Dated March 23, 2000
The church deems itself a leader, when in fact it is being dragged to this apology by many factors and forces. Given its own time schedule, and when in the drivers seat, the church appreciates rigidity, consistency and structure. Its very hierarchical. Its members are drawn to it by the hope and the assurance that life when they enter the order will be the same in the order when they leave - consistency, things remaining the same, security - the ultimate social security system. Those entering the order expect that ones title can bring prestige and honor or at least polite treatment. Therefore the Catholic church, like many religious institutions but in particular the Catholic church, is noted for rigidity. Even if a statement or a posture is absurd they adhere to it simply for the sake of rigidity and consistency until their faces are red and they must cease preaching on the issue. But nevertheless, in the back corridors and in the inner chambers, the rigid, ridiculous statements are adhered to.
So why would such an institution come forth and say We were wrong? What is the impetus? For centuries they have taken the most absurd steps, assumed the most absurd postures, and never admitted fault. The illusion of being infallible is a cornerstone in the sense of security that those who go into the order achieve. Somehow they can do no wrong. Somehow there is a godliness that dribbles down over the members of the order so that they can never be held accountable and they can do no wrong. And thus they go to bed smug. How would such a group of people suddenly decide that they had blood on their hands, that they had erred, and that they needed to announce this in front of the people they are regularly posturing in front of as being infallible? It is a contradiction in and of itself.
Look to the circumstances that would cause the Catholic church to make such an apology. They are, as we have stated, losing membership. They are no longer attracting people to the order, such that their priests and nuns are diminishing in number, growing old and not being replaced by young blood. They are losing respect in educated countries such as the US and in other countries not so educated, not through knowledge of any factors that would contradict the churchs statements, but just due to a general psychic awareness of the populace who then turn away from the church. Membership is diminishing. Funds are diminishing. The papal hierarchy in Rome is desperately concerned and has been for decades about the diminished power of the church, though they do not admit this situation at all. Nevertheless, they thrash about. What is to come during the next 3 years? What is to become of a church that does not lead and does not even shelter its populace going into horrendous changes in their lives where people will die and have desperate circumstances to deal with. The public will certainly not turn around and give to the church. They will certainly not cling to priests or sermons that not only do not lead, they do not even comfort.