Half-billion dollar butcher’s bill

Half-billion dollar butcher’s bill

Catching up with news from last week, the bishops’ conference revealed last Thursday that in 2005 alone the cost to the Church of the Scandal was $467 million. That’s nearly a half billion dollars paid out to lawyers, therapists, victims in settlements, training programs, background checks, and more. More than $399 million was for settlements alone. Since 1992, the total is $1.2 billion, not including undisclosed payments made in 2003.

And we’re not done yet. The hundreds of victims in Los Angeles alone want more than $1 billion in penalties. A dollar figure alone is not the true measure of the destructiveness of the Scandal, but it is difficult to quantify damaged faith or lost innocence. But we know what a billion dollars is. Think of the loss to the spiritual and corporal works of mercy just by the wasting of those billions of dollars: how many widows and orphans left without comfort; how many hungry gone unfed; how many naked unclothed; how many sick and imprisoned unvisited.

Someone’s going to have to answer for all this.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

  • “Someone’s going to have to answer for all this”

    Perhaps.  But maybe not in this life.
    Perhaps not. Since Someone already did.

  • “Someone’s going to have to answer for all this.”

    In a hierarchy, the responsibility HAS to go to the top.

    This was all on JPII’s watch.  He was involved in VII; he installed more Cardinals than anyone in history; he oversaw the virtual collapse of Catholicism in the west, and “tolerated” dissent from every quarter.

    I know everyone loves JPII, but he has to go down in history as one of, if not THE worst managers of all time.

  • Isn’t that similar to condemning an admiral whose put in charge of a boat in dry dock in Hawaii the morning of Pearl Harbor?

  • >>Someone’s going to have to answer for all this<<

    They will though in the next life.

    And the challenging part for us, we are—at the end—called to love and forgive these bishops who sso miserably failed us.

  • The Shrine of the Holy Whapping has great post today on the subject of Pope John Paul II and Church management:

    “read some Catholic magazines from the 1970’s. Headlines such as “Will Confirmation Still be a Sacrament in the Year 2000?” will abound. They will find editorials calling for the removal of tabernacles as “harkening back to the age when people worshipped the Euchraist instead of recieving it.” They will learn that cardinals and bishops called for the permenant revocation of any “Canon Law,” that Cardinal Bernadin was the most conservative figure in Catholic education (he thought students should actually memorize the Beatitudes!), that the Breviary was temporarily abolished, that as early as 1967 the Bishop’s Synod had decided that liturgical experimentation could no longer be controlled. They will probably not find a single mention of Paul VI after about 1972. If they read accounts of the election of John Paul I, they will find the expectation that the bishop of Rome would very quickly limit himself to being bishop over Rome (and perhaps occasional cheerleader). If they find any reference to the CDF, please send them to me. Because,frankly, the Vatican’s governance over the Church—and the expectation that the Vatican should govern the Church—had completely dissipated by the time JP2 was elected.

    The fact that we have this expectation today is the second biggest testimony to John Paul’s greatness. The biggest testimony to his greatness is that he renewed this expectation in the hearts of millions of the young faithful without stricture, without anathema, without the detailed policies he failed to implement: he regained this young, devoted following to Christ by the force of his magnaminity, the work of the Holy Spirit in his words, heart, and presence.”

    I think he’s got a great point. Just something to ponder. How much worse things could have been. Sure, management wasn’t JPII’s strong point… there might be things you’d have like to have been done differently. But remember the Holy Spirit moves the Church in God’s time, not ours. And to him a thousand years are like a day. Perhaps it is unrealistic to expect things to move any faster than they have?


  • Wait, wait, wait.

    This is the same JPII that excommunicated LeFebvre.  Funny how he had TIME and focus to deal with those “dissidents”.

    This is the same JPII that kissed the Koran.  We still have JPII-idolizers running around trying to put lipstick on that pig.

    This is the same JPII that not only tolerated the Assisi debacle, but called it exemplary of interreligious dialog.

    This is the same JPII that foisted upon the Church our current bevy of Cardinals.

    This is the same JPII that “apologized” for Vatican II, in the face of the “discontinuity of rupture”.  He had time for that, but not to address the abuses associated with VII’s “spirit”?

    This is the same JPII that said and did nothing about Liturgical abuse in Europe and North America?

    Let’s not forget, this problem with Bishopric independence is just one of Vatican II’s ongoing “gifts”.  Collegiality.  So, when the Bishops start down the slippery slope Vatican II is now not responsible?  Convenient.  And when he becomes pope for 28 years, Collegiality and the diminution of the Seat of Peter aren’t problems of his (VII’s) own making?  Again, convenient.

    When middle managers in a company are all running loose, it is their boss that is responsible for getting them under control.  And if he points to a “policy” that limits his authority to deal with the problem, he is just pathetic, and gets fired by the shareholders.  The search begins for a real leader.

    This is especially true, when the “policy” at the root of his problems is something he spends his 28 year tenure defending.

