Finally: Roman Catholic Sexuality Scandal Resolved

The fault is in the culture, not ourselves:

…the past decade’s revelations of sexually abusive clergy had many causes, not the least of which was a toxic ambient culture to which the Church and its ordained ministers proved all too vulnerable.

Further:

…what we find, if we look hard enough, is a changed understanding of the very nature of the priesthood. When seminarians, 30 or 40 years ago, spoke of learning “priestcraft,” something was, it now seems clear, deeply awry. For the Catholic Church has never understood the ordained priesthood as essentially a matter of functions, nor has it understood ordination as a kind of licensing ceremony that authorizes a man to conduct certain kinds of ecclesiastical business.

Put another way:

But that was the misunderstanding of priesthood that swept through too much of the Church around the world, and the relationship between that desperately deficient theology and the abuse crisis should now be beyond serious dispute.

There is no real problem:

A man who has truly understood himself as an icon of the priesthood of Jesus Christ does not abuse anyone, in any way.  A man who has taken into himself the meaning of the Lord’s words, “I now call you friends,” does not imagine that his ordination confers membership in a caste.

What is at stake is nothing less that deepening a sense of the ordained priest as an icon of Christ – a human being who, through being configured to the Risen Lord in a unique way by his ordination, makes Christ present to the world in a unique way.

So far George Weigel, voluminous biographer of Pope John Paul II.  Read here; emphasis added in excerpts above.

In stark contrast, Lutherans teach that the Lord himself is present wherever his Word and sacraments are rightly preached and administered.[1] His presence is not promised to a holy priesthood but to his purely preached Word and sacraments.[2]



[1] “Rightly” and “purely” Augsburg Confession VII. See also: “The ministry of the New Testament is not bound to places and persons, as the Levitical priesthood is, but is spread abroad through the whole world and exists wherever God gives his gifts, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers. Nor is this ministry valid because of any individual’s authority but because of the Word given by Christ,” from “Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope,” ¶ 26, Book of Concord, Tappert 324.

[2] To proclaim the gospel “purely” means to overthrow all authorities that require something else besides faith alone in Christ alone. For example, faith plus the papacy, faith plus episcopacy, faith plus congregationalism, faith plus my decision, feelings, or conversion experience.

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