Of course, as non-rational beings, elephants cannot lust, but I agree with Julia Meloni that unless the hierarchical powers-that-be realize that the clerical abuse crisis is much more than a question of victimized ‘minors’, not much will be solved. The deeper problem is that of homosexuality and, beyond that, sexual malfeasance in general. Nothing so disorders the mind and unhinges us from reality than the warping of sexuality by the vice of lust, as Saint Thomas rightly pointed out:
When the lower powers are strongly moved towards their objects, the result is that the higher powers are hindered and disordered in their acts. Now the effect of the vice of lust is that the lower appetite, namely the concupiscible, is most vehemently intent on its object, to wit, the object of pleasure, on account of the vehemence of the pleasure. Consequently the higher powers, namely the reason and the will, are most grievously disordered by lust. (II-II, 153.5, resp.)
With concomitant grace, as Saint Paul says, evidence of this ‘grievous disorder’ abounds. Pope Saint John Paul II followed Thomas on this, teaching in Evangelium Vitae that the two root causes of the abortion holocaust – and why ‘normal’ people cannot see this is as the obvious destruction of human life that it is – are the trivialization of sexuality (#97) and, its evil twin, the contraceptive mentality (#13). Orthodoxy, chastity and orthopraxy go together, or perish miserably apart.
We will have more to say on this in an upcoming article on the indomitable Saint Peter Damian, a fitting patron for the upcoming Synod.
Anger also disorders the mind, which is why God in general reserves vengeance – the natural response to anger – for Himself. Yet another mass murder was perpetrated by an aggrieved individual in the United States on Friday, shooting up his former workplace after receiving word of his own ‘termination’, analogical, of course, referring to that of his own employment. Yet he went on to non-metaphorically terminate five innocent people who – to tragically paraphrase a line from the Pirates of Penzance – happened to be in the immediate vicinity.
The Pirates in the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta were referring to a doctor of divinity, and the hope of getting married by him to the adopted daughters of the Major-General. Solid families based on faithful marriages are one of the primary the long-term answers to the crumbling and decay of our modern world, along with culture, music, life, love and laughter. More to say on that later, Deo volente, in a reflection of the Festival du Voyageur in Manitoba.
The best way to fight evil is with goodness, and darkness, light.