  • This is the same JPII that by all accounts was pivotal in the downfall of communism

    This is the same JPII who so loved the Church, he appointed Cardinal Ratzinger to be the head of the CDF

    This is the same JPII who without a doubt, connected to more young people than any other pope in history.

  • “Isn’t that similar to condemning an admiral whose put in charge of a boat in dry dock in Hawaii the morning of Pearl Harbor?”

    I don’t think it is similar.  For one thing, we are talking about a papacy of 28 years, not one day. 

    To continue your analogy, the Admiral has to be held responsible if he is involved with the decision to put the boat in dry-dock, when he is aware that the Japanese are likely to strike.  And when the attack goes on for 28 years?  His excuses wear a little thin.

    Secondly, JPII was on of the biggest proponents of the decision to put the boat in dry dock (VII), long after the outcome of the decision was obviously shown to be disastrous.

    I’m not in a position to condemn anyone, much less JPII, who I think was saintly, if not a saint. 

    But that doesn’t mean that I have to overlook his obvious shortcomings, or mythologize his incompetence as being “crazy like a fox”, and all part of God’s great plan.  He, more than anyone, is responsible for the mess the Church is in today, like it or not.

  • The Holy Whapper’s comments are really interesting. 

    I always find it amusing, and yet frustrating, that defenders of Vatican II are willing to talk about the fact that the liberal dissent was present in the Church before VII, and that it really took hold AFTER Vatican II, but they just can’t bring themselves to imagine that dissent was present DURING the Vatican II council.

    And when the poop hit the fan after VII, it’s never the ambiguous, mushy “back doors” the dissidents fought to put into the documents.  It was the pesky “spirit” that derailed the yummy goodness of the council.

    I call this a blind spot.

  • I recommend the book, “The Road to Malpsychia” (Joyce Milton) to anyone that wonders how the Church got into this pedophilia mess.  Modernism.

    And remember, it is this very “modernism” to which VII was supposed to reconcile the Church.  Yup.  What Pope Pius X called the “synthesis of all heresies” was something to which Pope John XXIII thought we should be reconciled:

    “John’s historic mission is fired by a desire to endow the Christian faith with “a new Pentecost,” a new spirit. It is aimed not only at bringing the mother church of Christendom into closer touch with the modern world, but at ending the division that has dissipated the Christian message for four centuries.

    “The council may have an effect as profound as anything since the days of Martin Luther,” says Dr. Carroll L. Shuster of Los Angeles, an executive of the Presbyterian Church. Boston University’s Professor Edwin Booth, a Methodist and church historian, is so impressed by what Pope John has started that he ranks him as “one of the truly great Popes of Roman Catholic history.”

    Get it?  New Spirit?  This wasn’t the unfortunate side affect of VII.  It was the intent.

  • Da Vinci Decoder Ring,

    I think I’ll side with the Holy Roman Catholic Church, the magisterium, the pope, and the overwhelming majority of the faithful before I side with Joyce Milton, one blogger, one Methodist historian, and a Presbyterian professor, as to whether VatII was truly Catholic.  I’d say the former group has a little more expertise in the matter.  What is strange is that I think you might disagree.

  • Da Vinci Decoder Ring,

    There’s a problem in your use of the word “modernism”. It’s a broad word, not terribly well-defined and used in two different contexts.

    Have you actually read the documents of Vatican II? 

    Have you read Pope Benedict’s discussion of the need to read those documents in conjunction with the Church’s 2000 year tradition and NOT in the so-called “spirit” of those who want a break with that tradition?

  • Exactly how are you “siding” with the Church and the majority of the faithful?  And how am I not?

    By accepting VII as being unrelated to the chaos we find ourselves in today?

    Others more qualified than I have tried to answer the question, how did we get from Pope Pius X’s Syllabus to Pope John XXIII’s aggiornamento?

    Considering the “hermeneutics of discontinuity and rupture”, why isn’t it a reasonable question to ask?

    While VII apologists write poetic justifications for completely ignoring, or being “embarrassed” by the encyclicals of St. Pius IX, St. Pius X, Leo III, Pope Gregory XVI, they claim to “side with the Church” and condemn anyone that questions the obvious chaos before, during and after the VII Council.

    And then what?  We get forty years of fiddling while “Rome” burns.

    Oh, but don’t allow yourself to think that the Council, stuffed to the rafters with dissident theologians, had anything to do with what happened AFTER the Council.  That would just be UNCATHOLIC.

    Here is an excerpt from a review from RTM (Milton):


    “A floundering Christianity abetted his (Rogers) excesses. After Pope Paul VI called in 1966 for “wide-ranging experimentation” in Catholicism, Rogers sent 60 facilitators to the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Los Angeles. Rogers’s “touching exercises” turned out to be inconsistent with chastity; within a year, more than half of the 560 nuns abandoned the order, most as lesbians. Rogers would later work his magic at a Franciscan seminary in Santa Barbara, Calif., leaving in his wake America’s largest Catholic pedophilia scandal until the recent one.”

