Friday, July 5, 2019

Laity Rebel Against Priest Who Says Abusers Must be Forgiven — Pastor Says Forgiveness Not Necessary

Scandal: 70 worshipers and part of the church choir left Mass because of the sermon

Münster ( He had not been able to reach the “screaming mob” in the sermon with his voice and therefore could not explain his position and the biblically important meaning of forgiveness. In retrospect, the 79-year-old retiree Ulrich Zurkuhlen complained, as "Church and Life" reported. Zurkuhlen was critical, according to "Church and Life" that even bishops of priest-perpetrators would be spoken of as "criminals", even though they were also good pastors. The chaplain continued to explain to the editors that nobody was "only profoundly evil", but that often "goodness and guilt” are bound together in the same person. It is "gradually come to a time that the Church hierarchy after a long time can sometimes say a word of forgiveness.”

In the sermon in the Münster Holy-Spirit church, Zurkuhlen had spoken according to representation of worshipers in the sermon of two women, whose conversations were constantly circling around themselves and then have commented pejoratively on their deceased husbands. As a result, the priest pointed out the possibility of forgiveness. He then compared this to priests who had sexually abused minors, and they too should be forgiven. The chaplain affirmed this presentation to "Church and Life". At this point some parishioners were said to have interrupted the sermon and started a discussion with Zurkuhlen. Much of the community even gathered outside in the church square. Specifically, 70 worshipers and part of the church choir had left the Mass.

The responsible senior pastor in the parish association, Stefan Rau, explained to "Church and Life" that this analogy of blasphemous women and the victim-perpetrator relationship is "more than thoughtless". Victims have no obligation to forgive, such an impression should not be allowed to stand that way. He has invited those interested in a few days to a public conversation about the sermon. Rau considered it particularly bad that in this service those affected by sexual abuse were present.

A conversation has already been held with the chaplain, and further talks will follow, according to Rau. Disciplinary measures would not be taken against Zurkuhlen at first.



Unknown said...

Having read this, is anyone any the wiser?

Tancred said...

I’m just a little mystified that essential Christian teaching is thrown out to satisfy some hysterical points of view.

Peter W said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JMY said...

Clerical abusers should be forgiven only if they're sincerely sorrowful for their crimes, make reparations, and let the civil authorities do what they're supposed to do.

Aqua said...

I think the anger comes when mercy and forgiveness is applied prior to repentance - ongoing crimes still being committed.

There is a proper order to things:

1: Grace, illumination
2: Conviction of sin
3: Examination of conscience
4: Sorrow and repentance
5: Confession, submission to God
6: Penance
7: Forgiveness
8: Go and sin no more

To speak of mercy while sin still reigns, crimes being committed, is a violation of Justice. Violations of justice produce righteous anger.

Anonymous said...

Acqua, tell it to the Holy Martyrs who forgave their killers while they were being killed.

Tancred said...

That’s why I think this priest who’s got all the Me2 people angry has the right idea.

Aqua said...

@ Anonymous: Tell it to the child who is being raped by his Confessor. Tell it to the child’s parent who is trying to save the child’s eternal soul.

Anonymous said...

Many are called but few are chosen.

PW said...

Few are called but many are chosen by the wrong people for the wrong reasons.

jac said...

Many victims abused by pervert priests have become pervert homosexuals themselves. Other have attempted, even succeeded suicides, while other have lost the Faith together with their trust in the Church;
Sexual abuses of children are extremely serious crimes and sacrilegious sins. Forgiveness may hardly be granted to these pastors by the flock their were entrusted to.
Only public acts of repentance and penance together with a retirement in a remote monastery for a life of prayer would draw forgiveness.

PW said...

This comment is so retarded it removed itself.

Peter Watson said...

Up until Pius XI's 1922 'Crimen Sollicitationis', clerics charged with the crime of child abuse and convicted in an ecclesiastical court, were automatically stripped of their clerical state and handed over to the civil authorities. The tried and convicted cleric could confess, repent, regret as much as he liked and absolved as many times still had to face the civil side of justice.

Anonymous said...

The Martyrs looked towards eternity.

