Showing posts with label catholicism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label catholicism. Show all posts

Protecting your church congregation from sexual misconduct - a guest op-ed

The Blogland, having it's Catholic Christian loyalties, has discussed a lot of issues related to church and faith (the two don't always go together), including the issues related to the long-held tradition of the Roman Church regarding celibacy.

The Blogland disagreed strongly with this policy for a couple of reasons, including on this blog, for a couple of key reasons. First is the fact that the Eastern Catholic Churches have long allowed married clergy with no problem, thus filling their clerical ranks. Second is because of the way this policy has fueled perceptions stemming from sexual abuse allegations which turns away people who may otherwise find a home within one of the several parts of the Catholic Church.

But sexual miscontact in churches  is a problem in other churches as well, so it's wise to not be fooled into thinking that if you're not Catholic, you're safe. In the 80s, several televangelists fell over sexual misconduct allegations, so there's a lot of reasons why these issues should matter to any congregation which places people in trust in their churches.

I know this personally, as a family friend, a evangelical pastor, who presided my second wedding, went on to spend several years in federal prison for possession of child pornography.

While in Manning recently, I read a good article by John Durant, who owns DuRant Insurance of Manning, in a local paper which talked about some good steps any congregation's leadership should take in protecting their flock and church personally and financially from sexual predators in their midst. I'm not sure of his faith affiliation, but when the advice is sound, it doesn't really matter, so I asked him to submit this as a guest editorial, and appreciate him sharing it:

Ed Koch: The Special Bond Between Catholics and Jews

Recently, I ran across this op-ed penned by former NYC Mayor, Ed Koch. Like many Jews and Catholics, he may be non-practicing, but still holds his faith and his identity within that tradition near and dear. It seemed worth sharing:

I have always believed that there is a special bond between Jews and Catholics, and have made it a personal and professional priority to strengthen that bond. In the modern era, the relationship between Jews and Catholics became solidified with Vatican II under Pope John XXIII.

More recently, the bond was further strengthened during the reign of Pope John Paul II who made clear his love and respect for the Jewish people by referring to us as the "elder brothers." Pope John Paul II extended Vatican diplomatic recognition to Israel, rejecting the threats of those who he called "Koranic" opponents. His closeness to the Jewish people was demonstrated by his recognition that the special bond that existed between God and the children of Israel is an enduring one.

You can read more of Koch's op-ed by clicking here.

Arbeit Macht Frei: Return to Dachau

In my email this morning came a rather moving story of the celebration of Pashcha (Easter) by Orthodox faithful in the Dachau death camp shortly after the liberation of in Nazi Germany by the United States' Seventh Army. In an amazing act of improvisation, Orthodox faithful of many nationalities came together to celebrate the Divine Liturgy, with the help of imprisoned Catholic clergy and U.S. Army officials.

Regrettably, the Russians who were liberated from Dachau were turned over to Red Army and Soviet Communist officials, and many of them were branded traitors and sent to gulags in Russia. Today, a Russian Orthodox chapel, built by Russian Army soldiers prior to their 1994 withdrawal from Germany, graces the grounds, including the pictured Icon of Christ setting the prisoners free.

In addition, several other churches and chapels are located on the Dachau grounds.

Over 200,000 were imprisoned in Dachau since the death camp opened in 1933. Of those who spent time at Dachau, 43,000 died and only 67,000 remained alive to greet the liberating American soldiers on April 29, 1945. The Orthodox faithful celebrated Pascha on the Orthodox Easter Sunday on May 6th, 1945.

"Dachau - the significance of this name will never be erased from German history. It stands for all concentration camps which the Nazis established in their territory." - Eugen Kogon