Head of Canada’s Catholic Church – Let it Burn
Bishop Lionel Gendron, the president of the Canadian bishops’ conference, told those bishops recently that the sexual abuse crisis is like a fire. “When there is a fire, our first instinct is often to try to put it out to prevent damage. In this case, however, we may need to allow this fire to keep burning… as it blazes with brightness, it is cleansing and purifying.” Bishop Gendron apparently forgot that the Church already has just the thing in its bag of tricks.
Purgatory contains exactly the kind of purifying fire Bishop Gendron is looking for. This used to be one of the Catholic Church’s favorite subjects. But after the Church was forced to stop selling indulgences to shorten or eliminate time spent in purgatory, the Church stopped preaching about it. Once they could no longer make a buck off purgatory, they pretty much dropped the subject.
But I think Bishop Gendron has an excellent idea. Why not consign the Catholic Church to purgatory for a thousand years to do penance for its abuse of children, not to mention burning thousands of alleged witches, and burning or otherwise persecuting tens of thousands of heretics? An extended time out might be just the thing to purge it of its heinous sins. (And no scams about selling or giving themselves indulgences.)