Governance: Pope Benedict Calls for the Faithful to Do Penance (for the sins of their priests, since the world noticed)

   Evangelical non-believers do not often attack the existence of God as unviable, so much as they point out the invaldity of God's people (or those who claim kinship, anyway). Certainly, Scripture indicates believers (Christians) are to concern themselves with the image of the church in the world.

   So, Pope Benedict is quite correct to comment on the fact the "world" has pointed out the sins of the pedophile priests the church protected for more than a generation. The Bishop of the Los Angelos diocess will retire shortly and the one accomplishment most noted about his thirty year tenure is the $660 million dollar settlement with victims of priestly abuse.

   I am not the Pope nor the son of a Pope but, worry beads in hand, I will now take on me the temerity to pont out a noteworthy omission from the Pope's prescription. He did not seem to mention the need of the priests to do penance or show contrition. Only the "faithful" are enjoined to do the work of penance.

   What about the souls of the pedophile priests? What are they to do about their salvation?

   Can a priest miss heaven?

   Paul thought he could miss heaven.

   After decades of abuse, of televangelists and their excesses, of ministers who rail against homosexuality on their way to the gay escort services, I would suggest it is time for the faithful to do something; revolt against your failed leadership, tear down their standards, stop giving them money, stop sending them young people and start all over again.

   Enough is enough and this is all too much.

   I spent years sending money to a group only to find, when I went to work for them, what happened to the money. I spent years using influence for another group, only to find the ethics of its leadership was that of the alley-cat.

   You have the right to expect better. You have the right to demand more.

Opinions expressed here are my own, not those of the church I serve or of any other person.


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