Frank Bruni – Catholics and the curse: Rome? 1-27-13
elevated, to a lofty and ludicrous position – expecting – not earning the respect of the masses.
Two stellar examples of the Old Boys in Rome and how they operate: cited: Bravo to Father Tony Flannery and thumbs down to California’s flashy Cardinal Roger Mahony
“I refer to the Roman Catholic Church, specifically to its modern incarnation and current leaders, who have tucked priests into a cosseted caste above the flock, wrapped them in mysticism and prioritized their protection and reputations over the needs and sometimes even the anguish of the people in the pews. I have a problem, in other words, with the church’s arrogance, a thread that runs through Wills’s book, to be published next month; through fresh revelations of how assiduously a cardinal in Los Angeles worked to cover up child sexual abuse; and through the church’s attempts to silence dissenters, including an outspoken clergyman in Ireland who was recently back in the news.
LET’S start with Los Angeles. Last week, as a result of lawsuits filed against the archdiocese of Los Angeles by hundreds of victims of sexual abuse by priests, internal church personnel files were made public. They showed that Cardinal Roger M. Mahony’s impulse, when confronted with priests who had molested children, was to hush it up and keep law enforcement officials at bay. While responses like this by Roman Catholic bishops and cardinals have been extensively chronicled and are no longer shocking, they remain infuriating.
At one point Cardinal Mahony instructed a priest whom he’d dispatched to New Mexico for counseling not to return to California, lest he risk being criminally prosecuted.
That sort of shielding of priests from accountability allowed them, in many cases across the United States, to continue their abusive behavior and claim more young victims….”
“…And this hubris also survives the crisis, manifest in the way that the Vatican, a gilded enclave so far removed and so frequently out of step with the rest of the world, clamps down on Catholics who challenge its rituals and rules. Much of what these dissenters raise questions about — the all-male priesthood, for example, or the commitment to celibacy that priests are required to make — aren’t indisputable edicts from God.
They’re inventions of the mortals who took charge of the faith.”
NOTE: NYTimes states: The Rev. Tony Flannery, 66, who was suspended by the Vatican last year, said he was told by the Vatican that he would be allowed to return to ministry only if he agreed to write, sign and publish a statement agreeing, among other things, that women should never be ordained as priests and that he would adhere to church orthodoxy on matters like contraception and homosexuality.
Father Roy Bourgeois – Another Great Man – banished by Rome. Seriously?
- He won a purple heart for his service in Vietnam.
- He lived and worked among the poor in Bolivia for five years.
- When his friends, Maryknoll sisters Maura Clarke and Ita Ford, along with two other women, were raped and murdered in El Salvador, he became an outspoken opponent of U.S. foreign policy in Latin America.
- He has served nearly five years in federal prison for non-violent protests.
- And now Fr. Roy Bourgeois has been told that he no longer has a place in the community of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.
For more than a hundred years, the name Maryknoll has been synonymous with ministries of justice, peace, and care for the world’s most marginalized. But, as is the case with so many church institutions, their fight for justice is a strictly external exercise. These days there seems to be little possibility for justice to roll down within the internal structures of the Catholic church.
Few Roman Catholic priests in this country today have risked as much as Bourgeois has to live out the gospel. He answered Jesus’ call to be a peacemaker; he has an insatiable hunger and thirst for righteousness.
Fewer Roman Catholic priests have dared to apply their high-minded social justice theories to the demoralization and marginalization of women by the church that they serve.”
From National Catholic Reporter
Roy Bourgeois’ priesthood can never truly end