Gerald Warner at the Daily Telegraph is often an interesting read, especially for those of us old enough to see little merit in change for the sake of change : and today’s post is particularly stimulating, because he suggests strongly that there may well be a direct connection between the theological and liturgical laissez-faire which came in after Vatican II, and the sexual abuse scandals which are currently causing horrendous problems for the Church in many parts of the world.
One paragraph seems to me both accurate and poignant :
‘How could clergy transgress so gravely against the doctrines of the Church ? What doctrines ? These offences took place in the wake of Vatican II, when doctrines were being thrown out like so much lumber. These offenders were the children of Paul VI and “aggiornamento”. Once you have debauched the Mystical Body of Christ, defiling altar boys comes easily.’
His conclusions I will leave you to read in full; but I can’t resist quoting one crucial section about the Bishops :
‘These clowns in their pseudo-ethnic mitres and polyester vestments with faux-naïve Christian symbols, spouting their ecumaniac episcobabble, have presided over more than sexual abuse : they have all but extinguished the Catholic faith with their modernist fatuities. They should be retired to monasteries to spend their remaining years considering how to account to their Maker for a failed stewardship that has lost countless millions of souls.’
One of the comments, by ‘Chrysostom’, quotes his eponymous Saint, who said that ‘very few bishops will save their souls’ : in light of Our Lord’s comment about millstones, perhaps several members of the episcopate should be heeding Mr Warner’s warning.
It has been suggested that I may have misrepresented Mr Warner’s position slightly. On re-reading his column, I’m not sure that I have : but to avoid uncertainty, let me say that I recognize - and I am sure that Mr Warner does too - that there were plenty of sexual misdemeanours prior to Vatican II.
That said, I think that there is some substance in his premise that the relaxation of theological and liturgical discipline which followed the Council had a damaging effect on self-control at all sorts of levels, and that it is this which is - at least in part - responsible for the comparatively huge incidence of such abominable actions as those which we have heard about in Ireland in recent years.