An Australian friar performed a three-point takedown of a liberal priest who publicly attacked his bishop, Cardinal George Pell as inflexible and other liberal dirty words.
Brother Ephraem Chifley smacked Father John Crothers upside the head, not for having the temreity to complain publicly, but for not having the firtitude to at least challenge the cardinal’s ideas.
Hand-wringing about gluten-free wafers, (which was in fact a binding Roman ruling which has nothing to do with Pell) is a red herring. Similarly the decoration of the seminary chapel, clergy appointments to sensitive parishes and support for Notre Dame University are all issues of mundane administration. Even Pell’s intervention on divorce was really a question of political prudence.
Crothers brought them up because he implies ideas don’t matter any more, management is all that’s left. Pell, he says, is at liberty to indulge his ultra-conservative opinions. He wrote, “Being conservative or liberal is neither right nor wrong, it’s just the way we are” - as Jerry Seinfeld might have said. Why then should it matter whether “neo-conservatives” are appointed to Redfern or the seminary chapel tizzied up?
What matters is that the church isn’t a bowling club or a hamburger franchise. It has something to say about God and mankind that it believes comes from Jesus Christ.