Monday, December 15, 2003

Speaking Truth to Power

This Reuters news story leaves me uncertain whether to call this tactless and rude, or what the Quakers used to call "speaking truth to power":
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - U.S. Hip Hop singer Lauryn Hill, from a stage used by the Pope, has shocked Catholic officials at a concert by telling them to "repent" and alluding to sexual abuse of children by U.S. priests.

The broadside came during the recording on Saturday night of a Christmas concert attended by top Vatican cardinals, bishops and many elite of Italian society, witnesses said.

Hill made her comments when taking the microphone to sing at the concert, held in the same huge hall and stage Pope John Paul uses for his weekly general audiences and other events. The Pope was not present.

"I did not come here to celebrate the birth of Christ with you but to ask you why you are not in mourning for his death inside this place," she said according to a transcript of her statement run by the Rome newspaper La Repubblica.


"God has been a witness to the corruption of his leadership, of the exploitation and abuses ... by the clergy," she said.

This was an apparent reference to the scandal in the United States last year over the sexual abuse of children by priests.
Alas, not just in the United States. Yes, it was just a few Catholic priests engaged in these crimes against innocence--but too many of these crimes were covered over by archbishops. The Catholic Church needs to do some serious penance for ignoring these crimes.

The hierarchy also needs to ask why they were prepared to ignore and tolerate homosexual actions within the priesthood for so long, when the Church's public pronouncements clearly recognized that homosexual action is contrary to the Bible.

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