“Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them,

and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

But it shall not be so among you:

but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto,

but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28, KJV)

The word the Athenians used for their Assembly was Ekklesia, the same word used in the New Testament for Church
(and it is the greatest philological irony in all of Western history that this word,
which connoted equal participation in all deliberation by all members,
came to designate a kind of self-perpetuating, self-protective Spartan gerousia -
which would have seemed patent nonsense to Greek-speaking Christians of New Testament times,
who believed themselves to be equal members of their Assembly.)

- Thomas Cahill, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter


Sunday, December 9, 2007

You Sin, Conceal, Conspire? YOU PAY!

To those of us who have worked in the business or corporate world, the behaviors of some of our clergy and hierarchy, and their seeming immunity from standard consequences for serious crimes and misdeeds, are mystifying.

In the corporate world random drug testing occurs from the CEO down to the mail room. There are rules which prohibit financial wrongdoing, sexual indiscretions, harassment and fraud. Violations most often result in immediate dismissal. In the business world, in our everyday work places, in our communities, we are held accountable for our actions. We are expected to adhere to the law. Failure to do so results in consequences.

Pedophilia a CRIME. It is a crime against the most defenseless among us – our children. It is a crime that has profound physical, emotional and spiritual consequences. One priest likened it to “spiritual murder.” Tragically, many of its victims later commit suicide.

In a corporate setting tolerance for this type of crime would not exist. Some within the church, unfortunately, seem to think themselves immune from such restrictions. Why should participating hierarchy and clergy be exempt? Why do we allow them to get away with an “oh well, God will ultimately be the judge and punish an errant priest.”? Of course we all will ultimately answer to God. In the meantime, we are expected to follow His laws and the laws of the society we live in.

It is inconceivable that a loving God wants children to suffer at the hands of those they should trust. Yet it occurred, and may still be occurring, because some of Our Lord's bishops and priests lack the moral fortitude to stand for what is right here and now in this lifetime! The clergy involved in covering up claimed to be protecting the Church. In fact, they were protecting themselves at the expense of scarred children, distraught parents and, ultimately, damaged parishes! Adding insult to injury, we will be expected to pay the actual economic costs of these, their sins!

It is time for our clerical and lay leaders to tell pedophile priests, and those who covered up for them, the following:

"If you broke man’s law and God’s law, you, not we, must pay the price." And finally, they all ought to be told the same thing that is demanded of those in the corporate world who have disgraced themselves. "Resign!"

- Barbara Colessides

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