    Oh, but Pope Paul VI and VII had NOTHING to do with this.  Just a coincidence, I guess.  Along with the nearly infinite number of other scandals in the Church since.  Pope Paul paced around the Papal apartments, wringing his hands and lamenting the “smoke of Satan” entering the sanctuary.

    Well, wherever he is, I’m sure he’ll be happy to know that most Catholic Church’s don’t have sanctuaries any more.  Just auditoriums.

    I’ll leave it at this:

    If you read “Lamentabili Sane” (Pius X) and Pius IX’s Syllabus, and you don’t think them excruciatingly prophetic, and then read Pope John XXIII’s 1959 opening speech to the Council, and find it tragically naive, and subsequently irrelevant, I don’t know what else to say.

    So, which Church does one side with?  The one that EXPLAINS the mess, or the one that denies it for forty years, and then offers an explanation that doesn’t fit what we have experienced?

  • Melanie,

    Yes, and I try to be obedient to PB’s directive, despite knowing the intentions of many of the theologians involved in VII, and reading their own comments after the Council.

    In other words, I have to disregard everything, including logic, to think that the Council was not intentionally hijacked by dissidents.  But if that’s what PB wants me to do, I’ll do it.

    I am heartened, at least, to finally have a pope that acknowledges that SOMETHING is wrong.

  • Melanie,

    Here is an exerpt from “Pascendi Dominici Gregis”

    “That We should act without delay in this matter is made imperative especially by the fact that the partisans of error are to be sought not only among the Church’s open enemies; but, what is to be most dreaded and deplored, in her very bosom, and are the more mischievous the less they keep in the open. We allude, Venerable Brethren, to many who belong to the Catholic laity, and, what is much more sad, to the ranks of the priesthood itself, …thoroughly imbued with the poisonous doctrines taught by the enemies of the Church, …put themselves forward as reformers of the Church;

    Characteristics of the Modernists

    …Nor indeed would he be wrong in regarding them as the most pernicious of all the adversaries of the Church. For, as We have said, they put into operation their designs for her undoing, not from without but from within. Hence, the danger is present almost in the very veins and heart of the Church, whose injury is the more certain from the very fact that their knowledge of her is more intimate. Moreover, they lay the ax not to the branches and shoots, but to the very root, that is, to the Faith and its depest fibers.”


    If the Church wanted to “progress”, it could have done so by offering an alternative,  parallel track to modernism.  That is NOT what John XXIII called for.  Aggiormento means “accomodation”.

    So, even though VII is smack dab in the middle of this conflict, we are expected to believe that it had NOTHING to do with the ensuing chaos.  Again, even when Congar and others smuggly admit they were working to make the VII documents intentionally “ambiguous”.

    If you don’t want to think that “accomodating” heresy is related to what the Church is now going through, then I can only say that I have no other explanation.  And this explanation seems to fit perfectly.  And it is a Church document too!

    Here are a bunch of other Church documents that warn against Modernism (the synthesis of heresies).  They seem to explain what we are going through.  Denying that VII was problematic seems like denial, and explains NOTHING.

    On Liberalism (Mirari Vos) – Gregory XVI, 1832
    On Current Errors (Quanta Cura) –  Pius IX, 1864
    The Syllabus of Errors – Pius IX, 1864
    On Government Authority (Diuturnum Illud) – Leo XIII, 1881
    On Freemasonry and Naturalism (Humanum Genus), Leo XIII, 1884.
    On the Nature of True Liberty (Libertas Praestantissimum) – Leo XIII, 1888.
    On The Condition of the Working Classes (Rerum Novarum) – Leo XIII, 1891
    On Christian Democracy (Graves de Communi Re) – Leo XIII, 1901
    On Modernism (Pascendi Dominici Gregis), St. Pius X, 1907
    Syllabus Condemning the Errors of the Modernists (Lamentabili Sane) – St. Pius X, 1907 The Oath Against Modernism – St. Pius X, 1910
    Our Apostolic Mandate (On the “Sillon”) – St. Pius X, 1910
    On Christ the King (Quas Primas) – Pius XI, 1925
    On Ecumenism (Mortalium Animos) –  Pius XI, 1928
    On Atheistic Communism (Divini Redemptoris) – Pius XI, 1937
    On Evolution and Other Errors (Humani Generis) – Pius XII, 1950


    I have not read all of these documents but I just list them to show how seriously the Popes took modernism, as a threat to the Church.  VII, on the other hand, admittedly full of dissidents, was untouched by this problem? 

    Really, really, really hard for me to believe.

  • I think I see your point DaVinci:
    You mean that VatII as a historical moment was corrupt due to many dubious theologians etc who left the council and ran amuck with claims of a new spirit.  Agreed.  I thought you were attacking the documents themselves, which are actually quite good and full of that Spirit which is both new and anceint, that is, our Spirit, the Holy Spirit playing amongst the faithful.  Hence my taking issue with you.  Mea Culpa.

  • Yeah, what Mercator said.

    I think too many people talk about “Vatican II” without actually referring to the documents themselves. Many terrible things have been done in the “spirit of” or name of VII, but I think “hijack” is a good word to describe that activity.