Pope: The Real Threat is the Scourge of Secularism

In the midst of apologizing for abuses of children by Catholic priests, Pope Benedict XVI used his public comments to blame liberal secularism for threatening the Church and society. The Pope appears to be joining former Prime Minister Tony Blair and other leaders (here and here) campaigning against the scourge of seclurism — even as he apologizes for the widespread abuses of his church. It is astonishing to watch the expanding campaign against secularists, a rather unlikely group for villification. It appears that the scandal of pedophilic priests is only a distraction from the real threat to society — people who want society guided by civic rather than religious principles.

The Pope warned the Irish that “prosperity has undoubtedly brought material comfort to many, but in its wake secularism has also begun to encroach and leave its mark.”

He cautioned that the Church is still needed to show people how to live their lives because without it “relativism takes its place: instead of being governed by principles, political choices are determined more and more by public opinion, values are overshadowed by procedures and targets, and indeed the very categories of good and evil, and right and wrong, give way to the pragmatic calculation of advantage and disadvantage.”

The letter itself, while not conceding guilt, is remarkable in its denouncing of Irish bishops entangled in the scandal. The Pope decried the “sinful and criminal acts and the way the church authorities in Ireland dealt with them”.

The letter also states that an apostolic visitation (or Papal investigation), will be carried out at a “certain diocese” in Ireland, as well as in seminaries and religious congregations.

He did, however, state “I recognise how difficult it was to grasp the extent and complexity of the problem, to obtain reliable information and to make the right decisions in the light of conflicting expert advice.” This is a bit curious since these bishops clearly had enough evidence to call the police — like any other organization or institution.

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26 thoughts on “Pope: The Real Threat is the Scourge of Secularism”

  1. The whole child abuse thing by Catholic priests has left serious wounds and many questions unanswered particularly for the victims. After all these were worshippers who had faith in God and the catholic priests.

    One can understand the stigma and shame it has left on firstly the Catholic faith and secondly christanity as a whole. Im sure for every wicked priest there are two good ones. The child abuse scandal has rocked the entire foundations of Rome and the Vatican, people have lost much love and respect for everything it stands for.

    The remaining question is should the Catholic Church have this level of power, there is much debate taken place in Eire on this subject.

  2. The christian tradition (and I here have in mind the Baptist tradition) is small independent decentralized churches. This is how the original church was organized.

    And, I believe it was organized as such to avoid tainting the whole body of believers with the wrong-doings of others.

    The whole body of the catholic church believers are now dragged through the mud (again) because of the centralized church and the errors committed by authorized leaders in its ranks.

    Human nature is just too corrupt for any kind of centralized power.

    Absolute power corrupts….and et cetera.

  3. ***Keeer-ACK!***

    Look at the ball fly! It’s an in the park triple for mespo. Those kinda at bats are really going to help the Freedom Fighters on their quest for the pennant. Aye, Johnny. That mespo swings a big stick.

  4. Byron:

    Freedom is not the ability to do whatever one wishes, and no Founder ever thought it was so. Freedom, unlike licentiousness, carries the responsibilities of participation and adherence to law. The reason the Golden Mean has merit goes to my point that extreme positions are rarely optimum, which of course is what licentiousness and repression represent. Licentiousness, cannot exist under any form of repression, popular or otherwise, hence it is the opposite of repression.

  5. Mespo:

    why those 2? Repression I understand but licentiousness? That doesn’t seem like a golden mean to me. How do you have a golden mean between anarchy and dictatorship? One is the tyranny of the mob, the other is the tyranny of the state. I don’t think that halfway between the 2 is any better than at each end of that spectrum. There is no freedom at either end so how can there be freedom as a mean? 2+2/2 = 2

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