The attack on sanctifying grace
By Alisa Craddock
There's a curious irony in the calumnious attacks against Pope Benedict XVI during the holiest season of the year for Christians. On the one hand, the Church has been undergoing a great purification, and Lent is a season for purification and getting ourselves right with the Lord. On the other hand, lies and distortions have been leveled concerning the involvement or lack of action on the part of this Pope when he was Cardinal Ratzinger that appear calculated to undermine the moral authority of the Church, and especially His Holiness, the Pope--spiritual leader and father to Catholics the world over. These attacks, coming during this season of Grace, seem intended to undermine the conversion of heart that often accompanies the season of Lent. It is spiritual warfare on a grand scale. And purification, even when spawned by the Church's enemies, is a grace nevertheless. But there is great spiritual consolation in the parallel between the calumniating of the Pope and the lies told about the Lord as he was hauled before the Sanhedrin on the eve of his crucifixion. We Catholics believe there is great grace in suffering in union with the Lord. So the attempts to besmirch our Pope during the holiest season of the year only increase the grace of Lent, even as the Church is being further purified of the poisonous infiltration.
It is unfortunate that so many Catholics are too quick to accept what they hear on the news without checking to see the facts of the case. Surely by now they know that each new story will come with an anti-Catholic slant. You can't be a practicing Catholic and not be aware that Satan and his minions always desire, as the scriptures say, to "sift us" as Christ warned Peter the devil would sift him (Luke 22:31). We are constantly hearing our faith and the Saints, and even the Lord himself, denigrated, calumniated, and blasphemed. It is our cross to bear. "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you," the Lord told his disciples, "If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." (John 15:18-19) Pope Benedict is not of the world, and the world that desires to fashion itself in the likeness of Satan hates him because he is a reproach to it. Yet, there is still the problem of sex abuse in the Catholic Church.
But let's put things in perspective. The rising tide of sexual abuse of children is not a phenomenon of the Catholic Church, but of the present secular culture. But the Church alone seems to understand the emotional, psychological and spiritual damage done to children when someone violates them in this way. The feigned outrage of the Church's critics is very selective—only aimed at clergy. So, while the Church is making great effort to purify itself of this most egregious element within its holy ramparts (there were only 6 new cases of sexual abuse in the U.S. last year), the world continues to support, legally and culturally, the conditions which encourage the sexual exploitation of children: Pornography has a direct correlation to the rise of child sexual abuse. Pornography is addictive just like a drug—it changes the brain, studies have shown, with the result that men who use pornography find less satisfaction in real, normal sexual activity and actually begin to prefer being alone with their computers instead of their wives. Pornography addicts are six times more likely to rape (and no wonder, as porn often depicts bondage, torture, and domination). With internet porn increasingly turning to child pornography, it is no surprise that a check of any sex offender registry will show a preponderance of men convicted of child sexual abuse, of which the overwhelming majority were porn addicts. In addition, children exposed to pornography may grow up with unwholesome attitudes towards sex. Yet, we protect this tidal wave of filth under a phony interpretation of the First Amendment.
Right now, factions in the UN are fighting to secure the "right" of nine year old girls to be able to secure an abortion without parental consent. This tacitly accepts the notion of 9-year olds having sex without concern for their emotional maturity, or who might be exploiting them. It is a back door way of eliminating age of consent laws, which are there to protect children. Removing them is not in the interest of children, but is the goal of adults who want to exploit them, either sexually or politically.
The acceptance and legitimization of homosexuality also contributes in a big way to the exploitation of children. A 1988 study of 229 convicted child molesters published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that 86% of pedophiles described themselves as homosexual or bisexual. (W.D. Erickson, et al. "Behavior Patterns of Child Molesters." 17 Archives of Sexual Behavior 77, 83 (1988). Yet the legislative and executive, and even the judicial branch continue to pretend that there is no link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, and treat the perpetrators as victims of irrational rage and fear.
Judges continue to give a slap on the wrist to men who molest and rape little girls, or school teachers who seduce their young students. The abortion industry helps them cover up their crime when adult men bring their underage girlfriends (exploitation victims) in for an abortion, ignoring laws that require reporting, because, they claim, it violates the child's privacy. In addition, there is the thriving sexual slavery trade that uses the legitimate front of "adoption" to cover up the purchase of sexual property to be used in filming and sexual battery of helpless kids.
The hypocrisy of the secular society's attack on the Church is staggering.
Yes, there is sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. It tears our guts out when we learn of a new case. These are our priests, our trusted spiritual leaders, our heroes. As a convert to the faith, who is still and always will be in awe of the collar and the men who answer the call to wear it, it is painful and disheartening to learn that some of them used their position of trust to get access to children, to manipulate and exploit them, and some of them, under cloak of secrecy have harmed dozens, even hundreds. The harm they have done to the Lord's "little ones" is incalculable, and no one in the Church pretends otherwise (except the perpetrators themselves, who are often incapable of comprehending the damage they have done). But the Church's response has been to identify its failure when it comes to light, and to set up procedures that has been very effective in the United States in preventing new cases of abuse, while the secular culture, while excoriating the Church at every opportunity, continues to cloak these abhorrent behaviors, when they occur outside the Church, in the protection of law, actually inhibiting and preventing parents and others who recognize the problem from being able to protect kids. Consequently, the child sexual abuse percentage in the public schools especially, far outweighs the worst period of abuse (of 30+ years ago) in the Catholic Church. And still the Church haters foam at the mouth and rail that this is the seedy underbelly of the Catholic Church, the world's oldest men's sex club, a male-dominated culture that invites sexual abuse due to it's embrace of celibacy and its refusal to ordain women or accept homosexuality as a "gift from God".
Interestingly enough, celibacy is not a factor in the public schools. What's their excuse?
The world loves the darkness. It has embraced the greatest evil imaginable—the moral, spiritual, emotional, psychological, and physical murder of the most vulnerable people among us, our innocent children. And it hates the Church because the Church won't accept evil and become more like the world. This Pope is the target, not because he is culpable and complicit—he is not, as George Weigel shows here, but because he is an uncompromising defender of Christ's moral teaching on sex, marriage, and childbearing. He's standing in the way of the anti-life agenda of the secular globalists. There truly is a great, worldwide "conspiracy against human life" and the Church has been targeted for it's unapologetic defense of the traditional family and the "Gospel of Life".
Pius XII, who saved more Jews than any other man during WWII, and was named by Golda Meir and the founders of the Jewish State, as a "righteous gentile", was years later falsely accused of conspiring with Hitler and of being silent and "not doing enough" when Jews were being killed by the Nazis. So is Pope Benedict, who as Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, did more to cleanse the Church of the filth and scourge of child molesters than anyone before him, now being falsely accused of protecting them. But while one hand is pointing a finger at him in accusation, watch what the other hand is doing. Because there is more to this than calumny and libel, more than phony outrage. There is, as always, the global agenda. There is the vision of a world without Christ, and the means to that end, as was recently revealed after one closed-door population control meeting where no pro-lifers were allowed, is to encourage children to be sexually active at a younger age. And that is accomplished through pornography, television, and most especially sex education.
"…The light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God." (John 3:19-21)
Benedict XVI does what is true, and his deeds have been wrought in God. His goodness will come to the light. Of course the darkness wants to destroy him. The "Father of Lies" never rests.
Alisa Craddock is a columnist and activist in the culture war, a convert to Catholicism, and describes herself as a Christian Libertarian. She may be contacted at email@example.com