After the Year for Priests

1 Response

  1. Martin Keenan says:

    “the abuse scandals, which have tarnished the reputation and dignity of the clerical office, unfairly so but perhaps irrevocably.”

    This is unnecessarily alarmist on two counts.

    It is far from being the case that the 2,000 year old “clerical office” has been tarnished by the acts of a very small minority of those who were ordained between, let us say for argument’s sake, 1960 and 1990.

    Secondly, hardly any religious institution fell further in reputation, dignity and influence than the Papacy in the 10th century, when its value was judged in purely pecuniary terms. For a century from the mid 11th c. onwards, and again from the late 14th c. until the mid 15th c., it was beset by divisions and rival contenders. Then, for half a century from the late 15th c., the chair of Peter was occupied by men almost wholly absorbed (not always successfully) in worldly affairs. Nevertheless, the prestige of the institution was not impaired – even in those desperate times – and whenever a worthy candidate was elevated to the chair, its lustre shone as brightly as ever.