Many of those seeking forgiveness and dialogue seek only further fleshly pleasures and the ambiguity of the benefit of the doubt.

Turning one's cheek as one's final act in life is commendable.

Turning one's cheek as the souls and bodies of your loved ones are devoured is nothing but craven cowardice.

The sword was given to the public authorities as part of God's will.

Even the Devil can quote scripture to his own ends.

Is there anything I am missing...?

Anonymous said...

"was critical, according to "Church and Life" that even bishops of priest-perpetrators would be spoken of as "criminals"

Why be critical? It's the truth. We even have a Pope who is a "criminal" who should be forced out for protecting homos and priest predators like McCarrick and dozens of others both inside the Vatican and out.

Start at the top. Bring the head down, and then work to rid the Church of the rest of the rot.

Believe it or not, there are actually many faithful Catholics working hard to bring Francis down.
But they have a way to go. Especially in educating the poor pilgrims who still flock (in fewer numbers however), to see Francis because they see him still as "the Pope", and don't see the rest.

Damian Malliapalli

Anonymous said...

Where’s the turn the cheek unless your children are raped, clause?

Tancred said...

Aqua said...

@ anonymous - ref “where’s the ‘turn the other cheek, unless your child is being raped clause’?

This is an example of the Protestant method of taking a verse out of the Bible, and building a theological system out of that one verse. For instance “For by Grace are you saved through faith, not of works ...” - turns into “We are saved by grace alone. We *must not* perform *any* works. Works are evil because they detract from Grace. ‘Sin boldly so that grace may abound’” (that was Luther’s view and now suffering and lost Protestants.

Catholics do context really well. There is a whole Bible and thousands of years of Sacred Tradition writings to add context to this verse and understand what “turn the other cheek” means. There is a reason why Capital Punishment is an essential element of Catholic Social Teaching, and to deny it is a heresy from True Belief.

If Turn The Other Cheek means that when a Priest selects my child for his sexual plaything, I must also give him my other son and two daughters to molest and rape as well (“give him your cloak also”) ... that seems kind of Demonic to me.

Anonymous said...

You’re just making an exception for a bedrock principle of Catholic caritas because you’re emotionally conditioned by media hype.

John F. Kennedy said...

Thanks for the link. I was unaware of the directive.

Pope John XXIII was laying the ground work to protect all of those who will follow in his footsteps, his religious and moral heirs.

John F. Kennedy said...

I read this on another site. From General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

“When I found the first camp like that I think I never was so angry in my life. The bestiality displayed there was not merely piled up bodies of people that had starved to death, but to follow out the road and see where they tried to evacuate them so they could still work, you could see where they sprawled on the road. You could go to their burial pits and see horrors that really I wouldn’t even want to begin to describe. I think people ought to know about such things. It explains something of my attitude toward the German war criminal. I believe he must be punished, and I will hold out for that forever.”

– Press conference, 6/18/45 [DDE’s Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 156, Press Statements and Releases, 1944-46

A clear example of Justice being sought. No simple "forgiveness" and move along. Those who's forgiveness could have been sought, the victims, were dead. The living are responsible for the Justice to the dead and righteous punishment to the guilty.

Tancred said...

I don’t know of anyone who thinks that practicing spiritual works of mercy such as “forgiveness” entails an evil doer foregoing temporal, spiritual and civil punishments.

Aqua said...

@ Tancred: No doubt, forgiveness is part of the Spiritual Works Of Mercy, (incl “bear wrongs patiently, forgive offenses willingly).

According to New Advent, the motive of Mercy is the spiritual well being of another - not just the offender; the victim and all others affected as well. All these are due Mercy in their own unique way.

So in the context of “temporal, spiritual and civil punishments”, sure, it is essential that we practice forgiveness - just as God forgives us.

Aqua said...

This topic reminds me of the current debate surrounding “Mercy” as applied to divorced and re-married admitted to Holy Eucharist - Communion with Almighty God with the backing and Imprimatur of the Church.

And I think of the poor, abandoned spouse and children attending the same Church. Where is the Mercy for them? Happy husband, happy “new wife”. Not so happy ex-wife and fatherless children who see their former husband and father, happy and accepted by all, evidently accepted as well by Jesus Christ, His Mother and their Church.

