The Religion and Ethics Newsweekly on March 26, 2010 presents Rev. Tom Reese, S.J. on sex abuse. Video lasts 5:37. To watch click here.
The scandal in the Roman Catholic Church is not about sex abuse but rather about corruption of its administrative staff. This corruption is the result of centuries of patriarchal autocracy that values the organization over its mission of facilitating the spirituality of the people it professes to serve.
While Unitarian Universalism can be very self serving too its congregational polity is quite different and UUs belief in the democratic process is a distinctive quality which the Roman Catholic church does not share with Unitarian Universalism.
Can you trust an autocracy even one which professes to be benevolent?
No. All organizations are self serving and self preserving and will betray its mission and its members to save itself when it is in crisis.
The crisis in the Roman Catholic church is not about sexual abuse but rather about a failure of leadership. People will loose faith in the institution and rightfully so. No organization deserves loyalty and allegiance when it is abusive and operates in a corrupt manner.
The crisis in the Roman Catholic church which now has extended all the way to the Pope reminds me of the movie Wizard of Oz when Dorothy finally arrives in the Emerald City for an audience with the Wizard and pulls back the curtain and discovers it is just a wizened, mortal, human being.
Has the secular gaze penetrated the supposedly sacred pretense of the Vatican to the extent that believers have become disillusioned?
The answer is a resounding YES!. The fatal flaw of the Roman Catholic church in America and Europe has been exposed. Priests, Bishops, Cardinals, Popes, rather than represent Jesus of Nazareth on earth as they pretend are simply company men who invest themselves in the exercise of institutional power. I have always wondered to what extent they actually believe a lot of the nonsense which they disseminate.
There are probably a few clergy who have become enlightened and indeed deeply spiritual beings but my experience has taught me that they are the exception rather than the rule.
One of the things I like the most about Unitarian Universalists is our humility. For the most part, we don't put on airs claiming supernatural authority over others which is bogus. We, UUs, have our feet more firmly planted on the terra firma and call a spade a spade rather than spin superstitious and fanciful stories to manipulate the innocent and gullible.
People want to believe. It takes their existential pain away. Relgion offers a way of making sense of the world which brings security in thinking one's beliefs are right. UU offers no such false security. We know we don't know and we pledge to be there for each other in our ignorant search for truth.
Give me the anxiety that comes from not knowing any day over professed belief in illusionary confabulations.