What Brett Kavanaugh Could Learn from the Holy Father

The asymmetry between the press’ coverage of the Roman Catholic church’s scandal and the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh are remarkable. Whistle-blowers in the church receive a level of scrutiny that the judge’s accusers do not.

But not to worry. If the press is as favorably inclined to Pope Francis as it seems, the Vicar of Christ may have just supplied one of his flock with the rationale he needs to defend himself tomorrow:

I take the Pennsylvania report, for example, and we see that the first 70 years there were so many priests that fell into this corruption, then in more recent times it has diminished, because the Church noticed that it needed to fight it in another way. In the old times these things were covered up, they even covered them up at home, when the uncle was molesting the niece, when the dad was molesting his sons, they covered it up because it was a very big disgrace… it was the way of thinking in previous times or of the past time. It is a principle that helps me to interpret history a lot.

A historic event is interpreted with the hermeneutic of the time period in which it took place, not as a hermeneutic of today passed on. For example, the example of indigenous people, that there were so many injustices, so much brutality, but it cannot be interpreted with the hermeneutic of today [now] that we have another conscience. A last example, the death penalty. The Vatican, when it was a State, a pontifical State, had the death penalty. In the end the state decapitations were 1870 more or less, a guy, [sic] but then the moral conscience grew, it is true that always there were loopholes and there were hidden death sentences. You are old, you are an inconvenience, I do not give you the medicine, it went so… it is a condemnation to social death. And about today… I believe with this I have responded.

Boys were boys at Georgetown Prep, and priests were priests in Pennsylvania.

Actually, in the case of Kavanaugh, Francis’ point has merit since movies like Animal House indicate what American society could bear back then about young men’s antics.

But can the pope really be serious that priests’ abuse of children or adolescents was part of the church’s outlook before 2002? Was it even acceptable for men called to celibacy to have sex, consensual or not?

Pope Francis may have said more than even Rod Dreher thinks.

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2 thoughts on “What Brett Kavanaugh Could Learn from the Holy Father

  1. In other circumstances I might be inclined to agree with the pope here (i.e., can’t judge history through a modern lens)… but there are some sins that are wrong regardless of when they were committed and by whom. The real issue is what is being done to stop this from occurring in the present and in the future… seemingly nothing but moving the shells around, and no one wants to acknowledge the role of the sin of homosexuality in this scandal.

    At the end of the day, though, these accusations against Kavanaugh are entirely unfounded, whereas the accusations against the Catholic church aren’t (or am I the victim of the press’ asymmetrical coverage of accusers… gasp!). Maybe being sheltered and avoiding the high school/college party and dating scene was the best decision I ever made (I admit I didn’t have total autonomy in that decision)… pretty disgusting what goes on.

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  2. Back then everybody thought that church and state were different but also that the state was Christian. And at least Calvin did not impose the Mosaic legislation about the Sabbath.

    Calvin 4.20.30: The former class of deliverers being brought forward by the lawful call of God to perform such deeds, when they took up arms against kings, did not at all violate that majesty with which kings are invested by divine appointment, but armed from heaven, they, by a greater power, curbed a less, just as kings may lawfully punish their own
    Calvin 4.20.31: But in that obedience which we hold to be due to the commands of rulers, we must always make the exception, nay, must be particularly careful that it is not incompatible with obedience to Him to whose will the wishes of all kings should be subject, to whose decrees their commands must yield

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/anxiousbench/2014/07/the-breaking-of-images/

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