Prayers please

Prayers please

I’ve just heard that a local parish, St. James in Stoughton, had a Confirmation retreat this past weekend and that the worst-case scenario happened: One of the teens died of a brain aneurysm. Fr. James Kelly is the pastor of the parish, and he ran the youth group in my parish when I was a kid. He also married my brother Bernie and his wife Carol. I’m told that Fr. Kelly and the rest of the retreat team ministered well to the kids during the horrific experience.

Please keep Sarah McNeill, her family, and the parish![CDATA[Domenico Bettinelli]]>

https://www.bettnet.com/?p=3916

I’ve just heard that a local parish, St. James in Stoughton, had a Confirmation retreat this past weekend and that the worst-case scenario happened: One of the teens died of a brain aneurysm. Fr. James Kelly is the pastor of the parish, and he ran the youth group in my parish when I was a kid. He also married my brother Bernie and his wife Carol. I’m told that Fr. Kelly and the rest of the retreat team ministered well to the kids during the horrific experience.

Please keep Sarah McNeill, her family, and the parisht. It may have been morally and canonically right to have done so, but it really did weaken what was passed by the bishops in 2002.

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18041

extremecatholic@nyc.rr.com
http://extremecatholic.blogspot.com
24.29.134.67
2004-09-12 18:12:53
2004-09-12 22:12:53
Dom, another point is that the public knowledge of such fugitives enjoying a comfortable life in Rome may actually embolden other sexual abusers that they too can evade American justice in the event they are arrested and given bail.

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18042

oreilg@aol.com

205.188.116.17
2004-09-13 05:20:02
2004-09-13 09:20:02
What is really scandalous is that Religious Orders are shuffling these men around and allowing them to evade the law. Crimes have been committed and these men should be made to face trial I suppose I can understand why people who only see my name on Catholic blogs must think that I write about nothing else, but it’s not true. You’re seeing through the wrong end of a telescope.

The reason the Pope came up in this thread is because he is directly relevant to the article that Dom posted. The article starts by quoting the Pope’s own words about how there is “no place” in the ministry for sex abusers. The Pope’s words are little regarded even in the shadow of the Vatican, the DMN reporters found.

I’d like to know why. Best case scenario: the Pope’s men know he’s just blowing smoke, because he’s never disciplined anybody for defying him. Worst case scenario: the Pope knows he’s just blowing smoke for public consumption.

I’m not sure which one I believe.

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18058

rlender@kc.rr.com

24.163.145.101
2004-09-14 18:24:56
2004-09-14 22:24:56
Hello Rod,

Well you’re right about one thing: Most of us here know you mainly by what you post on St. Blogs. If DMN is linked its invariably because of a Scandal story.  Otherwise we don’t have cause to go there very often.

I think the Scandal does need to be talked about.  I think we need to understand why it has happened.  I think we need to work to find ways to clean up the mess.  I think you have done yeoman work on the subject.

I think, however, that it’s less that the Great Enema is (nearly) all you talk about on St. Blog’s than that you discuss it with such vehemence.  And I am not talking about mere righteous anger, which we all share when we hear these things.  I mean rather making worst assumptions of men who deserve at least slightly better.  Example: “:Worst case scenario: the Pope knows hehen you put it that way, so do I. But let me ask you: what other conclusion is warranted by the record? John Paul is an extremely intelligent man, and until Parkinson’s all but immobilized him, was vigorous and knowledgeable about what was going on in the world. It is not credible to believe that he’s been in the dark about these scandals, the gravity of which were known to every American bishop as far back as 1985, and which were made public by the news media on many occasions since then. If you said to him, “Holy Father, are you indifferent to the fate of children abused by priests, and the cover-up by bishops?”—I’m sure he’d say no, of course not, how could you say such a thing.

But he has surely known about these problems for a long time. It is undeniable that he has known about them since 2002, because he spoke about them. And yet, we have not seen him talk much at all about this crisis, much less call for the resignation of the worst bishops. He was passionate in his opposition to the Iraq war, made many public statements, met with all kinds of people from all over the world to try to stop it. And as sick as he is!

There can be no doubt that if he thought this was a big problem, he’d address it. He doesn’t think it’s a big problem, or at least not something worth spending much energy on. And you bet I have a problem with that. I see him as caring more about the Church’s image than the fate of little children and their families. That is wrong, and it needs to be said.

If that makes me cynical in your eyes, so be it. I’m tired of lying to myself so I can feel at peace about where the Church is now, and is headed. I had a lady call me at the News today to tell me she was a Catholic, and she was cancelling her subscription because of our story on Sunday about the sex-abusing priests in Rome, and the editorial that followed. I talked with her cordially for 20 minutes about the issues involved here. She’s an orthodox Catholic who agrees up and down with me about the gravity of the crisis, about the failure of the bishops, and on and on. She even agreed with me that we have to do something to get the Church cleaned up.

And yet, she is cancelling her subscription because “I just feel that I have to do something to stop this Catholic bashing in the media, especially this criticism of the Holy Father.” It was totally an emotional response.

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18060

rdreher@dallasnews.com

147.136.249.101
2004-09-14 19:23:39
2004-09-14 23:23:39
Let me add something. I know lots of people are offended by my comments about the Pope. I do not believe that one’s Catholicism stands or falls based on how one feels about the way this pontiff has governed—or rather, failed to govern—the Church.

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18061

jerabekk66@yahoo.com

198.151.13.8
2004-09-14 19:31:24
2004-09-14 23:31:24
I need to say that I agree with Rod.  An additional thought for me is why hasn’t the Pope explained his philosophy on how to deal with this problem, especially since it continues as the DMN points out?  He will explain his feelings about nearly everything else, why not this?  He knows how upset people are about this, why won’t he show leadership in this regard?  He has to know how it appears to the world, why not speak to that?

I believe Rod is right in his assessment of this and I don’t think that a person can’t criticize the Pope. 

As to his tone and cynicism, I think given the gravity of the matter it’s rightly called for.

On another blog people have been predicting Rod will leave the Church.  I hope not, we need to have someone who will publicly question this situation.  Sadly it seems as if it will go on and on.  The Pope has made some good appointments recently and maybe he has better people around him to consult with now, but my understanding is that bishops offer up names of men to succeed them and then they are decided on by Rome.  I can’t imagine what their vetting procedure is given who we have, but maybe that has improved also.

I’m also still waiting for the apostolic visit to the seminaries….

I guess we are in one of those periods in history where there is much about the Church that is in chaos.  We just have to live with it and pray I guess.  But all of this terribly saddens me.

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18062

rlender@kc.rr.com

24.163.145.101
2004-09-14 20:38:52
2004-09-15 00:38:52
Hello Rod,

Do I wish the Pope had done more about the Scandal?  Would I have done things differently?  Heck yes.

I would just make three more points by way of refining my position:

1) It is fair game to criticize how the Pope runs the Church, insofar as we understand him to “run” it.  Weigel - not exactly a strident critic of the Pope - makes clear not only that these are defects of how he approaches his vocation as prelate, but that it has been the case long before he came to the see of St. Peter.

But to say that is one thing.  To say he’s a liar, which is (it seems to me) what you have said here, is another.  There are instances where it’s hard not to draw that conclusion with some certain bishops and chancery rats I could think of.  But even given how few truly good bishops we may be blessed with stateside, I hate to just assume it right out of the Gate in every instance.  Especially of Karol Wojtyla.  I also think it uncharitable to essentially dismiss any positive act a bishop might make as inadequate or a distraction from dealing with the Scandal and associated folderol.

2. I think this point has been made before but the fact is that John Paul II sees himself as a man of Vatican II. He takes the collegiality promoted by V2 very seriously.  Even when he retains the canonical power to remove, discipline or interfre with a bishop he is reluctant to do so.  And this is a posture which has been demanded by so much fo the clergy, the prelacy, the laity, and world beyond over the years. 

In this case it is a posture which I happen to think is more harmful than good in this context.  It’s certainly open to critique.  How many times have I thought “I wish the Holy Father would can Bishop X!”? But it is essential to know why he acts as he does - again, as Mark Shea has pointed out on numerous occasions. It goes to motives.

3. What does the Pope know? Do we really know?  He’s not detail oriented to begin with.  There are over 6,000 bishops, over 400,000 priests, several thousand seminaries and over a billion Catholics in the world.  In large part the Pope, even a globetrotting Pope, has to rely on what his bishops and underlings tell him.  Can there be any doubt that many American prelates have downplayed the true nature of what has gone on in their dioceses?

Allof which is not to suggest that the Pope does not bear some responsibility in all this. He does.  But that’s a long way from concluding he’s lying. 

best regards

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18063

oss@bernini-communications.com
http://catholiclight.stblogs.org
68.106.98.16
2004-09-14 20:53:31
2004-09-15 00:53:31
Rod, you called the Holy Father a liar. I do not think he is a liar, unless you can prove that he deliberately stated something that he knew was untrue.

Nor do I think defending him from the charge of lying is “idolatry.” Contra Joseph, I’m not offering a “reflexive defense,” nor do I go looking for opportunities to play Defender of the Pope. (I find most discussions of The Scandal to be almost completely unedifying.)

<i>Listen to what you wrote:<i> “If the Pope said tomorrow that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, Ince July, so if health reasons are cited in his case, it’ll be legit.

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18065

jerabekk66@yahoo.com

198.151.13.8
2004-09-14 22:36:24
2004-09-15 02:36:24
Eric:

I know you were posting to Rod, but I have one question after reading your post The Holy Father has known the devastion of this scandal at least since 2002, I’ve never heard one word of rebuke from him since then.  He’s seen clear to rebuke others in the past in a very public way including those who promoted liberation theology. 

Maybe others are right and he can’t simply fire a bishop.  But what he could have done is stand up and proclaim what happened as evil and rebuke the bishops who permitted it.  I simply can’t understand why he didn’t do that.  He said this behavior shouldn’t be tolerated, etc., etc.  But yet has said very little else.  And much of what has been promised has not happened, i.e. the apostolic visit.  I know the Church thinks in centuries rather than in the here and now, but it shouldn’t take almost two years to do this. 

And Eric, everyone has an angle to push, or they would be dead.  Everyone believes in something and that’s usually personified in their actions.

Did the Pope lie?  I don’t know.  But he’s given a lot of nothing as a reason for people to feel at least that something fishy is up by the lack of direct statement and action towards his brother bishops.

He could have brought moral authority back to the Church with one simple press release condemning the horrible governance of some of the bishops.  It could have ben a beautiful teaching moment where he emphasized how the lack of following of the teachings of the Church resulted in this scandal.

He could have pulled a Zell Miller, come to Jesus, talk and energized the faithful.  Yet nada.

As you can read,  I do think there are sufficient reasons to be cynical.  There is just a huge split from the brave, holy leader we knew before the scandal, and the silence we have experienced since.  As a Catholic who’s going nowhere this is very difficult to reconcile.  And I believe, even though we are just laity, we deserve an answer.  Many are flocking away from the Church.  The time for manners is over.  Having lived in NYC for 11 years I would love to see some New Yorker bluntness applied here.  And an equally plain spoken response from the Vatican.

O.k.  Verbally burn me alive.  But that’s how I think, and feel about this.

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18066

rdreher@dallasnews.com

147.136.249.101
2004-09-14 22:36:31
2004-09-15 02:36:31
I trust the Holy Spirit to renew the Church, though I don’t expect it to happen in my lifetime. I do not trust this Pope anymore. I’m sorry, but there it is. I am only obliged as a Catholic to believe that when he teaches on faith and morality, he is protected from error. I believe that. But I cannot pretend that his leadership has been something I do not believe it to have been. And I refuse to believe we’re in the middle of a “new springtime,” which is pious cant. Why would you want to believe such a thing, Eric, when it’s manifestly untrue?

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18067

chonak@yahoo.com
http://catholiclight.stblogs.org
127.0.0.1
2004-09-14 22:43:58
2004-09-15 02:43:58
Right: this isn’t a new springtime.  Can any historians out there confirm what I’ve heard before—that this is a time like that of the Catholic Reformation, with widespread corruption, but also admirable saints?

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18068

rdreher@dallasnews.com

147.136.249.101
2004-09-14 22:45:38
2004-09-15 02:45:38
Thanks for standing by me, Kathleen. I’m like you: by the grace of God, I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to stand here and say that there is deep, sick corruption in the Church, and that John Paul, who has been so courageous and outspoken about everything under the sun, is afraid to name it, and afraid to stand against it. The Holy Father can apologize profoundly to every group in the world who has ever been unjustly treated by the Church, but he cannot face his very own people who were violated in horrible ways by his own priests, and then in many cases emotionally and spiritually abused by bishops who told them to shut up and get lost. That is disgraceful, and it shouldn’t be so hard for followers of Jesus Christ to say it.

I spoke today to a journalist who has written a lot about the sex abuse scandal, and who knows personally many Catholics and former Catholics around the country. He told me, “I’ve heard [over the years] from Catholics angry at the media for writing about this. But as soon as the scandal touches their family, or someone they know, they change their tune. When you know personally how bad this is for children who’ve suffered it, and their families, it’s hard to hold on to what you used to believe about the Church.”

True.

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18069

rdreher@dallasnews.com

147.136.249.101
2004-09-14 22:54:13
2004-09-15 02:54:13
I heard from a priest today, a man I consider to be an “admirable saint” because of how he’s suffered with joy for the faith, at the hands of corrupt superiors. I’d written to him about these times, telling him how hard it was for me these days to feel anything but anger at the institutional Church. He wrote back to say that he sympathizes entirely, and said the best thing to do—the only thing to do, really—is to live as if we were in the Chinese underground Church, and do our best to teach our kids the real faith, and pray for renewal. He also said that we can take comfort in knowing that we’re in the company of great Catholics like Thomas More and John Fisher, who took the losing side with courage and joy, knowing it was the losing side but knowing also that it was the side of truth and right.

I sure don’t claim to be anything like the spiritual athlete that More and Fisher were, but I do hope that I have just the tiniest bit of their courage to stand my ground and speak what I believe to be truth, no matter what. And I hope more than anything that I have the courage and grace that they did to be faithful to the Catholic Church to the end.

