SELECTIVE MORAL OUTRAGE
We are living in very strange times from a Christian perspective.
|CONFESSION IN A TRADITIONAL CONFESSIONAL|
Actor Montgomery Clift in the Hitchcock Film " I Confess"
In the western world, almost everything we have inherited as a society is of Christian origin. Indeed, as the great Cardinal George Pell has pointed out, our society has, since the time of the now collapsing "Enlightenment" project, been living off the moral capital accumulated through the whole of Christian history. But the steady corruption of "Enlightenment" thought, the consequent moral relativism, and the secularism that began to grow with the Protestant Deformation of the Church have insidiously spread like leaking petrol over the intervening centuries,until in our present time the spark of modern communications technology has facilitated the ignition of this complex and toxic mixture. The resultant firestorm is growing at an exponential rate, out of control and destroying everything it meets. At times it seems it will only die out when all is ashes.
To-day in Australia, one of the dominant topics in the news , is the Australian Government's announced decision to hold a Royal Commission into the Sexual Abuse of Children in all institutional circumstances.The terms of reference which will define the role of the Royal Commission are expected to be announced later in December. It is sad to say that the Commission is being appointed partly as a result of Media emphasis on scandals revealed in some Catholic institutions from 50 to 20 years ago.
Everyone seems relieved that it is to be appointed.Even the Church has welcomed the opportunity to establish the facts, not only the facts of what had been done, but the facts of corrective measures taken, the facts of the whole community experience are also to be sought. This will put the Catholic experience in context, and show the media anti- Catholic campaign up for what it is.
Yet the Church remains in a difficult situation , she is, by her very nature committed to truth and mercy. The Media has scant regard for truth, but is consumed with the promotion of sensation. Any device which will serve that end suits the purpose of the Media. In addition the Church faces the bitter hatred of those whose actions she must condemn as sinful: those involved in abortion, active homosexuals, those using contraceptives, those using drugs,those advocating embryonic stem cell research, those promoting same sex " marriage", those practicing divorce and re-marriage etc. It is a formidable aggregation of enemies. And, as we know from their too well publicized doings, they are very well represented in the Media.
She must also defend the Seven Sacraments entrusted to her by Christ.
But in this corrupt and disintegrating society where violence is rapidly mushrooming , and wildly abandoned mass drunkenness is increasingly common, and the evil of Abortion claims the lives of perhaps as many as 100,000 Australian babies every year - not to mention the thousands lost in the course of IVF treatments, there is a selective moral outrage at the issue of pedophilia.
So zealous has it become, driven by the growing number of totally Godless politicians in our parliaments, that it seems all principles are to be cast aside in the effort to pursue this matter.
The latest development is for the rabid pro-homosexual pro-abortion etc. etc. mob to demand that on the issue of pedophilia Priests should be bound by law to report any Confession of sins of this nature. The idea can of course be quickly shown for the idiocy it is. But so madly heated has the whole area of discussion become, that even usually sound Liberal politician Christopher Pyne has ventured the idea that the Seal of the Confessional should be broken in this instance!
Most importantly, the Seal of the Confessional is an integral element of the Sacrament which brings the Penitent face to face with the forgiveness of Christ. The transaction is between the Penitent and God. The information given is NOT for any other use by the Priest acting in Persona Christi. The law might attempt to compel the breaking of the Seal but no Priest may comply with such a law. Secondly even a child can see that if the law managed in some way to compel the Priest to breach his trust, no penitent would confess such sins.
But of course , if one could induce the law to attempt to intrude into the confessional in matters of pedophilia, why not murder, why not rape, why not theft, why not wife beating, why not racial vilification, why not abuse of the environment. Where would it end?The suggestion is puerile and inconsistent, and in any normal intellectual environment would not merit or receive any attention.
The whole area of public discussion on this issue is perfect grist for the Media mills. They have reacted at their cynical worst, with careful selection of faces to interview,promotion of the images of weeping victims of 40 or 50 years ago, and the absolute presumption that every allegation is FACT, every accused is guilty.
The sin and crime of pedophilia is truly heinous and falls DIRECTLY under the category of sin Our Divine Lord Himself so strongly condemned.Let us pursue it's proven perpetrators with all the vigor of due process, and remain always vigilant.
But let us not abandon all principle because of sentiment and hysteria.
And let us ask: when will we see the same moral outrage at the far more numerous problem of Abortion and the DEATH of 100,000 babies every year in Australia , an evil at least equally heinous and far more numerous in its occurrences