Robert Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, recently addressed Pope Emeritus Benedict’s essay on the modern-day causes of the sex abuse crisis which continues to haunt the Catholic Church.
Following Pope Benedict’s lucid argument, he lays out three causes for the crisis:
- the complete abandonment of natural law as the foundation of morality;
- the inevitable consequences of moral relativity; and
- the exclusion of the Church from the public square, that “[t]he Church could teach infallibly only on questions of faith” but not on morals.
These are the stages that lead us to the present day; whether that moral collapse can be traced to 1968 or to some earlier date (a straw man argument for critics of Benedict’s essay) is immaterial. As Cardinal Sarah concludes, “Only the absence of God can explain the current situation, wherein abuse has proliferated to such a staggering extent.”