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18070

rdreher@dallasnews.com

147.136.249.101
2004-09-14 23:01:55
2004-09-15 03:01:55
One more thing, because I’m sure the usual suspects will jump all over what I just said if I don’t clarify something. I’m a lousy sinner, easy to anger, slow to forgive, and I have a big fat mouth. God forgive me for those faults. I’m trying my best not to be a pious coward, a dissembler or a flatterer in the face of a situation that will never be fixed unless those of us in this Church who are sick and tired of it start acting like Christian men and women instead of cowed sheep. That woman who called me today to cancel her subscription, and who agreed with everything I said about the cancer eating away at the Church, but who still didn’t want Churchmen criticized, is a big part of the problem.

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18071

jerabekk66@yahoo.com

198.151.13.8
2004-09-14 23:47:30
2004-09-15 03:47:30
The reason I can see what Rod has stated as true, and based on my own observation of the situation, is that I am not reporter or theologian or Catholic student.  I am a revert of 10 years.  I never went away from the faith morally because the truth of those teachings, based on what I saw going on around me, was obvious.  But everyone who turned 18 in New England stopped going to Church with their parents.  The seeds were planted, but no real faith ever made it through in my CCD.  I was taught to be nice.  The rest I learned that identified with Catholic teaching was common sense based on my life experience.  That’s why it was so easy to stop attending Mass.  I didn’t even really know that the Eucharist wasn’t just a symbol.  It wasn’t laziness on my part, it WASN’T emphasized at all.

This compared to kids who are really raised in the faith.  Look at how beautiful they are.  Think Franciscan kids, think Christendom kids, think Mark Shea kids.  God, I wish they were my neighbors.  But they are not.  My neighbors are fallen away Catholics who will never go back.  They got the final shot with the scandal and lack of forthrightness they expected from the Holy Father based on their Orthodox Catholic Mom’s witness.  It didn’t happen.  This burns me to my core.  I got lucky.  This didn’t happen ten years ago and I got the chance to learn my faith.  My neighbors probably never will.  And given that Roger the Doger is still on throne and Cardinal Law is in Rome what are people like my neighbors to think?

More than that, if you ask me what I say to them as witness, I tell them that I despise what the bishops have done and can’t in good concience give THEM a penny.  I give when it’s going to my parish but not otherwise.  My diocese is good and I also give directly to other Catholic charities, but I can’t give to the heirarchy.  I can’t even begin to get into the details of “we get the bishops we deserve” because that ain’t going nowhere.

I try to witness to life and the Eucharist and all of that.  But generally I find it falls on deaf ears.  My neighbors respect me because I am nice and offer help and all of that.  But they think that is not representative of those who lead the faith.

The majority of American Catholics are like my neighbors.  That sucks in a circular way.  But the only people who could have made any difference to these people regarding the scandal were the hierarchy.  Plane and simple.  Beginning with the Pope. 

In other words, it could have been me, who made my final break with the Eucharist, if I’d been ten years younger.

Sorry for the dramatics.  But this [expletive] haunts me.

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18072

oss@bernini-communications.com
http://catholiclight.stblogs.org
68.106.98.16
2004-09-15 06:16:57
2004-09-15 10:16:57
There’s a huge difference between “criticism” and “calumny,” Rod, and you’ve crossed the line into the latter.

I think it’s curious that you automatically think I agree that it’s a “new springtime,” even though I daresay that you have no idea what my opinions are on just about anything. I merely said that the Holy Spirit would renew the Church in the fulness of time. Perhaps that will be in a century, perhaps it will be next week. I trust that God will bring light from darkness, as he always does.

If God has granted you the clarity to see the bends and twists of Providence, more so than the Holy Father, then I stand in awe of your spiritual gift. You’ll excuse many of us if we stick with the Pope on that one.

This isn’t the first time that the shepherds of Christ’s flock have betrayed the Church. There was the Arian movement, for example; and there was the unbecoming behavior of Peter and the apostles on Good Friday. Sadly, this won’t be the last betrayal. If “what you believe about the Church” includes a belief in the personal holiness of those who lead it, then it isn’t a bad thing to divest yourself of that error.

As a side note, I used to agree that we should be like the Christians in the catacombs. Now I think that’s complete bull. We can proclaim the faith publicly without any government sanction, and we have a duty to do just that. You want to self-dramatize and pretend that The Man is about to throw you to the lions? That’s fine, but it’s a fantasy.

I don’t want to lose—I want to win, and I hope you’ll try to win, too. And I’m not going to mope around and wait for someone else to do something. In my little corner of the world, in my little family with three little kids, I’m going to do my part. If everyone else does, then we’ll have ourselves a renewal.

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18073

rdreher@dallasnews.com

147.136.249.101
2004-09-15 09:48:52
2004-09-15 13:48:52
I’ve not even read the comments this morning, but I will when I get out of my next meeting. Before I do, though, I want to say that I thought about it overnight, and I really do wish I hadn’t called the Pope a liar. It was a rash thing to have said, and I can’t substantiate it—if by “liar” one means someone who consciously told an untruth with the intent to deceive. I repent of that.

However, I do wish to say that I believe the Holy Father, like all the bishops, have a certain mindset that allows lies to be told “for the good of the Church,” and indeed thinks that practice to be normal, and of no great moral consequence. I saw my friend Peggy Noonan and others hung out to dry by the Pope’s spokesman in the “It is as it was” controversy. They believed what Navarro-Valls told them that the Pope had said, and what he gave them permission to publicize. But when the heat got put on, he backtracked, said he’d never said it, etc.—when there was documentary evidence that he was lying. He lied to protect the Pope and the Church, and in so doing damaged the good name of faithful Catholics who made the mistake of trusting him.

I think that attitude is general among institutional churchmen. And I don’t think John Paul is immune.

More later. I just wanted to be on the record saying that I oughtn’t have called John Paul a liar. But I do think that the episcopate and those who serve them have a shaky relationship with the truth in daily life.

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18074

sosinfo2002@yahoo.ca

10.135.31.253
2004-09-15 10:21:52
2004-09-15 14:21:52
I know of one priest transfered to Rome, about 9 years ago, after abuse allegations. Nothing further was said and there was no follow-up. Obviously there is collusion at some level in the hierarchy, otherwise this individual would have been brought to justice. But from there to say “the Pope knew” is just a bit of a stretch, in my opinion. It’s a bit like claiming he’s personally met every priest, deacon and nun in The Church.

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18075

joedhipp@yahoo.com

204.102.250.5
2004-09-15 15:49:22
2004-09-15 19:49:22
John, perhaps the Pope doesn’t know every individual instance. But he certainly does know the collective failure of the hierarchy to do anything about the biggest challenge to Catholic moral leadership in centuries, yet does nothing but offer fancy rhetoric.

I suggest you and everybody else go back to pel’s post near the top of this thread. He summarizes the situation very effectively.

I also want to support Rod Dreher publically in his views. The fact that Rod might have erred in calling this Pope a “liar” doesn’t negate from the courageous stand he’s taking—one that exposes most blogging Catholics as nothing but infatuated members of a papal personality cult.

The Japanese have a saying: The nail that sticks out shall be hammered. That’s what “faithful” Catholics have been doing to Rod the past two years. Yet Rod is a nail made of titanium. God bless him!

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18076

rlender@kc.rr.com

24.163.145.101
2004-09-15 16:20:40
2004-09-15 20:20:40
Hello Rod,

I have read your comments today and thank you for them.

Making such an admission is one of the hardest things to do.  I hope I am as capable when I find myself in a similar situation - as I am sure will happen at some point in life.

My reading of Peggy Noonan is not that she feels like she was hung out to dry per se. No doubt you are in closer communication with her than I am and can correct me on that point.  But I would agree with your position that there is a mindset in parts of the hierarchy that “allows lies to be told mment_user_id>0 18079
rdreher@dallasnews.com

147.136.249.101
2004-09-16 09:30:17
2004-09-16 13:30:17
In “The Gathering Storm,” Winston Churchill sums up his case against the willfill blindness and cowardice of the British establishment in the 1930s, leading to the catastrophic rise of Hitler:

“We must regard as deeply blameworthy before history the conduct not only of the British National and mainly Conservative Government, but of the Labour-Socialist and Liberal Parties, both in and out of office, during this fatal period. Delight in smooth-sounding platitudes, refusal to face unpleasant facts, desire for popularity and electoral success irrespective of the vital interests of the State, genuine love of peace and pathetic belief that love can be its sole foundation, obvious lack of intellectual vigour in both leaders of the British Coalition Government, marked ignorance of Europe and aversion from its problems in Mr. Baldwin, the strong and violent pacifism which at this time dominated the Labour-Socialist Party, the utter devotion of the Liberals to sentiment apart from reality, the failure and worse than failure of Mr. Lloyd George, the erstwhile great war-time leader, to address himself to the continuity of his work, the whole supported by overwhelming majorities in both Houses of Parliament: all these constituted a picture of British fautity and fecklessness which, though devoid of guile, was not devoid of guilt, and, though free from wickedness or evil design, played a definite part in unleashing upon the world of horrors and miseries which, even so far as they have unfolded, are already beyond comparison in human experience.”

I believe that decades from now, in the ruins of whatever happens to the Roman Catholic Church in the West, a very similar judgment will be rendered against the entire hierarchy and institutional leadership from the top on down, in the post-Vatican II era.

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18080

chonak@yahoo.com
http://catholiclight.stblogs.org
127.0.0.1
2004-09-16 11:58:06
2004-09-16 15:58:06
Rod writes that the Pope “doesn’t care to see, so he doesn’t see”, based on the Paetz case described in John Allen’s column.

Allen wrote: If it should turn out, however, that concerns about his behavior date back considerably earlier, it could raise potentially explosive doubts about John Paule reasons, Joe.  I didn’t say they were good ones!

On the other hand, your prediction of God’s judgment on Pope John Paul sounds arrogant.  But you’re probably used to hearing that complaint by now.

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18084

michigancatholic@hotmail.com
http://www.michigancatholic.blogspot.com
66.255.204.12
2004-09-18 17:45:49
2004-09-18 21:45:49
Eric, it’s not that the government will get me if I tell the religious truth (yet), but it’s the local catholic establishment who does.  I can’t tell you how crazy it is to convert to Catholicism and then find this morass in ALL the local parishes in the diocese.  I know exactly what Rod is talking about.  I’m a convert too.

Kathleen’s posts are perfect, I understand exactly.  This is the truth out here too.

So let me get you straight here, Eric.  You said, “Therement_date> 2004-09-13 17:18:01 Actually Rod, it turns out now that Krenn is actually in ill health. But it’s apparently one of those “self-inflicted” ailments which could explain how he didn’t know what was going on in his seminary. So the call for resignation due to health reasons is technically true, just not the whole truth.

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16708

rdreher@dallasnews.com

147.136.249.101
2004-09-13 21:20:50
2004-09-14 01:20:50
What’s a “self-inflicted” ailment? Is he a drunk?

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16709

chonak@yahoo.com
http://catholiclight.stblogs.org
127.0.0.1
2004-09-14 01:10:26
2004-09-14 05:10:26
Where to begin?  Rod’s giving a lot of heat and attitude today, and not showing a good sense of judgement.

It really takes some strong ESP on his and Diogenes’ part to accuse the Pope of lying when the Pope hasn’t said anything about Krenn. 

What grounds do they have?
Diogenes bewails the Pope’s supposed dishonesty and quotes a CWN item
which appears to be based on an item from APA and
an item from kathpress (which would be in German, I suppose)
that has information from some ‘informed source’ in Rome
about the meeting between Cardinal Re and Bishop Krenn or that between the Pope and Bishop Krenn.

And on this flimsy basis, this fifth-hand speculation in which the phrase “health reasons” doesn’t appear as a direct quote from anybody but kathpress—Rod has the gall to impugn the Pope’s personal veracity.  I hope Rod will agree with me that that is really not defensible.

Even when Diogenes complains about the “health” excuse for resignations, he’s off-base.  Here’s the Vatican’s announcement of Bp. Ziemann’s resignation, and the announcement of Bp. Ryan’s.  Neither one says that “health” is the reason for the bishop’s departure.  Rather, they both cite a canon that can relate to health or any other “serious reason”. 

When the Vatican chooses to leave the reason vague, hotheads have no right to put dishonest words in the Pope’s mouth and then complain about them.

On another point, here’s a side-by-side presentation of the Dallas Charter and the revised version approved by Rome.  Many of the changes appear to strengthen the Norms, because they remove defects which would have made the Norms vague and indefensible on appeal—and therefore unenforceable.  It doesn’t make sense to call that “watering down” when really it saved the Norms from being overturned.

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16710

oss@bernini-communications.com
http://catholiclight.stblogs.org
68.106.98.16
2004-09-14 06:20:28
2004-09-14 10:20:28
Earlier this year, on Mark Shea’s blog, I said that just as homosexuality is the polestar of Andrew Sullivan’s journalism, The Scandal is Rod Dreher’s. It is his reference point for everything that goes on in the Church. Dreher heatedly denied it—I can’t seem to find our exchange, but I recall he said it was “ridiculous”—but it’s clear he’s lost all perspective when it comes to anything related to sexual misconduct by priests, or “cover-ups” by bishops. Now his wrath extends to the Holy Father.

It’s one thing to say that someone is misguided or foolish, but quite another to call the Vicar of Christ a liar. Dreher is a competent writer who does good work covering subjects that most religion journalists would just as soon ignore. If he loses his soul because of his obsession about others’ sins, all the while calumniating the Pope, that wouldn’t be good for anybody, least of all Rod Dreher.

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16711

dougsirman@comcast.net
http://sirman.blogspot.com
68.43.122.20
2004-09-14 06:59:25
2004-09-14 10:59:25
Why is cover-ups in “scare quotes”?  It’s hardly a matter of dispute.  It’s fact: Bishops have engaged in cover-ups and lies.  They have done so repeatedly and with the tacit approval of the Vatican.  Quite frankly, my first impression of the Holy Father’s actions regarding this particular instance were that he was engaging in the same behavior.  It was only after hearing of the “any other serious reason”, that I was given an out, so to speak.

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16712

davidmorrison@mindspring.com
http://davidmorrison.typepad.com/sed_contra/
69.143.14.29
2004-09-14 07:10:37
2004-09-14 11:10:37
Yes, I can imagine some bishops lie.  Just as some bishops, Cardinals and even Popes have lived lives far from Christ.

Anyone remember the Medicis?  Just as those folks don’t indict all their brother bishops then, bishops who might lie now don’t indict all their contemporaries.

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16713

dom@bettnet.com
https://www.bettnet.com
192.168.1.1
2004-09-14 07:39:12
2004-09-14 11:39:12
Pel,

I never said I don’t believe at least some bishops are involved in a conspiratorial scheme. In fact, I’ve said as much time and again over the past two (almost three) years. I just don’t know if the current Dallas News story shows the same thing. Maybe it does.