We are instructed to be merciful to these irregular situations. Real “Mercy” is much more complex and pervasive.

Mercy = Permissive in this age. And permissive doesn’t help the offender or victim find happiness or heaven. And that is why I included the steps to true mercy above. We can’t skip one step. A merciful Church will always go back to that formula.

Tancred said...

Gabriel Garcia Moreño forgave the Freemasons who turned his children into orphans and his wife a widow.
Ironically, a lot of Masons are sexual predators, but that’s just one of their passtimes....

He didn’t require them to abjure Freemasonry and make
restitution to those they’d harmed, although this forgiveness, as freely as it was given, called upon his assailants to amend their lives and repair the harm they’d caused.

Aqua said...

@ Tancred, but the killers are going to hell and suffer infinite punishment forever unless there is more than that. To wanly smile and forgive, without anything else to go with it, is a violation of Justice to the victim but also the perpetrator. It is to their eternal benefit if, in addition to internal forgiveness, they are offered a path to true earthly and eternal redemption. After all, that is all that matters, really ... the conversion of sinners from death to life. And that is harder than an internal assent to “forgive”.

Forgiveness is not the only Work Of Mercy. “Admonish The Sinner” is also a crucial Work that connects Mercy to Justice, in service to Charity which rules all Virtues.

“Mercy without Justice is the mother of dissolution. Justice without mercy is cruelty.” (Aquinas)
“Mercy is a virtuous act insofar as the soul is obedient to Reason and is bestowed without violating Justice.” (Augustine)
“Mercy and Truth have met each other. Justice and peace have kissed.” (Ps 84:11)

Eg, predator Priest is apprehended, exposed and punished according to Divine Law (if society is ordered properly), with the offended, or those on their behalf (a father protecting his family), expending effort to make sure this is so.

If internal forgiveness is not expressed in useful corrective action, then it is not true forgiveness.

- Apprehend the criminal.
- Protect others from harm.
- Force the criminal to face his sin and its consequence.
- Make restitution to the wounded.
- Aid the condemned in their conversion from eternal death to life.

And yes, that means the condemned has access to Sacramental Forgiveness which is far more than mere platitude. That is one of the greatest Sacramental gifts we possess. What better way *to show forgiveness* than to offer the condemned *that*? Conversion is a long, hard fought battle of a journey and a spiritual revolution, and likely is the only real point of Mercy ... *based as it is in Charity* - the salvation of souls.

As with all the Virtues, The Works Of Mercy ... require work.

Aqua said...

Last comment, sorry, I do find the topic interesting.

In reference to the article you posted behind the discussion on forgiveness, don’t forget the *background* of the crimes we are dealing with (in Germany as everywhere else). These violations of Priestly authority in sexual abuse of children in their spiritual care are decades in the make and span the globe and involve countless ruined kids, perhaps going to hell. There is a history here beyond the individual cases mentioned or referenced. I think there is an element in which the Laity is fed up with empty multi-decade promises and coverups when children, their children, are being used and wrecked in the spiritual safe place of the Holy Temple Of God and all they ever talk about is Mercy ... *Never Justice*.

It’s time to end this. Especially in these days when the Church is promoting this message: “Mercy = Permit”. We may all personally know someone abused. Pretty much fed up. It needs to stop. Fix it. Then we can talk forgiveness.

Tancred said...

Maybe Moreño came back from the dead and took their lives!

Jack said...

Forgiveness is not identical to indulgence. To remit one's hatred of the offender is forgiveness, to remit the punishment due to their offense is indulgence. The gospel requires that we forgive and not to hate those who trespass against us, but it does not always require us to indulge them and forgo all punishment. Today, for example, parents are often too indulgent with their children, because they do not distinguish forgiveness and indulgence and mistakenly believe that forgiving their children means forgoing any and all punishment which may help to correct them.

Tancred said...

Amen, that’s exactly it.

Unknown said...

Not a clue

S said...

An ordained cleric who sexually assaults a child should be executed. Prayer for their salvation would also be a good idea

Tancred said...

Works for me, as long as due process is followed and there’s a high bar for prosecution.

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