Today, Our Sunday Visitor published Father Barron's further reflections on the crisis facing the Catholic Church.
"Once again we’re living in scandal times.
The 'Long Lent' that the American church endured in 2002 has now descended on the European church.
A significant difference is that this time the Pope himself has come under scrutiny.
Once again, the news media are in a frenzy—CNN has blanket coverage, the New York Times is running daily stories, and thousands of blogs are buzzing.
In preparation for a television interview, I spent an entire day reading almost everything I could find in both the American and international press (I’m currently in Rome as a visiting professor) and found the process dismaying, depressing, and dispiriting.
But what particularly struck me was this:
though the scandal has been analyzed legally, institutionally, psychologically, and culturally, it has rarely been looked at biblically—even by church representatives themselves.
And this is tragic, for the Bible, the Word of God, is the definitive lens through which the whole of reality is most rightly read, and church men and women above all should know this..."
Father Steve Grunow evaluates the ongoing scandal in the Catholic Church in light of the philosophical theory of René Girard.
"In a recent article in the America Magazine blog
, Austen Ivereigh makes an interesting association with the recent crisis facing the Church and the theories of René Girard. For those unfamiliar with Girard’s literary and anthropological theories, he identifies a universal constant in all culture, a pattern of behavior called the scapegoat mechanism. This mechanism is employed when tensions within a culture threaten the cohesiveness of the society leading to the attempt to restore order by assigning blame for the crisis on a particular individual or group. The channeling of this dysfunction is mediated by impulsive accusation until an appropriate scapegoat has been identified. The chosen scapegoat, which Girard calls the “surrogate victim”, also provides a reason for circumstances that seem to defy any reasonable explanation. The convergence of the society on this victim has the effect of restoring a common interest and purpose and the stability of the culture is seemingly restored..."