Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bold move by Canadian bishops

They recently (January 26, 2010) issued a Pastoral Letter on Human Trafficking. Why, you may ask? To coincide with that great threat to human life and dignity... the Winter Olympics.

The tie-in is just a little implausible. Sure, the CCCB is gravely concerned (who isn't?) about the whole increased prostitution thing--it's evil and horrid. But then so is EVERY OTHER DAY in this post-mod country/continent, with its rampant violence, domestic abuse, child abuse and molestation, prostitution, human trafficking, pornography, strip clubs, lap dancing, abortion, exploitation of immigrants and of vulnerable women and children. These evils have existed in Canada forever. Why the statement now?

If the CCCB possessed any real fortitude, it would have published this letter months ago--perhaps the week after disgraced homosexual bishop Raymond Lahey was arrested for possession of child pornography. As it stands, it rather looks as though they are trying to sweep Lahey under the rug, and divert our attention to the big, bad Olympic Games. (In a rather horrid irony, the letter blames governments that “turn a blind eye to this activity.” Oy vay.)

The letter is rife with banalities, platitudes, and statements that are (or surely ought to be) self-evident. To wit: "As pastors of the Catholic Church in Canada, we denounce human trafficking in all its forms..."

Whew! Glad you cleared THAT up! What's your position on eternal salvation? That ought to be self-evident too, except sometimes, I'm not so sure you'd know it from their day-to-day teaching (or lack thereof).

I beg to differ with the letter’s suggestion that human trafficking is caused by "economic globalization" and the "gap between rich and poor." --But it sure is a convenient way to really spread the guilt around! "Hey, I live in a developed country, own a big TV, and I'm not a visible minority--I must be guilty of human trafficking by association!"

Poverty may be a factor as far as the victims are concerned, but there are (and have always been) other options, thanks in great measure to the tireless work of countless institutions of women religious (ie. nuns) and dedicated lay apostolates over the centuries.

Human exploitation of this nature is caused by LUST (the johns) and GREED (the pimps). Those are two of the Seven Deadly Sins, remember?

We don't hear much about that stuff anymore, because it's all so hellish and pre-Vatican II and icky. Instead, we are encouraged by the bishops to "believe we are the hands and feet of the Risen Christ today."
I think that means we have a moral duty to undertake the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, but again, that is an outmoded manner of expressing it. I would try again, but I’ve misplaced my "Peace 'n Justice (TM) Jargon for the 1970s" thesaurus.

"What can we do?" (about sex slavery), the bishops ask.

Why, here's a novel solution from church bureaucrats who live in a welfare state:

"We can... ask our governments to set up programs to educate people and to prevent violence against women."

(Pardon me while I howl briefly in frustrated incredulity.)


EDUCATE people?


Do the bishops really (really) think there is even ONE poor deprived soul in this civilised, literate, liberated, gender-equity, gender-neutral, post-modern, free-public-education country we call Canada who DOES NOT KNOW that slavery (in any form) is wrong? Or that horrible things like pornography, prostitution, child-molesting, and domestic violence are happening here in our midst?

What in God’s name do we need to be educated about? Except perhaps heaven and hell, sin and forgiveness, right and wrong, grace, virtue and redemption.

Bureaucracy doesn't solve problems: it just hires lots of bureaucrats to study them. And then more bureaucrats to write reports and suggest strategies. And then more bureaucrats to suggest more programs to implement the strategies. And then more bureaucrats to study why the implemented strategies (if they ever do get implemented) didn’t work.

PROGRAMS (Government or Diocesan) will NOT STOP sexual exploitation or violence against women.

Lust and Violence come from the sinful human heart, NOT from a lack of education or dearth of government programs.

Laudably enough, The CCCB wants to "change the behaviours and mentalities" that lead to sex slavery. Good luck with that, bishops! Especially since some of those "behaviours and mentalities" include:

- soft-pedalling the Church’s teaching on fornication and adultery

- tolerating dissent, deviancy and disorder in the seminaries and amongst the clergy
- quietly shuffling (the extremely small number of ) sex-abusing and pornography-addicted priests around instead of dealing effectively with them

- failing to publicly revoke the Winnipeg Statement

- a reluctance to proclaim the Church’s teaching on the intrinsic evil of contraception and direct sterilization

- allowing speakers who publicly disagree with the Church's sexual teaching to appear at diocesan conferences, seminars and workshops

- hiring diocesan employees for Marriage and Family Life offices/Programs, Marriage Prep, etc. when those individuals "have a problem" with Church teaching on sexuality

- being “pastoral” (heh—choose your own alternative adjective) about censuring pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians and other public figures

- tolerating (or collaborating with) radical feminist and/or development organizations that promote (or are linked with) any form of anti-life, anti-family work/advocacy

- endorsing a flawed sex-ed program for Catholic schools (Fully Alive) which caused division and scandal in many communities

- being “pastoral” in marrying young couples who are co-habiting or contracepting, but without informing them that they must obey the teachings of the Church if they wish to receive the sacraments thereof

- telling us we are “innately good” instead of sinners in profound need of redemption

- not proclaiming the need for frequent confession

Lastly, I could add that it is a scandal for the church to be paying the legal bills of a professed homosexual bishop who was caught red-handed with loads of child porn on his laptop. The Church (through this guy’s salary) very probably paid for his laptop, his hard drives, his internet access, and his trips to Bangkok. Now perhaps it’s time for time for him to pony up and pay for his own legal defence.

Just some thoughts.


  1. I agree it would be better if the Church advocated Christian teaching & not spin its wheels chiding various governments for not doing enough to educate us on this unspeakable evil. You're right - all of us already know this is terribly wrong.

    The Church leaders are well-meaning, but are just not up to the huge task of trying to stay relevant to their followers. If they say nothing they fear being irrelevant. If they take a strong Christian stand they fear a backlash. What they do instead is issue the Pastoral letter and hope no one notices.

  2. You're right, Maurice, and I'm sure no one will notice. Thanks for commenting.