Cover-ups of sexual abuse against a thousand children, including altar boys and seminarians, are revealed in a 900-page Philadelphia, Pa. Grand Jury Report. Their perpetrators include 300 Catholic priests, among them bishops, archbishops and cardinals. Similar abuses have surfaced in Ireland and Germany.
These follow a flood of sexual abuse and assault allegations made by women against male tv news personalities and executives at the highest ranks in the media and entertainment industries. Just last week Bill Cosby, famous for his t.v. role as a typical dad, was found guilty and sentenced to prison for drugging and sexually abusing women for decades.
At a recent rally during Pope Francis’ visit to Ireland, a member of the crowd questioned him about repealing the church’s celibacy law for priests as a solution to the child abuse tragedy. Pope Francis quietly replied there was “more to the problem” than celibacy. The rash of sexual abuse cases cutting across ages, careers and industries, confirms how correct the Pope is. Celibacy is not the only cause of sexual abuse. Its roots run deeper.
Pope Francis has released a letter acknowledging regret over the Vatican’s complacency and minimizing reported allegations. “We abandoned the children,” he sadly said and asked Catholics around the world to…
“Join Forces Uprooting This Culture of Death”
The “culture of death” the Pope speaks of is described by Valentin Tomberg, noted author of spiritual topics, as the Dark Currents of the Will: the will to greatness and power; the desire to take and keep at the expense of others, and the desire to gain and hold onto at the expense of others.
These characteristics dominate abusers who exercise their will-to-power over their victims; steal their self-worth; destroy their confidence in authority figures; and subject them to years of physical torment and shame to satisfy their own needs at their victim’s expense. By hiding their actions perpetrators hold onto and even advance their careers at their victims’ expense.
Action Is Needed Now
History shows us how slowly change comes in the Catholic Church. Efforts to revoke the celibacy law as a solution to child abuse could delay action indefinitely. The Church does have a long-standing commitment to educating and supporting the spiritual life of its laity. Shedding a light on The Five Dark Currents of the Will; what it feels like when they come into play and how to avoid falling prey to them is a good beginning. These and other spiritual options will start the healing process of victims, perpetrators and the Church as well as institutions where power-over others is the preferred management style.
Watch for More
This is the first in a series of blogs on this topic. To follow are Strengthening Ourselves Against the Dark Currents of the Will; Renewing Our Relationship with the Gifts of Faith, Hope and Charity; and Reflections on How Jesus Regained Our Likeness of God at the Crucifixion. Audio Imagery will be included to aid the healing process.
O’Loughlin, Thomas, research scholar in the School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies, Celibacy in the Catholic Church, A Brief History
Article, A Brief History of Celibacy in the Catholic Church Future Church
Article, CatholicHerald.co.uk The True History of Celibacy
Stewart, Dan, (August 27, 2018) Revealed Pennsylvania Church Abuse: A Catalog of Sins. TIME Magazine, page 12
Olmstead, Molly (August 20, 2018) Pope Apologizes for Church Sex Abuse, The Slatist
Tomberg, Valentin, Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism, (Robert Powell, Translator) Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnum Edition, New York, New York, 2002 (orig. Pub. 1985 Element Books, Limited)