Priests´ Scandals Seen as Symptoms of a Wider Cultural Problem

Father Amedeo Cencini, Adviser of Religious Congregations, Offers View

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

ROME, MAY 27, 2002 ( The priest abuse scandals have their roots in the trivialization of sex by our culture, an observer of religious life asserts.

Father Amedeo Cencini, religious of the Sons of Charity, psychologist and educator of young religious, presented this analysis Saturday when he addressed a meeting of the members of the general curiae of religious congregations.

«The real problem seems to be connected to the difficult management of sexuality in modern day culture, to the progressive process of banalization and debasement of sexuality,» the priest explained.

Extensive excerpts of his address may be found on Vidimus Dominum´s Web page on the topic «What Are the Characteristics of Jesus That Fascinate Today´s Young People.» He gave the address in evaluating the North American vocational congress, held in Montreal last month.

The Italian religious participated in the event in Canada as an expert sent by the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education.

Father Cencini contended that the scandal of sex abuse by priests «is not a problem of the Church, however much it may seem like it.»

«Most cases of sexual abuse occur inside the family setting,» he noted.

A «society like this — in which an intelligent and orderly management of sexuality does not exist, one ruled by love — […] serious problems are created for the one who wants to live a celibate» life, the priest continued.

«It is clear that in this context it has become more difficult to be virgins for the Kingdom of heaven. But to say this doesn´t mean to conclude that this has lost its sense or has less sense,» Father Cencini emphasized.

The adviser to religious congregations went on to speak about North American culture, which «for a long time» assumed «a very favorable attitude toward the homosexual condition, as if it were entirely normal.»

«It is obvious that such mentality has also subtly penetrated within the community of the faithful, including in the seminaries, up to the point that it has resulted in a corresponding attitude, that is, quite open-minded, also in the criteria for admissions to the orders,» Father Cencini said.

«I am not discussing, for the moment, the licitness or illicitness of such an attitude, but it is entirely natural that this mentality has been assumed, even unconsciously or implicitly, also by the individual with this type of problem,» he explained.

«The cases of homosexuality have now exploded in such a worrisome dimension, which cannot fail to be linked to this cultural, social and ecclesiastical phenomenon,» he concluded.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation