A Clerical Error
Maureen Dowd is outraged by Cardinal Law's refusal to resign, and rightfully so. Not being Catholic, I can't say what they should think about this scandal, although it should hardly be a surprise that there were child molesters and pederasts among the priesthood. The stories have been around since the Reformation. What really hurts is the revelation that such people were tolerated, even protected, by the church. Most of us would say that the act is criminal and the coverup as well.
What strikes me, a Mormon, is that the first story out of the block was not the excommunication of these priests. That's what would have happened to a Mormon bishop. The prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, reemphasized church policy on this at last week's General Conference. He quoted the scripture that immediately comes to my mind in connection with any kind of child abuse, and especially sexual abuse, "But whoso shall offend one of these
little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a
millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were
drowned in the depth of the sea." (Matt. 18:6) Maybe that verse isn't in the Catholic Bible.
He also denounced spouse abuse and abuse of the elderly, and made it abundantly clear that such acts merit church discipline. He quotes the following scripture:
The rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and . . . the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.
That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.
(Doctrine & Covenants 121:36�37)