RC,

The original CWN item quoted Kathpress, but we later confirmed it through our own sources. The health reasons are not a fifth hand speculation. It is firsthand from our own sources. Diogenes was wrong in saying that the health reasons were made up. Krenn really is ill, but it’s also a convenient excuse that allows him to resign without having to mention any of the other stuff.

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16714

manwithblackhat@yahoo.com
http://manwithblackhat.blogspot.com
205.130.230.13
2004-09-14 12:11:31
2004-09-14 16:11:31
http://manwithblackhat.blogspot.com/2004/09/usual-rumblings-at-st-blogs-coffee.html

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16715

rdreher@dallasnews.com

147.136.249.101
2004-09-14 12:31:53
2004-09-14 16:31:53
Hey David, I’m not “of National Review” anymore. Don’t blame them for what I say.

Eric, why do you say the Scandal is my reference for everything that goes on in the Church? I commented on a story having to do with the Scandal. What, you want me to come to this thread and make a few remarks about that lovely chicken dinner that the bishop attended last week?

I do not apologize, though, for being preoccupied with the Scandal in my public writing about the Church (which is almost entirely limited to comments in blog boxes these days, which hardly counts as “journalism”). My “wrath,” such as it is, certainly does extend to the Holy Father. I’m awfully tired of this sentimentality that refuses to face the fact that he has allowed a calamity to befall the Church under his pontificate. I have seen the faith, even the lives, of good Catholics all but destroyed by the sex abuse crisis, to say nothing of the other crises that he has done little effective to address.

I do not expect this or any single pope to solve an institutional crisis that took generations to build. But I do not believe that his personal holiness, which is undeniable, should obviate all criticism of his calamitous governance of the Church. Who gave us these bishops, after all? Who fails to hold them to account? We’ve seen in the Krenn case that when Rome really wants to get a bishop out, they find a way (and my guess is that Cardinal Schoenborn worked hard behind the scenes to force Rome’s hand on this one). I refuse not to speak what I believe to be the truth because—oh dear, let’s all clutch our pearls and climb on a chair and shriek!—to do so means criticizing the Holy Father.

He is not an idol, Eric. He is a man. And by the way, please consult Jonathan Kwitny’s excellent and admiring biography of John Paul, “Man of the Century,” and see the part where the author puzzles over JP2 authorizing bald-faced, face-saving lies to be printed in L’Osservatore Romano, re: the Vatican Bank scandal. Kwitny says that a man as obviously holy as John Paul would allow such blatant falsehoods to be published in the Vatican newspaper suggests how deeply he takes the notion that the Church’s public image must be protected. I think that is a serious moral weakness. We see the result of that all around us today.

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16716

joedhipp@yahoo.com

204.102.250.5
2004-09-14 12:37:58
2004-09-14 16:37:58
Eric, have you ever considered the possibility that Rod Dreher just may be right concerning the Pope? After all, JPII hasn’t exactly been enthusiastic about disciplining bishops for lesser offenses—and he allowed Cdl. Law to keep his posts on curial committees after Law resigned.

Dreher is right to be as angry as he is precisely because the Pope is the Vicar of Christ. That means he should be held to a higher standard. When he’s not concerning prudential decisions that are part of his responsiblity, he opens himself to legitimate criticism.

Frankly, Eric, all this reflexive defense of the Pope is not participation in the Catholic faith. It’s participation in a personality cult.

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16717

rlender@kc.rr.com

24.163.145.101
2004-09-14 16:13:33
2004-09-14 20:13:33
Hello Rod,

Weigel in Witness to Hope notes some of the extraordinary successes the Holy Father had when he was Archbishop of Krakow and which catapulted him to the papacy in no small measure: his boundless energy, parish visitations, his innovative Synod for implementing V2, his groundbreaking theological work at Jagiellonian University, the surge in vocations he oversaw.  Wiegel also closes with one other observation:

“By some lights, Karol Wojtyla was not a terribly good manager as Archbishop of Krakow. He was, some charged, too interested in dialogue with those who made problems for his plans. He was not a detail-oriented adminsitrator. He didn’t fire recalcitrants and replace them with his own people. His respect for older people and his distaste for making a spectacle of anyone led him to leave some men in office whom others would have removed, and caused him to promotepriests whom others would have preferred to see sidetracked in their careers…His willingness to take a long-range view of virtually every issue was both a blessing and a cause of problems.”

All of which seems like a preview of some aspects of his papacy.  I’m sure we all have a good idea of which ones I’m talking about.

I do not expect this or any single pope to solve an institutional crisis that took generations to build.

You have done some remarkable work on a subject that needed to be discussed but you will perhaps forgive some of us if we sometimes draw precisely that impression of your atitude.

But I do not believe that his personal holiness, which is undeniable, should obviate all criticism of his calamitous governance of the Church.

The pejorative aside, I think very few would think it should.

Who gave us these bishops, after all?

Indeed.

He has made some pretty bad appointments at times.  I think he would be the first to agree with that assessment today.

It is only partially mitigating that he had to work with what he had to work with; or that there are hundreds of bishoprical appointments he must sign off on every year.

Who fails to hold them to account?

I think the Holy Father has lots of company on that score.

Which reality no doubt leads the few voices in the wilderness an awareness of their lonely status.

Wearent> 0 16720
rdreher@dallasnews.com

147.136.249.101
2004-09-14 18:38:00
2004-09-14 22:38:00
Richard: I have great difficulty drawing the conclusion that hethey think that is not representative of those who lead the faith.

The majority of American Catholics are like my neighbors.  That sucks in a circular way.  But the only people who could have made any difference to these people regarding the scandal were the hierarchy.  Plane and simple.  Beginning with the Pope. 

In other words, it could have been me, who made my final break with the Eucharist, if I’d been ten years younger.

Sorry for the dramatics.  But this [expletive] haunts me.

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16733

oss@bernini-communications.com
http://catholiclight.stblogs.org
68.106.98.16
2004-09-15 06:16:57
2004-09-15 10:16:57
There’s a huge difference between “criticism” and “calumny,” Rod, and you’ve crossed the line into the latter.

I think it’s curious that you automatically think I agree that it’s a “new springtime,” even though I daresay that you have no idea what my opinions are on just about anything. I merely said that the Holy Spirit would renew the Church in the fulness of time. Perhaps that will be in a century, perhaps it will be next week. I trust that God will bring light from darkness, as he always does.

If God has granted you the clarity to see the bends and twists of Providence, more so than the Holy Father, then I stand in awe of your spiritual gift. You’ll excuse many of us if we stick with the Pope on that one.

This isn’t the first time that the shepherds of Christ’s flock have betrayed the Church. There was the Arian movement, for example; and there was the unbecoming behavior of Peter and the apostles on Good Friday. Sadly, this won’t be the last betrayal. If “what you believe about the Church” includes a belief in the personal holiness of those who lead it, then it isn’t a bad thing to divest yourself of that error.

As a side note, I used to agree that we should be like the Christians in the catacombs. Now I think that’s complete bull. We can proclaim the faith publicly without any government sanction, and we have a duty to do just that. You want to self-dramatize and pretend that The Man is about to throw you to the lions? That’s fine, but it’s a fantasy.

I don’t want to lose—I want to win, and I hope you’ll try to win, too. And I’m not going to mope around and wait for someone else to do something. In my little corner of the world, in my little family with three little kids, I’m going to do my part. If everyone else does, then we’ll have ourselves a renewal.

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16734

rdreher@dallasnews.com

147.136.249.101
2004-09-15 09:48:52
2004-09-15 13:48:52
I’ve not even read the comments this morning, but I will when I get out of my next meeting. Before I do, though, I want to say that I thought about it overnight, and I really do wish I hadn’t called the Pope a liar. It was a rash thing to have said, and I can’t substantiate it—if by “liar” one means someone who consciously told an untruth with the intent to deceive. I repent of that.

However, I do wish to say that I believe the Holy Father, like all the bishops, have a certain mindset that allows lies to be told “for the good of the Church,” and indeed thinks that practice to be normal, and of no great moral consequence. I saw my friend Peggy Noonan and others hung out to dry by the Pope’s spokesman in the “It is as it was” controversy. They believed what Navarro-Valls told them that the Pope had said, and what he gave them permission to publicize. But when the heat got put on, he backtracked, said he’d never said it, etc.—when there was documentary evidence that he was lying. He lied to protect the Pope and the Church, and in so doing damaged the good name of faithful Catholics who made the mistake of trusting him.

I think that attitude is general among institutional churchmen. And I don’t think John Paul is immune.

More later. I just wanted to be on the record saying that I oughtn’t have called John Paul a liar. But I do think that the episcopate and those who serve them have a shaky relationship with the truth in daily life.

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16735

sosinfo2002@yahoo.ca

10.135.31.253
2004-09-15 10:21:52
2004-09-15 14:21:52
I know of one priest transfered to Rome, about 9 years ago, after abuse allegations. Nothing further was said and there was no follow-up. Obviously there is collusion at some level in the hierarchy, otherwise this individual would have been brought to justice. But from there to say “the Pope knew” is just a bit of a stretch, in my opinion. It’s a bit like claiming he’s personally met every priest, deacon and nun in The Church.

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16736

joedhipp@yahoo.com

204.102.250.5
2004-09-15 15:49:22
2004-09-15 19:49:22
John, perhaps the Pope doesn’t know every individual instance. But he certainly does know the collective failure of the hierarchy to do anything about the biggest challenge to Catholic moral leadership in centuries, yet does nothing but offer fancy rhetoric.

I suggest you and everybody else go back to pel’s post near the top of this thread. He summarizes the situation very effectively.

I also want to support Rod Dreher publically in his views. The fact that Rod might have erred in calling this Pope a “liar” doesn’t negate from the courageous stand he’s taking—one that exposes most blogging Catholics as nothing but infatuated members of a papal personality cult.

The Japanese have a saying: The nail that sticks out shall be hammered. That’s what “faithful” Catholics have been doing to Rod the past two years. Yet Rod is a nail made of titanium. God bless him!

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16737

rlender@kc.rr.com

24.163.145.101
2004-09-15 16:20:40
2004-09-15 20:20:40
Hello Rod,

I have read your comments today and thank you for them.

Making such an admission is one of the hardest things to do.  I hope I am as capable when I find myself in a similar situation - as I am sure will happen at some point in life.

My reading of Peggy Noonan is not that she feels like she was hung out to dry per se. No doubt you are in closer communication with her than I am and can correct me on that point.  But I would agree with your position that there is a mindset in parts of the hierarchy that “allows lies to be told uthor_url>http://extremecatholic.blogspot.com 24.29.134.67 2004-09-12 18:12:53 2004-09-12 22:12:53 Dom, another point is that the public knowledge of such fugitives enjoying a comfortable life in Rome may actually embolden other sexual abusers that they too can evade American justice in the event they are arrested and given bail.

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15076

oreilg@aol.com

205.188.116.17
2004-09-13 05:20:02
2004-09-13 09:20:02
What is really scandalous is that Religious Orders are shuffling these men around and allowing them to evade the law. Crimes have been committed and these men should be made to face trial wp:comment_id>15082
chonak@yahoo.com
http://catholiclight.stblogs.org
127.0.0.1
2004-09-14 01:10:26
2004-09-14 05:10:26
Where to begin?  Rod’s giving a lot of heat and attitude today, and not showing a good sense of judgement.

It really takes some strong ESP on his and Diogenes’ part to accuse the Pope of lying when the Pope hasn’t said anything about Krenn. 

What grounds do they have?
Diogenes bewails the Pope’s supposed dishonesty and quotes a CWN item
which appears to be based on an item from APA and
an item from kathpress (which would be in German, I suppose)
that has information from some ‘informed source’ in Rome
about the meeting between Cardinal Re and Bishop Krenn or that between the Pope and Bishop Krenn.

And on this flimsy basis, this fifth-hand speculation in which the phrase “health reasons” doesn’t appear as a direct quote from anybody but kathpress—Rod has the gall to impugn the Pope’s personal veracity.  I hope Rod will agree with me that that is really not defensible.

Even when Diogenes complains about the “health” excuse for resignations, he’s off-base.  Here’s the Vatican’s announcement of Bp. Ziemann’s resignation, and the announcement of Bp. Ryan’s.  Neither one says that “health” is the reason for the bishop’s departure.  Rather, they both cite a canon that can relate to health or any other “serious reason”. 

When the Vatican chooses to leave the reason vague, hotheads have no right to put dishonest words in the Pope’s mouth and then complain about them.

On another point, here’s a side-by-side presentation of the Dallas Charter and the revised version approved by Rome.  Many of the changes appear to strengthen the Norms, because they remove defects which would have made the Norms vague and indefensible on appeal—and therefore unenforceable.  It doesn’t make sense to call that “watering down” when really it saved the Norms from being overturned.

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15083

oss@bernini-communications.com
http://catholiclight.stblogs.org
68.106.98.16
2004-09-14 06:20:28
2004-09-14 10:20:28
Earlier this year, on Mark Shea’s blog, I said that just as homosexuality is the polestar of Andrew Sullivan’s journalism, The Scandal is Rod Dreher’s. It is his reference point for everything that goes on in the Church. Dreher heatedly denied it—I can’t seem to find our exchange, but I recall he said it was “ridiculous”—but it’s clear he’s lost all perspective when it comes to anything related to sexual misconduct by priests, or “cover-ups” by bishops. Now his wrath extends to the Holy Father.

It’s one thing to say that someone is misguided or foolish, but quite another to call the Vicar of Christ a liar. Dreher is a competent writer who does good work covering subjects that most religion journalists would just as soon ignore. If he loses his soul because of his obsession about others’ sins, all the while calumniating the Pope, that wouldn’t be good for anybody, least of all Rod Dreher.

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15084

dougsirman@comcast.net
http://sirman.blogspot.com
68.43.122.20
2004-09-14 06:59:25
2004-09-14 10:59:25
Why is cover-ups in “scare quotes”?  It’s hardly a matter of dispute.  It’s fact: Bishops have engaged in cover-ups and lies.  They have done so repeatedly and with the tacit approval of the Vatican.  Quite frankly, my first impression of the Holy Father’s actions regarding this particular instance were that he was engaging in the same behavior.  It was only after hearing of the “any other serious reason”, that I was given an out, so to speak.

