Sunday, April 4, 2010

Rohan Williams remarks re: child abuse by Catholic priests

I wouldn't have apologized. Credibility has *obviously* been lost. Admittedly "all" is one of the very large words. But comparing the pope's and the church's experience of criticism re: sexual-abuse-of-children-by-Catholic-preists to the experience of Jews during the holocaust? Seriously? One can charitably assume the pope's preacher, who said this, was serious. I would love to have a coffee with him and ask some questions--see where he's coming from.

I'm really mystified at the reaction to Williams' remark. It feels very much like a (desperate) attempt to protect those who have protected and enabled the perpetrators. Why are people afraid that the church has lost, or will lose, credibility? What if it's the best possible thing for it to lose credibility?

To me, a relevant question might be something like: Will Williams' remarks have a sum effect of (for instance) leading to more or less abuse of children by Catholic priests? And how does one's answer to this question affect one's reaction to the remarks?

Or another question that interests me: Is the Roman Catholic Church (and/or the institutionalized church as we know it) as an institution worth salvaging (in it's current form)? To me this might be related to the question: Is Applied Behavioral Analysis worth salvaging (as a treatment for autism)?



  1. Systemised abuser-protection, victim-abandonment needs to be confronted, without diplomacy if need be. Wonder how much pressure was put on RW to make that apology. Wish he hadn't...

  2. Methinks the RC church doth protest too much, way too much. If anything is hurting 'the Church', it's the slowness of dealing with some pretty deep issues.
    I agree, RW had nothing in particular to apologize for.
    It's not like the Anglican church is perfect, but it seems to me the RC response is WAY too defensive.

  3. Do not confuse Rowan Williams, named after the Rowan tree perhaps, with the Riders of Rohan (Lord of the Rings).

    I've given up caring what ++Rowan says. He's been swallowed by the system.

  4. Karin,

    no of *course* we mustn't confuse Mr. Williams with the Riders of Rohan. My daughter's name is Eowyn--I have a sense of these things.

    I wonder how difficult it is to *not* be swallowed by the system, in Rowan's position?