Money, Sex, and Power

The New York Times has no lost love for the Catholic Church. They use every opportunity to raise the ugly issues of the Church. The new findings in sex scandals give them plenty of fodder.

I will in no way excuse the incredibly vile behavior of these priests.

This column does bring out some interesting facts about the differences between Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict. It’s worth reading.

This paragraph in particular is worth noting because it’s not just about the Catholic Church. It’s about EVERY church:

“The church’s dilatory response to the sex abuse scandals was a testament to these weaknesses. So was John Paul’s friendship with the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ. The last pope loved him and defended him. But we know now that Father Maciel was a sexually voracious sociopath. And thanks to a recent exposé by The National Catholic Reporter’s Jason Berry, we know the secret of Maciel’s Vatican success: He was an extraordinary fund-raiser, and those funds often flowed to members of John Paul’s inner circle.”

This highlights one of the great temptations of the church in any part of the world. We are so willing to overlook a LOT of “problems” and “issues” if the money is flowing our way. I have found it true in my own denomination, and we’re just not that big! It’s amazing how we allow some things to “slide by” when that particular person has a larger church or they give a lot of money to a certain cause. In fact, if they give a lot of money, we think they’re also a good theologian!

The Catholic Church is not immune to it.

I do not wish to put John Paul II or Benedict in a bad light. I am not part of that group. However, I DO wish to point out that we face those dangers in ANY church denomination and we need better vigilance and integrity.