Archbishop O’Malley says he wants to focus on ecumenical matters. It would be nice to focus on something other than the Scandal for a change. It does get wearying to deal with this stuff day after day. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
Yes, we must make sure the work of the Church goes on, despite crises. And we can focus on more than one thing at a time. But we can’t be lulled into thinking that dealing with the Scandal is complete now that a settlement is done and policies are in place. There’s still a lot to be done, primarily in excising the rot in the priesthood and dealing with open dissent from the Church’s teachings by both clergy and laity.
I’m not saying that the archbishop isn’t dealing with that. I have heard that he is meeting regularly with all his young priests to encourage and teach them and that new reforms and new leadership are being put in place at the seminary. Still, I hope to see something done about the older priests who foment dissent and spread heresy. The Scandals that began in 2002 didn’t happen overnight and the fixes for it won’t happen that way either.
It’s interesting that he calls for a greater “sense of community” among Catholics by reaching beyond their parishes. I think single, young adult Catholics already do that to a great extent. They are much more prone to moving beyond their traditional parish boundaries to find other like-minded Catholics to connect with. i think with greater mobility among the populace we’ll see less self-definition along parish lines (which has already happened to a great extent) and more indentification with the larger Church.