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15085

davidmorrison@mindspring.com
http://davidmorrison.typepad.com/sed_contra/
69.143.14.29
2004-09-14 07:10:37
2004-09-14 11:10:37
Yes, I can imagine some bishops lie.  Just as some bishops, Cardinals and even Popes have lived lives far from Christ.

Anyone remember the Medicis?  Just as those folks don’t indict all their brother bishops then, bishops who might lie now don’t indict all their contemporaries.

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15086

dom@bettnet.com
https://www.bettnet.com
192.168.1.1
2004-09-14 07:39:12
2004-09-14 11:39:12
Pel,

I never said I don’t believe at least some bishops are involved in a conspiratorial scheme. In fact, I’ve said as much time and again over the past two (almost three) years. I just don’t know if the current Dallas News story shows the same thing. Maybe it does.

RC,

The original CWN item quoted Kathpress, but we later confirmed it through our own sources. The health reasons are not a fifth hand speculation. It is firsthand from our own sources. Diogenes was wrong in saying that the health reasons were made up. Krenn really is ill, but it’s also a convenient excuse that allows him to resign without having to mention any of the other stuff.

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15087

manwithblackhat@yahoo.com
http://manwithblackhat.blogspot.com
205.130.230.13
2004-09-14 12:11:31
2004-09-14 16:11:31
http://manwithblackhat.blogspot.com/2004/09/usual-rumblings-at-st-blogs-coffee.html

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15088

rdreher@dallasnews.com

147.136.249.101
2004-09-14 12:31:53
2004-09-14 16:31:53
Hey David, I’m not “of National Review” anymore. Don’t blame them for what I say.

Eric, why do you say the Scandal is my reference for everything that goes on in the Church? I commented on a story having to do with the Scandal. What, you want me to come to this thread and make a few remarks about that lovely chicken dinner that the bishop attended last week?

I do not apologize, though, for being preoccupied with the Scandal in my public writing about the Church (which is almost entirely limited to comments in blog boxes these days, which hardly counts as “journalism”). My “wrath,” such as it is, certainly does extend to the Holy Father. I’m awfully tired of this sentimentality that refuses to face the fact that he has allowed a calamity to befall the Church under his pontificate. I have seen the faith, even the lives, of good Catholics all but destroyed by the sex abuse crisis, to say nothing of the other crises that he has done little effective to address.

I do not expect this or any single pope to solve an institutional crisis that took generations to build. But I do not believe that his personal holiness, which is undeniable, should obviate all criticism of his calamitous governance of the Church. Who gave us these bishops, after all? Who fails to hold them to account? We’ve seen in the Krenn case that when Rome really wants to get a bishop out, they find a way (and my guess is that Cardinal Schoenborn worked hard behind the scenes to force Rome’s hand on this one). I refuse not to speak what I believe to be the truth because—oh dear, let’s all clutch our pearls and climb on a chair and shriek!—to do so means criticizing the Holy Father.

He is not an idol, Eric. He is a man. And by the way, please consult Jonathan Kwitny’s excellent and admiring biography of John Paul, “Man of the Century,” and see the part where the author puzzles over JP2 authorizing bald-faced, face-saving lies to be printed in L’Osservatore Romano, re: the Vatican Bank scandal. Kwitny says that a man as obviously holy as John Paul would allow such blatant falsehoods to be published in the Vatican newspaper suggests how deeply he takes the notion that the Church’s public image must be protected. I think that is a serious moral weakness. We see the result of that all around us today.

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15089

joedhipp@yahoo.com

204.102.250.5
2004-09-14 12:37:58
2004-09-14 16:37:58
Eric, have you ever considered the possibility that Rod Dreher just may be right concerning the Pope? After all, JPII hasn’t exactly been enthusiastic about disciplining bishops for lesser offenses—and he allowed Cdl. Law to keep his posts on curial committees after Law resigned.

Dreher is right to be as angry as he is precisely because the Pope is the Vicar of Christ. That means he should be held to a higher standard. When he’s not concerning prudential decisions that are part of his responsiblity, he opens himself to legitimate criticism.

Frankly, Eric, all this reflexive defense of the Pope is not participation in the Catholic faith. It’s participation in a personality cult.

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15090

rlender@kc.rr.com

24.163.145.101
2004-09-14 16:13:33
2004-09-14 20:13:33
Hello Rod,

Weigel in Witness to Hope notes some of the extraordinary successes the Holy Father had when he was Archbishop of Krakow and which catapulted him to the papacy in no small measure: his boundless energy, parish visitations, his innovative Synod for implementing V2, his groundbreaking theological work at Jagiellonian University, the surge in vocations he oversaw.  Wiegel also closes with one other observation:

“By some lights, Karol Wojtyla was not a terribly good manager as Archbishop of Krakow. He was, some charged, too interested in dialogue with those who made problems for his plans. He was not a detail-oriented adminsitrator. He didn’t fire recalcitrants and replace them with his own people. His respect for older people and his distaste for making a spectacle of anyone led him to leave some men in office whom others would have removed, and caused him to promotepriests whom others would have preferred to see sidetracked in their careers…His willingness to take a long-range view of virtually every issue was both a blessing and a cause of problems.”

All of which seems like a preview of some aspects of his papacy.  I’m sure we all have a good idea of which ones I’m talking about.

I do not expect this or any single pope to solve an institutional crisis that took generations to build.

You have done some remarkable work on a subject that needed to be discussed but you will perhaps forgive some of us if we sometimes draw precisely that impression of your atitude.

But I do not believe that his personal holiness, which is undeniable, should obviate all criticism of his calamitous governance of the Church.

The pejorative aside, I think very few would think it should.

Who gave us these bishops, after all?

Indeed.

He has made some pretty bad appointments at times.  I think he would be the first to agree with that assessment today.

It is only partially mitigating that he had to work with what he had to work with; or that there are hundreds of bishoprical appointments he must sign off on every year.

Who fails to hold them to account?

I think the Holy Father has lots of company on that score.

Which reality no doubt leads the few voices in the wilderness an awareness of their lonely status.

We blog people have been predicting Rod will leave the Church.  I hope not, we need to have someone who will publicly question this situation.  Sadly it seems as if it will go on and on.  The Pope has made some good appointments recently and maybe he has better people around him to consult with now, but my understanding is that bishops offer up names of men to succeed them and then they are decided on by Rome.  I can’t imagine what their vetting procedure is given who we have, but maybe that has improved also.

I’m also still waiting for the apostolic visit to the seminaries….

I guess we are in one of those periods in history where there is much about the Church that is in chaos.  We just have to live with it and pray I guess.  But all of this terribly saddens me.

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15096

rlender@kc.rr.com

24.163.145.101
2004-09-14 20:38:52
2004-09-15 00:38:52
Hello Rod,

Do I wish the Pope had done more about the Scandal?  Would I have done things differently?  Heck yes.

I would just make three more points by way of refining my position:

1) It is fair game to criticize how the Pope runs the Church, insofar as we understand him to “run” it.  Weigel - not exactly a strident critic of the Pope - makes clear not only that these are defects of how he approaches his vocation as prelate, but that it has been the case long before he came to the see of St. Peter.

But to say that is one thing.  To say he’s a liar, which is (it seems to me) what you have said here, is another.  There are instances where it’s hard not to draw that conclusion with some certain bishops and chancery rats I could think of.  But even given how few truly good bishops we may be blessed with stateside, I hate to just assume it right out of the Gate in every instance.  Especially of Karol Wojtyla.  I also think it uncharitable to essentially dismiss any positive act a bishop might make as inadequate or a distraction from dealing with the Scandal and associated folderol.

2. I think this point has been made before but the fact is that John Paul II sees himself as a man of Vatican II. He takes the collegiality promoted by V2 very seriously.  Even when he retains the canonical power to remove, discipline or interfre with a bishop he is reluctant to do so.  And this is a posture which has been demanded by so much fo the clergy, the prelacy, the laity, and world beyond over the years. 

In this case it is a posture which I happen to think is more harmful than good in this context.  It’s certainly open to critique.  How many times have I thought “I wish the Holy Father would can Bishop X!”? But it is essential to know why he acts as he does - again, as Mark Shea has pointed out on numerous occasions. It goes to motives.

3. What does the Pope know? Do we really know?  He’s not detail oriented to begin with.  There are over 6,000 bishops, over 400,000 priests, several thousand seminaries and over a billion Catholics in the world.  In large part the Pope, even a globetrotting Pope, has to rely on what his bishops and underlings tell him.  Can there be any doubt that many American prelates have downplayed the true nature of what has gone on in their dioceses?

Allof which is not to suggest that the Pope does not bear some responsibility in all this. He does.  But that&88217;s a long way from concluding he’s lying. 

best regards

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oss@bernini-communications.com
http://catholiclight.stblogs.org
68.106.98.16
2004-09-14 20:53:31
2004-09-15 00:53:31
Rod, you called the Holy Father a liar. I do not think he is a liar, unless you can prove that he deliberately stated something that he knew was untrue.

Nor do I think defending him from the charge of lying is “idolatry.” Contra Joseph, I’m not offering a “reflexive defense,” nor do I go looking for opportunities to play Defender of the Pope. (I find most discussions of The Scandal to be almost completely unedifying.)

<i>Listen to what you wrote:<i> “If the Pope said tomorrow that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, Ik@yahoo.com http://catholiclight.stblogs.org 127.0.0.1 2004-09-14 22:43:58 2004-09-15 02:43:58 Right: this isn’t a new springtime.  Can any historians out there confirm what I’ve heard before—that this is a time like that of the Catholic Reformation, with widespread corruption, but also admirable saints?

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rdreher@dallasnews.com

147.136.249.101
2004-09-14 22:45:38
2004-09-15 02:45:38
Thanks for standing by me, Kathleen. I’m like you: by the grace of God, I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to stand here and say that there is deep, sick corruption in the Church, and that John Paul, who has been so courageous and outspoken about everything under the sun, is afraid to name it, and afraid to stand against it. The Holy Father can apologize profoundly to every group in the world who has ever been unjustly treated by the Church, but he cannot face his very own people who were violated in horrible ways by his own priests, and then in many cases emotionally and spiritually abused by bishops who told them to shut up and get lost. That is disgraceful, and it shouldn’t be so hard for followers of Jesus Christ to say it.

I spoke today to a journalist who has written a lot about the sex abuse scandal, and who knows personally many Catholics and former Catholics around the country. He told me, “I’ve heard [over the years] from Catholics angry at the media for writing about this. But as soon as the scandal touches their family, or someone they know, they change their tune. When you know personally how bad this is for children who’ve suffered it, and their families, it’s hard to hold on to what you used to believe about the Church.”

True.

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rdreher@dallasnews.com

147.136.249.101
2004-09-14 22:54:13
2004-09-15 02:54:13
I heard from a priest today, a man I consider to be an “admirable saint” because of how he’s suffered with joy for the faith, at the hands of corrupt superiors. I’d written to him about these times, telling him how hard it was for me these days to feel anything but anger at the institutional Church. He wrote back to say that he sympathizes entirely, and said the best thing to do—the only thing to do, really—is to live as if we were in the Chinese underground Church, and do our best to teach our kids the real faith, and pray for renewal. He also said that we can take comfort in knowing that we’re in the company of great Catholics like Thomas More and John Fisher, who took the losing side with courage and joy, knowing it was the losing side but knowing also that it was the side of truth and right.

I sure don’t claim to be anything like the spiritual athlete that More and Fisher were, but I do hope that I have just the tiniest bit of their courage to stand my ground and speak what I believe to be truth, no matter what. And I hope more than anything that I have the courage and grace that they did to be faithful to the Catholic Church to the end.

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rdreher@dallasnews.com

147.136.249.101
2004-09-14 23:01:55
2004-09-15 03:01:55
One more thing, because I’m sure the usual suspects will jump all over what I just said if I don’t clarify something. I’m a lousy sinner, easy to anger, slow to forgive, and I have a big fat mouth. God forgive me for those faults. I’m trying my best not to be a pious coward, a dissembler or a flatterer in the face of a situation that will never be fixed unless those of us in this Church who are sick and tired of it start acting like Christian men and women instead of cowed sheep. That woman who called me today to cancel her subscription, and who agreed with everything I said about the cancer eating away at the Church, but who still didn’t want Churchmen criticized, is a big part of the problem.

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jerabekk66@yahoo.com

198.151.13.8
2004-09-14 23:47:30
2004-09-15 03:47:30
The reason I can see what Rod has stated as true, and based on my own observation of the situation, is that I am not reporter or theologian or Catholic student.  I am a revert of 10 years.  I never went away from the faith morally because the truth of those teachings, based on what I saw going on around me, was obvious.  But everyone who turned 18 in New England stopped going to Church with their parents.  The seeds were planted, but no real faith ever made it through in my CCD.  I was taught to be nice.  The rest I learned that identified with Catholic teaching was common sense based on my life experience.  That’s why it was so easy to stop attending Mass.  I didn’t even really know that the Eucharist wasn’t just a symbol.  It wasn’t laziness on my part, it WASN’T emphasized at all.

This compared to kids who are really raised in the faith.  Look at how beautiful they are.  Think Franciscan kids, think Christendom kids, think Mark Shea kids.  God, I wish they were my neighbors.  But they are not.  My neighbors are fallen away Catholics who will never go back.  They got the final shot with the scandal and lack of forthrightness they expected from the Holy Father based on their Orthodox Catholic Mom’s witness.  It didn’t happen.  This burns me to my core.  I got lucky.  This didn’t happen ten years ago and I got the chance to learn my faith.  My neighbors probably never will.  And given that Roger the Doger is still on throne and Cardinal Law is in Rome what are people like my neighbors to think?

More than that, if you ask me what I say to them as witness, I tell them that I despise what the bishops have done and can’t in good concience give THEM a penny.  I give when it’s going to my parish but not otherwise.  My diocese is good and I also give directly to other Catholic charities, but I can’t give to the heirarchy.  I can’t even begin to get into the details of “we get the bishops we deserve” because that ain’t going nowhere.

I try to witness to life and the Eucharist and all of that.  But generally I find it falls on deaf ears.  My neighbors respect me because I am nice and offer help and all of that.  But they think that is not representative of those who lead the faith.

The majority of American Catholics are like my neighbors.  That sucks in a circular way.  But the only people who could have made any difference to these people regarding the scandal were the hierarchy.  Plane and simple.  Beginning with the Pope. 

In other words, it could have been me, who made my final break with the Eucharist, if I’d been ten years younger.

Sorry for the dramatics.  But this [expletive] haunts me.

