vanlig hverdagsmesse i 5. uke etter åpenbaringen, der både bønner og tekster tas fra sist søndags messe. (Det er nokså sjelden man feirer en grønn hverdagsmesse i den gamle kalenderen, siden det er så mange helgendager. Og i den tradisjonelle messen brukes da både bønner og tekster fra søndagens messen, mens man i den nye messen bare bruker bønnene fra søndagen.)

I messens inngangsvers hører vi:

Tilbe Gud, alle hans engler, Sion hører det og gleder seg, og Judas døtre fryder seg.
Herren er konge; jorden juble, og gleden nå ut helt til de fjerne øyer.

Hallelujaverset gjentar andre del av dette inngangsverset, og i evangeliet hører vi fra Matteus 13,24-30:

På den tid la Jesus frem for folket en annen lignelse og sa: «Himmelriket kan sammenlignes med en mann som hadde sådd godt korn i åkeren sin. Og mens alle sov, kom fienden hans og sådde ugress blant hveten og gikk sin vei. Da kornet skjøt opp og satte aks, kom også ugresset til syne. Tjenerne gikk til jordeieren og sa: ‘Herre! Var det ikke godt korn du sådde i åkeren? Hvor kommer da ugresset fra?’ ‘Det har en fiende gjort’, svarte han. Tjenerne spurte ham: ‘Vil du vi skal gå og luke det bort?’ ‘Nei’, svarte han, ‘for når dere luker bort ugresset, kunne dere samtidig komme til å rykke opp hveten. La dem begge vokse der sammen til høsten kommer. Og når det er tid for innhøsting, skal jeg si til dem som høster inn: Sank først sammen ugresset og bind det i bunter for å brenne det. Men hveten skal dere samle i låven min.’»

Alle messens bønner og tekster kan leses her.

Den tradisjonelle messen feires i Porsgrunn i vår også fredagene 22. mars, 26. april og 7. juni.

feb 022019
 


Bildet viser oss sist kveld på Gran Canaria; vi sitter ute på terrassen og spiser vårt kveldsmåltid, når dette skriver er vi tilbake i Oslo. Turen hjem gikk veldig fint, men flyet måtte utsette landingen på Gardermoen i 10-15 minutter for at brøytebilene skulle kunne gjøre seg ferdige med flystripa. Nokså stort væromslag med andre ord.