An editorial in the New York Newsday takes to task those who stand up for the faith and morality in their parishes. Specifically, he takes on the case of Fr. Charles Papa, a New York pastor who was removed from his parish after porn—not kiddie porn—was found on his computer. Since Papa was a vocal supporter of a local Voice of the Faithful chapter and the porn was found by someone in the parish opposed to VOTF, the implication is that this was revenge or an attempt to take out Fr. Papa.
The writer, Bob Keeler, comes right out and attacks “right-wing zealots” as the cause of all the problems in the Church. He accuses them in the same breath he mentions that the Church has put heretics to death over the centuries. He says that these “self-appointed watchdogs of orthodoxy” didn’t like the changes wrought by Vatican II and have been trying to undo them all these years.
I wonder what Keeler’s reaction would be if the situation were reversed. What if the pastor had been opposed to Voice of the Faithful and the formation of a chapter in his parish, if porn was found on his computer by a VOTF supporter and reported, and the pastor was removed? Would we hear his angst at the divisions within the Church and this parish? Or would we be hearing about the courageous actions of the “reformers” who took out their “right-wing zealot” pastor?