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oss@bernini-communications.com
http://catholiclight.stblogs.org
68.106.98.16
2004-09-15 06:16:57
2004-09-15 10:16:57
There’s a huge difference between “criticism” and “calumny,” Rod, and you’ve crossed the line into the latter.

I think it’s curious that you automatically think I agree that it’s a “new springtime,” even though I daresay that you have no idea what my opinions are on just about anything. I merely said that the Holy Spirit would renew the Church in the fulness of time. Perhaps that will be in a century, perhaps it will be next week. I trust that God will bring light from darkness, as he always does.

If God has granted you the clarity to see the bends and twists of Providence, more so than the Holy Father, then I stand in awe of your spiritual gift. You’ll excuse many of us if we stick with the Pope on that one.

This isn’t the first time that the shepherds of Christ’s flock have betrayed the Church. There was the Arian movement, for example; and there was the unbecoming behavior of Peter and the apostles on Good Friday. Sadly, this won’t be the last betrayal. If “what you believe about the Church” includes a belief in the personal holiness of those who lead it, then it isn’t a bad thing to divest yourself of that error.

As a side note, I used to agree that we should be like the Christians in the catacombs. Now I think that’s complete bull. We can proclaim the faith publicly without any government sanction, and we have a duty to do just that. You want to self-dramatize and pretend that The Man is about to throw you to the lions? That’s fine, but it’s a fantasy.

I don’t want to lose—I want to win, and I hope you’ll try to win, too. And I’m not going to mope around and wait for someone else to do something. In my little corner of the world, in my little family with three little kids, I’m going to do my part. If everyone else does, then we’ll have ourselves a renewal.

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rdreher@dallasnews.com

147.136.249.101
2004-09-15 09:48:52
2004-09-15 13:48:52
I’ve not even read the comments this morning, but I will when I get out of my next meeting. Before I do, though, I want to say that I thought about it overnight, and I really do wish I hadn’t called the Pope a liar. It was a rash thing to have said, and I can’t substantiate it—if by “liar” one means someone who consciously told an untruth with the intent to deceive. I repent of that.

However, I do wish to say that I believe the Holy Father, like all the bishops, have a certain mindset that allows lies to be told “for the good of the Church,” and indeed thinks that practice to be normal, and of no great moral consequence. I saw my friend Peggy Noonan and others hung out to dry by the Pope’s spokesman in the “It is as it was” controversy. They believed what Navarro-Valls told them that the Pope had said, and what he gave them permission to publicize. But when the heat got put on, he backtracked, said he’d never said it, etc.—when there was documentary evidence that he was lying. He lied to protect the Pope and the Church, and in so doing damaged the good name of faithful Catholics who made the mistake of trusting him.

I think that attitude is general among institutional churchmen. And I don’t think John Paul is immune.

More later. I just wanted to be on the record saying that I oughtn’t have called John Paul a liar. But I do think that the episcopate and those who serve them have a shaky relationship with the truth in daily life.

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sosinfo2002@yahoo.ca

10.135.31.253
2004-09-15 10:21:52
2004-09-15 14:21:52
I know of one priest transfered to Rome, about 9 years ago, after abuse allegations. Nothing further was said and there was no follow-up. Obviously there is collusion at some level in the hierarchy, otherwise this individual would have been brought to justice. But from there to say “the Pope knew” is just a bit of a stretch, in my opinion. It’s a bit like claiming he’s personally met every priest, deacon and nun in The Church.

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joedhipp@yahoo.com

204.102.250.5
2004-09-15 15:49:22
2004-09-15 19:49:22
John, perhaps the Pope doesn’t know every individual instance. But he certainly does know the collective failure of the hierarchy to do anything about the biggest challenge to Catholic moral leadership in centuries, yet does nothing but offer fancy rhetoric.

I suggest you and everybody else go back to pel’s post near the top of this thread. He summarizes the situation very effectively.

I also want to support Rod Dreher publically in his views. The fact that Rod might have erred in calling this Pope a “liar” doesn’t negate from the courageous stand he’s taking—one that exposes most blogging Catholics as nothing but infatuated members of a papal personality cult.

The Japanese have a saying: The nail that sticks out shall be hammered. That’s what “faithful” Catholics have been doing to Rod the past two years. Yet Rod is a nail made of titanium. God bless him!

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15110

rlender@kc.rr.com

24.163.145.101
2004-09-15 16:20:40
2004-09-15 20:20:40
Hello Rod,

I have read your comments today and thank you for them.

Making such an admission is one of the hardest things to do.  I hope I am as capable when I find myself in a similar situation - as I am sure will happen at some point in life.

My reading of Peggy Noonan is not that she feels like she was hung out to dry per se. No doubt you are in closer communication with her than I am and can correct me on that point.  But I would agree with your position that there is a mindset in parts of the hierarchy that “allows lies to be told spot.com 66.255.204.12 2004-09-18 17:45:49 2004-09-18 21:45:49 Eric, it’s not that the government will get me if I tell the religious truth (yet), but it’s the local catholic establishment who does.  I can’t tell you how crazy it is to convert to Catholicism and then find this morass in ALL the local parishes in the diocese.  I know exactly what Rod is talking about.  I’m a convert too.

Kathleen’s posts are perfect, I understand exactly.  This is the truth out here too.

So let me get you straight here, Eric.  You said, “Thereily of a spiritual nature and that “the efforts of the bishop to inquire into matters of sexual misconduct were no different from a typical employer investigating the misconduct of an employee.” In other words, there’s nothing specifically religious in that context. It also means that investigators don’t get a free hand in every personnel record, just in the documents that involve sexual misconduct.

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55 comments
  • Dom, another point is that the public knowledge of such fugitives enjoying a comfortable life in Rome may actually embolden other sexual abusers that they too can evade American justice in the event they are arrested and given bail.

  • What is really scandalous is that Religious Orders are shuffling these men around and allowing them to evade the law. Crimes have been committed and these men should be made to face trial wp:comment_id>15082

    chonak@yahoo.com
    http://catholiclight.stblogs.org
    127.0.0.1
    2004-09-14 01:10:26
    2004-09-14 05:10:26
    Where to begin?  Rod’s giving a lot of heat and attitude today, and not showing a good sense of judgement.

    It really takes some strong ESP on his and Diogenes’ part to accuse the Pope of lying when the Pope hasn’t said anything about Krenn. 

    What grounds do they have?
    Diogenes bewails the Pope’s supposed dishonesty and quotes a CWN item
    which appears to be based on an item from APA and
    an item from kathpress (which would be in German, I suppose)
    that has information from some ‘informed source’ in Rome
    about the meeting between Cardinal Re and Bishop Krenn or that between the Pope and Bishop Krenn.

    And on this flimsy basis, this fifth-hand speculation in which the phrase “health reasons” doesn’t appear as a direct quote from anybody but kathpress—Rod has the gall to impugn the Pope’s personal veracity.  I hope Rod will agree with me that that is really not defensible.

    Even when Diogenes complains about the “health” excuse for resignations, he’s off-base.  Here’s the Vatican’s announcement of Bp. Ziemann’s resignation, and the announcement of Bp. Ryan’s.  Neither one says that “health” is the reason for the bishop’s departure.  Rather, they both cite a canon that can relate to health or any other “serious reason”. 

    When the Vatican chooses to leave the reason vague, hotheads have no right to put dishonest words in the Pope’s mouth and then complain about them.

    On another point, here’s a side-by-side presentation of the Dallas Charter and the revised version approved by Rome.  Many of the changes appear to strengthen the Norms, because they remove defects which would have made the Norms vague and indefensible on appeal—and therefore unenforceable.  It doesn’t make sense to call that “watering down” when really it saved the Norms from being overturned.

  • What is really scandalous is that Religious Orders are shuffling these men around and allowing them to evade the law. Crimes have been committed and these men should be made to face trial I suppose I can understand why people who only see my name on Catholic blogs must think that I write about nothing else, but it’s not true. You’re seeing through the wrong end of a telescope.

    The reason the Pope came up in this thread is because he is directly relevant to the article that Dom posted. The article starts by quoting the Pope’s own words about how there is “no place” in the ministry for sex abusers. The Pope’s words are little regarded even in the shadow of the Vatican, the DMN reporters found.

    I’d like to know why. Best case scenario: the Pope’s men know he’s just blowing smoke, because he’s never disciplined anybody for defying him. Worst case scenario: the Pope knows he’s just blowing smoke for public consumption.

    I’m not sure which one I believe.

  • Where to begin?  Rod’s giving a lot of heat and attitude today, and not showing a good sense of judgement.

    It really takes some strong ESP on his and Diogenes’ part to accuse the Pope of lying when the Pope hasn’t said anything about Krenn. 

    What grounds do they have?
    Diogenes bewails the Pope’s supposed dishonesty and quotes a CWN item
    which appears to be based on an item from APA and
    an item from kathpress (which would be in German, I suppose)
    that has information from some ‘informed source’ in Rome
    about the meeting between Cardinal Re and Bishop Krenn or that between the Pope and Bishop Krenn.

    And on this flimsy basis, this fifth-hand speculation in which the phrase “health reasons” doesn’t appear as a direct quote from anybody but kathpress—Rod has the gall to impugn the Pope’s personal veracity.  I hope Rod will agree with me that that is really not defensible.

    Even when Diogenes complains about the “health” excuse for resignations, he’s off-base.  Here’s the Vatican’s announcement of Bp. Ziemann’s resignation, and the announcement of Bp. Ryan’s.  Neither one says that “health” is the reason for the bishop’s departure.  Rather, they both cite a canon that can relate to health or any other “serious reason”. 

    When the Vatican chooses to leave the reason vague, hotheads have no right to put dishonest words in the Pope’s mouth and then complain about them.

    On another point, here’s a side-by-side presentation of the Dallas Charter and the revised version approved by Rome.  Many of the changes appear to strengthen the Norms, because they remove defects which would have made the Norms vague and indefensible on appeal—and therefore unenforceable.  It doesn’t make sense to call that “watering down” when really it saved the Norms from being overturned.

  • Earlier this year, on Mark Shea’s blog, I said that just as homosexuality is the polestar of Andrew Sullivan’s journalism, The Scandal is Rod Dreher’s. It is his reference point for everything that goes on in the Church. Dreher heatedly denied it—I can’t seem to find our exchange, but I recall he said it was “ridiculous”—but it’s clear he’s lost all perspective when it comes to anything related to sexual misconduct by priests, or “cover-ups” by bishops. Now his wrath extends to the Holy Father.

    It’s one thing to say that someone is misguided or foolish, but quite another to call the Vicar of Christ a liar. Dreher is a competent writer who does good work covering subjects that most religion journalists would just as soon ignore. If he loses his soul because of his obsession about others’ sins, all the while calumniating the Pope, that wouldn’t be good for anybody, least of all Rod Dreher.

  • Earlier this year, on Mark Shea’s blog, I said that just as homosexuality is the polestar of Andrew Sullivan’s journalism, The Scandal is Rod Dreher’s. It is his reference point for everything that goes on in the Church. Dreher heatedly denied it—I can’t seem to find our exchange, but I recall he said it was “ridiculous”—but it’s clear he’s lost all perspective when it comes to anything related to sexual misconduct by priests, or “cover-ups” by bishops. Now his wrath extends to the Holy Father.

    It’s one thing to say that someone is misguided or foolish, but quite another to call the Vicar of Christ a liar. Dreher is a competent writer who does good work covering subjects that most religion journalists would just as soon ignore. If he loses his soul because of his obsession about others’ sins, all the while calumniating the Pope, that wouldn’t be good for anybody, least of all Rod Dreher.

  • Why is cover-ups in “scare quotes”?  It’s hardly a matter of dispute.  It’s fact: Bishops have engaged in cover-ups and lies.  They have done so repeatedly and with the tacit approval of the Vatican.  Quite frankly, my first impression of the Holy Father’s actions regarding this particular instance were that he was engaging in the same behavior.  It was only after hearing of the “any other serious reason”, that I was given an out, so to speak.

  • Why is cover-ups in “scare quotes”?  It’s hardly a matter of dispute.  It’s fact: Bishops have engaged in cover-ups and lies.  They have done so repeatedly and with the tacit approval of the Vatican.  Quite frankly, my first impression of the Holy Father’s actions regarding this particular instance were that he was engaging in the same behavior.  It was only after hearing of the “any other serious reason”, that I was given an out, so to speak.

  • Yes, I can imagine some bishops lie.  Just as some bishops, Cardinals and even Popes have lived lives far from Christ.

    Anyone remember the Medicis?  Just as those folks don’t indict all their brother bishops then, bishops who might lie now don’t indict all their contemporaries.

  • Yes, I can imagine some bishops lie.  Just as some bishops, Cardinals and even Popes have lived lives far from Christ.

    Anyone remember the Medicis?  Just as those folks don’t indict all their brother bishops then, bishops who might lie now don’t indict all their contemporaries.

  • Pel,

    I never said I don’t believe at least some bishops are involved in a conspiratorial scheme. In fact, I’ve said as much time and again over the past two (almost three) years. I just don’t know if the current Dallas News story shows the same thing. Maybe it does.

    RC,

    The original CWN item quoted Kathpress, but we later confirmed it through our own sources. The health reasons are not a fifth hand speculation. It is firsthand from our own sources. Diogenes was wrong in saying that the health reasons were made up. Krenn really is ill, but it’s also a convenient excuse that allows him to resign without having to mention any of the other stuff.

  • Pel,

    I never said I don’t believe at least some bishops are involved in a conspiratorial scheme. In fact, I’ve said as much time and again over the past two (almost three) years. I just don’t know if the current Dallas News story shows the same thing. Maybe it does.

    RC,

    The original CWN item quoted Kathpress, but we later confirmed it through our own sources. The health reasons are not a fifth hand speculation. It is firsthand from our own sources. Diogenes was wrong in saying that the health reasons were made up. Krenn really is ill, but it’s also a convenient excuse that allows him to resign without having to mention any of the other stuff.

  • Hey David, I’m not “of National Review” anymore. Don’t blame them for what I say.

    Eric, why do you say the Scandal is my reference for everything that goes on in the Church? I commented on a story having to do with the Scandal. What, you want me to come to this thread and make a few remarks about that lovely chicken dinner that the bishop attended last week?

