Monday, December 20, 2010

For Evil to Triumph


~Edmund Burke

Of Note: Sex-abuse scandals have rocked the foundation of the Roman Catholic Church since 2002 when the American cleric perversions came to light. However, 2010 will go down as the year the lid blew off, and European dirty laundry was aired for all to see. It is hard to get the brain around a highly-placed priest buggering his own nephews, and that story was not the worst. Globally people have been waiting for an explanation from the Pope as to his part in moving such priests from place to place instead of turning them over to the police. The man had direct responsibility for such matters first as the Archbishop of Munich and then as the head of the Vatican's office that handled abuse cases. Today Pope Benedict XVI, addressing clerics in his much anticipated annual summation of church activities, gave this accounting of the perverted activity: "In the 1970's, pedophilia was theorized as something fully in conformity with man and even with children. It was maintained--even within the realm of Catholic theology--that there is no such thing as good and evil in itself. There is only a 'better than' and 'worse than.' " He went on to say that the scandals reached a new dimension in 2010 of "unimaginable dimensions" and that the church must accept the humiliation and seek renewal. In response, a leader of one of the sex-abuse victim advocacy groups retorted: "It is fundamentally disturbing to watch a brilliant man so conveniently misdiagnose a horrific scandal. The scandal wasn't caused by the 1970's, but rather by the church's culture of secrecy and fixation with self-preservation in which predator priests and the bishops, who moved them around rather than turn them in, were rarely disciplined." Hopefully, this sordid chapter of the Roman Catholic Church has come to an end with the publication of new guidelines for disciplining and defrocking pedophile priests. However, until church leaders take full responsibility for centuries of sex abuse by its priests, the world will not take this Pope seriously, and the beleaguered church will languish in its humiliation for years to come. Having said that, the whole affair might pave the way for a new religious institution to rise out of the ashes. Stay tuned.

Today's Weather Report: 24 degrees and holding steady. 6-inches of snow is forecast for tonight with another couple of inches tomorrow. The snowplow is parked in the barn with its nose out and ready to take on whatever the snow wants to throw our way. The dogs are ready to take on whatever snow snakes they might find lurking in the bushes. The houseplants are smiling at their frozen brothers and sisters outside. In here they are toasty, especially since the new heating system was installed. Some of them, such as the huge ferns, are not happy during the dry winter, but every spring they perk up when exposed to a little moisture. The miniature rose, which was supposed to lose its leaves in the fall, amazingly still has the original set. The bonsai maple tree lost its leaves in October, just a few weeks after the giants outside lost theirs. It takes a real act of faith to continue to water a stick all winter but I've been rewarded with tiny maple leaves for the last two springs and a full tree in miniature by the summer. Just proves that plants grow to the size of their container. Wonder somehow if it is the same for people?