Maundy Thursday

Before the festival of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father, having loved those who were his in the world, loved them to the end.
They were at supper, and the devil had already put it into the mind of Judas Iscariot son of Simon, to betray him. Jesus knew that the Father had put everything into his hands, and that he had come from God and was returning to God, and he got up from table, removed his outer garments and, taking a towel, wrapped it round his waist; he then poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he was wearing. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’
Jesus answered, ‘At the moment you do not know what I am doing, but later you will understand.’
‘Never!’ said Peter. ‘You shall never wash my feet.’
Jesus replied, ‘If I do not wash you, you can have no share with me.’ Simon Peter said,
‘Well then, Lord, not only my feet, but my hands and my head as well!’
Jesus said, ‘No one who has had a bath needs washing, such a person is clean all over. You too are clean, though not all of you are.’ He knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said, ‘though not all of you are’.
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments again he went back to the table. ‘Do you understand’, he said, ‘what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord, and rightly; so I am’.

– from the Gospel of John 13: 1-17

Now has the Son of man been glorified, and in him God has been glorified. If God has been glorified in him, God will in turn glorify him in himself, and will glorify him very soon.
Little children, I shall be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and, as I told the Jews, where I am going, you cannot come. I give you a new commandment: love one another; you must love one another just as I have loved you. It is by your love for one another, that everyone will recognise you as my disciples.

– from the Gospel of John 13: 31b-35


Celibacy and fairness

As the abuse crisis developed and increased, the search for a root cause was on. Obviously, no clearheaded thinker would expect to find a simple reason for a social problem as complex as this. Yet, some less clearheaded people do come with their suggestions. Celibacy has been frequently pointed out be a, or even the, cause of sexual abuse of minors. Obviously, this doesn’t even begin to explain why the major part of known abuse cases occur within families, or why other social and professional groups which don’t require their members to be celibate also know abuse cases within their ranks.

A very good rebuttal of these thoughts comes from German forensic psychiatrist Dr. Hans-Ludwig Kröber. Yesterday an interview with him was published in Cicero, a ‘magazine for political culture’. Dr. Kröber is pretty certain about his knowledge when he says: “You are more likely to get pregnant from kissing than become a paedophile because you are celibate”.

At the moment I only have the interview in its original German, but I have it on good authority that an English translation may soon be available. When it is, I’ll link to it.

I found the first mention of this interview at a new website created by the people of Mercatornet: Just B16 is an answer to the very skewed (on purpose or otherwise) media reporting about Pope Benedict XVI. From their first article:

“We feel that ill-informed, unjust and vicious attacks on Benedict’s credibility will ultimately undermine the credibility of human dignity itself. MercatorNet is not a Catholic publication, although the editor and the deputy editor are both Catholics. We have always steered clear of ecclesiastical disputes and doctrinal quibbles. But our rule of thumb has always been to cover religious issues if they appear on the front page of the New York Times. Since the sex abuse scandal has sent the New York Times into a feeding frenzy worthy of the most lurid tabloids, with front-page articles nearly every day (at least in March), we feel that Just B16 is hardly compromising our editorial principles.

“We are unencumbered by starry-eyed naïveté. We accept, with great shame and chagrin, that there are paedophile priests and that there are delinquent bishops and cardinals. But we will try to put these in context and we will refuse to be cowed by bullying, abuse and perverse misinterpretation”.

The last line certainly expresses an intention that certain media outlets can learn from.

Stats for March 2010

In total, my blog had some 4,200 visitors last month, making March the best month since I started in January. The total number also crossed the 10,000 threshold in March, now sitting at 10,873.

Most popular posts virtually all concern the communion/homosexuality issue in the Diocese of ‘s Hertogenbosch, and the events that preceded it. Cardinal Simonis statements on TV and (surprisingly) the abuse crisis creep in at the bottom of the top 10. My translation of Msgr. Marini’s speech about the liturgy also saw a resurgence in views.

1: Sacrilege – prayer help needed: 83 views
2: I guess it’s an achievement in someone’s book: 79
3: ”I did not want this disturbance” – Fr. Luc Buyens’ homily: 70
4: Katholiek protest tegen heiligschennis door NCRV: 67
5: An empty apology?: 64
6: Not giving in: 49
7: ”A loaded statement, but true” & Introductie op de Geest van de Liturgie: 46
9: Bishop van Luyn’s big mistake: 45
10: Extraordinary Form in Groningen?: 41

In the search term department, Bishops Hoogenboom and De Korte were popular, as were Haiti, Msgr. Guido Marini and the recent space shuttle missions. Someone also ended up here with the search term “епископ”. Anyone who reads Cyrillic script care to translate?

Bishop Hurkmans on the abuse crisis

In their Chrism Mass homilies several bishops spoke about the abuse crisis. The text below comes from the homily of Bishop Antoon Hurkmans of ‘s Hertogenbosch (emphases mine):

“In the past months, brothers and sisters, we all painfully experienced that a lot went wrong in our family. We have a high calling, we have high ideals, but we realise that some members of our family have gone seriously wrong. The power of evil is not yet broken. Day after day we read and hear about abusers and victims. The people concerned are part of our family. That is why the abuse stories cut so deeply. But we must not avoid that pain. I call to people who have been abused by people of the Church to report their stories. The wave of past abuses is also painful because we know full well that we ourselves aren’t there yet either. Evil remains a threat for each of us. We still recall how Jesus said: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”.

There are people who can’t stand the tension. They break with the family where they were raised in. They let themselves be deregistered from the Church. That too is painful for them and for us. I can’t say anything but that I fully share the pain of all involved.

Furthermore, I support the fact that committee from outside the Church will indicate what we have to. At one point, after having done what must be done, I hope there is also room for mercy.”