    I do not apologize, though, for being preoccupied with the Scandal in my public writing about the Church (which is almost entirely limited to comments in blog boxes these days, which hardly counts as “journalism”). My “wrath,” such as it is, certainly does extend to the Holy Father. I’m awfully tired of this sentimentality that refuses to face the fact that he has allowed a calamity to befall the Church under his pontificate. I have seen the faith, even the lives, of good Catholics all but destroyed by the sex abuse crisis, to say nothing of the other crises that he has done little effective to address.

    I do not expect this or any single pope to solve an institutional crisis that took generations to build. But I do not believe that his personal holiness, which is undeniable, should obviate all criticism of his calamitous governance of the Church. Who gave us these bishops, after all? Who fails to hold them to account? We’ve seen in the Krenn case that when Rome really wants to get a bishop out, they find a way (and my guess is that Cardinal Schoenborn worked hard behind the scenes to force Rome’s hand on this one). I refuse not to speak what I believe to be the truth because—oh dear, let’s all clutch our pearls and climb on a chair and shriek!—to do so means criticizing the Holy Father.

    He is not an idol, Eric. He is a man. And by the way, please consult Jonathan Kwitny’s excellent and admiring biography of John Paul, “Man of the Century,” and see the part where the author puzzles over JP2 authorizing bald-faced, face-saving lies to be printed in L’Osservatore Romano, re: the Vatican Bank scandal. Kwitny says that a man as obviously holy as John Paul would allow such blatant falsehoods to be published in the Vatican newspaper suggests how deeply he takes the notion that the Church’s public image must be protected. I think that is a serious moral weakness. We see the result of that all around us today.

  • Hey David, I’m not “of National Review” anymore. Don’t blame them for what I say.

    Eric, why do you say the Scandal is my reference for everything that goes on in the Church? I commented on a story having to do with the Scandal. What, you want me to come to this thread and make a few remarks about that lovely chicken dinner that the bishop attended last week?

    I do not apologize, though, for being preoccupied with the Scandal in my public writing about the Church (which is almost entirely limited to comments in blog boxes these days, which hardly counts as “journalism”). My “wrath,” such as it is, certainly does extend to the Holy Father. I’m awfully tired of this sentimentality that refuses to face the fact that he has allowed a calamity to befall the Church under his pontificate. I have seen the faith, even the lives, of good Catholics all but destroyed by the sex abuse crisis, to say nothing of the other crises that he has done little effective to address.

    I do not expect this or any single pope to solve an institutional crisis that took generations to build. But I do not believe that his personal holiness, which is undeniable, should obviate all criticism of his calamitous governance of the Church. Who gave us these bishops, after all? Who fails to hold them to account? We’ve seen in the Krenn case that when Rome really wants to get a bishop out, they find a way (and my guess is that Cardinal Schoenborn worked hard behind the scenes to force Rome’s hand on this one). I refuse not to speak what I believe to be the truth because—oh dear, let’s all clutch our pearls and climb on a chair and shriek!—to do so means criticizing the Holy Father.

    He is not an idol, Eric. He is a man. And by the way, please consult Jonathan Kwitny’s excellent and admiring biography of John Paul, “Man of the Century,” and see the part where the author puzzles over JP2 authorizing bald-faced, face-saving lies to be printed in L’Osservatore Romano, re: the Vatican Bank scandal. Kwitny says that a man as obviously holy as John Paul would allow such blatant falsehoods to be published in the Vatican newspaper suggests how deeply he takes the notion that the Church’s public image must be protected. I think that is a serious moral weakness. We see the result of that all around us today.

  • Eric, have you ever considered the possibility that Rod Dreher just may be right concerning the Pope? After all, JPII hasn’t exactly been enthusiastic about disciplining bishops for lesser offenses—and he allowed Cdl. Law to keep his posts on curial committees after Law resigned.

    Dreher is right to be as angry as he is precisely because the Pope is the Vicar of Christ. That means he should be held to a higher standard. When he’s not concerning prudential decisions that are part of his responsiblity, he opens himself to legitimate criticism.

    Frankly, Eric, all this reflexive defense of the Pope is not participation in the Catholic faith. It’s participation in a personality cult.

  • Eric, have you ever considered the possibility that Rod Dreher just may be right concerning the Pope? After all, JPII hasn’t exactly been enthusiastic about disciplining bishops for lesser offenses—and he allowed Cdl. Law to keep his posts on curial committees after Law resigned.

    Dreher is right to be as angry as he is precisely because the Pope is the Vicar of Christ. That means he should be held to a higher standard. When he’s not concerning prudential decisions that are part of his responsiblity, he opens himself to legitimate criticism.

    Frankly, Eric, all this reflexive defense of the Pope is not participation in the Catholic faith. It’s participation in a personality cult.

  • Hello Rod,

    Weigel in Witness to Hope notes some of the extraordinary successes the Holy Father had when he was Archbishop of Krakow and which catapulted him to the papacy in no small measure: his boundless energy, parish visitations, his innovative Synod for implementing V2, his groundbreaking theological work at Jagiellonian University, the surge in vocations he oversaw.  Wiegel also closes with one other observation:

    “By some lights, Karol Wojtyla was not a terribly good manager as Archbishop of Krakow. He was, some charged, too interested in dialogue with those who made problems for his plans. He was not a detail-oriented adminsitrator. He didn’t fire recalcitrants and replace them with his own people. His respect for older people and his distaste for making a spectacle of anyone led him to leave some men in office whom others would have removed, and caused him to promotepriests whom others would have preferred to see sidetracked in their careers…His willingness to take a long-range view of virtually every issue was both a blessing and a cause of problems.”

    All of which seems like a preview of some aspects of his papacy.  I’m sure we all have a good idea of which ones I’m talking about.

    I do not expect this or any single pope to solve an institutional crisis that took generations to build.

    You have done some remarkable work on a subject that needed to be discussed but you will perhaps forgive some of us if we sometimes draw precisely that impression of your atitude.

    But I do not believe that his personal holiness, which is undeniable, should obviate all criticism of his calamitous governance of the Church.

    The pejorative aside, I think very few would think it should.

    Who gave us these bishops, after all?

    Indeed.

    He has made some pretty bad appointments at times.  I think he would be the first to agree with that assessment today.

    It is only partially mitigating that he had to work with what he had to work with; or that there are hundreds of bishoprical appointments he must sign off on every year.

    Who fails to hold them to account?

    I think the Holy Father has lots of company on that score.

    Which reality no doubt leads the few voices in the wilderness an awareness of their lonely status.

    We blog people have been predicting Rod will leave the Church.  I hope not, we need to have someone who will publicly question this situation.  Sadly it seems as if it will go on and on.  The Pope has made some good appointments recently and maybe he has better people around him to consult with now, but my understanding is that bishops offer up names of men to succeed them and then they are decided on by Rome.  I can’t imagine what their vetting procedure is given who we have, but maybe that has improved also.

    I’m also still waiting for the apostolic visit to the seminaries….

    I guess we are in one of those periods in history where there is much about the Church that is in chaos.  We just have to live with it and pray I guess.  But all of this terribly saddens me.

  • Hello Rod,

    Well you’re right about one thing: Most of us here know you mainly by what you post on St. Blogs. If DMN is linked its invariably because of a Scandal story.  Otherwise we don’t have cause to go there very often.

    I think the Scandal does need to be talked about.  I think we need to understand why it has happened.  I think we need to work to find ways to clean up the mess.  I think you have done yeoman work on the subject.

    I think, however, that it’s less that the Great Enema is (nearly) all you talk about on St. Blog’s than that you discuss it with such vehemence.  And I am not talking about mere righteous anger, which we all share when we hear these things.  I mean rather making worst assumptions of men who deserve at least slightly better.  Example: “:Worst case scenario: the Pope knows hehen you put it that way, so do I. But let me ask you: what other conclusion is warranted by the record? John Paul is an extremely intelligent man, and until Parkinson’s all but immobilized him, was vigorous and knowledgeable about what was going on in the world. It is not credible to believe that he’s been in the dark about these scandals, the gravity of which were known to every American bishop as far back as 1985, and which were made public by the news media on many occasions since then. If you said to him, “Holy Father, are you indifferent to the fate of children abused by priests, and the cover-up by bishops?”—I’m sure he’d say no, of course not, how could you say such a thing.

    But he has surely known about these problems for a long time. It is undeniable that he has known about them since 2002, because he spoke about them. And yet, we have not seen him talk much at all about this crisis, much less call for the resignation of the worst bishops. He was passionate in his opposition to the Iraq war, made many public statements, met with all kinds of people from all over the world to try to stop it. And as sick as he is!

    There can be no doubt that if he thought this was a big problem, he’d address it. He doesn’t think it’s a big problem, or at least not something worth spending much energy on. And you bet I have a problem with that. I see him as caring more about the Church’s image than the fate of little children and their families. That is wrong, and it needs to be said.

    If that makes me cynical in your eyes, so be it. I’m tired of lying to myself so I can feel at peace about where the Church is now, and is headed. I had a lady call me at the News today to tell me she was a Catholic, and she was cancelling her subscription because of our story on Sunday about the sex-abusing priests in Rome, and the editorial that followed. I talked with her cordially for 20 minutes about the issues involved here. She’s an orthodox Catholic who agrees up and down with me about the gravity of the crisis, about the failure of the bishops, and on and on. She even agreed with me that we have to do something to get the Church cleaned up.

    And yet, she is cancelling her subscription because “I just feel that I have to do something to stop this Catholic bashing in the media, especially this criticism of the Holy Father.” It was totally an emotional response.

  • Richard: I have great difficulty drawing the conclusion that hethey think that is not representative of those who lead the faith.

    The majority of American Catholics are like my neighbors.  That sucks in a circular way.  But the only people who could have made any difference to these people regarding the scandal were the hierarchy.  Plane and simple.  Beginning with the Pope. 

    In other words, it could have been me, who made my final break with the Eucharist, if I’d been ten years younger.

    Sorry for the dramatics.  But this [expletive] haunts me.

  • Let me add something. I know lots of people are offended by my comments about the Pope. I do not believe that one’s Catholicism stands or falls based on how one feels about the way this pontiff has governed—or rather, failed to govern—the Church.

  • I need to say that I agree with Rod.  An additional thought for me is why hasn’t the Pope explained his philosophy on how to deal with this problem, especially since it continues as the DMN points out?  He will explain his feelings about nearly everything else, why not this?  He knows how upset people are about this, why won’t he show leadership in this regard?  He has to know how it appears to the world, why not speak to that?

    I believe Rod is right in his assessment of this and I don’t think that a person can’t criticize the Pope. 

    As to his tone and cynicism, I think given the gravity of the matter it’s rightly called for.

    On another blog people have been predicting Rod will leave the Church.  I hope not, we need to have someone who will publicly question this situation.  Sadly it seems as if it will go on and on.  The Pope has made some good appointments recently and maybe he has better people around him to consult with now, but my understanding is that bishops offer up names of men to succeed them and then they are decided on by Rome.  I can’t imagine what their vetting procedure is given who we have, but maybe that has improved also.

    I’m also still waiting for the apostolic visit to the seminaries….

    I guess we are in one of those periods in history where there is much about the Church that is in chaos.  We just have to live with it and pray I guess.  But all of this terribly saddens me.

  • Hello Rod,

    Do I wish the Pope had done more about the Scandal?  Would I have done things differently?  Heck yes.

    I would just make three more points by way of refining my position:

    1) It is fair game to criticize how the Pope runs the Church, insofar as we understand him to “run” it.  Weigel – not exactly a strident critic of the Pope – makes clear not only that these are defects of how he approaches his vocation as prelate, but that it has been the case long before he came to the see of St. Peter.

    But to say that is one thing.  To say he’s a liar, which is (it seems to me) what you have said here, is another.  There are instances where it’s hard not to draw that conclusion with some certain bishops and chancery rats I could think of.  But even given how few truly good bishops we may be blessed with stateside, I hate to just assume it right out of the Gate in every instance.  Especially of Karol Wojtyla.  I also think it uncharitable to essentially dismiss any positive act a bishop might make as inadequate or a distraction from dealing with the Scandal and associated folderol.

    2. I think this point has been made before but the fact is that John Paul II sees himself as a man of Vatican II. He takes the collegiality promoted by V2 very seriously.  Even when he retains the canonical power to remove, discipline or interfre with a bishop he is reluctant to do so.  And this is a posture which has been demanded by so much fo the clergy, the prelacy, the laity, and world beyond over the years. 

    In this case it is a posture which I happen to think is more harmful than good in this context.  It’s certainly open to critique.  How many times have I thought “I wish the Holy Father would can Bishop X!”? But it is essential to know why he acts as he does – again, as Mark Shea has pointed out on numerous occasions. It goes to motives.

    3. What does the Pope know? Do we really know?  He’s not detail oriented to begin with.  There are over 6,000 bishops, over 400,000 priests, several thousand seminaries and over a billion Catholics in the world.  In large part the Pope, even a globetrotting Pope, has to rely on what his bishops and underlings tell him.  Can there be any doubt that many American prelates have downplayed the true nature of what has gone on in their dioceses?

    Allof which is not to suggest that the Pope does not bear some responsibility in all this. He does.  But that&88217;s a long way from concluding he’s lying. 

    best regards

  • Hello Rod,

    Do I wish the Pope had done more about the Scandal?  Would I have done things differently?  Heck yes.

    I would just make three more points by way of refining my position:

    1) It is fair game to criticize how the Pope runs the Church, insofar as we understand him to “run” it.  Weigel – not exactly a strident critic of the Pope – makes clear not only that these are defects of how he approaches his vocation as prelate, but that it has been the case long before he came to the see of St. Peter.

    But to say that is one thing.  To say he’s a liar, which is (it seems to me) what you have said here, is another.  There are instances where it’s hard not to draw that conclusion with some certain bishops and chancery rats I could think of.  But even given how few truly good bishops we may be blessed with stateside, I hate to just assume it right out of the Gate in every instance.  Especially of Karol Wojtyla.  I also think it uncharitable to essentially dismiss any positive act a bishop might make as inadequate or a distraction from dealing with the Scandal and associated folderol.

    2. I think this point has been made before but the fact is that John Paul II sees himself as a man of Vatican II. He takes the collegiality promoted by V2 very seriously.  Even when he retains the canonical power to remove, discipline or interfre with a bishop he is reluctant to do so.  And this is a posture which has been demanded by so much fo the clergy, the prelacy, the laity, and world beyond over the years. 

    In this case it is a posture which I happen to think is more harmful than good in this context.  It’s certainly open to critique.  How many times have I thought “I wish the Holy Father would can Bishop X!”? But it is essential to know why he acts as he does – again, as Mark Shea has pointed out on numerous occasions. It goes to motives.

