Daily Archives: July 11, 2011
You will remember Herman Spronck (this is apparently the correct name, not Spronk as previously reported), the Dutch Salesian Superior who was publicly fine with sex at twelve and, in the wake of the scandal caused by his words, suspended and at risk of being defrocked.
1) Herman Spronck has, as his lawyer reports, left the order. It is not clear whether he went away or he was officially defrocked; possibly he was allowed to do the first to avoid the second.
2) In his position as the head of the Salesians in the Netherlands, Mr Spronck was the man who conducted the conversations with people alleging to have been victims of abuse through the Dutch Salesians. Yes, you have read correctly: the Salesians had a man who thinks OK to have sex with a boy of twelve be the one who talks to those claiming to be victims of sexual abuse. It’s a bit like having a wolf having preliminary conversations with the sheep claiming to have been assaulted by a wolf.
3) In case you think the salesians were in the dark as to the, erm, dark soul of Mr Spronck, you might be surprised (or not, as the case may be) to know that Spronck was convicted in 2006 for possession of child pornography and was condemned to 240 hours of unpaid work, (which is, I understand, the maximum allowed before jail kicks in). I agree with Messa In Latino that it is simply not credible that the Salesian Headquarters wouldn’t know of this conviction.
Therefore, the Salesians knew what kind of person he was and not only they left him at his place, but even allowed him to continue to be directly responsible for the handling of alleged cases of abuse. This truly goes beyond disgusting.
Messa in Latino makes the easy predictions that this is not the end of the revelations; and in fact, it is difficult to imagine any person in possession of a degree of sanity to have allowed Spronck to have remained at his place without the necessity of covering up further problems.
Please note that Spronck’s conviction is not a very old episode happened, say, in times were some people played with the idea that such behaviour was not so bad after all – if you are surprised, look at how sodomy is looked at now by these very same “liberal” people – but it is only five years old, of a time when the scandal was raging and the roles of priests as educators subject to particularly close scrutiny. Frankly I can’t imagine that here stupidity on an unprecedented scale was at play, rather something worse.
Spronck’s might well not be the last head to roll.
From the brilliant blog Ite ad Thomam, a predictably brilliant piece of the great theologian Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange about Practical Naturalism, manifested as both Americanism/Modernism and as Quietism. I have already written about this great man when presenting his view on deathbed conversion.
It is difficult to try to summarise or “explain” Garrigou-Lagrange’s points, as he writes in such a pithy but always very understandable manner that there is, in fact, no need whatsoever to do so.
What can be more interesting is to point out that “developments” that one would otherwise tend to consider new ones are, in fact, not new at all. In their struggle to take faith – and the inconvenient consequences of it; for example, awareness of and fight against sin, and necessity of penance – out of everyday life, modern thinkers are neither more original, nor more successful than their ancestor were. In the end, they end up taking Christ away from Christianity, and the search for a more convenient, less burdensome way of life necessarily leads them into a dark tunnel of absurdities chasing each other.
Enjoy this brilliant piece of Catholic thinking.