Monday, April 5, 2010

Colbert Report and the Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal

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Colbert seems to hit the nail on the head with this one by pinpointing the issues of authority. I've argued with others concerning the homosexuality issues in the Episcopal church that most Christians, and for that matter, most people, do no really understand the concepts of church authority. Two years ago I tried to argue my point that individualism alters the intent of sola scriptura and authority. I wondered then, " Who gets to interpret? Who has final authority in such matters? Who can we trust? If we are to each weigh the words of the pastor, evangelists, theologians, or whomever, are we not essentially taking the power into our own hands to determine orthodoxy? American culture is so bound into this individualizing tendency that all forms of authority are meant to be questioned as abusive and oppressive to true freedom."

Im not claiming that I fully understand the structure and authority of the Catholic church, but I do recognize, in my own self, the tendency to balk at submitting to authority. I do see a strong connection between the current Catholic church scandal and the fight in the Episcopal church and those who want to stay vs. those who leave. Its not about sex, its about authority. For a congregation to split or leave is a powerful breach of church structure and authority that is built into their patterns of worship and belief.

That said, this is no excuse to immoral and such horrific behavior as what is being accused within this most recent scandal. While I understand the need to preserve the church's authority, it is also a breach in authority, and sin itself, to have the power to act and fail to do so.

Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father;

in your compassion forgive us our sins,

known and unknown,

things done and left undone;

and so uphold us by your Spirit

that we may live and serve you in newness of life,

to the honor and glory of your Name;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.