    3. What does the Pope know? Do we really know?  He’s not detail oriented to begin with.  There are over 6,000 bishops, over 400,000 priests, several thousand seminaries and over a billion Catholics in the world.  In large part the Pope, even a globetrotting Pope, has to rely on what his bishops and underlings tell him.  Can there be any doubt that many American prelates have downplayed the true nature of what has gone on in their dioceses?

    Allof which is not to suggest that the Pope does not bear some responsibility in all this. He does.  But that’s a long way from concluding he’s lying. 

    best regards

  • Rod, you called the Holy Father a liar. I do not think he is a liar, unless you can prove that he deliberately stated something that he knew was untrue.

    Nor do I think defending him from the charge of lying is “idolatry.” Contra Joseph, I’m not offering a “reflexive defense,” nor do I go looking for opportunities to play Defender of the Pope. (I find most discussions of The Scandal to be almost completely unedifying.)

    <i>Listen to what you wrote:<i> “If the Pope said tomorrow that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, Ik@yahoo.com
    http://catholiclight.stblogs.org
    127.0.0.1
    2004-09-14 22:43:58
    2004-09-15 02:43:58
    Right: this isn’t a new springtime.  Can any historians out there confirm what I’ve heard before—that this is a time like that of the Catholic Reformation, with widespread corruption, but also admirable saints?

  • Rod, you called the Holy Father a liar. I do not think he is a liar, unless you can prove that he deliberately stated something that he knew was untrue.

    Nor do I think defending him from the charge of lying is “idolatry.” Contra Joseph, I’m not offering a “reflexive defense,” nor do I go looking for opportunities to play Defender of the Pope. (I find most discussions of The Scandal to be almost completely unedifying.)

    <i>Listen to what you wrote:<i> “If the Pope said tomorrow that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, Ince July, so if health reasons are cited in his case, it’ll be legit.

  • Eric:

    I know you were posting to Rod, but I have one question after reading your post The Holy Father has known the devastion of this scandal at least since 2002, I’ve never heard one word of rebuke from him since then.  He’s seen clear to rebuke others in the past in a very public way including those who promoted liberation theology. 

    Maybe others are right and he can’t simply fire a bishop.  But what he could have done is stand up and proclaim what happened as evil and rebuke the bishops who permitted it.  I simply can’t understand why he didn’t do that.  He said this behavior shouldn’t be tolerated, etc., etc.  But yet has said very little else.  And much of what has been promised has not happened, i.e. the apostolic visit.  I know the Church thinks in centuries rather than in the here and now, but it shouldn’t take almost two years to do this. 

    And Eric, everyone has an angle to push, or they would be dead.  Everyone believes in something and that’s usually personified in their actions.

    Did the Pope lie?  I don’t know.  But he’s given a lot of nothing as a reason for people to feel at least that something fishy is up by the lack of direct statement and action towards his brother bishops.

    He could have brought moral authority back to the Church with one simple press release condemning the horrible governance of some of the bishops.  It could have ben a beautiful teaching moment where he emphasized how the lack of following of the teachings of the Church resulted in this scandal.

    He could have pulled a Zell Miller, come to Jesus, talk and energized the faithful.  Yet nada.

    As you can read,  I do think there are sufficient reasons to be cynical.  There is just a huge split from the brave, holy leader we knew before the scandal, and the silence we have experienced since.  As a Catholic who’s going nowhere this is very difficult to reconcile.  And I believe, even though we are just laity, we deserve an answer.  Many are flocking away from the Church.  The time for manners is over.  Having lived in NYC for 11 years I would love to see some New Yorker bluntness applied here.  And an equally plain spoken response from the Vatican.

    O.k.  Verbally burn me alive.  But that’s how I think, and feel about this.

  • I trust the Holy Spirit to renew the Church, though I don’t expect it to happen in my lifetime. I do not trust this Pope anymore. I’m sorry, but there it is. I am only obliged as a Catholic to believe that when he teaches on faith and morality, he is protected from error. I believe that. But I cannot pretend that his leadership has been something I do not believe it to have been. And I refuse to believe we’re in the middle of a “new springtime,” which is pious cant. Why would you want to believe such a thing, Eric, when it’s manifestly untrue?

  • Right: this isn’t a new springtime.  Can any historians out there confirm what I’ve heard before—that this is a time like that of the Catholic Reformation, with widespread corruption, but also admirable saints?

  • Thanks for standing by me, Kathleen. I’m like you: by the grace of God, I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to stand here and say that there is deep, sick corruption in the Church, and that John Paul, who has been so courageous and outspoken about everything under the sun, is afraid to name it, and afraid to stand against it. The Holy Father can apologize profoundly to every group in the world who has ever been unjustly treated by the Church, but he cannot face his very own people who were violated in horrible ways by his own priests, and then in many cases emotionally and spiritually abused by bishops who told them to shut up and get lost. That is disgraceful, and it shouldn’t be so hard for followers of Jesus Christ to say it.

    I spoke today to a journalist who has written a lot about the sex abuse scandal, and who knows personally many Catholics and former Catholics around the country. He told me, “I’ve heard [over the years] from Catholics angry at the media for writing about this. But as soon as the scandal touches their family, or someone they know, they change their tune. When you know personally how bad this is for children who’ve suffered it, and their families, it’s hard to hold on to what you used to believe about the Church.”

    True.

  • Thanks for standing by me, Kathleen. I’m like you: by the grace of God, I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to stand here and say that there is deep, sick corruption in the Church, and that John Paul, who has been so courageous and outspoken about everything under the sun, is afraid to name it, and afraid to stand against it. The Holy Father can apologize profoundly to every group in the world who has ever been unjustly treated by the Church, but he cannot face his very own people who were violated in horrible ways by his own priests, and then in many cases emotionally and spiritually abused by bishops who told them to shut up and get lost. That is disgraceful, and it shouldn’t be so hard for followers of Jesus Christ to say it.

    I spoke today to a journalist who has written a lot about the sex abuse scandal, and who knows personally many Catholics and former Catholics around the country. He told me, “I’ve heard [over the years] from Catholics angry at the media for writing about this. But as soon as the scandal touches their family, or someone they know, they change their tune. When you know personally how bad this is for children who’ve suffered it, and their families, it’s hard to hold on to what you used to believe about the Church.”

    True.

  • I heard from a priest today, a man I consider to be an “admirable saint” because of how he’s suffered with joy for the faith, at the hands of corrupt superiors. I’d written to him about these times, telling him how hard it was for me these days to feel anything but anger at the institutional Church. He wrote back to say that he sympathizes entirely, and said the best thing to do—the only thing to do, really—is to live as if we were in the Chinese underground Church, and do our best to teach our kids the real faith, and pray for renewal. He also said that we can take comfort in knowing that we’re in the company of great Catholics like Thomas More and John Fisher, who took the losing side with courage and joy, knowing it was the losing side but knowing also that it was the side of truth and right.

    I sure don’t claim to be anything like the spiritual athlete that More and Fisher were, but I do hope that I have just the tiniest bit of their courage to stand my ground and speak what I believe to be truth, no matter what. And I hope more than anything that I have the courage and grace that they did to be faithful to the Catholic Church to the end.

  • I heard from a priest today, a man I consider to be an “admirable saint” because of how he’s suffered with joy for the faith, at the hands of corrupt superiors. I’d written to him about these times, telling him how hard it was for me these days to feel anything but anger at the institutional Church. He wrote back to say that he sympathizes entirely, and said the best thing to do—the only thing to do, really—is to live as if we were in the Chinese underground Church, and do our best to teach our kids the real faith, and pray for renewal. He also said that we can take comfort in knowing that we’re in the company of great Catholics like Thomas More and John Fisher, who took the losing side with courage and joy, knowing it was the losing side but knowing also that it was the side of truth and right.

    I sure don’t claim to be anything like the spiritual athlete that More and Fisher were, but I do hope that I have just the tiniest bit of their courage to stand my ground and speak what I believe to be truth, no matter what. And I hope more than anything that I have the courage and grace that they did to be faithful to the Catholic Church to the end.

  • One more thing, because I’m sure the usual suspects will jump all over what I just said if I don’t clarify something. I’m a lousy sinner, easy to anger, slow to forgive, and I have a big fat mouth. God forgive me for those faults. I’m trying my best not to be a pious coward, a dissembler or a flatterer in the face of a situation that will never be fixed unless those of us in this Church who are sick and tired of it start acting like Christian men and women instead of cowed sheep. That woman who called me today to cancel her subscription, and who agreed with everything I said about the cancer eating away at the Church, but who still didn’t want Churchmen criticized, is a big part of the problem.

  • One more thing, because I’m sure the usual suspects will jump all over what I just said if I don’t clarify something. I’m a lousy sinner, easy to anger, slow to forgive, and I have a big fat mouth. God forgive me for those faults. I’m trying my best not to be a pious coward, a dissembler or a flatterer in the face of a situation that will never be fixed unless those of us in this Church who are sick and tired of it start acting like Christian men and women instead of cowed sheep. That woman who called me today to cancel her subscription, and who agreed with everything I said about the cancer eating away at the Church, but who still didn’t want Churchmen criticized, is a big part of the problem.

  • The reason I can see what Rod has stated as true, and based on my own observation of the situation, is that I am not reporter or theologian or Catholic student.  I am a revert of 10 years.  I never went away from the faith morally because the truth of those teachings, based on what I saw going on around me, was obvious.  But everyone who turned 18 in New England stopped going to Church with their parents.  The seeds were planted, but no real faith ever made it through in my CCD.  I was taught to be nice.  The rest I learned that identified with Catholic teaching was common sense based on my life experience.  That’s why it was so easy to stop attending Mass.  I didn’t even really know that the Eucharist wasn’t just a symbol.  It wasn’t laziness on my part, it WASN’T emphasized at all.

    This compared to kids who are really raised in the faith.  Look at how beautiful they are.  Think Franciscan kids, think Christendom kids, think Mark Shea kids.  God, I wish they were my neighbors.  But they are not.  My neighbors are fallen away Catholics who will never go back.  They got the final shot with the scandal and lack of forthrightness they expected from the Holy Father based on their Orthodox Catholic Mom’s witness.  It didn’t happen.  This burns me to my core.  I got lucky.  This didn’t happen ten years ago and I got the chance to learn my faith.  My neighbors probably never will.  And given that Roger the Doger is still on throne and Cardinal Law is in Rome what are people like my neighbors to think?

    More than that, if you ask me what I say to them as witness, I tell them that I despise what the bishops have done and can’t in good concience give THEM a penny.  I give when it’s going to my parish but not otherwise.  My diocese is good and I also give directly to other Catholic charities, but I can’t give to the heirarchy.  I can’t even begin to get into the details of “we get the bishops we deserve” because that ain’t going nowhere.

    I try to witness to life and the Eucharist and all of that.  But generally I find it falls on deaf ears.  My neighbors respect me because I am nice and offer help and all of that.  But they think that is not representative of those who lead the faith.

    The majority of American Catholics are like my neighbors.  That sucks in a circular way.  But the only people who could have made any difference to these people regarding the scandal were the hierarchy.  Plane and simple.  Beginning with the Pope. 

    In other words, it could have been me, who made my final break with the Eucharist, if I’d been ten years younger.

    Sorry for the dramatics.  But this [expletive] haunts me.

  • The reason I can see what Rod has stated as true, and based on my own observation of the situation, is that I am not reporter or theologian or Catholic student.  I am a revert of 10 years.  I never went away from the faith morally because the truth of those teachings, based on what I saw going on around me, was obvious.  But everyone who turned 18 in New England stopped going to Church with their parents.  The seeds were planted, but no real faith ever made it through in my CCD.  I was taught to be nice.  The rest I learned that identified with Catholic teaching was common sense based on my life experience.  That’s why it was so easy to stop attending Mass.  I didn’t even really know that the Eucharist wasn’t just a symbol.  It wasn’t laziness on my part, it WASN’T emphasized at all.

    This compared to kids who are really raised in the faith.  Look at how beautiful they are.  Think Franciscan kids, think Christendom kids, think Mark Shea kids.  God, I wish they were my neighbors.  But they are not.  My neighbors are fallen away Catholics who will never go back.  They got the final shot with the scandal and lack of forthrightness they expected from the Holy Father based on their Orthodox Catholic Mom’s witness.  It didn’t happen.  This burns me to my core.  I got lucky.  This didn’t happen ten years ago and I got the chance to learn my faith.  My neighbors probably never will.  And given that Roger the Doger is still on throne and Cardinal Law is in Rome what are people like my neighbors to think?

    More than that, if you ask me what I say to them as witness, I tell them that I despise what the bishops have done and can’t in good concience give THEM a penny.  I give when it’s going to my parish but not otherwise.  My diocese is good and I also give directly to other Catholic charities, but I can’t give to the heirarchy.  I can’t even begin to get into the details of “we get the bishops we deserve” because that ain’t going nowhere.

    I try to witness to life and the Eucharist and all of that.  But generally I find it falls on deaf ears.  My neighbors respect me because I am nice and offer help and all of that.  But they think that is not representative of those who lead the faith.

    The majority of American Catholics are like my neighbors.  That sucks in a circular way.  But the only people who could have made any difference to these people regarding the scandal were the hierarchy.  Plane and simple.  Beginning with the Pope. 

    In other words, it could have been me, who made my final break with the Eucharist, if I’d been ten years younger.

    Sorry for the dramatics.  But this [expletive] haunts me.

  • There’s a huge difference between “criticism” and “calumny,” Rod, and you’ve crossed the line into the latter.

    I think it’s curious that you automatically think I agree that it’s a “new springtime,” even though I daresay that you have no idea what my opinions are on just about anything. I merely said that the Holy Spirit would renew the Church in the fulness of time. Perhaps that will be in a century, perhaps it will be next week. I trust that God will bring light from darkness, as he always does.

    If God has granted you the clarity to see the bends and twists of Providence, more so than the Holy Father, then I stand in awe of your spiritual gift. You’ll excuse many of us if we stick with the Pope on that one.

    This isn’t the first time that the shepherds of Christ’s flock have betrayed the Church. There was the Arian movement, for example; and there was the unbecoming behavior of Peter and the apostles on Good Friday. Sadly, this won’t be the last betrayal. If “what you believe about the Church” includes a belief in the personal holiness of those who lead it, then it isn’t a bad thing to divest yourself of that error.

