‘Sexually abused suing the Pope’ – Vatican City: An international group for victims of sexual abuse by priests are suing Pope Benedict XVI through the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. Thus read on Wednesday 14th September these discrete but stunning few lines in the Indian Newspaper I read everyday.
What a shock for the ex-Catholic I am, still full of love and respect for Jesus. To see what incredibly ignominious end the huge Catholic Church founded on his teachings is preparing for itself is so utterly shocking.
And yet not so shocking as what has been indeed going on worldwide since decades – if not centuries – and is still going on, largely unpunished, in the Church itself: the horrible misuse of the trust that so-called Catholic priests have gained from parents and children because priests were supposed to be following the teachings of Jesus.
Jesus gave so much importance to childhood, and to being childlike even in adulthood. He deeply loved and honored children, for the spontaneous purity they have when their soul is still upfront in their young being. Jesus said ‘Let the little children come to me… Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven is for those who are like them.’ Who could have guessed that even these so true and moving words of his could be misused in such a shameful way as is now widely the case in the Catholic Church?! This is truly the ultimate fall from Grace, the worst distortion that could be committed and allowed on a grand scale by the Church itself.
How significant that it is on this, on this especially unacceptable crime, that people who have patiently excused many other major betrayals are finally moving, moving legally against the Catholic Church, and aiming straight at the Head, where the responsibility should have been to stop the spreading of this crime against the holiness of Childhood: the Pope himself, and the many cardinals, archbishops and other high bishops responsible for their areas and the priests under them.
What a total loss of perspective:
The Pope is after the lesbians and gays, condemning them to hell and eternal damnation, he is after the women who ask to become priests just as men can be, he is after the nuns everywhere who are too freely and lovingly living their faith and helping people … but the priests and higher ups who truly, really, are making the Church unholy by their actions are quietly allowed to go on!!! Completely bewildering.
The Pope is after the women who wish not to have an unwanted child; but the children already born or to be born, where is the Pope to defend them later, when they are left the prey of the very priests who ought to protect them!!!
Is the Pope stupid??? Even simple common sense and plain reason should tell him that this is going too far. The only possible conclusion I can come to is that the Pope is blinded purposely by the Divine Grace, and is unwittingly making all the blunders necessary to unveil the almost total corruption of the Catholic Church, so that either the people themselves demand and obtain its cleaning and healing, or it will crumble under its own rottenness and the attacks it will bring upon itself from its own victims. If I wasn’t already since long out of that Church and of all Churches, I would be leading the crowds that march in protest and revolt.
But even as an outsider, I am somewhat sad of seeing this happening:
What remained at least in Catholicism, that has been lost by Protestantism in the sorting out of the Catholic faith that was done when separating from it, was some inner perception of the importance of the Virgin Mary, last symbol of the Feminine Aspect of the Divine, suppressed in all other ways in Christianity at large; and the veneration for Jesus as a Child. But if Jesus was to be a child again today, that child wouldn’t be safe in the hands of the very priests of this supposedly Christian Church.
It is interesting to notice that this specific utter disaster doesn’t appear to be present in the various Protestant Churches, nor in the Orthodox Church out there in Russia. No Child Abuse scandals there, it seems, at least from what I personally read about or hear about. If anybody reading this can confirm whether it is so or not, I really would like to know. Of course the Protestant ministers and pastors have it easier, being allowed to marry and to have children and all the joys of a normal couple and family life; but what about the Orthodox priests?… Aren’t they in the same boat as the Catholic ones, and yet better able to honor their chastity vows? Or at least to be content with consenting other adults, and so to spare the children under their care?!
Perhaps the Catholic priests should practice more this “Jesus Prayer” that helped so wonderfully the humble but sincere Russian Pilgrim I mentioned in my previous post, about the Concentration in the Heart. Means of that nature, which act in the way of what Indians call a ‘mantra’, are the most useful for gradually turning the whole being and all its parts towards the Divine, instead of leaving a problematic dichotomy between the central sincerity of the individual and the unchanged desires of his/her outer nature.
But too often even this ‘Jesus Prayer’ will be taught and practiced with excessive emphasis on the ‘sinfulness’ supposedly inherent in all human beings. It was ever so slightly the case, I would say, for the nice write-up about Jesus Prayer on the website (http://www.soulshepherding.org) which had the picture of the book that I chose for illustrating this post of mine as well. This insistence on our sinfulness tends to increase the feelings of guilt and shame, two things that actually do not help in our building a truly fearless and trustful relationship with the Divine. As the write-up explains, ‘A “staretz” is a Russian term for a spiritual elder known as a holy person. It’s someone who is experienced in the ways of God with the soul and gives spiritual care and advice to others.’ The staretz that our Anonymous Pilgrim happened to meet one day taught him the Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me” or the longer version, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” I am glad that the pilgrim chose the shorter, simpler version, which doesn’t spell out Jesus’ exclusive divinity nor our sinful nature…
In one of his early ‘Thoughts & Aphorisms’ (around 1914), Sri Aurobindo expressed so well the difference between the main approaches that are there:
 ‘Mediaeval Christianity said to the race “Man, thou art in thy earthly life an evil thing and a worm before God; renounce then egoism, live for a future state and submit thyself to God and His priest”. The results were not over-good for humanity. Modern knowledge says to the race, “Man, thou art an ephemeral animal and no more to Nature than the ant and the earthworm, a transitory speck only in the universe. Live then for the State and submit thyself antlike to the trained administrator and the scientific expert.” Will this gospel succeed any better than the other?’
 ‘Vedanta [the spirituality based on the Veda] says rather, “Man, thou art of one nature and substance with God, one soul with thy fellow-men. Awake and progress then to thy utter divinity, live for God in thyself and in others.” This gospel which was given only to the few, must now be offered to all mankind for its deliverance.’
Even Jesus in his time told his disciples they could do as great miracles as he was doing, and even greater ones, because they too were the Children of God. But how come those words are so rarely quoted or studied? What did the Church do with this kind of teachings that were so daring and revolutionary they seemed to be blasphemous? They are since long buried under all this insistence on the sinfulness and the fear of eternal hell.
What a pity.
Luckily for us all, the force of Evolution goes forward anyway, and will make us bloom, and the Earth bloom, for the Season has come for that in the Great Calendar of the Universe.