Reader of Protect the Pope provides translation of Fabrice Hadjadj’s thoughts about Pope Benedict

Lionel Ducros, though suffering from cancer, has generously provided readers of Protect the Pope with his translation of the Le Figaro interview of Fabrice Hadjadj, a prominent French intellectual who puts the clerical sexual abuse scandal in historical perspective. Thank you so much Lionel, it is a generous service to Protect the Pope and to the better understanding of the Holy Father. God bless you.

Lionel writes: ‘Thank you, dear Admin, for your delicate attention! We all know that life does not last very long and that we should be prompt to convert before Justice happens… and not have such strange and afflicting ideas as of “wishing, as Christopher Hitchins expressed (4th August 2010), hear, before he dies, of the death of Pope Benedict XVI”. This is totally insane! There is no time left to be wasted and indeed no exception…’

INTERVIEW – Born in 1971, Fabrice Hadjadj, young French intellectual who was Jewish, converted to Catholicism twelve years ago. Philosopher and writer, his latest book, The Faith of Demons (Salvator, 2009), a brilliant essay on atheism, was awarded the 2010 prize for religious literature.

LE FIGARO. – The Catholic Church has gone through an unprecedented crisis, how to qualify, on the eve of August 15, the “moral” of Catholics?

Fabrice HADJADJ. – First, this crisis is not unprecedented. There were others, probably the worst: the Arian crisis of the fourth century, the Great Schism in the fourteenth, the manners of some scandalous popes like Alexander VI Borgia, murderer, and concubinary simony, to take just a few examples Highlights. So we are forced to recognize that the church has grown through crises. It is in its nature, somehow. Let us look at what it is without prejudice, and the phenomenon is almost unbelievable: while all other institutions have been swept by storms of history, here that for over two thousand years, “the barque of Peter” continues her way, with an uninterrupted apostolic succession, with a teaching, for the essential, developed without contradicting itself.
This exceptional longevity requires necessarily unique ability to take hits.

The image of the Church has been strongly affected, how to estimate the seriousness of this?

Church is not a cover girl. It does not live from its media image. If that were the case, it would no longer seek to speak to hearts, but to stroke in the direction of the hair. The fact remains that crimes committed by a priest are far more serious than if committed by an EPS teacher, for example. And that can legitimize the media excitement that we experienced. The paradox is the following: if you attack especially church people when they are perverting themselves, it means that we have the instinct of the purity of their special mission.

From this point of view, the image of the Church is more affected as we believe in the sanctity of the church, because that is when the scandal becomes an incomparable gravity. Therefore Benedict XVI, who knows what is the Mystery of Priesthood, finds these crimes far more terrible than non Christians media can imagine. That is why he wanted to shed light on this issue.

Of these six months of turmoil, what conclusions can be drawn by the intellectual you are?

The same conclusions that can be drawn after thirty centuries of turmoil, and even more, if one believes that the beautiful harmony of the world has been broken since the beginning: we will never finish with crises. And, somehow, this is not so bad. You may know that the word “crisis” comes from the Greek verb “Krinein”, which means to screen or to discern. The crisis situation prevents us from sleeping on our laurels. It pushes us to ask ourselves the question of meaning, to dig into ourselves and seek a much wider and deeper good.

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