    As a side note, I used to agree that we should be like the Christians in the catacombs. Now I think that’s complete bull. We can proclaim the faith publicly without any government sanction, and we have a duty to do just that. You want to self-dramatize and pretend that The Man is about to throw you to the lions? That’s fine, but it’s a fantasy.

    I don’t want to lose—I want to win, and I hope you’ll try to win, too. And I’m not going to mope around and wait for someone else to do something. In my little corner of the world, in my little family with three little kids, I’m going to do my part. If everyone else does, then we’ll have ourselves a renewal.

  • There’s a huge difference between “criticism” and “calumny,” Rod, and you’ve crossed the line into the latter.

    I think it’s curious that you automatically think I agree that it’s a “new springtime,” even though I daresay that you have no idea what my opinions are on just about anything. I merely said that the Holy Spirit would renew the Church in the fulness of time. Perhaps that will be in a century, perhaps it will be next week. I trust that God will bring light from darkness, as he always does.

    If God has granted you the clarity to see the bends and twists of Providence, more so than the Holy Father, then I stand in awe of your spiritual gift. You’ll excuse many of us if we stick with the Pope on that one.

    This isn’t the first time that the shepherds of Christ’s flock have betrayed the Church. There was the Arian movement, for example; and there was the unbecoming behavior of Peter and the apostles on Good Friday. Sadly, this won’t be the last betrayal. If “what you believe about the Church” includes a belief in the personal holiness of those who lead it, then it isn’t a bad thing to divest yourself of that error.

    As a side note, I used to agree that we should be like the Christians in the catacombs. Now I think that’s complete bull. We can proclaim the faith publicly without any government sanction, and we have a duty to do just that. You want to self-dramatize and pretend that The Man is about to throw you to the lions? That’s fine, but it’s a fantasy.

    I don’t want to lose—I want to win, and I hope you’ll try to win, too. And I’m not going to mope around and wait for someone else to do something. In my little corner of the world, in my little family with three little kids, I’m going to do my part. If everyone else does, then we’ll have ourselves a renewal.

  • There’s a huge difference between “criticism” and “calumny,” Rod, and you’ve crossed the line into the latter.

    I think it’s curious that you automatically think I agree that it’s a “new springtime,” even though I daresay that you have no idea what my opinions are on just about anything. I merely said that the Holy Spirit would renew the Church in the fulness of time. Perhaps that will be in a century, perhaps it will be next week. I trust that God will bring light from darkness, as he always does.

    If God has granted you the clarity to see the bends and twists of Providence, more so than the Holy Father, then I stand in awe of your spiritual gift. You’ll excuse many of us if we stick with the Pope on that one.

    This isn’t the first time that the shepherds of Christ’s flock have betrayed the Church. There was the Arian movement, for example; and there was the unbecoming behavior of Peter and the apostles on Good Friday. Sadly, this won’t be the last betrayal. If “what you believe about the Church” includes a belief in the personal holiness of those who lead it, then it isn’t a bad thing to divest yourself of that error.

    As a side note, I used to agree that we should be like the Christians in the catacombs. Now I think that’s complete bull. We can proclaim the faith publicly without any government sanction, and we have a duty to do just that. You want to self-dramatize and pretend that The Man is about to throw you to the lions? That’s fine, but it’s a fantasy.

    I don’t want to lose—I want to win, and I hope you’ll try to win, too. And I’m not going to mope around and wait for someone else to do something. In my little corner of the world, in my little family with three little kids, I’m going to do my part. If everyone else does, then we’ll have ourselves a renewal.

  • I’ve not even read the comments this morning, but I will when I get out of my next meeting. Before I do, though, I want to say that I thought about it overnight, and I really do wish I hadn’t called the Pope a liar. It was a rash thing to have said, and I can’t substantiate it—if by “liar” one means someone who consciously told an untruth with the intent to deceive. I repent of that.

    However, I do wish to say that I believe the Holy Father, like all the bishops, have a certain mindset that allows lies to be told “for the good of the Church,” and indeed thinks that practice to be normal, and of no great moral consequence. I saw my friend Peggy Noonan and others hung out to dry by the Pope’s spokesman in the “It is as it was” controversy. They believed what Navarro-Valls told them that the Pope had said, and what he gave them permission to publicize. But when the heat got put on, he backtracked, said he’d never said it, etc.—when there was documentary evidence that he was lying. He lied to protect the Pope and the Church, and in so doing damaged the good name of faithful Catholics who made the mistake of trusting him.

    I think that attitude is general among institutional churchmen. And I don’t think John Paul is immune.

    More later. I just wanted to be on the record saying that I oughtn’t have called John Paul a liar. But I do think that the episcopate and those who serve them have a shaky relationship with the truth in daily life.

  • I’ve not even read the comments this morning, but I will when I get out of my next meeting. Before I do, though, I want to say that I thought about it overnight, and I really do wish I hadn’t called the Pope a liar. It was a rash thing to have said, and I can’t substantiate it—if by “liar” one means someone who consciously told an untruth with the intent to deceive. I repent of that.

    However, I do wish to say that I believe the Holy Father, like all the bishops, have a certain mindset that allows lies to be told “for the good of the Church,” and indeed thinks that practice to be normal, and of no great moral consequence. I saw my friend Peggy Noonan and others hung out to dry by the Pope’s spokesman in the “It is as it was” controversy. They believed what Navarro-Valls told them that the Pope had said, and what he gave them permission to publicize. But when the heat got put on, he backtracked, said he’d never said it, etc.—when there was documentary evidence that he was lying. He lied to protect the Pope and the Church, and in so doing damaged the good name of faithful Catholics who made the mistake of trusting him.

    I think that attitude is general among institutional churchmen. And I don’t think John Paul is immune.

    More later. I just wanted to be on the record saying that I oughtn’t have called John Paul a liar. But I do think that the episcopate and those who serve them have a shaky relationship with the truth in daily life.

  • I know of one priest transfered to Rome, about 9 years ago, after abuse allegations. Nothing further was said and there was no follow-up. Obviously there is collusion at some level in the hierarchy, otherwise this individual would have been brought to justice. But from there to say “the Pope knew” is just a bit of a stretch, in my opinion. It’s a bit like claiming he’s personally met every priest, deacon and nun in The Church.

  • I know of one priest transfered to Rome, about 9 years ago, after abuse allegations. Nothing further was said and there was no follow-up. Obviously there is collusion at some level in the hierarchy, otherwise this individual would have been brought to justice. But from there to say “the Pope knew” is just a bit of a stretch, in my opinion. It’s a bit like claiming he’s personally met every priest, deacon and nun in The Church.

  • I know of one priest transfered to Rome, about 9 years ago, after abuse allegations. Nothing further was said and there was no follow-up. Obviously there is collusion at some level in the hierarchy, otherwise this individual would have been brought to justice. But from there to say “the Pope knew” is just a bit of a stretch, in my opinion. It’s a bit like claiming he’s personally met every priest, deacon and nun in The Church.

  • John, perhaps the Pope doesn’t know every individual instance. But he certainly does know the collective failure of the hierarchy to do anything about the biggest challenge to Catholic moral leadership in centuries, yet does nothing but offer fancy rhetoric.

    I suggest you and everybody else go back to pel’s post near the top of this thread. He summarizes the situation very effectively.

    I also want to support Rod Dreher publically in his views. The fact that Rod might have erred in calling this Pope a “liar” doesn’t negate from the courageous stand he’s taking—one that exposes most blogging Catholics as nothing but infatuated members of a papal personality cult.

    The Japanese have a saying: The nail that sticks out shall be hammered. That’s what “faithful” Catholics have been doing to Rod the past two years. Yet Rod is a nail made of titanium. God bless him!

  • John, perhaps the Pope doesn’t know every individual instance. But he certainly does know the collective failure of the hierarchy to do anything about the biggest challenge to Catholic moral leadership in centuries, yet does nothing but offer fancy rhetoric.

    I suggest you and everybody else go back to pel’s post near the top of this thread. He summarizes the situation very effectively.

    I also want to support Rod Dreher publically in his views. The fact that Rod might have erred in calling this Pope a “liar” doesn’t negate from the courageous stand he’s taking—one that exposes most blogging Catholics as nothing but infatuated members of a papal personality cult.

    The Japanese have a saying: The nail that sticks out shall be hammered. That’s what “faithful” Catholics have been doing to Rod the past two years. Yet Rod is a nail made of titanium. God bless him!

  • John, perhaps the Pope doesn’t know every individual instance. But he certainly does know the collective failure of the hierarchy to do anything about the biggest challenge to Catholic moral leadership in centuries, yet does nothing but offer fancy rhetoric.

    I suggest you and everybody else go back to pel’s post near the top of this thread. He summarizes the situation very effectively.

    I also want to support Rod Dreher publically in his views. The fact that Rod might have erred in calling this Pope a “liar” doesn’t negate from the courageous stand he’s taking—one that exposes most blogging Catholics as nothing but infatuated members of a papal personality cult.

    The Japanese have a saying: The nail that sticks out shall be hammered. That’s what “faithful” Catholics have been doing to Rod the past two years. Yet Rod is a nail made of titanium. God bless him!

  • Hello Rod,

    I have read your comments today and thank you for them.

    Making such an admission is one of the hardest things to do.  I hope I am as capable when I find myself in a similar situation – as I am sure will happen at some point in life.

    My reading of Peggy Noonan is not that she feels like she was hung out to dry per se. No doubt you are in closer communication with her than I am and can correct me on that point.  But I would agree with your position that there is a mindset in parts of the hierarchy that “allows lies to be told spot.com
    66.255.204.12
    2004-09-18 17:45:49
    2004-09-18 21:45:49
    Eric, it’s not that the government will get me if I tell the religious truth (yet), but it’s the local catholic establishment who does.  I can’t tell you how crazy it is to convert to Catholicism and then find this morass in ALL the local parishes in the diocese.  I know exactly what Rod is talking about.  I’m a convert too.

    Kathleen’s posts are perfect, I understand exactly.  This is the truth out here too.

    So let me get you straight here, Eric.  You said, “Thereily of a spiritual nature and that “the efforts of the bishop to inquire into matters of sexual misconduct were no different from a typical employer investigating the misconduct of an employee.” In other words, there’s nothing specifically religious in that context. It also means that investigators don’t get a free hand in every personnel record, just in the documents that involve sexual misconduct.

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    pghtochi@aol.com

    67.173.50.27
    2004-09-12 09:02:29
    2004-09-12 13:02:29
    The Diocese of Rockford IL, has had only one case in the courts since the Charter was signed.  They fought turning over one personnel record for over a year.  The proscecutors went to trial without the information.  After the conviction, the lawyer for the diocese announced, and I quote, “in the spirit of openness and transparency” they would turn the file over to the judge.  But wait, now a civil suit from the victims was filed.  The diocese announced the file would not be turned over, after all.  When the accusation was first made about this priest the diocesan review board sprung into action.  According to a judge on the board, they made a few phone calls.  They couldn’t come to a conclusion whether he should be removed or not, so they left him at a parish with a school.  The Charter works better if you don’t actually have a case of sexual molestation of a child.  Our Bishop Doran is on the Ad Hoc Sex Abuse Committee of the USCCB.

  • Hello Rod,

    I have read your comments today and thank you for them.

    Making such an admission is one of the hardest things to do.  I hope I am as capable when I find myself in a similar situation – as I am sure will happen at some point in life.

    My reading of Peggy Noonan is not that she feels like she was hung out to dry per se. No doubt you are in closer communication with her than I am and can correct me on that point.  But I would agree with your position that there is a mindset in parts of the hierarchy that “allows lies to be told uthor_url>http://extremecatholic.blogspot.com
    24.29.134.67
    2004-09-12 18:12:53
    2004-09-12 22:12:53
    Dom, another point is that the public knowledge of such fugitives enjoying a comfortable life in Rome may actually embolden other sexual abusers that they too can evade American justice in the event they are arrested and given bail.

  • In “The Gathering Storm,” Winston Churchill sums up his case against the willfill blindness and cowardice of the British establishment in the 1930s, leading to the catastrophic rise of Hitler:

    “We must regard as deeply blameworthy before history the conduct not only of the British National and mainly Conservative Government, but of the Labour-Socialist and Liberal Parties, both in and out of office, during this fatal period. Delight in smooth-sounding platitudes, refusal to face unpleasant facts, desire for popularity and electoral success irrespective of the vital interests of the State, genuine love of peace and pathetic belief that love can be its sole foundation, obvious lack of intellectual vigour in both leaders of the British Coalition Government, marked ignorance of Europe and aversion from its problems in Mr. Baldwin, the strong and violent pacifism which at this time dominated the Labour-Socialist Party, the utter devotion of the Liberals to sentiment apart from reality, the failure and worse than failure of Mr. Lloyd George, the erstwhile great war-time leader, to address himself to the continuity of his work, the whole supported by overwhelming majorities in both Houses of Parliament: all these constituted a picture of British fautity and fecklessness which, though devoid of guile, was not devoid of guilt, and, though free from wickedness or evil design, played a definite part in unleashing upon the world of horrors and miseries which, even so far as they have unfolded, are already beyond comparison in human experience.”

    I believe that decades from now, in the ruins of whatever happens to the Roman Catholic Church in the West, a very similar judgment will be rendered against the entire hierarchy and institutional leadership from the top on down, in the post-Vatican II era.

  • Rod writes that the Pope “doesn’t care to see, so he doesn’t see”, based on the Paetz case described in John Allen’s column.

    Allen wrote: If it should turn out, however, that concerns about his behavior date back considerably earlier, it could raise potentially explosive doubts about John Paule reasons, Joe.  I didn’t say they were good ones!

    On the other hand, your prediction of God’s judgment on Pope John Paul sounds arrogant.  But you’re probably used to hearing that complaint by now.

  • Eric, it’s not that the government will get me if I tell the religious truth (yet), but it’s the local catholic establishment who does.  I can’t tell you how crazy it is to convert to Catholicism and then find this morass in ALL the local parishes in the diocese.  I know exactly what Rod is talking about.  I’m a convert too.

    Kathleen’s posts are perfect, I understand exactly.  This is the truth out here too.

    So let me get you straight here, Eric.  You said, “Therement_date>
    2004-09-13 17:18:01
    Actually Rod, it turns out now that Krenn is actually in ill health. But it’s apparently one of those “self-inflicted” ailments which could explain how he didn’t know what was going on in his seminary. So the call for resignation due to health reasons is technically true, just not the whole truth.

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