Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Times: History is debatable but faith is indisputable

Tuesday, 20th April 2010 by Kenneth Zammit Tabona

As I write there seems to be a great calm over Malta. It is Sunday and Pope Benedict has just finished concelebrating Mass on the Granaries. By the time you read this we will know whether the visit was a success or not for it has just been announced, out of the blue, that the Pope will be meeting the 10 victims of the St Joseph's Home paedophile scandal. As I write, volcanic ash from Iceland is still spreading across northern and central Europe and paralysing it for the third day. The volcano is expected to spew even more dust clouds filled with glass shards and it is said that, should it reach the peaks of the 1783 eruption, not only will air traffic stop for months but thousands will die of the toxic effect of it.

We live in troubled times. We always have. Last week, the earth convulsed central China while tomorrow... Who knows? I have long given up trying to find any logic as to why these things happen, however, there is not a remote chance that I would ever entertain the idea that it is God's punishment. Even thinking that about our Creator would, in my book, be blasphemous and nonsensical.

We have been in the past 10 years bombarded by books, TV programmes, articles and websites that attempt to negate and disprove the existence of God. Certainly if one tries to prove this historically or scientifically I agree that there are too many loose ends to tie up and one will remain puzzled and perplexed, which is possibly why many people, even we Maltese in Malta Cattolicissima, have become lackadaisical and wishy-washy about the faith of our fathers. The only solution to keep in mind is what I had said when I was interviewed about the Dan Browne book; namely that "History is debatable but Faith is undisputable".

By the time you read this we will know whether the Pope's sojourn in little Malta initiated the healing process that will reconcile the world to the teachings and example of Jesus Christ.

The reaction to what has been happening for so many years was and still is violent and extreme. Not only did the paedophilia scandals provide deadly ammunition for those who wish to destroy the Church but it has indelibly and unfairly besmirched the entire hierarchy from top to bottom and negated the good that the Church and its institutions and sponsored bodies do all over the world. This is tragic. Sadly, it is largely self-inflicted, which is why only last week the response teams that proved to be relatively ineffectual to stem the onslaught were abolished and that today paedophiles are handed over to the secular arm, the police, as would be any other man or woman who is sick and evil enough to destroy the hearts and minds of the innocent.
It would be a feather in Malta's cap if the Pope's visit had to generate international interest, not about dubious phallic monuments, but that the resumption of Vatican Council II had to start here on the island of St Paul. I have been informed that many proposals in Vatican Council II were not implemented. I have, as many of regular readers know, been calling on the Pope to introduce a council to put the Church on its feet again. It is also interesting to know that Joseph Ratzinger, along with Hans Kung, was one of the chief architects of Vatican II and, as I have said so many times before, after the present Pope reaps the whirlwind, a renewed Church will re-emerge out of the debris.

The type of Church that would rise like a phoenix from the ashes is an open question. It is still an abstraction. A radical culture change is needed.

The Catholic Church must decide whether it is going to follow a rite and tradition that is based fairly and squarely on the tenets of the defunct Roman Empire or whether it will follow in the footsteps of St Peter, the brash but somehow loveable and very human saint and apostle who was reputedly the first Pope but who would have been pretty nonplussed had anyone hailed him as Pontifex Maximus!

Abolishing the Papal tiara and the sedia gestatoria in the 1960s was an attempt to downplay the Roman association however in 2010 we have SCV1 instead of the donkey that was Our Lord's only means of conveyance apart from his own two feet. These things must change along with this constant and unwavering demonisation of homosexuality with which the Vatican has tried, most damagingly and unsuccessfully, to deflect the attention of the faithful from the rot and carrion within its own ranks. This must stop. Anyone with a basic intelligence knows full well that paedophilia and homosexuality are unrelated and that the only reason why it resulted that there are more homosexual paedophile priests is that the priesthood is logically made up of more homosexual priests than heterosexual ones. The proportion is merely relative.

There are plenty of homosexual priests who live chaste lives and who are totally dedicated to the saving of souls and comforting the afflicted; men whose disinterested love for others transcends colour, race or creed. Men whose "patient and kind" love is not hampered by the trappings of a defunct empire but who haunt the favelas of Brazil, the drought-stricken wildernesses of Africa and the slums of Calcutta, to name but a few places that not many would care to visit in a hurry, with a fishing rod in one hand and a rosary in the other.

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]

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