21Oct Half joking, whole in earnest?

http://ncronline.org/blogs/all-things-catholic/secularism-new-papal-contender-and-catholic-humor: Joh Allen:

Montreal, Canada, conference on the sexual abuse crisis titled “Trauma and Transformation” organized by McGill University:
Laughter cropped up even at the sex abuse conference in Montreal — not exactly a subject that naturally beckons a lighthearted approach.

Archbishop Anthony Mancini of Halifax gave an overview of his experience interacting with survivors in helping to shape the Canadian response to the crisis. Mancini is a warm and deeply funny guy, and during the Q&A session we got flashes of that side of his personality. At one point, he was describing how the crisis has damaged the public image of the priesthood, and said: “If a priest goes out to dinner with a man, people think he’s homosexual. If he goes to dinner with a woman, they think he must be having an affair. I guess the only thing left is to get a dog!”

Jesuit Fr. George Wilson, a distinguished American theologian and expert on organizational theory, gave a powerful presentation on clericalism and the role it’s played in the crisis. Along the way, he too demonstrated tremendous wit.

For instance, Wilson argued that one danger facing “clergy” in any realm, whether it’s the academy, law enforcement, medicine or the ordained in a religious system, is that people hesitate to contradict them because of their allegedly superior expertise. That led Wilson to offer this piece of advice to the seven Canadian bishops in the room: “If your staff hasn’t told you at least once in the last year to go to Hell, you ought to fire them, because they’re not doing their job.”
(Pádraig McCarthy)

One Response

  1. Joseph O'Leary

    “At one point, he was describing how the crisis has damaged the public image of the priesthood, and said: “If a priest goes out to dinner with a man, people think he’s homosexual. If he goes to dinner with a woman, they think he must be having an affair.””

    For the rest of the human race, there is nothing damaging or dishonorable about either perception. Priests have allowed themselves to be painted into a narrow box.

    In any case, the “scandal” is about abuse of minors, so the jokey remark seems beside the point.